Full Power G20 10mm Ammo… Finally


Full Power G20 10mm Ammo… Finally

Like many folks who purchased a G20 10mm Glock, you did it because you wanted really big power in a rock solid reliable semi-auto 15-round pistol. I mean, who wouldn’t? In my initial Glock G20 review, I would have loved to push the gun with this ammo.

The problem is that we as 10mm owners have faced shelves full of neutered versions of what was once one of the high power calibers for autoloading pistols. And today, thanks to Federal Premium, we now have a commercially available ammo to give us everything we expect from the 10mm powerhouse.

If you think garden variety 10mm Auto 550 ft/lb energy loads are a tad light, you should try out the 650 ft/lb 1275 fps Federal Premium Vital Shock 10mm Auto 180 Grain Trophy Bonded JSP for your next hunting adventure.

A Brief History Of The 10mm Auto

The development of the 10mm round is an interesting story that dates back to the 1970s. The idea was for a high power flat-shooting semi-auto cartridge that would run in a 1911 format pistol, which would basically produce ballistics in line with middle-of-the-road 357 to 44 Magnum loads.

Jeff Cooper (yes, the scout rifle guy) was involved in the development, and Norma began producing ammunition in the early 1980s. The FBI felt a little outgunned on the streets and briefly adopted the 10mm round with the full-bore kickass loads that were first released.

Sadly, 90% of the agents felt uncomfortable shooting and handling the larger and significantly more powerful guns. Ammo manufacturers responded with 10mm Lite rounds, which in essence dropped the power all the way down to the equivalent of today’s really hot 40 S&W loads (around 550 ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle).

Even with that compromise to the 10mm’s capabilities, the FBI and the public wanted a smaller format with less power. The result was a “10mm Short,” or what we now know as the 40 S&W. This round had everything the FBI wanted in a format that would fit in a smaller 9mm sized pistol format.

The current crop of 10mm factory ammo are not neutered to the degree the “Lite” rounds were, but they could certainly be loaded hotter (as we see with the higher power 1,350fps and 728 ft. lbs of energy Buffalo Bore rounds).

I should note that even reduced-power 10mm ammo with 550 ft/lbs of energy is still much more powerful than the average 360 ft/lbs of energy found in the 40 S&W.


Today the 10mm cartridge still has a following in Special forces and Special Law Enforcement and is growing as a hunting cartridge. It is a favorite pistol for hog hunters and those venturing into bear country.

Federal Premium to the Rescue

Although Buffalo Bore 10mm Auto ammo has higher power with specs of 1,350 fps and 728 ft/lbs of energy, I have never actually seen any on a shelf, and they are only available with hollow points. This load is great for defense but hunting whitetail and bear really requires jacketed soft points. Fortunately, I found this Federal ammo sitting on the shelf at my local sporting goods store, and it features the only full-power 10mm JSP bullet option of which I am aware.

The 10mm Auto is a viable deer round, especially when this round is delivering about 20% more power than your typical 357 magnum round, which is impressive.

So yeah, we finally have a viable factory loaded JSP option for hunting deer, bear, and boar with our Glock G20s, but how does it shoot? There is about as much difference between the garden variety 10mm Auto ammo and the Federal Premium Vital Shock 10mm Auto 180 Grain Trophy Bonded JSP as there is between shooting 38 Special vs 357 magnum.

The recoil change is noticeable, but this is where the Glock design starts to really soak up some of the sharp recoil. I would much rather shoot these full power 10mm rounds out of the Glock than shoot 357 magnum rounds in a revolver. The Glock offers a wonderful format for delivering high energy rounds stacked 15+1 high. On your next hog hunt, this would seem to be the ultimate handgun to have on the hip.

Final Thoughts

Thank you Federal Premium. That’s it. Just thanks! I could not be happier.

Avatar Author ID 50 - 1974672612

By Major Pandemic – Is the editor at large of MajorPandemic.com which features hundreds of deep product reviews. No my name is not Pandemic, nor am I a Major, I am but a mortal being, using my freedom, intelligence, and available resources provided in this great free nation to survive another day. Hopefully I can help you get smarter and live longer and enjoy the outdoor more comfortably and more safely.- MajorPandemic.com

Read More