10mm Auto ballistic test, updated.

10mm Auto-2

Some time back I tested three bullets weights from Hornady for the 10mm Auto. You can read about that here. With the variety of ammunition for this caliber I thought it would be a good idea to try out some different rounds.

I secured some more test ammunition and headed back to the range with my Glock 20, chronograph, and ballistic gel to get more data on this round.

10mm Auto-1

Using the exact same testing protocol we have been using at our previous ballistic testing I was able to get solid data that is comparable to the other 10mm test.

10mm Auto-5

10mm Auto-6

You may notice a Lonewolf barrel in this photograph. I did swap in that barrel when shooting the lead bullet as recommended when shooting lead out of a polygonal barrel. You can read about the Lonewolf barrel test here.

As I have said ballistic gel is not the end all be all say in how a bullet performs but it gives you a good idea on how a bullet acts in a medium that is very similar to human tissue. It also allows you to have a consistent baseline when testing different rounds so you are comparing apples to apples, so to speak.

There is no need for me to rehash everything talked about in the first test, if you are curious just follow the link at the top of the page. There is some great information as well as history of the 10mm Auto.


So, here is the updated chart, please click on the chart for a larger version.

10mm Auto-3


The bullets closest to the gel were the ones shot through the cloth.

The first row is the Georgia Arms loaded 155gr Speer Gold dot.

The second row is the Georgis Arms loaded 180gr Speer gold dots

The third row is the Federal 180gr JHP

The fourth row is the Federal 180gr Hydra Shok

The fifth row is the PMC 180gr JHP

The bottom photo is the Hornady Critical Duty

From left to right, DoubleTap 200gr hardcast, 230gr Equalizer, 180gr Controlled Expansion, 125gr TAC-XP HP. Top row was 3 layers, bottom row was bare gel.

The Prvi Partizan (PPU) and my reload, as you see by the chart were unrecovered. The wound channel created by the PPU was very similar to one made by a full metal jacket which, in conjunction with complete penetration leads me to believe there was little to no expansion. I expected my reload to not expand as it is a truncated cone solid lead alloy bullet, designed to penetrate. The wound channel from my reload was also similar to one created by a full metal jacket. My reload was a 175gr truncated cone with 8.6gr of IMR 800X. That is a maximum charge for that bullet and propellent and was worked up to using correct reloading protocols. When reloading always start at the initial load and work up from there watching for signs of excessive pressure. Safety first.    You can read the review of that bullet and bullet mold here.

Though almost all rounds performed well, the DoubleTap, Speer Gold Dot, and Hornady rounds seemed to do the best while the Federal Hydra Shok and PMC were at the bottom. The PPU was unacceptable.


10mm Auto-4




DoubleTap Ammunition 





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8 Responses to 10mm Auto ballistic test, updated.

  1. Jerry March 19, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    Outstanding articles! Please do more.

  2. Marco February 8, 2018 at 10:10 pm #

    You list the DoubleTap 200 hardcast as having 100% weight retention, yet your photo of the recovered bullet shows it lost a huge chunk of material…can you clarify?

    • Hunter Elliott February 9, 2018 at 8:32 pm #

      Yes sir,
      The lead bullet did not break apart but the edge deformed a bit.


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