The X-Calibur was my first exposure to Grand Power pistols back in 2015 that ignited a passion in me for these incredible pistols. Now, more than seven years and 400 pistol reviews later it remains one of my all-time favorites. As the channel's review format and our knowledge has grown it seems only fair to revisit the Grand Power X-Calibur. If you're new to the Grand Power line of pistols, or looking to find one see our Grand Power Pistol Guide. There's a lot to these pistols that make them different, too much for me to repeat in every review.
What Is It? The X-Calibur is a 5"-fluted-bull-barreled, 15rd 9mm pistol aimed at the competition/practical shooting market. It shares the same frame and magazines as Grand Power's other 15-rd 9mm pistols. The incredibly-smooth and soft recoil impulse of Grand Power's unique rotating barrel action is soften even more by the longer slide. Grand Power also includes alternate recoil springs for competition shooters who want to tune the action to their game loads. The pistol has a thumb safety, but can function as a double-action: should a round fail to fire simply pull the trigger again.
Differences from standard Grand Power models include:
Heavily skeletonized slide (see tabletop video for a look inside) to reduce reciprocating mass.
Red fiber-optic front sight, and black, serrated adjustable rear target sight.
5" bull barrel with deep flutes to reduce masse and aid in cooling.
Over-sized safety levers (standard size are also included) for use as a thumb rest to further enhance recoil control.
Over-sized left side magazine release.
Slide auto-forwarding when a magazine is vigorously inserted (in the Shooting Impressions video we refer to this as the "Birthday Bump")
To enhance the already incredible trigger and further reduce slide mass the drop safety has been deleted. (Think 70's series 1911)
To get a better feel for the gun see our tabletop video below. Trigger snobs should pay particular attention to the "Trigger Talk" segment.
When I was an instructor I brought my original X-Calibur with me to work and used it quite often with new shooters as a confidence builder. At first glance it might sounds strange to hand a newer shooter an exotic competition gun, but here are the facts that lead me to do this (and often):
I can not think of another 9mm pistol that recoils softer than the X-Calibur: flinching habits will not be developed and may be broken.
The trigger is so crisp and predictable that the gun really shows the potential of the shooter. When the shooter is ready to fire the gun fires without protest or accuracy-costing resistance. The average shooter groups tighter with a better trigger.
Ergonomically, the four three-sided backstrap options and over-sized ambidextrous controls ensure the pistol is both comfortable and easy to use for practically any hand.
A long sight radius and fine sight system helps establish what a good sight picture really is.
Trigger Mechanism and Weight: SA 3.37-4.05lbs, DA 6.74-7.87lbs
Overall Length: 8.66"
Height without magazine: 5.26"
Barrel Length: 4.99"
Weight w/o magazine: 28.11oz
Seven years after our original review of the Grand Power X-Calibur the review format has changed a bit, so of course we needed to take the new X-Calibur to the range to see how it stands up to our current standard battery of experiences. We've had requests to list out the ammunition we use and where to find it. In our Shooting Impressions video the following twelve types of ammunition are used:
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.
We experienced a single feeding issue when using the Blazer Aluminum-cased ammunition. It could have been a bad round, or it could be that the Grand Power X-Calibur doesn't like aluminum cases. Not enough of a malfunction to be concerned about, but worth noting.
As expected, the Grand Power X-Calibur was very fun to shoot. The least recoil I can think of from a 9mm pistol, a very crisp and predictable trigger, and true target-grade sights means you hit what you're aiming at and are ready to land another hit before your brain has finished processing how great the last shot was. If you've ever considered/wanted a "fancy" gun to really enjoy on the range and show off with friends the Grand Power X-Calibur fits that bill pretty well. It's exotic, fantastic to shoot, and priced well below it's fight class.
Seven years and hundreds of handgun reviews later I have yet to find another gun that out-performs or even matches this grade of shooting experience for the money.