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So I recently picked up an HK P30 in 9mm because I had magazines left over from when I sold my VP9 and selling the magazines or just keeping them in rotation with my P2000's made entirely too much financial sense so I bought a gun, as I am to do.
First and foremost let me say that I sold the VP9 because I just didn't gel with it. It never "felt" like my other HKs and although I had no real issues with it I found it just never did it for me like I had hoped. I think I am basically at heart a traditional hammer fired DA/SA guy, especially when it comes to HK's. What can I say crappy triggers and I speak to each other.
So lets get this ball rolling by addressing the first of two elephants in the room. All ratings are out of 5.
VALUE - 2
I mean let's be honest here. As she sits my P30 is a $950.00 plastic gun. I have the financial sense of Pac Man Jones in a strip club and even I get palpitations over this. That being said lets break it down vs. a Glock 17 from the same vendor.
A Gen 4 Glock 17 costs $539.00 but lets be honest we need to ditch the dovetail protectors and put sights on it so lets add say $110 bucks to that. So lets round a bit and call it $650.00 for the Glock.
So what value do I get for $300 extra dollars. Beyond all the typical HK fanboy answers of testing and plugging barrels and all in house part and QC etc. which all do have some merit, I really only see 3 major benefits for the extra 3 bills.
1-Much nicer slide finishing and finish. The machine work on most HKs is just second to none as far as production pistols go. They look great, they feel great and their Hostile environment process is as good as Glock's Tennifer and the finish itself is WAY THE HELL MORE DURABLE then the current Glock finish, although not as tough as the last finish Glock used.
2-Fully ambidextrous controls. I personally love the magazine release and I like the slide "release" levers. I know there are folks who would argue for the minimalism of the Glock controls and they are not wrong. That being said I both like the HK layout and I am sure more money is spent to provide this.
3-That LEGO configurable grip. At the end of the day nobody offers this level of customization. Again is this needed? Is it worth part of those 3 bills for the average person? I dunno. For me personally yes it is.
So there you have it. If you are looking for a value proposition most HK's probably are not your first stop shop, but that being said the P30 does provide some unique features and impeccable build quality.
TRIGGER - 3
So on to elephant number two, the DA/SA V3 trigger. I'm gonna say it...........the P30 has a good double action pull. Is it SIG good? No but its not HK45 bad either. The single action pull is good too. The reset.........well its a hell of a lot less good. Now I spend a lot of time shooting revolvers and cut my teeth or DA/SA guns so reset doesn't drive my bus so to speak. That being said I have basically had Glocks seemingly double due to the short reset.....if this is your thing.......ummm yeah lets just say you are not gonna get the P30 to double So all in all not a horrible trigger like folks make it out and frankly the SA is better then most striker pulls by far.
ERGOS - 62
Ok so here is the weirdness part. I had a VP9 and it took me several range sessions to dial in the right combo of side panels and back strap and having the ability to do so is a huge benefit........I thought the P30 would be the same process. Nope, absolutely perfect out of the box.
I know people complain about the stippling but I like it. I prefer it to the less aggressive VP9.
As for the controls they are great. 100% ambi, great slide "releases" and the oft maligned, often misunderstood paddle mag release, which for me personally is a YUGE selling point.
RELIABILITY - 5
I know this is going to be heresy but in my experience HKs tend to need a break in period. They should be cleaned and oiled out of the box and shot with a box or three of either hot or heavier rounds. I started off with a combination of acouple hundred rounds of Winchester Nato Spec 124 grain and Speer Gold Dot 124 Grain +P. It swallowed those slow, fast, one handed, week handed, limp wristed etc. It never even gave any indication of a potential function issue. It ejected all brass very smartly and well away from the shooter.
subsequent range trip I tried the dreaded crappy 115 grain powder puff stuff. Winchester white box for this test. Every single round ran perfectly, with perfect ejection, no back to the chest and just absolutely perfect function. So I am very happy with the reliability so far.
RECOIL - 5
Its a fairly big honkin' gun with a perfect grip shooting and itty bitty cartridge. Recoil is very easy to deal with and very easy to get back on target. The recoil impulse is completely different then the VP9. Not lighter per say but different. I never liked the recoil on my VP9 as I basically could feel the slide go through its motions. I don't feel this with the P30.
