The Best 10mm Ammo
The Best 10mm Ammo

The Best 10mm Ammo for Every Shooting Situation
Sam Jacobs 
Website: Ammo.com
Blog: The Resistance Library
Date: 05-01-2024
Subject: Gun Rights

While not as popular as the 45 ACP or 9mm, the 10mm Auto holds a special place in many shooters' hearts and hands.

However, it makes little sense to spend a lot of money on a beautiful 10mm pistol and then buy ammo as an afterthought.

If you want top-tier results from your gun, then you must fire the best 10mm ammo. As you continue scrolling, you'll discover our ammo experts' top 10mm ammo picks for every situation.

10mm Bullet Types

10mm ammo uses several bullet types depending on which shooting application you plan to use, your Remington or Colt 1911.

Below, I've made a quick reference list of what they are and the best uses for each type of bullet.

Bonded Soft Point (SP)

Bonded soft point bullets are practical for hunting and self-defense because they cause so much damage following impact. The bonding process yields a jacket which is tightly rooted to its lead core. This helps keep the bullet remain more intact during penetration of barriers and soft tissue, which ensures it conserves sufficient momentum to enter deeply into the quarry or threat.

Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)

full metal jacket is an excellent all-around bullet for training, plinking and target shooting because it's inexpensive and highly dependable. However, I don't recommend the FMJ for self-defense. Its inability to undergo terminal expansion predisposes it to over-penetrate, and also causes it to inflict less damage to the target.

Full Metal Jacket Truncated Cone (FMJTC)

A variation of an FMJ is the full metal jacket truncated cone. It is best used for target practice and competitions because it cuts a cleaner, more distinct hole through paper and cardboard. Note that the FMJTC's flat tip enables it to punch a wider hole through soft tissue than a conventional round nose FMJ. Even so, the FMJTC cannot unleash the terminal expansion that is desirable for defensive applications.

Hard Cast Bullets

Hard cast bullets are made of lead that has been heavily alloyed with additional metals such as antimony, tin and silver. They penetrate more efficiently than traditional lead-core bullets because they don't expand, thus making them more practical for hunting and defense against dangerous game.

Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP)

Jacketed hollow points have many different names depending on the brand. Hornady XTP and FTX are some examples that immediately come to mind. A JHP is ideally suited for self-defense and some hunting scenarios. Its hollow point nose cavity fills with pressurized soft tissue during penetration, thus forcing the bullet to widen out. It gouges a wider wound channel, disperses more of its energy laterally, and reduces (but doesn't eliminate) the risk of over-penetration as a result.

Solid Copper (SC)

Also known as monolithic bullets, solid copper bullets are entirely made of … well, you get it. The Black Hills HoneyBadger and Underwood Xtreme Penetrator are two examples of solid copper projectiles. They're often used for self-defense and hunting in areas that restrict lead bullets.

A copper bullet isn't just nontoxic. It conserves accuracy by preventing lead fouling, exhibits excellent in-flight rotational stability because its lack of a jacket means that it cannot have concentricity flaws, and penetrates soft tissue efficiently due to copper's inherent toughness.

Many solid copper bullets do not have hollow point nose cavities. Instead they have grooves which channel soft tissue inward, pressurize it, and jet it outward at high velocity. The resultant wound cavity can be immense.

Solid Copper Hollow Point (SCHP)

Another variation of an SC bullet is the solid copper hollow point. Barnes loads the TAC-XP, which is one of the best examples available.

These bullets are used for self-defense and hunting, especially where lead projectiles have been banned by law. Copper bullets perform differently than lead bullets. If you plan on carrying them, be sure to practice with solid copper bullets, too. Otherwise, you might be surprised by the differences.

Choosing the Right 10mm Ammo For Your Situation

Purchasing the best ammo ultimately comes down to what you will use it for. Let's discuss which ammo types work best for various situations.


Hunting with full-power handgun loads like the 10mm is becoming more popular due to the challenge it presents. We still want to be ethical during our adventures, of course, so we should always use JHP, SP or SCHP projectiles while hunting.

Even though a round like the Hornady Custom 155 grain XTP might seem a little light, it has plenty of stopping power for whitetail deer at close range and is a much better option than an FMJ, which will kill the deer but is not as effective. Note that FMJ bullets aren't permitted for hunting in some jurisdictions, too.


I'm not inclined to take any chances when it comes to defending myself and my own. This is why I always load JHPs in my carry gun: I know a JHP can stop a threat whilst simultaneously reducing the risk of over-penetration.


I prefer to train with the same ammo I will carry – but I acknowledge that can get expensive. If I plan to do a lot of training, I tend to go with the cheapest ammo that offers ballistics similar to the rounds I'll be carrying.

Practice as you play.

Competition & Target Shooting

When competition shooting, you need the best ammo available to give you the greatest possible advantage. This is why so many shooters handload for competitions.

Plenty of factory ammo is match grade. It's never as good as an experienced handloader's best work, but its out-of-the-box accuracy can still win a contest.

Find out Ammo.com's top picks for 10mm ammo in the complete best 10mm ammo guide for hunting, training, and everyday use.