10mm Handguns for Defense.

Some guys are tired of the 9 vs 45 debate… and they don’t want Middle of the Road.  They are looking at the 10mm.  I’ve been getting a lot of emails about the 10mm.  Which 10 you can get.  My answer is simple, but to get there is a winding road.

So you say you are shopping for that 10mm pistol.  You start looking at the 1911’s of course, because the 1911 is like the Harley Davidson of the Gun World.  Wilson Combat and Nighthawk Custom, as well as other high end 1911 Builders are all doing a few of them.  They are all very nice indeed… and expensive. You really want to invest in one like that and throw it in a combat holster and roll in some gravel with it?  We’re looking for a defensive gun here.  And if you are not willing to roll around in the gravel with your super expensive custom built piece of artwork on your side… then you are not looking for a 1911.  Your really not.  If you choose one of these, and you are willing, then great.  10mm 1911’s do tend to be a bit more reliable, and accuracy is great, and you can get that first shot off nice and precisely.  But let’s say you don’t want to drop 2 Grand on this pistol.  We have to look elsewhere.  You want that feel of a solid steel gun.  Feels good doesn’t it?  Oh yeah.

So you look at the EAA Witness pistols.  Classic CZ design.  Double stacked so you have a good capacity. Their “Wonderfinish” looks good.  The gun feels good.  But dang, it’s heavy.   Accuracy is pretty good, but that long Double Action pull is not as great as it should be.  The Witness has some sharp edges here and there… and yeah… that weight issues is just too much for daily all day carry.  Let’s keep looking.

S&W is making a cool revolver in 10mm.  One of the Nightguard series.  Old School Cool, now in 10mm.  And you can shoot .40 cal as well.  How cool is that?  But you have to use Moon Clips.  Moon Clips are a PITA.  I don’t really care for them and you shouldn’t either. Besides, this Nightguard would be cooler in .44, wouldn’t it?

That leaves the Glocks.  You have two options.  20 and 29.  The 20 is the full sized and the 29 is called a Sub Compact.  Either one is great and either one you can theoretically get with the “SF” frame.  The Slim Frame.  But they are hard to find.  In the .45, you can find SF’s but the 10mm’s are tough.  My choice is the 20.  Full sized, accurate, controllable, great capacity… There you go.  Now we are talking about something.
But I don’t like the Glock Trigger, you say.  Okay.  So change it.  You can put in a trigger that feels just like how you want it.  Easy to do. Have it your way, just like Burger King.  But the gun feels blocky, you say.  You can alter the grip frame as well.  It’s plastic.  It’s pretty easy if you take your time.  But it’s ugly.  Do you really care what your Parachute looks like?  It’s a weapon.  One that if you use in a defensive situation, you might not ever see again anyway.  The Glock is the perfect fit for the job.  Don’t cry about the Grip Angle.  You get used to it pretty quickly if you decide you want to.

The main problem with the 10mm Cartridge is not the Cartridge its self.  Its not that the ammo is more expensive than others… Because its not… It’s what, 2 bucks more than .45 Auto?  The problem is that it’s been a Commercial Meh.  Why is that?  Too powerful?  I find it just like .45 Auto… it’s not too much. The FBI dropped it, not because it’s too gun for their Accountants, Lawyers and sundry beancounters… It was because there was too much of the gun for them to get their hands around.  The 1006 was a gun made for Non-Human hands.  It didn’t fit all those little girly hands, so they were not able to shoot it very well.
What the 10mm needs is for the gun makers to put out the guns that people are already buying, and give them the 10mm Option for it.  M&P, XDM, and the Storm are three of the most popular guns out there as far as our local sales go… and none are offered in the 10.  This is the 10’s main issue in a nutshell… There are no 10mm options in the guns people are wanting to buy.

Guns that SHOULD be available in 10mm.

1.  S&W M&P.  In Full, Tactical, and Compact sizes.
2.  SIG P220.  In both Full and Compact.
3.  Springfield XDM.  In the Full, Tactical and Compact.
4.   CZ 97B.  The new style with the Decocker.
5.  HK45.  They have two sizes and neither are 10mm.
6.  FNH FNP Tactical.  This would turn a 10mm pistol into an offensive platform.

46 thoughts on “10mm Handguns for Defense.”

  1. Love the Delta Elite! I recently picked one up new for a grand out the door! And yes, I too would jump all over a M&P in 10. But I’ve also been wanting to pick up a Glock 20 from Joe all Crusader style!

    1. If that’s a good price then I must have stole mine. $900 OTD. But that was over a year ago so maybe prices went up.

      If the M&P was made in 10 it would be the very next handgun I would purchase.

  2. For two or three hundred bucks plus the cost of the optic, you can get your Glock slide machined to accept an RMR in a co-witnessed configuration like the FNP has. I had it done to my G20 and I’m happy with it so far.

  3. Amen! I would jump on a sig 220 in 10mm in a heart beat, and I am an avowed sig hater. And berreta offering a 10 in their storm series would be a winner too. We need more choices in 10, and more people to realize that 10mm was dropped by the FBI because of the pussys whining.

