Squeeze Cocker Magic: HK’s P7M8 – A Modern Old Design

Even though it’s been out of production for more than a decade now, strap on Heckler & Koch’s P7M8 and many gun people will know what it is. They’ll strike up a conversation about the unusual looking gun or want to tell you a story about one they own. And that’s exactly what happened when I used one in a writer’s event a few months ago at Gunsite Academy located near Prescott, Arizona.

Heckler & Koch of Oberndorf, Germany introduced the P7M8 in the early 1980s. It was basically the same pistol as the PSP with some improvements. (Doug Larson photo)

What is it that draws people’s attention? The P7M8 is a unique design with a lever for the front strap that when squeezed in a normal firing grip, cocks the gun. It’s very unusual and is designed not to fire unless the grip is pressed. When released, the gun decocks, eliminating the need for an external safety. But the P7M8 also has a firing pin drop safety that is meant to prevent the gun from firing if dropped, and unless the cocking lever is pressed, the sear cannot engage the firing pin to fire the gun.

Because of this unique mechanism, the gun requires some practice to manipulate properly under stress. I did not think that was going to be the case when I took it to Gunsite, because the conventional wisdom was that as long as you gripped the gun properly and pressed the trigger, the gun was pretty much foolproof. But that’s not entirely true. More about that later.

The H&K P7M8’s most obvious feature is the cocking lever that doubles as the front strap of the grip. Squeezing it cocks the gun and releasing it decocks the gun. (Doug Larson photo)
 

Many readers will remember the Summer Olympic Games that were held in Munich, Germany in 1972. A group of mid-eastern terrorists invaded an athlete dormitory and held several Israelis hostage. Eventually, some of the terrorists were killed along with all the Israeli hostages. German police ended the kidnapping but expressed dissatisfaction with the handguns they had to use.

As a result of these complaints, Heckler and Koch of Oberndorf, Germany began working on a design and came up with a new handgun to replace the ones in use. That new gun was the PSP, a single stack 9mm Parabellum pistol with the unusual squeeze cocking mechanism. The PSP was adopted by the German police. The gun was sold to some other law enforcement agencies around the world and was eventually produced for the commercial market. In 1981, it was also offered for sale to the US public as the P7M8 which featured a few design improvements making it just slightly different than the PSP.

The New Jersey State Police adopted the P7M8, and according to a friend of mine who is a retired Border Patrol supervisor, the Border Patrol also had a number of them. The most significant difference between the original PSP and the P7M8 is that the magazine catch for the P7M8 was moved from the heel – which was the customary place for it in Europe – to just behind the point where the trigger guard meets the front of the grip. And because when firing many cartridges in rapid succession the gun becomes very hot, a heat shield was added to the P7M8 just above the trigger. It helps but does not completely solve the heat problem.

The P7M8 is a full-size duty handgun, but has a low bore axis and maintains a slim profile with its single-stack eight-round magazine capacity. (Doug Larson photo)

It’s the action that causes the gun to get hot. The P7M8 is a gas retarded, recoil-operated – or blowback – action. Because gas is fed through a small hole, or port, in the barrel where it creates pressure in a gas cylinder, the cylinder and the area where it is situated just above the trigger heats quickly.

Where most guns with a gas piston and a cylinder use the gas produced when the cartridge is fired to move the slide or bolt to the rear to eject the spent brass and begin cycling the action, the P7M8’s gas retarded action uses that gas to prevent the slide and the attached piston from moving to the rear until the bullet has left the barrel and the gas pressure has been reduced to a safe level. Only then is recoil enough to push the piston into the cylinder and send the slide rearward ejecting the spent brass.

