Consensus on the "most stout" 10mm handgun

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Dec 24, 2002
Is there a 10mm handgun that's generally understood to be most suited for sustained full-power 10mm usage?

I would love to have a 10mm, but I certainly don't like the idea of a handgun that "lunches" on itself due to heavy recoil. When I do buy a 10mm, I would want to use only those loads that exploit the cartridge's full potential such as those from Buffalo Bore and Double Tap; if I want to shoot something tame in the .40/10mm caliber, I already have handguns chambered in .40S&W (and yes, Pete's sake, I know these are to completely different cartridges). I simply would love to have a 10mm that could yield 600+ FPE at the muzzle without any issues.

I see there's a general inclination towards the 4006 and G20 when people discuss stout handguns in 10mm; would it be accurate to say these two are the best? What about the Witness by EAA or the Delta Elite? Do any stand out for being more/least reliable?
I'm a huge 10mm fan and have been waiting for a good revo chambered for it for some time. The earlier delta elites didn't have the proper recoil spring, so they tore themselves to pieces. I understand that this was eventually taken care of. When I've inquired about the best currently available 10mm, the glock is mentioned most. I read an article in a gun mag where the author praised it up and down, but it was a gun mag...
Personally, I'm strongly considering getting a Kimber in 10mm.
Smith and Wesson model 610, but it's a revolver.

Other than that, a Smith and Wesson auto in 10mm, a G20 or 29, or a Dan Wesson Razorback seem to be the strongest on the market.
I own S&W Model 1006s and Colt DEs. I shoot both, a fair amount. I have examined and fired a Bren Ten and a Glock G20. IMHO the S&W Model 1006 (or its shorter barreled variants) is the Industrial Strength model 10 mm pistol. It was designed for (not "adapted for") the original Norma 10 mm round. The Bren Ten was also specifically designed for the round, but they're really collector's items, not shooters. There are lots of 1006s around and still at reasonable prices. The Colt DEs are moving towards collector status and are becoming pricey. I've never fired a Dan Wesson, so I can't offer any relevant personal experience there. The Witnesses seem to have some reliability problems (that's hearsay too), not damage, just stoppages when shooting.
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I've never owned one, but they say that the discontinued Star Megastar was a winner in 10mm. I'd want to check further if I bought one, but I know that spare mags are pretty scarce and expensive. Parts might also be a problem.

I can endorse both the S&W 1006 and Colt Delta Elite because I have owned those.
I concur....... the S&W 1006 are built like tanks. Its brother the S&W 4506 in 45 Acp has an identical frame - just a different caliber.

These are 2 pistols that S&W got right !! Anytime you are involved in larger calibers, you want a company that will back their products if things start to loosen up..........there is none better than S&W.

Also the S&W model 610 [ out of production ] is a fantastic 10mm / .40 S&W revolver. I own 2 of them. They have some of the best trigger pulls - right from the box - that I have come across - don't know why that is ???

I haven't gotten a chance to play with an S&W 10xx pistol, so I can't speak for them.

If I was going to shoot a bunch of heavy loads, I would pick a G20 with an aftermarket barrel, and a slightly heavier recoil spring. It is a big beefy pistol originally designed for 10mm. The slide has more mass and strength than the G21 .45.

That being said, neither DoubleTap nor Buffalo Bore rounds qualify as even +P, so don't worry about it too much. They meet SAAMI specs for 10mm so any halfway decent gun should run them without any worries.

If you are planning on loading your own rounds even hotter than the offerings provided by these companies, you need to start taking a lot of precautions IMO.
The Witnesses seem to have some reliability problems (that's hearsay too), not damage, just stoppages when shooting.

Yup, the Witness mags are spotty, if you get good ones, great... but if not, good luck! The Witness 10mm also are generally thought to be under sprung, but this is easy to fix.

Strongest handgun is very likely to be a Thompson-Center Contender.:neener:

For semi-autos, I would think S&W 1000 series autos. Probably followed by Glock 20. Then 1911 pattern pistols. Somewhere in the middle (more towards the stronger end, I would think) would most likely be Witness 10mm.
I say the Glock 20.
The grip panels won't break on the Model 20.

Shot one about three weeks ago, the recoil was more comfortable than any 10mm I have yet fired too.
Glock 20 is built for all but the nuclear loads. Can add a more stout recoil spring and shoot whatever you want.
I had a G20 and loved it. Could put 10 rounds into a playing card at 20 yards. Easy to control (at least I thought so, but I'm a .45ACP kinda guy so I thought the recoil was comparable).

I don't know how stout the G20 is, but you could shoot it all day with DoubleTap loads and never get tired of it.
G20 it is then. I like the capacity and have a little experience with the G21, so there should be little in the way of transition.

Thanks to everyone who put in their .02 cents.
Any gun chambered for 10mm should be able to handle the so-called nuclear loads. They are within SAAMI specs. It would be interesting to see a 10mm+P load. It would be something akin to a 41 automagnum.
The LAR Grizzly MK1 in 10mm is, I feel, the most stout. The megastar and the 10xx series of S&W's close behind. There are really very few 10mm I would not fire full power rounds thru. The Brens because of value and some guns with problems, and perhaps the Parkers. The derringers would hurt to much.
I have two Witness 10mm full size pistols, a standard and an Elite Match. I regularly fire 200gr jacketed bullets at over 1200 fps which is over 700 ft pounds of muzzle energy. I run eighteen pound springs and after many months of heavy use there is no sign of battering whatsoever. They are both tack drivers and I have an extra 40 S&W barrel for the Elite Match that works in both guns perfectly. I have thrown away one magazine out of six that I have and that was the end of my failures to feed problems. No other problems of any kind and contrary to popular belief, service from EAA when I ordered the extra barrel was excellent, they asked for the serial number of the gun and I had the barrel in three days from Florida to Oregon. As to the smith 10xx series guns before you buy one look at the ejector and think about it. I had one and never fired more than two hundred rounds without breaking one. Glocks are another story, if you like that kind of thing, go for it. I would never use a polymer framed pistol for heavy duty 10mm loads with the possible exception of an SA XD if they would only make one. Study the locking block on a Glock and the rails the slide rides on and then look at an XD.
My vote is on the S&W 10XX series , not just because I got 1 for each hand . When you pick one up you can just feel how solidly built a pistol it is . I hear the EAA Witness metal frame ones are good but have heard nothing good on the poly frame ones tho .
contrary to popular belief, service from EAA when I ordered the extra barrel was excellent, they asked for the serial number of the gun and I had the barrel in three days from Florida to Oregon

Supplying parts you are buying is is not service! If they couldn't get this right they'd be out of business pronto!

Service would be having them do something about the defective mag they sold, other than you throwing it away!

wally, not to belabor the point but the Mag I threw away was not defective, it was damaged and rather than mess with lip surgery I just tossed it and bought another for twenty bucks or so. I was running an IPSC course and the guy who was ROing me and carrying the timer stepped on my mag during a running mag change.
The Glock is not properly sprung from the factory to handle hot 10mm loads. It will cycle easily with the stock spring and with target 40 cal stuff and a conversion barrel. I detail stripped mine after some Double Tap 10mms with the stock spring and the locking block pins were pretty badly bent.

Springs may or may not fix that problem.

My Dan wesson CBOB has oversized rails and not even a ceiner 22lr kit will come close to fitting on the frame because of this. As a result it also stands up to the abuse of the 200gr hard cast loads at 1300fps without so much as a wimper or any signs of stress or peening. YMMV.
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