Military Arms Channel (MAC) has reviewed the Grand Power P1.
The review is here:
I find it interesting that he’s experiencing the same issues that I have with my P11 — failures to return to battery. He was pretty put-off by that, which is understandable. What’s weird is that some people experience the issue while others do not. I know the gun does not like being extremely dirty (it doesn’t take a lot of rounds before it’s deemed dirty, either). The gun also likes to be wet with lube, which probably isn’t going to help with carbon…it makes for a pasty mix.
He’s also the first major reviewer I’ve ever seen that has experienced such issues. Or maybe he’s the first that’s bold enough to report about it. In the past, I’ve stated that I find it weird that no reviewers have ever had negative comments about this gun. That’s the main reason I did so many videos of the gun…because I felt people were possibly hiding negative experiences of the Grand Power handgun platforms.
One thing that MAC should do is not use CLP. That’s what I was initially using and it is not enough, as it moves around and will eventually evaporate. Apparently grease is a no-go as well, as Dave Copping joined in offering guidance to MAC in that video’s comments section (Dave Copping works for Eagle Imports). He needs a heavy oil — heavy oil will migrate less. I used oil (synthetic motor oil) the last time I took the P11 to the range…I still had FRTBs, although I shot 150 rounds of Wolf, which probably counteracted the motor oil. As a reminder, Wolf generates a LOT of carbon.
It seems that the only way around the FRTBs would be to do a field strip of the weapon at the range to wipe it down enough to lessen the FRTBs so that the range session could continue. Or use a clean-burning ammo (depending on the ammo, that could be expensive).
MAC also wants to apply the MAC reliability test to his P1 (it consists of dunking the gun in water, sand, and mud, firing a mag in between each medium). That gun is going to fail that test. It’s not that type of gun. It’s a very tight gun, tolerance-wise…such guns are not typically reliable when it comes to being subjected to such tests. I left a comment stating that the gun will probably fail the test. I’m not sure if he’s going to submit it to the test anyways, but I seriously doubt it’ll pass.
I went to the range after work on 12/12. I decided to bring my Metro Arm 1911 and the Bersa Thunder 380 Plus. I only ended up firing the Bersa and my carry gun, the Grand Power P11. I thought that 3 guns in a one-hour visit was too much, and I felt the need to be shooting more ammo out of the Grand Power since I’ve neglected to frequent the range.
I shot a total of 100 rounds out of the P11 (for a total of 816 rounds out of the gun). There were no feed issues.
I shot 125 rounds out of the Bersa (for a total of 159). There were no feed issues.
As with all my range sessions, I shoot at 7 yards.
First 15 rounds of the session, using the P11 (using GP P1 mags…bought 3 of them), 7 yards.
50 rounds, same target as above, same range, same gun. Ammo is American Eagle ball FMJ, 115-grain.
Here’s the 2nd box of American Eagle, same gun, same distance.
Here’s the Bersa Thunder 380 Plus. I’m not used to shooting this gun. It feels too small for my hands (having issues with finger placement on the trigger since my hands are so big). Taking my time, I can be accurate with it, though. This is 15 rounds at 7 yards.
Here’s the whole 125 (100 rounds of WWB flat-nosed FMJ and 25 rounds of Federal ball FMJ). I couldn’t tear a ragged hole in the red like I can with the P11. The P11 is built a lot better, though (better trigger and sights, less recoil reaching my hands).
Comparing the two guns, both are roughly the same size. Roughly. The P11 has the shorter barrel (3.3″, compared to the Bersa’s 3.5″ barrel). The P11 is heavier (22.6 oz vs the Bersa’s 20.5). Both are DA/SA guns, but the P11 has a very precise trigger in either mode. The P11 fills my strong hand in a way that lets me put my trigger finger pad on the trigger. The Bersa’s grip fits oddly in my hand, which hinders my finger placement. I’ve to fumble around with the gun to get my finger pad on the trigger. After awhile, I quit fumbling and accepted my fate that my hands may be too damned big for this gun’s grip.
Both guns have manual safeties. The P11 has a frame safety that flicks up and down, similar to a 1911. The Bersa has a slide safety that is counter-intuitive. It works the opposite as what would be on a 1911. As well, it is oddly placed, so that even if you train, you’re going to have to move your hand to get to it (unless you’ve super-small hands). As well, the safety is very stiff. Both of these issues mean that you’re probably going to have to train to engage or disengage the safety with the off-hand. Also, the Bersa’s safety is also functioning as a decocker. You can’t carry cocked and locked with the Bersa, since the decocker is also a safety and when you actuate the safety, you’re also decocking the gun. Well…let me rephrase. You can carry cocked but you’ll be doing it without the safety engaged with this gun, and that is unsafe unless you’ve trained for that; plus, you’d better have a good holster that protects the trigger. Better to get a different gun if you’re looking to carry in a cocked and locked fashion…it won’t work well with this gun.
