First off, yes, this is legally a pistol. The QC10 GLF .45ACP comes equipped with a custom SB Tactical Brace. Stock? If the SB Tactical Brace is a stock, it’s a crappy one –at least on a gun where a cheek-stock-weld is important. In fact, when I picked-up the QC10, I thought “if I was buying this gun, I’d convert it to an SBR ASAP.
After shooting it, I changed my mind.
Chambered in 45ACP, the QC10 GLF doesn’t generate enough recoil to matter. The brace stays in place no matter where you put it: arm, chest, shoulder or belly button (really, I have no idea what kids do these days). Top it with a red dot optic — as almost everyone using the gun will — and your cheek-stock-weld isn’t nearly as important as it would be if your were looking through a magnified optic or iron sights.
This QC10’s SB Tactical Brace is bespoke and branded. There’s no guessing on the buffer weight or spring. It works perfectly; there’s no reason to change it.
Part of the reason this gun carried so well and ran so well: it’s not an AR modified to fire a pistol caliber cartridge. Quarter Circle 10 prides themselves on being THE Pistol AR company. Receiver, bolt, barrel, brace — everything is built from the ground up as a pistol, using pistol caliber parts, many manufactured in-house.
This particular model is a made for GLOCK 21 (.45ACP) magazines. Want one for a GLOCK 9mm? They’ve got that. .40S&W or .357Sig? Yup. Extended Metalform SMG 1911 magazines? Yup yet again. Plus multiple barrel lengths, hand guard lengths, brace and stocks.
If you like the ergonomics of an AR rifle, you’ll like the QC10 as well. It’s exactly the same.
The QC10 pistol grip is the same mil-spec grip you see on so many rifles. It works for many people, but I hate it. The finger groove hits me in exactly the wrong place. The safety is the familiar two-position toggle. After a few quick ups and downs, it moved easily with a solid start and stop. The bolt lock/release is slightly recessed into the upper receiver — just enough to get out of the way. It responds immediately to a thumb press or the more likely palm slap.
Thankfully, QC10 chose not to follow in the misguided footsteps of so many other manufacturers with a standard mil-spec type charging handle. A larger latch comes standard, making fast charging with your left hand quick and easy.
This is especially valuable in the case of a malfunction. Considering that many of these guns are built with self defense in mind, the speed of your TapRackBang may mean the difference between life and death. QC10 got it right. Plus, the bolt holds open on an empty magazine. Every time.
The hand guard is completely functional. Our T&E gun came equipped with KeyMod. It ends just shy of the 7 1/2″ barrel and includes a QD sling mount on either side near the receiver. Other barrel lengths and matching hand guards are available.
Aesthetically, the lines of the upper receiver and the hand guard don’t quite flow together. It doesn’t look like they were designed to.
Another nit-picking critique: the finish.
Everything on the rifle is finished smoothly and evenly. But the anodizing on the upper and lower receivers don’t quite match. They’re close, and you can’t even tell one is slightly shinier than the other except in certain light, but the difference is there. I’ve found the only way to get consistent anodizing is to have both the lowers and uppers done in the same batch at the same time. Or just cerakote over it like a lot of AR makers do.
Although the QC10’s trigger is a solid meh it’s one of the better “mil-spec” types around. It broke at 5lbs, with a bit grit and stack prior to the break. I’d like to see Quarter Circle 10 offer a factory-installed trigger upgrade. A light and fast single-stage trigger with a flat shoe would be the bees knees on this gun. Of course, if you want one, this accepts standard AR replacements like the ones made by a dozen different companies.
The magazine release may look different, but it feels just the same. A quick push of my index finger and the GLOCK magazines dropped free Inserting the GLOCK magazine was just as easy, with the pistol’s flared and funneled magazine well. Quick ammunition changes are a breeze, and they’ll need to be. Standard 13 round GLOCK 21 magazines aren’t likely to go far at the rate of fire you can push through the gun. And if you’re like me, you’ll want to.
At first I had some issues with reliability.
Using a 230gr FMJ round nosed bullet I experienced a few double feeds during my first few magazines. I used the malfunctions for failure and transition drills with my GLOCK 21SF (review pending). I ended up doing a lot more malfunction drills than transition drills; the G21 had the exact same problem. The brand new 13 round GLOCK magazines apparently needed some break-in time. I didn’t have a firearm issue, I had a magazine issue.
After that initial break-in, the QC10 ran perfectly. And I mean perfectly with EVERYTHING. I shot Winchester White Box FMJs, Armscor 230gr JHPs, Winchester PDX1 Defender 230gr HP, Remington Ultimate Defense 230gr HPs, Hornady 185gr FTX, and my own handloads in multiple weights and different types of jacketed and LSWC rounds. I even ran some decades old rat-shot through the thing (big donut pattern, completely worthless).
I had no problems with the gun at all. I usually put 500 rounds through any semi-automatic for a review. The round count on this one hit 1,000 before I knew it. It’s just fun to shoot. After the initial spray of Rogue American Apparel’s gun lube into the action and barrel, I never lubed or performed any service on the gun at all until after the review was complete. And then it was just to clean up for pictures.
