Glock G29 10mm Pistol Review
Major Pandemic 07.14.15
During my behind the scenes tour of the US Glock factory, I saw a lot of things, and many things drifted through my mind. At that time I was one of only eleven editors invited to the unveiling of the secret release of the Glock G43. At that predictable and yawn-able moment of the G43 introduction, where we all exclaimed “good lord, finally,” my mind was thinking about a G29. The G29 is in essence a G19 in 10mm and is Glock’s “compact 10mm” pistol. Though the G29 is actually about 1/4-inch shorter than the G19, the reality is that the G29 is like a G19 9mm that has overindulged a bit at the pasta bar one to many times.
The 10mm G29 is also Glock’s most powerful compact pistol, capable of delivering 600-800 ft/lbs of energy depending on the ammo you feed it. That’s not bad considering you have 10+1 rounds on tap. That’s a lot of power and firepower in a very small concealable package.
Brief History of the 10mm Auto
The development of the 10mm round is actually an interesting story that dates back to the 1970s. The idea was for a high-power, flat shooting, semi-auto cartridge that would run in a 1911 format pistol and that would basically deliver .357 to .44 Magnum (midweight loads) ballistics.
In the end Jeff Cooper (yes, the scout rifle guy) was involved in the development, at which point Norma began producing ammunition in the early 1980s. The FBI felt a little outgunned on the streets and briefly adopted the 10mm round, but with the full bore loads that were first released.
The reality was 90% of the agents felt uncomfortable shooting and handling the larger dimensioned and significantly more powerful 10mm powered guns. The ammo manufacturers responded with the 10mm Lite rounds, which in essence dropped the power all the way down to about .40 S&W loads, but the FBI and the public wanted a smaller format with less power than what the 10mm round delivered.
Smith & Wesson though this was a waste of un-used powder space on the longer 10mm brass and developed a 10mm Short or what we now know as the .40 S&W. The round delivered everything the FBI specs wanted in a format that would fit in a smaller 9mm sized pistol format.
The current crop of 10mm rounds from Hornady and others are not neutered to the degree the “LITE” rounds were, but they could certainly be loaded hotter as we see with the higher power Buffalo Bore, Federal, and Liberty Ammunition rounds. The current 10mm rounds are still much more powerful than the .40 S&W. .40 S&W usually gives around 450Ft/lbs of energy, and the 10mm typically gives around 550 ft/lbs, which is around 20% more power.
Today the 10mm cartridge has rabid fans in the civilian world. It still does have a following in Special forces and Special Law Enforcement, and it is growing as a hunting cartridge due to the capacity of the firearm and power.
About the Glock G20, G20SF, and G29
Glock began producing the G20 in 1991 to answer the market demand in the midst of the 10mm Auto’s hay day. Even after demand tapered off, there was still a demand for the 10mm Auto pistol, but the major complaint was the overall size of the grip. Later in 2007, Glock introduced the G20SF (reviewed here), which is the “Short Frame” model. The G20SF model provides a significant grip feel circumference equal to a standard .40 S&W chambered Glock.
The net result is that those with medium to small hands can establish a comfortable and secure grip. Glock has been specifically marketing the G20 and G20SF as hunting companion firearms to be used for the hunt or to provide a humane finishing shot on very large game. For those hunting in bear country, having a 15-round pistol that can deliever power that rivals some .44 Magnum rounds is an enormous benefit. In fact the Greenland Sirius Sledge Patrol uses the G20 on the very aggressive polar bear, which far outweighs our typical brown bear. Many of the relatively rabid 10mm fanatics, myself included, requested/demanded a smaller concealable format–ya know, in case we are attacked by polar bears. Thus the small format G29 10mm was born.
