Top Federal 10mm Ammunition Loads

By Mark Hampton
Posted in #Guns
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Top Federal 10mm Ammunition Loads

January 31st, 2021

5 minute read

Choosing the right handgun for your specific, designated task can be both daunting and fun. Likewise, finding the perfect ammo load can be a challenge. With all of the Federal 10mm ammunition loads available, you have your hands full. But, I’m hoping to help you navigate the company’s product catalog to find the right load for your needs.

New Federal ammo for 2021
Federal announced several new 10mm loads this year including this new Punch self-defense load. Image: Federal

As I continue to enjoy shooting a Springfield Armory 10mm 1911, it’s been educational observing how different ammo performs. In the past, I’ve had the pleasure of testing and reviewing a number of 10mm pistols. As a result of various shooting evaluations, fortunately, I had just enough of a stash of 10mm ammo on-hand for this piece. If you think gun writers are immune from ammo shortages today, think again. Many offerings I wanted to test were simply not available.

Springfield 1911 TRP with Federal hunting ammo
Your Springfield 1911 TRP deserves high-quality ammunition from Federal. Effective self-defense and hunting loads are available to meet any of your needs.

I’ve been pleased with the performance of Federal Premium ammunition, and for us 10mm aficionados the company provides several offerings for different chores. Let’s take a look at some of the factory rounds — and their intended purposes — that are available from Federal Premium.

The New Breed

If interest in the 10mm round was diminishing, you wouldn’t see so many handgun and ammunition offerings available today. On top of all the quality 10mm ammo Federal already provides, 2021 has revealed three new offerings.

10mm Punch self defense ammo by Federal
New for 2021 is this 10mm Punch load from Federal. With a 200-gr. bullet, the self-defense load hits at 1,100 fps. Image: Federal

Their new 10mm Punch makes a fine addition to Federal’s personal defense line-up. With their 200-gr. jacketed hollow point (JHP) design running 1,100 feet per second (fps) from a 5″barrel, this round provides a consistent expansion thanks to the skived bullet. The 10mm cartridge comes in nickel-plated brass and I can’t wait to get my hands on some.

Federal Swift A-Frame load in 10mm
Hunters will have another 10mm option with the new Swift A-Frame load. Offering excellent penetration, this load will be a favorite with many handgun hunters. Image: Federal

New ammo for handgun hunters includes a 200-gr. Swift A-frame JHP. Experienced handgun hunters know how effective Swift A-frames are in the field. The boned front half of the bullet expands while the back half remains intact for reliable penetration. This load will be most welcome for hog or black bear hunters — especially when a lot of penetration is necessary.

In addition to the line-up is another new offering for 2021 — Federal’s Solid Core. This will be one more great option for big mean, ugly hogs or black bear. The 200-gr. Solid Core is a flat-nose lead bullet that will hold together while smashing through tough hide and bone, providing high weight retention and essential penetration.

Federal Solid Core ammunition
Federal Premium announced its new Solid Core 10mm ammo for 2021. Solid Core is an ideal choice for protection against dangerous critters. Image: Federal

Federal utilizes their Syntech polymer jacket technology which reduces friction and leading commonly found in hard cast bullets. For us 10mm enthusiasts, this is an ideal load when the possibility of bears or other such critters may be a problem. If fishing on an Alaskan stream, this is the load I’d be packing in my 1911 in 10mm.  Now if I can just procure some of this ammo before a spring black bear hunt.

Familiar Friends

Fusion 10mm ammo
The Fusion line is popular with many semi-auto pistol hunters as a great blend of performance and price. The 200-gr. 10mm load is one example from the line. Image: Federal

Unfortunately, I had shot up my short supply of Fusion 10mm ammo, but I’ve always found this 200-gr. load to be a real shooter. The skived nose provides consistent expansion, which I find most beneficial when hunting deer or hogs. The copper jacket is electro-chemically applied to the core, and the bullet will maintain integrity for penetration. The company claims 1,200 fps muzzle velocity, but from a 6″-barreled 1911, you can expect a tad bit more. It’s a quality round for hunting, and the cost won’t send you in shock.

Expanded 10mm bullet
Shown fully expanded, the 10mm Fusion bullet is extremely effective on game animals. Image: Federal

For shooting pleasure and practice, I lean toward the American Eagle 180 gr. FMJ round.  This option allows the shooter to enjoy quality range time without depleting those hard-earned dollars. Shooting steel plates on the farm or punching paper at the range, I always carry American Eagle in the shooting bag.

Handgun hunting with Springfield Armory 1911 TRP
This Springfield Armory 1911 TRP and Federal ammunition combined to bring this doe down.

Another premium hunting choice can be found with Federal’s Trophy Bonded Bear Claw 180-gr. offering. This is an ideal bullet for those big mean hogs or whitetail deer. The well-constructed bullet is designed to break through the bone and tough muscle often encountered with wild boar. The nose of the bullet is specifically devised to ensure consistent expansion —and the bullet will penetrate! I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment using Federal’s Trophy Bonded Bear Claw for black bear.

Federal 10mm ammo gel test
The Trophy Bonded Bear Claw load provides deep penetration with good expansion. Image: Federal

An Eye on Defense

One of the attributes exhibited with the 10mm is the capability not only to perform as a hunting round, but also serve double-duty as a personal defense choice. Federal Premium offers two products specifically loaded for personal defense. Their Hydra-Shok 10mm is available with a 180-gr. bullet. The bullet’s notched copper jacket initiates reliable expansion and has undergone rigorous testing to ensure accuracy and consistency. This ammo remains a popular choice for those looking to protect their home and family.

Fly fishing with a 1911 for protection
A Springfield 1911 loaded with Federal 10mm ammunition is an excellent self-defense combination – especially when you are in the back country.

Another version of protection Federal manufactures is its HST 10mm self-defense load utilizing a 200-gr. hollow point that expands reliably through a variety of barriers. This is a full-power 10mm load with 1,130 fps muzzle velocity from a 5″ barrel. For personal or home protection, this is a logical choice.


As you can see, Federal Premium ammunition continues to pave the way for 10mm fans with new products. The company clearly sees the value in 10mm for both personal defense and handgun hunting – and manufactures premium ammunition for all applications.

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles and videos are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

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Mark Hampton

Mark Hampton

Mark Hampton has hunted on six continents, in over 30 countries, 25 states, and six Canadian provinces. He has taken over 200 species of big game with a handgun. His hunts entail 30 trips to Africa in 10 countries, 25 hunts in Asia in 11 countries, plus many other remote destinations. Mark has been promoting handgun hunting and continues to do so today in various platforms. Today, he is the Executive Director of the Grand Slam Club. Mark is actively involved in the hunting community and writes for several nationally recognized publications. Mark and Karen, his lovely wife of 40 years, reside in south Missouri and enjoy hunting on their farm.

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