The Bren Ten is a pistol design that had everything going for it, as well as everything going against it. At a time in the early 80's when police agencies were looking for something more powerful than the 9 mm cartridge along came Dornaus & Dixon, an up-start gun company in southern California. This company teamed up with Col. Jeff Cooper, recognized as the father of what is commonly known as 'The Modern Technique' of handgun shooting, and considered by many to be the world's foremost expert on the use of small arms, and Swedish ammunition maker Norma, to develop a new cartridge and handgun to meet the need.
The result in 1983 was the Bren Ten, the first handgun chambered for the new 10 mm Norma cartridge. The gun and cartridge were developed together to provide what was then believed by Cooper and others to be the best possible balance of effects for a defensive handgun. The handgun was effectively a 10 shot modified CZ-75, who's design lines can easily be recognized in the Bren Ten's profile. It had a stainless steel frame and a blued slide. The barrel incorporated a unique 'Power Seal' rifling.
That's what it had going for it. What it had going against it was Dornaus & Dixon.
The Bren Ten production line was relatively small scale and suffered from a number of quality control problems. Pistols were sometimes delivered without any ammunition magazines, and every pistol was essentially hand assembled. Not long after, for a variety of reasons, including defaulting on pre-payments, problems with sub-contractors (especially magazines), and other financial trouble, Dornaus & Dixon and the Bren Ten went under, and almost took the 10 mm Norma cartridge with it. Fortunately, Colt came along and re-chambered and re-engineered their 1911 into the 'Delta Elite' and saved the 10mm cartridge.
Since then there has been a cult-like following of the Bren Ten. The gun was also popularized by the character, Sonny Crockett, who carried it in the 80's television series 'Miami Vice'. Dornaus & Dixon only produced the gun for about two years, and it is reported that there were only around 1500 pistols ever made. Despite production and financial problems, the gun was well received, and loved by its owners. Today an original Dornaus & Dixon Bren Ten is worth three times its original retail value, and magazines for the gun are hard to find and are equally expensive.