The Grand Power Stribog SP9A1 is Slovakia’s entry into the increasingly crowded world of Pistol Caliber Carbines (PCC). With its sister, the delayed-blowback SP9A3, the SP9A1 is Grand Power’s attempt to find a place in the market.
The Stribog is produced by Grand Power in Slovakia and imported into the United States by Global Ordinance. Since it first entered the American firearms market, the Stribog has gained a reputation for accuracy, versatility, and is an excellent value.
Today we are going to examine the Grand Power Stribog, look into the various models available, and specifically review the SP9A1 variant.
Pistol Caliber Carbines
Pistol Caliber Carbines have become incredibly popular in the last 15 years. PCCs have many virtues that have helped their popularity. The versatility of the firearms combined with their affordability is desirable in today’s market.
The lower cost per round of 9MM, compared to intermediate cartridges like .223/5.56 and 7.62×39, and the light recoil of 9MM in a larger package, makes PCCs an easy entry point for new shooters as well as a fun addition to the enthusiast’s arsenal.
The Grand Power Stribog has many competitors in the PCC market. B&T makes both GHM9 and APC9, CZ makes the Scorpion, multiple manufacturers make MP5 clones, and a myriad of other manufacturers produce pistol-caliber carbines for the market.
Available Stribog Models
The first model Grand Power and Global Ordinance brought to the US firearms market is the SP9A1.
The SP9A1 is a straight blowback pistol with an 8” barrel and a non-reciprocating charging handle. This last feature is essential to note because the first SP9A1s came to the US with a reciprocating charging handle, which was phased out relatively quickly for a non-reciprocating charging handle.
The Stribog SP9A3 is the second major Stribog model to arrive in the United States. It appears to be the same as the SP9A1 on the exterior, but the function of this pistol is very different.
The SP9A3 features a semi-locked bolt with delayed action via a transfer roller. This creates a softer shooting firearm.
The SP9A3S is functionally the same firearm as the SP9A3 but with a 5” barrel compared to the SP9A3’s 8” barrel.
The SP9A3G is functionally the same firearm as the SP9A3. The major difference is the action, and lower have been modified to use Glock magazines instead of Grand Power’s proprietary magazines.
Before the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) ruling classifying pistol-braced firearms as SBRs, the Grand Power Stribog was usually sold with a pistol brace attached. At the time of the writing, early February 2023, most, if not all, are sold without an attached pistol brace.
To date, the only way to get a Grand Power Stribog is as a pistol. Like many firearms, the rules and regulations covering their importation into the United States have complicated importation as a rifle.
Global Ordinance is currently working on getting a rifle version of the Stribog approved for importation, and a rifle version should be available by the summer of 2023.
Reliability has been the bugbear for the Stribog since they were first imported into the United States. Anyone who has spent much time browsing firearms forums will see mixed views as to whether the Stribog is a firearm to someone should entrust their safety.
A deeper dive into the issue the Stribog has faced will reveal two significant factors in the mixed opinions on the Stribog. The model of the Stribog that you owned made a considerable difference in the reliability of your Stribog.
Stribog SP9A1 vs. SP9A3
The SP9A1 Stribog has, for the most part, proven to be the most reliable version of the pistol. The simple direct blowback action is less prone to failure. The same can not be said for the delayed blowback version of the Stribog, the SP9A3.
The Stribog SP9A3 suffered from some serious teething issues that required a recall of the pistol to solve the problems that resulted in large numbers of the early SP9A3 pistol consistently failing to extract (FTE) and failure to feed (FTF) problems.
The major differences between the actions of the SP9A1 and the SP9A3 meant the two pistols internally were not compatible, and the issues of the SP9A3 were not a problem for the Stribog SP9A1. Unfortunately, the reliability issues with the SP9A3 tainted all Stribogs in many people’s minds. Grand Power and Global Ordinance have been working to overcome this “tainting” ever since.
The real issue for the Stribog SP9A1 has been the proprietary magazines. Instead of adopting scorpion, colts, or Glock magazines Grand Power opted for proprietary magazines.
The Stribog initially shipped with an un-reinforced polymer magazine. These magazines experienced a number of failures, including failure to feed and cracked feed lips.
