For some, there’s nothing like the thought of a handgun or pistol to ensure a feeling of safety. The caliber, the sights, the stainless steel… it takes safety to another level. For others, it gives life a bit of excitement, right? The best 10mm pistols really soothe that spot of being powerful, professional, and easy to shoot.
In recent years, these once outdated devices have made a huge comeback, especially as a concealed carry. Today, 10mm pistols and handgun models are the most commonly owned firearms in the United States. Users report an overwhelming sense of security in owning these guns. Their compact nature makes them the perfect defense option in daily life.
I went ahead and put together a roundup of the best 10mm pistols and handguns available today. This early on I can already conclude the Glock G40 Gen4 as my personal winner of the roundup. We’ll get into the specifications of this pistol shortly.
My goal for this roundup is to give you everything you need to know about these portable firearms and help you identify the perfect one for you to invest in. To do this, there’s much information that needs to first be shared. Let’s take a look.
At a Glance: Our 5 Best 10mm Pistols & Handguns
- At a Glance: Our 5 Best 10mm Pistols & Handguns
- What are They?
- What I Know
- Who Can Benefit?
- Things to Look For
- Our Top 5 Product Reviews
- Final Thoughts
What are They?
The popularity of this firearm niche was once highly underestimated. 10mm pistols were originally rolled out in low supply, as it was suspected that there would not be a huge market for them.
10mm pistols were originally developed by the United States for the use amongst FBI personnel. After many years of service, the 10mm pistol was decommissioned by the organization as it was concluded that the chamber’s cartridge was slightly too big for small-handed users.
That being said, 10mm pistols are still used widely around the world by police forces because of their reliability and ease of use. Gun owners also value them for recreational use for the same reasons—as well as their very affordable pricing.
10mm handguns are also widely popular among the handgun hunting community. This is, of course, is entirely barrel-specific. Some states in the USA by law require longer barrels in the design of a 10mm pistol if it’s intended to be used for hunting purposes.
In short, a 10mm pistol is a handgun equipped with semi-automatic magnum power. They’re guns I recommend to any entry level or basic-need shooter. Having one of these around in an emergency situation could mean the difference between life or death, even if you have little practice using the device.
For this reason, manufacturers around the world market the 10mm for hunting, defense, and tactical use specifically. It’s believed that even the most inexperienced of shooters could take down a target with a 10mm pistol due to its incredible accuracy and ease of use.
I don’t disagree. In all my years of experience, I am yet to come across a more versatile firearm than the 10mm.
A 10mm pistol has a 24.1grain cartridge casing capacity.
A large pistol primer is used within the cartridge and it twists around six groves.
The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) determines the maximum pressure limits for commercially accessible firearms. They have set the pressure limit for 10mm pistols at 37,500psi.
In countries where Carried and Insured To (CIP) is regulated all 10mm pistols and cartridges are required to be proofed at 130% of their highest CIP ability before they can be issued for sale to public consumers. This ensures that the power of the firearm is not beyond the handling ability of even the weakest shooter.
What I Know
Firearms have been my central passion since my first encounter with them as a child. Since then, I have had over 20 years’ experience with them in a more professional sense.
I had my first encounter with 10mm pistols a couple of years ago while looking into the benefits of them for the hunting community. Shortly thereafter I was presented with the opportunity to experiment with some at a shooting range.
It was love at first shot. I had never felt so comfortable and connected to a firearm so quickly. I can easily understand the popularity of these pistols and how they’re the most trusted particularly for more inexperienced individuals.
The 10mm pistols handle a lot better than some of the other handguns I’ve tried. You feel less inclined to make use of both hands to keep the device steady.
Today, 10mm pistols are the first firearms I recommend when asked to direct someone towards a great, entry-level device to have on hand. They’re well trusted within the industry and because of their popularity, the market for cartridges is so broad.
Who Can Benefit?
As previously mentioned, it’s my belief that anyone looking to enter into the pistol firearm world would do well with a 10mm.
I say this because they’re so easy to get the hang of even without extensive practice in the shooting range. If security and peace of mind are all you’re after then even having one of these even if you never use it is a wise option.
Aside from firearm newbies, this is a great device for hunters looking to shoot game from 200 yards away or less. The 10mm pistols make great hunting guns particularly when it comes to taking down deer.
Be careful! Check that 10mm pistols are approved for hunting in your state. Some areas require special permits and licensing before they can be used for this purpose. Other areas simply don’t allow them at all.
At the end of the day, anyone with even a mild interest in guns can benefit from a 10mm pistol. While they’re incredibly useful in defense situations they’re also great recreational guns to have some harmless fun with here and there.
Take your 10mm out into the field and set up your own set for target practice. As with hunting, these pistols perform best with targets less than 200 yards away so keep this in mind when planning your layout.
