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Do you remember subcompacts (for 9mm about a 3.5″ barrel that carry 12+1 rounds)? They’re the pistol that’s sized small enough to conceal easily, but offers more grip surface and capacity than a single-stack. They used to be the go-to for smaller-framed folks looking for a concealment option.

Then the micro-compacts came out and everyone seemed to forget all about the subcompacts. The Grand Power Q1S is the subcompact model of Grand Power’s Q100. I shot one at an IraqVeteran 8888 Range Day years ago, but despite my love for Grand Power’s recoil-and-muzzle-flip-reducing rotating action, I never got my hands on a Q1S for review. Until now.

If you’re unfamiliar with the line and action type see the tabletop video below . . .

I admit to being a fan of DA/SA over striker-fired guns, but one advantage of a striker-fired pistol is that the rear sight can be set further rearward (as demonstrated in the video). That makes for a slightly longer sight radius which is an advantage on an already small pistol.

As one of the few pairings on the market of the exact same pistols available as either DA/SA or striker-fired, it was an interesting experience to shoot the Q1S after having spent some time carrying the P11 hammer-fired variant and years of carrying and training with the K100, the bigger brother of the P11.

The Grand Power Q1S barrel does not tilt, it rotates on a roller-bearing to lock and unlock.

Grand Power triggers have always walked the line between what’s a good trigger for carry and one that’s better reserved for range days and competitions. The Q1S’s trigger is no exception and I’d submit it to the trigger snobs to rival Walther and Canik.

Not only is the Q1S trigger short and crisp, but the 3.5 lbs. pull weight can easily feel like less by taking advantage of the flat trigger and pulling more towards the bottom of the trigger.

As with the 18 other Grand Power models I’ve reviewed, all controls are TRULY ambidextrous.

I had previously posited that hammer-fired guns have better recoil control as some of the slide’s energy is spent cocking the hammer which generally requires more energy than arming a striker. While I still believe that to be true, I didn’t think about the duration of that recoil impulse.

My shooting partner Teya Freeman tried the Q1S against my beloved P11 off camera and preferred the Q1S as the recoil impulse felt smoother. I don’t feel it, but she does, and I’ve come to trust her sense about these things.

The impulse may be more intense, but it’s shorter and over with quicker. Perhaps we should film the two pistols in slow motion to see which one cycles quicker. Logic stands that the striker gun would complete its business faster.

All Grand Power pistols use a billet steel internal chassis stamped with the initials of the gunsmith who assembled it.

What You Want to Know about the Grand Power Q1S

Sized about with the rest of the subcompact world, the Q1S has a slightly-longer barrel (3.66″) and packs the obligatory 12+1 rounds of 9mm. The magazines include a pinky rest that actually works, but is shaped so as not to add to printing risk.

With Grand Power’s subcompact frames you lose the backstrap interchange, but like all Grand Powers, all controls are truly ambidextrous (not reversible, actually there on both sides), and the trigger mechanism remains in the billet steel chassis design that Grand Power has been using for decades.

Unfortunately since modularity wasn’t a trend when Grand Power developed the chassis, it isn’t the serialized part, nor is it meant to be removed. The purpose of the chassis is to provide a rigid and wear-resistant housing for the mechanism.

There is a rental gun somewhere in Slovakia that has seen over 100,000 rounds in its life with typical spring replacements. I accept that as a sign that these guns can run for a long while. I’ve run Grand Power pistols through both Front Sight (dry, dusty desert) and Thunder Ranch (ice, rain, and snow) without issues, so sorry folks, boring reliability is a feaure here.

If you’d like to see how two different shooters handle the Q1S through a battery of tests including first shots, full mag +1, 10 different loads tested, trigger control tested, and practical accuracy see our Shooting Impressions video below. Of particular interest might be Teya’s impressive group at the 11:15 timestamp. That’s proof of what you can do with a subcompact that has a nice trigger.

As expected, the Grand Power Q1S ran very smoothly and didn’t choke on any of the loads we fed it. Accuracy was better than what I’ve come to expect from a subcompact, likely because the trigger lets you decide precisely when the gun will go bang.

I have mixed feelings about a trigger like this for newer shooters. On one hand it’s the kind of lightness and crispness that requires full attention and discipline. On the other, it’s also fine enough to fire before any poor trigger press habits (such as mashing or jerking the trigger) have a chance to disturb the pistol. If you consider yourself to be a skilled pistol shooter, the Grand Power Q1S might very well be the right fit for you as a carry option.

