Help me with my H&K P9 FAQ!


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Greg Bell
August 14, 2004, 01:16 AM
Guys, I'm working on a little P9 FAQ. Excuse the crudity, and please help me add to and refine it.




1. Description: The P9s is a double action semi-automatic handgun that uses a miniaturized version of the roller-locking system found in older H&K rifles. The pistol was ahead of its time with extensive use of plastics and sheet metal in non-critical areas, an exotic locking system, a cocking lever, a recoil buffer, and fixed barrel.

2. Variants. The P9 started as a single action 9mm with a nine shot capacity. This model was produced in low numbers and is very rare. Confusingly, there are apparently some later guns marked “P9” that are actually double action. The “P9s” is the later double action model. This is by far the most common P9 and is often refered to as the "Combat" model. Soon after the P9s was introduced a seven shot .45 model was made available. Other variants include “target” versions of both the 9mm and .45. The target was identical to the standard “combat” model except for adjustable sights, a trigger stop, and a sear screw that allowed adjustment for let-off or crispness (not for weight). There were also “competition” models which included the features of the target but had 5.5inch barrels and a barrel weight. These models also had the front sight on the barrel weight to extend the site radius to X. These models came with elaborate walnut target grips in addition to the standard plastic "combat" grips.

3. Notes: The P9s is found with two types of plastic trigger guard. The earlier model was plain looking and sleek. The later model has a “recurve” along the front that was the fashion in the late 70s-80s. This trigger-guard is usually referred to as the “Navy Seal” version.

4. Finish. The earlier models tended to have a nice “blued” finish that shined quite a bit. The later version was a duller “parkerized” style finish.

5. Pros.
A. Accuracy. The P9s is famed for its accuracy. This attribute is owed to a combination of its fixed polygonal barrel and lightweight, smooth single action trigger.
B. Low recoil. The roller-locking system adapted from the G-3 seems to go a long way towards lessening the recoil in both 9mm and .45. Additionally, the P9 features a plastic “buffer” built into the receiver that assists in this regard.
C. Trigger feel. Classifying a trigger is a subjective business. However, reports of bad P9 triggers are nonexistent. It is smooth and crisp in both single and double action (and obviously the adjustable target/competition models are even better in this respect).

6. Cons.
A. Buffer. If the P9’s plastic buffer isn't replaced before it is worn out, the P9 will eventually fail, often catastrophically (destroyed frame). This buffer need only inspected and replaced occasionally to avoid this.
B. Safety, The P9’s safety blocks the hammer from falling. The trigger of the P9 can be pulled with the safety on. Eventually, this will result in the safety being flattened enough to allow light primer strikes, and the possibility of accidental discharge.
C. Decocking involves pulling the trigger! To decock the P9s you must actually depress the cocking lever and pull the trigger. Obviously, you should put the safety on while you do this, but it is unsettling nonetheless. In actuality, this procedure isn’t too different than letting the hammer down on a 1911-- except you can do it with the safety engaged on the P9.
D. Age. The P9 has been out of production for approximately 20 years. Understandably, not inexpensive weapons to begin with, they have become even more costly in the time since. On top of this, parts have become somewhat scarce. This could eventually become a problem with regard to buffer replacement.

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Nalapombu
August 14, 2004, 02:01 AM
Wasn't the P9s one of the first commercial pistol to make wide use of stampings? I thought I read that they were made by having the metal parts stamped out.
I also don't remember the safety workinglike that. I remember de-cocking to be a simple depress of the cocking lever and it was returned to Double Action mode. I'll defer to you on that one though.
Pretty good so far, I wish I had one so I could sit here and go along with you.
I'd bet that over in Europe somewhere there are a bunch of 'em stiing in a warehouse in crates being stored for some emergency that Europe will likely never subject themselves to.

Nala

jimmyjoebob
August 14, 2004, 04:11 AM
good so far, but a few things

with the safety on, dry firing is not recommended by HK, because it will damage the firing pin, in addition to what you mentioned.


grip frames- 3 types standard, then navy seal 1 as you referred, then navy seal 2, this is the same except the frame fully surrounds the disassembly button.

