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I like 'em. I'm no fan of HK, but look the other way when it comes to this gun.

Mine is a P7M8, the newer variation with the heat shield and a mag catch similar to what they later used on the USPs.

I carry mine when I don't feel like I can conceal a 1911 or HiPower very well....or just because I like it.

I had settled on the 1911 and HiPower.
I didn't need anything else.
I was done.
The fact that I made room for the P7 means that I found something I liked.

I think it's one of the easiest to shoot guns there is.
The trigger is great. One of the things that makes it an easy transition between the 1911/HiPower and the P7 for me is that the triggers are all about the same.
The recoil and muzzle flip (especially the muzzle flip) are nothing.
It's operation seems natural. I can let it sit for months while I carry something else, then spend a few minutes of dry-fire work with the P7, and be ready.

Like every other gun out there, it has good points and bad.
Once I got mine, I decided most, but not all, of the negatives I heard were based on a grain of truth, but had been blown way out of proportion.
For example:

They get hot. Yeah, but...
I guess the older PSP models were worse, but for me, the P7M8 takes about 50 rounds to notice, and I have to stop and efill magazines by then anyway. Even then, I have to actually touch the gas cylinder area, which I can't a reason to do.
I don't feel heat on my trigger finger when shooting, but I suppose that someone with larger fingers could.
I carry mine IWB, and it's not like I can't reholster without burning my butt or anything.
I compare the P7 heat issue to a revolver barrel- They get hot after some shooting, but it takes a while, and it's not an area that you normally touch anyway.
It's sure not going to be a problem in a shootout.

The supposed negative I hear about most involves the so-called "unique manual of arms". People are always advising that "If you carry a P7, then carry ONLY a P7". The thinking is that if you need to use your P7, and have been using something else, you may forget to squeeze-cock it.
I used to think this made a lot of sense. But after using one, I don't buy it at all. I don't see how one can get a firing grip without squeezing the squeeze-cock lever. I don't know how other people are holding their pistols, but I just don't see it. If I should "forget" to cock it, the squishing of the front strap as I start to take the shot will surely remind me.

The squeeze-cocker makes noise. Yes, but you don't squeeze it until you shoot. It cocks the gun and takes the safety off in one (natural) motion. It just doesn't get done until you shoot it. Shooting the thing makes noise too.
When you squeeze it, you not only just cocked the gun and took it off safe, but you are also sitting on a four-pound trigger. You don't go around squeezing and releasing it. You squeeze as you align the sights and/or touch the trigger face, then press the trigger and shoot.

People say they are complicated. I thought so too, but was surprised when I actually checked it out. I forget the exact count, but it has only a few more parts than a 1911- which is about as uncomplicated as they come. It has about the same number of parts as most DA autos.
But I see where people get it. If you take the grips off, you see about 50 parts. Of course, it looks complicated. The thing is- you are looking at almost all of the parts in the gun. There are a few more in the slide, but that's about it.

They say it's heavy. I think it's a small gun, so people expect it to be lighter than it is. It's in the same class as the Sig P239 and S&W 3913 (8+1 9mms) but weighs 2 ounces more than one, and 1.25 oz more than the other (I don't recall which). But the HK has a steel frame, while the others are aluminum. Nothing against alum frames, but for a couple of ounces of weight savings at most, I'll take steel.

They are expensive. No question. I got mine used for $800. That's about what a Colt or Kimber 1911 runs, so it isn't all that bad.
Mags sure aren't cheap, though.

There are a couple of things that I don't like, and the things I don't like, I REALLY don't like:

I hate the slide stop.
It's small, and awkward to operate. If I ever have to lock the slide open to clear a malfunction like a double feed (hasn't happened yet, but you never know), I'm gonna be struggling.
To it's credit, when I've set them up to practice, I was able to clear it by jerking the magazine out of the gun. The "extra" round comes free and tumbles down and out the magwell.
Besides, I never carry just one gun anyway.

I also think the bluing is weak. For such an expensive gun, you'd think they could finsh it. It wears way too fast.
I hear HK started using their HE finish on late guns, like they use on the USPs. If so, that's a wonderful thing. It's just 20 years too late.

