Back on our pursuit of the perfect Pistol Caliber Carbine! We have already taken a look at the Palmetto State Armory AKV and the Sig MPX Copperhead now we take a look at the Grand Power Stribog SP9A1! Pronounced stry-bog, by the way.
The Grand Power Stribog is made by a Slovakian company called Grand Power. Grand Power was originally known in the United States for their pistols, but the Grand Power pistols have never really done that well in the US market despite being imported for over a decade. Their most well-known pistol is the X-Caliber, which gained slight popularity in USPSA and some of the shooting sports, but Grand Power’s products have never really made it big on the mainstream firearms market.
Stribog Table of Contents
- History of the Stribog
- Stribog SP9A1 Overview
- Carrying the Stribog
- Stribog Overall Thoughts
History of the Stribog
Usually, their import numbers are as low as the 100s, making them pretty rare. The Grand Power Stribog is a pistol caliber carbine version of the Stribog submachine gun. Grand Power started importing the Stribog into the USA in pistol format in 2018. At first, the gun did not sell that well.
There were not a lot of accessories and the importer didn’t really seem keen on marketing the gun heavily. The gun eventually kind of died off, and the remaining inventory sold through distributors at bargain-basement prices.
Then, Global Ordnance got the distribution rights to import the Grand Power and they took the gun very seriously. Immediately, the aftermarket started making parts for the gun and they became quite popular overnight. They were introduced at a price of around $700, making it very popular in the pistol caliber carbine world. SB Tactical started making a brace for it and often that brace would come kitted with the gun so customers did not have to buy a brace separately.
With its all-metal receiver and traditional submachine gun style look, it’s probably the best bargain in the pistol caliber carbine market. Many people will be familiar with a company called B&T, which make their ACP series and both 9mm and 45. The gun looks somewhat similar to that gun, although it’s not as refined.
The Stribog allows people to get a gun similar to that at roughly a third to a quarter of the price.
Stribog SP9A1 Overview
So, let’s take a look at the ergonomics of the gun. The SP9A1 has all your standard features of most modern firearms including the obvious safety, grip, charging handle, and magazine. We will break them down for you and discuss it further.
The safety on the Grand Power Stribog is positioned roughly the same place as an AR-15. The safety itself is an ambidextrous safety so it’s mirrored on each side. The safe and fire position is the same as an AR-15 when the selector is horizontal to the ground, assuming you’re aiming the gun, then it’s on safe. Once you switch the selector down 90 degrees, it’ll be in the fire position. The safety is very low profile but it will hit the knuckle of your trigger finger when you press it down with your thumb. That’s my one complaint about the safety but it’s so low profile, it’s not really that annoying.
Stribog Pistol grip
Now one thing you could ding the Grand Power Stribog on is it does not have a removable pistol grip. The entire lower receiver is one piece of injection-molded polymer.
So, the pistol grip is built-in and you don’t have any aftermarket options. The pistol grip itself feels kind of like a standard AR 15 style pistol grip it has really good texturing on the front and the sides. The back has some vertical lines which really don’t do anything to help you get a grip on the gun, but they provide an aesthetically pleasing look.
On the side panels of the grip, there are little dots that really do help you grip the gun. But, they’re not overly aggressive. If you want to grip down real hard, they’ll help you get a good grip on the gun and they’ll stick into your fingers. But if you don’t want to grip that hard, they provide just enough traction to keep the gun steady. Those dots also are on the side of the Magwell providing a nice little bit of visual aesthetic look to the gun. I guess in theory you could grip the Magwell in that area although I don’t know how effective that would be for recoil control.
But, I think it’s a great job they did matching up the grip dots.
Stribog Magazine release
The magazine release on the Grand Power Stribog is ambidextrous and its positioned very similarly to an AR-15 style magazine release.
So, you can press with your trigger finger whether you’re a right or left-handed shooter, it’s easy to actuate, the magazine falls free for the most part although they might stick depending on the angle you’re trying to drop the mag at.
Magazine Well (Magwell)
The magazine well on the Grand Power Stribog has a nice funnel on it, so it’s easy to get new magazines into the gun.
Frankly, it’s one of the best-designed Magwells I’ve seen on a pistol caliber carbine. It’s a very low profile from the outside yet has a nice chamfer from the inside. That’s in part due to the magazines the gun uses which are relatively thin.
Bolt Release/Bolt Hold Open
The bolt on the Stribog locks back on the last round fired, and it is held in place by a bolt release that is located right under the chamber. The bolt release button is ambidextrous, so left or right-handed shooters can hit the bolt release easily.
The bolt release itself is formed out of sheet metal and has two little nubs on the bottom that you can, in theory, press down with either your trigger finger if it’s long enough, or you could press down with your thumb when you come up to reload the magazine to insert a new magazine.