Deckocking-
it would be good to mention in the process slowly releasing the level during the procedure( once trigger is pulled)

Part and buffers are easily found, in fact I ordered some this week. Mark at SPC parts has plenty in stock. Per him the only time the buffer needs changing is when they are cracked and/or dryrotted. Other than that and springs, its a sturdy gun.
only other thing I can think of as a con , is that is is a pretty large gun for a single stack 9 round 9mm( or 45), larger than a P7.

BTW love mine, ordered a new leather rig for it this week from Sparks, nice FAQ!

Barry in IN
August 14, 2004, 01:05 PM
Nothing to add but- Thanks!
The P9 is one of the guns that I've looked at many times, yet haven't owned.
I printed a copy to keep handy, because sooner or later, one will probably follow me home. I sure hope it's a .45.

The only real beef I've had with them is that I never cared for the sights much. Big deal.

Greg Bell
August 16, 2004, 10:32 PM
P9 FAQ .3

1. Description: The P9s is a double action semi-automatic handgun that uses a miniaturized version of the roller-locking system found in older H&K rifles. The pistol was ahead of its time with extensive use of plastics and sheet metal in non-critical areas, an exotic locking system, a cocking lever, a recoil buffer, and fixed barrel.

2. Dimensions: Length 7.5 inches, Height 5.39 inches, Width 1.33 inches, Barrel 4.01 inches, 5.78 inch site radius; Weight 1.94 pounds.

3. Variants. The P9 started as a single action 9mm with a nine shot capacity. This model was produced in low numbers and is very rare. Confusingly, there are apparently some later guns marked “P9” that are actually double action. The “P9s” is the later double action model. This is by far the most common P9 and is often referred to as the "Combat" model. Soon after the P9s was introduced a seven shot .45 model was made available. Other variants include “target” versions of both the 9mm and .45. The target was identical to the standard “combat” model except for adjustable sights, a trigger stop, and a sear screw that allowed adjustment for let-off or crispness (not for weight). There were also “competition” models which included the features of the target but had 5.5inch barrels and a barrel weight. These models also had the front sight on the barrel weight to extend the site radius to X. These models came with elaborate walnut target grips in addition to the standard plastic "combat" grips.

4. Notes: The P9s is found with two types of plastic trigger guard. The earlier model was plain looking and sleek. The later model has a “recurve” along the front that was the fashion in the late 70s-80s. This trigger-guard is usually referred to as the “Navy Seal” version. There is apparently at least two versions of the later trigger guard.

5. Construction. The P9’s construction was innovative in a number of ways. The frame of the P9 is a minimalist steel stamping. Onto the bottom of this structure the P9’s had its plastic front grip/trigger-guard mounted. This allowed H&K to change the contours of the front/grip trigger guard as needed (see below).

Also unusual is the fact that only the front site is adjustable on the Combat model.

6. Finish. The earlier models tended to have a nice “blued” finish that shined quite a bit. The later version was a duller “parkerized” style finish.


7. Pros.
A. Accuracy. The P9s is famed for its accuracy. This attribute is owed to a combination of its fixed polygonal barrel and lightweight, smooth single action trigger.
B. Low recoil. The roller-locking system adapted from the G-3 seems to go a long way towards lessening the recoil in both 9mm and .45. Additionally, the P9 features a plastic “buffer” built into the receiver that assists in this regard.
C. Trigger feel. Classifying a trigger is a subjective business. However, reports of bad P9 triggers are nonexistent. It is smooth and crisp in both single and double action (and obviously the adjustable target/competition models are even better in this respect).


8. Cons.
A. Buffer. If the P9’s plastic buffer isn't replaced before it is worn out, the P9 will eventually fail, often catastrophically (destroyed frame). This buffer need only inspected and replaced occasionally to avoid this.
B. Safety, The P9’s safety blocks the hammer from falling. The trigger of the P9 can be pulled with the safety on. Eventually, this will result in the safety being flattened enough to allow light primer strikes, and the possibility of accidental discharge.
C. Decocking involves pulling the trigger! To decock the P9s you must actually depress the cocking lever and pull the trigger. Obviously, you should put the safety on while you do this, but it is unsettling nonetheless. In actuality, this procedure isn’t too different than letting the hammer down on a 1911-- except you can do it with the safety engaged on the P9.
D. Age. The P9 has been out of production for approximately 20 years. Understandably, not inexpensive weapons to begin with, they have become even more costly in the time since. On top of this, parts have become somewhat scarce. This could eventually become a problem with regard to buffer replacement.
E. Limited Ammunition. P9s are not ready for +P ammunition and many are sensitive to hollowpoint ammunition. To be fair, the P9 came along in the mid 60s when few agencies, and virtually no European ones, issued hollowpoint ammunition.
F. Screws are extremely easy to damage. The P9 has beautiful “Lens head” screws that are apparently made of the softest metal H&K’s engineers could find. Keeping these screws from being marred is nearly impossible.

