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12Nov

The Slovakian Grand Power K100 9mm Service Pistol

Posted in Firearms

In a world that has a plentiful supply of nine millimeter service pistols, in order to launch a new model on an overcrowded market place it must be an innovative and affordable pistol. The Slovakian K100 Grand Power polymer framed pistol offers ambidextrous controls, with a rotating barrel for high accuracy and good ergonomics, with a unique design at an affordable price. The K100 is built in the Slovakian town of Banská Bystrica.

The Story

The Czech firearm manufacturer Ceská Zbrojovka (CZ-UB ) supplies both the military and law enforcement organisations of the Czech and Slovak Republics with their small arm requirements. The story begins with a young man who had a desire to design his own pistol, the obstacles encountered, and how the K100 is poised to enter the world pistol market. The designer of the K100 pistol, Yaroslav Kuracina, was born in 1971 inSlovakia. He grew up in a house hold that was full of handguns, submachine guns and rifles that were a legacy of World War II.

Yaroslav began studying weapons engineering at the Military Academy BRNO in theCzech Republicin 1989 and served as weapons officer in the Slovak Army until 1996. All this time he had an idea of creating his own pistol. The Austrian Steyr 1912 was the inspiration for his design, but it needed to be made as economically as possible.

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Like modern service pistols from other manufacturers the frame on the K100 is made from polymer. The stippling on the grip, undercut at the rear of the trigger guard, squared front on the trigger guard and flared magazine well shot the influence of IPSC in modern pistol designs.

By 1992 Yaroslav had completed his first design drawings of his pistol, but production during the communist era was impossible. During this era firearm ownership was strictly controlled and any "unofficial" activities would have got you locked up! Completing his military career Yaroslav gained employment at the Povazska Bystrica firearm factory and was promoted to technical director. He prepared the K1 (forerunner of the K100) for production. He then obtained employment with Ceská Zbrojovka BRNO as a consultant. He established the company Grand Power in 2002 and started production of the K100.

Grand Power

The company holds the Contractor Industrial Security Certificate, issued by the Slovac Republic National Security Office. They were also granted the NATO Commercial and Governmental Entity Code. This is a NATO code for manufacturers and suppliers. This system is intended for the codification of products, such as nomenclature, classifying, identifing and allocating NSN NATO stock number to suppliers items.

The main advantages of K100 self loading pistol are high accuracy, durability and reliability by the use of various ammunition types. Excellent features of the gun are the result of unique design of the locking system which is based on locking by a rotating barrel guided by a cross pin. The K100 is a short recoil operated, locked breech gun. To unlock from the slide on recoil, the barrel rotates slightly. The barrel has a curved guide machined into it which follows a pin that is fixed into the frame. It is a system used previously in the Austrian Steyr Model 12 pistol and it works. During unlocking the barrel rotates around its centre line. The thick walled barrel is 108 mm long and, like other metal parts, is treated by Tenifer QPQ technology to make it more corrosion resistant and to perform properly with a lack of lubricant and when carbon fouled.

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Exploded diagram of K100 pistol showing all its component parts.

The locking / unlocking mechanism differs from the standard Browning swinging link or cam drop down that you normally find on center fire pistols. The ergonomically moulded plastic frame is fitted with steel inserts on which the barrel locks and unlocks, the slide reciprocates and where trigger mechanism is also placed. The recoil spring guide, safety, trigger and trigger guard are also moulded from plastic.

During different comparative tests the K100 came out as equal to and, in some parameters had a better performance than ranking models from other manufacturers. In 2004 the K100 was tested by the law enforcement and military forces of the Slovak Republic and was assessed as being above the required standards and applicable for use by Slovak Forces. They found that the biggest assets were the accuracy, reliability and the ergonomics which makes the K100 comfortable to shoot.

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The Mil Std 1913 Picatinny Rail on the forward end of the frame enables many types of lights and lasers to be attached to the K100.

Drawings to Production

The K100 pistol that we see in its present form is due to the dedication of its designer, engineer Jaroslav Kuracina. It is an improved version of his pistol Q2000 pistol made in Považská Bystrica from the first construction drawings that started in 1994. In 1998 the first prototypes of the K1 were manufactured in Kinex Grand. In 2000 the K1 was introduced for the first time at the IWA Exhibition in Nürnberg.

In 2003, with the name changed to K100 and a series of 370 test pieces were manufactured by company Grand Power. An additional series of test pieces were also produced based of the results of the testing of the first series. Changes compared to model K1 mainly dealt with the plastic frame of the pistol and simplifying the construction of the slide stop lever. The surface of the metal parts of the gun was coated with the tenifer treatment, which improved corrosion resistance.