The button at the rear of the frame just below the slide is pressed to disassemble the gun. The only controls are the cocking lever, magazine release, slide catch and trigger. The slide catch is the small metal slide just above the magazine release lever. The heat shield is above and in front of the trigger. (Doug Larson photo)

But despite the number of rounds fired at Gunsite, there was enough time between drills for the P7M8 to cool slightly. The gun got warm, but not too hot to handle. Admittedly though, the P7M8 is not the usual type of gun shot by students at Gunsite, although contrary to the belief of many, Gunsite does not mandate that all handguns be 1911s. All safely functioning handguns chambered in a serious fighting caliber, whether a semi-automatic or a revolver, are welcome. So, when the chance came up, I selected the H&K P7M8. I was curious about how this special gun would hold up. And it did well.

Even though the squeeze cocking mechanism is set up to be instinctively activated when a normal grip is applied, it proved to require some training and repetition to master. Heckler & Koch’s engineers and designers did an outstanding job on the P7M8 though, and the gun is nearly foolproof.

To operate the gun, apply a normal amount of force to the grip which compresses the cocking lever. Then press the trigger, which on the test gun, broke at just over three pounds. If the lever is continually pressed as the gun cycles, the gun will recock and be ready to fire with another trigger press – as long as ammunition remains in the gun. Pressing the trigger again causes the gun to go through the same cycle until the magazine is empty in which case the slide remains locked to the rear signaling the shooter that a fresh magazine is required

The cocking lever forms the front of the grip and cocks the gun when squeezed. Releasing it decocks the gun. (Doug Larson photo)

But even if the cocking lever is not pressed before the trigger is pressed, the gun still works. Holding the trigger to the rear and then pressing the cocking lever fires the gun, although more force is required to press the cocking lever. H&K calls this a double-action mode. Single action is the label used for squeezing the cocking lever first and then pressing the trigger. But if the operator really messes up and squeezes the cocking lever at the same time as the trigger is pressed, the gun still fires. Pretty ingenious.

The cocking lever also helps during the loading process. When inserting a fresh magazine while the slide is locked to the rear, the slide can be released to move back into battery and feed an unfired round into the chamber by simply squeezing the cocking lever. While it is also possible to release the slide by pulling it slightly to the rear and letting it go, pressing the lever is slightly faster.

But if the shooter relaxes his or her firing grip and allows the gun to decock during the firing cycle, it can cause a problem. In that case, the shooter could allow the trigger finger to let the trigger move forward, then squeeze the cocking lever before pressing the trigger again. Everything will then work normally. But if the trigger is continually held to the rear or pressed before the gun is cocked, firing the gun will require a harder press of the cocking lever which may slow things down and result in a less accurate shot. So practice in operating the gun is a smart undertaking if it is going to be used to protect one’s life. But in fairness, every gun is a little different and requires some getting used to before the shooter is competent with it under stress. That’s why training from a place like Gunsite is invaluable.

Although not used by everyone, the P7M8 is equipped with a lanyard ring located at the heel of the grip. The backstrap is lightly stippled to help prevent the gun from slipping when gripped. (Doug Larson photo).

H&K did not equip the P7M8 with a separate loaded chamber indicator but did build the extractor so that it functions as one. When a round is in the chamber, the extractor protrudes about 1/16 inch to provide an indicator that the gun is loaded. But it is smarter to retract the slide slightly to visually check and feel for a chambered round. That takes some training, but if it’s dark, checking by feel is the only way the shooter can be sure a cartridge is in the chamber.

To make the gun even more reliable, H&K built the P7M8 to function with a broken extractor. The company cut little flutes or grooves into the wall of the chamber so that when the gun is fired, hot gas finds its way between the case and the chamber wall, tossing the case out of the gun. The P7M8’s extraction is smoother with the extractor, but if it fails, the gun still works.

Aiding in the gun’s reliability is the angle of the magazine in relation to the barrel axis. Although the grip angle is 110 degrees, which is the normal angle between the axis of a person’s fist when clenched and the index finger when pointed at an object – this makes the ergonomics of holding the gun and pressing the trigger better – the magazine sits almost perpendicular to the barrel which orients rounds such that cartridges must negotiate a much shallower angle when being fed into the chamber. This reduces the likelihood of a feeding malfunction, and in fact, to my knowledge, the particular test gun has never experienced a failure to feed.

