Quick Look: the 10mm Glock 29SF Subcompact Cannon

By David Tong

I recently had the opportunity to shoot the 10mm compact Glock belonging to a friend while on vacation and these are my brief shooting impressions. My friend purchased this pistol as a compact defensive pistol for camping or backpacking.

It is dimensionally identical to the Model 30/30SF chambered in .45ACP. The SF, or “short frame,” refers to the reduction of distance between the backstrap of the grip to the trigger face, in order to make the company’s thick double-column magazine pistols more manageable for smaller handed personnel.

The SF frame makes a notable difference for those with smaller hands and I find it more comfortable than the full sized G21 .45. Otherwise, the essential “Glock-ness” of the piece is unchanged.

Ammunition fired included the Remington-UMC 180 gr. TCFMJ and Winchester Silvertip 175 gr. JHP. I was able to shoot the pistol at up to 20 yards at bowling pins in rapid fire strings.

My friend’s pistol had U.S. gunsmith’s Richard Heinie’s all steel “Straight-8” sights, featuring a tritium dot-over-dot system that many find less confusing than the more usual three dot system. He has fitted these up to replace the plastic factory front dot/white rear outline sights, for durability. I found the sight picture to be crisp and fast.

I must admit that I did not find the pistol very appealing during my brief shooting session. The 10mm Norma round is pretty stout in recoil, even in a full sized pistol and its use in a short-barreled, short-handled, plastic framed handgun can be likened to shooting a .357 snubbie. One can shoot it slow fire.

There is no possible way that the short barrel, polygon-rifled or not, is going to maintain the power of the 10mm cartridge, so the nominal 1275 fps of the Silvertip round would do well to break 1,100 fps. Muzzle flip, even with the very low bore-center geometry of the Glock, was pronounced and felt recoil was quickly uncomfortable, in less than one ten-round magazine.

In addition, my friend had fitted, due ostensibly to preclude trigger return spring failure, the infamous New York 1 trigger with its heavy coil spring. This made the usually tolerable Glock trigger into something outright miserable and the rounded/serrated trigger face and trigger safety became uncomfortable with the over 9 lb. pull weight. Ugh.

These two factors didn’t exactly produce good shooting results. I probably hit only 60% of the time, even worse than I shot a double action revolver, which I also fired during the same outing, despite preferring and shooting semi-autos the vast majority of the time.

I understand the attraction of a compact, lightweight and hard hitting backwoods sidearm to carry in black bear or cougar country and how my friend was trying to accomplish this. However, the miserable NY trigger further compromised the shootability of the short barrel’s reduced power 10mm and made rapid fire nearly impossible for me. Ask Ted Nugent which Glock 10 he prefers. One would think that the full size Glock is light enough.

Much as I admire the G30 Compact in .45 ACP as a defense pistol against two-legged critters, I will continue to carry a heavy Magnum revolver, such as my Smith Model 29, in the field. It is easier to control, more accurate and hits much harder against things that can claw and gore you.

Note: see the Product Reviews page for multiple Glock pistol reviews, including the full size 10mm G20C

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