Best 10mm Pistol For Concealed Carry in 2023
10mm handguns are coming back with a bang and that means a fresh wave of compact 10mm carry pistols.
It was the round the FBI turned to after losing faith in 9mm. Then it faded into obscurity before coming back as a handgun hunting round.
Suddenly long slide Glock 40s, Springfield TRP and Kimber Custom Shop guns were lining up alongside the Smith & Wesson revolver brigade.
That brought 10mm back into the public consciousness. Well that and it’s increasing use as a bear defense round. Honestly you don’t get much higher endorsements than that. Of late, 10mm high capacity handguns have begun to displace the big revolver that Alaskans used to carry with them at all times.
Bears are serious. They are dangerous, and a mag dump on a polymer frame Glock 20 10mm or Glock 40, can fell a grizzly, or at least make them think more than twice. That is kind of awesome.
10mm Concealed Carry the New Competitive Advantage
With gun laws focusing on capacity, rather than caliber, and human nature being what it is, more and more of us are looking to reclaim that competitive advantage.
That used to be capacity, with 9mm subcompact handguns packing in more than 15 rounds. But take that right away with magazine limits and you’ll start seeing much more people skip right past the 45 ACP cartridge and start carrying 10mm guns as an EDC.
The unintended consequences of Leftist policies…
Now there aren’t that many subcompact 10mm concealed carry handguns, or compact ones for that matter. But there are enough, and we expect to see more in the year ahead. The 10mm carry pistol class is a growth sector, with two major new additions and more on the way.
So what are the best sub-compact 10mm guns and compact 10mm concealed carry handguns for sale?
The Best 10mm Carry Pistols of 2023
1. Glock 29 10mm SF
- Price: $549.99
- Caliber: 10mm Auto
- Barrel Length: 3.78 inch
- Total Length: 6.97 inch
- Weight: 1.55lb
- Capacity: 10+1
You really have to be a contrarian to go against Glock in the 10mm concealed carry class. The competition is heating up, but Glock is still king.
The Glock 29 SF is the classic compact Glock 10mm pistol, a little smaller than a Glock 19, and it packs in 10+1 rounds of devastating 10mm ammunition.
It is also a Glock, so it should fire every single time you hit the bang switch, it shouldn’t fail and it’s basically the best shot you have got at a firearm that functions exactly as nature intended when you really need it.
This is a Glock Gen 4, so the old complaints are present and correct. The trigger is slightly mushy, the finger grooves are kind of annoying and there’s definitely room for some aftermarket Glock parts & accessories.
Reliable, Accurate, Repeatable and Predictable
And yet the polymer frame pistol still wins this one, because of those traditional Glock strengths of reliability, accuracy, repeatability, predictability
That has led to some people losing their freaking minds and a quick Google trawl reveals numerous sites asking if the Glock 29 is the best handgun for sale in 2022, in any caliber. I mean it’s pretty cool. It really is. Maybe…
In reality it’s a grey striker-fired plastic pistol that happens to pump out around 650lb/ft of muzzle energy. It isn’t exciting to look at, but the Glock 29 is brutally effective at self-defense distances.
Sometimes that’s really all you want in life.
Recoil is Serious With a 10mm
The 10mm Glock kicks like a mule. This doesn’t feel like a butter-smooth Glock 19 9mm pistol. At all. Get used to savage CCW recoil with 10mm carry pistols, or go full John Wick and fit a handgun compensator.
The semi-auto Glock 29 was never going to be a soft shooter. This is bear defense in a Glock 19 footprint. Considering the total perversion of science going on here, a savage kick is a small price to pay for the stopping power. This is the best gun in the sector and does everything right.
Other people think the recoil is too much. But hey, not everybody is tough like me and you…
2. Springfield Armory XDM Elite Compact OSP 10mm
- Price: $617.99
- Caliber: 10mm Auto
- Barrel: 3.8 inch
- Total: 7.7 inch
- Weight: 2lb
- Capacity: 11+1
This new addition to the 10mm guns ranks has marked itself apart in an increasingly hot division.
The Springfield Armory XDM Elite Compact OSP might be the best 10mm pistols you can carry and only reports of trigger issues and lock-ups are keeping it off the top spot. These are early teething problems, they will get fixed and this could be number one soon enough.
There are good, good things here and this Compact OSP is very close to being the best 10mm pistol. Technically it’s just plain better in your hand. Glock wins the concealment war, but even that is close.
Springfield Armory always features highly on our
Red dot sights are an increasingly common sight on CCW pistols. And the company has embraced them, making everything from the Springfield Hellcat through to the full size XDM Elite and Compact OSP optics ready that could be the best handgun for home defense.
Have a look at this hands on review of one of the best 10mm carry pistols.
Twin Safeties Are a USP
All the twin safeties, slide work, fiber optic night sights and hardcore stippling could all be the result of an expensive custom shop session or seven. And those are just the things you can see.
Under the skin there is a match-grade barrel, hammer forged of course. The ramp gets a full match spec rework too. The trigger is an upgrade, with minimal reset, and this is a competition spec gun you can also put in your concealed carry holster. That’s pretty cool.