When the cocking lever is squeezed in a normal grip, the gun is cocked and the striker or firing pin protrudes from the back of the slide. (Doug Larson photo)
When the shooter relaxes his grip, the gun decocks and the striker recedes into the slide. (Doug Larson photo)

Magazines have a capacity of eight rounds – that’s what the M8 signifies. Magazines have witness holes so the shooter can easily see how many rounds are left, and the magazine well is beveled to facilitate fast magazine changes. When the magazine is released, a lever on each side of the grip is pushed towards the base of the magazine, they drop freely away. And with the lever style release on each side, the shooter can drop a magazine with either the thumb or the trigger finger. It’s a nice feature.

The only other control besides the cocking lever, magazine release and trigger is the slide catch which is an unobtrusive slide located on the left side of the gun directly behind the trigger. It extends from under the grip panel and can be a little difficult to activate, but with practice works well. To lock the slide back, with either the trigger finger for left-handed shooters or the thumb for right-handers, press the sliding catch rearwards while retracting the slide. It actually works well and because of its design, will not be inadvertently activated during shooting like so many slide catches can be.

The gas cylinder (indicated by the red arrow) is located in the frame just beneath the barrel. When the bullet exits the barrel, gas pressure drops to a safe level and allows the slide to move to the rear cycling the gun. (Doug Larson photo)

Lastly, there is the takedown or disassembly button. It’s not really a control because it doesn’t perform any function during the firing process. Its only purpose is to facilitate disassembly. After making absolutely sure the gun is unloaded and the magazine removed, the button, located at the left rear of the gun just below the slide, is pressed inwards while the slide is pulled all the way to the rear. At the same time, the rear of the slide is lifted upwards, away from the frame until it disengages. Then, holding it carefully, the slide is allowed to move forward until it clears the muzzle and can be separated from the frame. Next the recoil spring, which surrounds the barrel, is removed.

Unlike most striker-fired guns, the firing pin or striker assembly on the P7M8 can be removed for cleaning. To do so, the gun is checked to make sure it is empty. Leaving the gun assembled and while pointing it in a safe direction, the cocking lever is partially squeezed until the rear of the firing pin is flush with the rear of the firing pin assembly. Next, the assembly is rotated a little less than 90 degrees clockwise until it begins to move rearward, out of the slide. Continue squeezing the cocking lever which pushes the assembly further to the rear where it can be removed. To replace it, reverse the procedure. The striker assembly should not be disassembled further.

Disassembly is easy and there are only five components. The gas piston is on a hinge and is situated just beneath the front of the slide. The striker can be removed from the slide for maintenance. (Doug Larson photo)

The 4.13-inch long cold hammer-forged barrel with polygonal rifling is semi-permanently pinned to the frame and does not move, making the gun more accurate compared to one with a tilting barrel. The recoil spring surrounds the barrel, and because no recoil spring guide rod is needed, the barrel and slide are lower to the frame and the shooter’s wrist, reducing recoil leverage which in turn reduces muzzle flip. Recoil is just a bit more than with a tilt barrel gun, but the lower bore axis seems to offset that.

The P7M8’s slide is rounded on the top, which along with its single stack, thin design, makes it easy to carry discreetly. The gun sports white dot sights that are adjustable for windage by drifting. Originally, front sights of different heights were available to adjust elevation, but it is a good bet they are now hard to get because the gun is out of production.

Since the barrel has polygonal instead of conventional rifling, cleaning is pretty easy. But don’t fire lead bullets because they tend to lead the barrel and will deposit lead in the gas port causing the gun to malfunction. Instead, use full metal jacketed bullets without an exposed lead base. Basically that means it is best to use hollow points. And the owner’s manual says bullets weighing 100 grains or more should be used. H&K cautions against firing ammunition designed for submachine guns which is probably because that ammo is loaded to higher velocity and pressure. It is also probably best to avoid +P ammo.