ACCURACY - ????
I dunno ask somebody who can shoot. I am fairly happy at my initial shooting at 8-10 yards and all of it was done fairly quickly, in addition to my one handed, weak handed etc. etc. function testing so I am going to say the gun seems very mechanically accurate and double action first hits were easy.
The funny thing is on the second target below with the 115 grain Winchester ammo I have 3 egregious flyers/bad shots one at the bottom and two under the gun, none of which were double action all were single action.
200 or so rounds. Mix of 124 grain NATO and 124 grain +P Gold Dots. Slow, fast, one hand, weak hand etc.
100 rounds Winchester 115 grain White Box Bulk.
CARRY-ABILITY - 4
Much like the VP9 it carries way better then it has a right too. I don't know if its the grip shape, the rounded contours or what but the fact is for a fairly large gun it carries smaller then it is. The aggressive stippling can be a little irritating on bare skin but all in all it does work as a carry gun if you so desire.
I prefer the P2000 in this regard and the P30 wasn't specifically bought for that purpose.
EFFICIENCY - 3
What do I mean by efficiency? One of the biggest knocks against HK products are the fact that they tend to hold a couple less rounds then the competition. Now 15 rounds vs 17 rounds, I could care less. I honestly don't think that makes a whit of difference as far as real world capability. (7 rounds vs. 10 is a much bigger distinction but I digress).
What I mean when I talk about efficiency is that if they are going to have a 15 round capacity maybe try to design the gun around it and make it a bit smaller. I am sure there are a myriad of engineering reasons for this blah blah reliablity etc. but the fact is when it comes to efficiency Glock rules the roost when it come to size/weight to capacity. Even if we take into consideration striker architecture vs. hammer.
SIGHTS - 5
The Meprolight night sights on this pistol are excellent. Trijicon HD's are better but these come with a damn good solid set of nights that can also be used to actuate the slide very easily.
So where does that leave me personally. I didn't "fall in love" with the VP9 so where does that leave the P30?
I FRIGGIN LOVE IT!!! I love the P2000 platform as it fits my hand like a glove. The P30 may very well hold equal standing given time. I very, very much like this gun. Put a set of charging supports on it and it would be perfect for me. WHAT?? I LIKED THE VP9 EARS. DON'T JUDGE ME.
As always take care, shoot safe and understand everything I write is about my PERSONAL observations for me and the me in question is a low speed, high drag guy who's most violent thought or fantasy involves killing pixelated Nazis or possibly carjacking the occasional poor soul on the mean video game streets of Los Santos.
"Guns are tools. The only weapon ever created was man."
Very good feedback on the value propositions. I also think HK does some of the best machine work in the business...
+ "In hoc signo vinces" + "Send it"
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i'm with you on most of this...I have the P30L and find it to be a quality piece.
I am very much with you on the value problem...which is why I looked for one used for the longest time and finally got a clean one on GB for around $700 which I feel is doable given the quality.
I do happen to like the VP9 and am very pleased that the magazines are interchangeable.
I also found that with the 115gr and 124gr that the P30L was more pleasing to shoot than my 226 with those loads. There was no real difference with 147gr. I wonder if that is because of the difference in recoil spring design.
Edit: Nice review. I think I'm on the same page as you with the P30.
I bought a P30L a few months ago. I actually kind of like the trigger. Probably couldn't run it as fast as a Glock 17 or 226 with SRT installed, which I both have and think are the bees knees, but as an entire pistol, I prefer it over either of those.
As far as the value comparison, it's a wash to me. I said that in the thread I started when I got it a while back, and I still feel the same way. I got mine for about 840 with shipping and transfer fee. Compared to the Glock 17 Gen 4 I bought new a year ago, it's a little over 200 when you factor in the extra mag. That can seem like a lot of money, and if the P30L does NOTHING extra for you, why would you pay it. Is it alot of money for a gun that I like and works better for me day to day. Not at all. That's a few range trips in ammo. In the context of the way most of this membership probably spends money on guns, it's nothing. I can wrap my head around a few hundred dollars extra for a gun that offers a few minor benefits all day long.
What the P30L does for me over a 17 or my MK25 (both of which are great pistols): Hammer fired, decocker placement, grip ergonomics, the "it factor" that is a combination of feel, looks, balance, and perceived quality, and shootability, which I think is a combo of the way the grips fit and the way the HK recoils, in spite of the longer reset.
