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HK P30/VP9 magazine spring...slide lock issues ***UPDATE! Problem solved!*** Login/Join 
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posted
***See Lower Post for Resolution***

And no, it's not how I'm holding the gun. Smile Did my Google homework, and saw the myriad threads advising it's a grip issue.

Firing single hand, both hands, not limp-wristing it, I discovered that while using two of three new mags with my brand new P30L (9mm) the slide failed to lock back after the last round nearly every time. The third mag was about 90% reliable, but that don't cut it for me.

Went home and hit up Google, saw recommendations about grip, etc...fair enough, as I'm coming from a about 90% Glock, 10% SIG P-Series muscle memory. Have slide lock issues with my SP2022 but I know FOR SURE that's on me, as I tend to rest my strong hand thumb against the slide release, ever slightly, and once I fix that the gun is 100%.

Went back to the range with the P30L and tried all sorts of options...still have very unreliable slide lock back...maybe 25% of the time, regardless of how I hold the gun. Went home and observed that, with all three mags, if I FORCEFULLY (and I mean pretty hard...) racked the slide back on an empty mag I could usually get the slide to lock back, but even then, not always...seemed more like it was simply the shock from a violent slide retraction that was just popping the lever up to where it would catch, not like it was just functioning normally. If I just retracted the slide slowly/gently, like in preparation for disassembly or just for inspection....forgetaboutit....no way the slide was locking open. Hmm.

Thought perhaps it was a follower issue...noticed no perceptible differences between the three, comparing them to the "good" mag. All seemed to seat well. Hmmmmmm.

Google Part II, and I see threads about stretching the mag springs. Don't like that idea, but I'm willing to try, especially as, compared to most of my other semi-autos, these mags seem pretty easy to load up. Pulled out the "worst" mag of the three, gave a slow, smooth pull on the spring, put it back in, and viola: regardless of how I rack it, the slide locks open just like EVERY OTHER SEMI-AUTO PISTOL slide I've ever racked. Did the other two mags (nothing crazy, just a gentle, smooth stretch to where I could feel the spring lengthening over its stock length), and same result. Bingo.

What's the deal? Is this an HK thing, or did I just get lemon mag springs? Or maybe my slide lock spring is crazy stiff (sure didn't seem like it). This was my last hangup for this gun before I took it seriously as an option for duty use, so I want to make sure I have this thing figured out, especially before I invest in more mags ($$$). Maybe aftermarket, higher-strength springs are in order? I'd think so, because eventually these stock springs are, I'm sure, going to compress again, leading to a resurfacing of the slide-lock issue.

I'm looking to The Collective for input. Thanks in advance.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: dehughes,


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Posts: 806 | Location: Oregon | Registered: March 18, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
That's just the
Flomax talking
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The slide not locking back can be caused by insufficient slide travel due to weak ammunition or new recoil spring is too strong. Lock the slide back overnight and try again. Try some different ammunition.
 
Posts: 11242 | Location: St. Louis, Missouri | Registered: February 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
E tan e epi tas
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What Gary said

If your P30l is New run a couple boxes or three of hotter and or heavier ammo. Make sure the Gun is clean and well lubed and leave the slide locked back for a night or so.

They are built to run STOUT ammo ans early on HKs especially in 9mm can be sensitive to lightweight/ plinking ammo.


"Guns are tools. The only weapon ever created was man."
 
Posts: 3707 | Location: Nashville, TN | Registered: July 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I run trains!
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What Gary and cs said. Both my P30 and VP9 required 100-150 rounds of 147gr Speer Lawman ammo to reliably lock the slide back when new. I’d try some heavier/hotter rounds for a few boxes then revisit. With the VP9 I used a mix of new mags and well worn mags (I’d had my P30 for a while by then) and it did it with both. Tells me it’s a gun issue not a mag issue.

I should add, I also have a P30 in .40 that exhibited the issues when new. I have a .357 SIG barrel for that one and a few boxes of Speer Lawman fixed that one up as well.



Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.
 
Posts: 4262 | Location: Willow Park, TX | Registered: April 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have 2 p30L's and as a lefty I am always on the slide release of them and my vp9's. If you're sure that's not it, and it seems you are, my next question is what ammo are you using? P30L's have very stiff springs and I had a lot of fte's with 115 grain ammo for about 200 rounds, then they shoot anything. I would suggest getting some strong 124 ammo and trying again, then reach out to Hk customer service. I have 13 hks and aside from stiff springs they have all been dead nuts reliable. But Hk customer service is excellent, despite internet bs. It's possible you got a lemon, but not likely in my experience. Good luck and keep us updated.


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Posts: 705 | Registered: March 16, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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First problem you, if not, second problem ammo, if not, third problem google, if not, fourth problem slide release (3 mags same problem is near zero).
But I will bet real money on 1 or 2.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 7215 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the help. Appreciate it.

Gun was/is well lubed. Ammo was 115gr CCI and S&B. Accuracy with S&B was excellent, by the way. I don't have any heavier 9mm at the moment....I'll have to source some.

I don't see how breaking in the recoil spring and/or using heavier ammo would help, though. Not saying it's not correct, just not understanding. Reason is, when I pulled the slide fully back, to where the slide lock should have engaged, and held the slide there, the slide lock still would not raise up enough to engage the slide. This is with two of the three mags. The third mag's follower would push up on the slide lock enough to where it would barely engage if I held the slide back, but not reliably.

But, I did observe that it was more likely to engage when I forcefully racked the slide back, which would correlate to using heavier ammo, so we'll see. I'll take it by the range in the morning after my shift, and I'll see if it's locking back better under recoil now that I've stretched the mag springs. Once I get to my weekend I'll try to source some heavier ammo. If still no joy, then I'll look for a stronger aftermarket spring.

The gun is a keeper, though. What a great fit for me, especially as it is breaking in and I'm getting used to it.


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Posts: 806 | Location: Oregon | Registered: March 18, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am 99% sure it’s the 115 grain stuff not having the ooomph to blow the slide all the way back. I am S&B tends to be a bit hotter then most plinking stuff so that is probably why you haven’t seen any failures beyond slide lock back.

I have found that HK seems to spring their guns out of the box for very hot ammo(makes sense as th y are primarily a military/Law enforcement provider not a civilian one).

I have just found that some HKs more often the 9mms can be a bit fussy with low power and or low bullet weight ammo for a box or three. I usually try to run 124 grain NATO normally but it also is a good round to loosen up a tight HK.

The longslide models tend to be more susceptible to this early on. I can almost promise it will work itself out with a trip or three to the range with hotter /heavier ammo and from then on will run anything this side of TULA assmax. Which I am convinced would jam if I dropped it down a length a 4 inch PVC pipe but I digress.


"Guns are tools. The only weapon ever created was man."
 
Posts: 3707 | Location: Nashville, TN | Registered: July 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Also wouldn’t hurt to disassemble and clean the mags/make sure everything is oriented properly.


"Guns are tools. The only weapon ever created was man."
 
Posts: 3707 | Location: Nashville, TN | Registered: July 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by dehughes:


Ammo was 115gr CCI and S&B.



There is your issue. HK’s like to be broken in with hot ammo. I use 124gr +P to break mine in, then a steady diet of 124gr and 147gr fmj’s. After few hundred rounds you can go back to running weak shit.

If you buy by the case, 124gr and 147gr aren’t much different in price compared to 115gr. I’m getting 124 and 147gr Speer for $200 delivered, so $10 a box.



He possess great skills.
 
Posts: 8918 | Registered: January 16, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It probably is not your grip or contacting the slide stop. Make sure your p30l has the red 9mm recoil spring. In addition, switching to a lighter hammer spring may also help. I had similar issues in my p30l and some wimpy ejection. Tried +p nato spec 124 grain Winchester and some +p 124 gr Speer GDHP and the p30l ran like a champ. After running a few boxes of hotter stuff, it now locks back on wwb 115 grain target loads.
 
