European-style mag release


February 10, 2008, 10:55 PM
Anyone have significant experience with these? Like em? Hate em? Any problems with accidental release of the mag? I'm thinking about getting a HK P7 PSP, and this is my only concern.

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Zak Smith
February 10, 2008, 11:08 PM
I don't prefer them, and they need specific practice for efficient mag changes. On the PSP, I'm willing to put up with it. On other handguns, not.

February 10, 2008, 11:26 PM
It works, its just not as fast as the more American style we're used to. My Makarov has one and I'm good enough with it although I prefer the other style.

February 10, 2008, 11:28 PM
I have a P1 and a P5 Walther with heel mag. release.
Not as speedy as a side mounted button but they won't accidently dump a magazine either.

February 10, 2008, 11:49 PM
I had a European model P220 back in the 80's and early 90's with the heel mag release and was always lusting after an American model which I could never seem to find. Now that I have the American model I look back and the European model wasn't so bad. It just takes practice. I have several guns with heel releases and I don't really give it a lot of thought, I just do what I need to do with each gun, but, it can cause a slight hesitation early on.

February 11, 2008, 12:19 AM
In a PSP, I'd put up with it.

February 11, 2008, 12:36 AM
the PSP, assuming that you're refering to the one that protrudes rather than the flush one, is actually the easiest heel release to press forward in a milking motion.

i prefer the PSP mag release to the M8/13 release on the P7

February 11, 2008, 12:48 AM
I like them for small concealment pistols. I've also heard the theory they are good for carry in cold weather with gloves on.

Old Fuff
February 11, 2008, 09:06 AM
They sometimes tend to keep the magazine better positioned, and that's good, but they slow magazine changes. I carried a little .32 Colt pocket model for years and didn't have any problems - but I also didn't worry about super-fast magazine changes.

As a practical matter I can see where circumstances might dictate that being able to make fast changes was important to law enforcement and the military, but much less so otherwise - especially in the case of pocket pistols. These days the Old Fuff is a far cry from being a one-man army or Internet commando. :uhoh:

February 11, 2008, 09:46 AM
They require a slightly different manual of arms for reloading, but in RW situations there isn't that much difference in time. In range situations they are definitely slower.

If you haven't already figured it out and practiced, the key is to pull your spare mag FIRST and index it in your off hand. Then flick the release with your off hand thumb, stroke the front of the magazine base down with your index finger, and seat the new mag.

Practice makes perfect and you will be surprised how quick you can be. And to repeat some of the posters above, easier with gloves in cold weather, and no accidental mag drops if your thumb rests on the button when gripping.

February 11, 2008, 09:48 AM
Being left handed I rather like the Euro style mag release. Sure they're a bit slower but unless its a competition gun it won't make much difference with sufficient practice.

February 11, 2008, 11:41 AM
my experience with the heel release, made adapting to the IDPA "tactical mag change" very easy

February 11, 2008, 01:30 PM
Thanks ravencon, I forgot to mention it's ambidextrous.

February 11, 2008, 01:45 PM
I actually prefer them on pocket guns, and don't get all worked up about it on a full-size gun.

I don't plan on taking on Atilla the Hun's hordes with a handgun, and would rather not bump a push-button and lose a mag, or have it partially unseated when I needed it really bad, really fast.

They are a necessity in "combat games" target shooting, but in real life gunfights & wars?
Not so much.

February 11, 2008, 08:14 PM
like most everything from europe, the mag release tab s*cks big time.:eek::neener: (need a pising on the french smilie)

February 18, 2008, 09:58 AM
i tap my p7 mag everytime i touch it,cause it seems to come loose. i do not have the flush mount,so it may not be a problem with the flush mount.

February 18, 2008, 10:19 AM

I just got my first HK P7 PSP...

Don't worry about the mag release, just getcha' one... The PSP is an awesome firearm. Unbelievable accuracy.

Here's the one I bought thru Neal at CDNN two weeks or so ago. (Grade A)

Best Wishes,


February 18, 2008, 11:36 AM
that's a real beauty. i think it looks better than my original one from the early 80s...of course i didn't pay that much for it either.

i will say the the flush mount mag release is slicker, but it is a mite slower to use as you have to align your thumb with the cutout rather than just running it down the backstrap

February 18, 2008, 02:28 PM
I like the European mag release on carry pistols. It keeps things cleaner, sleeker. I don't carry a reload so that's not a concern of mine. I own several pistols so equiped and think highly of them all, including the mentioned P7 PSP, a Sig P232, Seecamp, Walther TPH, Makarov an American Arms PX22 and my special dollbaby Colt Woodsman Match Target. So you see this style mag release is far from unusal.

February 18, 2008, 05:22 PM
I love my P7 PSP and carry it. For a carry weapon i actually prefer the Euro mag release. To give you an example, i also have the P7M8 but have stopped carrying it cause many times something has caught the side mag release and the mag has popped out. Not very comforting.

