Grand Power Q1S: Subcompact Striker
With over five dozen videos covering 19 different models of Grand Power guns, it seemed about time we covered the Q1S. I had a chance to try one of these out years ago at an IraqVeteran8888 Range Day, but never got my hands on one to review. Honestly I've been so happy with Grand Power's hammer-fired pistols I didn't see the need to spend much time with their striker-fired pistols.
That choice was wrong. The improved trigger designs of Grand Power's newer striker-fired guns (their original was way too light and offered minimal feedback) is one that I think will challenge Walther and Canik trigger snobs. It's that light and crisp, perhaps on the edge of being too light and crisp for carry, but that's a matter of personal preference and self-awareness.
About Subcompacts: This size family (for 9mm = 12+1 rounds and about a 3.6" barrel, the Q1S has a 3.66" barrel) used to be the standard preferred size for smaller-framed citizens to carry concealed. Around 2015-2016 we saw the rise of great single-stack 9mm pistols, and more recently those have been replaced with micro-compacts. I bring this up because there was a time when subcompact pistols to me were the edge of the smallest I wanted to shoot. Shorter barrels and grips generally means more recoil that is tougher to control, yet after years of single-stacks and micro-compacts, subcompacts suddenly feel much easier to shoot. Either that, or it's Grand Power's recoil-and-flip-reducing rotating barrel action pulling off another trick.
About Grand Power Pistols: All Grand Power pistols of 9mm or greater use a unique rotating barrel action rather than the common (and cheaper to manufacture) Browning tilting action. As a result of this rotating action the barrel does not need to move rearward and then downward while cycling. That means less mass shifting in your hand trying to wrest the pistol from your grip. Additionally, the Grand Power design lets and requires the barrel to sit lower in the pistol, further reducing perceived recoil.
Another interesting feature of Grand Power pistols is that inside the frame sits a billet-steel chassis which houses all the major trigger components. Grand Power has been doing this for decades, long before the "modular chassis" was a thing. Unfortunately as early users of this concept it was not thought of to make this chassis the serialized part of the firearm, so it's not modular like a Sig P320 or P365, but it is a lot stronger. The chassis provides a very solid housing to keep trigger feel consistent and increase durability. There is a rental gun in Slovakia that has over 120,000 rounds through it with only springs and other natural wear parts replaced. If you look closely you'll also see three letters stamped into the chassis. Those are the initials of the smith who assembled the gun. Accountability for life.
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Trigger pull weight: 3.5lbs
Overall length: 7.2"
Height without magazine: 4.69"
Barrel length: 3.66"
Standard magazine capacity:12
Pricing around the web (as of 22JUL22)
$489.99 from the importer Global Ordnance
Despite my open fan-boy attitude towards Grand Power we of course treated the gun to the same format of trials and evaluation we do every gun. Objectivity is what we're known for.
Ammunition seen in our Shooting Impressions video was made possible by our Patrons and supporters of our ammunition savings account through Ammo Squared. Additional, on-demand ammunition through True Shot Gun Club.
A Surprise to me, or perhaps better described as a reason why two shooters is important, was that Teya prefers the Q1S over the P11 (same size Grand Power, but DA/SA). I've long thought that the energy consumed by cocking a hammer makes for a different recoil feel, and reduces slide velocity. To me that's a good thing, but Teya prefers the implied quicker-cycling feel of the Q1S. Maybe we should shoot the two side by side in a video and talk about this, perhaps try some high-speed filming to see if we can see the difference we think we're feeling. In any case Teya rocked with the Q1S as you saw in the Practical Accuracy portion of our Shooting Impressions video.
If you're concerned about aftermarket for a gun that so few have heard about, fear not. The Grand Power Q1S is supported by having the same dimensions, magazine, and sights as the P11. That is to say holster for the P11 will fit the like a glove. As far as sights the front sight is a CZ75 pattern, and with some work I've seen CZ75 front sights work, Grand Power also offers a fiberoptic front sight that you can get through their US importer Global Ordnance.
I find it ironic that some folks make their gun-purchasing decisions based on aftermarket support. That support comes to be when there are enough guns in circulation to create demand. If we don't buy the guns and harass the aftermarket the aftermarket will never come.