Glock 29 Frame differences between Gen 4, left, and Gen 3 Glock, right.

The Best 10MM Pistols

Michael Crites
Michael Crites

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What are the best 10mm pistols available?

The 10mm pistol is rapidly becoming more popular, even though the 9mm counterpart is the traditional choice for a self-defense sidearm. 

10mm pistols can be just as effective and versatile as 9mm handguns, though, and can produce fantastic accuracy and stopping power with a relatively compact and comfortable frame.

Perhaps because 9mm pistols are more common, however, it can be tough to find a great 10mm pistol for your needs. We decided to do some testing and spent a few days on the range with each of the below pistols, figuring out which ones would work best for different scenarios.

In the end, we think we came up with a good selection of handguns chambered for versatile 10mm ammo. Let’s dive in.

Our Top Pick (Best Overall):

What we liked:

  • Comes with three magazines
  • Has an innovative safety system
  • Smaller than other 10mm options
  • Good magazine capacity

What we didn't:

  • Sights are not adjustable
  • Thick grip due to double stack

Classic Glock design with 10mm Power 

The Glock 20 is a classic handgun, and this particular model is chambered for 10mm auto rounds.

This gives it even more versatility and ease of use than other Glock pistols already provide, so it’s a great tool for both general firearm enthusiasts and for those looking for a high-tech but reliable semi-automatic 10mm pistol.

10mm-pistols-glock-20-in-hand
The Glock 20 in hand. It's not a small pistol but certainly smaller than other 10mm pistol options.

Smaller than other 10mm options

This pistol is constructed with a synthetic polymer frame that can reduce felt recoil, even after squeezing off multiple rounds in rapid succession. It produces muzzle energy of about 550 feet per pound, and it has a total magazine capacity of 15 10mm cartridges.

The textured handgrip makes it difficult to drop even under duress and fits comfortably in your palm; finger grooves make it easy to hold and squeeze for added accuracy and stability.

Looking down the Glock 20's fixed sights.

Furthermore, the pistol has a set of fixed iron sights and a “safe action”. This newer system is fully automatic and incorporates three passive and independently operating mechanical safeties.

These disengage sequentially whenever you pull the trigger and reengage whenever the trigger is released. In other words, accidental discharges are almost impossible.

All in all, it’s a great pistol through and through and fantastic representative of what a 10mm handgun can provide. You get three magazines with this purchase, as an added bonus.

The Glock 20's magazine is a chunky double-stack stick.

Best Budget 10MM Pistol:

What we liked:

  • Very well-made through and through
  • Comes with a modular optical system for sight mounting
  • Very comfortable to hold
  • Has an adjustable rear sight
  • Has a gas nitride finish

What we didn't:

  • Optics not included
  • Heavy at over 40oz fully loaded

Accuracy over distance thanks to a 6-inch barrel

Glock returns once again for this budget 10mm pistol choice – the Glock 40. Like the last model, it’s fantastic in terms of durability and overall ease of use.

It has a comfortable handgrip with finger grooves for several holding positions orientations. The grip holds a 10-round magazine, with room for an additional round in the chamber.

10mm-pistols-glock-G40-in hand with red dotJPG
The 6-inch barrel on the G40 gives it solid accuracy over distance & real stopping power.

Same Glock reliability, same Glock magazines

The weapon features a 6-inch barrel for added power and accuracy at a distance.

Even more importantly, this Glock handgun features a modular optical system. In a nutshell, it allows you to quickly and easily mount a variety of popular optics to your handgun without having to machine the pistol’s slide with the help of a gunsmith.

This also comes with a cover plate so you can still use the weapon to its fullest extent whenever you aren’t using an optic. You can even add tall iron sights if you want to improve your accuracy that way.

10mm-pistols-glock-G40-and magazines
The G40 uses the same magazines as other 10mm Glocks.

The weapon features a gas nitride finish to reduce corrosion damage on the metal parts and an adjustable rear sight. This allows you to compensate slightly for windage or elevation.

For competition or longer-range handgun needs, the G40 ticks a lot of the right boxes.

10mm-pistols-glock-G40 compared to a G20
The G40 doubles as an Austrian ski ramp!

Best for Concealed Carry:

What we liked:

  • Small and easy to conceal carry
  • Easy-to-use beavertail grip safety system
  • Features a finish for enhanced durability
  • Made with great materials
  • Includes an integrated accessory rail

What we didn't:

  • OEM sights may not be to everyone’s taste

Smaller 10mm pistols are going to be the best choice if you are looking for a sidearm you can carry in a concealed holster. The Sig Sauer P220 does the job admirably. It’s a Sig Sauer, one of the best pistol brands in any caliber, and this particular model has recently been updated so that some variants are chambered for 10mm ammo.

Regardless, this weapon only weighs 2.45 pounds and features a short barrel length of 4.4 inches. This will allow you to fit the handgun into concealed carry holsters with relative ease virtually anywhere on your body.

Even with the small size, the weapon features an eight-round magazine. It’s also built to last, featuring a stainless steel slide that’s machined from barstock.

To make things even better, the pistol comes with a wear-resistant finish to reduce corrosive damage.

We also like that it comes with an integrated accessory rail, so you can easily combine this weapon with different optical attachments if you decide to use it as a primary pistol instead of a backup weapon only.

A four-point safety decocking lever is also included – this is a proprietary invention that prevents you from accidentally discharging the weapon, which can be helpful if you try to draw it quickly.

A safety intercept notch and trigger bar disconnect are also included for even more practical discharge prevention measures.

All in all, it’s a fantastic 10mm pistol that’s compact, safe, and carries lots of value for its size.