I also have the same problem with my Kahr PM9. The mag release on the left side happens to be right where my right hand thumb normally resides. During double taps or rapid fire, i have hit it and dropped the mag. Not cool:)

February 19, 2008, 02:14 AM
mag release on the left side happens to be right where my right hand thumb normally resides

if you shoot with both thumbs forward, you can avoid that and your shooting should inprove too

February 19, 2008, 08:31 AM
"like most everything from europe, the mag release tab s*cks big time"

European-stlye mag release? Like on the very-European P08?

Or American one, like on J. M. Browning (an American) designed Colt Hammerless?


February 19, 2008, 09:28 AM
i surely would'nt let the magazne latch stand between you and a p7

February 19, 2008, 09:29 AM
I have a SIG P220 and a Walther P1 with the heel type releases. I like them OK because I usually am not involved in gunfighting and making tactical mag changes. YMMV

February 19, 2008, 11:24 AM
making tactical mag changes

tactical mag changes aren't any slower with the heel release

February 19, 2008, 11:56 AM

Well, from my standpoint, using my Sig P232 380 with Euro mag thumb release, they do take more time, being a 2-step process to take out.

First one must engage the thumb release, then with the same hand, pull out the mags, as they don't fall out, like side mag release button systems mostly do, requiring shooting hand/if right hand shooter in my case, to push button, and mag falls out free and clear, as the support hand is pulling reserve/s mag out and putting (straight up) and back in smoothly and quickly.

As opposed to my P232's Euro mags, and thumb release, requiring the support hand to engage the thumb release, then same hand to "pull it out" and then the same hand to put the reserve mag, "at a slight angle" to start it in, then it goes straight up in, and if one doesn't get the first angle-in just right, more time ticks off the clock.

Not to mention, if my 380 has a feed jam, and the mag has to be released and come down a tad, in order to cycle the slide, can really eat up a lot of time when you have a stove pipe jam and the pressure is greater on the magazine, takes a lot of "push of the button, then pull down a tad", far more effort and time to make it all happen to clear the jam, cycle the slide, and have inserted the magazine all the way back up in in.. Never run into a time delay with straight in and out, with side release mag button systems, time wise, with any jams, ever..

I'll take standard side mag buttons with free release and drop of mags, and straight up, and in reassertion, (no thought process) mags over Euro mag systems any day.. using my P232 380 as my experience with them.


Tom Servo
February 19, 2008, 01:06 PM
I've got no real problem with a heel-mounted release, though I do prefer the American style. I'm of the school that says, "if I have to change magazines under stress, I've already lost the fight" anyhow.

One thing I did notice, though. I was observing a security company's training class. Most of the folks grew up on revolvers, and they were being transitioned to Glock 17s. When drawing and firing from the hip, almost half were accidentally dropping their magazines, because their thumbs were hitting the release.

February 19, 2008, 02:12 PM
they do take more time, being a 2-step process to take out.

i was refering to the OP question abut the heel release of the HK P7PSP and the post, prior to my last post, referencing a "tactical mag change"

the release on the PSP is such that it is a single motion to release the mag, with your hands completely clear of the mag base, and then the mag ejects out of the just shove the fresh mag, already in your hand, straight into the mag well.

in a tactical change, you have to retain the mag in the gun just catch it as it comes out before inserting the full mag

February 19, 2008, 02:21 PM
Quote: I was refering to the OP question abut the heel release of the HK P7PSP and the post, prior to my last post, referencing a "tactical mag change"

Yep, missed that, OP's type gun, so take my words to be "in general" in some type Euro mag release systems with heel or thumb releases, specically with my Sig P232's


February 19, 2008, 08:52 PM
If you use your pistol for games such as IDPA, etc., the U.S. style mag release has a definite advantage in speed of changing magazines. For self-defense carry, it doesn't make any difference because you will likely only have time for a few shots anyway if you have not already made a hasty retreat like you should.

February 19, 2008, 10:04 PM
Honestly, I think the complaints about the heel mag releases are mostly a non-issue when it comes to self defense. Actually, after having now owned a handgun with one (H&K P9S), I have come to the conclusion that, for my tastes, I prefer it for a self defense or carry gun. It really isn't that much harder to remove the mag. Also, in all honesty, if you (speaking generally) are emptying an entire mag and trying to do speedy IPSC style mag changes, you might want to think about improving your shot placement and or upping the caliber. If the question was focused on competition though, that's a whole other story and a button release would have obvious benefits.

Personally, I love the added relief of knowing that with my P9S I will never accidentally release the mag when carrying, I mean I just don't even ever have to think about that as it will never be an issue. Peace of mind goes a long way, especially when it comes to a carry gun.

February 20, 2008, 08:27 AM

I'm a lefty.. I actually prefer the European heel mag release over any pistol with a mag. release on the left grip, or in that area.

Just personal preference.


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