You’re probably here to know about why the 10 mm is the best handgun cartridge out there and that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about. Not only is the 10mm ideal for hunting purposes out in the countryside, it is quite possibly the best and most versatile gun you can have to protect you from human predators as well.
So, let’s get straight into it then. The 10mm, or as the Alaskan Bear Guides call it “big 10”, is reputed for its stopping power in the world of hunting. Having a larger ammo capacity is an added benefit which allows for faster reloads and many more follow up shots. Even though the 10mm isn’t the easiest gun to shoot accurately, it’s still fairly easy to use and the added ammo makes everything much better.
Hunting with a 10mm is a great idea, especially if you have one of the 1911s with a fairly high degree of accuracy and a not-so-hard recoil. Just make sure you keep them clean otherwise they can tend to be unreliable and jam up easily. However, they are heavier than your average pistol so a chest holster would do you good if you plan on going out into the wilderness with these. The ammo capacity is also less in these guys as compared to something like a double-stack, striker-fired pistol or even a polymer-framed pistol, so do keep that in mind.
So without any further ado, let’s dig into why the following eight, 10mm firearms are the best ones you can get if you’re in the market looking for a pistol for hunting or self-defense.
First up, we have the Glock 20, 29 and 40. Glock is the only one of two manufacturers currently producing double-stack 10mm pistols and thus, these are perfect for someone looking for a high-capacity magazine. You don’t wanna be busy reloading your gun when a grizzly is charging at you, now would you?
The Glock 20 and Glock 40 are essentially made of the same frame and have a magazine capacity of 15+1. However, the Glock 20 has a 4.6-inch barrel while the Glock 40 features a full 6 inch one. The 40 comes with a MOS cut so you can easily mount your red-dot sight on top, which I believe is super important since it allows you to easily engage with targets further away. Beware though, the Glock 40 is quite long and is challenging to carry for someone less experienced.
The Glock 29 on the other hand is a subcompact firearm and comes with a flush-fitting magazine that holds 10 rounds, although the 15 round magazine from the 20 and 40 is compatible with it too. Due to its shorter grip, it is not a good idea to use it in colder environments since executing a rapid draw and firing a shot with the gloves on can prove to be extremely painstaking. Nevertheless, what we recommend is the 4th generation Glock 29 which boasts a shorter length of pull and a softer recoil, making it the most suitable for people with large hands.
Next, we have the Springfield Armory, XDM 10 which is Springfield’s latest entrant into the market of polymer-framed striker pistols. They come in 2 variants, a standard one with the 4.5-inch barrel and a longer one with a 5.25-inch barrel. Not only does the 5.28-inch barrel offer more bullet velocity, but it also comes with an ambidextrous magazine release and three mechanical safeties which means it’ll fit a vast majority of shooters easily. Both versions have a 15-round magazine and the OSP pairs up nicely with a red dot due to the suppressor height sights. With extreme accuracy and a mild recoil, the XDM 10 is basically just perfect for hunting, defense and practical target shooting.
Originally developed for the Swiss Army in 1975 and chambered in 9mm, several years ago the P220 started being offered with a 5-inch barrel and chambering in 10mm. Made with stainless steel, the gun can be hefty for some but the added weight helps tame the recoil easily. At the moment, it comes in two configurations: as a double-action/single-action or with a sweet single-action trigger. A search in the aftermarket might get you some P220 Hunters with heavily textured G10 grips and slides with very functional sights. Nevertheless, the 10mm P220 is a treat for shooters.
Running short on cash? The 10mm Ruger SR1911 is light on your pocket, making it an affordable hunt/defense hybrid. Manufactured with stainless-steel, the SR1911 Target model comes with fully-adjustable rear sight and a dove-tailed front sight. A titanium pin firing pin has been added for longevity and a lowered, flared ejection port coupled with a 5-inch barrel guarantees increased reliability. The oversized magazine release, a black rubber grip panel and an extended beavertail grip safety all come together to make its operation manageable in slippery conditions or even with the gloves on.
