I’ve now shot over one thousand rounds through the Grand Power P11. It’s about time, too, as I’ve had the gun right at two years now.
How’s the wear/tear? Here’s a video showing the internals.
Some other things relating to this firearm:
Someone thought that because my P11 didn’t have a decocker, it was a Mk7. Mk12s were first produced without decockers. They are now sold with decockers but a Mk12 can either have a decocker or not.
Secondly, I’ve asked Grand Power and Eagle Imports if decockers can be retrofitted to those Mk12s that were sold without decockers. I didn’t get an answer but found it on their forums here. Apparently, GP/EI doesn’t want to deal with possible legal issues if someone buys the parts from the manufacturer, doesn’t install them correctly, and later experiences an unintentional discharge. If that’s the case, they shouldn’t want ANYONE messing with the internals…no one at all, yet they encourage people to do complete tear-downs of the firearm in every other case. If they’re that afraid of legal trouble, make the process stupid-simple for some parts. Beretta sells decockers on the side for their PX4 Storms knowing that everyday people will install them at home. Beretta is a far bigger business than Grand Power and have much more to lose when it comes to lawsuits, yet Beretta empowers people to customize their handguns. Glock does this as well, as does Ruger and Sig Sauer and Walther…and I can go on and on.
I do not believe in the black box mentality when it comes to such things. That means you’ll always be totally dependent upon the maker when it comes to asking a bit more of your firearm.
This pains me greatly because I’ve trained myself around the GP P11. That training was HARD work. As well, I’d grown fond of Grand Power and had planned on getting a P1. I still could (and a new P1 would have the decocker I’m asking for), but this is more about principles. Not offering parts for fear of lawsuits…that’s a cop out if I’ve ever heard one. I’ve heard such crap before in non-free states.
Because of this, I think I’m going to look at options to replace my P11. Some of you may think that this is a trivial thing and that it’s being blown out of proportion. IMO, there’s a bit of a Liberal scent to what GP stated (the “protect them from themselves and us” mentality).
So, I’m either going to start the process of making my P11 a safe queen and switching to a different EDC. I could even get a PX4 Storm Compact like I initially planned (and even sell the P11 to finance the Beretta).
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.