  4. A Witness in steel weighs less than my Springfield, and I carry that all day, every day.

    A polymer Witness weighs about the same as a Glock of similar size. I think that would be a worthy comparison, for those who do worry about weight…

      1. Just be aware of the velocity drop between the 20 and 29. It’s more than one would expect.

        McNett (Double Tap ammo) usually shows his 10 velocities between the two pistols. They show the steeper than normal drop.

        I’m not saying it’s inherent to the Glock but no one has yet to post the comparison between the Witness and Witness Compact with the same ammunition.

  5. …I hate this topic…

    The 10mm is an uncommon round, and expensive. All of these guys talking about “stopping” or “knock down” power make me want to vomit. If you have not shot another human being with a pistol cartridge, from a pistol, your opinion is invalid.

    The 9mm is fine. The .45 is fine. So are the .40, the .38, .357, and so on…. There are too many dead motherfuckers from these rounds to dispute my statement.

    1. My opinion is completely valid. And there is more to Defense than just against a run of the mill 2 legged attacker.
      Now we have guys on Bath Salts… This is worse than the PCP Dope Fiends cops used to deal with back in the 70’s. The Era the Magnums were born.
      We’ve also got Bears around my parts. And Wolves are back… and vicious. Coyotes, much like Zombies, are not much of a threat when they are alone, but they come in larger packs sometimes and they have no fear of Humans anymore.
      In these situations, the 10mm Shines.
      While all Handguns SUCK for stopping power, the 10mm sucks less.

      1. Well, you didn’t say anything about using it to shoot bears, wolves or coyotes in the original article. You said, “We’re looking for a defensive gun here.” And, “that weight issues is just too much for daily all day carry”. Absent specifically referencing using it for animal protection outdoors, most people would take the above statements as a reference to daily carry for personal defense.

        As far as using on bath-salts people and PCP users, that’s not really a daily problem. It is unusual, and infrequent. I say that due to my 21+ years as a cop, both in a small, rural town, and the largest city in my State.

        And, the 70’s was not the “Era the Magnums were born”. I’ll use the 2 most prevelant Magnums as an example. The .44 Magnum was developed sometime around 1956. The .357 was developed in the 1930’s. Maybe you are thinking about the Hollywood Development Era of the Magnum…

        There is no such thing as a Zombie.

        1. “Personal defense” includes defense against all animals, whether two-legged or four-legged.

          Any time I step out my door, there could be a bear around. I’ve seen the cub standing on my porch, looking in at my in my office, so I could potentially be stepping out my door and ending up between the cub and its mother, which could lead to an immediate attack. Or the same could happen while walking around in the yard.

          Or some two-legged predator could attack, for whatever reason.

    2. I can reload for my 10mms for less than I can for my .45… And like the Ogre, I have to worry about things other than humans. In the winter I regularly have moose come in my yard in the middle of the frickin city. Found tracks one morning where one walked up one driveway past my wife’s Jeep, past my front door (walking under the awning), across the yard and the other driveway, and into my neighbor’s yard. Imagine stepping out of your front door, or walking around the corner of your house, and coming face to face with that. I love my little Keltec but what it really does is make me appreciate my G29.

    3. There are also plenty of people dead from slipping in the shower… I am not going to wait for that to happen.
      I like to carry as much gun as I can shoot accurately.
      This is why the 10mm and .44 Mag snubby are in my carry rotation.
      Anyone who does woods walks where there is dangerous wildlife should look at it the same.


    4. Hmm… before nutcase carjacker attacked, I was pretty knowledgeable about the ballistics of handgun cartridges.

      After I re-holstered, I had pretty much the same knowledge of the ballistics of handgun cartridges.

      I can’t imagine how anyone could believe that employing a tool somehow magically grants an understanding of the science behind the tool. If I go to Ford and ask for a job in engineering, with the sole qualification being that I’ve driven a Ford truck for many years and do most of my own maintenance on it, I expect I’d be laughed out the door. If I showed up with an engineering degree and a portfolio of my work, I expect they’d consider me, even if I lived in a city and had never once been behind the wheel of any vehicle.

  6. I have to admit, you have hit the nail on the head with this one.
    I love the preformance you can get from a 10mm, but the guns and
    ammo are rare, and expensive.

    If there were more weapons in 10mm, more options, I’d surley buy one.
    With more weapons come more sales, and more 10mm ammo in stock at local gun shops.

    So it’s a vicious cycle, no guns=no sales, no sales=no ammo.

    I’d love to see some carbines in 10mm, as well.

  7. If I lived in wild bear country, would lean towards a short barrel 44 magnum revolver over any auto loader.

    1. Which I can’t shoot for crap. I do okay with either of my 10mms, and they’re far better for CCW in the city; for years I just had the G29 as my sole carry gun. If I’m out someplace where I might actually run into a bear I’ll have my .450 Marlin anyway.

