Thursday, August 21, 2008

Entry for August 21, 2008


Never catching on like the competing Glocks and Sigs, H&K dropped their entire line of squeeze-cocking pistols from production.

The German Police have retired all of their old
Heckler and Koch (H&K) PSP P7 service pistols. Quite a number of these lightly fired, factory-reconditioned pistols are available in the USA for around $700 each; roughly, half of what was the price of a new P7/M8. A couple of months ago I added one of the surplus PSP P7 pistols to my collection.

The PSP P7 handles the
9MM Parabellum cartridge (AKA 9MM Luger, 9X19) with a unique piston that retards the blowback ejection of a spent cartridge. This allows for a lighter slide weight and use of a fixed barrel. The pistols are very accurate, and their thinness, low relatively weight and compact size make them suitable for concealed carry. They are very fast to bring into action from a holster; just draw the pistol and squeeze the grip and it is ready to fire. Yes, strange as it seems, squeezing the front of the grip cocks the pistol; releasing it uncocks the pistol. I am always reluctant to use the word “safe” when it comes to describing any gun, but much of the overall design of the squeeze-cocker was to make this pistol as fast and as safe as possible.
The PSP P7 enjoys something of a cult following to which I do not belong, but I do find it to be a very well designed, interesting, functional pistol.

NOTE: Reportedly, H&K is very slow to provide any needed repair parts.

James A. Zachary Jr.


7 comments:

Ed Harris said...

I got one of the first P7s imported when they first came out and carried one for several years. I no longer own it. If shot a "great deal" the rear edges of the gas port begin to erode, leaving a raised edge on the muzzle side of the port which scrapes small particles of jacket material from the bullet, depositing it in the gas cylinder. Accumulations of these particles may become peened against the rear of the gas cylinder until they restrict slide travel and cause malfunctions. When cleaning your P7 after removing the slide assembly bang the muzzle on a brass bench block and see if any "copper coffee grounds" come out. If they do, get your gun to an armorer. HK now sells a scraper to clean the gas cylinder, but this only band-aids the problem temporaily. I got HK to rebarrel my pistol then promptly sold it. My old Colt revolvers still work just fine after all these years...

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey Ed,

I appreciate getting information from someone who has real experience shooting the P7. I use mine sparingly and clean it (including the cylinder) after each outing, so I hope to avoid most of the downside. It is an interesting piece, but I agree that many guns need much less attention.

Thanks again for checking in,

Zack

theotherryan said...

I want one of these. Not for any good reason just because they are an interesting curio.

Anonymous said...

I have a question about the scraper tool for the P7.

Is it supposed to go completely into the cylinder -- meaning the pointed tip of the scraper hits the end of the cylinder?

Thank you.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

My understanding is that the pointed end of the scraper is supposed to clean the end of the cylinder; that's how I use it, but my old links to the P7 gang are broken so I cannot answer with authority.

dmurray said...

I carried one on duty in Sacramento County. Any one you get that is in good working order is a shooter for sure. You need frequent practice if you carry it. It, like so many guns, is likely a better shot than you are a shooter.

The big deal is keeping the gripping fingers separated from the trigger finger. Compress the grip fingers first like the manual says. The trigger is sweet and consistent for every round.

The P7 gets really hot right above the trigger, heat shield or not, with 50 rounds or more due to that keen gas operated action.

The piston and cylinder are quite rugged. I, violating owner manual instruction, once shot enough lead reloads in a falling plate match so much as to tie up the weapon.

I wrestled it apart and used the supplied reamer and brush to clean the cylinder and all was forgiven, the pistol went on to operate just fine. The lead buildup came off the piston OK too. P7 fans please forgive me.

I stepped away from the P7 because at the time I could not get to the range once a month in order to keep as proficient as I thought necessary. "Your mileage may vary," as they say.

Keep up the good work with your posts.

jim said...

Mine locked up tight as a drum during a shooting session. These things are complicated! A smith who works on them took on the job with the understanding that he couldn't guarantee parts availability. All went well and I sold it since I couldn't trust it.

Had always wanted one. Some people always wanted a Yugo. Both have a cult following, guys who own every costly varient and many report 100% reliability. Maybe it was my bad Karma. Jim