Of course, I couldn’t help but throw a silencer on the gun. (The .45ACP seems like it was made to suppress, since it starts out subsonic in the first place.) The birdcage flash hider unscrews and any standard .578-28 threaded can screws right on.
There were no reliability issues running suppressed, as I did for about half the rounds fired for the review. Interestingly enough, even after running six magazines straight through the gun, the suppressor was still cool enough to hold without discomfort.
To test for accuracy I used a set of Magpul flip-up iron sights. Shooting off a front bag, I scored consistent sub 2″ five-round groups at 50 yards. This ratio holds true out to 100 yards — suggesting it was my eyes, not the gun, that printed 4″ 100 yard groups.
Using the ridiculously inexpensive Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot (review pending) I averaged three inch 100 yard five-round groups for 20 rounds, using Winchester white box 230gr FMJs. My own LSWC hunting rounds and the Winchester PDX1 round shot the same three-inch group. I have no doubt that a magnified optic would produce even better results.
Please, by all that is holy, don’t put a magnified optic on this gun.
That extra almost three inches of barrel over the GLOCK 21 buys you an increase in feet-per-second of bullet travel, and the corresponding increase in muzzle energy of about 60ft-lbs, sometimes more depending on the load. If you want to run a carbine length barrel at 16″, you are looking a much greater increase in energy, as much as 200ft-lbs with many commercial loads. For the reloader willing to experiment with different powders, the longer barrels offer a great deal of potential.
Few people deny that that the .45ACP is a suitable round for self defense. And no intelligent ones do. But with the right bullet, the .45ACP can also be used as an adequate hunting round for thin skinned game, as long as the shots stay close.
I’ve taken a few deer and more than a few pigs with a 1911 Government pistol, no farther than 35 yards away. With this QC10 set up, I can ethically take the hill country whitetail deer out to 50 yards. Obviously, shot placement is key. For any kind of pistol hunting, I prefer to use a heavy hard-cast lead flat nosed or semi wadcutter round. I don’t care about expansion at all on a .451 caliber bullet, just penetration.
At The Range at Austin, this was a fun gun to shoot. Practicing Mozambique drills or just plain old mag dumps is a blast. The recoil is so light I can pull the trigger as fast as I can at the 15-yard line, with no discipline at all, and watch as each round punches through the 4″ blue center dot of their standard targets. It’s too easy.
But the real fun is off the square range and back at home, running the steel gauntlet. This gun makes moving and shooting a breeze. The gun moves fast, shoots fast, and carries like it’s nothing. Target transitions feel like cheating. It’s easy to forget that you’re actually throwing 230gr pills out at 900+ fps when all you hear is the dingdingdingdingding of lead on steel.
The QC10 GLF AR pistol is a .45 caliber bullet hose. Really, I can’t get enough of this thing. Suppressed? It makes me feel like a total ninja. Anybody have any recommendations for extended magazines? Because I bought the gun. ‘Nuff said?
Specifification: QC10 GLF Pistol
Frame type: GLOCK Large Frame (other magazine types available)
Caliber: .45ACP (engineered for GLOCK magazines) (other calibers available)
Upper Receiver: QC10 PMUR Milled billet 7075-T6 Aluminum
Lower Receiver: QC10 GLF Milled billet 7075-T6 Aluminum
Trigger: Mil-Spec (5lbs)
Finish: Type III Hard Coat Anodizing
Barrel: 7.5″ 4150 CMV steel, Melonite QPQ 1-in-16″ twist, medium profile (other lengths available)
Thread pitch: .578-28
Bolt: QCT 8620 steel .45ACP Melonite QPQ
Brace: QCT Custom SB Tactical Brace
Weight: 5lbs 14oz (7.5″)
Length: 24.5″ (7.5″)
Style and Finish * * * * 1/2
Well finished and without tool marks or blemishes anywhere on the gun, inside or out. Half a star removed for not perfectly matching anodizing.
Customization * * * *
Just as customizable as any AR. One star removed for lack of ambidextrous controls, which I don’t like on an AR in the first place.
Accuracy * * * * *
The limiting factor to the accuracy of this gun was the optic or my eyes. 3″ groups with a 2MOA red dot at 100 yards is great. That level of accuracy really opens up what you can do with a pistol round. As it is, it makes light game hunting with the .45ACP easy peesy at the 50-yard mark.
Reliability * * * * *
I was going to zero it out until I found it was a magazine issue for the first few magazines. After that, it ran like a spotted-ass ape.
- Overall * * * * 1/2
The QC10 GLF .45ACP’s almost-but-not-quite matching finish, the handguard’s line and receiver not matching up aesthetically, the mil-spec trigger and pistol grip deny the gun the ultimate accolade that is my extremely rare 5 stars. But just barely. It’s compact, accurate, durable, reliable and fun. So much fun.