Why I had to have one
I would argue, why wouldn’t you want one, but I can see there may be some folks who just do not get it. I will put it this way. Why would someone carry a .357 Magnum Ruger LCR snubby revolver when you could just carry the same gun and shoot it with less recoil in .38 Special? The simple answer is POWER and the same reason muscle cars were created. Do I need the power in a handgun to down small aircraft? Well not recently, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to own it. In fact, I have been lusting after the rather surprisingly mild recoiling G29 since I picked up my G20. Who doesn’t need 41 Rem Magnum power in a concealable 11-round pistol?
Fit, Finish, and Features
The G29 has the fit, finish, and features identical to any other Gen 3 Glock you may have handled, but the slide and barrel is even wider and beefier than Glock’s .40 S&W pistols to handle the power of the 10mm Auto round. The side profile of the G29 is just a bit fatter than a G19 but about a 1/4” shorter as noted previously. Think of the the G27 (the G26 of the .40 S&W lineup), but about 10% larger.
If you want night sights, I recommend picking them up included from Glock as they are a bit less expensive than adding them later, plus they will come factory zero’ed. On my G29, I added the Glock night sights because, you know, sometimes big critters roam around at night.
Just like with any other Glock, reliability was superb and flawless from the first to the last round. Thankfully Hornady sent me a couple boxes of their lighter shooting 560 ft/lb Custom 10mm Auto 180gr XTP rounds, and Federal supplied some of their full power 650 ft/lb 10mm 180gr Trophy Bonded JSP rounds.
What surprised me most was that the recoil was really quite pleasant and even easily tolerable and controllable with the harder hitting rounds. I will admit, the G20 is a treat to shoot with hot rounds. The G29 is a bit snappy and after every three mags, I had to take a break. Not painful, but the lighter G29 is snappy enough with the harder hitting rounds that the snap feels more like bite after more than three or four mag fulls.
I found that like every other double stack Glock I own, the G29 slipped into the same G19 Crossbreed Supertuck Deluxe Holster Mark Craighead personally gave me, and it carries just like any other Gloc
My friend and I have made it a habit to routinely plink and hit the 12”x12” steel 100, 200, and 300-yard gongs with our Glocks. Oddly enough, once you figure out the 12-15 foot holdover at 300-yards, it is not that difficult. Just like the G20 testing I did, shooting 10mm at distance was a whole new game. 100-yard torso shots were simple and downright easy.
The original intent of the cartridge was clear: this is a long range handgun round. If zeroed at 50-yards, the 10mm Auto only drops about 4.5” at 100 yards and is only 36” low at 200 yards while still delivering around 400 ft/lbs of energy (about the same energy a 9mm has at the muzzle). This is a very impressive round that is more than adequate for hunting deer sized game at a little distance.
Otherwise at normal combat distances, the G29 was marginally less accurate than your average G26 or G27 due to the increased recoil the shooter is managing.
I love this little 10mm. If you have a reason to drop something with about 70%-90% more power than your average 9mm then the G29 is your pistol. What I love about the G29 is that it delivers the most powerful semi-auto pistol round in a reliable gun outside of Desert Eagle. Actually owning two Desert Eagles, I would argue the Glock 10mm is the most reliable high power semi-auto pistol and the G29 is the smallest format available.
- LENGTH: 177 mm / 6.96 in.
- WIDTH: 32.50 mm / 1.27 in.
- LENGTH BETWEEN SIGHTS: 150 mm / 5.91 in.
- HEIGHT: 113 mm / 4.44 in.
- BARREL HEIGHT: 32 mm / 1.26 in.
- BARREL LENGTH: 96 mm / 3.77 in.
- UNLOADED: 770 g / 27.18 oz.
- LOADED: 935 g / 33.01 oz.
- TRIGGER PULL: ~2.5 kg / ~5.5 lbs.
- TRIGGER TRAVEL: ~12.5 mm / ~0.49 in.
- BARREL RIFLING: right hand, hexagonal
- LENGTH OF TWIST: 250 mm / 9.84 in.
- CAPACITY: 10 – Accepts G20 15-round mags