In my option, there’s no individual who can’t find some sort of benefit in one of these pistols. In this day and age, you can never be too careful or too prepared. A 10mm pistol is a great security device to have handy for the protection of you and your family regardless of where you live.
Take time to consider how you might benefit from incorporating one of these firearms into your life. They can bring a great sense of protection as well as a lot of fun if used carefully, consciously, and safely.
Things to Look For
When considering making the investment into one of these firearms there are a few things to keep in mind.
Of course, one of the most notable features would be to purchase from a reputable retailer and manufacturer. With any firearm, the quality of parts could mean the difference between proper function and misfiring. The latter can be detrimental if it happens during a high-pressure situation.
The reputation of the gun manufacturer is always a good thing to research. Review their evidence of satisfied customers over the years. Take note of how long they have been in the game and how trusted they are since their inception.
Size & Comfort
When looking to buy a 10mm pistol, it’s also important to take note of your own hand size in comparison to the gun. This may seem obvious, but it’s overlooked more often than you think. If you recall I mentioned earlier that these devices had to be recalled by the FBI after years of use as it was discovered that individuals with smaller hands could not make effective use of them.
While you may not be part of the FBI, you may still have notably smaller hands. Therefore, the 10mm pistol might not fit you comfortably. Take note of this when looking to invest in one. When it comes to firearms you want to be as comfortable and confident as possible. This includes how the gun sits between your fingers.
Lastly, when looking to purchase your 10mm, be very sure of your intention in the use of the device.
Too often individuals are looking to buy a gun with no real clarity on what their intention with the device is. Firearms can be fun but they’re not things to be bought on a whim.
Become clear in your intention for the pistol:
- Is it to hunt with?
- Can it be used for weekend recreational activities?
- Is it for peace of mind in terms of security within the home?
Once you have a clear understanding of when and why you want to use it, you’ll be more prepared to pick the right one, look after it and use the device in real life.
Knowing your intent with the gun will also make purchasing cartridges a lot easier. Different cartridges offer different abilities. Some are better for hunting purposes while others will perform better in spontaneous, high-pressure scenarios. You’ll want to have the right cartridges on hand for whatever your purpose with the gun is.
Our Top 5 Product Reviews
Glock G40 Gen4: Best All Around
Glock is a tried and trusted name within the firearm world, particularly when it comes to 10mm pistols.
Police forces around the world make use of this brand to arm their departments because of the reliability of the product every time. Recreational gun users trust the brand for this reason as well as the impressive affordability of their products.
This is the fourth generation of the G40 because Glock is a brand that enjoys reworking and improving already existing models. This automatically gives you a lot more brand loyalty compared to other pistol manufacturers.
This gun is marketed as both a hunting and recreational gun. Since the 10mm rounds are fired out of a 6” barrel the gun has the ability to take down a fully-grown deer or boar. The Glock also meets the requirement for the minimum barrel length for use when hunting. No further permits are required.
Because this is the fourth generation of the G40 there are a few more customizable aspects to it. There is a range of different grip straps to choose from so you can find one that fits your hand.
The Glock magazine holds 10 rounds.
The most notable features of the Glock G40 are the following:
- Dual recoil spring that reduces the amount of recoil felt during shooting
- Features trigger safety
- Fires using a striker
- Gas nitride finish for durability
- Made from polymer to keep the device lightweight
Overall this is a great all-around product and definitely my favorite pick of the lot. Whether you’re an experienced shooter or just starting out in the industry the Glock G40 will be an investment in your shooting journey for years to come.
- Customizable grips
- High velocity is reached due to the 6” barrel
- Exceptionally lightweight unit
- Reasonably priced
- Holds an impressive 10 rounds inside the magazine
- Quite a long handgun when compared to some other more compact units
Overall rating: 10/10
Glock G20 Gen4: Best Value Product
The G20 is an equally modern unit but just a few models behind the G40. For this reason, the handgun becomes an incredibly affordable option that is still feature and performance packed. You can’t go wrong if you’re looking for value.
This was the first 10mm pistol brought out by Glock and formed the prototype for the handguns that followed it.
There are many similarities between the G20 and the G40. There are also many notable differences and this is what will ultimately help you make your decision when purchasing.
The G20 is a tad shorter in length when compared to its big brother. They both weigh under 2lbs. and are incredibly lightweight units.
The biggest and most impressive difference is that the G20 holds an incredible 15 rounds within the magazine. This makes it exceptional value for money when looking for a versatile handgun to incorporate into your life.
With 15 rounds of 10mm ammo, there are few situations that will prove unmanageable. You’ll be able to take on just about anything without worrying about finding the appropriate time to reload.
