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Federal Premium Vital-Shok 10mm Auto

Federal's Vital-Shok Resurrects the 10mm Auto From its Watered Down Versions into a Full-Power Load That's Potent Enough for Big-Game Targets Like Hogs, Bears and Deer

Historically, handgun hunters have opted for big frame revolvers chambered in .44 Remington Magnum, .41 Remington Magnum, and .357 Magnum. Truth be told, semi-automatic handgun options have been slim. But that situation has changed dramatically with the introduction of Federal Premium's Vital-Shok™ Trophy Bonded® Jacketed Soft Point bullet loaded in 10mm Automatic. Accurate, and powerful, the potent round gives hunters, who have always wanted to use semi-automatic handgun, a serious big-game option without having to carry a wheel-gun.

Over the years, the 10mm Auto has experienced an unusual ride. When it was first developed by legendary firearms genius Jeff Cooper and introduced in 1983 with the Bren Ten pistol, it was envisioned as a high-power round for law enforcement. High-velocity loadings delivered more foot-pounds of energy than most other personal defense and law enforcement cartridges available at the time. In short it boasted a flatter trajectory and greater range than the .45 ACP, and more to the point, it had greater stopping power than the 9×19mm Parabellum. So it came as no big surprise how in the aftermath of the infamous 1986 F.B.I. Miami Shootout it was selected for service by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1989. Ultimately, though, the FBI deemed the cartridge's recoil too heavy for many of its agents, This led to the creation of a shorter version of the 10mm that exists today as the .40 Smith & Wesson.

Unlike its more recent predecessors, some say watered down, the new Vital-Shok load is a full-power cartridge that takes complete advantage of the caliber’s true capability and offers the knock-down powder required for deer, bears and hogs, as well as for 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, its performance which falls roughly between the 357 Magnum and 41 Magnum. The numbers are undeniably impressive. Important to note, these numbers were researched with a 5-inch barrel. Handgun hunters using 6-inch barrels should experience better velocity and energy.

Vital-Shok's Trophy Bonded Jacketed Soft Point bullet design makes the cartridge particularly effective. Based on Federal Premium’s proven Trophy Bonded® BearClaw® rifle bullet, this heavy jacket features a formed inner profile that effectively preprograms and controls expansion to ensure deep penetration, consistent expansion and high weight retention. Combined with the full-power ballistics, the Vital-Shok round delivers knockdown power that’s never been seen in 10mm Auto loads, thus making it the ideal choice for hunters looking to put a semi-automatic commercial handgun to work in the field.

Finally, in the Vital-Shok loading, the 10mm cartridge is entirely appropriate as a high-power defense weapon appropriate for use against either humans or animals. Moreover, hunters who prefer the flatter carry profile and higher cartridge capacity of an automatic pistol, versus a magnum revolver, will be happy with the reborn 10mm Auto.


Cartridge Performance
Caliber Bullet weight
(Grains)
Muzzle Velocity
(Feet per Second)
Muzzle Energy
(Foot pounds)
Recoil Energy
(Foot Pounds)
.357 Magnum 180 1300 676 10.1
10mm Auto 200 1300 750 12.1
10mm Auto
Vital-Shok
180 1275 650
41 Magnum 250 1300 938 22.9
.45 ACP
Hydra-Shok
230 900 414

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