Overall, I think the good outweighs the bad.
 

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Thanks. Hey, just trying to save someone from doing what I did:
I wanted one since I first read about them around 1981, but at $600 then, that wasn't gonna happen. As time went on, and they got closer to being within my reach, I kept hearing those stories.
I wouldnt say they kept me from buying one sooner, since I still couldn't afford one...but then again, I might have tried harder to scrape together the money and get one sooner.

Once I did get one, I found most of the negatives were blown out of proportion. That's not saying they don't exist, just that I don't think most of them matter much, if at all.

If you want a surplus P7, you'd better hurry. I guess I had not been paying attention, and just found out about the surplus ones last week.
When I went to my usual dealer yesterday, I found out that he had already got six or eight in and sold them all. When I walked in, he was on the phone with his distributor ordering two more- all they had.
He's hanging on to one for me when they come.

To add to what I said about their heating deal-
The only time I see it possibly being a problem is in a class where you go through a lot of rounds in a short time, with short breaks that may not allow it to cool. THEN, I could see it being a problem.
The only time I've used mine in a class is in the backup gun portion (I've carried it on the weak side as a BUG before) because I could see the heat thing being an issue. I'd also like to have more than the four mags that I now have before taking it to a class.
But if I can add a PSP for relatively cheap, I can take both and alternate guns.

By the way, if buying a surplus P7 or PSP, and choosing between more than one- Try not to let the condition of the finish weigh too heavily on your selection. Try to ignore the finish and evaluate them mechanically. Their bluing holds up so poorly that just because one is finish-worn, it doesn't mean it's no good.
It also means that the one with the best finish will look like the others after a short time of holster carry.
From what I understand HK graded them based upon number of rounds fired. I think that was wise, but it has thrown off some people. They get a so-called Grade A gun, and it's blue-worn, meanwhile their buddy gets a cheaper Grade B with better finish, and they cry foul.
 

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Reading through this so far, I haven't seen this mentioned:

The HK has a fixed barrel and uses the gas system to retard blowback.

The fixed barrel in conjunction with the low bore axis contribute to accuracy.

At least that is what I've read.

Bruce
I'll agree with that.
I don't think I've ever shor t mine from a rest, but it hits where the sights point.
I have in my log book two groups fired standing/unsupported, at 15 yards using CorBon 115 JHP +P. Both were five-shot groups, shot about five weeks apart.
The first was 1-7/8", and the second was 1-3/8". The first group had four in 15/16".
That's as good as I can possibly do with anything.

I don't know if it's the low bore axis, or the gas-retarded action, both, or something else, but it's one of the easiest guns to shoot fast and accurately. The only thing I've shot that comes close are .22 target pistols and IPSC Open Class guns (and I'm not sure about the IPSC guns being much better, if any).
It sure has the least recoil of any 9mm I've shot.
The slide cycles so fast that it's like it never moved, and that slide doesn't weigh much. That probably helps, by not having a heavy slide slamming around.

On the other hand- A lot of other people have shot my P7 (they do draw a crowd) and I've heard a couple of people say the exact opposite of what I just typed above. They were surprised at "how much it recoiled for a nine". It was only a couple of people, but I certainly feel it's worth mentioning.
I don't know if it had something to do with some difference in our holds or what it was. I also have no way of knowing what else they may have shot in the past to compare it to.

But they thought it recoiled too hard for what it was, so I can't argue with how it felt to them. It just goes to show that what works great for some, doesn't work for others.
I want to report all sides. After all, I wouldn't want it to look like I'm biased in favor of P7s or anything!
 

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twoguns-
From the sound of it, your grip is similar to what I used to use. I was forced to change after getting my first HiPower. My weak-side thumb kept pulling down the front of the HiPower's slide stop, which rocked it up, locking it open mid-magazine. I didn't really want to change, but I liked the gun enough to do it.

I do see where that grip would make for a toasted thumb on the P7.
 

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I remembered a couple more things for anyone who picks up one of the surplus ones floating around now. I don't know what manual or tools they come with, so thought it best to mention these things:

First, don't use cast bullets in them. I suppose one could get by with shooting a few if they just had to, but I wouldn't do it. The gas port in the barrel will surely get plugged with melted lube and crud. If that gets blocked, you lose the gas-retarding system, and now have a straight blow-back pistol with a light slide and recoil spring.
Sounds scary to me.

