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The Heckler & Koch P7 Pistol
Family -- Introduction
what is an H&K P7 Pistol, what makes it special (or at least different)?
Let's start with who makes it -- Heckler & Koch, GmbH of Oberndorf,
Germany. Established in the winter of 1949-1950, Heckler & Koch
is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2000. Much of what follows
is from their literature.
Squeeze Cocking The most unique feature is it's "squeeze
cocking." The unique HK cocking lever allows the P7 to be carried safely
with a round in the chamber, yet it is ready to fire by the intentional
squeezing of the fingers around the grip. Releasing the cocking lever decocks
the P7 immediately and renders it completely safe. The cocking lever also
doubles as a slide release lever. (For more details see P7
This innovative firing system means that
HK P7 pistols have a constant uniform single-action trigger pull for all
rounds fired. Unlike conventional double action pistols, there is no change
in trigger pull between critical first and second shots. And P7 pistols
are completely ambidextrous.
Gas System The P7 gas system retards the movement
of the recoiling slide during firing and eliminates the need for a conventional
locking mechanism, heavy slide, or even a guide rod with recoil spring.
The low profile slide contributes to the balanced center of gravity and
compact size of the P7. With its fluted chamber, the P7 will extract and
eject an empty shell even if the extractor is missing. The extractor, which
doubles as a loaded chamber indicator, only aids in making extraction smooth
Construction and Design The receiver and slide are made from forged
high-grade case-hardened steel. The low profile slide keeps the recoiling
mass as small as possible. A fixed, polygonal barrel made
by cold hammer forging ensures accuracy and increased barrel life. Combined
with the optimal grip angle of 110°, the result is a compact, accurate,
and low recoil pistol well suited to civilian, military, and law enforcement
Variants Three variants of the P7 pistol are currently
(commonly) available. The P7M8 and P7PSP are 9mm models that use eight
round magazines. Essentially the same as the P7M8, the P7PSP has a smaller
trigger guard and European-style magazine release in the bottom of the
frame. The P7M13 is similar to the P7M8, but uses a thirteen round magazine.
The P7M13 is currently available only to law enforcement and military users.
Rapid aiming thanks to close proximity of
sighting line and upper edge of the hand
High durability and robustness
High accuracy fire provided by constant low
trigger pressure, right from the first shot
Completely identical handling from left and
right, therefore suitable for both left- and right-handed shooters
Squeeze cocking system
Hardened steel grip frame
Lifetime warranty for the original retail
Chris's Viewpoints What do I (Chris,
your website host) think of all this?
Well, to start, you won't find too many
pistols as easy to use, and very few as safe to use. This "squeeze-cocker"
is the pistol I have the most confidence in handling, the one least likely
to discharge during carry or handling, the one most likely to fire when
It is a very compact pistol, the slide
is almost tiny due to the gas system and the lack of any guide rod and
It is very accurate with the polygon bore
instead of rifling grooves, and because the barrel is rigidly fixed to
It comes apart without tools and in seconds
-- you can even remove the firing pin assembly from the slide by hand.
It has a loaded chamber indicator, a must
on any gun I own.
Some people claim to have seen hundreds
of thousands of rounds fired without a single malfunction, and while I've
seen a jam or two, it is also likely the most reliably functioning auto
pistol on the planet.
Don't think bigger is always better --
the P7M8 is much nicer than the P7M13. It fits better in my
hand, and conceals very nicely -- the M13 doesn't. The same cautions
apply to the P7M10.
Downsides? The heat guard above the
trigger added to the M8 and following models is there for a reason -- the
gas system gets hot!. Some people shoot them so hard they still get
a burnt finger. And while holsters are available, very few aftermarket
parts will be found..