Best for Target Practice:

What we liked:

  • Good OEM sights
  • Fantastic aesthetic
  • The grip is comfortable and smooth
  • Has a good trigger guard
  • Stainless steel components and finish

What we didn't:

  • Grip doesn’t do much to stop slippery palms
  • Rear sights are a bit larger than average

Some folks might be a bit more interested in using their 10mm auto pistol for target practice or shooting competitions with their friends on the gun range.

If that’s the case for you, be sure to check out this Dan Wesson RZ-10 that’s designed just for that purpose. It features fantastic fixed sights that can also be used for defensive purposes.

Interestingly, there’s a match-grade barrel that’ll allow you to use custom 10mm ammo. Ammunition reloaders will really love this aspect, particularly if they want to craft a great 10mm round for added accuracy or just save on ammo costs.

The weapon as a whole has an excellent forged frame with an undercut trigger guard. This gives it a fantastic aesthetic and added safety.

The grip looks and feels phenomenal, giving the weapon a sleek and stylish appearance that shouldn’t be underestimated. It has a barrel length of 5 inches and a weight of 2.3 pounds, so it’s not too difficult to wield or draw in a hurry.

With a stainless steel finish and a nine-round magazine, it’s a quality piece through and through.

Best 10mm Hunting Pistol:

What we liked:

  • Great aesthetic
  • Good sights for target acquisition
  • Provides enough range and accuracy to hit/kill small animals
  • Crisp, smooth trigger pull
  • Comes with two magazines

What we didn't:

  • Barrel could be a bit longer for longer-distance shots
  • A bit pricier than average

Lastly, you might want to 10mm pistol that’s better for hunting pests on your property or other small animals. This Colt Delta Elite is a great choice if that’s the case.

It features an eight-round magazine and a 5-inch barrel, plus a stainless steel finish that gives it a great aesthetic and lasting resistance to corrosion damage.

More importantly, it features a classic, comfortable stock and fixed two-dot sight at the rear. These give you the target acquisition assistance you need to land shots on moving targets.

It’s not too heavy, either, weighing in at 2.19 pounds. The trigger has a few holes punched into it for aesthetic value, but the serious shooter will appreciate the crisp feel of the trigger pull, which offers better firing control.

We’d be remiss to not mention the twin magazines that come with the purchase. All told, there’s lots of value in this pick and it’s a great 10mm pistol all around, not just for pest-hunters.

What makes for the best 10mm handgun?

Before you spend your hard-earned money on any 10mm pistol, you should think of the following factors you guarantee you pick up a piece that’s well worth your time and suitable for your goals.

What ammo is best for it?

First off, see what kind of ammunition a given 10mm pistol will be able to take. Of course, all these guns are chambered for 10mm caliber rounds, but different weapons are suitable for different types of powder, which can produce different results.

For instance, some 10mm powders are better for a target shooting and general accuracy or range. Others are better at producing explosive stopping power.

For our money, we like the Underwood 165 grain Gold Dot, Reed’s 180 grain Golden Saber, and Hornady 175 grain Critical Duty powders for 10mm pistols. All of these provide great performance and work well with all the pistols described below.

But don’t be afraid to do a little more research and dig into what ammo types work best with certain 10mm handguns.

Does it accept accessories?

We’d also recommend looking into whether a 10mm pistol can easily accept accessories. Some 10mm handguns have longer barrels than their 9mm counterparts, which means they might come with attachment rails built into their upper receivers. These allow you to mount optics, scopes, and different types of sights on the weapon, which can enhance your accuracy or allow you additional tactical or hunting options.

Think of a night vision scope, for instance, when using your pistol to hunt pests on your property.

You should also see whether a pistol has a rail on the bottom for a tactical flashlight. This can be great if you’re looking for a pistol for tactical engagements or patrol duty.

Size and Weight

Naturally, the size and weight of a given 10mm pistol can affect who it works best for and how quickly you can draw it. Smaller pistols are better for concealed carry purposes, can fit into smaller holsters, and are better for quickdraw situations.

They’re also better for those with smaller hands, like women who might need a self-defense weapon of their own.

However, smaller guns aren’t necessarily better. Sometimes larger 10mm pistols can be used for better shooting performance on the range or for hunting. It all depends on personal preference, so just take a moment to think about what you need before purchasing a gun.

Durability

Lastly, keep durability in mind before you select a 10mm handgun. Not all firearms are made alike; some are built to last, either through the materials that comprise most of their components or through special finishes that may be layered on after the weapon is built.

For instance, a common blue nitrite or black nitride finish can provide corrosion resistance for pistols, which will help their metal parts last longer even if they get wet or are used outside all the time.

Certain 10mm pistol brands, like Glocks, are already renowned for their overall durability. You can drop those weapons from several meters up and they won’t accidentally discharge or break.

Obviously, it’s more important to pick up a durable pistol if you plan to use it for tactical activities or hunting. But it’s certainly important for everyone, even if you mostly plan to use it on a range.

Conclusion

Ultimately, each of the above 10mm pistols are great choices overall, especially compared to the glut of firearms you can find on the market these days. But we feel that the Glock 20 10mm Gen 4 Pistol is the best choice overall for its versatility, safety features, and overall ease of use. It represents everything you could want in a staple sidearm for multiple purposes.

Hopefully, one of the above weapons is a great fit for your needs. Good luck and good hunting!

Sources:

  1. Gun Digest, Bill Vanderpool, 10mm Handguns and the FBI, 
  2. Guns and Ammo, History of the 10mm Auto
  3. Military Wiki, Bren Ten Pistol

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