Review: Glock G29 10mm Pistol — Bad Things Roam at Night

By Major Pandemic published on in Firearms, General, Reviews

During my behind the scenes tour of the U.S. Glock factory, I saw a lot of things and many thoughts, dreams, and desires drifted through my mind. At that time, I was one of only 11 editors invited to the unveiling of the secret release of the Glock G43. At that predictable and yawn-able moment of the G43 introduction, when we all exclaimed, “Good Lord, finally!” my mind was also thinking about the G29.

10mm Glock G29 under Glock G43 pistol

10mm power is not that much bigger than the 9mm G43.

While the G43 is a hot item in its own right, many want more punch from a compact. When only the max will do, you want the G29. The G29 is, in essence, a G19 in 10mm and Glock’s “compact 10mm” pistol. Though the G29 is actually about ¼-inch shorter than the G19, the reality of the G29 is a G19 9mm that has overindulged at the pasta bar one too many times.

The 10mm G29 is Glock’s most powerful compact pistol and capable of delivering 600-800 ft./lbs. of energy depending on the ammo you feed it. Not bad considering you have 10+1 rounds on tap—it’s a lot of power and firepower in a very small concealable package.

Brief History of the 10mm Auto

The development of the 10mm cartridge is actually an interesting story that dates back to the 1970s. The idea was for a high power, flat shooting, semi-auto cartridge that would run in a 1911-format pistol and basically deliver .357 to .44 Magnum (mid-weight loads) ballistics. In the end, Jeff Cooper, yes the scout rifle guy, was involved in the development at which point Norma began producing ammunition in the early 1980s. The FBI felt a little outgunned on the streets and briefly adopted the 10mm round—but with the full bore, kick ass loads that were first released.

The reality was, 90% of the agents felt uncomfortable shooting and handling the larger dimensioned and significantly more powerful 10mm powered guns. The ammo manufacturers responded with the 10mm Lite rounds that in essence dropped the power all the way down to about .40 S&W loads. However, the FBI and the public wanted a smaller format with less power than what the 10mm round delivered. Smith & Wesson thought this was a waste of un-used powder space on the longer 10mm brass and developed a 10mm Short, or what we now know as the .40 S&W. The round delivered everything the FBI specs wanted in a format that would fit in a smaller 9mm-sized pistol format.

The current crop of 10mm rounds from Hornady and others are not neutered to the degree the “LITE” rounds were, however they could certainly be loaded hotter as we see with the higher power Buffalo Bore, Federal, and Liberty Ammunition rounds. The current 10mm rounds are still much more powerful than the .40 S&W. .40 S&W rounds usually deliver around 450 ft./lbs. of energy and the 10mm typically delivers around 550 ft./lbs. that is around 20% more power.

Closeup of Glock G29 pistol left with Federal ammunition box

Raw power at your fingertips.

Today, the 10mm cartridge has rabid fans as well as still having a following in Special Forces and Special Law Enforcement. It is also growing as a hunting cartridge due to the capacity of the firearm and power.

About the Glock G20, G20SF, & G29

Glock began producing the G20 in 1991 to answer the market demand in the midst of the 10mm Auto’s heyday. Even after demand tapered off, there was still a demand for the 10mm Auto pistol. However, the major complaint was the overall size of the grip. Later, in 2007, Glock introduced the G20SF, which is the “short frame” model. The G20SF model provides a felt grip circumference that is equal to a standard .40 S&W chambered Glock.

The net result for those with medium to small hands can establish a comfortable and secure grip. Glock has specifically marketed the G20 and G20SF as hunting companion firearms to be used for the hunt or to provide a humane finishing shot on very large game. For those hunting in bear country, having a 15-round pistol that can deliver power that rivals some .44 Magnum rounds, is an enormous benefit. In fact, the Greenland Sirius Sledge Patrol uses the G20 on the very aggressive Polar bear that far outweigh our typical brown bear. Many of the relatively rabid 10mm fanatics, myself included, requested/demanded a smaller concealable format …in case we are attacked by polar bears. The small format G29 10mm was born.

Why I Had To Have One

I would argue, “Why wouldn’t you want one?” However, I can see there may be some folks who just don’t get it. I will put it this way. Why would someone carry a .357 Magnum Ruger LCR snubby revolver when you could just carry the same gun and shoot it with less recoil in .38 Special. The simple answer is “POWER!”—the same reason muscle cars were created. Do I need the power in a handgun to down small aircraft? Well, not recently, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to own it. In fact, I have been lusting after the rather surprisingly mild recoiling G29 since I picked up my first G20. Who doesn’t need .41 Rem Magnum power in a concealable 11-round pistol. Well I did.

Fit, Finish, Feel, Features, Function

The G29 has the fit, finish, and features identical to any other Gen 3 Glock you may have handled, however the slide and barrel is even wider and beefier than Glock’s .40 S&W pistols to handle the power of the 10mm Auto round. The side profile of the G29 is just a bit fatter than a G19 but about a ¼” shorter as noted previously. Think of the G27 as the G26 of the .40 S&W lineup, but about 10% larger.

GLock G29 pistol with Federal ammunition and two combat knives

The G29 is about the same size as a Glock-19 but a little thicker.

If you want night sights, I recommend having them included from Glock, as they are a bit less expensive than adding them later, plus they will come factory zeroed. On my G29, I added the Glock night sights because, you know, …big critters sometimes roam around at night.

