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A most enjoyable and informative thread for sure. :)

I got my first PSP back in the 1980s, and it was a personal sidearm of a client of mine who no longer did security work. I kept it for about a year and was enthralled by it, but foolishly traded it for something I felt I needed more at the time. I bemoaned its departure for years afterward.

Prior to Christmas 2005, the wife told me to go pick out my Christmas present. I stopped by my favorite local dealer's, and he had a load of firearms he had gotten in on consignment but hadn't yet priced or put on the internet for sale. Buried under the stack was an old H&K box, and I opened it to reveal a NIB PSP, still in factory grease and plastic wrap, with test target, two mags, gas scraper, et al. When I asked the price, he scratched his head a bit and poked around on his calculator, then quoted me a figure well below what was being asked around other places, so it became mine.


As previously mentioned, the PSP doesn't have the "heat shield" and has a European style mag release; otherwise its the same as the later version P7M8.

These pistols DO heat up, and the area inside the trigger guard underneath the frame can blister you if you run 100 or so rounds through it. Also, the Euro mag release is less desireable than the American style, but it is positive, accessible and very easy to use, much more so than those on other Euro pistols that I've owned.

My experience has led me to believe that these pistols are trim and compact, have great stock triggers, are very easy to shoot fast and accurately, and are Toyota Corolla-like reliable with any factory ammo, including +P+ Ranger stuff. My buddy has a P7M13 that feels too awkward and fat to me in the grip, but it DOES add capacity of course, and is every bit as reliable as my older PSPs.

At this moment my PSP is doing desk drawer duty at the office alongside a 4" Smith 29. I really like this design. It's one of my favorites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
The heel magazine release never really bothered me for some reason.

I've gotten a lot out of this thread. It's a good example of a reason to be a member of high-quality firearms forums.

I keep thinking if I hang around smart people long enough that some of it will rub off on me.

Just read David's article. It's enough to generate a bit of interest for me in these pistols. Great read!
 

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Hi, a few of us got them back in the 1980's to carry. This was when the NJ State Police issued them. Back then, you got them from H&K on department letterhead. they were great to deal with, they sent me an H&K bullet-shaped pen that I still have.

I carried one for years as a duty weapon. I carried it on a rig belt as well as in plain clothes.
Actually, my first was the P7M 13. Most of us got that first. I found it to be a bit butt heavy, especially in a holster.
A couple of us got the P7M8's. It worked much better for me.

Anyway, this is a great pistol. I still have mine. It's a little too expensive & rare to be an everyday pistol now.

When I do shoot it, it still feels pefect. I guess all those years of qualifying with it just imprinted and I love it.

When I'd wear a uniform for events, it was one of those pistols that other officers would ask about.
Mine functioned flawlessly, I carred Federal 9B in it. It is also narrow, only slightly wider than the Walther PPK/s (I got this from a 1980's era ad).

It is well balanced in the hand, easy to clean, I could go on and on.
Today, I love the Hi Power and the Sig 225 (nicely balanced as well).

To me, you can't go wrong with one of the H&K's. I'm sorry they do not make them anymore.
I liked the grip cock a lot. I believe it helped me shoot better.
 

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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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Oh, I forgot to add something. A buddy of mine and a former member of my trapshooting squad is a retired NC State Trooper. Back in the 1980s the state decided to replace the Smith 19 revolvers with a 9mm automatic, and he was on a panel of troopers who tested a lot of different pistol designs with an eye toward submitting a recommendation for adoption.

One of the pistols tested was the P7. To a man (and woman), everyone on the test panel enthusiastically recommended the adoption of the H&K as the next pistol for the highway patrol. Their recommendation was passed upstairs and was rejected, either because of the cost or the unconventional manual of arms, and the state adopted the Beretta 92FS. This was right around the time the US military did the same thing.
 

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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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Well, here's one other thing I really like about the P7. The squeezecocker also acts as the slide release. When you've emptied a mag and the slide is stuck back, one inserts a fresh magazine and just cocks the pistol via the squeezecocker to release the slide. Presto, back in action, and without a shifting of the grip to reach a slide release lever ala 1911/BHP.