At Gunsite, the author used the P7M8 extensively in defensive drills. It was accurate, easy to shoot and functioned flawlessly. (Ed Head photo)

Periodically carbon build-up inside the cylinder must be removed. To do this, H&K originally supplied a reaming tool and bronze brush that will not scratch or gouge the cylinder. It is best not to scrape carbon off the piston because it doesn’t affect the function and the piston is designed to be self-cleaning.

The P7M8 has a lanyard ring at the heel, and guns came from the factory nickel-plated or with a very nicely done blue finish. Since the gun is no longer manufactured, it has taken on somewhat of a cult following and prices have risen above original prices which were already fairly high due to manufacturing costs.

And also because the guns are no longer manufactured, obtaining a holster can be difficult and the owner may need to find a custom holster maker. If the maker doesn’t have a P7 or a mold, the owner may have to leave the gun with the holster manufacturer for a while. But there are at least two manufacturers that will make P7 holsters. At Gunsite, I used a Kydex holster made by HAWG Holsters, but if a leather holster is wanted, Desert Gun Leather will make one. Both manufacturers make high-quality goods and will work with customers.

Holsters for the out-of-production H&K P7M8 can be difficult to find, but HAWG Holsters will make one like this inside the waistband Kydex holster. (Doug Larson photo)
Desert Gun Leather makes fine leather holsters like this beautiful custom holster for a Ruger Blackhawk. But the company will also work with customers to make holsters for the H&K P7M8. (Doug Larson photo)

There are other variations based on the P7M8. The P7M13 used a double stack 13 round 9mm magazine and the P7M10 also used a double stack magazine but was chambered in .40 S&W. It held 10 rounds. The P7K3 was chambered in .22 LR, .32 ACP, and .380 ACP and was convertible to any of those calibers. The variations are rarer than the P7M8, so used prices are naturally higher.

SPECIFICATIONS

HECKLER & KOCH P7M8

Caliber: 9x19mm
Barrel length: 4.13  inches
Overall length: 6.73 inches
Weight: 1.75 pounds without magazine
Grips: black synthetic
Sights: three-dot, drift adjustable
Action: recoil-operated, blow-back, gas retarded, semi-automatic
Finish: blued
Capacity: 8 round magazine
Price: out of production

The gun is quite remarkable, making it an eye-catcher and fun to shoot. Despite its age, it’s an advanced design that is still a viable self-defense gun. If you ever have the chance, shoot one. And if you want one, watch the listings on GunsAmerica.

Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!

About the author: Doug Larson is a former Contributing and Field Editor for Guns & Ammo magazine, Doug Larson’s articles have appeared in many top firearm publications. He has completed hundreds of hours of firearm and self-defense training provided by some of the finest world class gun fighting instructors and schools. He has experience with handguns, rifles, shotguns, submachine guns, machine guns and other crew served weapons. He reports on the tactics, techniques and procedures developed by real life gunfighters and taught at the best martial arts schools. This information is passed on to the reader to stimulate thought and a desire to get the best training possible.

{ 32 comments… add one }
  • creighton trimble October 8, 2019, 4:45 pm

    I own a P7M8, I have never fired Her, NIB. I would like to but I am thinking of value unfired.
    It feels amazing in the hand. maybe I will find a used one…lol
    thank you for the history

  • Jackpine October 7, 2019, 10:06 pm

    I’ve owned a P7M8, one of the New Jersey State Police units, since they dumped them. Granted I’m not much of a shot, but this is by far the most accurate pistol for follow-up shots I’ve ever used.

    Something not mentioned in the article are reports of more than one LEO having their pistol taken from them but getting out of that situation unscathed, as the perp did not know how to fire P7.

