The Best Pistol You Have Never Heard Of

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There are brands we all know—like GLOCK, Ruger and Smith & Wesson. We know them for many reasons, not the least of which is that they make quality guns.

There are, however, companies out there that are innovating and bringing great new designs to market that get much less exposure.

Many times, these brands are made overseas and don’t have the marketing budget or savvy that the big guys have. I would like to introduce many of you to such a company, Grand Power.

Grand Power firearms are made in Slovakia. They are represented by Global Ordinance, based in Sarasota Florida.

The particular pistol I am going to discuss today is the Grand Power Q100. This is an evolutionary step forward based on design improvements from lessons learned on their K100 series.

Grand Power Q100 Rear Sights
The Grand Power Q100 features fiber-optic rear sights for easy target acquisition.

Grand Power Q100 Specifications

Action Semi-Automatic
Caliber 9mm Luger
Width 1.4 Inches
Length 8 Inches
Height 5.3 Inches
Barrel Length 4.3 Inches
Capacity 15+1
Frame Polymer
Slide Stainless in Black
Sights Adjustable Rear
Weight (Unloaded) 26.1 Ounces

Notable Design Elements

The Q100 has several design items that deserve notice beyond the listing of specifications.

Like many newer handguns, Grand Power has included four backstrap options to assist in creating the proper ergonomic feel for a variety of shooters. The panel is quickly removed and replaced.

If you happen to purchase the gun at a retail establishment, confirming your preferred configuration should take less than 10 minutes.

After you have done so once and learned the process, changing out the backstrap again takes less than three minutes.

That being said, a shooter will know the correct size with a few rounds of shooting and rarely, if ever, change from their preferred setup.

An additional advantage is the ambidextrous control suite. The magazine release and slide release can be easily accessed from either side.

For right-handed shooters, this matters little, but it is a welcome ergonomic advantage for lefties. Another great feature is the quick-reset trigger.

This helps with a very short throw reset and makes for quick follow-up shots and increases precision in fast drills.

Grand Power Q100 and Backstraps
The Grand Power Q100 offers several different sizes of backstraps to best fit the shooter’s hand. It’s one versatile pistol.

Advantages of the Grand Power Q100

The largest differentiator for this pistol is the rotary-locking barrel system. There are many advantages to this system.

One advantage to this system is it keeps the barrel in the same plane for the entirety of the shot cycle, unlike the tilt-up actions on such pistols as GLOCK or Smith & Wesson.

This creates a different recoil impulse and helps to reduce muzzle rise. It also allows for a lower bore axis and tighter tolerances on vertical play for the barrel.

Both can aid in shooter accuracy.

The rotary system has a graduated engagement that extends the duration of the ejection. This makes the recoil impulse slower and softer.

In addition, some of the recoil energy that normally pushes back and flips the weapon upwards, is instead directed into the rotation of the barrel.

The bearing surface of the rotary system extends the recoil impulse.

Once the shot is fired, the recoil energy is used to unlock the recoil lugs, the bearing surface and the rotational energy required to complete the ejection process results in a much slower impulse as well as a redirection of the energy.

This creates a slight rotational effect, but the lack of a tilt-up barrel reduces muzzle rise. The graduated transfer of energy results in more of a push than a snap for the recoil.

All of this greatly decreases recovery time between shots. It is initially a tad odd feeling, but within a magazine or two that goes away and is appreciated for the lower felt recoil.

Q100 Rotary Barrel
The rotary barrel looks very different to standard tilt-up barrel locking mechanisms.

Other Notes

The recoil lugs are also much further up the barrel and do not get coated in near the amount of burnt powder and carbon.

This, along with the delayed ejection and thus lower gas temperatures, assists in keeping the chamber area clean.

The rotary action does require a minimum amount of energy to cycle. In testing, that threshold is not met by 90-grain projectiles at subsonic velocities.

Even these light cartridges have enough energy to cycle the action when the velocity exceeds 1,300 fps.

All factory 115 and 124-grain projectiles ran perfectly, as did both subsonic and supersonic 158-grain choices. My takeaway: pretty much any weight projectile you can commonly find will work consistently.

Grand Power Q100 Flat Trigger
The Q100 features a flat-face trigger, a modern upgrade many shooters prefer in their pistol.

Conclusion: Best Pistol You Have Never Heard Of

As I mentioned at the beginning, most of us own and carry guns made by the big brands.

We do that in part due to marketing budget, they have a long track record of reliability as well as recommendations from friends and the Law-Enforcement community.

Those are all great things. However, such brands are typically not the hotbeds of innovation.

Stepping outside of the big names often brings us in contact with interesting, innovative designs, and with a little due diligence, reliability is easily determined.

Live a little, go experience something new like the Q100 or any of the other Grand Power firearms.

Have you tried a Grand Power Q100 or any other obscure pistol? Let us know in the comments section below!



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