Clean the gas cylinder. They came with a scraper and/or brush for this, but they tend to get lost over time. Carbon builds up the the gas cylinder, slowing the slide movement. A couple of quick twists of the scraper cleans it right out. I don't know how long one can go without cleaning it, since I clean mine after each time shooting (it takes a couple of seconds). The most I've gone is a couple hundred rounds. I wouldn't try to get through a 1,000 rd class without cleaning it.
There is a guy making and selling new scrapers, but I hear that a .270 bore brush will work.
 

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Hi everyone, I just wrote an article on the P7 that Mr. Camp placed in the "Other Handguns" portion of his site.
I Just read it.
Well done.
It was a welcome relief to see something in print that doesn't perpetuate the "that squeeze-cocker'll gitcha kilt" tale.
 

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I know I'm beating this to death, but I remembered another think I like about the P7.

The striker/firing pin/spring assembly pops out in about a second on the P7M8 and M13, which basically deactivates the gun. I'm not sure if it's as quickly done on the PSP.

This is something that I never saw much need for...until I had it.
With small kids in the house, it's handy.

If carrying the P7, I will pop the striker assembly out at night before putting the gun in a dresser drawer by the bed. I tuck the sriker assy under my watchband, keeping it handy, and under my control. If I hear a thump in the night, I can pop it back in.

This also came in handy one day when I had to take some disability papers to my attorney. They had to get to him that day, and he was at the courthouse- where no guns were allowed. I didn't know this when I left home, so had no way to secure the gun in my vehicle, and wouldn't have felt very good about leaving it there.
But I had the P7, so I just popped the striker assy out and stored it seperately. Problem solved.

I suppose I could disassemble about any gun and do the same thing, but this is awful quick and easy.
 

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Bank, you're right. That is a good one.
And it's another P7 thing that I didn't know would be of any benefit until I had one.

I might have guessed that the frontstrap slide release would be the one unique operating feature that could bite you. I could have imagined making a mag change, forgetting what you were shooting, and swiping furiously at the slide stop that isn't there.
But in reality, what I find happening is that I change mags and tighten up my grip, which drops the slide before I can get my weak hand to the slide (I use the overhand pull-back method to drop the slide).
Like cocking the gun by taking a firing grip, releasing the slide is a pretty natural motion.

I've carried my P7 as a weak-side gun some. I think it's great for that use, since it's not only easy to shoot one-handed or "wrong-handed", but things like magazine changes are easier to do with it than other guns I've tried. The magazine catch is easy to access with either hand AND by thumb or index finger. The slide can be dropped with a quick squeeze.

Speaking of one-hand mag changes-
If I'm practicing one-handed mag changes, I either reholster the gun or trap it between my knees. Sometimes (with any gun) the mag won't completely eject at those odd attitudes. The P7's floorplate extends forward and provides a nice ledge to hook and pull it out with. I think that was their intent since that ledge is cross-grooved, which may give a little more finger traction.

It's just full of little details like that, which one finds over time.
Which menas that I also agree with your last statement- That it's a well-designed pistol. Somebody did a lot of good thinking when designing this gun.
It's sure not perfect, as nothing is, but it sure has a lot of good points.

I sure wish HK had gone ahead with the P7M7 (the prototype 45ACP P7)!
 

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Thanks. We're finally talking about something I'm at least a little bit familiar with!

Supposedly, the thing that killed the P7M7 45ACP for us was the P7 gas system wouldn't work with the 45ACP. Maybe the 45ACP's operating pressure was too low???
I don't know. I wasn't there. Darn it.

Whatever it was, I've read that they went to a hydraulic buffer instead of the gas piston to make it work (assuming it did work). Basically, I guess it just got too involved (which probably meant expensive) for a gun that HK estimated would "only" sell in the USA. And whether it was much of indicator or not, 9mm P7 sales weren't exactly overwhelming here, so they probably thought it was too big of a gamble.