  • Richard a Ferguson October 7, 2019, 9:34 pm

    Loved you article. I’ve owned a P7M8 since the 80’s and I love it. It is wicked accurate, don’t know how many rounds I’ve put through it and have never had a problem. I have a safe full of pistols, but I have yet to find one I can shoot better. I bought it originally for safety reasons. I figured if my kids ever got hold of it they couldn’t fire it. Now they are fighting over who gets it when I croak.

  • Steve Warren October 7, 2019, 9:18 pm

    Back in 1983 – 84 when I was in college I had a chance to fire a borrowed one. I owned a decent 1911 at the time. I was impressed by the accuracy and surprised at the compactness of the gun. Would have loved to have owned one but as I remember they cost about three times as much as a nice .45

  • Ej harbet October 7, 2019, 8:45 pm

    The only hk i want i cant have,the vp70m! Ever since i watched ian shoot one on forgotten weapons i have wanted one.i will now torture myself by rewatching,lol

    • The Millionth Counsel October 8, 2019, 8:26 pm

      I owned one many years ago. Although the gun design was ahead of it’s time the really bad thing about this handgun is the trigger pull is incredibly hard. I got rid of mine for that reason. Accuracy suffered because of it.

      • Gavin October 13, 2019, 3:14 pm

        You’re thinking of the VP70Z, the civilian version of the VP70M. The VP70M was a submachine pistol with detachable stock. One of, if not THE first polymer frame pistols!

  • SGT-ADA October 7, 2019, 5:30 pm

    The H&K P7 is scarce because few Stadtpolizie units and the Bundesgrenzschutz purchased it due to its cost. Instead, most units procured the cheaper and more rugged SIG Sauer P6 when they replaced the troublesome Walther P1 (Walther should have kept the steel frame used in the famous P38 instead of the substituted, inferior alloy frame). SIG released the P225 as the commercial version of the P6. It was an instant hit. (A few years ago, SIG released a modern version of the venerable P6/P225 named the P225-A1. I believe that the P225-A1 would sell better if SIG made the slide in Germany like Walther did when it released the new PPK and PPK/S.)

    Personally, I own an unissued 1998 P6, with the original blue plastic case as well as the instruction manual printed in German, a mint P225, and a P225-A1 to round out the trifecta. I’ve never shot the H&K P7, but my SIG Sauer P225’s manual of arms is infinitely easier than the over engineered P7. (My P6 is a safe queen due to its manufacture date and condition.)

    PS: the P6 is the model upon which the later P-series are based. I have not run across any modern H&K pistols based on the P7.

  • Vlad Tepes October 7, 2019, 12:06 pm

    I also forgot to mention the very mushy trigger. I never new quite when the sear would trip off.

  • The Millionth Counsel October 7, 2019, 11:48 am

    I still have an M8 version. The bad is it does get hot after about thirty rounds. The good; one can’t beat the simplicity and speed when reloading . Just thrown in the magazine and squeeze the squeeze-cocker releasing the slide and you are back in the fight.

  • Randy October 7, 2019, 11:12 am

    The factory magazines are very thick walled and well constructed.
    My gun gets really hot after just 50 rounds. Have to put it down to cool off.

  • Bad Penguin October 7, 2019, 9:24 am

    Interesting weapon but lots of practice would be needed to turn the proper manual of arms into muscle memory.

    Has anyone ever tried making a piston pistol like a rifle piston system with the piston on top?

  • Adolf Sciubba October 7, 2019, 9:12 am

    The weapon is wickedly accurate! I own both a PSP(P7) and a P7M8 using the PSP for the CCW! I have own them for over 20 plus years and never had a “hick-up” with either. The biggest problem with taking “Hans Grubers'” gun to a public range is that everyone wants to try it!