spook
August 17, 2004, 12:05 PM
The P9S generates very little interest. I recently tried to sell one on THR that had less than 200 rounds through it and received two inquiries which didn't go very far. They are very accurate and have a low bore axis which contributes to the low preceived recoil.

Extremist
August 17, 2004, 05:45 PM
They generate a LOT of interest among serious P9S collectors - if the price is not outrageous.

This guy's prices are OUTRAGEOUS - but, you don't see many of these around:

http://www.sturmgewehr.com/webBBS/semi4sale.cgi?read=94601
http://www.sturmgewehr.com/webBBS/semi4sale.cgi?read=94598

But, this guy has not been able to sell his for quite some time:

http://www.gunbroker.com/auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=21879840

The gunbroker deal is a fair deal - but I already have 2 P9S Combats :)

I don't know why someone hasn't jumped on that deal.

Regards,
James

Greg Bell
August 17, 2004, 05:57 PM
sniff, sob, sniff. I used to own a set almost identical to that. It was missing only the weird gray block thingy...:banghead:

spook
August 17, 2004, 06:33 PM
You're right Extremist, the price on that competition model is beyond belief. Maybe I was just advertising in the wrong place. I was asking $700 for what is an almost new pistol which seems to me a very reaonable price. I also have two target models, a 9mm and a .45, I wanted to sell, but gave up when the combat model didn't sell. On the pistols I have the takedown lever is inside the triggerguard and presses up into the frame. Is this last iteration? I'd post a picture but I already posted it in my ad and the system won't let me post the same picture twice.

Extremist
August 17, 2004, 09:35 PM
Yes, the completely enshrouded takedown button was the last iteration of the trigger guard. Personally, I don't think it is as asthetic looking as the second version. $700 is a great price for yours as described.

I don't really need another one, 'cause I'm saving for my P7 25th Ann. Version :)

It will sell, advertise it over on HK Boards.

James

jimmyjoebob
August 17, 2004, 11:28 PM
spook-
what ya asking for the 45 target? I just bought my P9s combat 9mm, if I knew you had one for sale I would have jumped I paid a $800 for mine, but I am very happy with it.

Greg Bell
August 17, 2004, 11:53 PM
P9 FAQ .4

1. Description: The P9s is a double action semi-automatic handgun that uses a miniaturized version of the roller-locking system found in older H&K rifles. The pistol was ahead of its time with extensive use of plastics and sheet metal in non-critical areas, an exotic locking system, a cocking lever, a recoil buffer, and fixed barrel.

2. Dimensions: Length 7.5 inches, Height 5.39 inches, Width 1.33 inches, Barrel 4.01 inches, 5.78 inch site radius; Weight 1.94 pounds.

3. Variants. The P9 started as a single action 9mm with a nine shot capacity. This model was produced in low numbers and is very rare. Confusingly, there are apparently some later guns marked “P9” that are actually double action. The “P9s” is the later double action model. This is by far the most common P9 and is often referred to as the "Combat" model. Soon after the P9s was introduced a seven shot .45 model was made available. Other variants include “target” versions of both the 9mm and .45. The target was identical to the standard “combat” model except for adjustable sights, a trigger stop, and a sear screw that allowed adjustment for let-off or crispness (not for weight). There were also “competition” models which included the features of the target but had 5.5inch barrels and a barrel weight. These models also had the front sight on the barrel weight to extend the site radius to X. These models came with elaborate walnut target grips in addition to the standard plastic "combat" grips.

4. Notes: The P9s is found with two types of plastic trigger guard. The earlier model was plain looking and sleek. The later model has a “recurve” along the front that was the fashion in the late 70s-80s. This trigger-guard is usually referred to as the “Navy Seal” version. There are apparently two versions of the later trigger guard. The more recent version completely encloses the disassembly button to prevent.

