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Grand Power Mk23 X-Calibur MATCH CO

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The full-length stianless dust cover is signature of the X-Calibur MATCH model
The full-length stianless dust cover is signature of the X-Calibur MATCH model

At first glance the Grand Power Mk23 X-Calibur MATCH CO may look like something you've already seen, but this model is beefed up with extra nose weight. The dust cover is stainless steel and extends from the internal chassis.

The X-Calibur MATCH's dust cover is an extension of the billet stainless internal chassis Grand Power pistols are known for.
The X-Calibur MATCH's dust cover is an extension of the billet stainless internal chassis Grand Power pistols are known for.

What Is It? The X-Calibur MATCH CO is a competition-oriented gun previously not available in the US, and now optics ready. Setting the "MATCH" apart is the railed steel dust cover which adds non-reciprocating weight to the nose of the gun; providing a little extra recoil control during strings of rapid fire.

With so little slide remaining it makes sense a name like "X-Calibur" has to go on top.
With so little slide remaining it makes sense a name like "X-Calibur" has to go on top.

Who's It For? This model was definitely created with compeitive shooting in mind, and the extra weight (5.6oz heavier than a Mk12 X-Calibur, 4.5oz heavier than a Mk23 X-Calibur CO) brings the total weight to just under two pounds: 31.9 ounces on my scales.

Like all Grand Power pistols, controls are completely ambidextrous.
Like all Grand Power pistols, controls are completely ambidextrous.

What Makes it Special? The X-Calibur MATCH CO combines that extra weight with Grand Power's new rotating barrel action to make an ultra-smooth, low-recoiling pistol. Pop an optic on top and you've got something that is easy to aim and easy to keep on target.

Contents of the Grand Power X-Calibur Match CO kit.
Contents of the Grand Power X-Calibur Match CO kit.

In the Box:

  • Three 15-round magazines

  • Four backstraps

  • Cleaning Brush

  • Manual

  • Low-profile safeties

  • Vortex/Burris pattern optic plate

  • RMS optics plate


For a closer look at the X-Calibur MATCH CO see the tabletop video below:

Specifications

  • Caliber:9×19

  • Overall length: 8.5"

  • Width:1.9"

  • Height without magazine: 5.30"

  • Barrel length:4.8"

  • Weight w empty magazine: 2.2lb

  • Weight w/o magazine: 2lb

  • Standard magazine capacity:15

While following the same lines and appearance of the Mk12 Grand Powers, the Mk23 models have enhanced traction.
While following the same lines and appearance of the Mk12 Grand Powers, the Mk23 models have enhanced traction.

To Test the new X-Calibur MATCH CO we of course stuck to our standardized protocols so that results can be compared against any of the other roughly 400 handguns we've reviewed. At the end of the test I also tried a quick drill comparing the Mk23 X-Calibur CO against the Mk23 X-Calibur MATCH CO.

  • Cold Shots: Truly our first rounds through the gun, on camera, with first thoughts shared.

  • Full Mag +1: Not all guns are happy at full capacity. This is a combination of pistol design, magazine design, and ammunition used. Unloading the pistol rapidly helps me get a feel for recoil and trigger control.

  • What's For Dinner™: A test to see what ammunition the gun will eat. Does the gun feed the round from slide lock, will it cycle and feed another round of the same type, does the slide lock to the rear on empty, and is there any notable point of impact change with different loads.

For this gun we used the following ammunition:

90gr 1776 USA Lead-Free Sporting $14.79 / 50 at GrabaGun

100gr Hornady Critical Defense Lite $23.89 / 20 at Global Ordnance

100gr S&B Non-Tox

115gr New Republic FMJ $11.99 / 50 at Target Sports USA

115gr Sig Sauer Elite Defense JHP $23.99 / 20 at Sig Sauer

115gr Wolf Steel Case FMJ: $13.77 / 50 at Sportsman's Guide

115gr Blazer Aluminum Case $17.59 / 50 at Optics Planet

130gr Federal Syntech PCC $19.99 / 50 at Target Sports USA

140gr S&B Subsonic FMJ $19.47 / 50 at Firearms Depot

147gr Federal Syntech $19.76 / 50 at Global Ordnance

  • Sights & Trigger Control: on a 6" spinner target at a distance of 12 yards. We got this from Titan Great Outdoors and use it to gauge how learnable the trigger is and usable the sights are for forced, timed, precise shots.

  • Practical Accuracy: Five shots from a distance of seven yards at a one inch target. This isn't so much about printing a tight group as it is a culmination of our shooting experience and time for us to collect thoughts prior to making a conclusion.

  • After Shots: Final impressions and reflections from the range session.

  • Comparison: To try and feel the differences between the Mk23 X-Calibur CO and Mk23 X-Calibur MATCH CO models I rapidly fire six rounds through each gun twice at a torso seven yards away; looking at impact points, speed, and feeling for control.

You can watch the process from first shots to comparison in the Shooting Impressions video below:

Does it make a difference? To me it did. While not everyone competes, most people enjoy having a gun that can wow on the range every time. The X-Calibur MATCH CO is now that gun for me. Previously it was a Mk12 X-Calibur that I knew anyone who touched it would enjoy. While that's still true, I think the updates the Mk23 X-Calibur MATCH CO brings bumps it into that spot. I've already mounted a dot on it and plan to enjoy it some more with the "cheater" way of aiming.

A sight American Grand Power fans have been asking for since the latest red-dot wave began.
A sight American Grand Power fans have been asking for since the latest red-dot wave began.

Teya later gave the X-Calibur Match CO a quick try with the Viridian RFX25. You can see her impressions in the video below:

The Veridian RFX25 mounts via one of the plates included with the X-Calibur Match CO. Pricing of the Veridian RFX25 below is as of 11FEB24, click the links to see current pricing.

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5 Comments


Are there any versions of this with 10 round magazines for those of us who live in commie states like Washington?


Even better, does it use any magazines from other brands as I have a lot to choose from and it would be great if I could use some I have grandfathered in that are standard capacity.

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Burke Wills
Burke Wills
Nov 24, 2023

Bull barrels are simply too sexy for IDPA.That’s that.

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Graham, Did the Mk12 pistol you shot for comparison have the steel forward frame like the Mk23? I wonder if that is the difference in smoothness. I must admit I was concerned that the Mk23 action would not mitigate recoil as well as the Mk7/Mk12 action. With the Mk7/Mk12 action I believe the barrel spiral moving over the bearing during recoil imparts some downward force, reducing flip. With the Mk23 action, the forces look like they are applied left and right only. I like that Grand Power have retained what I call a constant force recoil spring arrangement where the back end of the spring is attached to a fixed point on the frame. I find pistols made that way are smoother in…

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Would the Grand Power Match or any of the Grand Powers be legal in IDPA matches? I would love to shoot one in a match if they are allowed. Are the barrels in the Grand Powers a bull barrel? If so I think it might exclude them. The Match looks like it shoots amazing!

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Graham Baates
Graham Baates
Nov 20, 2023
Replying to

I'm not up to speed on current competition rules, but I believe these were built with IDPA in mind. The Mk23s do not use a bull barrel

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