  • FALPhil October 7, 2019, 8:17 am

    Once in a while, firearms designers come up with a ridiculously complicated idea that does not make a lot of sense and turns out not to be the product that they intended. The HK P7s are the poster child for this scenario. While they are cute oddities, and will probably become collectible over time, there is a reason they didn’t capture the police market and why they have gone out of production. Simple works. That is why Glocks are ubiquitous, and I am saying that as someone who is not a Glock fan.

    • Bill October 7, 2019, 1:27 pm

      Glocks are the most un-safe guns in the world. You may as well carry a 1911 cocked and un-locked.
      The P7’s are now $2500+ guns. The Ugly Glock will always be a $400 Saturday night special loved by the gang bangers and police forces that don’t have a budget.

      • bobh October 7, 2019, 3:28 pm

        As a plainclothes police officer who carried a departmentally issued Glock for years, I have to wonder just where all these unsafe Glocks are since I never saw any ADs with Glocks on the range or on the street. It’s everyone’s right to like or dislike a Glock or any other firearm but disliking a firearm isn’t an excuse to claim it’s unsafe.
        BTW, while price can reflect quality it can also just indicate a collectible item’s relative scarcity. Compare an early ’60s vintage M16 to a modern M16A2. A transferable M16 would cost you a LOT more to purchase than a transferable M4 but does that make it a better firearm?

        • Bill October 8, 2019, 10:25 am

          There is no safety! That’s why it isn’t safe. I would rather carry a 1911 cocked and un-locked (crazy to do so) at least it has a grip safety. There are many cases of AD’s concerning the Glock. How about an FBI agent in a classroom. Plaxico Burress in New York City. And locally here there are some tragic instances. So…. A 5 lb. trigger pull and no safety. Wow. Not a thing wrong with that.

          • Alan Robinson October 8, 2019, 4:57 pm

            Just because you refuse to enter the 21st Century does not make a gun unsafe. You have utterly failed to present a logical reason for your claim.
            And the FBI Agent was NOT an “AD”, it was a VERY ‘Negligent Discharge’ (ND) because he thought it was UNLOADED!
            He deliberately pulled the trigger on what he thought was an unloaded gun.
            NOT EVEN analogous to your claim, as that would have happened with ANY gun.
            Now explain the cop in New York who ND’d an S&W 5906 with magazine disconnect?!?!?!
            Just how any safeties makes a gun ‘safe’?????????
            Only one.
            The person handling the gun. The rest is just minutiae.

      • Bullseye October 9, 2019, 1:44 am

        Hi Bill, as a recently retired SWAT cop of 30 years I could not disagree with you more. During my career, I started with Revolvers and feel they are very safe with proper training. When my agency ultimately switched to Glock Safe Action Pistols (after several different Semi Autos replaced the revolvers) I became a Glock armor. Glock pistols actually have three (3) independent safeties in their design to help prevent accidental discharges. The system, designated “Safe Action” by Glock, consists of (1) an external integrated trigger safety and two automatic internal safeties: (2) a firing pin safety and (3) a drop safety.

        I have fired scores of different handguns in my career and feel that the Glock is as safe as any of them and safer by far than most. The nice thing about the Glock is that all the safeties are designed into the pistol and you do not have to manually do anything to use them. It is like have a high capacity revolver, just fire the gun when needed.

        The best safety is ultimately the user and any gun is only as safe as the operator of that weapon system and his/her training. I do agree the Glock isn’t as beautiful like say a 1911, but that does not make it unsafe. A 1911 is only safe if the user is trained with it and knows how to use it safely. When it comes to a gun fight I am not as concerned about beauty as I am safety and reliability.

  • Gary October 7, 2019, 7:52 am

    I have always loved these guns! They are just plain fun to shoot, and in their day, one of the most advanced handguns you could buy.
    It all just becomes second nature when you get used to it. I will never understand why they stopped building them..?? Like a GREAT revolver, if people want the quality they WILL pay for it!!
    I would love to see a reissue of these pistols, I would buy one of each for sure. 😉
    Thanks for the memories pal.

