Coonan MOT-10 Handgun – A Perfect 10mm 1911 ~ VIDEO Review

Coonan MOT-10 Handgun, finally Coonan has unleashed their 1911 in 10mm and it is goooood.

Coonan MOT-10 Handgun is the company's first effort in 10mm.
Coonan MOT-10 Handgun is the company’s first effort in 10mm.
Mike Searson
Mike Searson

U.S.A.-( Back in the 1970s Dan Coonan designed a 1911 style handgun chambered in the 357 Magnum round while he was still in college. The Coonan 357 was a bit of a sleeper hit in the decades before the World Wide Web and sadly the company closed its doors in 1998.

After a decade on hiatus, the company came back with a vengeance in 2009 and has been running full bore on all cylinders ever since.

As cool as it may be to load 357 Magnum rounds into a 1911 magazine, there are a number of pistol cartridges that duplicate the performance while feeding with less trouble and in some instances can increase the capacity. When we shot the 45 ACP versions all we could think was how cool this pistol would be in 10mm or 38 Super.

Coonan must be reading our minds because they finally unleashed their 1911 in 10mm and it delivers in more ways than one. The Coonan MOT-10 Handgun is that pistol we were waiting for!

Coonan MOT-10 Handgun

Coonan MOT-10 Handgun
Coonan MOT-10 Handgun

Coonan MOT-10 – The Good

The Coonan MOT-10 ships with two magazines a hard pistol case and a few bottles of oil. The company advises a heavier coating of lubricant than normal when breaking the pistol in.

As we said in our earlier review of Coonan takes a few concepts from John Browning’s later handgun design, the Browning Hi-Power. One is the link-less barrel and the other is a trigger that pivots rather than pulls straight back. While not necessarily a Browning design, the extractor is external. Say what you will, we find this more effective and durable than the internal extractor of the 1911 design.

The pivoting trigger of the Coonan MOT-10 is similar to the trigger found on the Browning Hi-Power.

The linkless barrel system is as significant in this pistol as it is in the 357 Magnum version and more than perhaps the 45 ACP model; for the plain fact that it makes for less internal wearing points on high-pressure rounds.

Like there other models, the dust cover of the frame runs the full length of the slide, giving the pistol a unique profile and making it look longer than it is. We find that this full-length dust cover eats up much of the recoil generated by the 10mm round. We first realized this several years ago when we reviewed their original 357 version and confirmed it on both the 45 ACP and now the 10mm models.

But it also gives Coonan a unique look so that these pistols will stand out in a crowd.

In the accuracy department, the Coonan MOT-10 shines owing to its superb trigger, recoil countering frame and the perfect grip angle of the 1911. Using Sig Sauer’s 180-grain FMJ we shot sub 2” groups measuring 1.5 to 1.85 inches at 50 feet.

An extended slide release and thumb safety made the controls on this pistol very user-friendly. We liked the unique almost skip line checkering on the mainspring housing and it made the pistol very comfortable to shoot.

Mainspring housing on the MOT-10

Coonan MOT-10 – The Bad

As a shooter, the Coonan MOT-10 is absolutely flawless. There are a few quirks, though.

Number one would be holster selection. Some 1911 holsters will fit well, others may not.  Until the production holster companies get caught up with new firearms such as the Coonan MOT-10 coming to market, most shooters will have to go the custom route.

Lastly, we think a full-length railed dust cover would be a great feature on these pistols. We prefer a rail on a pistol to adding night sights these days as we find a weapon mounted light more useful should the pistol need to be put into use in low light conditions. If you are running this in daytime shooting matches or as a hunting handgun exclusively, this may be a moot point, but for home defense we think it is a must.

The dust cover runs the full length of the slide on the Coonan MOT-10
The dust cover runs the full length of the slide on the Coonan MOT-10

Coonan MOT-10 – The Reality

The 10mm is one of those cartridges that has stood the test of time. We have heard it declared dead at least 3 times over the past 30 years and it keeps coming back with a vengeance.

It may not be the right round for everyone, but those who enjoy it are completely sold on it. The Coonan gives these shooters another option.

Coonan impressed us in the 1980s when we first saw their 357 Classic pistols. Over the years they continue to drive forward with sound design principles they came up with when building that model and are deploying them to other models to prove that like the 10mm, the 1911 will never die.

Coonan Arms MOT 10
Coonan Arms MOT 10

Coonan MOT-10 1911 Specs:

  • Model: Coonan MOT-10
  • Barrel length: 5”
  • Overall Length: 8″
  • Weight: 40oz (unloaded)
  • Height: 5.5″
  • Caliber: 10mm
  • Sights: Novak Style
  • Magazine Capacity: 8+1
  • MSRP: $1399

Coonan MOT-10 – Bonus Video

About Mike Searson

Mike Searson’s career as a shooter began as a Marine Rifleman at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire adult life as a Gunsmith, Ballistician, Consultant, Salesman, Author and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1989.

