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At full potential, the 10mm produces energy slightly higher than an average .357 Magnum load and below standard .41 Magnum rounds. The cartridge is considered to be high-velocity, giving it a less-curved flight path upon firing (also termed “flat-shooting”) relative to other handgun cartridges. 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.
The 10mm outperforms the .40 S&W by 270–300 ft/s (82–91 m/s) for similar bullet weights when using available full power loads, as opposed to the “10mm FBI” level loads still found in some ammunition catalogs. This result is due to the 10mm Auto’s higher SAAMI pressure rating of 37,500 psi (259 MPa),10 as opposed to 35,000 psi (240 MPa) for the .40 S&W, and the larger case capacity, which allows the use of heavier bullets and more smokeless powder .
The 10mm is marketed for hunting, defensive, and tactical use and is one of the few semi-automatic, rimless cartridges that is legal for hunting white-tailed deer in many U.S. states. The round makes the “Major” power factor ranking in the International Practical Shooting Confederation, even in lighter loadings.