A list of the best 10mm’s can’t be complete with a Colt 1911 now, can it? Being the first company to chamber a 1911 in a 10mm back in 1987, Colt’s Delta Elite Rail Gun is a masterpiece. Boasting an integrated rail stainless-steel frame with a classic 5-inch barrel makes the Elite gun the perfect firearm to use for hunting or as a camp defender. The extended thumb, beavertail grip safety and Novak white-dot sights add up to make this one of the very best and our personal favorite
If you’ve got a few extra hundred bucks to spare, we recommend going for the Les Baer Premier II Hunter. A 6-inch, match-grade barrel coupled with a tuned LBC Speed trigger ensures optimal accuracy during usage. The checked front strap and mainspring housing provide an excellent grip. It even has a low-mount, full adjustable rear sight making aiming an easy task. However, like most high-quality pistols, it is quite heavy and weighs in at 44. Oz when unloaded. Despite the heftiness, it makes for an excellent sidearm whether you’re just heading out to the countryside for a hunt or you want something for your own personal defense.
We could call this next gun the “do-it-all” handgun on our list and it is the Remington R1 Hunter. Showcasing a 6-inch barrel, an integral accessory tail, G10 grips and an all-black PVD finish, this 10mm pistol can definitely “do-it-all”. Whether you’re hunting for black bear or whitetails, the R1 can get everything done. Although the fiber-optic sight is something that we’re not fond of personally, the black adjustable rear sight and red optic-fiber front really gets our attention. Add a weapon-light like the Surefire X300 Ultra and you’ve got yourself a weapon that is a piece of art.
8. Kimber Super Jagare
Last on our list but definitely not last in our hearts, it’s the Kimber Super Jagere. Thanks to the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro, a red-dot sight milled into the slide, the Jagere effectively blurs the lines between hunting and backcountry defense. Even though the magazine only consists of 8 rounds, each and every single one of those rounds is carefully optimized to get you optimal results. The six ports in front of the ejection port effectively decrease muzzle rise upon shooting and thus make tracking the red-dot easier, which allows for better follow up shots.
The 6-inch long barrel, porting and a frame made from stainless-steel make the Jagere quite hefty, so you better get a chest holster too. Only thing we think is missing is a railed dust cover. If that was somehow added, the Jagere would’ve been our personal favorite.
Now that we’re done with the guns, I hope you guys will now have a better idea of what goes into the making of each gun and what the characteristics are overall. And in turn, I hope this helps you out in choosing a sidearm which is suited to your needs. However, we do have certain further recommendations in terms of the ammo to be used and why a red-dot sight is absolutely essential for your 10mm handgun.
I am a huge supporter of red-dot sights myself because I believe they can help all shooters, whether you’re a beginner or a pro, shoot significantly more accurately. Especially considering moving targets, which are very hard to aim and hit otherwise. With a red-dot sight, you just make sure the red-dot is on your target and baam.
It basically just takes sight alignment completely out of the equation, making the art of shooting a whole lot simpler. I think the biggest advantage a red-dot sight has over an iron sight is the frame in which shooting is being carried out, you know what I mean? Imagine looking through an iron sight and you have this huge view in front of you in which you have to aim successfully. On the other hand, a red-dot sight provides a singular red dot point, which can easily be aimed at the target and thus, the target shot.
However, we’re not gonna neglect the importance of an iron sight either. It’s still pretty important since they act as a back-up sight, should your electronic red-dot sight fail. They even act as training wheels for beginners just starting to shoot by offering a familiar sight picture. These are just a few of the advantages of a red-dot sight and I think they should be enough to convince you to get one for your sidearm too!
As far as the 10mm ammo is concerned, from what I have seen, there have usually been 2 extremes: lightly loaded personal defense rounds or smoking hot loads that feel like they’re going to melt your slide. But recently Federal Premium has started making 180-grain, Trophy Bonded JHP Rounds which expand yet still hold together. This offers deep penetration on the toughest of targets and so, is currently one of our favorite choices for Ammo.