What happens when you mix an experienced gun designer, successful firearms distributor, a gun sales expert and noted self-defense instructor? In this case, a new company and pistol. Say hello to the Avidity Arms PD10.
Avidity Arms is a new company born to deliver a handgun designed for the concealed carry, self-defense market. The brainchild of Mike Sodini, Brad Thomas, Rafael DelValle and Rob Pincus, the PD10 started like many great American designs: on a napkin during a conversation. From those initial discussions, the pistol moved from the drawing board to the factory. Now the company is ready to pull back the curtain for a peek at the new pistol.
Pincus was kind enough to talk with me about the gun, and give me some insight into its development. I thank him for providing much of the information in this article.
Quick Note About the Prototype
Photos in this article are of an advanced prototype gun. It has a CNC machined frame instead of the polymer one. So, if you see the finish imperfections, just keep in mind that this is not the end product. It is a working prototype that is having the snot beat out of it to find the imperfections. Additionally, some things on the prototype gun will change in the final pistol. For example, the trigger shown is not the intended final product.
In basic terms, the PD10 is a polymer-framed 9mm pistol that uses a single stack magazine. The overall gun size is likely to be compared to a Glock 19 or Springfield Armory XD-S 4.0. Yet, with a single stack magazine, the gun can be much thinner than the Glock. And since the gun is designed around the 9mm – not the .45 ACP – it’s possible the gun could be made even thinner than the XD-S.
I’ve often advocated for a single stack version of the Glock 19, so this general design envelope is interesting to me.
The gun is striker-fired and has no external safeties to manipulate. There are internal safeties and a trigger block to ensure the gun does not accidentally discharge if struck or dropped.
For greater insight into the thought process that went into the design of the gun, take a look at this article written by Pincus in 2014. In it, he lays out the fundamental aspects of what the ideal personal defense gun might look like. Frankly, it sounds like he was describing the pistol Avidity Arms is now developing.
The gun will ship with the I.C.E. Claw Emergency Manipulation Sights. Both sights will be replaceable using a S&W sized cut up front and a Glock sized rear. Magazines will have the I.C.E. Claw baseplates installed.
The PD10 will have a loaded chamber indicator similar to what is found on many Ruger pistols. While I generally consider these to be superfluous, they don’t detract from the reliability in any way, so I don’t mind them.
The underside of the gun will have a short accessory rail for the addition of a light or supplemental aiming device.
Reliability and the 9mm
Designed around the 9mm cartridge, the PD10 is purpose built to be reliable in the face of a deadly force encounter. Pincus advised that the gun is in the final stages of tweaking and testing to ensure reliability, and that the gun shows great promise. With his name attached to the project, I have no doubt that he will make sure the gun is a solid performer before the first one ships.
A cornerstone of reliability in a semi-automatic pistol is feeding from the magazine. To ensure consistent feeding, a designer may start the design with the magazine and then build the gun around it. In this case, the PD10 was built around an existing magazine design: the 10-round 1911 9mm magazine.
By building the gun around the 1911 magazines, Avidity Arms ensured they would be working with a proven design. This is important with any caliber, but especially so with the 9×19 cartridge.
The 9mm round has a tapered case instead of a straight walled case. Without getting too deep into the physics, the rounds have a propensity to curve when stacked in a magazine. To see that in real life, lay 10 or so 9mm rounds next to each other on a table and you can see how they start to form a semi-circle.
Tilting of the cartridge in the magazine can cause feeding problems, but these are problems that can be overcome. Starting with an existing magazine design ensures that the company won’t waste time trying to reinvent the wheel.
The gun will ship with the reputable McCormick magazines. The bottom of the frame is scalloped for easier grip on the magazine should it need to be stripped from the gun in a double feed situation.
Pricing and Availability
Pincus advised that the pistol has been under development for about two years, and the first guns should ship later this year. From my observations in the past, 2-3 years is normal for product development in this industry.
Made in the United States, the guns will have an attractive price point: $499. As with many firearms, I would expect the guns to sell for less in the store: maybe around $450.
Update – September 2016
The PD10 is still in development and looks to start shipping in early 2017. Rob Pincus recently released the below video which depicts a pre-production gun built to production specifications:
Pincus is advising the MSRP will be $499, so it sounds like they’ve been able to keep costs in line with projections. All of the previously described features – from the Chip McCormick mags to the AmerigGlo front sight – are all in the final spec gun.
I look forward to shooting one of these in a review once they become available.
It appears the PD10 project is dead. Even if it wasn’t, at this point it is largely irrelevant. When the gun was first conceived, there was a hole in the market for a thin pistol that was roughly in the size range of the Glock 19.
Since then, guns like the Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro and the Glock 43X MOS have largely filled that gap.
Last Update: October 17, 2022
34 replies on “Avidity Arms PD10”
Little concerned about the magazine. 9mm 1911’s are known to be finicky, and the magazines are longer than they need to be.
Back when he was still working for Steyr, Willi Bubbits wanted to offer a
.45 ACP variant of the M9/M40 pistol that would be built around M1911
magazine. Steyr engineers and executives shot down the idea given all of
the dubious quality magazines available on the aftermarket. Alas, there will be budget minded customers that will try to use the
bargain box gun show magazines and then wonder why their pistol no
longer works well.
But are they finicky because of the mags, or are they finicky because 9mm 1911s are finicky? I was under the impression it was the latter.
The latest generation of premium 9mm M1911 magazines have helped quite a bit. The first of these were the Metalform magazines with the integral ramp developed in conjunction with Springfield Armory.
Yes, the mags have evolved quite a bit. We’re using Chip McCormick for the prototypes, but intend to test Metalform and Wilson before deciding on a final mag to ship with the production guns.
