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Best 10mm Pistols [2022 Buyer’s Guide]

WHEN TWO WORLD WARS ISN'T ENOUGH, 10MM HAS THE POWER YOU NEED

The 9mm vs .45 ACP debate is one that, if you’ve spent much time in firearm circles, you’re probably already familiar with. 

There is, however, a third round worth considering, 10mm.  

10mm Auto was first developed in 1983 and was even briefly adopted by the FBI, starting in 1989 in response to the 1986 Miami Shootout. Though the FBI didn’t use 10mm for very long, the fact that they used it at all helped 10mm get noticed by civilians, and the round has had a growing following in the decades since. 

If you’re among those itching to try out 10mm but aren’t sure what gun to start with, you’re in luck. In this guide, we’ll go over why you might want to try out 10mm in the first place, then discuss some of the top 10mm pistols currently on the market. 

Let’s get started. 

Why 10mm?

So why opt for 10mm in the first place?

For one, because it’s powerful. 

10mm delivers a lot more punch than, say, 9mm, with greater muzzle velocity and penetration. The other side of that coin is that it has significant recoil, though not much more than .45 ACP. 

At the same time, you tend to get pretty high capacities with 10mm, between about 8 and 15 rounds per magazine.

10mm is especially popular for self-defense, but it’s also a very versatile round that’s good for days at the range, competition, and hunting medium to large game, as well as for home defense. 

10mm and the mighty 41 Magnum

On the other hand, 10mm tends to be more expensive than other, more popular rounds, especially 9mm. 

However, it is popular enough that you can still get a decent range of loads to choose from, though you won’t find a huge selection in most stores. To really browse all your options, you’ll need to shop online.

While 10mm certainly hasn’t achieved the popularity of other handgun rounds, like 9mm and .45 ACP, it’s definitely got a growing cult following. 

Best 10mm Pistols

SIG P320-XTEN

The SIG P320 has been around for about 8 years now (and has earned an excellent reputation over that time), but the P320-XTEN is a brand-new addition to the line. 

If you’ve handled a P320 in the past, you know pretty much what to expect from this one. It will feel very familiar. 

Sig P320 xten
Sig P320 xten

It’s a full-size, polymer-frame striker-fired pistol with a 5-inch barrel and a 15-round capacity. It’s 8.5 inches long, 5.6 inches tall, and 1.3 inches wide, and weighs in at 33 ounces. 

It comes with SIG’s X-RAY3 Day/Night Sights but is also optic-ready, so you can throw on your favorite red dot or holo sight. An M1913 rail below the barrel allows you to throw on a light or laser sight as well. 

It has a nice, ergonomic beavertail grip with a really aggressive texture, helping hands of all sizes keep a firm, secure grip despite 10mm’s heavy recoil. All the controls are ambidextrous, so the gun is equally suitable for right-handed people and southpaws. 

Colt Delta Elite 

The Colt Delta Elite is a 1911 variant chambered in 10mm from the company that created the 1911 in the first place. It’s great for those who prefer a more classically styled pistol but with even more power than the traditional 1911. 

An especially cool feature is the double-recoil spring system. This helps absorb some of the shock of 10mm, making the gun easier to handle. The grip is comfortable and helps with control of the weapon.

Colt Delta Elite Rail
Colt Delta Elite Rail

The beavertail grip safety doesn’t dig into the hand like some others, and there’s also a secondary thumb safety that’s extended for easy access. This pistol has a 5-inch barrel and measures 8.25 long. It weighs 2.4 pounds, has an 8+1 round capacity, and comes with white dot sights.

Like the original 1911, the Delta Elite doesn’t come with a rail. However, if that’s a deal breaker for you, don’t worry. For a little bit more, you can get the Colt Delta Elite Rail Gun, which does feature an under-barrel Picatinny rail. 

Glock 20 

Here’s another gun that will feel very familiar to a lot of people. 