It's a very well designed and manufactured pistol. :)
 
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These puppies are certainly interesting.

I think part of the unusual profile must be due to the light slide; it isn't that the grip is really so big as that the barrel/slide are so small.

Again, unlike almost any 9mm but a Hi-Point (I'm sure there are others), the barrel is fixed and doesn't cam into the slide somehow. But unlike the Hi-point with its massive slide, the gas system allows the lighter slide. Even building the gas system in must contribute to the P7's unique "look".

The large grip is made visually larger yet by the squeeze function. It is very similar to the grip in the Ortgies guns, but once an Ortgies is gripped and cocked, a button needs to be pushed to release (and decock) the action. So what we have is a single-action revolver that can be cocked and decocked by squeezing or releasing the grip. The fact that no one needs to be spooked by a cocked-and-locked single action is just one more piece of the magic. Like a Glock or DAO pistol, it has exactly one manual of arms, but it is single action.

Which of the two features is coolest? I couldn't tell you. I'm a sucker for the squeeze cock/decock feature, but the magic of the fixed barrel/gas retard is pretty heady stuff too.

I'd be happy to own one, that is for sure.

My hunch, though, is that the typical gun owner/packer is happy enough with the mundane world of lesser weapons, these puppies are darned expensive to build, and it sounds like keeping the gas system clean and tidy is likely more trouble than its worth.

Still, for the right money, if the opportunity arises, I'll be proud to carry one home.

Bruce
 
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Correction:

I wrote above "single action revolver". I meant to write "single action pistol".

Bruce
 

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

Barry, ouulala, what an ideal pistol - a single stack P7 in .45 acp. :)

I've really enjoyed reading your input about this most excellent design.
 

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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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Hello and thanks so much for this informative post. This is the sort of post I appreciate along with folks sharing their actual experiences, be they with reloading, holsters or a particular sidearm's strong and weak points.

Best.
 

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Howdy sir,

Thanks for offering your side by side comparison. Ok so your P7 did get hot. As I noted earlier, I experienced that while running multiple mags through one in rapid fire, much like you did. But in reality, I am not sure either one of us would routinely employ our handgun that way in a self-defense scenario either.

I discovered during the gun school I often refer to in posts, that after about 800 or 900 rounds I needed to stop and clean my 4506 to avoid repeated malfunctions. But the other LEOs needed to stop and clean their pistols also. The instructor liked to give me a hard time good-naturedly as I enjoyed doing the same with him and others. He asked me how it affected my cofidence level in my 4506 to know it needed to be cleaned after about 800 rounds.

My response was to grin and say, well I reckon the first time I have fired about 750 rounds through it in a shooting situation, maybe I will start to worry a bit. But until then, it is just sort of like a fact of life, that I don't really worry that much about.

The fact the P7 will heat up, unless you anticipate using it rapid fire like that in a real situation, is much the same to me. It is just sort of a fact of life, and not all that major an issue. I only noted its heating before in my comments because it is the only pistol I can clearly remember leaving some skin attached too with only 3 magazines (grinning).

But again thanks for the comparison sir.

twoguns
 

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That's always been my take on the heat issue as well. Yeah, it heats up, and it can be a problem if you're shooting a lot. But for a self defense scenario, it's not a factor.
 

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Didn't H&K use a hydraulic setup for the smaller P7, the one with interchangeable caliber capability, including .380/.32/.22 ?

I've always wanted one of those 3 caliber sets. Maybe I could sell my Cadillac, buy one and then walk to work, assuming I could even FIND one anymore.
 

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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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Howdy Mr. Barry,

Shucks sir, blame me for the rifle, I don't mind. I am a major .41 magnum fan and used to carry one on duty. So I will gladly take the blame.

See how user friendly we try to be here. You can blame me for both if it helps too, lol.

Of course now you owe us two new range reports too, hehehe.

Congradulations on getting both sir.

twoguns
 
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