First Look: Which 10mm Long Slide Pistol is Right for You?
The past few years have been great for 10mm pistol enthusiasts as factory offerings from Sig, Glock, and Springfield Armory seem to have breathed new life into a cartridge once thought nearing extinction. Sure, Glock kept rolling on down the road with the G20 and G29, and you could find an old Delta Elite or have a custom 1911 built, or maybe you’re still on the waiting list for a VLTOR Bren Ten. One must admit, though, that there wasn’t much going on in the 10mm world for quite some time.
Things have changed.
We now have some truly competitive offerings from multiple manufacturers. I’m partial to Glocks, but I won’t say the G20 and G29 are right for everyone. In fact, I hadn’t deemed them right for me – I’ve never bought either pistol. My previous 10mm itches were scratched by a Delta Elite which I sold too cheap and a Kimber 10mm that left me with regret and sadness.
Recently, though, all this talk of new 10mm pistols had me want to jump back into the deep end of the pistol pool. After hemming and hawing over which Glock to buy, I picked up a G40, and was also sent a Springfield TRP 10mm 6” and a Springfield XDM 10mm 5.25.
With three certified long slide 10mm pistols on hand and a case of 10mm under my arm, I hit the range. Now, anyone who knows 10mm will tell you there’s 10mm ammo and there’s TEN MILLIMETER AMMUNITION. The stuff I brought, S&B 180gr JHP at an advertised velocity of 1165 fps, falls somewhere in the middle. That velocity is not the .40 S&W-equivalent Federal Hydra-Shok 180gr load at 1030fps, but it’s also certainly not among the hottest 10mm loads on the market, which seem to fly at around 1300fps for a 180gr projectile.
Out of every pistol, this load felt rather soft shooting. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this at first other than to shrug it off as expectedly low recoil from three rather large and heavy guns. However, some basic Internet research tells me that the S&B 10mm might not be meeting advertised velocities, so I’m going to check that one out for myself on my next range trip.
One thing I have no reservations about is the accuracy and precision delivered by this ammunition. All shooting with 10mm on this first trip was done at 50 yards on a steel IPSC silhouette. Many pinging noises resulted.
I like to write Slickguns Reviews by finding something positive and something negative about whatever it is I’m looking at, so here’s one thing I liked about each gun:
- The TRP exhibited all the quality in manufacture and assembly that I’ve come to expect from Springfield TRP pistols. Yes, you could buy both the G40 MOS and the XDM-10 5.25 and have money left over for the cost of the TRP 10mm 6”, but neither of those guns makes the impression this one does.
- The Springfield XDM had, far and away, the best sights. I’m a sucker for fiber optic sights on pistols, but a bright sunny day at the range with a fiber optic sight equipped pistol would make a believer out of anybody.
- The G40 seemed to have the lowest recoil to me, though this is of course a subjective measurement. I had the easiest time following up to a shot and making another hit with the G40, despite it being equipped with what were probably the worst sights of the bunch.
However, I don’t write “everyone gets a gold star for trying” types of articles, so that brings me to the “one thing I don’t like about each pistol” part.
- The G40 MOS has terrible sights. Yes, I know it’s a MOS pistol and I’m going to put a red dot on it anyway and so is probably everyone else. You’d think, though, they could try a little harder or possibly have slightly nicer sights as an option. I’m especially not fond of the rear sight hanging over the back of the slide. However, as stated immediately prior, it was very easy to make hits with the G40. This could be that I’m used to Glock pistols, but I also handed the gun over to my mom and she was able to hit the target well over half the time at the same distance.
- The Springfield TRP has dumb sights. Everything else about this pistol makes it perfect for a lot of uses, and then they stick us with three-dot adjustable sights without any outlines around the tritium inserts. It’s like they didn’t know if they wanted this to be a bullseye gun or a tactical pistol, so they gave it sights that aren’t good for either purpose.
- I wasn’t able to translate the XDM’s great sights, good trigger, and pretty nice grip into as many hits as I thought. I was still hitting most of the time at 50 yards, but I had more misses with this pistol than with the G40 and TRP combined. It might be that I need to adjust to the gun a little, though I still came away with the impression that it was a bit snappier than either of its competitors. Time will tell.
I’m looking forward to putting more rounds downrange with each pistol. I think the biggest impact in the market will come from the XDM, as it has the greatest potential to bring 10mm to the masses and might lead to more investment in the cartridge from other manufacturers. I’m satisfied with my purchase of the G40, though I can’t promise I won’t be looking under couch cushions for spare change to buy one (or both) of the others. As for the TRP, I’m liking it despite its odd proportions, and I’m glad to see a mainstream, high quality, yet still plausibly affordable 1911 chambered in 10mm.
As always, thanks for reading, and check back soon for more content.
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