The thing about Glocks is they’re all more or less the same, just in a bunch of different calibers and a few different sizes. The G20 is Glock’s full-size 10mm iteration. 

The Gen4 grip and three-part safety system will feel familiar to people who’ve already handled Glocks. The modular back strap system allows you to customize the grip to suit the size of your hand. The mag release is reversible to work for right or left-handed shooters.

G40 and G20, two 10mm leadslingers

Like the P320-XTEN, the Glock 20 has a 15-round capacity. It’s a bit smaller, with a 4.61-inch barrel, 8.07-inch overall length, 1.34-inch width, and 5.51-inch height, so I think the Glock 20 has a slight edge as a carry weapon. The G20 is also a touch lighter, at 30.69 ounces. 

Rock Island Rock Ultra FS 10mm 

The Rock Island Rock Ultra FS is another 1911-style option and it’s absolutely beautiful. 

It’s not just gorgeous, it also delivers great performance, with a lot of little things that help this pistol go above and beyond the competition, especially at its relatively budget-friendly price point.

Rock Island Rock Ultra FS
Rock Island Rock Ultra FS

For example, it has fiber optic sights, making sight acquisition much faster and easier than with standard iron sights. The smooth frame isn’t just for looks: it also prevents the pistol from snagging on your holster or clothing. Additionally, the pistol has a large mag well opening, which makes loading fresh magazines faster and easier as well. 

Like the Colt Delta Elite, the Rock Island Rock Ultra FS 10mm has a 5-inch barrel and 8-round capacity. The Rock Ultra is larger, though, measuring 8.74 inches long and weighing 2.5 pounds. The grip, however, is slender, not bulky, and has a beavertail, helping with the pistol’s ergonomics, and the G10 grips are aggressively textured.

Springfield XD(M) Elite OSP

If you’re more of a polymer frame fan, then the Springfield XD(M) Elite OSP is another great option. 

This striker-fired pistol has a 16-round capacity, so you get one more round than you do with most other polymer-frame, striker-fired pistols, and twice that of most 10mm 1911 clones. 

It has fiber optic sights, but it's optics ready so that you can add your preferred red dot. It has a narrow, ergonomic grip with a beavertail to help with a high grip and a beavertail safety. 

Springfield XD(M) Elite OSP
Springfield XD(M) Elite OSP

The grip has a flared magwell with a removable extension. If you remove the extension, the short magwell and 4.5-inch barrel keep the Springfield XD(M) Elite more compact than other full-size 10mm pistols, making it great for carry.

It’s 7.6 inches long and 5.75 inches tall, and weighs 31 ounces.

However, it does also come in a compact version. With it, you lose almost an inch in each height and length and the weight drops down to 27 ounces. However, the trade-off is that it only has an 11-round capacity. Realistically, that should still be more than enough for a self-defense situation, but I sure would hate to not have those extra rounds on the off chance I do need them. 

Glock 29

Since we’ve already talked about the Glock 20, there’s not much to say about the Glock 29. Like we said, Glocks are basically all the same, just in different calibers and sizes. Obviously, since it’s on this list, the Glock 29 is also 10mm, which leaves size as the distinguishing factor. 

Glock 29
Glock 29

The Glock 29 is the subcompact version of the G20. This little gun measures just under 7 inches long, a little over 4.5 inches tall, and 1.38 inches wide. It weighs just 26.81 ounces with an empty magazine. 

Other than that, it has the same features that you know and love from other Glocks, like the three-part safety system, polymer frame, and modular backstrap system. 

Loose Rounds

10mm is growing increasingly popular, but it’s not for everyone. I definitely recommend that everyone at least give it a try, though. This powerful round may surprise you.

And if you decide 10mm is right for you, after all, you can’t go wrong with any of the guns I’ve recommended above. Each one is an excellent choice, though they’re not all equally well suited for all shooters. 

All you have to do is go with the one that sounds best for you. 

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