Underappreciated Beauty – The Grand Power DA/SA Handguns

As a gun scribe, I have been blessed with exposure to a large portion of the market. With various shooting events conducted on a regular basis, my itchy trigger finger gets quite the scratching, but often enough its shooting the same platforms with little tweaks. While I enjoy watching and being a part of the inexorable march of progress and product improvement, often enough the larger domestic brands and larger international brands overshadow various platforms.

To me, one of the most underrated (or perhaps highly rated, just not highly purchased) is the Grand Power series of handguns. Manufactured by Grand Power in tradition-steeped Slovakia, the DA/SA platform is to me is near perfection in a handgun, functionally speaking.

To me, Grand Power included 100% ambidextrous and mirrored controls well before they are becoming the market requirement today. From there, the Grand Power ditches the common Browning tilting block action opting instead for a rotating bolt architecture – which has its own benefits. Further, and mentioned at least twice so far in this article its double-single action – a trend that is lamentably decreasing as modern offerings move to striker-fired.

For anyone who counts themselves a gun guy, I would encourage you to take a look at the platform. If you’re at the NRA show, there is nothing better – its basically the largest gun shop in the world and you can directly compare the platform to your favorites.

What do you think? Am I off my rocker or onto something?


Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Echo5Charlie

    Got my first Grand Power in 2007 or 2008 – it was the STI GP6 then. Just recently picked up a P1 this year. Great pistols that are, indeed, underappreciated.

  • Edeco

    The brand has long had my ear, but there’s no room on my coffee table, erm, I mean in my safe for any of their stuff, because all the niches have been filled by Glock, FN, etc. unless they stop being dogmatic and render forth the Roxor (tactical/practical 380).

    • iksnilol

      They do make a compact 380.

      • Edeco

        Noted, doesn’t do much for me tho, hard to explain… very practical I’m sure but be a close call between the aimed ROF of that or a fullsize 9mm. Still probably higher with the 380 but not the maximum benefit. Whereas with a fullsize 380 I’d be like “gratata”

        • iksnilol

          It’s somewhat large to be fair.

  • Own a K100 and an X-Cal, love them both! Would like to add the P10 10mm sometime in the near future.

  • Spencerhut

    I have a P40 in 10mm. I am a lifetime shooter, USPSA, ICORE, even an RO in USPSA. I am ashamed to say that more often then not when I take my P40 10mm out the mags falls out while shooting at least once on every range session. I know others have had this issue . . I find it very annoying. I know I just need to spend some more time with the gun. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7b0ca701fbbacdf424bb35b75b143d74fed72b0719d0fbe510fd0eb23ec83c2c.jpg

    • Phillip Cooper

      It’s a design feature, not a flaw. After all it’s the “best pistol”..

      (rolling my eyes, tongue VERY much in cheek)

    • Rafael DelValle

      Please contact Eagle Imports at 732-493-0333. We will direct you to a warranty center. There is a fix for this. It was an issue with a small amount of these guns. We are taking care of it under our lifetime serve contract.

      • Spencerhut

        Thanks! I thought it was just me. 🙂

  • Heartbreaker

    I have a K100 and K22s (both mk12). Love them. Great guns right out of the box. Only reason i didn’t get the P11 for CCW is because its too wide.

  • Shaun Connery Oliver II

    I have an interesting idea of dueling handguns: Grand Power K100 v. Arsenal Firearms STRYK A. THIS IS GONNA BE FUN!😈

  • Darrell

    I test drove one years ago, known as the STI GP6 at the time. The gun ran great, it was accurate, the trigger reset was amazingly short, and due to its rotary action the slide was very easy to cycle. The only problem I had was the price, which I thought was way high for a polymer gun. I suspect it being called an “STI” was part of that. J&G had Grand Powers a couple of years ago for all of $300, I wish I’d picked one up then, quite a deal.

    • roguetechie

      Yup, I got the j&g offerings.

    • Doug73

      Yep, I also bought one of those $299 Grand Power P1’s from J&G, and a handful of the $19.99 mags they were selling around the same time. And I feel like I STOLE that pistol from J&G! It was essentially a $600 gun selling at half-price. It’s easily the best shooting handgun in my collection, with quality that meets or exceeds far more expensive handguns.