Mike has written over 2000 articles for a number of magazines, websites and newsletters including Blade, RECOIL, OFF-GRID, Tactical Officer, SWAT, Tactical World, Gun Digest, and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

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Hey Willie,
I don’t have to worry about my Coonan losing part of the frame in the event of an ammunition malfunction; like those precious plastic marvels can. Nor will my Coonan warp if I leave it in direct sunlight. 😉 Don’t like it; don’t buy one. Need a dangerous left/right handed implement cheap? Buy a hammer.

Shotgun Willie

Glock pistols are ambidextrous,the slide release is easily manipulated by pulling the slide back with the weak hand after you reload. You would know this if you had ever been to any training. What ru really upset about just to old to change? The Coonan is 1300 dollar gun and they could see fit to place a 30 dollar safety on it. Over sight clear and simple. Your coachgun argument doesn’t hold water either.? How in the hell is it a “right handed” gun? Trigger accessible from both sides, safety on the top again accessible for either hand. I think… Read more »


So to fuel the fire. Roughly 10% of the population is left handed. How doe’s this equate to 50% of all purchasers?




In Willie’s little world it’s 50%, let’s not confuse him….
I can’t Imagine him going by the fact’s

Shotgun Willie

Who the hell cares what the exact number of left vrs right Coonan still missed a large number of individuals you giant nimrods. Don’t get confused here. You are picking this point out of all the discourse so far- mental giants let me tell ya.


Left hand Shotgun Willie…
In the business world it makes a big difference….
Even a coach gun is right handed as well as your Glock.
Your lack and ability to understand reality makes me laugh.
You’re what I call, a waste of words…

Was my grammar OK !

JR Bailey

It look decent!

I’d like you to explain your coach gun statement however, because it just doesn’t seem to be, pardon the pun, ‘right’!

JR Bailey

Please note everyone, the difference between the terms ‘your, as in, “Your gun came in today.” ( denoting possession), and ‘you’re’, as in “You’re not understanding the sentence.” (You are not..).

Yes, I know, somewhat anally-retentive, but then again language is power, and grammar happens to be the rules by which language is defined! Garner some power for yourselves gentlemen!


Would gas escape ports on the top front of the barrel and slide help with muzzle flip and felt recoil?




Will the MOT-10 be available with a lighter spring set to be able to shoot cheaper Shorty Forty ammo for practice?


I don’t know about the 40 part but they do have other weight springs on their website.

Shotgun Willie

How about Coonan make a real effort and make it ambidextrous. Really all that money and not enough common sense to build it to work for all shooters. I’ll take my 1500 dollars and buy three glocks. Go and bite it Coonan have some forethought you literally just missed half of you target audience. DUMB ASS!!!!!


All you’ve done is prove your the DA!!!
Glock, not built for Lefties either.
No safety, slide release on left side (Built for Right hand users )
I’m left handed and have never had an issue using any weapon.
Might be because I know how to use all my fingers….
Before you go on a rant, Yes I own Glocks as well but rather carry a 1911 any day of the week.


Catt, how do you find 10mm compared to .45ACP?


Personally I find the 45 more manageable but with more practice I’ll be able to control the 10 as well.
The only thing that could have made a difference in my opinion would be a 6 inch barrel .
As far as knock down power goes, the 10mm has the advantage over distance.



Shotgun Willie

1911’s are built for right handed people. If your left handed and can somehow fiddle fumble the safety off of your antique weapon system that’s great. However you will not win a gunfight any day of the week(read slow as molasses). I have spent to many days of my life training and living this life and having watched so many folks struggle with trying to find a safety on the wrong side of the gun to entertain any BS on the matter. Try an ambi- safety gun you’ll like it. I not saying glocks are perfect but for 1/3 of… Read more »


Somehow I knew you were going to say something stupid. I’ve been a lefty for over 1/2 a century. Meaning I know how to handle my weapons. Your assuming because you can’t use a right handed gun that no one else can as well. As an example I shoot right hand bolt action on purpose, my finger never leaves the trigger. I’ve shot ambi only to find my short thumb can’t reach the safety and I don’t need the extra thickness on my gun. You know that finger next to your thumb? Believe it or not it works for dropping… Read more »

Shotgun Willie

Ok so your entire argument relates to you and you alone. You have learned to use a gun that doesn’t quite work for you- you have adapted. I’m in the mind frame that a weapon designed should appeal to the general populace. Not just half, if you made a gun just for men for instance you would be immediately cutting half of your possible sales. This is a fairly simple concept that everyone can grasp. Also i have had the opportunity to to have the ammunition for the week delivered by a Ford Excursion-loaded with one driver and nothing else… Read more »