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After consulting with IPSC shooters the ergonomics of the grip and magazine well were changed in order to improve the effectiveness. The new frame is a result of the incorporation of desirable requirements for a universal pistol with ergonomics suitable competition disciplines as well as for law enforcement and military users.

Further changes mainly affected the material of the barrel and surface coating, which also uses tenifer treatment but with thicker protective layer. The barrel is compare to test series made of chrome steel with 53 HRc temper hardness. The K100 was also now available with matt chrome slide. The recoil spring was changed to improve reliability. Changes were also made to the construction of the firing pin. The length has been increased by 3mm in order to ignite harder primers found in some brands of ammunition.

In 2004 the number of Grand Power models was extended with the DAO and QA model K100. In 2005 the third series offered the K100 Whisper silenced version and introduction of the K100 Compact, which is 15 mm shorter in length. Grand Power uses various Computer Numerical Controlled ( CNC ) technologies from Hyundai and their own Hermle 600 U five-axis machinery and is an approved ISO 9001/2000 company.

In 2006 the first models of the K100 Mk6 were assigned for certification toUSA and final consecutive certification and also the introduction of the semi compact model P1. Future developments will see specific models also in .40S&W and .45ACP calibres.

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The K100 MK6 sits alongside the compact P1 version, which is 15 mm shorter in length.

The standard version of the K100 is supplied with new frame however firm still offers the older frame. The new frame has the MIL STD 1913 Picatinny rail, which allows the user to attach various types of lights and laser sighting systems. The front of the trigger guard has been straightened and there is an option between a magazine release button and magazine release wing similar as that used on the H&K USP and Walther P99. Production is organized by finishing and assembling the pistols, with components either made in house or subcomponents made to order with from other firearm manufacturers.

A metal container which has the rails on which the slide reciprocates and where the trigger and firing mechanism is placed is moulded into the frame. The slide stop lever is made of a hardened compressed metal. The slide is manufactured from chrome-nickel molybdenum steel by Belgian supplier Fabrique Nationale Herstal. The 108mm long barrel is made of 51CrV4 steel manufactured by CZ-UB according to Grand Power’s requirements. The magazines are made inItalyby Mec-Gar, who now manufactures magazines for various firearm companies’ pistols. The Grand Power magazine has a capacity of 17 shots. Grand Power moulds their plastic parts primarily from Polyamide GF30.

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The K100 Whisper has a longer threaded barrel that enables the sound suppressor to be attached to it.

Production Division

STI GP6 Production Division Gun

In IPSC events Production Division increases to grow in popularity. At the Czech Extreme European Open in June this year, the number of competitors in Production Division exceeded the number of competitors in either Open or Standard Divisions for the first time at a major match.

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In IPSC events Production Division increases to grow in popularity and is now at the point were it equals or exceeds the number of competitors in either Open or Standard Divisions at major matches.

Having seen his pistols excel in both IPSC Open and Standard Divisions, David Skinner, the proprietor of STI International, turned his attention to Production Division. Were Open and Standard division have peaked in terms of the number of competitors at a competition, Production Division continues to expand. In this division all pistols used must be catalogued production models with a double action first shot capability, or a Glock safe action pistol. In theUSAthe Glock 17 9mm pistol dominates this competition division, whereas inEuropethe CZ75 SP01 and SP01 Shadow are the favourite choice amongst competitors. Production pistols cost production prices and not the cost of a competition pistol. As a STI made pistol would not compete on price, David Skinner looked at what pistols already being made could compete in this division. He set his sights on the Grand Power K100 pistol and entered into an agreement with the Slovakian company. STI will import the K100 into theUSA, were it is known as the STI GP6. Some design changes have been made to the GP6 to make it more suitable for IPSC competition shooting.

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In trying to make its mark in IPSC Production, The K100 will face a tough task against CZ and Glock pistols that are already deeply entrenched in this division. The task will be made easier by top competitors like Ralf Jensen demonstrating the effectiveness of the K100 / GP6 at top level competitive events.

The K100 / GP6 use a rare locking system, shared by the Beretta Cougar, PX4 Storm, and Brügger & Thomet MP9, which employs a rotating barrel lock, which in the K100 / GP6 barrel is cammed by a cross pin. When the pistol is fired the barrel and slide move backward together for about 10mm while the barrel is cammed counterclockwise by a flat, twisting, helical cut in the barrel extension. Once the barrel and slide have moved back to the point where the barrel has twisted about 45 degrees to the left, the slide is free to continue traveling back while the barrel's travel is arrested by its interface to the frame via the barrel extension. On the K100 / GP6 barrel extension cam cut and cam tooth are replaced by a frame embedded cross pin and a barrel extension cut with rounded surfaces which engage it. As such, there is no transfer block per say, and the barrel and barrel extension directly interface with the frame via the cross pin.

