Forgotten Weapons: The Legendary Bren Ten

If you love large-bore pistols, especially the 10mm, odds are you’re a fan of some of the more obscure models. Perhaps the perfect example of a 10mm pistol that makes fans’ hearts skip a beat is the Bren Ten, because it’s so hard to come by but it also pioneered the 10mm Auto cartridge. Of course, there’s more to it than that, which is what Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons gets into in this video review.

Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons talks about the Bren Ten.
Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons talks about the Bren Ten. (Photo credit: Forgotten Weapons)

What is the History of the Bren Ten?

Before getting into the details of the gun itself, Ian talks about its history. This is some of what makes the Bren Ten such a legendary object for so many gun owners:

“This is probably the most tactical pistol of all time; this is a special forces version of the Bren Ten. I don’t know how much more tactical you can get than that, although maybe tactical isn’t quite the right word.”

The tactical Bren Ten.
The tactical Bren Ten. (Photo credit: Forgotten Weapons)

The Bren Ten pistol was developed in the 1980s by Dornhaus and Dixon, two guys who decided they wanted to get into the pistol business. Something that really set them apart was they managed to get Jeff Cooper as their design consultant. Jeff Cooper, of course, is the legendary figure in the Modern Technique of the Pistol, which remains one of the driving forces behind all of our modern competition today.

Having Cooper involved really set them up for success in the pistol world. They formed their company in 1981, opened a factory up in 1982, had the design going in 1983, and then from 1984 to 1986, they were making guns. Then, in 1987, they went bankrupt and out of business. Ian says, “That was kind of the arc of Dornhaus and Dixon and the Bren Ten.”

Check out the Forgotten Weapons video below to learn more about the gun and Ian’s take on it:


Will there ever be a Bren Ten?

We’ve covered that a bit in our 10mm Auto Wiki:

“There have been a lot of empty promises from firearms manufacturers in the gun industry looking to further their popularity by resurrecting the Bren Ten. In 1986, entrepreneur Richard Voit of what would become Peregrine Industries bought the rights to the Bren Ten after Dornaus & Dixon went through bankruptcy. However, Peregrine Industries themselves fell to financial difficulties. The next noteworthy Bren Ten attempt took place in 2008 when Vltor Weapon Systems decided they’d launch their own version of the infamous 10mm. That project stagnated for various reasons.

“This brings us to the most reason Bren Ten recreation attempt, made by Elite Warrior Armament. In 2017 they not only announced their plans for the coming pistol but began taking deposits for the gun that had not yet been produced. At the time of this writing, the gun still has not been made. It would seem the Bren Ten is something of a doomed design.”

Bren Ten 10mm Auto
You might not love 10mm, but you have to admit it’s an interesting cartridge with a cool first-ever gun despite the Bren Ten never making it in the real world.

Do you own a 10mm…or do you want one? Why or why not?

Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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