5. Construction. The P9’s construction was innovative in a number of ways. The frame of the P9 is a minimalist steel stamping. Onto the bottom of this structure the P9’s had its plastic front grip/trigger-guard mounted. This allowed H&K to change the contours of the front/grip trigger guard as needed (see below).

Also unusual is the fact that only the front site is adjustable on the Combat model.

6. Finish. The earlier models tended to have a nice “blued” finish that shined quite a bit. The later version was a duller “parkerized” style finish.

7. Mag release. The P9 uses a European style mag release (in other words, the catch is on the bottom of the grip, rather than a button on the side of the grip). This system was widely adopted in Europe to prevent accidental mag dumping in WWI. It works, possibly too well. Magazine changing takes a second or so longer with the P9.


8. Pros.
A. Accuracy. The P9s is famed for its accuracy. This attribute is owed to a combination of its fixed polygonal barrel and lightweight, smooth single action trigger.
B. Low recoil. The roller-locking system adapted from the G-3 seems to go a long way towards lessening the recoil in both 9mm and .45. Additionally, the P9 features a plastic “buffer” built into the receiver that assists in this regard.
C. Trigger feel. Classifying a trigger is a subjective business. However, reports of bad P9 triggers are nonexistent. It is smooth and crisp in both single and double action (and obviously the adjustable target/competition models are even better in this respect).
D. The P9 has a very well designed grip. Someone at H&K was obsessed with grip design in the 60’s-70’s. The G3, P9, VP-70, and P7 all have well thought out grip designs.

9. Cons.
A. Buffer. If the P9’s plastic buffer isn't replaced before it is worn out, the P9 will eventually fail, often catastrophically (destroyed frame). This buffer need only inspected and replaced occasionally to avoid this.
B. Safety, The P9’s safety blocks the hammer from falling. The trigger of the P9 can be pulled with the safety on. Eventually, this will result in the safety being flattened enough to allow light primer strikes, and the possibility of accidental discharge.
C. Decocking involves pulling the trigger! To decock the P9s you must actually depress the cocking lever and pull the trigger. Obviously, you should put the safety on while you do this, but it is unsettling nonetheless. In actuality, this procedure isn’t too different than letting the hammer down on a 1911-- except you can do it with the safety engaged on the P9.
D. Age. The P9 has been out of production for approximately 20 years. Understandably, not inexpensive weapons to begin with, they have become even more costly in the time since. On top of this, parts have become somewhat scarce. This could eventually become a problem with regard to buffer replacement.
E. Limited Ammunition. P9s are not ready for +P ammunition and many are sensitive to hollowpoint ammunition. To be fair, the P9 came along in the mid 60s when few agencies, and virtually no European ones, issued hollowpoint ammunition.
F. Screws are extremely easy to damage. The P9 has beautiful “Lens head” screws that are apparently made of the softest metal H&K’s engineers could find. Keeping these screws from being marred is nearly impossible.
G. Not for lefties. The P9 has a thumb shelf and cocking lever on the left side of the frame.

Greg Bell
August 20, 2004, 11:49 PM
P9 FAQ .5

1. Description: The P9s is a double action semi-automatic handgun that uses a miniaturized version of the roller-locking system found in older H&K rifles. The pistol was ahead of its time with extensive use of plastics and sheet metal in non-critical areas. Further, it featured an exotic locking system, a cocking lever, a recoil buffer, and fixed barrel.

2. Dimensions: Length 7.5 inches, Height 5.39 inches, Width 1.33 inches, Barrel 4.01 inches, 5.78 inch site radius; Weight 1.94 pounds.

3. Variants. The P9 started as a single action 9mm with a nine shot capacity. This model was produced in low numbers and is very rare. Confusingly, there are apparently some later guns marked “P9” that are actually double action. The “P9s” is the later double action model. This is by far the most common P9 and is often referred to as the "Combat" model. Soon after the P9s was introduced a seven shot .45 model was made available. Other variants include “target” versions of both the 9mm and .45. The target was identical to the standard “combat” model except for adjustable sights, a trigger stop, and a sear screw that allowed adjustment for let-off or crispness (not for weight). There were also “competition” models which included the features of the target but had 5.5inch barrels and a barrel weight. These models also had the front sight on the barrel weight to extend the site radius to X. These models came with elaborate walnut target grips in addition to the standard plastic "combat" grips.