Specifications: Grand Power Q1S Subcompact Pistol

Caliber: 9mm Luger
Trigger pull weight: 3.5 lbs.
Overall length: 7.2″
Height without magazine: 4.69″
Width: 1.34″
Barrel length: 3.66″
Weight: 23 oz.
Standard magazine capacity: 12
Price: About $400 retail

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability * * * * *
Zero malfunctions experienced despite a wide variety of ammunition tested.

Ergonomics * * * * *
The subcompact size family is where things can easily get cramped or just too small, but with the included pinky-rest magazine the Grand Power Q1S worked for both my size XXL and Teya’s size M hands.

Accuracy * * * * *
Tighter-than-average groups, especially for a subcompact thanks to an incredible trigger.

Concealability * * * * *
Subcompacts used to be the gold standard for concealability. The use of a striker system also eliminates the chances of a hammer snagging or printing.

Overall: * * * * 
The only reason I can’t give the Grand Power Q1S five stars is the trigger might be a little too good for some shooters to use as an everyday carry gun.

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  1. I can understand the statements made about the trigger. I’ve seen plenty of beginners accidentally double-tap a SA pistol because they weren’t ready for the extra light trigger.

  2. I REALLY wish TTAG would add COO (country of origin) to the review specifications categories.

    Yes, I drop down and read those first.

    I am very particular as to whom I give money to.

    Had to zoom in on one of the photos: Slovakia

    “There is a rental gun somewhere in Slovakia that has seen over 100,000 rounds in its life with typical spring replacements.”

    This is not a statement or origin.


  3. Sorry.

    If the trigger was inconsistent or broke on its own from recoil or dropping – then it would be a design or fabrication flaw of the pistol.

    A light trigger that is consistent and clean makes teaching a novice just that much easier.

    If a particular shooter fires off multiple rounds unintentionally, that is a negligent discharge.

    If a little range time can’t fix that problem, then that person probably shouldn’t carry any gun.

    Training someone on a pistol with heavier than necessary trigger pull usually instills bad habits that take years to overcome.

    Back in the day, it took much less time to teach someone how to shoot a 1911 with a decent trigger than with a 92 or 226 due to the time needed to learn DA pull and transition to SA pull.

    I do notice that folks who learned to shoot with Glocks have a very tough time being proficient with anything else.

    • You wouldn’t think it would be that hard to teach someone that on a hammer fired DA/SA semi auto, that first pull brings the hammer back. Damn, it’s not rocket science! How hard can it be?

      • Knowing what to do and then making a smooth transition between the two pulls is the hard part.
        Beretta 92s and Sig 226s had better DA pulls than a Walther PP but were pretty heavy.
        Even now – how many people can pick up a DA revolver and hit consistently at 15-20 yards ?
        Not many.

  4. micro-compacts came out and everyone seemed to forget all about the subcompacts.

    Not really; they make subcompact versions of the popular micros. Also, a micro with a 12- or 15rd mag gives a subcompact grip.

    some of the slide’s energy is spent cocking the hammer which generally requires more energy than arming a striker.

    It’s not the amount of energy; the hammer spring (as you noted) is absorbing recoil energy, whereas the striker spring is fighting the recoil spring on the feed stroke.

    P.S. This purely technical comment is awaiting moderation.

  5. Good review but 4 stars ’cause the trigger is too good?!? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Grandpower in the flesh as it were. Just happy it’s not Turkish…

  6. I’ve felt nice triggers before. My original Colt Python had a glassy smooth trigger. My old Ruger 44mag. super blackhawk 3 screw had a nice trigger and for my latest AR build I installed a Geissele Single-Stage Precision (SSP) trigger and my Uberti SSA .45 Colt has a custom tuned trigger from Taylors and has to be the finest trigger of any weapon I’ve ever owned. Those tuned SA triggers are hard to beat. My P229 carry gun has the thin profile trigger w/short reset that I installed as it didn’t come with either. It’s very decent but nothing to write home to mom about, not that I would ever wrote home to mom about a trigger.

    As far as the gun in this article, I see it as just more plastic striker junk trying for their niche in the market by glorifying the trigger. Nice try.

