The Grand Power Q100

By Oleg Volk

When Protection Is Important

The first Browning patent for a rotary breech handgun was filed in 1897. Rotary breech military sidearms have a long service history, going back to the Austro-Hungarian Roth-Krnka M.7 produced by Steyr, a clip-fed 8mm Army sidearm in service from 1909 to the end of World War II. Further developed as a 9x23 Model 1912, this type of pistol saw extensive use in WWI. That gun set the pattern for the rotary breech designs: two tabs at the rear of the barrel moving in a helical groove. The advantage of rotary actions is mainly in the attenuation of recoil, while the disadvantages all stem from considerable friction between the barrel lugs and the unlocking raceway. That friction both calls for increased lubrication and makes the weapon more sensitive to dirt. Wear over time causes inconsistent position when locked into battery, degrading accuracy. As a result, the next military rotary action didn’t show up until the late 1960 9mm French MAB15. While Beretta and SIG SAUER-Mauser both came out with rotary breech pistols, they were relatively bulky and expensive, limiting commercial sales. Most recently, the subcompact Boberg Arms XR9-S used a rotary barrel with improved geometry, but the need for extensive lubrication was not ideal for a pocket pistol. In 2016, Bond Arms Inc. improved the former XR9-S, now the Bond Bullpup, with a slick barrel metal coating to solve that problem. As a whole, rotary actions proliferate in rifles while mostly a curiosity in service handguns ... except in Slovakia.

Enter the Grand Power Line

Designed by a Slovak Army officer Jaroslav Kuracina during the 1990s and first produced in the early 2000s, the double-action Grand Power K100 was an elegant, simpler and more compact solution than previous rotary designs. The smoothly contoured track in the outside of the barrel rides on a simple, easily replaceable cylindrical pin built right into the steel frame. With the barrel travel prior to unlocking from the slide being 10mm compared to Glock’s 3.5mm, the firing cycle is slower. The K105 machine pistol has a cyclic rate around...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V23N3 (March 2019)
and was posted online on February 1, 2019


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