Concealed Carry

Avidity Arms PD10 – Built for Concealed Carry, Ready for Anything!

Choosing a handgun for concealed carry is an exercise in compromise. What do you look for in a carry gun? Size and stopping power sit atop most concealed carry preference lists. Weight and ergonomics are also strong considerations.

Size and stopping power are often opposed to each other. Bigger calibers and higher capacities result in bulkier designs. Having 20 rounds on board is great, but it comes at a cost. When selecting a carry gun, you really need to look at the design and select the features that mean the most to your concealed carry goals.

Avidity Arms PD10, safety lock, test-fired cartridge cases, and two magazines
The PD10 is shipped in a cardboard box with two magazines, two test-fired cases, and a security lock.

The Avidity Arms PD10 (a·vid·i·ty noun: extreme eagerness or enthusiasm) was designed with one primary mission in mind — concealed carry. That’s not very surprising since its primary designer was Rob Pincus. To some, Rob is a household name. His firearms resume includes self-defense author, Personal Defense Network, and USCCA, but most notably he runs one of the best firearms training networks in the country.

In fact, the last time we shot together Rob noted that many of my skills showed more than a little patina. It was more of a case of gun handling than shooting accuracy. Rob easily pointed to the ‘era’ I served in the military (by my movements and shooting style) and how many techniques have changed over the years. It was a strong case for continued training. He gently recommended a few instructors to get me back in shape.

Avidity Arms PD10: Features

When it comes to concealed carry, size matters. Less bulk makes concealment easier and more comfortable. However, unlike most handguns designed with a minimal size in mind, the PD10 offers a full grip, familiar ergonomics, and a generous sight picture. What the Avidity PD10 does not offer is extra weight. The PD10 tips the scales at a mere 18.8 ounces.

As the name hints, the PD10 features a 10+1 capacity. Based on some popular CCW offerings, this may seem low. Then again, when was the last time you heard of a concealed carry engagement where the defender needed more than 10 rounds…

Increased capacity means more bulk and more weight. It’s that simple. Two of the most common reasons people leave their CCW behind are comfort and weight. The PD10’s profile was designed to tackle both concerns.

two pistol magazines
On the left is an Avidity Arms magazine next to a McCormick magazine.

Although no longer made, the PD10 features 10-round magazines that will look familiar to fans of the old Chip McCormick mags. A little harder to load, a pain to unload by hand, but reliability that matches or bests any other mag on the market is the hallmark of the design. At the front of the baseplate, you’ll note a claw-like protrusion that makes removing a stuck magazine a snap.

Avidity Arms recommends these magazines for concealed carry, and I second that recommendation. Since the PD10 ships with two mags, you should be set for concealed carry. I recommend a spare magazine not for the additional rounds, but as insurance against a magazine failure. However, for those wanting additional mags for the range, there are several options in single-stack 10-round mags that will serve.

Sights

Most concealed carry encounters are close range affairs where the sights are not a deciding factor. This makes the type of sight less important. The PD10’s rear sight is a black notch sight that is cut to assist racking the slide one handed using the pocket of your jeans, tactical vest, a boot etc. A tritium vial encased by a large, Day-Glo yellow dot marks the front. Both sights are drift-adjustable.

concave rear sight on a handgun
Rob Pincus designed the rear sight. The curved design aids in racking the slide one-handed using your pocket, belt, boot, vest etc.

Specifications

Calibers: 9mm, .30 Super Carry
Action: Striker-fired
Capacity: 10+1 (9mm), 12 +1 (30 Super Carry)
Barrel length: 4 inches
Frame: Polymer, gray or black
Overall length: 6.94 inches
Width at widest point: 1 inch; Slide is .9 inch
Weight: 18.8 ounces
Coating: Isonite on most metal parts
MSRP: $625

Features

  • Optic-cut slide for slim optics (RMSc / 407k footprint)
  • Ergonomic slim grip
  • Deep tang
  • Aggressive grip pattern
  • Accessory rail
  • Safety index point
  • Contoured slide stop
  • Slide stop standoff
  • Aggressive slide serrations
  • Loaded chamber indicator
  • Captured recoil spring
  • Large, square front sight
  • Magazine extraction relief cut
  • Flared magazine well
  • Drop free metal magazine
  • Claw feature on magazine baseplate
  • Claw emergency manipulation rear sight
  • Gray frame decreases chances of accidental exposure
  • Oversized magazine release
  • Undercut trigger guard
  • Steel trigger-tab safety
  • Striker blocking drop safety
  • Angled trigger face
  • Low-variance trigger with short reset

In the Hand

Picking up the Avidity Arms PD10, the first thing you’ll notice is the thin profile of the gun and grip. Most of the gun tapes out at about 0.90-inch thick. The magazine and slide lock push out the overall width to one inch.