The twin safeties, though, the grip safety and the trigger blade safety that work in combination to eliminate accidental discharges, are the big selling point. Well, and the capacity, and the accuracy. Yeah, there’s actually a lot to like here.
If you want an Energizer bunny of a compact 10mm handgun, and you don’t want a Glock, this is probably your new 10mm carry pistol. And it might just be better than that Glock after all.
3. Glock 20
- Price: $602.99
- Caliber: 10mm Auto
- Barrel length: 4.61″
- Total Length: 8.03”
- Weight: 1.73lb
- Capacity: 15+1
If the Glock 29 wasn’t a more convincing concealed carry pistol, the Glock 20 10mm compact handgun would probably be your overall winner.
As it is, this is a seriously convincing 10mm handgun for personal defense and home defense. Don’t be fooled by its relatively lowly position. It’s just the size and that kinda basic front sight, and non adjustable rear sight while we’re here…
Still, the Glock G20 is a favorite bear defense gun and are pretty much the best 10mm pistols for anyone looking for a defensive pistol in bear and wolf country, or even a hunting handgun. The fact it’s also compact enough to serve as a 10mm carry pistol is pretty damned impressive.
Glock Dependability, Durability and Reliability
The double stack magazine capacity is massive, the Glock goes bang every time, statistically speaking, and there just aren’t any surprise problems with a Glock. That’s the point.
A 10mm defensive handgun needs to be reliable, accurate and simple. Those are good qualities for a CCW handgun in any caliber. So the striker fired Glock G20 is possibly the first 10mm handgun you should buy if you want an all-rounder and don’t quite need the ease of concealment that goes with the Glock 29.
You can even go medium or even big game hunting with this thing, depending on your definitions of medium and big game hunting. This is one very positive hands-on review…
4. Smith & Wesson M&P Compact Optics Ready
- Price: $612.99
- Barrel: 4 inch
- Weight: 1.7lb
- Capacity: 15+1
Smith & Wesson was late to the best 10mm pistol party. But it’s here now and some people will be saying a silent prayer of thanks to see the M&P Compact here.
If you want the slightly longer barrel to deal with the brutal muzzle flip, you’re just no a Glock fanboy or you have some kind of affinity with the pistol from your 9mm days, this is a great gun.
There’s a proper manual safety, a detailed slide and a grip module that plenty of people will tell you is the best here. It’s optics ready, too, just unscrew the plate and pop your reflex sight on there.
The second safety on the trigger is a nice touch, too. We don’t like the stock sights, but that’s an easy fix with the optics ready set-up.
Now this is one of the top 10mm carry pistols in 2023.
5. Rock Island Armory Ultra FS HC
- Price: $694.99
- Caliber: 10mm Auto
- Barrel length: 5 inch
- Total Length: 7.3
- Weight: 2.9lb
- Capacity: 16+1
Now we know that, normally, a 2.9lb full size 1911 doesn’t qualify as a carry pistol. And yet, and yet…
The Rock Island Armory is a double stack magazine with 16 rounds in it. 16 rounds of 10mm auto, plus one, and that is ridiculous for a traditional John Moses Browning design full size 1911.
Just for the sheer audacity of it, we love the Rock Island Armory Ultra FS HC. For a home defense, car defense, self defense weapon. Whatever you want really. These are the kind of gun deals that made us start a website.
Also, that weight suddenly makes sense with this round, as it helps with recoil reduction. And that 5 inch government size barrel makes more sense when it helps control this feisty handgun ammo.
The Rock Island Ultra comes with the G10 grips and the flashy finishing touches that go with the Ultra line. You get that traditional beavertail grip safety, a fiber optic front sight and a pretty decent parkerized finish.
You also get a 17-round full size 1911 chambered in 10mm. And that will always be amazing. The Rock Ultra is a home defense rock star and it’s so good you might just want to find a way to carry it.
6. Ruger GP100 Wiley Clapp
- Price: $924.99
- Caliber: 10mm Auto
- Barrel: 3 inch
- Length: 8.5 inch
- Caliber: 6
Some people prefer to carry a revolver. For them the stainless steel 10mm Ruger GP100 Wiley Clapp is the perfect answer.
The Ruger GP100 comes in some unusual calibers, including 9mm. The 10mm is an ideal target shooting gun for the range with a longer barrel. With the 3 inch barrel it might be kind of snappy. But it’s still a great 10mm Auto pistol that you could use for home defense, as well as personal protection.
Ready For Something a Bit Bigger?
A sub compact 10mm. It’s a great thing for concealment, but it kicks like a mule. 10mm recoil and muzzle rise are no joke and along with cost explain why it hasn’t taken over from 9mm as a personal defence round. 9mm Luger still rules the roost for many reasons, but felt recoil is one of them for sure.
But let’s say you’re set on 10mm. A full sized gun is more of a PITA to transport daily, but there’s no doubt it helps to contain that savage kick. That’s just science.
Now the Rock Island Armory is so unique it’s staying up with the small guns, but there are options that just blur the lines between a carry and duty pistol. Because most of them did both jobs for LEOs and government agencies.