  • Sam Goodwin October 7, 2019, 7:31 am

    El Paso Saddlery has molds for all four H&K P7’s-PSP,M7,M10 and M-13. They are making one for me at this time. Ken was the person I dealt with on the phone as the holster is no longer a catalog item.

  • RJ October 7, 2019, 6:52 am

    The P7 will function and eject without an extractor. The extractor is only needed when manually manipulating the slide to eject rounds without firing.

  • Vlad Tepes October 7, 2019, 6:48 am

    I forgot to mention that this gun also had firing pin breakage problems. One Policeman in Maryland was killed in a gun fight when his firing pin broke.

  • Dave October 7, 2019, 6:46 am

    Always good to read about the German “staple gun”, as one guy at the range called mine. Incredibly accurate, and as reliable as the sunrise. A shame it is out of production.

  • Vlad Tepes October 7, 2019, 6:45 am

    This gun was a failure on many counts.

    It was heavy for its size especially in the 13 shot variation p7m13.

    It was dangerous to use as well. Many Cops accidentally shot themselves while drawing the gun so the squeeze cocker spring was increased to an unacceptable heavy level which made in only possible to hold it in the cocked position for a very short time period which also played havoc with trying to shoot accurate strings of fire. When you released the squeeze cocker it made a load clkckety clack that gave away your position to an intruder or an attacker which could and probably would get you killed.

    The gas system only worked properly with very fast burning powders like Bullseye. Slower powders like Unique caused the gun’s action to open prematurely beating the gun to death in short order. Also it often caused jams. Not all factory ammunition would even work in this gun due to the different powder burning rates. The guns gas system like all gas systems in any firearm had to be kept clean in order to function.

    The guns gas system overheated the gun to such a degree a plastic shield had to be incorporated to prevent one from burning ones hand on the frame of the gun and a live cartridge cook off sometimes happened as well.

    The gun has become a collectors item even though technically is was a failure and a way overpriced one even when it was being sold when new. HK collectors salivate over it but it never had a useful purpose. I once owned the 13 shot variation and despite it being small was so heavy it felt as though I was trying to carry around a German Tiger Tank in my belt, I hated the gun for that as well as for all of the above reasons.

    • James October 7, 2019, 11:18 pm

      There are a few wrong comments here, to the point of disinformation.

      “Many Cops accidentally shot themselves while drawing the gun so the squeeze cocker spring was increased to an unacceptable heavy level which made in only possible to hold it in the cocked position for a very short time period which also played havoc with trying to shoot accurate strings of fire. ”

      How can you have your finger on the trigger when drawing from a holster, as the holster covers the trigger? Do police officers train having their finger on the trigger before taking aim? I just don’t see how this could be true. Also, the cocking lever of the P7 does NOT require the same force to hold it in the cocked position as it takes to squeeze it. You can relax your grip a bit after fully squeezing it, and it will not de-cock. So this information is wrong.

      “The guns gas system overheated the gun to such a degree a plastic shield had to be incorporated to prevent one from burning ones hand on the frame of the gun and a live cartridge cook off sometimes happened as well.”

      The gun does NOT overheat from normal use. Normal use is firing what you would normally carry on you for duty. Only during range use, depending on a person’s sensitivity to heat, would be 50 to 100 rounds before the gun got really too hot to handle. And that comes from the non-plastic heatshield PSP… 50 rounds would be roughly six magazines, so how often do you think that many magazines would be carried for duty and shot? I do not believe you could get the gun hot enough to cook a round off. You would not be able to hold it anymore well before that could ever happen. Just pointing out obvious facts.

    • JRH in TX October 8, 2019, 3:39 pm

      P7s are made of steel. That was the material of choice in the mid 1970s, when the gun was designed. It isn’t Tupperware. Of course they are heavy. It also helps reduce the recoil.

