I have been reloading 10mm, my favorite, for at least a decade after shooting just about every commercial load available to me for at least 5 years in a variety of semi-autos. I settled on 180 gr FMJ loads and then proceeded to slowly trying just about every powder available to me in addition to a few custom loads that were fabulous but are now no longer made(the boutique mfr told me the powder he had used was not available for consumer purchase- he may have been mixing two). After scouring the net for insight I came upon Vihtavuori N105 which the writer acclaimed to be the best ever for 10mm and which he very well documented to be so. So I proceeded to directly compare it to a wide miscellany of my handloads that I had laying about(still do), along with many commercial FMJ and JHP 180 gr loads. My conclusion is that it is my top choice for my 4 inch barrelled semi-autos. I.e., with a near ideal burn rate, it works very pleasingly from low velocities of 850 fps to high velocity loads at 1300 fps. I have never encountered any signs whatsoever of over pressure at the 1300 fps velocities.
Compared to many others I find its recoil profile is much preferred by me, and its accuracy leaves nothing to be desired(except for those secret custom loads which are no longer made). I will note that all of my handloads used Winchester Large Pistol primers and mostly Montana Gold FMJ or their CMJ bullets in that time period. I should also note that the Vv factory load guide data was derived using 6 inch barrels, not 4 inches, so all of their load velocities appear a bit high to me.
I have tried, without any satisfaction or goals yet, a number of loads using 135 gr, ~150 gr and ~160 gr FMJ bullets but apart from noticing the much changed behavior profiles I haven't come to any useful conclusions(for me) at this time. My fallback powder, should I ever run out of N105, would probably be Accurate #7 but I would still long for the Vv. Finally, I yet have a variety of other powders that 'work' and which could be probably be finessed to better performance than I what I encountered.
All but four of the roughly two-dozen loads I've tried have been Blue Dot or 800-X. I worked up accurate loads for a variety of bullet types in weights of 180 grains and 200 grains with both powders, though I will say the Blue Dot seems less finicky. The other loads were two each of Bullseye and Unique.
Note that for some loads the same bullet weight but a difference in bullet design between makers can produce a big difference in accuracy.
JMO, the 10mm was designed around the 200gr bullet & that is my woods load. If I carried a 10mm purely for SD or as a house gun, then I like 165gr running about 1250fps, pretty much the Win 175gr STHP equiv. Your best powders are on the slower side. I like Longshot & AA#7, maybe BE86 for bullets 180gr & under. For 200gr, for me nothing beats AA#9, any bullet type.
IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH! NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
Posts: 7762 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004