Whew! It’s finally here! We first saw the Avidity Arms PD10 in January of 2017, and it was a functional and effectively finished product at that time. Rob Pincus, long-time defensive shooting instructor, designed and developed the PD10 based on experience and feedback from thousands of students and dozens of instructors.
Now that all of the manufacturing hurdles have been resolved, Rob’s PD10 is officially available and TTAG got our hands on one.
Rob’s general philosophy with the PD10, if I’m not distilling it down too much, is that larger pistols are easier to shoot and smaller pistols are easier to carry. Fact check: true.
His PD10 design bucks most modern pistol trends and manages to check both of those boxes simultaneously.
The Avidity Arms PD10 is extremely skinny. Nearly every part of the pistol is only about 0.90″ thick, with its widest point (the mag release button and/or slide lock) only an inch across on the dot.
At the same time, its silhouette is effectively that of a duty-size pistol. It has a 4-inch barrel and a standard 1911-height frame.
The PD10 is also extremely lightweight, especially for its size, at just 18.8 ounces.
Taken together, this footprint makes for a firearm that carries extremely easily. Its slim width works very cleanly when carried IWB. Its 4-inch barrel is just shy of the point where length starts to be noticeable when carrying, and its minimal heft won’t weigh your belt down.
Carry position and cant of the firearm will be important, however, when it comes to preventing the heel of the grip/magazine from printing underneath your shirt. The PD10 certainly doesn’t have a sub-compact frame height. If you’re carrying IWB under a light garment and are the type to be concerned about printing, choose the correct holster and carry in the right location and you’ll be just fine.
Magazines for the 9mm PD10 are more or less standard 10-round, 9mm, 1911 magazines. Avidity Arms strongly suggests using the specific models they ship and offer with the PD10 for the most reliable function. However most decent 9mm 1911 magazines will fit and function at least well enough for practice and range use.
A large, bright, square front sight with a Tritium vial graces the front of the PD10’s slide. A 4-inch barrel definitely provides a longer sight radius than what’s found on popular micro-compact pistols that compete for space on our waistlines.
At rear is an all-black sight with a “claw” front for one-handed or emergency slide manipulation.
While opinions on this obviously vary, Pincus trains to only use rear slide serrations, therefore the PD10 only features rear slide serrations. They’re clean and aggressively grippy.
Likewise, the grip frame texture is comfortably grippy, but it won’t tear up your hands or your skin. Its large pattern strikes a good balance between grip-in-hand without being abrasive to skin.
Also of note: the front of the magazine baseplate features a pronounced claw. Combined with the finger relief cuts at the base of the grip, there are multiple ways to rip out a stuck magazine. Under normal circumstances, however, the stainless steel mags drop free and spring cleanly out of the frame.
I like the sleek magazine release and the unique texture on its surface. It’s guarded by a raised portion of the grip frame at its rear, helping to prevent unintentional mag drops, but it operates crisply with an intentional thumb press.
Overall, ergonomics and features of the PD10’s frame are pretty solid and well thought out. Smooth areas for the web of the hand and by the rear of the trigger guard, textured recesses on either side for an indexed trigger finger or support hand thumb, an undercut trigger guard for a high grip, and a grip frame size and shape that’s going to work well for a huge variety of hand sizes.
Up at the muzzle end, the PD10 features an aggressive taper on each side to make re-holstering easier.
Takedown of the Avidity Arms PD10 is identical to most striker-fired pistols.
There are zero MIM components in the Avidity PD10 and everything is made in the U.S. Internal components are tool steel, high carbon steel, quality stainless steel, and even the pins are made in-house to extremely tight tolerances.
There’s the angled trigger shoe when the striker is at rest.
And that’s where it sits when the striker is cocked. It features a drop safety tab in its face (in addition to multiple, internal safeties).
On the shooting range, I found the trigger to be pretty much exactly what I would design were I making a pistol for self-defense use. That is to say it’s not as short or as light as the market has seemingly been looking for over the past few years.
