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.
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.
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.
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″
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.