Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Grendel P10 .380ACP

If you had asked gun writers (including me) about the future of the .380 ACP cartridge a few years ago, the average answer would probably be that it was going extinct. The rise of the wundernines made it an underpowered, overpriced antique. Well think again. Advances in bullet design and the rise in states that allow concealed carry has given new life to the old .380. It can now perform at a level not too much below a 9mm NATO and above most .38 Specials. The .380 also makes a great cartridge for small concealable pistols. It is of a class higher in power than .32s, .25s and .22s. And unlike higher powered loads of 9mm and .40, it can be chambered in guns using the blowback method of operation instead of the more expensive, more complex, and less accurate short recoil method of operation. I say less accurate because the barrel of blowback operated pistols is almost always fixed rigidly to the frame, making them "straighter shooting".



Here we have a somewhat strange example of the .380 concealed carry gun. This is the Grendel P10. Unlike many of the .380s on the market today, the Grendel is an older design, and was only produced from 1988 to 1991. You can see its design uses several features to increase its utility as a serious carry piece. It has a large trigger guard, and has its grip raked back at about a five degree angle to increase its "pointability" and decrease felt recoil. It is very smooth, with little or no projections to snag on holsters or clothing while being drawn. Polymer frame to reduce weight, sized small enough to be able to readily conceal yet big enough to get a grip on for serious shooting.



Why is the Grendel P10 strange? Because it, unlike any modern semiautomatic pistol, does not use a detachable magazine. Instead, it has an internal magazine like a Mauser C96 Broomhandle and is fed with 10 round AR15 stripper clips. While there are disadvantages for using this system, namely losing the possibility of a quick reload. But I have found that most people who carry a pistol don't carry an extra magazine anyway. Despite its faults, it has some interesting positives as well.


One that springs to my mind immediately is that there is no way to accomplish a common negligent discharge (there are NO firearms accidents). Many times a person will eject the magazine out of a semi auto and pronounce the weapon safe and empty, without checking the chamber. Sadly, this lapse of judgement kills several people a year. Since there is no magazine to eject, there is no way to effect this type of error. This fits in line with the idea that the P10 is meant for someone who is not really a "gun person". No need to keep up with magazines, switch them out or down-load them to preserve the springs. Of course, there is a danger that the internal magazines' springs may wear out, but I would buy two extras and not worry too much about it.
The weapon functions double action only, without any external safeties, like most revolvers. This is probably the best method of operation for users that do not wish to spend many hours in training. It is relatively hard to fire without meaning to, but uncomplicated enough so you can fire it when you are scared shitless.

(However, anyone who is thinking of carrying a weapon for self defense should train for it, both in general weapons handling and care, laws and ethics of concealed carry and specific training on how to draw and fire the weapon in high stress situations.)


Here we see it with a threaded muzzle brake, grip extension and mini-mag flashlight mounted on the frame. I would recommend anyone keeping a pistol or any other firearm in their home for defense to mount a light on the weapon. A pretty neat little gun if you ask me, and in some ways it was ahead of its time.

edit: 5/2/12 Saw a Grendel P10 in my local gun shop the other day for $150.
 I thought about it. 


15 comments:

  1. I think this design may be talking a bit of an optimistic step in the wrong direction. The key component of an autoloading pistol that makes it as effective as it can be is the detachable magazine. You may be talking strictly about reloading right now, but can you imagine clearing a double feed on a Mauser 96C without opening the baseplate? Or a Glock with the mag glued in? It just doesn't happen.

    In taking that step out, the gun suddenly becomes one of the worst choices for the firearms inexperienced. A lightweight .380 will recoil more than a full sized 9mm, fact of life. But that can mean limp wristing, and that means malfunctions. So now you have a gun both prone to jams in inexperienced or weaker hands, and harder to clear than a conventional design.

    I don't carry spare mags because I might run out of ammo alone. I carry spare mags because my mag might go bad and cause a jam on me, too. If you've got one non-removable mag...

    Not to mention the dexterity and tools (that stripper clip frog?) used to load the weapon make reloading about on par with your average revolver and loose rounds. I think altogether, your basic .38 Special revolver would be a much better choice for a new shooter.

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  2. I owned a P10 when these first came out. I have large hands, the grip extension really helped me with control. Still, it is not a 'beginner weapon' and a being lightweight, short barreled .380 auto makes is not very pleasant to shoot. Having said that, it is very concealable in an ankle holster or jacket pocket, and my feeling is 10+1 rnds of .380 ACP made it a decent 'stuff has really gone wrong and I have no other option' protection hardware with little invested.

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  3. There's a lot of information about the Grendel P10 at this web page including how to dismantle it and get if back together.
    http://jtjersey.com/Grendel/grendel.htm

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  4. I bought one of these when they first came out. Carried it in an ankle holster as a back up to my .38 service revolver and then as a backup to my my issued Glock 19. I shot the pants off of it and only had to replace the mag spring...in 20 years. My only regret was when I traded it in for a Ruger LCP and they only gave me $35 credit. I should have kept it. My concern was spare parts.

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  5. I have one of these if anyone is interested in it! The guys at the shooting range were astounded I showed up with it!

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    Replies
    1. I'm interested. What are you asking for it.

      tllphdy@yahoo.com

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    2. I am also interested if it's still available, let me me know. Brad.beatty@hotmail.com

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    3. I have placed one on Armslist...

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  6. I've owned a Grendel P10 for almost 20 years and still use it as a concealed carry. After 1000s of rounds at the range (target rounds and Glaser Safety Blues) it has NEVER jammed and the spring is perfect from round 1 to round 11. I've used it to train many new and inexperienced people and, after the initial shock of short-barreled recoil, have seen no "limp-wristed" shooting from ANYONE. C'mon. To think that anyone who spends the time and money to obtain a CCW permit, purchase a purpose-built CCW, ammo, holster, etc., and carry it around for protection without EVER firing it is downright silly. As far as comparing the P10 to a "basic .38 special revolver"? Apples and oranges, sir. At a little over $100 used the P10 is the best value for the protection.

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  7. I too have owned a Grendal P10 since new in 1988, never had any problems with it. bought the extended barrel and muzzle brake and grip extension for range use. It was the carry-ability of the little thing and the 10+1 that got my attention. (remember this was a full 22 years before the LCP) It has fed RN ,HP and silver tips without issues. I still pack it daily.

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  8. Good gun and I just bought one off my friend for 150. Good and light and perfect for conceal carry and very confident that it has enough punch to take down a assailant. Keep in mind that I carry a sig sauer p225 9mm and a 357 smith&wesson for back up and its all about kill shots and whare you hit the target?

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  9. Mine always jams half way through the clip even after cleaning. .

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  10. just traded A new haven pump 12 for a P10. took to the range, was pleasantly surprised , accuracy was good, Slow load yes but if you have not hit anything in 10 rounds , 10 more probably aren't going to help. Ex leo from 60s and 70s we trained to hit what we aimed at, carried a wheel gun and 18 rnds total, so we did not shoot till we had a target we could hit. no spray and pray. am sure This would have n
    madr a great backup weapon.

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  11. I also own a p-10 but have never been able to get 10 plus one in the chamber any tips?

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  12. Might have a block in the bottom of the magazine, preventing the full 10 rounds to be loaded to save the magazine's spring life

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