10mm auto cartridge is a great idea that just never really
caught on like it should have with American shooters. Back in
the early nineteen-eighties, it seemed to be off to a real good
start. It had the blessings of the great defensive handgun
guru of the time, Colonel Jeff Cooper. He regarded it as
superlative to his beloved .45 ACP cartridge, and stated as much
loudly and often, in person and in print. The first auto pistols
chambered for the cartridge were based on the Czech CZ-75,
a very good design, and the pistols were produced by Dornaus
and Dixon, who called the new pistol the Bren Ten.
However, the new guns were plagued by a few problems, mainly the
lack of magazines. I remember well reading every word that I
could about the new pistol and cartridge, but being young, newly
married, and broke, reading about it was the best that I could
do. Colt and Smith & Wesson chambered pistols
for the new cartridge, as have some others, and the Bren Ten was
even carried every week of the first season by Don Johnson,
the star of the new hit TV series, Miami Vice. Factory
ammo energy figures were impressive for an auto pistol. The
energy figures for the 10mm showed the cartridge to be more
powerful than either the .45 ACP or the .357 Magnum. The FBI
even adopted the S&W handgun chambered for the 10mm Auto. It
looked like it was off to a stellar beginning. Why it never
achieved much popularity is somewhat of a mystery to me. It
certainly wasn’t the forty-caliber bullet, as the less
powerful .40 S&W cartridge is enormously popular. Recoil
could have been a factor, as it can be a bit stiff with the
heaviest loads. In the right handgun, however, the 10mm is not
hard to control at all, and magnum revolver cartridges are more
popular than ever.
10mm handgun that has achieved somewhat of a cult following is
the Glock Model 20, which is the subject of this review.
The Glock 20 is perhaps the most controllable 10mm pistol yet
developed, if the gun fit’s the shooter’s hand. The exterior
dimensions of the 20 are the same as the .45 ACP chambered Glock
21. It works very well for a shooter with medium to large hands.
Small-handed shooters need not apply. That is one reason that
the .40 S&W became much more popular than the full-sized
10mm auto. Beginning in the late 1980s and ever since, police
forces at all levels of government have been actively recruiting
women and minorities into their ranks, perhaps to achieve a more
touchy-feely police force, I don’t know. Most women and many
minorities are of smaller stature than the average white police
officer of years past, when police administrators wanted big,
strong officers on the beat. These smaller new recruits usually
come equipped with smaller hands. Police administrators wanted a
service handgun that would be a one-size-fits-all proposition,
and the .40 S&W will fit into a smaller weapon. It also has
less recoil than does the big ten. However, the Glock
Model 20 is very good at absorbing that extra recoil. The 10mm
in the Glock 20 recoils almost straight back, without excessive
muzzle jump, and is an excellent platform from which to launch
the full sized 10mm cartridge.
Glock pistol operates from a locked breech that utilizes the
ejection port as the rear lockup point. That feature, along with
some other interesting design features of the Glock places the
gun low in the hand, effectively reducing muzzle jump. It works
and works very well at reducing the felt recoil of the big ten.
The Safe-Action trigger pull is neither like a single action nor
a double action trigger pull. It is somewhat in between.
It is quite easy to get used to. There are no levers or buttons
to push to make the Glock fire, and that bothers some people.
However, and contrary to what some would have you believe, the
Glock is no more "dangerous" than any other pistol.
The shooter must keep his finger off of the trigger until ready
to fire, just as with any other handgun. Pulling the trigger
fires the weapon. Simple.
Glock 20 has a standard magazine capacity of fifteen cartridges,
giving a total capacity of sixteen of the powerful 10mm
cartridges at the shooter’s disposal. The trigger pull on the
sample Model 20 measured five pounds and ten ounces, and was
smooth and easy to operate. The barrel length on the Glock 20
measures four and six-tenths inches (4.6"), and has
Glock’s hexagonal rifling. The slide is finished in their
tough Tenifer coating, which has proven to be very
durable over the years.
testing the Model 20, I gathered an assortment of eighteen
different types of factory ammo from three sources. I fired all
loads over the screens of my PACT chronograph at a
distance of ten feet from the first screen. Actual muzzle
velocity will be a bit higher. Air temperature was around
fifty-two degrees with a humidity of near fifty percent.
The velocities are listed in feet-per-second (fps). Bullet
weight is listed in grains. The chronograph results are listed
||180 Gold Dot HP
||180 Bonded Core
||165 Gold Dot HP
||155 Gold Dot HP
||180 Gold Dot HP
||165 Golden Sabre HP
||180 Golden Sabre HP
loads tested performed very well. The only problem encountered
was with the Double Tap Equalizer 230 grain load. Three
times during testing the slide failed to go completely into
battery with that load and that load only. A gentle tap on the
rear of the slide popped it into battery. Everything else fed,
fired, and ejected flawlessly. The Equalizer load might
have just been a fluke with this particular pistol, and I would
certainly try it in other pistols before making a judgment
either way. I would recommend any of these other loads to be
carried in the Model 20, choosing the one that best suited the
situation. The heavier bulleted loads should be ideal for
hunting heavy deer, hogs, and black bear. The lighter
hollowpoints should work very well for social work. The Glasers
are a specialized load from Cor-Bon that are
pre-fragmented to create maximum tissue damage with limited
penetration. Accuracy was good with most loads tested;
better than with other Glocks which I have used in the past. The
10mm has a good reputation for accuracy in quality pistols,
and the Model 20 is a quality pistol. I could keep most
shots into the two-inch range at twenty-five yards, with the
misses being my fault. Most ammunition was, however, expended on
rocks and sticks. It was a pleasure to shoot the Glock 20.
The Glock Model 20 is not for everyone, it is
indeed a fine pistol for experienced shooters who want more
power than is commonly available from the usual choice of auto
pistol cartridges. It is relatively light at just 30.9 ounces,
unloaded. It is flat enough to conceal well in a proper holster,
and the edges are smooth to not get caught on clothing or skin.
As is, it is a very good hunting pistol for medium game. For
social carry, I would add tritium night sights to the weapon and
stoke it with good hollowpoint ammo, as represented by any of
the fine loads listed above, but would try any load in the
individual weapon in which it will be carried to assure perfect
function. The 10mm is a cartridge deserving of greater
popularity, and the Glock 20 is a fine platform from which to
Check out the entire line of Glock products
online at: www.glock.com.
For the location of a Glock dealer near you,
click on the DEALER LOCATOR icon at: www.lipseys.com.
For more information on the ammunition listed
above, go to: www.buffalobore.com,
www.corbon.com, and www.doubletapammo.com.
To locate a dealer where you can
buy this gun, Click on the DEALER FINDER icon at:
Got something to say about this article? Want to agree (or
disagree) with it? Click the following link to go to the GUNBlast Feedback Page.