Just like any other Glock, reliability was superb and flawless from the first to the last round. Thankfully, Hornady sent me a couple boxes of its lighter shooting 560 ft./lb. Custom 10mm Auto 180-grain XTP rounds and Federal supplied some of its full-power 650 ft./lb. 10mm 180-grain Trophy Bonded JSP rounds. What surprised me most was that the recoil was really quite pleasant, and easily tolerable and controllable with the harder hitting rounds. I will admit, the G20 is a treat to shoot with hot rounds, but cumulatively, it will take a toll. In fact, the G29 is a bit snappy. After every three magazines, I had to take a break. Not painful, but the lighter G29 is snappy enough with the harder-hitting rounds that the snap feels more like bite after more than three or four magazines.

I found—like every other double-stack Glock I own—the G29 slipped into the same G19 Crossbreed Supertuck Deluxe Holster.

Accuracy

My friend and I have made it a habit to routinely plink and hit the 12”x12” steel 100, 200, and 300-yard gongs with our Glocks. Oddly enough, once you figure out the 12 to 15 foot holdover at 300-yards, it is not that difficult. Just like the G20 testing I did, shooting flatter 10mm at distance was a whole new game. 100-yard torso shots were simply and downright easy. The original intent of the cartridge was clear—this is a long-range handgun round, and if zeroed at 50-yards, the 10mm Auto only drops about 4.5 inches at 100 yards, and is only 36 inches low at 200 yards while still delivering around 400 ft./lbs. of energy (about the same energy a 9mm has at the muzzle). This is a very impressive round that is more than adequate for hunting deer-sized game at a little distance.

Otherwise at normal combat distances, the G29 was marginally less accurate than your average G26 or G27 due to the increased recoil the shooter is managing.

Final Thoughts

I love this little 10mm. If you have a reason to drop something with about 70%-90% more power than your average 9mm, then the G29 is your pistol. What I love about the G29 is that it delivers the most powerful semi-auto pistol round in a reliable gun outside of Desert Eagle. Actually, owning two Desert Eagles, I would argue the Glock 10mm is “the” most reliable high power semi-auto pistol and the G29 is the smallest format available.

Glock G29
Length 177 mm / 6.96 in.
Width 32.50 mm / 1.27 in.
Length Between Sights 150 mm / 5.91 in.
Height 113 mm / 4.44 in.
Barrel Height 32 mm / 1.26 in.
Barrel Length 96 mm / 3.77 in.
Unloaded 770 g / 27.18 oz.
Loaded 935 g / 33.01 oz.
Trigger Pull ~2.5 kg / ~5.5 lbs.
Trigger Travel ~12.5 mm / ~0.49 in.
Barrel Rifling right hand, hexagonal
Length of Twist 250 mm / 9.84 in.
Capacity 10 – Accepts G20 15-round magazines

Are you a rabid 10mm fan? Which model and load do you prefer for things that roam in the night? Share your answers in the comment section.

Gas maskMajor Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. www.MajorPandemic.com

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Comments (45)

  • James Massey

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    I carry a G 21. Great gun. Thinking of converting it to a 10mm. The only concern I would have with a 10mm would be if the more powerful round would lead to the dreaded “ka-boom” phenomenon.

    Reply

  • James Kissinger

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    I own The 20 SF and 29 SF also a Kimber Eclipse. Always have appreciated Col. COOPERS thought on this round and think it is the best all around round for me. The quality of brass being used gives a 5 to 7 reload ability if one is sure to not overload and check (carefully )for signs of stress on casing and firearm. I carry my 29 sf at a 3 oclock position comfortably in a Kramer Custom Horsehide IWB. Cannot speak highly enough of Linda’s commitment to providing a lifetime product that is safe and comfortable. I’m hoping the noise saftey bill passes and will be interested in a can for my 10 mm firearms.I would personally be interested in a MP -5 clone in this caliber, suppressed of course. Excellent weapon and easy to field in urban environment if needed. I do not expect it hopefully NEVEF need to stare down a Grizzly or Polar Bear but if do 16 rounds of Buffalo Bore in my 20 SF would still like to have 6 44 Magnum there as a backup. As I said hopefully NEVER.RIP Col. COOPER smile down on us earthbound as we enjoy your investment in finding the optimum caliber for handgun and your vision of the Scout Rifle concept. Styer perhaps came closest but price not reachable for most. Hoo Rah Sir.

    Reply

  • Harold

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    I miss the old Norma load(200gr bullet at 1200 fps.) I miss a lot of the old loads. I bought my first 10mm in 1989. It was a Colt Delta Elite. I still have it and carry it. I wish the main stream ammunition companies would bring out some properly loaded 10mm ammunition. I’m tired of paying an arm and a leg for boutique ammunition.

    Reply

    • Henry

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      Underwood ammo has what you’re looking for.

      Reply

  • Sterling

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    My father got me into 10mm back in the early 90’s after he got a custom built Springfield Armory 1911 long slide chambered in 10mm with an Omega slide, custom trigger and sights. When I was stationed in Virginia with the army, I got a CCW and felt the Glock 29 was the perfect personal defense weapon. I was right, it is easily concealable and is so powerful that I never felt worried about being outgunned, especially if I was proficient enough in controlling that power. All one must consider with such a powerful weapon is proper backdrop, since certain rounds at certain ranges can pass through multiple solid objects (like walls).

    Reply

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