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Preview – Grand Power P40 10mm

Photos by Kenda Lenseigne

With a Name Like Grand Power, this Slovakian Company sounds like it should be a Fan of Saturday Morning cartoons, But its 10mm Offering Begs to Be Taken Seriously

Almost unknown in North America and a relative newcomer to the industry, the Grand Power brand has been notching up wins on the European IPSC circuit and recently introduced a 10mm addition to its U.S. line. The opportunity to examine an unusual pistol with a rare operating system, chambered in an underappreciated cartridge was too much to pass up.

Having been formed in 2012, this isn’t a long-established company with a storied track record of successful designs. Like most startups, it approached problems with fresh thinking, incorporating advances from elsewhere (such as a CNC’d chassis in a polymer frame) and blasts from the past, like the rotating barrel lockup, first seen on the 1912-vintage Steyr-Hahn. How well does this amalgam of old and new hold up to the mighty 10? I guess we’re going to have to take it to the range to find out.

First Impressions
If you’ve ever uncrated a PKM, you’ll recognize the smell. Unboxing the P40 conjures up memories of Soviet-era weapons caches, with their distinctive oily aroma. Once you get past the flashback, you’ll notice that it borrows heavily from neighbors just over the border in the Czech Republic, using a DA/SA fire control system that also permits cocked-and-locked carry.

The top of the slide features a distinct faceted surface, and we weren’t sure if this was a deliberate styling cue, or if someone just neglected to clean up the tool paths. Judging by the absence of machining marks in other areas, we’re going with the former. Steel three-dot sights are dovetailed fore and aft, with the rear being drift adjustable for windage. Elevation is adjusted by means of different height front sights, and an alternative was shipped with our test sample.

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We were unable to determine just what finish was applied to the various steel surfaces, but they seemed to hold up well to field use and there was no evidence of holster wear following several range sessions. Now that we’ve mentioned it, you’re probably wondering about holster options, given that the Slovakian company isn’t exactly the first one you think of when it comes to polymer-framed handguns. The good news is that anything for a fullsize SIG P320 should fit perfectly, as they have the same form factor.

Fully ambidextrous, the P40’s polyamide frame sits low in the hand, though not as low as the Glock 20SF that serves as our domestic nightstand gun. With a dearth of competitive 10mm options, the G20 is king of the hill, though it has its weaknesses, notably in its ability to handle hot loads without bulging cases alarmingly. It’s also hampered by Glock’s insistence on using plastic mags, which adds girth to an already large grip — if the G17 can be likened to holding a 2×4, then the G20 is like picking up the pallet it shipped on. By contrast, the P40 frame is far more manageable, and sculpted areas of its surface enhance the shooter’s grip on it. Raised texturing adds to this, leaving few areas where the owner might be tempted to stipple it.

Just above the slide hold-open axis pin that passes through the plastic frame, sits a stainless cam pin pressed into the gun’s chassis. This controls the barrel’s unlocking, by means of a helical track cut into the area that on a Browning-type gun would contain the unlocking cam. On firing, barrel and slide travel rearwards, locked together by two massive lugs for about 4mm, until the cam pin rotates the barrel enough to disengage the pair. The barrel’s rearward travel is stopped by the front of the chassis’ feed ramp area, while the slide continues to eject the empty case and pick up a fresh round from the magazine. Rinse and repeat.

By using a much heavier barrel than the Glock and keeping it locked up longer, the P40 manages to get away with a far lighter slide — 12.4 ounces versus 17.5 for the G20. In addition to its upper rounded profile, material has also been removed from the breech block area. As we all know, less reciprocating mass should mean reduced felt recoil and less sight disturbance as the gun returns to battery. It may also mean reduced longevity, but only time will tell on that score, and time is something in seriously short supply in the RECOIL offices.

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