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.
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.
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.
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.
In the Box:
Three 15-round magazines
Vortex/Burris pattern optic plate
RMS optics plate
For a closer look at the X-Calibur MATCH CO see the tabletop video below:
Overall length: 8.5"
Height without magazine: 5.30"
Weight w empty magazine: 2.2lb
Weight w/o magazine: 2lb
Standard magazine capacity:15
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.