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Practically Shooting

HK P7 Ex-German Police Trade-ins Back in Stock


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I just got an email from Top Gun Supply saying they had German Police HK P7s in stock again. Grade B only, at $499.95.


I'm new here so you haven't heard me yammer on about the P7 yet. I will. I usually carry either a HiPower or 1911, but love the P7s too and carry one plenty.

They are incredible shooting guns. There are a lot of myths surrounding them, so when you hear something against them, think carefully about what you heard. A lot of it doesn't stand up to careful examination.

I prefer the M8, but snapped up a PSP like this a few years ago for a spare.

At 500 bucks, it's hard to go wrong. If you have been curious about them and just want to try one out, it's a good way to do it. When they dried up last time they were quickly bringing more than $500, so even if you try one and don't like it, you might get your money back and then some.

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Examples of what I call P7 Myths (or at least exaggerations):

1- The most common thing I hear is it's "unique manual of arms", that can confuse you if you carry multiple gun types. In other words: You might forget to cock it and "it'll gitcha kilt".

Response- I usually blame this on gun magazines. In fact, depending on the phrases used, I've sometimes been able to tell what article it came from. There aren't that many.

The theory is that if you alternate between different carry guns, you might have the P7 when you need to shoot in self-defense but forget that you need to cock the gun.

I suppose it's possible if you carry a P7 once every couple of years instead of something else. Still, after 30 years of the gun's existence, I have never heard of a case of it.

The P7 is cocked by squeezing the grip. You compress the front strap into the grip frame, cocking the gun via linkage to the striker. I don't know how the gunwriters hold their pistols when they shoot, so maybe they can have this happen, but when I fire a pistol I take a firm firing grip. On a P7, that squeeze-cocks the gun. It's about as natural to operate as they come.

To further convince me this is a non-issue is what I've seen when others shoot mine. I've let quite a few people shoot mine (they draw a crowd) and while some have needed initial instruction on the gun, they operated it just fine from that point on. Most telling has been when I've let someone shoot it, then let them shoot it when I saw them several months to a year later. I always keep quiet to see what happens. Even though they have probably not even picked one up since shooting mine the first time, none had any trouble shooting it. Nobody forgot how it worked. They picked it up and shot it, simple as could be.

2- They get hot.

Response- Yes they do. But it's not the ordeal it's often made out to be.

The P7's odd gas-pressure-operated locking system taps gas into a chamber beneath the barrel. This chamber gets hot, much like a barrel will. Since this chamber starts just above the trigger opening, it is fairly close to the trigger finger and heat can radiate off and warm the finger.

People have said this hurts the gun for self-defense, either because it's unsuited for rapid fire or because it effects training.

Um, OK.

The early type PSP (like the German police guns) does heat up quicker than the P7M8 because of changes to the trigger guard area, but I can still burn through about 50 rounds before noticing at all. It takes more than that to make the gun unshootable, but I don't know how many because I haven't found the point yet.

When mine start to get hot, it's time to refill magazines or change targets anyway, so it gets a cool down.

I've used it in classes that called for over 500 rounds per day and neither the gun nor my hand melted down and I was able to holster it IWB without setting my pants on fire.

I find it interesting that I often hear the heating complaint from people who also complain about magazine cost. They say they only have a couple of magazines, yet they get the gun too hot to shoot? They must be a lot faster at refilling mags than I.

3- Expense.

Response: That was true for most of it's lifespan, but with the surplus guns at $500 that doesn't hold up so well.

Magazines aren't cheap at $55 and up, but it's a good rugged magazine. I consider magazines to be expendable items that only last so long before needing replaced, but I'm still using P7 mags I've had for over ten years.

4- It's complicated with a lot of parts.

Response: I can see how one would think this. The way the gun is designed, most of the fire control parts are under the grips instead of buried within the frame. When I first took a grip panel off and saw about 30 parts right there, I thought there must be 500 parts in the gun.

I didn't realize I was looking at most of the parts in the gun.

I forget the exact number now, but it only has a few more parts than a 1911, and a 1911 doesn't have a tremendous number of parts in it. The P7 parts total is similar to most DA autos and less than some (For one, I think the S&W 3rd Gen autos have more parts).

It lacks locking system parts like links, bushings, and slide stop pins; and the actual fire control system is pretty simple. If not for springs and levers to reduce the force needed to hold squeeze-cock lever cocked, it might be down to a Glock parts count.

5- Weight. People complain they are heavy.

Response: Maybe it's from still thinking polymer framed guns are new, but I don't think they are that heavy.

I don't have the weights handy, but looking at the guns it most directly compares to, the S&W 3913, Sig P225, and Sig P239, it weighs within a couple of ounces. I can't tell the difference two ounces makes. The P7 is the only one with a steel frame too. Nothing against aluminum alloy frames, but I'd prefer steel if alum only saves me a couple of ounces.

Polymer frame guns might be noticeably lighter, especially the comparably sized Glock 26, but they are noticeably wider too. Maybe it's just me, but width bothers me a lot more than a few ounces of weight. I can take a few ounces easier than a few 16ths of an inch more width. I've had several Glocks, but would rather carry the "heavy" P7 IWB any day.

They aren't perfect, and I don't think any gun is. I'm not trying to say that. I just wanted to try to shoot down or at least explain the common complaints I hear about these because I heard them for 20 years and it made me wonder about the gun. I wish I had someone to tell me how it really was, because maybe I would have got one sooner.

I wanted to try a P7 long before I got one. Every time I would bring the P7 up, someone would name off one or more of these supposed faults. Some of them sounded reasonable to me at the time, but after getting my first P7, I quickly decided some might have a basis in fact but are not nearly the problem they are often made out to be. Others don't hold much water at all.

One thing I later realized was that a lot of people "know" things about the P7, yet not very many have actually owned one. Hmmm.

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That same place sometimes has used, but like new, Sig mags. I don't know if they would have P225 mags, but it might be worth looking.

Here is the link, but I don't see any for P225s. It might pay to keep checking, because I know their P7 mags come and go.


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