I agree, but no doubt it has to be that long to make Pincus’ desired 10 round capacity. Most single stack nines with a “normal” length grip (e.g. Walther P-38) only hold 9 rounds. I read the article in the link, wherein Pincus describes his idea of the perfect pistol, but he stresses concealability, and the long grip and magazine hinder that. They make the grip so long that the gun is very, very likely to print through any concealing garment worn over the gun and its holster. A double-stack Glock 19 will probably be more concealable, because it’s only maybe a quarter inch wider through the grip, but the grip is nearly two inches shorter — and you’ll have 15 rounds in the magazine instead of 10.
My bad, yeah “length” was a concern but I was talking more about the magazines being longer front to back than needed just to accommodate the 45 acp round.
It’s going to come down to personal preference and style of dress. This gun is more than a 1/4″ thinner than the G19 in the width at the grip, but More importantly, the grip shape/size is going to accommodate a lot more hand sizes than the Glock, especially in the small hands or short fingers demographic.
All that said, THIS is the gun that isn’t on the market and that many people have been asking for for quite awhile “Single stack M&P” or “Single Stack Full Size Glock”…. It won’t be perfect for everyone, but it isn’t a 1:1 with anything else out there.
Expect a chopped grip version in the future.
Well, I’m sure clothing is a factor. I tend to wear a lot of suits and sport jackets, and I find my Walther PPS conceals quite well with the eight round magazine, giving me 8 plus 1 capacity, and I can even button the coats if need be without the gun printing, but my Glock 19 will create a slight bulge with the coat buttoned over it. And with my build and preferred style of dress, I know I couldn’t get significantly longer grip/magazine to conceal without printing. Even with the coat unbuttoned (the way it almost always is), I have to be careful about bending over, or the bottom edge of the grip will print.
But I see your point about thinner grips and hand size. I’m average height, but I have smallish hands — short fingers to be exact. Some double stack guns don’t suit me as well as others. The Glock 19 is good, but the 21 is a bit big for me. Better still is the Walther PPQ, I just wish it had as low a bore axis as the Glock.
I may be generalizing a bit, but isn’t this the entire reason Kahr exists? I mean sure the trigger is double action, but otherwise it’s the same concept.
Different triggers are not the same concept. Its closer to a Glock than a Kahr, and significantly different from both.
I know all the tacticool super elite operators will hate this, but why can’t they add an ambidextrous thumb safety? Is it really the end of the world to have a thumb safety option?
I’ve written and spoken (video) about this extensively. It isn’t a “freebie”… adding a safety creates significant training and potential operations/mechanical failure issues. “Gun salesman” isn’t my job… I’m a personal defense educator who happens to now also be designing and selling a defensive pistol. The pistol is congruent with my philosophies, including the idea that a defensive gun should be as EASY to use as possible.. safeties make guns harder to use.
Mr. Pincus I know who you are. You are of the mentality that manually operated safeties on pistols are bad for everyone. And I politely disagree. I like have a manually operated safety on a pistol. I’ve been in firefights, and I never failed or fumbled to flick off my safety. Or flick it back to the safe position once appropriate. Again, it’s great that you feel that way, and that you train people that way. Not everyone wants or needs the same thing in a pistol. I’ll take my thumb safety, thank you very much.
Rob, I know some instructors like Tad Jones are huge advocates of manual safeties. Safeties don’t make guns harder to use, they make them SAFER.
Suggest to him that he start a gun company. 🙂
He actually did… he got into gold plated AKs. I’m surprised you guys have never heard of him.
haha no.. never have. Is he into the plating or are they really building their own guns from scratch?
Meanwhile, absolutely, there are scores of examples you can find of Good and Bad guys having issues.
I think he just plates them, but anyway I meant to ask have you ever personally been in a gunfight where a safety has prevented you from returning fire?
Well, plating an existing gun is a little different than designing and building a gun to spec. My guess is that he would put a lot more thought into his choices if he ever does that. Meanwhile, a link to his instruction info would be great… I’d like to know why you’re putting so much stock in this guy’s opinion and gain some idea of where he is coming from.
No, I haven’t. Even if I had, it’d be one example not worth much in the grand scheme of things. Far too many people try to base decisions for the masses on their own personal experiences.
Sorry, I don’t have a link to his page. I think maybe he has gotten out of the training business lately, although I can say that my buddy’s airsoft clan trained with him a few years ago and their winrate went up like 15% the next season so yeah… his methods are effective.
I think the real issue here is why someone would put so much stock into someone with no real-world combat experience at all? That’s like saying I could teach better than Tad because I’ve prestiged twice in Call of Duty.
Google Doesn’t seem to know this guy either. If you have a link to his work, please post.
I’m not familiar with Tad Jones (well, other than the football coach in the HOF). Do you have a link to his site/school? I’m not seeing him in Google. I found a Coy Jones who just teaches CCW classes in Texas, but I’m guessing that is not him.
No problem here, Jeff. No gun will be for everyone… anyone who seriously thinks they are going to build a universal pistol is fooling themselves. `Tens of Millions of gun owners out there… many of them with CCW Permits and many of them are interested in more modern designs.
I agree, and my carry is a Ruger SR1911. The caveat is that I was trained to carry a 1911A1 by the USMC and had to qualify annually, so it’s second nature to me. I like the platform, am comfortable taking it apart and shoot reasonable well with it. So when I bought my CCW I went with something I was familiar with.
Yet we’re in the process of picking a 9mm CCW handgun for my wife and we’re leaning towards a pistol that incorporates your philosophy for her. She does not want to have to fumble with a safety. I like what you’ve done here Rob, looks like a nice little pistol. I wish you much success.
Damn just buy a PPQ M1 or M2 in 9mm. Best striker fired trigger out there.