That eliminates the bulk issue, but the PD10 is not the first “slim” 9mm. The difference the PD10 offers is in the hand. While other slim 9mm guns are diminutive in the hand, the PD10 is not. The PD10’s size is similar to that of a 1911 with a 4-inch barrel. While thin, the grip still fills the hand.

The slide is cut with rear cocking serrations that provide plenty of hand purchase. The texture on the grip frame holds tight to the hand, without being so aggressive that it feels like 60-grit sandpaper.

magazine release and ramped grip on the Avidity Arms PD10 9mm semi-auto pistol
The magazine and grip are somewhat unique. The grip ramps to the release button to decrease the chance of snagging or accidental activation, and serves as a tactile guide to the button.

The design of the magazine release is unlike any I can recall. The release is a normal button-style release, but the grip frame (behind the button) is beveled to prevent the shooter from accidentally dropping a mag. It also guides the thumb to the release button.

The grip and magazine are just a couple examples of the thought that went into the PD10’s design. Both sides of the frame feature textured pads for the index finger, the slide stop is slightly proud of the frame, and the trigger guard has an undercut that promotes a high grip. The slide is beveled at the muzzle for easy reholstering. The dust cover has a Picatinny rail for a rail light or laser. There is a (tactile) loaded chamber indicator on the top of the slide.

Field Stripping

The PD10’s takedown is familiar to many striker-fired designs. Field stripping is easy. After confirming the chamber is clear, pull the trigger. Next, pull the takedown levers down, and remove the slide. You do not have to move the slide back a short distance (like the Glock) when pulling the takedown levers to remove the slide. This saves time — and a lot of frustration for those unfamiliar with the procedure. In truth, I’ve never heard a reason for the design to require the user to move the slide back to activate the pull takedown levers.

On the Range: Field Notes

Avidity’s PD10 is a no nonsense pistol — everything you’d expect from a defensive pistol without the frills. Using a Lyman Electronic Trigger Gauge, the PD10’s trigger broke at 5.4 pounds. As for the trigger, there’s a bit of take-up before you’ll meet resistance. Then, you’ll have a longish pull before the trigger breaks. Remember, the PD10 was designed for defense not as a target pistol. When the adrenaline is flowing, the last thing you’ll want is a negligent discharge from a light, short trigger pull. However, if you practice riding the trigger reset (as soon as the sight settle on the target), you’ll have a fast follow-up shot.

The recoil spring is rather stout. Racking the slide to chamber a round takes some effort. The long, flat grip shape makes for an easy to carry and easy to grip pistol. Even those with paws for hands should be able to get all fingers on the grip. The design promotes a high grip that makes for a fast first shot and helps to mitigate recoil.

Avidity Arms PD10 magwell and magazine claw
The magazine ‘claw’ and grip design ensure you will have multiple ways to remove a stuck magazine.

I test guns regularly, so I figured the best test of a gun is to take along new shooter and let them have a crack at it. As with any semi-auto, if you don’t grip the gun properly, you can cause a failure. The PD10 is no different. However, grip issues were quickly rectified and no other failures to feed, fire, or eject were noted.

Accuracy was more than acceptable for a defensive handgun, but remember what I said about the trigger. It is a long pull and stiff for true target accuracy, but at 5+ pounds it wasn’t bad. At about four yards, it wasn’t hard to create one ragged hole from 5 shots.

I shot the PD10 out to 10 yards offhand and kept the shots well within a fist-sized group in deliberate fire. At multiple distances, during movement drills, drawing and getting off the X, and double taps, all shots would have easily scored hits on a torso-sized target.

Dave Dolbee testing the Avidity Arms PD10 9mm semi-auto handgun
The PD10 was a bit snappy with 147-grain Hydra-shok loads, but recovered quickly for follow-up shots.

The magazines dropped easily from the pistol. Reloads were quick for those who train. The magwell has a bevel, but it is not flared. So, you will need to be deliberate when inserting a magazine under stressful conditions.

The slide stop is angled. This makes it easy to engage, but harder to use the slide stop to release the slide. Typically, I would not recommend chambering a cartridge that way. Instead, grab the slide, pull it back, and let it slingshot it forward.

On the range, we shot a selection of 9mm ammunition from Remington, Federal, Hornady, and Winchester. Bullet weights were 115, 124, and 147 grains. I also had an ammo can full of remanufactured training rounds. Whether it was reman or premium 147-grain self-defense Hydra-Shok loads, the PD10 performed like a champ and ate everything we fed it. By the end of three range days with the Avidity Arms PD10, we fired over 450 rounds without a hiccup.