  7. “Do you remember subcompacts (for 9mm about a 3.5″ barrel that carry 12+1 rounds)? They’re the pistol that’s sized small enough to conceal easily, but offers more grip surface and capacity than a single-stack. They used to be the go-to for smaller-framed folks looking for a concealment option.”

    Of course, carrying one rn. Micro’s are a niche to me, and while I have one, it’s relegated to the “fits the wardrobe better” category or backup status.

    This one is interesting I admit, but I don’t think I would be all that piqued into stepping down from my EDC’s 15+1 in the slightly smaller footprint, to 12+1. Being ambidextrous myself, I do like the true ambi features, that needs industry-wide adoption & standardization.

    As for the trigger, I’m fine with it. Most of my guns, and also my EDC with a Grey Guns, have 4 lb. or less triggers, inclusive of a few that are 2#, or slightly less. One, an ALG Ultimate that’s 1.75 lb. with the additional spring for instance.

    Thing is, I culled my collection down consolidating to only strictly what I need years back + a couple of collectibles, so you’ll have to come with something truly compelling for me to reconsider my position. This almost ticks the bar, almost.

    What hinders? Lack of factory optic cuts, want for a standard 1913 rail, no suppressor height sights option, and the aforementioned capacity v. what’s already owned.

    Just like, my opinion maaan.

  8. seems large for the label. full size, compact, sub- compact and micro? plus all the gluck and other “x” grip lengths.
    a cz 75compact is .04″ longer, .34″ taller with a barrel length .09″ more.
    to me a rami is sub- compact.

  9. This gun intrigues me with its rotating barrel lockup, and I imagine it will have absolute feed and eject reliability. I am, however, a little wary of the light trigger having experienced a couple of unintentional double taps with my 92X, which has a really nice single action trigger. (Of course, I did not purchase the 92X for concealed carry.) So… while I’m having a tough time trying to rationalize the purchase of another 9mm range pistol, curiosity about the rotating barrel feature just might draw me in.

  10. This review reads like something from guns and ammo magazine.

    Come on guys. The TRUTH about guns. Wtf is this gun from? It’s damn ugly. Trigger “too good”?

    Get real here

    • My commentary about trigger is based on my experience. I’ve trained at schools including CENTER-T, ITTS, Front Sight, and Thunder Ranch with a wide variety of trigger types, pull lengths, and weights and of course not had any issues, but I also recall the stresses of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq where I found heavy and gritty triggers to suddenly not matter. Combining those two leads one to understand that a short and light trigger may become a liability under stress, especially in the hands of the lesser trained.

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  12. I used to own and carry a P11, but it was never really reliable enough for me so I dropped it after a short while.

    I just couldn’t get it to run reliably enough, even following the special instructions on how to properly lube it and even sending it back to the then maintenance service provider in Louisiana.

    But dang, that thing shot way better than any gun that size has any right to shoot.

    • Interesting, what were the reliability issues? As a regular and long-time shooter of Grand Power pistols I’ve not had any issues, did you maybe get a lemon?

      • I’ve often wondered if I just got a lemon. Mine was an early unit from Eagle Imports.

        That was a year or two (maybe more) pre-pandemic so, gosh, I guess it must have been at least 3-4 years ago.

  13. You can’t give a weapon 5 stars in every test category then try to sale it as a 4 star overall. It kind cast shade on the whole review. But then again, it is your review and opinion.

  14. I’ve grown to love your reviews of the Grand Power. I looked at the Q1S and P11, but with the trigger you mentioned on the Q1S (I’m a new gun owner .380 ez shield), the recoil, and no external safety…I am still too “gun shy” (yeah I said it lol) to purchase either gun. I wish Grand Power would make a pistol with the rotating barrel for women, people with small hands, grip issues etc. once that happens and your review gives the AOK, I’ll be the first one to plunk down the money. Meanwhile, I’ll keep living vicariously through your reviews!

  15. This is my new CCW. Mine is pretty tight, but I ran 300+ rounds through it today with no malfunctions. Before I got the gun too dirty, I tried some different self-defense loads. The first three were Hornady and they went through the SAME HOLE at 10 yards! Unbelievable! I had installed a CZ75B night sight last week, a Tractiongrip the week before, and learned how to remove the extractor for thorough cleaning. A#1


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