      I sorta view Grand Powers as the “Mazdas of the pistol world.” Mazda objectively makes better small cars than its other Japanese competition (at least, they do if you actually enjoy driving), yet Toyota and Honda still easily outsell Mazda almost 7 to 1. Likewise, my P1 outshoots any other pistol I own (and I own more than a few), yet Grand Power sells but a tiny fraction compared to Glock, S&W, etc.

      My theory on this phenomenon? It’s usually a pretty small minority of people who “get it”, and who buy lesser-known ‘sleeper’ brands that in many ways are putting out a superior product. Which is a nice way of saying that most people prefer conventional and boring. 😉

  • Raptor Fred

    This certainly is the first time I have seen the literacy rate of a country being used to promote the sale of a handgun. Well IDK…….. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f99654df23bb2a1332de7ac436481a9899e50ec42171c4094de96825e15317ba.jpg

    • PK

      I love that shirt so much. Best clothing purchase I’ve made recently.

  • Andrew

    Beretta couldn’t convince people to buy a pistol with a rotating barrel so why would they now buy one from an unknown company in Slovakia?

    • Spencerhut

      The system on the GP puts the Beretta to shame.

    • James

      The Beretta Couger and the PX4 use a short-recoil rotating barrel action.

      The Grand Power guns use a rotating barrel delayed blowback action.

      I am interested in looking at getting a P40 in 10mm but at $750 it’s an expensive pistol.

    • Martin frank

      beretta has convinced quite a few people to buy them

      • Spencerhut

        Well there are a lot of people that buy all sorts of junk. Beretta handguns are junk.Where do you think “Down for Dead” came from? Beretta.

        • Martin frank

          you glocksuckers are all the same, your nazi jesus gaston and his plastic company got lucky with one design that wasnt a spoon or trashcan 35 years ago and none of you have shut up since. beretta has been around over 500 years. to dismiss them as junk just shows how uneducated and unsubstantial you glocksuckers really are. i hope you bleed out when you ND yourself. Save the world the trouble.

          • Spencerhut

            Who said I was a Glock fanboy? I’m just a guy that sells and works on guns for a living. I’ve seen enough Beretta’s to know they are junk. There is no reason to buy a Beretta handgun given the choices of handguns on the market today. CZ, Glock, Springfield, Sig, HK, S&W to name a few all make far better handguns than Beretta ever has. Beretta handguns suck eggs.

  • Patrick

    I own an X-Calibur. It is, by far, the best pistol in my collection. It’s the only 9mm my 13 year old daughter will shoot because it is so manageable.

  • John

    Marketing is the key, never name a gun the same as a little kids Big Wheel toy. JK BNR

  • it’s just Boris

    I have a P40 in 10mm.

    Reassembling it after a cleaning is … interesting. I usually need to clamp the slide in a bench vise, upside down, to get enough controlled leverage to get the spring compressed back and the slide to lock on. And I thought I had strong hands…

    Another minor irritant is, the decocking lever does not fully return to the “fire” position after pushing it down to decock the gun. Perhaps this is just mine, however – would other P40 owners care to comment?

  • Grump

    To me these are the only polymer pistols that really stand out from the Glock design, if only they had better marketing and more corporate horsepower behind them.

  • John

    Really want a X-Cal, but the magazine prices are insane! Especially if you want an extended mag with the basepad. They’re going for even more than HK mag prices. C’mon….

    • Red79cj5

      Ever look into modifying CZ mags? There are a number of tutorials on the web showing how to cut a small hole in the front for the ambi-mag release. I bought a k100 mk7 recently for about $330 and quite like it. It had a hitch in the slide travel that evened out after breaking it in and the roller that engages the barrel was poorly machined at its ends. Easy to fix but frustrating on a new gun. The slide is very nicely machined with maybe too sharp slide serrations. Reassembly can be a pain, too

      • John

        That’s exactly what I told my buddy after he bought himself a X-Cal last month. Just really frustrating that Grand Power makes factory magazines so expensive which is killing sales and popularity of a fantastic shooting gun.

  • john huscio

    still waiting for a decocker only version or maybe an HK-LEM type trigger setup….

  • 22winmag

    If I hear 100% ambidextrous one more time, I’m going to cough up a hairball.

  • Martin frank

    …”rotating barrel, others have tried but no one”… these 99% literate jabroni’s might want to read a book on a little company called beretta. The px4 has prolly sold in a year what these clowns did in their entire existence.

    • Spencerhut

      But the PX4 is crude junk next to a Grand Power.