Grand Power attempted to solve the biggest issue experienced by users with the Stribog by making changes to the magazines. They changed followers and reinforced the feed lips with metal. For many users, this solved their problems with the Stribog.
Despite these improvements to the initial design of the magazine, some users still experienced problems with their Stribog. Particularly when using hollow point ammo. 9MM is not a true straight-walled cartridge, and as such, putting it into straight magazines can lead to issues.
The Stribog magazine, for some users, was experiencing binding. This led to issues with feeding new rounds into the gun. Grand Power again created a new magazine to solve this problem and finally released a curved magazine.
So far, the curved magazine appears to have solved the majority of the issues present in earlier iterations of the Stribog magazine. There are reports, though, of issues with the feed lips on the curved magazine cracking. Whether this will become an issue or not remains to be seen.
Global Ordinance is working on creating magazines that will be US-produced magazines in addition to the magazines that have come with the Stribog from Slovakia and Grand Power. Global Ordinance hopes to bring these to market by the summer of 2023.
The magazines appear to be similar to those of the Scorpion pattern made by MagPul and Palmetto State Armory.
|Barrel Length||8 inches|
|Overall Length||14.74” without brace or stock attached|
|Weight||4.54 pounds without stock or stabilizing brace|
Pros & Cons
- Well made
- Light recoil
- Good value
- Proprietary magazines
- Can’t replace the pistol grip
I have owned and used my Stribog SP9A1 since 2020. My Stribog’s round count since 2020 is well over 1,000 rounds. Out of all the shots I have taken, I have experienced a grand total of one failure, a stove pipe when shooting suppressed.
The variety and types of ammo that I had fired from my Stribog include 115, 124, & 147-grain FMJ, both suppressed and unsuppressed through the Stribog. Hollow points have also been fired out of the Stribog consistently without issue. Some of the hollow points that have been used include 124-grain Hornady Black, 124-grain Hornady Critical Defense, 124 Federal HST, and 147-grain Federal HST.
During my most recent trip to the range, 100 rounds of Browning 124 grain FMJ, 80 rounds of Hornady Black, and 50 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense were fired without a hiccup.
The Grand Power Stribog SP9A1 is a tack driver. Whether you are shooting at 15 or 25 yards at your indoor range or shooting steel at 50 and 100 yards at your outdoor range, the Stribog is up to the task.
During my most recent trip to the range, the groups were so tight that I started to think I was missing the target completely. I pulled the target back from 25 yards and realized it wasn’t that I was missing the target but instead that the bullets were all hitting in almost the exact same spot.
The Grand Power Stribog enjoys decent aftermarket support. Many smaller companies produce products for the Stribog. Replacement barrels, and other accessories, can be obtained from In Lead We Trust.
A3 Tactical and Lingle industries produce replacement lowers that allow the Stribog to accept Scorpion style or Colt style magazines as well as being a more modular lower.
HB Industries is one of the more prolific producers of aftermarket items. Their short stroke buffer, which is installed on my personal Stribog, is a fantastic upgrade that deduced felt recoil as well as helping to prevent a failure that some shooters have experienced where spent cases fall behind the bolt.
I also have HB Industries Modular Safety Selector installed, which I felt is an excellent quality-of-life upgrade.
A search of pages dedicated to the Grand Power Stribog on popular social media sites will find many companies making accessories, add-ons, and upgrades for the Stribog. While the Stribog does not have the same aftermarket support as the CZ Scorpion or HK MP5, it does have support, and more companies are supporting the Stribog every year.
The Grand Power Stribog is a great pistol to shoot. Recoil is very manageable. It would have been nice if the lower receiver had a replaceable pistol grip, but aftermarket support has addressed this issue.
The Stribog SP9A1 has a Picatinny accessory rail on the top and bottom of the handguard. The sides of the hand guard feature M-Lok slots. These allow the shooter to customize their Stribog to their individual preferences. The Stribog also features integrated backup sights.
The Grand Power Stribog’s magazine release and safety are both ambidextrous. I found that the safety dug into my hand when in the fire position and opted to replace the factory safety with one from HB Industries.
There are also aftermarket options to make the charging handle ambidextrous.