7. Colt Delta Elite
- Price: $1,524.99
- Barrel: 5″
- Total Length: 8.5″
- Weight: 2.19lb
- Capacity: 8+1 rounds
The Delta Elite is quite simply, an icon. When the FBI found serious faults with the 9mm Luger of the time, it commissioned a 10mm duty pistol for field agents that packed a bigger punch. The Colt Delta Elite 10mm was that firearm.
The FBI fell out of love with the caliber and the Delta Elite over time and returned to the much-improved 9mm handguns. but that still leaves this great pistol that is revered for good reason.
See what Hikcock has to say about the Delta Elite. You know you can always trust Hickock…
A High Quality 1911 10mm Pistol
Now the full sized Colt Delta Elite 10mm pistol is for the likes of you and me. It’s a high quality, top tier handgun and you will love this beefed up, enhanced 1911 from the Novak rear sight through to that drilled and lightened trigger.
You can get a Colt Delta Elite Rail Gun, too, with a Picatinny rail slung underneath for lights and lasers. That is a very cool gun indeed. But you won’t go wrong with the 1911 10mm pistol Colt Delta Elite, especially if you find decent gun deals and buy a gun online.
8. Sig Sauer P220 Legion
- Price: $1,632.99
- Barrel: 5 inch barrel
- Overall Length: 8.8
- Weight: 2.75lb
- Capacity: 8+1
The Sig Sauer P220 Legion is a slightly bigger version of the 45 ACP Caliber you all know and love, as do Law Enforcement Officers. It’s a refinement of the Browning BDA pistol and one of the greatest 10mm pistols on the market.
Now the 5 inch barrel and additional weight of the cerakote clad stainless steel slide mean the Sig Sauer P220 isn’t a small gun by any stretch and it really is a full sized alternative to the single stack Delta Elite and Rock Ultra. But what an alternative.
If full sized longer barrels aren’t an issue and you like the longer sight picture for target acquisition, the best gun really might be the semi-automatic pistol right down the bottom of the list. We like the Sig P220 a lot.
Where to Buy 10mm Ammunition
10mm loads are fairly popular handgun ammo, but not absolutely mainstream. So you might benefit from a few top picks on where to get your 10mm ammo and gun deals. Most places that sell the ammo will sell the 10mm pistol, too. That’s logic.
Palmetto State Armory is one of our favorite suppliers of guns and ammo at the moment and so it is with the 10mm pistol. We have a couple of other good options, too, but check out Palmetto State Armory first for your 170 grain projectiles and bigger full power 10mm loads like Buffalo Bore, and Sportsman’s Warehouse.
- Palmetto State Armory – Buy the best shooting 10mm ammo in bulk and get more stopping power.
- Sportsman’s Guide – Ammo for your 10mm pistols and gun deals.
- Sportsman’s Warehouse – Great ammo deals at Sportsman’s Warehouse for the best shooting 10mm loads.
What About Parts & Accessories
If you want parts & accessories, gun cleaning stuff, ear protection and more, we can help you with that. You want iron sights for an AR-15 or iron sights for your 308 rifle? Yes.
Brownells and Primary Arms are two of our favorite parts suppliers. Primary Arms in particular is very good for upgrades and custom upgrades. Sportsman’s Guide is our current favorite for gun cleaning shiz, cleaning products or services etc and the best shooting accessories out there.
Other Guns You Might Like
We have a lot of other posts with lots of other gun deals you might like, rifles, shotguns, best handguns, pistols, revolvers etc. Check out these post for pistols, revolvers and more:
- The best 9mm pistols, subcompact for CCW
- Micro Compacts: The best 9mm pistols, micro-compact, get gun deals on the Sig P365 etc.
- The best large 10mm. The Delta Elite through to the Springfield TRP and optics ready Glock 40 MOS.
I am fortunate to have all the guns featured in this article except for the Wiley Clapp revolver., I have shot them all extensively. My favorite is the steel EAA Witness Compact, as I have modified it. I tend to gild the lily and frequently modify all my guns. For example, all my Glocks have aftermarket triggers, sights, recoil springs on the more powerful, magazine springs, sometimes firing pins, and so forth.
In the case of my Witness Compact, I had the front sight machined into the slide milled off and replaced with a slot fit to accept my favorite aftermarket sights, replaced the guide rod with a cone-shaped rod, replaced the recoil spring with one two pounds heavier and put new springs throughout the gun. I also added aftermarket grips from Copper Grip. The double-action trigger pull is now just a shade over 6 pounds on my Lyman gauge. I like to carry hammer down on a live round with the manual safety on. With the greatly reduced double-action pull, it works for me.
The gun shoots beautifully and is wonderfully accurate in my hands. It shades the Glocks I own but not by much.
Estoy interesado en una pistola.
For the record, excessive gun control measures are not “leftist” policy. Being a communist, socialist, or social democrat does not preclude one from being a staunch supporter of gun rights. That is a false dichotomy, and it is high time we abandon it.
Yep, leftists love guns. The term you’re looking for is liberal. Liberals want to put restrictions on and/or ban guns. That is one thing leftists and rightists have in common. We all hate liberals. Oh and one other thing, we both love guns.