H&K P7M8 experience


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Jim K
March 28, 2004, 10:09 PM
Hi, guys,

I finally got to the range to try my new H&K P7M8, ex-German police. I have fired one before, but not as extensively. It has some good features, but I can't imagine any police force adopting it. I am sure it is somewhat related to training, but that squeeze cocking is absolute hell for the first round. After that, the front mounted lever requires very little force to hold in, but I wonder if the designer ever heard that the first shot is the most important one. Incredibly, the New Jersey State Police used them for several years; that should have made the crooks feel safe.

It has a couple of neat features, like the cocking lever serving to release the slide after inserting a fresh magazine. There is no external slide stop. The gun is striker fired, like the Glock, but the trigger pull is (IMHO) a lot shorter and better than the Glock. The sights are excellent, and the pistol sits well in the hand.

H&K did the gas retarded blowback business right, with two ports at the front of the chamber exiting into a cylinder below the barrel, plus a fluted chamber. The piston is attached to the slide, so gas impinging on the piston pushes the slide forward while the gas pressure in the chamber is trying to push it back. Other systems using the same idea have been less successful, the late unlamented Rogak being the worst. The cartridges showed no sign of damage or scoring as in some other guns with fluted chambers.

One problem, which might somehow have been my inexperience, was that in firing one box of ammo, the pistol would suddenly change, in the middle of a magazine, from an easy hold in on the lever to the full tension. That was disconcerting and could have been fatal in a gunfight. In examining the gun later, I could find no way that the pistol could have fired and loaded a fresh round without fully cocking, but that appears to have been what was happening. It happened at least once in every magazine, and only with that one box; three other boxes of another brand worked fine.

My evaluation: A nice collector's piece, but forget about it for a carry gun unless you win bets by crushing engine blocks with your shooting hand!

Jim

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Justin
March 28, 2004, 11:08 PM
I too picked up one of the surplused German P7's a few months ago, and it has quickly become my favorite centerfire autoloader. I don't know if maybe yours is defective or something, but I have not found that the initial pressure needed to cock the pistol to be excessive in the least.

At the beginning I had a problem with the pistol decocking in the middle of a string of fire, but found that this went away with practice, and being dilligent in attaining a good firing grip on the gun.

Also, there is indeed an external slide stop, granted that it is very minimalistic. It is on the left side of the pistol, on the frame behind the trigger. (Bad description, I know.) For more info, you can download an English version of the manual from www.parkcitiestactical.com
Note that you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in order to read the manual.

P7 PSP User's Manual (http://www.parkcitiestactical.com/manuals/p7psp.pdf)

Ashendale
March 28, 2004, 11:12 PM
Initially a 9mm fan, the P7M8 was my CCW prior to seeing the light with the .45 ACP. :D
Never had problems with the P7. It's an all business handgun. I can cock it and fire it faster then I can flip the thumb safety off my 1911's. It's low bore axis seems to give it an instinctive feel, almost like pointing the index finger. It's one of the most accurate and reliable pistols I'm sure I'll ever own. I agree, it will probably become a collectors piece due to the demand not justifying the cost to produce. if I ever get tired of my 1911's, it'll probably be my main carry gun as it used to be.
Ian

Greg Bell
March 28, 2004, 11:28 PM
I finally got to the range to try my new H&K P7M8, ex-German police. I have fired one before, but not as extensively. It has some good features, but I can't imagine any police force adopting it. I am sure it is somewhat related to training, but that squeeze cocking is absolute hell for the first round. After that, the front mounted lever requires very little force to hold in, but I wonder if the designer ever heard that the first shot is the most important one. Incredibly, the New Jersey State Police used them for several years; that should have made the crooks feel safe.


Nah, you are doin' it wrong. The trigger pull is the same everytime. It takes a couple of pounds to hold the lever down.

faustulus
March 29, 2004, 12:10 AM
I think you may have a problem with your P7. It shouldn't take that much pressure to squeeze the cocker (no more so than is required to keep the gun from flying out of your hand) and once back you should be able to rest it against your palm and use only your pinky to keep it cocked. Also the first and last trigger pull should be the same, (just like a 1911) it is a single action gun after all.
I would have the gun checked out as the problems you described are not common to any P7 I have ever shot.

Limey-
March 29, 2004, 02:58 AM
........Agreed i have been shooting P7's for many years have owned around
a half dozen and still carry one regularly its one of the finest designs ever but it takes a little mastering.I think your either a very weak 99 year old grandmother with arthritis or the cocking mechanism is faulty.....i suspect the latter you might have a problem with yours i would send it to HK for evaluation.when it returns 'repaired' you will eat your words;)

Call HK USA at 703-450-1900
to request an RMA number, and send it to them for repair


good luck

mete
March 29, 2004, 06:26 AM
Jim, that 'squeeze cocking is hell' means that you are not gripping the gun properly. The force needed to cock it is well within normal grip force. And your subsequent problem is due to relaxing your grip. All pistols should be gripped firmly to avoid malfunction such as 'limp wristing', and shot to shot poin of impact will be better too .

J Hoss
March 29, 2004, 08:42 AM
Jim,
It sounds like the gun has a problem.

I find two things usually happen with shooters unfamilar with the P7.
1. Overly squeezing the grip causes shaking and tremors.
2. Limp wristing after the first shot. -- causes the pistol to uncock.

However, If you notice any difference in behavior of the gun from first shot to last in a magazine something is wrong! You may have a broken spring or someone may have assembled it incorrectly. I don't recommend disassembly unless your are a qualified pistol smith or have very good mechanical skills. You can send it back to HK for full warranty. They seldom ask if you are the original owner.

manyironsinfire
March 29, 2004, 11:13 AM
You may need to work with a rubber ball at first.A couple of days should build up your forearms suffecient to squeese that P7....If not, send it to HK and have them give it a look see..:p

gbelleh
March 29, 2004, 11:33 AM
but that squeeze cocking is absolute hell for the first round.

What?

Are you pulling the trigger first, then squeezing the cocking lever or something?? I agree with everyone else. The P7 shouldn't be that hard to shoot.

Serpico
March 29, 2004, 12:08 PM
Jim...is your ex-german police a "refurb"..most of the ex-german police models are and are rarely shot....mine came straight from the armory and looked unfired....if it does have the mill mark on the slide, I doubt HK will cover it under warranty since these guns are "as is" but it might be something simple anway...shoot it again and follow the above posts...if it is still giving you a problem, call HK...they might take care of you since you just got it...they are fickle that way...some they do, some they don't...can you do a German accentt?

Hawk
March 29, 2004, 07:13 PM
I bought three of the P7 refurbs when they turned up - one acted pretty much as Jim described. It seemed that the cocking lever would release, decocking the pistol, with very little travel compared to its siblings. The amount of travel it would tolerate seemed to vary. Two of the P7's shot like a dream, one needed the kind of grip that would shatter a coconut.

After cleaning and a couple hundred rounds it seemed to fix itself ("German self-healing, organic metal", the range guy said). Never did get as nice as the other 2, though.

However, mine had another trick up its sleeve - it would occasionally double. It felt like a bump fire due to its "timing" being off from the other P7's. At least it felt more like a bump fire than a slam fire.

Anyhow, the problem child is gone and I love the other two, even though burst fire is no longer an option.

I was told "limp wristing". It was, however, the exact same wrist that worked quite well with the other 2 P7's. :scrutiny:

The mystery remains unsolved.

Pilot
March 29, 2004, 10:16 PM
I agree. It must be a problem gun. My 1983 German Police P7 PSP is a wonderful gun. I like it as much or more than my like new P7M8. Fine weapons.

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