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: 7774 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004
For practice I load plated 165 or 180 grain and use aa#7 for the 165s and blue dot mostly for the 180s. I load middle of the range or just under. My carry ammo is the 180 grain Sig factory HP ammo. For the woods I like 200 grain hard cast. I tried 220s but the velocity isn’t where I would like. I’ll load them (200s) over Longshot and Win large pistol primers. I load them towards the top of the range. I also like AA#9 and blue dot at that weight bullet as well. I bulged cases using blue dot with the 220s on my STI, but my P220 had no problems at all. Still I backed off a bit. Since you’re new to loading pistol cartridges a bit of advice- you can get into trouble quickly loading at the top or approaching the top of the load range. Go slowly. Small increments. Check your fired brass for flat primers and bulges or cracks above the case head. When you are sizing brass if you feel more resistance with a case(s) than normal and the press squeals a bit, check that case carefully. If it’s really shiny above the case head or you pressed a wrinkle into the case, you’ll know you were pushing your luck with that load. Toss that case. The best way to make sure what’s going on is with a crono. If you see velocities overbook you’re into dangerous territory. Back off. No need to get maximum speed. The 10 gets plenty of penetration at safe pressures. A lot of shooters seem to want to redline 10mms more than other calibers for some reason. I’ve seen destroyed Glocks, saw one guy blow the magazine out and the grips right off the frame on a 1911. He wasn’t hurt but he couldn’t shoot worth a damn for a while Have fun be safe. P.S. You won’t save money reloading, you’ll just get to shoot more for the same amount. (At first) haha