Avidity Arms PD10

More fun from SHOT. The Avidity Arms PD10 is another relatively new arrival. Avidity Arms is a small outfit, who have been working with Rob Pincus.

The PD10 is a roughly Glock 19 sized, single-stack 9mm pistol. It’s polymer framed. It uses 9mm 1911 magazines. On the one hand, this was almost certainly chosen to avoid magazine development and testing costs, so the final product could meet their target price point. Magazine development (like any part of pistol development) is expensive, and a single-stack, Glock 19 sized gun isn’t going to be in the running for any police or military contracts in the 21st century. Note that this does mean the grip is going to be somewhat longer than on a Glock 19, to accommodate a standard 1911 magazine.

It also raises some objections from me. I understand 9mm 1911 magazines are relatively common. But when you hear “9mm 1911”, you don’t think “paragon of reliability”. You probably think “unreliable”. Maybe “Jam-O-Matic”. 9mm 1911s have a well-deserved reputation for being difficult to get running right. The magazine is a part of this. I’m skeptical of using these in a pistol and getting a reliable result. Good 9mm 1911 magazines are also rather expensive, which bodes badly. Part of the problem with 1911 reliability is people buying cheap, crappy mags, discovering that they jam a lot, and blaming the platform. Ol’ Slabsides has a bunch of nostalgia value to back it up. This doesn’t. Also, with a 1911, you can at least buy a known good pistol while you mess around with magazines.

Problem two with 9mm 1911 magazines is that they tend to come in ‘full size’ lengths. Why is this a problem? Because that means you’re getting a ‘full size’ pistol. It’s a lot harder to scale a design down than it is to scale a design up. Want a bigger version of your pistol? That’s easy. A smaller version takes a lot more testing. I bring this up because small single-stack 9mms are selling really well right now. The M&P Shield, Walther PPS, and Glock 43 are all extremely popular. They’re all small. Considerably smaller than a G19 as far as length and height goes. For most of the gun-buying public1, I don’t really see the appeal here.

The PD10 seems to come with decent sights out of the box. They’re metal, at least. I don’t know what the sight picture looks like. The front dovetail is an M&P type, and the rear dovetail is a Glock type. I don’t know why this wasn’t designed to take M&P sights (front and rear dovetails) or Glock sights (front screw and rear dovetail). Picking a common sight mount is a good choice, but it really should be a common sight set.

And, of course, there are all the questions of reliability and company longevity that come with something new. Like I said with the Hudson H9, probably best to wait and see how this shakes out. In the meantime, the SiG P239 is a known reliable single stack 9mm pistol. Consider that if you’re in the market for a 9mm single stack that’s bigger than the M&P Shield.

1.) Fishbreath will be along in a moment to tell you about small-handed people who need pistols too.

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