The Avidity Arms PD10 showed excellent accuracy at typical self-defense ranges.

Conclusion

The gun you choose for self-defense is a personal choice. Shooters seem to travel like a school of fish toward the latest and greatest, trendy guns. Today, Glocks, the SIG P365 and Springfield Hellcat top many lists. It’s true that a micro compact double-stack pistol is hard to beat. But, when you are looking for a slim package with a bit longer sight radius, that also serves great as a home defense pistol the Avidity Arms is hard to beat.

Have you fired an Avidity Arms handgun? How do you think the Avidity Arms PD10 compares to your favorite handgun? Share your answers in the Comment section.

  • Dave Dolbee testing the Avidity Arms PD10 9mm semi-auto handgun
  • Woman firing an Avidity Arms PD10 9mm semi-automatic pistol at an outdoor range
  • Test target for the Avidity PD10 pistol
  • Avidity Arms PD10, safety lock, test-fired cartridge cases, and two magazines
  • two pistol magazines
  • magazine release and ramped grip on the Avidity Arms PD10 9mm semi-auto pistol
  • Avidity Arms PD10 magwell and magazine claw
  • Avidity Arms PD10 9mm semi-automatic handgun, left profile
  • concave rear sight on a handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (9)

  1. It’s okay looking… nothing to write home about. And, it’s basically just another 9mm. Do I have a Nine? Sure, S&W Shield Plus. Just as slim as the Avidity with a 3.1″ bbl. Not really a 9mm fan but S&W doesn’t make the Plus in anything but that an 30SC, which I’m not bothering with. If I’m gonna futz around with a 4″ in barrel then it’s gonna be chambered in a .40 cal. My prefered caliber in my SDVE or M&P. And something I see a lot of folks mention in reviews is the whole “not liking to” or “nice you don’t have to” pull the trigger for field stripping. I have no love for Glock (ergo thing, they don’t point naturally for normal humans, the Avidity looks similar with grip angle) but no problem in how they strip. Is it really *that* big a deal? Are people so unsure of their handling skills that requiring a trigger pull to strip is some massive issue? If you’re doing your job correctly OF MAKING SURE THE WEAPON IS CLEAR then where’s the problem? Can’t have a negligent discharge if there’s nothing in it to go boom.

  2. FYI.!!! A FULL SIZE MODL1911 IS A FAIRLY UNNOTICEABLE WILE UTILIZING A BIEONQUI BLACK WIDOW THUMB BREAK… SHE IS COMFORTABLE, DOESN’T RUB, DOESN’T STICK OUT, AN CARRIES DA WHEIGHT, ALMOST ALMOST AS IF IT WEREN’T DAR.!!! JUST 35+YRS OF EXPERIENCE.!!! I PRAY THAT ALL OF YA LEARN DAT IT’S NOT A GAME.!!!✌🏼🇺🇸

  3. Like most of the older guys, I’m a .45 guy, but 9mm is a bit lighter and more convenient for concealed carry. I’m partial to the P365, in the 9mm dept. This PD10 looks like a cross between a Glock and a CZ, with a few bells & whistles on it, but no thanks to all those hooks they hung on it to snag clothing…When all’s said and done, get yourself a Kimber, Dan Wesson, Colt, or other quality 1911 style compact, and don’t look back…

  4. I have been shooting longer then Rob Pincus has been on this earth and I have a real problem with the so called modern day instructors saying that I need more training, I carry a 1911 colt compact in 45acp and my shooting style works for me I am not afraid to get in a shoot out “because my shooting style is up to his standards” sorry I will take my chances on my own muscle memory and my training in both military and law enforcement

    1. Not exactly what he was talking about. We were shooting a combination of pistols, long guns, and some three gun stuff. Some of my gun handling, particularly with ARs, had room for improvement. Again, nothing wrong with accuracy, but economy of movement, time etc. that was notable. ~Dave

  5. When this pistol was first announced ten years ago I was hot to get one, but none could be had. It was the mythical unicorn, but I added it to my wants list anyway. Last year I found one distributor who had some, but so many innovative pistols have come down the pike since then that I passed on it. Now the only way to get one is to join their dealer direct program. That is not a good sign. Anyway, I’m trying to figure out how the PD10 is equal to or superior to the Hellcat Pro or Hellcat Pro Comp.

  6. I think old school. if there isn’t a 4 in the caliber. I’m not interested. I started shooting in 1952 (12 years old) with a colt .45 1911. My G30 has the same capacity (13 if I use a G21 Mag) as the pd10 and a whole bigger bullet. Great review though!

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