At full potential, the 10mm Auto produces energy a bit higher than common .357 Magnum loads and below standard .41 Magnum. The cartridge is considered to be high-velocity, giving it a less-curved flight path ("flat-shooting") relative to other handgun cartridges. In its lighter loadings, the 10mm Auto is an exact duplicate of the .40 S&W cartridge. More powerful loadings can equal or exceed the performance of the .357 Magnum, and retain more kinetic energy at 100 yards than the .45 ACP has at the muzzle
Some commercial loadings are as follows:
.357 Magnum: 676 ft·lbf (917 J) for 180 gr (12 g) @ 1,300 ft/s (400 m/s)
10mm Auto: 750 ft·lbf (1,020 J) for 200 gr (13 g) @ 1,300 ft/s (400 m/s)
.41 Magnum: 938 ft·lbf (1,272 J) for 250 gr (16 g) @ 1,300 ft/s (400 m/s)
The loads listed above are from a boutique manufacturer of high performance ammunition and are about maximum for S.A.A.M.I. established pressure levels in each cartridge. Free recoil energy of the full-power loads listed are 10.1, 12.1, and 22.9 ft·lbf (13.7 J, 16.4 J, and 31.0 J) respectively for these cartridges, computed assuming a 40 ounce (2.5 lb, 1.15 kg) handgun.
Most major ammunition manufacturers offering 10mm load closer in performance to the "F.B.I. Load" than the full power 10mm; these still offer sufficient power for defense applications, yet their recoil is more comparable to the .45 ACP in similar guns. A few smaller companies offer full-power ammunition for this chambering. With the appropriate load, the 10mm is a capable medium game hunting cartridge at moderate handgun ranges.
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