Semiauto Salvation: Federal 10mm Auto

By Bob Campbell published on in Ammunition, Hunting, Reviews

A new full-power load resurrected the 10mm Auto, transforming it into a potent big-game platform. Hogs. Bears. Deer. Whatever the target, most handgun hunters traditionally opted for stout revolvers chambered in .44 and .41 Rem. Magnums, .357 Magnum and the like. Semiautomatic handgun options have been slim. That is changing with ammunition such as the new Vital-Shok Trophy Bonded Jacketed Soft Point in 10mm Auto.

Federal Premium Trophy Bonded ammo

The Federal 10mm load is an excellent hunting load for self-loaders.

The accurate, powerful new round from Federal Premium gives hunters who have always wanted to use a semiautomatic handgun a serious big-game option.

Full Power—Finally

As a cartridge, the 10mm Auto has experienced an unusual ride. Developers first envisioned it as a high-power round for law enforcement. And it is built for that, thanks to high-velocity loadings that delivered more foot-pounds of energy than most personal defense and law enforcement cartridges available at the time. When the FBI deemed the recoil too heavy for most of its agents, ammunition manufacturers strayed from the original plan, watering down most 10mm Auto offerings to produce ballistics almost identical to the .40 S&W.

10mm cartridges in loaded magazine

The new Federal Load’s design is feed reliable in every handgun.

The new Vital-Shok load is totally different. Unlike its more recent predecessors, it is a full-power cartridge that takes complete advantage of the caliber’s true capability and offers the muscle for deer, bears and hogs as well as personal protection. Its 180-grain bullet leaves the muzzle at 1,275 fps (compared to the usual 1,030 fps) with 650 foot-pounds of energy—an increase of more than 50 percent from typical commercial loads.

This performance, which falls roughly between the .357 and .41 Magnums, is impressive yet still sells the load short because the numbers came from testing with a 5-inch barrel. Handgun hunters using 6-inch barrels should experience better velocity and energy in real-world conditions.

Better Ballistics, Better Bullet

The new Vital-Shok load’s Trophy Bonded Jacketed Soft Point bullet design makes the cartridge even more effective. Based on Federal Premium’s proven Trophy Bonded Bear Claw rifle bullet, the heavy jacket features a formed inner profile that pre-programs and controls expansion to ensure deep penetration, consistent expansion and high weight retention.

New and expanded 10mm bullet

This is textbook expansion you can count on with every shot.

Combined with the full-power ballistics, the new round delivers knock-down power that has never been seen in 10mm Auto loads and is the ideal choice for hunters looking to put a semiautomatic pistol in the field. Among the most accurate is the GLOCK Model 20 10mm.

The big GLOCK is the single most accurate GLOCK I have ever fired, often giving a 1.5-inch, 25-yard group with quality ammunition. I like the 1911 a lot, although the Colt offerings are not as accurate. The early Delta Elite pistol sometimes did not hold up well to 10mm ballistics. Late model Delta Elite pistols are a different story. Then there is the Kimber 10mm, seldom seen and immensely interesting.

Shooter at indoor range shooting the Colt Delta Elite

The Colt Delta Elite is a legendary handgun well worth exploring.

When all is said and done, the 10mm offers excellent performance, and the new Federal load offers a great option.

Are you ready to stock up on the 10mm Auto? What gun will you use it in? Share in the comments section.

SLRule

Bob Campbell is a former peace officer and published author with over 40 years combined shooting and police and security experience. Bob holds a degree in Criminal Justice. Bob is the author of the books, The Handgun in Personal Defense, Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry, The 1911 Automatic Pistol, The Gun Digest Book of Personal Protection and Home Defense, The Shooter’s Guide to the 1911, The Hunter and the Hunted, and The Complete Illustrated Manual of Handgun Skills. His latest book is Dealing with the Great Ammo Shortage. He is also a regular contributor to Gun Tests, American Gunsmith, Small Arms Review, Gun Digest, Concealed Carry Magazine, Knife World, Women and Guns, Handloader and other publications. Bob is well-known for his firearm testing.

View all articles by Bob Campbell

Tags: , , , ,

The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!
%d bloggers like this: