The SHIELD-HIT Monte Carlo transport code has been widely used in particle therapy, but has previously shown some discrepancies, when compared with experimental data. In this work, the inelastic nuclear cross sections of SHIELD-HIT are calibrated to experimental data for carbon ions. In addition, the models for nuclear fragmentation were adjusted to experiments, for the partial charge-changing cross section of carbon ions in water. Comparison with fragmentation yield experiments for carbon and neon primaries were made for validation. For carbon primaries, excellent agreement between simulation and experiment was observed, with only minor discrepancies. For neon primaries, the agreement was also good, but larger discrepancies were observed, which require further investigation. In conclusion, the current version SHIELD-HIT10A is well suited for simulating problems arising in particle therapy for clinical ion beams.