That's just stuff that's important to me. I get wanting to save money or feel like you got the best deal, but it seems like gun owners can nickel and dime this hobby to death on paper. For a one time purchase, it's just not that big of a deal, IMO. I would have still bought my P30L if it was going for 950 and no better deals were available at the time, and I wouldn't be losing any sleep over it.
I got an OD green frame HK USP .40 LEM (which I love) like new in the box with original mags, manual, etc. for $450, and I felt like I got the better end of that deal. There will probably be a time when I pay above the going rate for a gun in the future. It's no big deal to me either way.
Great review, I like how you point out your subjective opinions and biases while giving plenty of great objective info.
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A very good HK write up. I'm with you on most all points. Fit and finish.....like a BMW. Trigger.....not that good, and that's being kind. Price tag......out there. I've never shot a p30, but I do have 45c, which I love and a 2000sk that I'm sort of indifferent about. You mentioned that you really like your p2000. I don't shoot my sk very well and it's never really felt good to me ergonomically, unlike the 45c which fits me like a glove. I'd like to try a p30 at some point when I get a chance. For hand fit and ergos, nothing compares to CZ for me, but that's another topic.....
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Nice write up! I have been trying to decide to get either a VP9 or the P30 9mm and I'm leaning more to the P30 after reading that there are people not very impressed with the VP9.
Now the fun part is locating a P30 here in Kalifornia
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|E tan e epi tas|
The VP9 doesn't suck. I think most folks who are "unhappy" with it are previous HK owners and I think the combination of it being striker fired along with some "perceived" cost cutting drive some of us away.
My particular VP9 was decent striker fired gun. I just think the Glock 17 was a better striker fired gun for all intents and purposes for me. I didn't have any major problems or gripes with it, it just didn't rub my rhubarb so to speak.
Also take into consideration for me personally I tend to gravitate more toward my hammer fired stuff and have been moving back that way (No particular tacticool, crotch carrying reason, I just like a good hammer fired gun).
The VP9 had a good trigger. Not as good as its made out to be, but surely better then stock Glock. For me the PPQ is THE STRIKER TRIGGER though.
The point is I LOVE the P30 and I didn't really gel with the VP9, doesn't mean it sucked. LOTS and LOTS of folks are VERY happy with their VP9 and frankly seems to have gotten HK back in the game so to speak.
"Guns are tools. The only weapon ever created was man."
Hk seems to big for me. Nice looking gun.
They make some pretty small grips on the subcompact guns (think P2000), and they now mostly have all kinds of adjustability in grip panels and backstraps so its kind of hard for me to image that its a systematic issue of HK for anyone.
“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
I grew up with the best trigger and the worst. A 1911 and a 357 S&W. Eventually learned to love the striker fired Glocks. Bought two PSP's and a CZ Custom and my handgun world changed.
The DA/SA triggers on HK are considered combat triggers. The SA on them is highly under rated. I had three LEM HK's but never got past the learning curve.
From all the HK's I've owned and fired, the HK45c has the worst DA pull IMO.
I like the USP DA/SA. Glad you found your huckleberry.
I bought a P30L last month when CDNN had them on sale for $749.00 .Love it .
I bought the L because I felt the regular P30 was on the small side.
I was mildly satisfied with my VP9 until I bought and installed the Lobos trigger. Made all the difference! I'm not normally a trigger mod guy, but this was the right move.
As to the P30, I bought a P30l because I wanted the longer frame. I really like the gun. It is just right in most ways. Now If Lobos would make a trigger for it, I would be very happy.
...but resist, we much. We must, and we will much, about that, be committed. Al Sharpton 2011
Had Grayguns do their Reduced Reset Carry Perfection Package on my P30 a few years ago. MUCH better trigger.
Very nice review, cslinger. I bought the twin to yours just this past Saturday. After more than half a century shooting, this is my first HK.
I put backyard range time on it Sunday afternoon, and already started saving for the P30SK.
I really love the feel of this thing, just as it came,with the "medium" backstrap and side panels. It is also easy on my old, sore hands too. The older I get, the fonder I am of quality, and this P30 is sweet.
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