Handguns

Full House: Top Ten 10mm Handguns

10mm 1911 Magazines and Ammo

Recently, I decided I “needed” something with a little more oomph! I wanted a handgun and landed on the 10mm Auto. I considered getting another Glock 20 (to replace the one I foolishly sold a few years ago when I wanted that next shiny new pew). Before committing, I wanted to see what else was out there. 

Part of me wanted to track down an old school Smith & Wesson 1006 or a Colt Delta Elite. However, I wanted to stick with modern options that are still readily available so there would be no trouble getting spare parts, magazines, and holsters. I would also prefer a higher capacity option with a double-stack magazine. 

Buffalo Bore all copper 10mm cartridge and an upset bullet showing pedals
Buffalo Bore’s all-copper load is a tremendous effort.

Why 10mm Auto

Before getting into these awesome pistols, I’ll take a minute to cover why I landed on the 10mm round. I’m sure you are aware, but if not, let me inform you. The 10mm is a pretty powerful round. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still talking about a handgun caliber here, but compared to the 9mm, .40 S&W, and even .45 ACP, there’s no comparison. 

I’ll save you the often repeated story of Jeff Cooper, the Miami Dade FBI shootout, and the subsequent 10mm round. I’ll also skip past the FBI agent’s lack of recoil control leading to the .40 S&W (short and weak). Just know, if you’re looking for power in a semi-auto pistol, the 10mm with full-house loads is what you need. 

Just as an example, the common 124-grain Speer Gold Dot 9mm travels at around 1,260 fps from a 5-inch barrel. That produces around 437 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. In contrast, Buffalo Bore 180-grain 10mm hits around 1,400 fps from a 5-inch barrel, yielding 783 ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle. Of course, foot-pounds don’t kill people, but it is a good data point leading to real-world results. 

Glock 20 10mm
The Glock 20 is a time tested 10mm.

Glock 29/20/40

Starting with Glock as a baseline, there are three models, the G29 compact, G20 full-size, and G40 long-slide. All are reliable and rugged, as we would expect. When it comes to 10mm, barrel length plays a key role in your ballistics. If you want to get the most from your full-house loads, I’d recommend sticking with the two larger models. Both accept 15-round magazines and are built off of the same frames as the .45 ACP Glocks.

They’re thick, chunky, and clunky… What’s more to love? No, they won’t win any beauty pageants or disappear on your hip like a concealed carry micro 9, but these utilitarian 10mm Glocks absolutely perform at the range and in the field. I think the biggest benefit to going with the Glock is that the design has been tested for years by real shooters, in real world scenarios and training. 

SIG P320 XTen 10mm
SIG’s XTen is lightweight and accurate.

SIG XTen

Recently, it seems more manufacturers are coming to the table with a 10mm. SIG brought its A-game with the P320 XTen. This striker-fired 10mm gives you all the modularity of the popular P320 series used by military and police in a more powerful package. 

The XTen is optics-ready, and designed to be used with the SIG ROMEO2 optic (Trijicon RMR footprint). It features the X-Series grip and flat trigger, which gives the pistol an almost custom feel. The 5-inch barrel helps you get a bit more velocity out of your 10mm round compared to standard service pistols. 

It’s important to note that the XTen is built on a larger frame size than 9mm P320s, so there’s no grip module or holster compatibility between the two.

SIG P220 Legion 10mm
The 10mm SIG P220 is available in either DA/SA (pictured) or SAO.

SIG P220 Legion

Although it’s a single-stack design with an 8-round magazine, the classic SIG P220 is too great not to put on this list. The P220 design is one of my favorites and is well known for its extreme durability and lasting reliability. It’s been a favorite for law enforcement and military units for decades. The 10mm version ups the power of this standard .45 ACP, but the full-length frame rails can take it. 

The 10mm P220 features a couple design changes from the standard — specifically with the steel frame (as opposed to alloy) and longer 5-inch barrel. It’s available in both single-action-only and double-action/single-action versions. Currently, SIG only offers the 10mm P220 with their Legion package. This means you get top-of-the-line features but you pay for it, usually a few hundred dollars more than the standard pistols. Legion features include an optics-ready slide, trigger guard undercut, X-Ray night sights, and exclusive G10 grips. 

Springfield XD-M 10mm
The Springfield is an ofter overlooked option that serves well.

