The Taurus TH10: A Budget-Friendly 10 mm Pistol 

This hammer-fired big bore pistol gets the job done at an attractive price.

by posted on June 6, 2024
Horman TH10 Cover

The 10 mm Auto pistol cartridge has a long and storied history. But more recently it’s been gaining traction in the outdoor community for defense against dangerous game. In particular, the polymer-framed, semi-automatic pistols chambered in this caliber are taking over the holster space once reserved for big-bore revolvers (you can read more about the trail gun trend here).


The large-frame TH10 is Taurus’s first foray into 10 mm Auto pistols.

When loaded properly, a 10 mm pistol provides performance potential in the .357 Mag. to .41 Rem. Mag. range. Polymer-framed semi-automatics weigh less and hold more ammunition with double-stack magazine capacities of 15 rounds or more. Pistols are quicker and easier to reload than wheelguns and, for those who are familiar with 9 mm pistols, the transition to a larger pistol has a much shorter learning curve than picking up an unfamiliar double-action revolver. 

Trying on a new-to-you caliber can sometimes be an expensive proposition. But Taurus recently released the first gun it's ever offered in 10 mm. Dubbed the TH10, this pistol has an attractive first-time-buyer's suggested price of $530.99 with real-world online prices hovering closer to $450. This makes the TH10 one of the most affordable options currently available. As a fan of the 10 mm, and fair prices, I was eager to test drive the gun for myself.


All of this pistol’s external controls are ambidextrous including the slide stop and the thumb safety lever.

Based on the big-frame TH45 (chambered in .45 ACP), the TH10 is a polymer-framed, hammer-fired semi-automatic with what some would consider an old-school double-action/single-action (DA/SA) trigger. Manufactured by Taurus Armas in Brazil, the company does a good job of providing a well-balanced feature package with this gun. It's a bit more of a basic model in some ways to reduce cost but it keeps those features which are commonly preferred for defensive pistols these days.

The matte black carbon steel slide features beveled edges for easier re-holstering. The factory sights are metallic with a pinned white dot sight up front and a drift adjustable serrated, square notch sight at the rear. Other slide features include an oversized extractor claw, beveled ejection port and canted rear cocking serrations. At the time of this writing, this model was not available with an optics-ready slide.


This semi-automatic has an old school exposed hammer instead of a striker system. 

The 4.25" stainless steel barrel's bore is cut with traditional land-and-groove rifling which is suitable for all commonly available bullet types. This includes unjacketed lead bullets. Removing the slide reveals that the barrel is supported by a dual-spring recoil assembly similar to those used in Glock pistols. The polymer frame's dustcover sports a 1.75" long molded-in 2-slot accessory rail which will accommodate a variety of light and laser modules. Behind this rail are right and left side dimples which serve as touch points for the trigger finger. The generous trigger guard is curved along the front, to serve as a finger rest, and undercut where it meets the grip for improved shooting comfort.

The external controls, including a Glock-style takedown lever, slide stop lever, combination thumb safety and decocker along with the magazine release button, are all ambidextrous and appear to be made from anodized aluminum instead of polymer. The exposed hammer spur is serrated for improved purchase when cocking the gun manually. The polymer trigger is wide and smooth faced.


The TH10 can be carried cocked and locked, much like a 1911A1 pistol.

Because this is a DA/SA pistol, the trigger’s pull changes depending on the position of the hammer. With the hammer forward, the pistol is in double-action mode. This means the trigger does double duty by cocking the hammer and then dropping the hammer to fire the pistol. This gives the trigger a longer, heavier pull for the first shot fired. For this pistol the double-action trigger weighed in at 10 lbs. 7oz., which is similar to that of a double-action revolver. Folks who choose to use the DA trigger usually do so as a safety measure since it requires a more deliberate pressure on the trigger to fire the gun.