I'd hate to guess what that thing would have cost. I honestly doubt I would have bought one, since it took me 15 years to cough up the bucks for a used P7M8.
 

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OK, after going on half the gun forums out there for the past week singing the P7's praises, and saying that the heating problem wasn't that big a problem...

It was a problem for me today.

I was shooting a bunch of El Presidente drills. Twelve rounds at a time, really fast, over and over five times, after I had already put 50 rounds through it, got it the hottest I had ever felt it.
After a while, I couldn't holster it (IWB).
In practice, I usually draw and fire one to four rounds (maybe shooting as many as six rounds per draw now and then). Then I reholster and do it over. The shots add up, but not as fast as 12 at a time.

To be fair, I did the same drills with a HiPower and it was too hot to holster also.

The reason I was doing the El Presidentes was to check something. I've always felt that after a long period of shooting other guns, the P7 was easy to pick up again. For some reason, it comes back pretty quick. That's good, because I will sometimes go for a while without shooting mine.
But I wasn't positive if that was really the case, or it just seemed that way to me.

So I did a little experiment.

I took my P7 out to shoot alongside a HiPower. The last time I shot my P7 was last Dec 29. According to my shooting log, that's easily the the longest idle period since I've owned it.
In contrast, I have put 2,626 rounds through that HiPower during that time, and last shot it six days ago.
It seemed like a good time to try this.

I chose to run El Presidentes since it would test the handling of the guns in multiple shots, on multiple targets, and with a magazine change.

I shot about 50 rounds through the HiPower, then ran the El Prez five times.
I did the same thing with the P7. I maybe should have shot them both "cold", but I didn't.

I cheated a bit on the target arrangement. I couldn't space the targets the El Prez's specified one meter apart due to space limitations (my range is in the woods, and a recent storm dropped a good sized limb on my target area). I had to space them just over one foot apart. But to try and make up for it, I staggered the target heights: 5' - 6 '- 5'.

My average with the HiPower was 10.67 seconds (I'm usually around 12 seconds even or a little under, and no points down).
My average with the P7 was 10.55 seconds.
I did drop four points over the five runs with the P7, while I dropped two with the BHP. I was pushing things faster than I should have, but I felt that was best this time.

I would say they came out pretty even.
Considering the disparity of use between the two guns recently, I think it supported what I've thought all along about the P7 being easy to "re-learn".
These are my findings, so others may find it a bear to pick up again, and that any number of guns are easier to pick up.
 

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Yes, the P7K3 used a hydraulic buffer. It's a blowback action, but with a hydraulic piston buffer/shock absorber that the slide contacts.

I've wondered if the hydraulic buffer used on the prototype P7M7 45ACP was the basis for that, or if it was the other way around. It may be so different that there is no similarity.

I've never had one, but I've heard those P7K3 buffers may have a limited life span and it's hard to find replacements. I don't know that for certain though.

Incidentally, the .22LR barrel uses a floating chamber similar to the Colt Ace .22 and 1911 conversion units.
 

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Great. Thanks to YOU GUYS, I am all cranked up about P7s... and guess what was in the gunshop this afternoon?
So now I have a PSP to go with my M8. I hope you're all happy, since it IS your fault.

BTW, I got a Marlin 1894 in .41 Magnum also. I haven't figured out who to blame for that one yet.
 

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I shot the PSP this morning. It's gonna be a while before I get to the rifle range to shoot the .41.
The PSP did fine. It's in a lot better condition than my P7M8 (the PSP is a "grade B" trade-in). I only shot 35 rounds as I got tired of reloading the one mag I have for it: four mag-fulls and the last three rounds of Federal 9BPLE I had. I was really out there to shoot something else anyway, but tossed it in.
 

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Oh, I have few doubts that I'll like it for carry. I like carrying the M8, and have thought a PSP for the left side would be neat. Maybe now I'll find out.

As heel mag releases go, I like the way HK made these so it pulls down and forward to release, rather than pulling the release rearward. It just feels more natural and quick.

I've heard more than one person say they preferred the PSP over the M8 just for the heel mag catch. Their reasoning is that the M8 mag catch is too easily released. I can see that point, but I haven't had it happen with my M8.
 
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