Self Defense: Speer Gold Dot. This new offering delivers a 200-grain bullet of modern, proven design at nominal 1,100 feet per second. It’s hotter than .40 S&W, but delivers relatively mild recoil from this big pistol. Five shots went into 3.10”, while the best three clustered in a much more promising 1.25”, center to center.

Self Defense: Hornady Critical Duty. The FlexLock bullet, designed for great feeding and to meet FBI protocols, weighs 175 grains in this full-power 10mm load, rated at 1,150 foot seconds, and proved quite controllable. It gave me 3.65” for all five and 1.70” for best three.

On Target’s test gun preferred the hot, 200-gr. Buffalo Bore Heavy load during testing, printing the 2.65-inch, 5-shot group at 25-yards.

General Hunting: Federal 180-grain Jacketed Soft Point. Rated at 1,275 foot-seconds and marked “Medium Game” on the box, this load is geared toward deer and hogs, the 10mm having become increasingly popular for the latter quarry. It delivered 3.25” for all five and the tightest best-three group of the test, 85/100ths of an inch.

Bear Protection: Buffalo Bore “Heavy” 200-grain Full Metal Jacket. There are heavier bullets of hard cast lead with wide noses available for 10mm, but there have been reports of some of them failing to feed in polymer 10mms, so erring on the side of caution I went with this reliably-feeding FMJ load for those who might need to ruin a bruin. The 5-shot group was a best of test 2.65”, and the best three formed the second best 1.70” group of the day: ample for the brain area of a charging brown bear, with fifteen make-up shots on tap (if you have time).

Since its inception, we’ve found the XDM platform to have excellent ergonomics and a competent ability to control recoil and muzzle flip—especially important in its new, hotter 10mm chambering. Petite Courtney Gunter agrees.

Overall Impressions Though the XDM-10 is available in a shorter barrel, fixed-sight version, I would definitely go with the adjustable sight 5.25-inch barreled variation like ours: maximum velocity advantage and sight adjustment for the wide variety of loads available. I really liked the ergonomics, and didn’t find the recoil objectionable. Neither did slender ballerina Courtney Gunter, nor her left-handed husband, Josiah, who found the XDM-10 southpaw-friendly. Josiah did feel a bit of pinch in his palm at the bottom of the grip safety when firing. Springfield Armory says it ran 10,000 rounds of Federal Hydra-Shok 10mm without a bobble. That’s a light, .40 S&W-level round, but still shows good feed reliability. At a suggested retail of $779, this light (32.8 oz. unloaded), high-capacity 10mm auto is easy for all-day carry, very controllable and ergonomic, and definitely a very good value, hence its justified claim to a 2018 On Target Editors’ Choice Award. Contact Springfield Armory; Tel.: (800) 680-6866; Web: www.springfieldarmory.com