I think most people will end up actuating the bolt release using their thumb as it’s just a little far forward for most people, but if you have large hands with long fingers, then you will have no problem grabbing it there.
Stribog Charging Handle
The charging handle on the Stribog is crude. It’s just a round machined piece of metal that can be swapped to either the right or left side of the bolt.
It’s non-reciprocating, which is a nice feature because of where it’s positioned. If you have accessories mounted to the rail, and they extend far past it, you could potentially hit your knuckles using the charging handle.
Personally, I don’t have an issue with it because I have low profile accessories mounted on the gun. But, if you had an optic like an EOTech mounted farther forward, you might have issues getting to the charging handle. The charging handle is located on the top portion of the handguard and is forward of the Magwell.
So, it’s well forward to where most people will mount optics. I have an EOTech on my Stribog and I don’t have any issues. But, that’s because my EOTech is mounted more towards the rear of the gun.
The charging handle works but it’s nothing special, but considering the price of this gun, I think it’s a perfectly fair accessory to be mounted on or to upgrade.
You can buy the Stribog in multiple configurations. Some ship the Stribog with an SB Tactical brace that you’re probably most familiar seeing. The SP9A1 does come with other braces options and you can buy it with a variety of other brace options.
I personally bought my Stribog pistol without a brace and then added an SB Tactical 1913 brace with the metal frame to it. The brace folds to the left side of the gun and sits halfway up the Picatinny rail adapter which I had to add to the Stribog SP9A1.
You can get these Picatinny rail adapters from a variety of companies including Safety Harbor Firearms and UTG.
Depending on the brace you decide to go with you shouldn’t have any issues with the brace impacting the charging handle.
Although if you get a right-side folding brace, you will have to be careful to make sure they do not block the ejection port. Although most of the braces I’ve seen for the Stribog SP9A1 are right left hand folding braces. So, they won’t block the ejection port.
The Stribog does come with plastic flip-up iron sights that are mounted into the rail itself. Like most iron sights, they are mounted at the rear and the front of the gun.
The rear sight is a peephole style rear and the front sight has a protective hood. When you fold them sights down they have a pistol style notch and post style sites. And frankly, I find these sites completely useless.
The plastic feels really cheap like it will break immediately. And the notch and post style sights sit really, really low. So, you’ll likely have problems getting a good cheek weld and using those sights.
Personally, I just leave them folded down and if I wanted backup iron sights on this gun, I would likely get some sort of metal iron sights that are a little more substantial.
You could run these iron sights by themselves, but I would not suggest it. I have seen companies making metal replacements, but I have no idea how the quality or sight picture on those options are.
Mounting an optics to the Stribog is really easy. There’s a Picatinny rail that extends from the front of the gun to the rear of the gun at 12 o’clock.
My EOTech is mounted roughly halfway down the gun, you can mount pretty much any 1913 style optic on the gun without issue.
Stribog Accessory Mounting
Mounting a light to the Stribog SP9A1 is not as easy as you would think. The problem with the Stribog SP9A1 is it has a fairly short handguard and the handguard itself is fairly tall. So, getting your hand in a place on that gun where you can actually activate the light becomes an issue.
I personally have a mod light mount with a mod button as far forward as it will go on the picatinny rail. I can reach the mod button with my thumb, but it’s as far to the end of the rail as the rail allows.
The barrel on the Stribog is eight inches long and it leaves about three inches past the end of the handguard where you could potentially mount a cantilever light and activate it with your support hand thumb.
Although the light bezel of the light would probably extend past the muzzle and I’m not sure how that would work ergonomically. You can definitely not activate it with your other hand though.
There are two M-Lock mounting slots on the nine and the three o’clock position on the handguard. The problem though is the rear slot is blocked in on the backside by the barrel mounting apparatus, so you’ll only have half of the rear slot to mount accessories.
On the nine o’clock side of my gun I have an M-Lock QD mount mounted for the sling. On the left side, it’s completely naked as I don’t have anything I need to run there.
On the bottom of the rail, there are 1913 picatinny slots, so you can mount some sort of angled foregrip on your Stribog pistol. I personally had a 3D experiment angled four grip that is designed specifically for the Stribog and fits it like a glove.
As you can see in the pictures, the texturing on it even matches the factory texturing on the grip of the gun.
Mounting a Sling
Mounting a sling to the Stribog is not easy in its factory format, you pretty much have to rig the gun up some way to mount a sling.
What I found worked best was taking a 1913 style QD offset mont, I used the Magpul one and mounting it on the bottom slot of my 1913 brace adapter. Fortunately, the 1913 brace only uses two to three slots of the 1913 rail so I have ample room to mount this Magpul offset sling mount on the bottom of the rail.