Springfield XD-M Elite

Another popular duty gun that’s had a modern 10mm facelift is the Springfield XD-M. I think this hidden gem is far too often overlooked. There’s even a compact model geared toward everyday carry. The full-size pistol incorporates a 4.5-inch barrel and 16-round magazines, while the compact model sports a 3.8-inch barrel and 11-round magazines. Both are optics-ready and feature a metal trigger with a crisp pull that allows you to squeeze the most accuracy out of your pistol shot after shot. Springfield calls the trigger the META, or Match Enhanced Trigger Assembly. It does not disappoint. Another key feature of the XD line is the addition of a grip safety for added security, which many shooters find comforting. 

S&W M&P10 10mm
The M&P10 is classic S&W all day! Great lines and excellent reliability.

S&W M&P M2.0

Smith & Wesson also introduced a modern 10mm in its M&P series. Offering three different sizes, a 4-inch barrel, 4.6-inch barrel model, and upgraded Performance Center model with a 5.6-inch ported barrel, there’s a version of the M2.0 for everyone. Models are also available with or without manual thumb safety. 

These new M&P 10mm pistols come optics ready from the factory with suppressor-height sights to co-witness with your red dot sight. Furthermore, S&W has carried over all the great features that come standard on the M2.0 series, such as the flat trigger, improved grip texturing, and high grip-to-bore axis. This makes for one smooth-shooting powerhouse. 

Tanfoglio Stock II 10mm
This Italian design is sleek and accurate. The Steel frame is an added bonus.

Tanfoglio Stock II

The Tanfoglio Stock II is another Italian-made, sleek design that’s popular overseas. Similar to the CZ 75 and SIG P210, the slide rides inside the frame, resulting in a low bore axis with a very high grip. This makes for excellent recoil control and accuracy. This is further aided by the solid steel frame.

Additionally, the pistol features a manual thumb safety, allowing the pistol to be carried either in single-action cocked and locked or hammer-down with a double-action first shot. There are a few different versions of the Stock II, but I like the stainless steel one. With wood grips and adjustable sights, it’s as attractive as it is functional. There’s also a compact polymer version that would be great for carry. 

Rock Island Rock Ultra 10mm Double Stack
The double-stacked Rock Ultra is an impressive 1911-style 10mm.

RIA 1911 Double-Stack

RIA has frequently come to the market with affordable and reliable 1911 pistols, and the 10mm Rock Ultra does not disappoint. With a wider grip that accommodates 16-round double-stack magazines, this 1911A2 (as RIA deems it) packs a lot of power in a fast and accurate platform. RIA doesn’t disappoint when it comes to upgrades, and the enhanced magwell, aggressive G10 grips, extended ambidextrous safety, and fiber-optic sights are welcome additions. 

Of course, RIA also offers a standard single-stack 1911 option for traditionalists and those who live in magazine restricted states. It performs just as well, without the increased capacity. 

S&W 610 10mm Revolver
If you’re looking for a 10mm revolver, look no further than the S&W 610.

S&W 610

Although the 10mm Auto is a rimless cartridge and therefore typically chambered for semi-auto pistols, it has made its way into a few revolvers. The Smith & Wesson 610 follows the same design as the classic double-action N-Frames, but accepts the moon clips to run the 10mm Auto. The larger bullet diameter requires this size to fit a full six rounds.

The added weight and grip length makes recoil control a breeze. You get the famous S&W revolver action, and that crisp single-action trigger really allows you to get the most accuracy out of the round. Remember, you will need to run moon clips for proper extraction, otherwise reloading will take some time, as the star extractor will not grab the individual rounds. 

Hi-Point JXP 10mm
The Hi-Point is hard to beat its price point.

Hi-Point

Hi-Point does a great job at producing an economical firearm for the masses. The JXP 10mm is a great gateway 10mm to help show you the ropes. The single-stack design does limit magazine capacity, but with the base model coming in around $200, that’s nothing to complain about. You still get a solid 10 rounds in the magazine. 

Hi-Point really stepped up the game with its new JXP, incorporating a 5.2-inch threaded barrel, aggressive slide serrations, and an optics-ready slide. If you choose to run the gun without a red dot, the standard 3-dot iron sights serve just fine. 

