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Glock G29: A 10mm Gun That Is Really a Pocket Cannon

Glock G29
Image: Creative Commons.

Glock G29, A Short Primer: Regardless of what kind of pistol you’re after, Glock likely has a solution. And for millions of gun owners here in the U.S., the Austrian gun-maker is pure legend.

Long slide, standard, compact, and subcompact, Glock has an incredibly wide array of pistols on offer. And, some of their subcompact pistols stand apart from the competition.

Don’t let their small size fool you though — in some cases, they’re more powerful than their standard-sized counterparts.

Glock G29: A Pocket Cannon Like No Other 

One Glock that is definitely worth mentioning is Glock’s G29.

This subcompact Glock is fairly lightweight, tipping the scales at just under 27 ounces with an unloaded magazine. This relatively low weight point is partly achieved thanks to Glock’s polymer frame, a lightweight but robust design that does not compromise strength to achieve its weight point.

Weight aside, one of the G29’s most remarkable features is the pistol cartridge it is chambered in. Though subcompact pistols typically opt for smaller, less-powerful cartridges like the 9x19mm or even the smaller .380, the G29 goes in the opposite direction: it is chambered in the massively powerful 10mm Auto cartridge.

How the Glock G29 Was Born

The FBI developed the 10mm Auto in the aftermath of the bloody 1986 FBI Miami shootout that resulted in two FBI agents deaths and five agents’ injured. Investigations into what went wrong during the infamous shooting concluded that LAPD police officers involved in the shooting had been armed with rather underpowered weapons, prompting the 10mm Auto development. Needless to say, it packs a powerful punch.

Despite chambering the large 10mm Auto cartridge, standard G29 magazines can hold 10 cartridges, with the option for larger capacity 15-round magazines, though they do somewhat negate the G29’s subcompact size. Barrel length is 96 millimeters, or 3.78 inches.

The Glock G29 features a boldly checkered grip pattern that allows for a firm grip. The pistol also has finger grooves and a beaver-tail style backstop that allows for a high and tight grip — necessary when firing the powerful 10mm Auto cartridge.

Like all Glocks, the G29 features the company’s Safe Action system, a patented three-point safety system consisting of a trigger safety, a firing pin safety, as well as a drop safety. More on the Safe Action system can be read here and is worth your time.

The Glock G29 may well be one of the most powerful subcompact pistols on the market today. The large 10mm Auto cartridge combined with a large 10- or 15-round magazine puts an incredible amount of firepower into a shooter’s hand and is remarkable for a pistol of the G29’s size.

Glock G29: Bottomline 

No bones about it: the G29 packs a huge punch and is a good option for a small — but powerful — subcompact pistol.

Caleb Larson is a Defense Writer based in Europe. He holds a Master of Public Policy and covers U.S. and Russian security, European defense issues, and German politics and culture.

Written By

Caleb Larson, a defense journalist based in Europe and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy. He lives in Berlin and writes on U.S. and Russian foreign and defense policy, German politics and culture.



  1. Akula

    November 25, 2021 at 12:00 am

    As Mr. Larson notes, the FBI was desperate to find a replacement for the 9mm round which required something like 11 hits to take down the perp in the infamous 1986 gunfight. The FBI was really searching for a round in between the 9mm and the .45ACP.

    The .45 had the takedown power needed, but with the growing number of female Special Agents, the weapon had to be reasonably well handled throughout 50 rounds of non-stop fire (except mag changes, of course).

    Shooting the .45 ACP can be a bear for anyone, and the 10mm is almost as bad. However, a “sawed off” 10mm gives you a .40S&W, and that seemed to fit the bill with less felt recoil than the .45 and almost all the takedown power. The compact Glock 23 version of the full size Glock Model 22 .40S&W saw trials then acceptance as the FBI’s duty carry weapon of choice.

    The .40 had become a wildly successful round despite early detractors. The Georgia State Patrol had Glock (in Smyrna, GA) develop a backup gun taking the same ammunition and magazine as the Glock Model 22 they had selected as their duty weapon. A shootout with several Patrolmen who had different calibers of back-up weapons sufficiently stirred up interest in a “one caliber, one magazine” policy that is maintained to this day.

    All those .40 Glock models, not including different generations are the the M22 – Full Size Barrel, M24 – Long Slide, M23 – Compact, M27 – Sub-compact. The M35s are Competition versions with certain features to enhance accuracy.

    The 10mm round is a powerful little package of energy, but little of the extra power translates to a significant advantage over the .45ACP or reduced brass casing of the .40S&W. Research will prove there are better and better ways to make a good general-purpose personal defense round. But for the time being, it’s hard to envision a better “bang for the buck” than the .40S&W.

  2. Field agent

    November 25, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    Good article, I had no idea the LAPD was involved in the Miami FBI shootout. Great to see solid research on articles like this.

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