Avidity Arms unveiled what was to be the production model for their first pistol, the PD10 at last year’s SHOT Show. The inception of the PD10 was from industry insiders coming together to design what they thought would be the ultimate carry gun. Spearheaded by famed firearms instructor Rob Pincus, the PD10, chambered in 9mm, took the better part of a decade to bring to market. I had a chance to put my hands on the PD10 at SHOT and now own one.
When I first handled the PD10, which is designed to be a mid size or compact concealed carry firearm, what stood out was its weight and width. The grip and frame are polymer and quite slim. The handgun is built around a single stack 1911 style magazine, allowing the gun to be slimmer which is notable when handling the gun.
The backstrap is something that I’d describe as being slightly bulbous but not offensive. If you’re used to GLOCK pistols, the PD10 may seem alien in how it sits in your hand.
In talking to Pincus about the idea behind the PD10 he said that designers usually start with either a gun or a magazine. Then one or the other is designed around its counterpart. He said in the case of the PD10, the firearm was designed around a magazine that they found suits their needs.
Pincus, myself, and a couple of colleagues were at the booth last year and we took turns handing a PD10 off to each other. I really was interested in manipulating the trigger…how it feels in comparison to other striker fired guns was consistent. Not over-the-top special and not a bowl full of mush. There is a fair amount of creep, but not muc, and once hitting the wall, the trigger break is crisp.
I picked up a PD10 sent to my FFL that was personally tested by Pincus. When I pinged him to ask about availability of units over the summer, he sent back a picture of a pistol he was testing that moment and said, “How about this one?” Straight from manufacturing, to being test fired, and then off to my FFL for me to pick up. The firearm equivalent of farm to table. I got mine last summer.
How did the PD10 do at the range? I headed out with a buddy to do some casual shooting just after July Fourth weekend 2023. It was hot as heck in Jersey that week and when we were not shooting bullets, we were sweating them. Between puffs of cigars and slugs of water, we took turns putting the PD10 through the paces.
The recoil is incredibly manageable. Keeping the firearm under control wasn’t an issue for either of us. I don’t have giant squatchy hands, just normal-sized mitts. The PD10’s slim grip, backstrap, and the amount of purchase took a bit of getting used to.
We didn’t have any issues getting on paper, but we had a long way to go until we felt like we got a mastery of the PD10. Like any new-to-you firearm, you need to get time behind it to really learn it. For me, rather than push shots left — a common error to get over for right handed shooters — I pulled my first shots a little right.
I had yet to really master my grip, trigger finger placement, and trigger squeeze with the PD10. I wasn’t hitting the X ring my first shots through, but was more than satisfied with how I performed against the Coke bottle “Q” target from a defensive accuracy perspective.
The next time I had a chance to take the PD10 out, I had to pretty much dust it off. The week before Christmas I took another friend of mine out to do some plinking and brought a Throom plate rack target system along for a test drive.
We set up the 6-inch plate rack on a 15 yard range and got to shooting. My friend was shooting his GLOCK 34, the “competition GLOCK” 9mm with the longer slide. I pulled out my PD10 and he said, “Oooo, what’s that?” After shooting a magazine or two through the PD10 and plunking a fair amount of plates, I handed it over to my fellow shooter.
My buddy immediately commented on the grip. “I think I like this,” he said. “It feels real nice in my hands.” While I mentioned that I have neither baby hands or catcher mitts, my friend who was with me that day has huge paws.
While he was shooting, he was hitting a heck of a lot more plates with the PD10 than he was with his G34. I know…super-scientific weights and measures. To be fair, the last time he had shot his handgun was over a year ago, so we’re not talking about a regular shootist.
I was happy with how the PD10 handled when taking aim at the plate rack. While I’m still not completely used to or quite sure how I need to handle the PD10, it’s a well-made firearm. I will note that I actually put all of our scores to shame when I broke out my GLOCK 43 – my everyday carry gun that I’ve shot a lot – and was effortlessly hitting plates on almost every shot. I can’t say the same for my performance with the PD10.
My initial impressions of the PD10 are very positive. I think the team at Avidity did a great job putting together a pistol that’ll appeal to a wide variety of people as an everyday carry personal defense gun. To date, the PD10 is available in 9mm and recently they announced that they’re a model chambered in .30 Super Carry.
Specifications of the PD10:
- Calibers: 9mm, 30 Super Carry
- Action: striker-fired
- Capacity: 10+1, 12 +1
- Barrel Length: 4”
- Frame: Polymer, Gray or Black
- Overall Length: 6.94”
- Width at widest: 1”, Slide is .9″
- Weight: 18.8 oz.
- Isonite Coating on most metal parts
- MSRP: $625
You can tune into an interview I conducted with Pincus from last year discussing the roll out of the PD10 and its design HERE or in the embed below.
John Petrolino, The Pen Patriot, is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of “Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use,” a USCCA trained instructor, and NRA certified pistol, rifle and shotgun instructor. Petrolino is living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.thepenpatriot.com on Twitter at @johnpetrolino on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thepenpatriot/ and on Instagram at @jpetrolinoiii