Firing this pistol in single-action mode requires the hammer to be fully cocked.  This can be done by cycling the slide or by pulling the hammer back manually. With the hammer in this position, the trigger only has one job, or a single action, which is to drop the hammer so as to fire the pistol. This reduces the trigger's travel distance and the pull weight to 5 lbs. 5 oz. The TH10's thumb safety allow this model to be carry “cocked-and-locked,” meaning, with a round in the chamber, the hammer cocked and the thumb safety lever set into the SAFE position. This allows the first shot to be fired with the single-action trigger pull.


The Italian steel magazines provide a 15+1 ammunition capacity.

The grip frame features panels of aggressive texturing molded into all four sides. This provides plenty of purchase for wet, cold hands but it can become abrasive for bare-handed shooting during longer practice sessions. This pistol ships with three interchangeable back straps. I found the slimmest insert to be the best fit for my somewhat smaller hands. The gun also arrives with two 15 round steel magazines made by MEC-GAR in Italy, a company that specializes in magazines and provides them to a variety of gun makers around the world.


This polymer-framed pistol weighs in at 28.9-oz. which is just a few ounces more than many of the popular 9 mm sub compacts.

The TH10 fits comfortably into what I call the “trail-to-town” handgun category. With the right holster system it can ride comfortably on the hip while walking the trail during the day. Then, when it's time to head back into civilization, the same gun can be worn for concealed carry without having to trade around your carry gear.

Shown here is the hand-crafted Comfort Carry Hybrid in-the-waistband holster by Muddy River Tactical out of Platte City, Montana. Available in a variety of colors and finishes, the full Kydex shell is light weight, sturdy and does not collapse when the pistol is drawn. Muddy River shells are cut for optics ready slides as a standard feature.


The TH10 is easily disassembled for routine cleaning.

The leather panel is stitched with a piece of suede which makes it more comfortable to wear and helps it to stay where you position it on your belt. I appreciate that the leather is trimmed to provide just enough padding up behind the slide to protect the body along with quick and easy access to form a proper shooting grip. The dual polymer belt hooks are height and cant adjustable. This holster is available with a suggested retail price of $89.99, it ships with a lifetime warranty, and the company offers a 15-day risk-free trial.


This Muddy River in-the-waistband is tough and comfortable.

At the shooting range the TH10 proved to be utterly reliable with all ammunition tested. There were no jams, hiccups or hang-ups throughout the course of testing or any mechanical issues with the gun itself. The magazine release was a bit stiff to start with but it broke in with use and was operating at reasonable pressure levels by the conclusion of the testing process.  Some budget pistols can feel, well, cheap. But the TH10 has a solid heft to it and its operations feel good to work with.

Any handgun suitable for defense against dangerous game is going to have more kick to it. But the 10 mm pistols are among the more manageable options available. This pistol weighs in at 28.9 oz. with an empty magazine inserted in the grip. This is only about 5 oz. more than the popular double-stack compact Glock G19 9 mm pistol. This makes the gun comfortable to carry. But the trade-off is more stout levels of felt recoil. That being said, the recoil is still more on the moderate side of the big-bore handgun scale. I would say that for this model it was a bit more than a similarly sized .45 ACP but noticeably less than a 4" barrel .357 Mag. revolver loaded with full-power ammunition.

Test ammunition included practice-grade and handgun hunting loads.

Formal benchrested accuracy testing was conducted at 25 yards using two rounds intended for handgun hunting or defense against dangerous game. The G9 Defense Woodsman round is topped off with a pointed copper solid intended for deep penetration while Winchester’s Big Bore features an expanding semi-jacketed hollow point. Rounding out the ammunition test set is Winchester's USA Ready multi-purpose, flat-nose full metal jacket. Here are the performance results with bullet velocities measured using a Garmin Xero C1 Pro chronograph:

The Taurus hammer-fired, polymer-framed TH10 pistol provides the performance and ammunition capacity of other 10 mm pistols in this class but at a more budget friendly price. Although it is not the fanciest model available it is solid, durable and reliable with the features most folks are looking for in a defensive pistol. Taurus's confidence in this pistol's quality is such that it ships with a lifetime warranty. For those who are trying out the 10 mm cartridge for the first time, or looking for an affordably priced trail gun, the TH10 is worth a closer look. For more information, visit taurususa.com

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