The cost savings comes in the simple, yet reliable, blowback action. Hi-Point is known for doing this and doing it right. The pistol requires a heavy slide and stiff recoil spring to slow the cycling time and tame the higher pressure of the 10mm cartridge. This is not great for those with weak wrists or who have trouble racking a slide, but can be managed by most shooters. 

FN 510 10mm FDE
The FN 510 is a striker-fired 10mm from a company know for building some of the finest firearms.

FN 510

Another new introduction to the 10mm scene is the FN 510. This striker-fired pistol is similar to the popular 509 series, but chambered in 10mm Auto. In typical FN fashion, the pistol is offered in both standard and tactical models, with either all black or FDE finish. The pistol’s barrel features a polished feed ramp and chamber for ultimate reliability, and both are optics-ready from the factory.  

Lefties rejoice, the FN 510 incorporates fully-ambidextrous controls, including the slide release and magazine release. Additionally, it comes with a flush-fit 15-round magazine, as well as an extended 22-round mag. Grip texture is similar to what’s found on most FN pistols — larger bumps that feel relatively smooth until you grip down and put pressure on them, after which they lock into the hand and provide a secure fit. 

Kriss Vector 10mm
Though not a traditional handgun, the Kriss Vector 10mm is one of the best on the list. Especially for home defense.

Bonus: Kriss Vector

Though it’s not exactly a handgun, the Kriss Vector is technically a pistol. The Vector SDP G2 is a semi-automatic pistol version of the popular Kriss Vector submachine gun. Featuring a 5.5-inch threaded barrel, and top and bottom Picatinny rails for mounting optics and accessories, this tactical firearm is ready to set up right out of the box. A QD sling swivel and low-profile flip-up sights round out the package.

One of the most notable features of the Vector is the Super V Recoil Mitigation System, which works well at maintaining reliability and diminishing any felt recoil of the 10mm round. And the best part? It takes Glock mags (full size G20/G40 15-round). 

Do you enjoy the 10mm Auto? What are your favorite 10mm handguns? Share your thoughts in the Comment section.

About the Author:

Alex Cole

Alex is a younger firearms enthusiast who’s been shooting since he was a kid. He loves consuming all information related to guns and is constantly trying to enhance his knowledge, understanding, and use of firearms. Not a day goes by where he doesn’t do something firearms-related and he tries to visit the range at least a couple of times a month to maintain and improve his shooting skills.

His primary focus is on handguns, but he loves all types of firearms. He enjoys disassembling and reassembling firearms to see how they work and installs most of the upgrades to his firearms himself, taking it as a chance to learn. He’s not only interested in modern handguns and rifles, he appreciates the classics for both historical value and real-world use.
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 (32)

  1. Nice article. Thanks for the roundup

    Two weapons I particularly enjoy:

    Springfield Armory (SI) XD-M Elite Compact (12 round) [match] 10mm, 3.8” barrel. (magwell flare removed/+1 mag mounted). A CCW heavy carry.

    RIA 1911A2 Ultra FS (16 round) 10mm (with 40 S&W barrel exchange). Dual caliber weapon makes variety possible. An open heavy carry.

  2. I have a collection of 10mm I shoot underwood full power rounds not the 10mm with 40 sw powder charge.
    My favorites are sti 10mm with 37 pound spring 15 pound hammer eea elite 10mm eaa hunter 10mm aut ordnance Tommy full size 10mm . Under wood has the true history of the rounds and power full power rounds the original colt deltas would actually get fractures in the frame from slide slap the right full power load is equal to a 44mag but accurate to 200 yards easily. I use the the solid brass rounds with fins cavity created cannot be matched I find 6 inch to 7 inch barrels give the best performance. A reminder the true 10mm round was so powerful agents fbi and secret service could not handle it and has 900 ft lbs of energy on impact there is one load that pushes 1000 I use in my sti but racking is 50 lbs to prevent frame slap. The author should have shot full power rounds what most see on the shelf is a 10mm cartridge with a 40 sw charge. In the above post from the alleged creator he would have known it had far more recoil than a 45 hence the need to design a frame to handle it.