This makes the G20 the best companion for all scenarios—from hunting to self-defense to recreational shooting. Sometimes, people overlook high performing magazine capacities for the purpose of hunting. I assure you they’re very handy when facing any kind of wild animal.
Features to note about the Glock G20 are:
- 5lb. trigger
- Double recoil spring
- Polymer frame
Like the G40, the G20 also has the customizable abilities that come with the fourth-generation improvements. You’ll be able to alternate between grips as you see fit.
- Value for money
- Customizable aspects
- High capacity magazine
- Exceptionally lightweight unit
- Requires a gunsmith to add a red dot sight
- Limited velocity when exiting the shorter barrel
Like the Glock I mentioned first, this handgun is perfect for anyone in need of an inexpensive and high performing unit. Suitable for both professionals and newbies, the G20 is a feature packed unit with only a few minor differences to its big brother the G40.
Overall rating: 10/10
Are you a fan of Glock guns? Read about the Glock 30 here.
The next firearm in my roundup is a device that was so impressive when it first emerged on the scene that is was adopted by the Swiss government as their official military firearm. Shortly after this, many other nations followed suit and still make use of the P220 Elite today.
Sig Sauer is a well-trusted brand that delivers high-quality products year in and year out. When Glock is not an option, Sig Sauer is my handgun manufacturer of choice.
Their 10mm pistol is great for both hunting and self-defense.
The construction of the pistol is incredibly rugged. It features G-10 grips for comfort and the front sight is fixed while the rear sight is adjustable.
What I like most about this pistol is the accessory rail underneath the barrel that lets you add a light or a laser if you’d like to. This comes in handy with ensuring every target is hit every time.
Excluding the round in the chamber, the magazine holds eight rounds in total. While this is not the most ideal number of rounds for a hunting device, it’s great for any experienced shooter who won’t be wasting any shots.
I enjoy that the pistol features a safety notch that prevents the hammer from hitting the firing pin. The pin itself also has a safety that keeps it perfectly in place until the trigger is pulled. There’s also a trigger bar disconnector, which prevents the pin from hitting the primer when the slide begins to move.
All components work well to ensure the smoothest shot every time. It’s easy to understand why the Swiss military would make use of such a device.
Some features worth noting include:
- Features the Sig Sauer Four-Point Safety System
- 8” barrel
- Long sight radius
The Elite comes in a camo finish which helps it blend in with natural environments. This is great when using the pistol in hunting scenarios.
- Consistent performance over long periods of use
- Longer barrel
- Camouflage finish for hunting purposes
- Limited magazine capacity
- Slightly heavier than other units of similar proportions
If you don’t mind splurging a little, then the Sig Sauer is a great 10mm pistol to bring into your life. You’ll be guaranteed performance and accuracy in a pistol designed to perform in high-pressure situations.
Overall rating: 9/10
Check out our review of the Sig Sauer P239.
The RZ-10 is their take on the 10mm version of their original 1911. There was noticeably more time and care put into the creation of the RZ-10 when compared to some of their other units.
Features to note about the RZ-10 are:
- 5” barrel
- Features an undercut trigger guard
- Elongated frame
- Magazine capacity of nine rounds
- Double diamond cocobolo grip
I prefer this pistol for self-defense. It’s easy enough to get the hang of without a lot of practice and the chances of misfire are very slim. This is largely due to the Dan Wesson standard match-grade ramped barrel for improved accuracy and feeding.
- Features all the ergonomics of the brand’s more successful firearms
- Notable care in workmanship
- Decent magazine capacity
- Heavier than most handguns
- Does not come with an additional magazine for convenience
Overall rating: 8/10
The barrel is 5” long and you can either use your thumb to cock the hammer or make use of the slide.
The thing about this gun is that it will not fire unless the grip safety is being held down. This makes it less adaptable to high-pressure situations as it takes a bit more work to get the gun to go off.
The most notable features of the Colt Delta are the following:
- Comes with two magazines that hold eight rounds each
- Features a skeletonized blade trigger
- Fixed Novak iron sights with white dots for easy aiming
- Great retro styling
- Made with quality iron
- A legacy product within the US market
- Comes with two magazines
- Heavy even when unloaded
- Magazine capacity is noticeably limited
Overall rating: 7/10
As expected, my loyalty remains with the Glock G40 as the best all-around product in this lineup.
From price to performance to brand trustworthiness the brand’s 10mm pistol is simply unmatched within the market. I also enjoy the regular upgrading of generational products.
All in all, a 10mm pistol is one of the best investments any gun fanatic can make. They’ll give you years of solid performance and user-friendliness no matter what your comfort level or experience may be.
Get your 10mm pistol today and you’ll see what I mean!