So a firearms instructor walks into a bar …
You can kind of think of Rob Pincus, founder of Avidity Arms, as the Elon Musk of the gun industry. After 30 years in the firearms industry, his ideas about what a gun should be are revolutionizing the mainstream. He invested 10 years of blood, sweat, tears, and reputation in creating a pistol and the company to manufacture it from the ground up … and then offered the same design as a 3D print file with the parts to outfit an end-user made pistol. This allows the end user—you—to take his design and go nuts modifying it. Is it insane, brilliant, or both?
It may sound like the opening line of a joke, but Pincus really did jot down his first ideas for his own ideal gun on a bar napkin. That ideal gun, Avidity’s first project, is the PD10. Nobody denies that the PD10’s journey to shelves was rocky. There were gun-industry jokes about how Bigfoot was easier to spot than the PD10 (Pincus made some of those jokes himself). But the PD10 is real, and the only laughter it causes is the chuckle you get from seeing a lovely little ragged hole in the center of the bullseye.
The PD10 is also perfectly timed! A decade ago the technology of 3D printing was not as accessible to as many as it is today. As of May 9th 2023, Avidity Arms had JSD Supply stocked up with build kits ready for some makers. Seven weeks later, June 30th, a US Federal Court struck down and completely vacated the ATF’s illegal reclassifications on frames and receivers. That includes restoring the rights for customers to purchase jigs and components to make firearms for personal use.
While the reclassification by the ATF mainly was aimed at 80% lowers, home building in general including 3D printing was in jeopardy. The court’s ruling means that Avidity and JSD can supply homebuilders with the equipment and components to make their own PD10 pistol. That said, while home-brew guns are cool, Avidity Arms is a manufacturer first and foremost. The PD10 is available to purchase from Davidson’s, , and other places.
Testing the PD10
Rob’s whole goal with the PD10 was to create a pistol with a grip that would fit as many hands as possible. The one thing that I noticed about the grip size is that it is one of the few guns that I do not have to shift my grip for my thumb to hit the magazine ejection button. Even on my favorite XDS and Hellcat I have to roll the pistol and shift my grip to reach it.
So while the grip of the PD10 is as long as a standard pistol, the widest part of the PD10 measures at an inch or less. This means that a girthy-framed man like me can carry the PD10 IWB comfortably since it is not intrusive. Looking at the grips texture, I would describe it as chunky and smooth. Ultra-aggressive sandpaper-like texture is all the rage these days, but I’m not a fan. As someone who professionally carries concealed, I find that texture will sandpaper your garments. The PD10, by contrast, is clothing friendly.
Out of the box the PD10 comes with an AmeriGlo high visibility night sight and blacked out rears. The yellow square outline is easy for your eye to pick up, and nestles quite nicely in the square notch of the rear sight. Interesting note is that Pincus designed the shape of the rear sight as a “hook” that can be used to rack the slide as back up should it be necessary. As far as accuracy, the pistol is easily a better shooter than I am.
A few words are in order about the PD10’s trigger. You have to understand this is not a trick 1911—in fact, I would say it feels more like a revolver. There is a longer trigger pull that is consistent from start to finish and then snaps. The reset is solid, as well as audible for those that ride the trigger forward. That constant weight and longer trigger pull can lead to low-left problems if you have a tendency to jerk the trigger. Use the opportunity when you go to the range to slow down and make your shots deliberate, and you’ll see the points of impact smooth out.
While Avidity Arms and the PD10 are the new kids on the block, the people and ideas behind them aren’t. There is a long list of manufacturers that rush guns to market, only to let the end user be the beta tester. A 10-year journey from concept to finished pistol has assured that the PD10 is exactly what Pincus intended and what shooters will love. Click here to find yours … no bar napkin required.
—James Nicholas Mr UnPewFessional Himself
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