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Best 10mm Ammo for Bear Defense


At True Shot Academy, we take our ammunition seriously. Today, we delve deep into the world of 10mm ammo, particularly focusing on its application for bear defense. The sheer power and versatility of the 10mm round have made it a favorite for many. But how effective is it when pitted against the might of a bear?


The Historical Beginnings

The history of the 10mm ammo dates back to the 1980s. It was designed to offer enhanced stopping power, especially in defense situations. Its roots are firmly anchored in the need for a potent round that would provide reliability and effectiveness.

Over the years, as the popularity of wilderness treks surged, so did the necessity for protection against unexpected bear encounters. Enter the 10mm bear defense ammo.


10mm Ammo: Ballistic Performance and Stopping Power

When it comes to ballistic performance, the 10mm round is known for its superior stopping power, particularly the 180+ grain loads. The bullet weight plays a crucial role in ensuring deep penetration, vital for halting an aggressive bear in its tracks.

In the context of 10mm vs bear, the round offers an impressive balance of velocity and energy. Field tests and real-life 10mm bear encounters have shown that with the right bullet type, the 10mm ammo can be exceptionally effective as bear country ammunition.


Pros of Using 10mm for Bear Defense

  1. Stopping Power: One of the top reasons many opt for the 10mm is its bear stopping power. When it’s a matter of life and death, this round ensures deep penetration, even against tough-skinned adversaries like the grizzly bear.
  2. Versatility: Apart from bear protection, 10mm ammo is also ideal for home defense and can be used in full-sized semi autos.
  3. Reliability: With the right 10mm loads, the chances of malfunction are minimal. Reliable 10mm rounds offer consistent performance, vital when facing a potential bear attack.

Cons of Using 10mm for Bear Defense

  1. Recoil: The power of the 10mm often comes with a substantial recoil, which might be challenging for some users.
  2. Bullet Choice: The debate between hard-cast vs hollow point for bears is ongoing. While hard-cast bullets ensure penetration, hollow points, or expanding bullets, are designed for a rapid transfer of energy.
  3. Limited to Close Range: While potent, the 10mm is most effective at close range. In defense situations involving a charging bear, quick, accurate shots are essential.

Recommended 10mm Cartridges for Wildlife

At True Shot Ammo, we’ve extensively tested various 10mm cartridges. For bear defense handgun ammo, we suggest:

  1. 200 Grain Loads: Known for their superior stopping power and deep penetration, they are ideal for defense situations.
  2. Hard-Cast Bullets: These are favored for their penetration abilities, ensuring they reach vital organs for a quick stop.
  3. Expanding Bullets: For those who prefer a bullet that expands on impact, causing maximum damage, these are the go-to choice.

Staying Safe in Bear Country

While having the best 10mm ammunition is crucial, it’s equally vital to practice safe behaviors in bear habitats. Remember, no bullet can substitute for awareness and precaution. If you’re using a 10mm pistol, ensure that you also educate yourself about bear behaviors and invest in bear-safe practices.

While firearms and ammunition remain common choices for bear defense, there are other non-lethal tools and preventative measures to consider for ensuring safety in bear country. Bear spray is a highly recommended deterrent; it’s a specialized pepper spray that creates a thick barrier between the user and the bear, causing the bear temporary discomfort and disorientation without causing it long-term harm. Bear bells are noise-making devices that hikers can attach to their gear to alert bears of their presence, reducing the chances of surprising a bear.

Additionally, bear-proof containers are essential for campers to store food and other attractants, thereby preventing unwanted bear visits. Properly maintaining a clean campsite, making noise while moving, and understanding bear behavior can also be crucial tools in the form of knowledge and practices to prevent potential bear encounters.



The 10mm round, with its impressive stopping power and deep penetration capabilities, has proven itself as a formidable option for bear defense. Whether you’re concerned about a black bear or the much-feared grizzly bear, having the right ammo can make all the difference. At True Shot Academy, our mission is to keep you informed and safe. For more insights and recommendations, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.

Need bulk ammo? At True Shot Ammo, we have a wide variety of handgun ammo and rifle ammo available to purchase. Please visit our website trueshotammo.com, call us at (888) 736-6587, or you can email us at [email protected] for more ammo options.

5 Responses

    1. We are not talking about killing bears but bears killing us. I love all of Christ’s creatures, but I don’t want them eating me for dinner.

    2. When bears attack!!! We do leave them alone but sometimes Yogi gets pissed because we are in his area next to his kill and he thinks we want to take it from him or it is Cindy Bear wanting to protect Boo Boo. No one is looking to go out and kill bear unless it is hunting season and bear is on the list. Licensed, with tags and official.

    1. Hi Scott,

      While the 10mm and 40 are visually similar, the Beretta APX in .40 Caliber is designed specifically for .40 Cal ammunition. Using 10mm ammo in a firearm designed for .40 Cal could be dangerous and could damage your gun, possibly causing harm to the shooter or bystanders.

      Always consult your firearm’s manual before using any ammunition that is not specifically recommended for your firearm. For the safest and most reliable performance, only use ammunition that is recommended by the manufacturer for your specific model.

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