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We're talking about wiring 3-prong dryer and range connections (hot-hot-neutral, a method that was legal into the 1990s).

For the record, 10/2 was never NEC compliant.
I didn't live it like you did, but I've been keenly interested in the question, and everything I've researched confirms this. It was never legal to use /2+ground, but I bet you've seen plenty of it done.

(I know you know this, but for the edification of others)...

Installing new 3-wire dryer and range connections was legal until 1996.

Bare neutral was only allowed in one case: SE cable. Which is for service entrances where the third wire really is neutral (and the jacket is insulated as such). Obviously you can't get a 30A service anymore, so #10 SE cable as a product is extinct.250.140 exception condition #3 speaks very clearly on this. The reason they bothered adding that to Code is to clarify what was grandfathered and what never was.

Speaking from experience I often see 3 wire dryer receptacles installed with 10/3.
For 10/3 without ground (all 3 insulated) -- Yeah, back in the 60s most cable was made without ground. When you ordered 10/3, that's what you got. And it was perfectly correct for a dryer.

For 10/3 with ground (white insulated bare ground) -- I bet you'd see a ton of it. 3-wire dryer and range connections were legal until 1996. What cable could you possibly use??? #10SE was long extinct, and by 1980 all cables had ground. As discussed, you can't use 10/2 w/g. So 10/3 w/g would be the only legal wire you could use!

That is precisely why my advice is "Look behind your NEMA 10 socket. Ground might be there."
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