  8. Ogre-San: The 10 is cool. I’ve always liked it. I always thought one of those Ruger tanks (like the P90!) should be chambered in 10mm. That is a gun I would buy. Re: bath salts – I live in one of the first areas where bath salts were extensively “marketed” in this country – there is nothing like someone on a bath salts overdose! This is not your father’s high! EMTs have to give two, three, four shots (sedative hypos) to these cases to get them into an ambulance, with the help of large State Troopers. Take too much, and you are right out of your mind, and eating faces off living people like that guy in Miami. It is no joke.

  9. I loved my early EAA Witness and after a simple trigger job the double action was buttery smooth. The lower profile slide & full length guide rails really helped with the recoil. I don’t understand why the factory ammo is so anemic. IMO if it was up to full potential more people would give it the reaspect it deserves.

    I have seen a few real nice SIG 220 10mm conversions but they are priced way into the stratosphere. I have run across the occasional Springfield Omega for reasonable prices. I wouldn’t mind a 10mm but I have my mind set on getting back my old LAR Grizzly .45 Win Mag first.

    1. Finding a .45 Winmag Grizzly isn’t the hard part. That will be finding spare mags with prices that won’t make you hate the world and every living creature in it.

      Unless of course you meant getting the one back that you used to own plus all the mags. I’ll assume you sold it to a friend. That’d be best case scenario.

      1. Yea I sold it to a good friend with first buy-back rights. There are a few extra mags and I think he picked up a few over the years. I bought it almost 10 years ago for around 700.00 and was my first “big bore” auto. I still have the carbide reloading dies for it (I still have my 10mm carbide die set but no more guns in that caliber).

    2. Been looking at the Witness polymer 10mm for a while. I was wondering if the full size mags run in the compacts?

  10. It’s like you read my mind with this post. I’m moving away from my Sig .45’s to loose weight and add some capacity. I was thinking about going 9mm to save money and because it works, but I also want a woods gun.

    But the 10mm keeps whispering in my ear.
    Since I can carry the P220 concealed IWB, I think I could carry the G20 as it is thinner and very slightly shorter than the P220.

    What I really really want, is a G20 with a G29 frame… I’m not at all sure why the CCO/SigC3 concept hasn’t become more popular with manufacturers.

    My only reservation is the unsupported chamber.

    In the woods I’d want to hard hard cast, full house, 10mm loads.

    Have you run full house loads and if so, was there any deleterious effects to the gun or cases?

    1. Don’t worry about the g20. I have ran some hot loads and it was always a pussy cat to shoot compared to my 23. Its a tough gun.

  11. Love my FNP 45 Tac in 45. I’m a lefty and this is the ONLY one that works for me and I like. I have recently acquired a Glock 21SF I’m trying to warm up to. I don’t see myself moving to 10mm. I have a it hard enough finding guns I like in more common calibers.

  12. Hi there. I have a Delta Elite. Bought it new a long time ago, over 20 years. I also have a Dan Wesson 1911 in 10mm. They are easy to reload for. Nice to carry, and once you get a few scratches on them, you are not afraid of rolling around on them. Blaine

  13. Believe it or not my Norinco 1911 runs and runs and out runs my other 1911’s — and I shoot well with it to. So…

    The thrifty son of a Scot immigrant solution to the 10mm is obvious. .400 Corbon barrel into the Norinco. Voila.

  14. It’s marketing and the market. There is no 10mm option in the pistols people buy because people don’t want the 10mm. Most people who buy a defensive gun want something able to stop an attack by a human being and for that the standbys are good enough. If you want people to buy something different then you need to sell them on it.

    Don’t sell the cartridge, sell the gun.

    Get Hollywood to put a badazz looking 10mm bottomfeeder in their next big action movie. Have someone call it the most powerful pistol round in the world or some such nonsense. Show it blowing up cars and mowing down hordes of swarthy people with Middle-Eastern accents. Throw in a line about getting rid of that sissy 45 and getting a 10. Hollywood product placement worked for the S&W M29. It works today for Glock. We’ll see if it works for Rhino.

    Badazz sells almost as well as sex.

    Without some serious marketing, the 10mm will become the autoloader equivalent of the 41 magnum. Hobbyists will extoll it’s superiority and the market will go on selling 9mm, 38, 357, 40 and 45 ACP.

    Disclamer: I carry a 38/357.

  15. If I need more than a 9 I usually come down for a Skelton load (250 gr. Keith at 950 fps or so) in the .44 spl. Serious penetration of the sort needed for big critters and you can double tap it too. Now if something like a M&P came out in 10 I would have to give it some serious thought.

  16. Vltor started working on resurrecting the Bren Ten pistol back in 2008. They bought the rights and the design documents in 2010 and have been working to make sure they do it right this time. They said they intended for a Summer 2012 release, but they’ve been conspicuously silent on it for almost a year.


  17. Polymer frame to get the price close to a street value of about $500. A grip small enough or grip panel option to fit the smaller than average hand for trigger reach and recoil control. Maybe offer 10mm companion carbine using the same mags?
    Smith & Wesson could do it.

  18. My Delta is in the shop for new sights so I keep the Win .12 shotti by the front door incase the mountain lion shows up across the street again in the empy lot of my burbs!!

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