The Bersa also has a magazine disconnect. This makes it very difficult to practice dry-firing, unless you keep the mag in the gun. I’m thinking on removing the mag disconnect. IMO, there are no cons in doing this (closet lawyers, please go back to your closet), especially if you’re already using sound safety practices…I mean, what’s keeping me from blowing a hole in the drywall with my guns that don’t have mag disconnects? Good safety practices…
I thought that the Bersa would choke on the flat-nosed Winchester ammo. I bought that ammo by mistake. I’d heard from other Thunder 380 owners that these guns do not like flat-nosed ammo. I saw a box of 100 at Walmart and it was labeled (on the box) as FMJ. When I got home and opened the box, it was flat-nosed. IMO, it should’ve been labeled as such on the box, especially since most sellers don’t accept returns on ammo. But it didn’t choke on that ammo at all. It ate it all without complaint.
Overall, the Bersa is a good enough gun. I won’t be carrying it, though. Because of what I’ve stated above, I’m unwilling to carry it. This gun is not something I want to adjust to. I’d have to find a way to thicken the grips so that I’d have less of an issue with trigger finger placement. I’d also have to get used to the odd decocker (it’s in an odd position and training will not help that…then again, I can always carry decocked but with the safety disengaged…DA/SA guns can get away with this).
I’m still in love with the P11, although I’m thinking I might need more grip area with this gun as well. The option would be to move to the P1 (maybe the P1 Ultra). Grand Power markets that as a compact-sized gun with a 3.5″ barrel. It also has swappable back straps (the P11 doesn’t have this…it should). The P11’s grips are a bit slick, too. Grip tape may be in the future of mine’s. Oh, and Grand Power has also upgraded the P11 to have a decocker. It is not a dedicated decocker…it’s a decocker/safety, similar to how Bersa implements it. A dedicated decocker would’ve been better, IMO. For now, I’ll stick to manually decocking (training is key — closet lawyers, go home).
I’m close to 1000 rounds out of the P11. One range visit should put me over the 1000 round mark. I know I’ve reported that it was experiencing FTFs/FTEs and failures to return to battery, but I’ve not seen that occurring since I’ve stopped using Remington ammo. The issues of the past year were exclusively due to Remington ammo (and another gun choked on the same ammo in the same fashion). I’ve also learned how/where to lube the gun. There’s no wear on the gun’s internals, either.
I finally found an inside waistband holster for my P11. I cheated. How? I couldn’t find any for the P11 anywhere and didn’t feel like begging for any holster makers to make one for me. I didn’t feel like trying to make one myself, either. I searched and found that many holsters for the P1 are available for sale. The P1 is the next size up from the P11…it’s the compact version of the Grand Power K-100, which is a full-sized handgun. The P11 is the sub-compact version of the K-100. They are identical, feature-wise. The only differences are the length of the grips and the length of the slides. So, I bought a P1 holster thinking that the P11 would fit inside without issue. The holster was kydex, so it was important that the slides and features be pretty much identical, placement-wise. I wasn’t disappointed, as it was almost as if this holster was made for the P11. The slide length of the P1 is 3.6″ while the P11’s slide is 3.3″, so I had .3″ extra between the tip of the handgun and the tip of the holster.
Some issues that I describe in the video is that the holster was molded with a P1 with it’s slide safety disabled. I’d thought the GP DA/SA handguns were designed to be carried cocked & locked (one in the chamber with the hammer cocked and safetied). The guns are DA/SA without a decocker, so if an owner wants to carry his GP in DA mode, he/she will have to lower the hammer on a chambered round (ie, decocking manually). This is not a trivial procedure and if done hastily or wrong, a round could be negligently discharged. I’ve been practicing several different manual decocking techniques and will eventually be ready to carry with one in the chamber in DA mode, but for now, I’m enabling the safety and carrying cocked and locked. While this causes a slight fitment issue with the kydex while the gun is holstered, it doesn’t cause any safety issues…it just looks a tad bit odd, is all.
I’ll eventually have to buy some extra 12-round magazines for the P11. I’ve two right now, but I want several more so that I can practice at the range without having to stop and reload the two mags after they’re empty. They are not cheap but I will not buy cheap CZ mags to alter…I’d rather do this right and just buy the expensive mags.
This gun carries good in the kydex holster. It feels lighter than my other holsters (Alien Gear IWB Cloak Tuck 3.0s) and it is certainly less complicated/busy. It is easy to clip to my belt. I can quickly get dressed, grab my gun, and install it on my belt while walking around the house. I can’t do that with my Alien Gear holsters. The con is that I’ve to wear t-shirts under my shirts now, because the Kydex doesn’t shield my body from the gun’s rough edges (part of the slide, grip, and hammer sometimes dig into my side. This might also be a good reason to start carrying in DA mode…the manual safety is protected, but that part of the gun is what is rubbing against my body, so I’m thinking that it would be safer to just have the gun in DA mode.
I bought the holster from Red Hill Tactical. I’ve visited their site in the past but this is the first time I’ve actually bought something from them. This holster vendor was recommended by the Grand Power forums.