Grand Power X-Calibur Handgun Review

Eagle Imports contacted us last year and asked us to review the Grand Power X-Calibur. Eagle Imports is the US Importer for Grand Power, a Slovakian company.  At first look, the X-Calibur looks like a mix of custom, competition and tactical in one pistol.

The X-Calibur is a double action/single action design that allows for “cocked and locked” single action carry. The pistol is fully ambidextrous with all controls duplicated on both sides of the handgun. Even the magazine release is a mirror image. Left handed shooters will love this handgun. Transitioning to “weak side” one handed drills are as simple as can be.

The safety levers on the X-Calibur are end-use swappable. Both slim and wide levers for left and right were included. During our evaluation I decided to use the slim lever on the right and the wide lever on the left. This gave me the best mix of security and control. However the wide lever is just a tad too wide. The “paddle” extended to far to the rear of the lever and makes it difficult to re-apply the safety without altering the shooting grip. It is frustrating for shooters who are used to a 1911 platform. Since the safety levers are a field-replaceable part, it should be a simple matter to use a rotary tool and grind the polymer to your preferred shape. If you mess it up, you can easily replace the lever.

The single action trigger pull on the X-Calibur was a bout 3.5 lbs. and fairly clean. We had no problem getting some accurate groups. However, the double action trigger pull was long and heavy at almost nine pounds. This is something I have grown to expect on most DA/SA handgun designs, but on the X-Calibur the length of pull and the angle of the trigger at its furthest forward position makes is difficult to get an accurate/fast trigger pull. I anticipate that unless required by the rulebook, most shooters will opt to carry this handgun with the hammer cocked and safety on. The double action trigger does allow for “second strike” capability if a cartridge fails to light on the first hit from the firing pin. However, I do not recommend this as a habit.

The sights on the X-Calibur are a fully-adjustable rear combined with a fiber optic front. The rear notch is clean and relatively narrow. This made for an excellent sight picture. I have absolutely no complaints regarding the sights on this pistol.

The slide of X-Calibur has some aggressive window cuts showing off the deeply fluted bull barrel. I can only guess that this is for aesthetics. I can understand removing weight from the slide and the extra grip is welcome, but I can’t understand why they decided to flute the barrel. Typically the purpose of a bull barrel on a competition gun is to add weight to the muzzle. With a polymer frame, I am not sure lightening of the handgun is needed for any competition class.

The marquee feature of the X-Calibur is the rotary locking barrel system. Instead of the barrel dropping into the frame during unlocking, the X-Calubur barrel rotates on the axis of its bore in order to unlock from the slide. The manufacturer claims that this causes a reduction in felt recoil and it allows for the barrel to ride lower in relation to the shooters hand.

The rotary barrel system is definitely a novel design and a conversation starter. While I could not discern a reduction in recoil when compared to similar, tradition handguns, the X-Calibur functioned well.

The X-Calibur ships with three additional recoil springs to allow the shooter to fine tune the handgun to their preferred ammunition. Unfortunately we were unable to get any of the springs included to reliably cycle the 147gr 9mm load that we favor for competition shooting. The X-Calibur did function reliably with 115gr  9mm ammunition.

Grand Power supplies two, 15 round magazines with each X-Calibur. Additional magazines are available from Eagle Imports for $44 each. 20 and 26 round capacity magazines are available, as well as 10 round magazines for those who are limited by law.

The X-Calibur comes with one installed and three additional grip adapters, allowing for a very wide adjustment of the grip size.

At this time, holster options are limited. Eagle Imports has a variety of holsters available on their website, but your local kydex presser isn’t likely to have a X-Calibur mold hanging on his wall. During our evaluation I used a Safariland 6004 designed for a Glock 21 with TLR-1 weapon light. I also used a Blackhawk! “Omnivore” holster. The 6004 held the X-Calibur securely when a weapon light was attached, albeit with some rattle. The Omnivore worked perfectly with the Surefire X-300U attached.

Overall the Grand Power X-Calibur feels like a very high quality handgun. We did not have any problems with it once we sussed out what ammunition it preferred. It saddened me that I was not able to shoot the X-Calibur in any of my handgun matches during our review, but with only two magazines and spares being relatively expensive, it just wasn’t an option.

The Grand Power X-Calibur can be found on the market for around $850 dollars. While that is considerably more expensive than some of its competitors, it carries some custom features that you would spend a lot more for. If you want to stand out from the sea of Glock and M&P pistols at the match, the X-Calibur will fill the bill.

I want to extend a big thank you to Eagle Imports for loaning us the X-Calibur for our review. I will definitely be sad to see it go back. It is an enjoyable pistol to shoot.

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