Lightweight and Durable
The Stribog is a durable firearm made with high-quality aluminum. It pairs this durability with a relatively lightweight form factor to make a neat, compact package.
How We Tested
I took the Stribog to both indoor and outdoor ranges. I used all of the various proprietary magazines Grand Power has produced for the Stribog to ensure the most possible variables were introduced to the platform.
The Stribog was able to ring steel at 25, 50, and even 100 yards, with the only misses being shooters error and punching consistent holes in paper at distances from 10 to 25 yards.
During my most recent trip, I fired one hundred rounds of Browning 124 grain FMJ, eighty rounds of Hornady Black, and fifty rounds of Hornady Critical Defense.
All ammo cycled well, and the Hornady hollow points had zero issues with feeding.
With over 1,000 rounds down range, I am completely confident in the Stribog and would trust it to go bang if I ever needed it to protect my family.
The factory safety dug into my palm. Whether this is just an issue specific to me or most shooters, it was annoying and required me to purchase an aftermarket safety to correct.
The aftermarket support is impressive, if not to the level of some bigger-name firearms.
The Grand Power Stribog SP9A1 comes in at a very attractive price point. Combining this with the high level of functionality of the Stribog and aftermarket parts availability makes this an excellent value pick in the pistol caliber carbine market.
|Sig Romeo5||Check Price|
|The HB Industries Stribog Parts Catalog||Check Price|
|CGS Mod9 Suppressor||Check Price|
The Sig Romeo5 features a 2 MOA red dot reticle that provides quick and precise target acquisition, even in low-light conditions.
The ROMEO5 is constructed from high-quality materials and is shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof, making it well-suited for use in a wide range of shooting environments.
Check out our SIG Sauer Romeo 5 review.
Once you get your Stribog, shoot it. Then go home and order the short stroke buffer. Figure out what you like about the Stribog and what you wish would have been done differently. There is a high chance that HB Industries has a solution for you.
The Stribog suppresses very well. I have run at least 500 rounds through the Stribog with a CGS Mod9. When suppressed, the Stribog is incredibly quiet, especially when shooting subsonic rounds.
The Century Arms AP5 is an HK MP5 Clone made in Turkey. The AP5 is chambered in 9mm and is constructed from high-quality materials to provide a reliable and durable shooting experience. It features the roller-delayed blowback system that the MP5 is known for and comes in at an attractive price compared to other MP5 clones.
Check out our AP5 review for more information.
The CZ Scorpion is, in some respects, the firearm that started the PCC craze. Like the Stribog SP9A1, it is a direct blowback action chambered in 9MM. One of the standout features of the CZ Scorpion is its compact design. Combining the compact nature of the Scorpion with its lightweight makes it easy to maneuver and carry, even in tight spaces. The Scorpion also enjoys excellent aftermarket support and a manufacturer who is continually updating the design.
Palmetto State Armory AK-V solid PCC that is a blast to shoot. It is reliable and customizable. The AK-V, like the Stribog, is a great suppressor host, PCC platform, and reliable truck gun or home defense weapon.
The B&T APC9 is a high-end pistol caliber carbine. This is a gun that the Stribog is frequently compared to aesthetically.
B&T is a premium gunmaker, and the B&T and the fit and finish of the APC9 demonstrate this. The gun is ergonomic, accurate, versatile, and durable. If the premium price point isn’t an issue, then this is definitely a gun worth checking out.
The B&T GHM9 is a direct-blowback design like the Stribog. A cheaper alternative to the APC9 from B&T, the GHM9 is designed to provide a more affordable B&T design.
This helps those who want to own a premium PCC like the APC9 but also is looking for a better value. The Stribog SP9A1 and CZ Scorpion are examples of PCCs that the B&T GHM9 is designed to compete against.
The Grand Power Stribog SP9A1 is a versatile and accurate pistol caliber carbine. The Stribog’s soft recoil and compact form factor really make the Stribog a pleasure to shoot.
The accuracy of the platform combined with the Stribog’s handling characteristics, makes it a good choice for new shooters and experienced shooters alike.
The Grand Power Stribog SP9A1 is a good PCC that provides an enjoyable shooting experience. The Grand Power Stribog SP9A1 is definitely worth considering if you are looking for a high-quality firearm.
It is one of my top three favorite guns.