Grand Power XCalibur 9mm: An Excellent Fit

By Oleg Volk

I seldom shoot in competitions and never took an interest in sporting pistols. Finding myself at an informal club shoot with a new-to-me Grand Power XCalibur 9mm, I decided to shoot falling plates with it just to keep D.J. Petrou company. He shot a compact XD with a laser; I used the XCalibur with iron sights—pretty much everyone else ran their standard competition pistols. Half-way through the shoot, we swapped guns just to keep it interesting. As I said, the competition was very informal, and all restrictions on what could be fired were lifted for the evening. Turned out that running a green laser is as good as winning when the opponents have to use conventional sights. We also found that shooting the XCalibur, even with iron sights, was enough to give one of the top spots to a mediocre and slow shooter like me. The secret advantage was the utter absence of recoil and muzzle rise, making my 9mm pistol feel like a .22 bullseye gun next to everyone else’s less tame sidearms. Grand Power XCalibur, distributed in the US by Eagle Imports, is a fancy longslide evolution of the humble but capable K100, the Slovak army pistol.

Designed in Slovakia in the mid-1990s, the K100 pistol was eventually adopted there as a military sidearm. A conventional DA/SA 9mm on the outside, the K100, and the wide family of variants it spawned in every size and caliber, is actually a very unusual design with a rotating barrel. Rotating barrel lockup goes back to the early 20th century, but it failed to gain the popularity of Browning’s tilting lockup. Rotating breech pistols from Steyr and, later, Beretta were generally bulky and known for jamming when even moderately dirty. With wear, such designs also lost accuracy. With the availability of computer-aided design and greater accumulated knowledge, successful rotary pistols like Boberg-designed Bond Derringer and Jaroslav Kuracina’s Grand Power K100 became possible. Originally imported to the US by STI as GP6, it didn’t really fit their lineup and was eventually passed to Eagle Imports. Eagle...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N9 (November 2017)
and was posted online on September 22, 2017


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