    1. Hey Mashalpha,
      Those are some fine 10mm firearms! I noted 10mm having more recoil than .45 Auto, the FBI’s issue with 10mm leading to the .40, and the benefit to full power loads such as from Buffalo Bore. Not sure on your confusion. Thanks for reading.
      -Alex

  3. The 10mm is imo the best semi auto round. It can be loaded hot to take down bears and the lighter loads are great for target and training. I never understood why this round for years wasn’t more popular, it has such a wide range depending on what you want it for.
    I have a S&W M&P 10mm with an optic and it is small enough to conceal well iwb carry with the right holster and I shoot it very well with various loads. I’ve never had a failure to fire and it’s quality for the price is hard to beat.
    I have 6 10mm pistol and the M&P is my favorite out of the bunch.

  4. Excellent article. I have a SIG P220 Match Stainless Elite with 5 inch barrel. I would suggest that anyone thinking about buying a 10mm shoot one first. This is not for a novice or weak person.
    After squeezing off 100 rounds, your hand will feel it. My test would be to shoot a milk jug of water
    at about 20 feet and watch the power of the bullet. If you are a camper or hiker, this caliber is
    perfect for any animal you may encounter. Anyone who thinks this simply a short step up from a
    9 mm is wrong in their assumption. One of the Rifleman articles compared the 10 mm to the ballistic
    of a 41 magnum.

  5. It’s time that people realize how great that 10 is and stop pushing these 9 mm on is as an avid 10 mm owner I’ll just say I have been a fan for about 15 years now and it’s my edc I have the witness fn 510 s&w mp 10 2.0 and yes the hipoint Jxp sig xten and several 10 pcc I have used this round to drop white tails love the round and will stand firm on best PDR there is on market

  6. Glock G29 has been my EDC for over 10 years. I use G20 mags with extensions which provides a noticeable improvement in control as well as the extra 7 rounds over the factory 10 round mag… I carry in a shoulder rig, IWB and often use a Galco hi ride OWB when I’m riding my motorcycle… I don’t have any problem with concealment/printing and the gun has never failed to function as intended…

  7. Colt Double Eagle 10mm. I’ve been using it for CHL (Tx Concealed Handgun License) qualifying since it started. Accurate? Lowest counted score 249/250 w/ factory ammo. Great gun.

  8. Right around the end of last year I was one of the lucky ones to get in on one of Springfield range officer elite models in 1911 style 10mm. After I purchased the firearm it doubled in price because apparently Springfield didn’t manufacture that particular model anymore. So it went into my safe and I still have not fired it yet. As it is brand new in the box. It will stay right where it is at for the moment. All Utube videos say all positive reviews saw nothing but good reviews. So that makes me very happy also.

  9. I love my Dan Wesson RZ-10 Sportsman bought when 10mm was an oddball cartridge. Accurate. Powerful. Crisp 1911 trigger. Likes full-power loads for bullseye accuracy and reliable feed, so I re-load. No comparison with the .40 Short & Weak.

  10. I(‘ve had the S&W 610 5.2″. And my expeerience is it has better control and accuracy in the Auto Load Cartridge Platform. Unfortunately it was stolen. But, I’m Looking Forward to a FN 510 Tactical with 22 round capacity!!!

  11. I love my Witness 10mm had it for many years I love the pistol grip I have a big hand and it fits perfectly. This is my carry weapon and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I will never go back to 9mm

  12. Very impressive cartridge. As a reloader the 10mm is a lot of fun. Have several recipes. Including a 200 gr FMJ load that is pretty stout. Currently we have the XDm match, The XDm Elite, and just recently purchased the Sig Sauer P220 Legion.

  13. I think as the 10 mm and a great replacement for the .45 auto. I never owned a .45 auto.
    I always loved the Colt .38 Super + P. When Colt stopped making the Commander in .38 Super, I
    got a long slide Rockisland .10 mm auto. It needed some smoothing out. I weas surprised it was shooting high at 50 yd. I looked up the ballistics and found that that the 180 gr round zeros at 200 yds. Happy with the extra power.

