I’ve just come back from one of my favorite gun stores, Ihawu in New Germany (just outside of Durban). We were invited to try the new range of Grand Power polymer pistols chambered in 9mmx19. These are branded as the STI GP6 in the US, but there is no difference apart from the branding.
They come nicely packaged in a plastic box with 2 magazines as you can see in the photos. I suppose the first thing I would do is get a decent box, since a $400 watch can come in a decent wooden or aluminium box, I’m always disappointed in gun packaging these days.
Predictably the place was crawling with our friends from law enforcement (SAPS, Road Traffic Inspectorate and Metro) and they were all very complimentary of the Grand Power and compared them favorably to their Glocks. The big difference is that they were happier with the external hammer which gave them more comfort carrying in condition 1 (Cocked and Locked). The junior officers carry CZ75′s which they are looking to replace with the harder wearing polymer pistols. The GP has been torture tested in much the same way as the Glock and has come through with flying colors.See Reliability Test and also Torture Test for all the pictures.
The Mark 7 comes with replaceable grips of different sizes, like the Glock 4th Gen. This is great for a smaller handed shooter.
I particularly liked the rotating barrel concept, which noticeably reduces recoil in the smaller frames.
I shot 50 rounds standing and managed to get all but 3 inside the center mass section, so I’d say this was as accurate as you need it to be. The trigger was crisp with around a 3-4lb pull. The X-caliber was not for shooting sadly and I was shooting the mid-size frame. The X-Caliber is great value for money as it’s a competition gun out of the box.
Recoil was not unpleasant due the rotating barrel and the fifty rounds didn’t seem to tire me much. I probably could have shot 200 happily. The sights are white tritium type dot sights. The competition versions have fiber sights. The ammo given to me was FMJ and not the highest quality, but true to expectations it cycled perfectly every time. I was shooting Single Action, but you can of course shoot Double Action. There is a side safety which shows red when safe. You can also “lock” the gun with a special key.
As you can see in the photo it does have an underbarrel rail for light or laser.
The K100 is completely ambidextrous.
The Grand Power is already winning competitions and is in use by the Slovakian Police and other agencies. It’s good value for money at around $100 cheaper than a comparable Glock. Would I recommend one? Yes – without hesitation. If you want a polymer pistol that will be ultra-reliable and has an external hammer – this is the way to go. This competes squarely with the S&W SD9 or M&P and the ubiquitous Glock.
Downside? I’d like to see .40 or .357 Sig or .45 ACP. At the moment the Mk7 is in 9mm x 19 only.