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As well as being used by law enforcement and military organisations the K100 / GP6 will also find a natural home in IPSC Production Division. Here STI European Team member Gregory Midgely puts a GP6 through its paces.

The double action / single action ( DA / SA ) target version has a fully adjustable serrated black blade micrometer rear sight, front fiber optic front sight, adjustable trigger with a reduced DA trigger travel and lower trigger pull and an extended magazine release button. It is designed for sport shooting and disciplines of practical shooting, such as IPSC and IDPA. The standard configuration is fitted with a manual safety and DA/SA trigger. The pistol is also available as a single action only version with any combination of all the currently available accessories. The slide surface coating of the target model is available in the original black matt finish, but can also be supplied with the nickel slide and new Mk6 frame.

The Model K100 Silver differs from other models only by its nickel plated slide. Therefore it is possible to make it as model P1, Mark6, DAO, QA, GPC9, Whisper, 102R or 105R. The Mark 6 DA / SA model and the new frame is a result of the incorporation of desirable requirements for a universal pistol with its ergonomics suitable for shooters competing in practical pistol competition disciplines as well as for law enforcement and military users. After consulting with IPSC shooters the ergonomics of the grip and magazine well were changed in order to improve the effectiveness. The frame has a new trigger guard and the safety catch, slide lock lever and magazine release button are ambidextrous in their operation. For law enforcement and military users the front part of the frame is fitted with the universal tactical MIL 1913 Picatinny Rail. The sights consist of an adjustable steel rear sight with a plain black target blade and a steel front sight with a red plastic fibre optic insert.

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The K100 magazines are made by Mec-Gar in Italy and hold 17 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

Physical Dimensions

Overall length of standard models is 20.25 cm and with semi compact model the length is 18.75 cm. The height without magazine is 13.35 cm. The maximum width of the frame is 4.0 cm and the grip is 3.05 cm wide. The width of the frame allows users with smaller hands to keep a full hold on the pistol, even with a high capacity double row magazine with 17 shots in 9 mm caliber. The frame of the pistol K100 is geometrically constructed for firm grasp and comfortable hold.

All of the handling components are fully ambidextrous for right or left hand use. The grip has a roughed surface and grooving improve holding of the gun even with wet hands. The magazine has a plastic base pad and holds 17 rounds of 9x19mm caliber ammunition.

Sights

The sights on the K100 sights are made in the factory and consist of a rounded steel rear sight and plastic front sight. The frontsight fits into a slot in the slide and rearsight is secured in a dovetail groove, which allows left and right adjustment if necessary. Changes in elevation can be achieved by changing the height of the front sight. For rapid alignment while aiming in poor lighting conditions, there are three round dots, which are white in colour. These sights with their low silhouette profile and round edges are appropriate for uniformed duty or concealed carry.

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The adjustable target rear sight and red fibre insert enables rapid target acquisition for IPSC practical pistol competitions.

The sighting radius between the front and rear sights of the K100 is 156mm and considering the locking principle and the high visibility sights, this provides the K100 with good practical accuracy for a service pistol. In combination with a windage and elevation adjustable rear sight and high visibility front sight the pistol is suitable for target shooting events. For those who want to use the pistol for IPSC practical pistol disciplines GP has metal front sights with red fibre inserts and both fixed or adjustable black target blade rear sights.

Safety Features

The K100 is equipped with external manual trigger lock. In the models without the external manual trigger lock ( QA, DAO and QPC9 ) the safety is achieved by the increased resistance of the long double action trigger mechanism. The trigger is a conventional double action / single action type. The trigger reset distance is short, making the K100 very fast for follow up shots. There is also a double action only ( DAO ) version and two law enforcement / military only selective fire variants which allow an additional two round or five round burst of shots for tactical effectiveness. The automatic firing pin block prevents movement of the firing pin until the trigger is pulled fully to the rear.

Disassembly and Assembly

Pointing the pistol in a safe direction and keeping your finger off the trigger, remove the magazine from the K100 and draw back he slide to make sure the chamber is unloaded. Pull down the front of the trigger guard. Holding the trigger guard downwards, pull the slide fully to the rear. Lift the slide upwards and out from the slide rails on the frame and finally move the slide forward off the frame of the pistol. The barrel can be easily lifted out of the slide and the disassembly is now complete. Those of you who have used the Walther PP / PPK series of pistols will find the method of disassembly very familiar. Assembly procedure is done in reverse sequence to disassembly, but the barrel must first be shifted forward in receiver’s cut out.