  14. I have a Glock 20. I added night sights and added a lighter trigger connector from the Glock Store. Used Flitz to polish all trigger system touch points. Outstanding firearm now. Years ago when I had an FFL license I purchased a 1911 AMT (first all stainless 7” slide) Javalina in 10 mm. Very low cost at dealer cost. Did some polishing internally on trigger/hammer assembly, installed match barrel bushing, retimed, opened ejection, changed a few springs. Later had it Mag Na ported for affect. This pistol has shot so many pigs 250lbs and up I’ve lost count. Couple deer out to 40yards. Seems way better than 44 mag on them all. Now I know that primarily it’s shooter ability and shot placement but right caliber in right hands is a wonderful thing. I’ve seen many deer and pigs shot 5 or 6 times with 44 mag and still be running around dead on their feet. Dead and didn’t know it yet. After shooting my first pig with 10mm seeing it slide to a stop like tossing a sack of flower down, I’d found the right caliber. All the remains hunts showed the same results. I was so happy with 10mm I ordered a complete 5 inch slide assembly from AMT. Fit it to the slide, polished a little, opened ejection port and added a
    Match bushing. So I can go back and forth on the same frame. Too bad AMT went out of business. It was the right price for anyone willing to put a little elbow grease and change a few parts (not for the inexperienced) gives you a gun I wouldn’t trade for anything. Nest purchase compact 10mm Glock.

    With the choices of reloading component 40cal bullets and new powders out there you can really dial in better accuracy than the factory rounds availability.

  15. Personally I enjoyed your article, however I have a Super Jaeger by Kimber
    Kinda big for carry but ported barrel and slide silky smooth slide and 9 rounds with a Wilson Combat magazineDeltaPoint optic I mean it’s not cheap but for a production gun it’s smooth I love it
    Just my 2 cents, thanks

  16. I owned a Colt Delta Elite biggest regret sold it needed the money you forgot Ruger also makes a 1911 and a revolver the delta love the 180 with blue dot behind it

  17. Hello Children, pray all well 🙏, if your not listing a 10mm Delta Elite it can only mean one thing? As a child you require a double action lots of bullets and 1 bad guy who is blind in one eye! Thank you

    Guy Jr

  18. Hello Children, pray all well 🙏, if your not listing a 10mm Delta Elite it can only mean one thing? As a child you require a double action lots of bullets and 1 bad guy who is blind in one eye! Thank you

    Guy Jr

  19. I bought a Parker Arms 10mm a long time ago. It fits my needs and I love the different grip and the slide safety as opposed to a 1911 style. I will always be able to get magazines because they are designed for 1911 style.
    They must be keepers since I never see one at the gun shows.

  20. My Glock 20 is my go to gun for bug out situations. I have a Springfield Armory V10 and a Colt Delta Elite 10mm.
    The Delta Elite is the most accurate of all.
    All great weapons.

  21. Currently carry the Glock 20 for a woods gun. Using a chest holster. This is the perfect gun for potential big game hunting or predator protection. Due to the weight and size with a full mag I definitely recommend a chest holster.

  22. As the actual designer of the 10mm Auto round, it is nice to see some recognition of such a great round. Yes, I’m the actual ddesigner of the 10mm Auto round – not Jeff Cooper, who was only the “conceptional designer” where he wrote about it for years in Guns & Ammo magazine (et. al.). Tom Dornaus (a gifted machinist, and my good friend since 1965) and I had contacted Jeff and told him that we believed we could make the pistol that Jeff called the “heir apparent” to his beloved Colt 1911 .45 ACP pistol – and design the new round it would shoot. Jeff agreed to endorse the new pistol and round but insisted to be known as their designer. Great shot that he was (I personally shot with Jeff many times), Jeff wasn’t a designer and knew surprisingly little about design ballistics. So, I worked out all of the ballistics and Tom and I made-up some rounds and tested them with the help of Mike Bussard at Sierra Buttets in Santa Fe Springs. Then contacted Bert Johnnson (who I knew) at Norma Ammunition in Sweden and contracted with them to make the 10mm rounds – first a 200 grain JTC round that had a muzzle velocity of 1,200 FPS., and later a 170 grain Hollow Point at a blistering 1,400 FPS. After raising the capital, we went on to produce the Bren Ten 10mm Auto pistol, which because of the pistol’s design didn’t have any more felt recoil than shooting a full-size Colt 1911 .45 ACP. Even the smaller Special Forces model (my personal favorite) didn’t recoil any more than the Colt 1911. At our height, Dornaus & Dixon Enterprises Inc., with 65 great employees, produced over 1,000 Bren Tens starting in 1980, but due to under capitalization had to close our doors in 1982. It is nice to see such a great round – the 10mm Auto – continue on.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.