Ok, so this is my first post ever (as well as the first review), so bear with me here. Part I of III.
I've been looking for a SA or DA/SA 9mm to shoot for a while now. I saw the STI GP6C in a magazine, and liked the reviews. For those who don't know, GP6 is actually the Czech-made Grand Power K100, which has been imported into the US and modified by STI - a Texas-based premium gun manufacturer famous for their 1911 variants. GP6 is a DA/SA polymer pistol in 9mm with a 4.25 inch barrel and a rotating barrel design. GP6-C is a competition version of the gun with some enhancements (detailed below).
I read on one of the forums that the gun can be ordered with a 5-inch barrel, and thought that was a good idea (mostly because I thought it would come with a longer slide, but more on that later). Placing the order in March through my local dealer (who is an authorized STI retailer, by the way), I was told to wait for 4-6 weeks. In reality, it took about three months before I finally got my gun - according to STI, they've been having some issues with getting the barrels from Europe. The regular 4.25 inch is no problem, but the extended 5 inch is apparently in limited supply.
The plain-Jane GP6 is listed at $662. MSRP on the GP6C is $827, and adding the longer barrel costs another $100. Taxes and a couple of extra magazines later, this is a $1000 package. After a day on the range, I hope to find out that it's worth it.
What follows is a collection of photos of the handgun, and some first impressions, without having fired it once.
The item comes packaged in a rather flimsy plastic box with an STI sticker on the top. On one hand disappointing, on the other hand - who cares!
When opened, the box contains the pistol with two magazines, a wire cleaning rod, and a manual (not shown).
A comment about the manual: it is well worded, but rather brief. I'm used to reading hundreds of pages of legal disclaimers, so the eight-page brochure was nice. Assembly, dis-assembly, a safety warning, and not much else. The one section missing from the manual is instructions on lubrication.
And here is the firearm in all its glory. Note the pretty blue "safety" indicator.
To point out the obvious, the coveted 5-inch barrel sticks out exactly 0.75 inches beyond the edge of the slide. My initial assumption was that the 5-inch version of the gun (not to be confused with GP5, which is a pocket carry version with a 3.25 inch barrel) would have a longer slide as well. I eventually figured out that this is not the case after speaking to my dealer and an STI rep, but by then decided to go with the longer barrel anyway.
Here is another pic with the slide pulled back and locked:
In addition to the longer barrel (which is a special-order add-on, and not standard on the GP6-C, there are things that make GP6-C distinctive from the regular GP6:
a. fiber-optic sight in the front (see photo 5)
b. adjustable rear sight
c. extended magazine release button (see photo 6)
d. a second magazine (otherwise costing $42 on shootersconnection.com)
CONTINUED IN PART II - I really wanted to get all the images into this review.