4. Notes: The P9s is found with two types of plastic trigger guard. The earlier model was plain looking and sleek. The later model had a “recurve” along the front that was the fashion in the late 70s-80s. This trigger-guard is usually referred to as the “Navy Seal” version. There are two versions of the later trigger guard. The more recent one completely encloses the disassembly button to prevent.

5. Construction. The P9’s construction was innovative in a number of ways. The frame of the P9 is a minimalist steel stamping. Onto the bottom of this structure the P9’s had its plastic front grip/trigger-guard mounted. This allowed H&K to change the contours of the front/grip trigger guard as needed (see below).

Also unusual is the fact that only the front site is adjustable on the Combat model.

6. Finish. The earlier models tended to have a nice “blued” finish that shined quite a bit. The later version was a duller “parkerized” style finish.

7. Mag release. The P9 uses a European style mag release (in other words, the catch is on the bottom of the grip, rather than a button on the side of the grip). This system was widely adopted in Europe to prevent accidental mag dumping in WWI. It works, possibly too well. Magazine changing takes a second or so longer with the P9.

8. Who used it? The GSG-9, the Navy Seals, the Spanish Special Forces, Greg Bell, and others have used the P9.

9. Pros.
A. Accuracy. The P9s is famed for its accuracy. This attribute is owed to a combination of its fixed polygonal barrel and lightweight, smooth single action trigger.
B. Low recoil. The roller-locking system adapted from the G-3 seems to go a long way towards lessening the recoil in both 9mm and .45. Additionally, the P9 features a plastic “buffer” built into the receiver that assists in this regard.
C. Trigger feel. Classifying a trigger is a subjective business. However, reports of bad P9 triggers are nonexistent. It is smooth and crisp in both single and double action (and obviously the adjustable target/competition models are even better in this respect).
D. The P9 has a very well designed grip. Someone at H&K was obsessed with grip design in the 60’s-70’s. The G3, P9, VP-70, and P7 all have well thought out grip designs.
E. Simple disassembly. The P9 is extremely simple to disassemble. Simply push the button inside the front of the trigger guard and there you have it.
F. Easily suppressed. The P9 is probably the best weapon available for suppression. Its fixed barrel means that no recoil booster or compromisingly light suppressor has to be fitted. The Navy Seals used the P9 for this purpose.

10. Cons.
A. Buffer. If the P9’s plastic buffer isn't replaced before it is worn out, the P9 will eventually fail, often catastrophically (destroyed frame). This buffer need only inspected and replaced occasionally to avoid this.
B. Safety, The P9’s safety blocks the hammer from falling. The trigger of the P9 can be pulled with the safety on. Eventually, this will result in the safety being flattened enough to allow light primer strikes, and the possibility of accidental discharge.
C. Decocking involves pulling the trigger! To decock the P9s you must actually depress the cocking lever and pull the trigger. Obviously, you should put the safety on while you do this, but it is unsettling nonetheless. In actuality, this procedure isn’t too different than letting the hammer down on a 1911-- except you can do it with the safety engaged on the P9.
D. Age. The P9 has been out of production for approximately 20 years. Understandably, not inexpensive weapons to begin with, they have become even more costly in the time since. On top of this, parts have become somewhat scarce. This could eventually become a problem with regard to buffer replacement.
E. Limited Ammunition. P9s are not ready for +P ammunition and many are sensitive to hollowpoint ammunition. To be fair, the P9 came along in the mid 60s when few agencies, and virtually no European ones, issued hollowpoint ammunition.
F. Screws are extremely easy to damage. The P9 has beautiful “Lens head” screws that are apparently made of the softest metal H&K’s engineers could find. Keeping these screws from being marred is nearly impossible.
G. Not for lefties. The P9 has a thumb shelf and cocking lever on the left side of the frame.
H. Disassembly button works too well? Some have argued that the P9 could be disassembled by someone grabbing the weapon from you. This seems to be largely a matter of gunshop commando paranoia. A solution would be to find one of the later “Navy Seal” trigger-guards.

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