Posts: 411 | Registered: July 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
To all of you who are serving or have served our country, Thank You
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Weak ammo new HK run some hotter stuff for 200 300 rounds.


....Shredding lead both barrels
 
Posts: 1674 | Registered: March 15, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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An interesting update.

Hit the range today with the same ammo (Magtech 115gr) as last time, but with the "stretched" mag springs. Zero failures to lock back, and towards the end of the box I even intentionally left my strong hand thumb resting slightly against the slide release. No issues whatsoever.

I'm thinking I had some weak mag springs, as this is now about 300 total rounds of 115gr 9mm ammo from Magtech, S&B, and Blazer, and the only thing changed was stretching the mag springs so they push up more on the slide release. I'm going to grab some Wolff +10% springs and keep those on hand, in case these HK springs end up compressing and the trouble starts again.

And yes, my P30L has the red recoil spring and the blue hammer spring...all looks to be as it should.

All said, though, this is a really nice pistol. Makes me want to try a VP9 just for kicks (and magazine compatibility.....).


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Posts: 806 | Location: Oregon | Registered: March 18, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
VP9 just for kicks (and magazine compatibility.....).


If you do try/get a VP9 I would be interested to hear your thoughts. I didn’t gel with my VP and was one of the few guns I have sold. It wasn’t a bad gun by any means but to me it had a really strange recoil impulse. Not sharp almost like slow motion/I could feel the slide cycling. Felt totally different then my P30 which I love.

Would love a P30L to go with it.


"Guns are tools. The only weapon ever created was man."
 
Posts: 3707 | Location: Nashville, TN | Registered: July 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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***UPDATE***

Figured it out. It wasn't me. I knew it.



The mag catch on the left is the replacement from HK that just arrived on my door 30 minutes ago. The lever on the right is the one out of my 2018 P30L. Notice the different lengths of the levers' protrusions? That is nearly exactly the difference I noticed between how the exact same mag would seat in my P30 and P30L.

Swapped it out, and now I can slooooowly retract the slide and the slide catch pops up into the notch on the slide, whereas with the "bad" mag release the slide catch would not lock the slide back unless the slide was violently racked, and even then not reliably.

Problem solved! Woo hoo! I reeeeeeeealy wanted to like my P30L, and the P30 line as a whole, but the slide lock issue was just killing it for me. If it was a function of me riding the release, fine, but I didn't think I was doing that.

So, takeaways:

1) Even Ze Germans can manufacture a bad part from time to time, but more importantly...

2) HK's customer service was *excellent* on this. Guy responded to my e-mail within the hour, called the CS number, spoke with THE SAME GUY who answered my e-mail, told him whassup, he (turns out rightly) diagnosed the issue as possibly being related to a faulty mag catch, and shipped one out to me Mach Schnell. I could get all Internet Critique Commando and say that HK makes garbage now and only the pre-whatever-era ones were any good, or, take the glass-half-full route and enjoy that a) my pistols are squared away, and b) HK no longer hates us.


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Posts: 806 | Location: Oregon | Registered: March 18, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by dehughes:
***UPDATE***

... or, take the glass-half-full route and enjoy that a) my pistols are squared away, and b) HK no longer hates us.


A good path to take on a LOT of things/issues.
 
Posts: 1257 | Location: Texas Hill Country | Registered: January 24, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting. Glad they worked it out for you. My experience with Hk CS has been stellar, though I have never needed it for any problems with their guns. But always helpful and very, very quick. The p30's are among my favoritesSmile


p229Extreme/P226Tac-Ops/P226 Extreme/P226 SAO) P226 X-5 Blue Moon/P226 X-5 Black and White

 
Posts: 705 | Registered: March 16, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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