      If you hold the gun properly, it can be cocked (by squeezing) with ease. If you are concerned about a ND, then I suggest you check your trigger finger location. It should NOT be on the trigger until you are on target.

      I own several P7s beginning in the mid-80’s. During that time, I have shot thousands of rounds of reloads. Some contained Unique, Blue Dot, IMR and anything else available. Some powders are cleaner than others. It makes the gun need cleaning more often, which is true for any gun. But, Unique never damaged a P7.

      I would truly like to know where you got the information that a P7 will cook-off rounds? BS! If that were the case, I think we would have seen something in the press about it.

      Now, if you experienced jambs and are a reloader, I might think you were attempting to reload brass shot from a M-13 and trying to shoot it in something else. That really won’t work as the M-13 does leave a bulge at the bottom of the case that even a full-length resizing die won’t clean up. Thus, brass shot in an M-13 needs to be only shot in M-13s. Few other guns will cycle them. This is due the M-13 not having a fully supported chamber — all other P7 variants do. It has to do with the angle of the M-13 feed ramp.

      Just clearing up the BS, mind you.

      I still own and shoot several guns in the P7 family. All but the .45 and .22

      The M8 and PSP may be the best concealed carry guns ever designed, even if they are heavier than today’s injection molded models. A P7 is about as safe of a design as possible and still be useful. The basic training is incredibly easy for a beginner. Just squeeze and fire. Remove finger from trigger, release and be safe. Not especially logical for someone with years of experience handling a 1911. They are ambidextrous long before that was a concept.

      The reason they are no longer made? Expense. The machine work is just too intensive.

      The P7 just cannot compete with injection molded guns. Nor, is it a good gun for military work. It is good for the intended purpose: Simple to use and safe — especially for those who may not have the luxury of having a lot of time to drill.

      For the Author –
      About 10 years ago I took a class from Pat Rogers. I caught a lot of flak from him about my staple gun. But, I managed to hold my own against his S&W M&P.

  • Fabrizio October 7, 2019, 5:49 am

    I own 3 versions of the P7. The P7M10, P7M8, P7M13 and I hope one day to find a P7K3.
    It must be noted all of them vary significantly in dimensions and that while the P7M8 is fairly comfortable to shoot for medium-sized hands that is not the case with the P7M10 or the double-stack P7M13. I even find the combination of larger grip and need to keep the pressure on the pedal at the same on the P7M13 to be uncomfortable for any sustained shooting (and yet I have no problem shooting a double stacked 40 s&w Tanfoglios or SVI/STI semi auto…)
    Note also that trying to put 10 rounds of 40 s&w in the P7M10 is a bit optimistic, it is really more a 8+1 rounds pistol), it is also much more massive than either the P7M8 or P7M13.
    My advice if you want just one P7 is to stick to the P7M8 if you find one…
    I hope this will help.
    FAB

    • Jesse October 7, 2019, 2:04 pm

      That’s strange. I carried a P7M10 for about 12 years and I didn’t have have any trouble loading 10 rounds in the magazine, nor in the 4 spares I carried..

      • Ti October 7, 2019, 8:53 pm

        Here Here! Nickel (factory) M10 orig owner since 1983!I’d bet my life on this weapon, any DAY!!My extractor went missin one day at range. The thing don’t care. Sent back to HK in VA. They repaired no charge, threw in a spare extractor.

  • Jason Coffey October 7, 2019, 3:53 am

    I always had hoped they would put these into production. But it’s H&K so I doubt my budget can handle one anytime soon.

  • Will Drider October 5, 2019, 2:22 pm

    Author covered the Heat issue but not the associated additional carbon/fowling dumped in the internals. The chamber “fluting” is a common H&K feature which helps “float” the case to eliminate “sticking” to chamber wall for easier extraction. With a broken extractor, there is no “pull” on the case to drive its contact against the ejector and expel the casing from the firearm.

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