So, I can mount the sling there and then forward on the gun on the handguard. So, I can have a two-point sling setup with the Stribog. It works pretty well.
But, I had to go through quite a bit of work to find this and Magpul’s the only company I found that made a sling adjustment that only you sling mount that only uses one slot of Picatinny to mount the gun and even then I believe it overlaps the second slot slightly.
The trigger on the Stribog is a basic trigger that is designed somewhat off the AR-15 pattern. I know some people have had luck with installing AR-15 patterns into the gun, although I haven’t tried this myself and I don’t plan to.
I have seen some companies come out with specific Stribog triggers. Now the trigger itself when you go into pull has creep from the very beginning before you hit a wall and then you feel a pretty solid break. The trigger is kind of heavy, but it’s not so heavy that you’re going to have issues with it.
It’s pretty much a standard AR-15 Mil-Spec trigger. There are some serrations on the front of the trigger, which I can’t decide if I like or not. So that will come down to personal preference. They don’t bother me, but I don’t love them either.
For the $700 base price point of this gun, the trigger is perfectly acceptable.
Support Hand Ergonomics
The support hand ergonomics on the Stribog SP9A1 leaves a little bit to be desired. Adding a angled foregrip like the one made by 3D Experiment is a big plus.
What I like to do is grip the gun using that VFG and then place my thumb over my support over the charging handle. This allows me to really get a good grip on the gun itself.
If I were using the gun without the AFG, the ergonomics on it would not be nearly as good. The handguard with that Picatinny rails like a cheese grater on the bottom of your hand, and the handguard is not extended far enough for you to really get a good grip if you have longer arms.
Overall, I like the gun quite a bit. But, it definitely needs a lot of accessories to bring it up to par. But, considering it comes in at a much lower price than other guns, it’s not that big of a deal to add a couple hundred dollars in accessories to this gun.
Shooting the Stribog SP9A1
Shooting the Stribog SP9A1 is quite a fun experience. One thing you’ll notice right away when loading the gun is there is a lot of spring pressure behind the bolt. Making it difficult to rack the bolt on the Stribog.
I don’t have an issue doing it, but I’m around guns a lot, this may be an issue for a newer shooter not yet comfortable with firearms.
Now, once you get the gun loaded up, the function ergonomics are very intuitive. The safety is just like an AR-15 along with the mag release.
So, you’re going to feel somewhat at home if you’re used to shooting AR-style weapons. The handguard is one thing that will probably feel a little bit off to you.
Now, as far as the recoil this gun definitely jumps around. But, it doesn’t have a lot of felt recoil. So while the gun doesn’t have a “kick” it has muzzle rise and staying out target can sometimes be an issue. I
But, there’s a heavy bolt in this gun and when it blows back, the gun is going to move. But, that doesn’t necessarily translate into harsh vibrations to your body. The newer SPA3 version bolt is different in that it will be roller blowback so this may help with muzzle rise and movement.
The gun tracks fairly well. So, you can get it back on target as long as you have a decent cadence of fire. If you go too fast, you’ll start missing with this gun. But for 25 yards and in the gun moves around great, and you’re going to have a hard time not hit hitting reasonably sized targets.
Carrying the Stribog
Once you’ve picked up your Stribog, getting it to and from the range is now your #1 goal. We make the best soft rifle cases on the market. You can carry with our tactical rifle cases or use our more discreet line of bags.
The Bureau is currently my favorite bag to carry the Stribog in. A non-attention grabbing 30″ bag that the SP9A1 fits perfectly in.
Stribog Overall Thoughts
The Stribog SPA9A1 is definitely one of the better PCC’s on the market in its price point. If you’re looking to fill a PCC niche, and you want a gun that looks like it could be in a movie, but you don’t want to spend a crazy amount of money, then this is probably going to be your go to.
The CZ Scorpion is one that’s also going to come in at a similar but slightly more expensive price range, people will probably bring that up a lot. Although I will say this is a lot better shooter than the Scorpion, we have a Scorpion review coming soon!
The Scorpion is a great gun, but at the same time, the Stribog just seems a little more refined. It’s just refined to something like a B&T or a SIG MPX or even an HK MP5? No. But, it’s still an awesome gun that’s really fun to shoot.
I think this is honestly probably the best compromise or best value in the pistol caliber carbine market that you can get.
If you’re not really brand loyal, or you’re not looking for a gun that’s really good at one specific thing and doesn’t break the bank, then this is probably going to be the best option.
It suppresses decently. It doesn’t jump around too much when you’re firing and it just looks awesome. You can set this up to have a really cool tactical style look if looks are important to you. This would also be a great gun for home defense. I don’t think you can get a better gun than the Stribog.