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STI International import the K100 into the USA were it is known as the GP6. Note that the safety catch and slide lock lever are ambidextrous to allow use of either hand.

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The K100 can be fired in the double action mode or with the hammer cocked and safety catch applied. Note the rounded sights to avoid any snagging during the draw.

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The frame has ambidextrous controls so that left handed users can operate the safety, slide lock lever and magazine release button with ease. For law enforcement and military users the front part of the frame is fitted with the universal tactical MIL 1913 Picatinny Rail on which various lights and lasers can be attached.

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The K100 field stripped for cleaning. From the top are the slide, barrel, recoil spring, frame and magazine.

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The K100 is supplied with a chunky barrel. You can see the cutout in the barrel on which it rotates to unlock during the firing cycle.

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A metal container which has the rails on which the slide reciprocates and where the trigger and firing mechanism is placed is moulded into the frame. You can also see the recoil guide rod and circular metal pin on which the barrel rotates to both lock and unlock.

Range Tests

The STI Match at Phillipsburg, Germanywas a busy time for C&S as we covered the actual match, a training course by multiple IPSC World and European Champion Eric Grauffel and also had the chance to examine and test fire the STI PG6. During the match the GP6 was given out to members of the STI European Team to compete with at matches in Production Division.

On the Monday, when the STI Match was complete and the multiple range complex at Philipsburg was much quieter, I took a GP6 onto one of the ranges and set up a series of paper and steel knock down targets between set out between five and 25 metres. Using a mixture of 9mm ammunition of various makes I first established that the sights were set to point of aim / point of impact, which they were. Then using one of Ghost’s competition holsters I drew and fired magazine after magazine out of the GP6 at the paper and steel targets. This pistol had the standard service sights fitted to it and finding the centre of the steel pepper poppers and paper targets out to 25 metres was easy.

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During the range tests we utilised the Ghost Competition holster.

With a precise sight picture I had no problem in hitting the 150mm square steel plates set out at ranges up to 25 metres. Using the lunch break in Eric Grauffel’s coaching course I fired 300 rounds in 30 minutes, which included reloading the magazines, patching the paper targets and setting the steel plates back up, so the pistol had heated up a bit by the time I was finished. Functional reliability was 100 %. The transition from the double action to the single action trigger pull was manageable and magazine speed reloads were slick.

As well as Europethe K100 is also used in Central and South America, Canadaand the certification to enter USAmarket has been completed. In IPSC competition the K100 pistol is used in IPSC Production Division by Slovak Champion Ernest Nagy, who finishes in the top handful of competitors in practical pistol events. The K100 will see increasing use with law enforcement and military units. In IPSC events it will have to compete with the CZ and Glock pistols that are already deeply embedded into the sport. Marketed in the USAas the STI GP6 and being used in practical pistol competition by the STI European Team will greatly raise its profile. Yaroslav Kuracina has achieved his dream by taking the K100 from a concept on an engineering drawing to an actual manufactured product. C&S will spend part of the autumn shooting and training inEastern Europe, so we will keep an eye on the development and progress of the Grand Power K100.

The Grand Power K100 9mm Pistol Technical Specification

Caliber

9mm Luger (9x19) 17 round magazine capacity

Frame

Textured Polymer grip with integral M1913 Picatinny Rail

Trigger

Double Action / Single Action and Double Action Only

Barrel

10.8 cm long chrome-vanadium steel with 53 HRc surface hardness

Safeties

Ambidextrous thumb safeties and hammer block firing pin safety

Guide Rod

One Piece moulded plastic

Sights

White three dot rounded rear sight and front sight. Adjustable target rear sight and red fibre insert front sight available for IPSC events

Overall Length

20.25 cm ( Compact model 18.75 cm )

Overall Height

13.35 cm

Weight

0.74 Kg

Finish

Blue ( nickel plated slide available )

 

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The K100 has a good high visibility front sight that can be changed to a metal red fibre insert front sight more suitable for IPSC events.

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The K100 pistols that are imported into theUSAwill have the STI International and GP6 identification markings on them.

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STI International have now been given permission to import the K100 in the USA, were it will be known as the GP6.

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The K100 Whisper sits along side the silenced CZ Skorpion submachine gun.

 

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The K100 is also available with a satin chrome slide.

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The target version of the K100 comes with a serrated plain black rear sight that can be adjusted for both elevation and windage. The front sight is made from steel with a red fibre insert.

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When attached to the K100 Whisper the sound suppressor will enable shots to be taken without alerting others of your presence.

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