The PD10’s trigger breaks between 5 and 5.5 pounds with a long, consistent pull. Well, scratch that. It isn’t long like a double action handgun is, but it’s long compared to most striker-fired pistols these days. It’s smooth and consistent, but it travels a little ways before stopping against a pronounced wall, then breaking fairly cleanly.
If you ride the reset, trigger pulls for follow-up shots are shorter and faster.
This is exactly what I believe is the “correct” trigger for a self-defense pistol. Correct pull weight and correct pull length. It’s clean, crisp, and fast, yet it provides some safety fudge factor with enough weight and travel to ensure any trigger pull must be fully intentional.
Pincus is correct…the gun shoots like it’s a full-size but carries like it’s one of the skinniest and lightest pistols available, which it is.
The ability to get a 100 percent, complete, full four-fingered grip on the PD10 means fantastic control. Its skinny width works well with its grip shape to allow for a firm, very high, all-encompassing grip with pressure where you want it to really drive the gun hard and control recoil effectively.
Dan and I both shot the PD10 accurately. Follow-up shots were fast thanks to that fairly short trigger reset, and the bright front sight is easy to follow and center in the generous rear notch.
Dan had one stoppage — a failure to feed — while he was shooting the PD10 during the first three or four magazines of ammo through the gun, and I had none during dozens of full mags of assorted ammo.
Magazines loaded easily and dropped free with some spring power helping to pop ’em out. There’s a slight flare to the magazine well, but you’ll still need to line things up a bit more precisely with the PD10 than with a double-stack pistol with its fatter grip frame and tapered magazine.
Based on how the PD10 shoots, I think it compares extremely favorably to other skinny 9-millimeter single-stacks like the 10-round Slimline GLOCK 48 and 43X. In fact, it’s skinnier, shorter, and lighter than the G48 but doesn’t necessarily shoot like that’s the case. Just don’t expect aftermarket magazines that increase the capacity of the PD10 as we’ve seen with the GLOCKs.
At the same time, it’s obviously much more svelte and lighter weight than double-stack guns of a similar footprint, such as the G19.
Comparing the PD10 against double-stack, micro-compact guns, really, is the big question I’m left with. Back when Rob originally designed this gun, it was a no-brainer. Today, with so many micro-compact, double-stack pistols (a la the SIG P365, Springfield Hellcat, FN Reflex among others) available that carry as much or more ammo in a smaller footprint, it requires some thought and consideration to come to a decision to carry the 10-round PD10 instead.
Frankly, I hope it finds market success, because the PD10 is a fantastic gun. It’s far easier to shoot well than a micro-compact. Heck, with its full-length grip it’s also far easier to draw from concealment quickly and properly.
Easy to carry and easy to shoot is a combination we’re all looking for in a carry gun, and the Avidity Arms PD10 nails that in full. But will it find a home in a market that has largely gone in a different direction? I hope so. You may well want to give the PD10 a shot.
Specifications: Avidity Arms PD10
Barrel Length: 4”
Overall Length: 6.94”
Width at widest point: 1” (slide is 0.9″)
Height: 5.625″ from tip of magazine baseplate claw to top of sights
Weight: 18.8 oz (without magazine)
Finish: Isonite Coating on most metal parts
MSRP: $599 ($625 w/ Optic Cut)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Overall * * * *
The Avidity Arms PD10 is a fantastic carry pistol. It’s designed to be very shootable and very carryable, and it successfully achieves that balance. It shoots like a full-size pistol, but it carries like the insanely skinny, lightweight gun that it is. I’m keeping this PD10 and I’m going to carry it regularly. My only question is, can it compete with the teeny, tiny guys that hold as many or more rounds and are, arguably, a little easier to conceal due to their shorter grip lengths. If you give more consideration to a full grip on the draw and to more control while shooting than to sacrificing those things in exchange for lowering the chance of printing, I think it’s an easy enough choice to make.