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p7 - review and video

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by MontanaBighorn, Sep 1, 2007.

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  1. MontanaBighorn

    MontanaBighorn Member

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    [​IMG]
    P7talk.com Reviews: H&K P7 PSP



    H&K advertisement:
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    "As a discriminating hunter or sportsman, you will be impressed with the uncommon performance, advanced design, and superior quality of HK's p7(PSP) cal. 9mm Automoatic Pistol.
    Skillfully integrated into the front of the hand grip is the P7's squeeze cocker which eliminates the conventional double action trigger. No other pistol in the world offers this unique feature! As the shooter grasps the weapon, natural finger pressure is used to depress or release the dqueeze cocker, thereby cocking or uncocking the pisol automatically. The P7's sleek, uncluttered design affords equal ease of handling to both left and right handed shooters along with unequaled speed, safety, and dependability.
    At HK, every firearm is designed, tooled and manufactured under our strictest quality control and supervision, ensuring precision and unequaled performance."




    Specific information and history:
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    "The Heckler & Koch P7 is a compact semi-automatic pistol normally chambered in 9 x 19 mm Luger manufactured by the German company of Heckler & Koch. It was designed beginning in 1971 to be compact and have enhanced safety features." CLICK HERE for more on the history of the H&K P7 PSP.



    Miscellaneous:
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    The HK P7 has a distinguished look as well as a very unique design that can be mistaken for no other. It is a single action semi-automatic blow-back operated, interal striker fired pistol that is cocked by squeezing the unique grip cocker with about 12-14# of pressure. With the squeeze cocker held firmly with about 2# of pressure, the pistol fires the same as any other single action automatic. When you release the squeeze cocker the striker is decocked and the weapon will not fire until the squeeze cocker is re-engaged.

    Although there is no obvious tactical advantage to this weapon, there is a difficult to describe but distinct fascination amongst shooters and enthusiasts with the P7. I can tell you that I have always wanted one, but i cannot tell you specifically why I have always wanted one. I do not feel it's just because it's something different from other weapons because there are many unique designs that don't appeal to me. The P7 however, is one of those rare weapons that has an irresistable mystique that makes you want to own at least one. With their cult-like following, it can be difficult to find a P7 in good shape for a reasonable price which is why I did not yet own one. While waiting on my flight to take off recently (so that I could unpack my portable dvd player from my carry on bag) I found myself thumbing through the CURRENT CATALOG from CDNN. When I reached the page showing the P7 I felt that I had found the weapon I wanted in the condition I wanted and at the price that I wanted. With that I placed my order.

    P7PSP "excellent to new condition" $674
    used magazine rated 90% $35
    new H&K magazine $55
    $13 shipping
    $20 transfer fee (paid to my local dealer)

    I ordered the weapon late on Monday, August 27, 2007. The weapon shipped on Tuesday the 28th, and I had the weapon in my hand on Thursday the 30th.



    First impressions:
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    When my weapon arrived I was thrilled by its overall condition. Although stamped 11/85, I seriously doubt this weapon was ever issued. There is no holster wear at all, and very little indication that its ever even been handled. I browsed the owners manual to become familiar with the unusual controls, field stripped and lubed the weapon, and reassembled it. With everything ready, it was time to go to the range and find out what this little fascinating handgun is really all about.

    I intended to purchase 500 rounds of Corbon 9mm +P ammunition in both 115 and 125 grain loads, but having depleted the local gun stores of Corbon ammunition last week in MY PPS REVIEW, very little could be found. I ended up purchasing 160 ([email protected] grains and [email protected] grains) rounds of Corbon +P loads which is all i could find out of the three stores here that carry it. I cache this ammunition but do not pull from my emergency cache for practice. Since 160 rounds just isnt enough to fully evaluate any weapon, I headed over to walmart and picked up 500 more rounds of WWB.



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    It might seem a little silly that I would bother to post a picture of my ammunition receipt, but I find my enthusiasm stemming from ignorance to be quite funny....anyone ignorant to the P7 will not see the humor in someone thinking that they can shoot hundreds of rounds from a P7 in one trip. Those who have experience with the P7 are no doubt laughing at me pretty hard right now. [​IMG]



    At the range:
    No matter how "pretty" a weapon is, no matter how expensive a weapon is, no matter what kind of reputation it has the only thing that ultimately matters is what happens when you pull the trigger. A weapon must function reliably in any situation from any position. It must shoot true, and be comfortable to carry and fire. For accuracy and proficiency a weaopn should be ergonomically matched with the shooter.


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    Click image above to view video.

    The above featured video is not formal training, but simply an effort to become familiar with all aspects of my new weapon. I'm still experimenting with different stances for shooting from behind cover, trying to find a happy balance of comfort with agility. I do not yet have a holster for this weapon so I could not begin each drill by drawing the weapon. With no holster i began each drill by holding the weapon angled down with my trigger finger in the ready position. My testing in the past has shown this to be pretty comparable to the time it takes to draw the weapon from an IWB holster under an untucked shirt.



    What i like:
    [​IMG] The overall accuracy of this weapon is very good.
    [​IMG] Rapid target acquisition and complete control through controlled pairs, follow-up shots, and "double taps" was just viscious. I found that not only was I making A-zone hits faster than with other weapons, but I was hitting very well placed A-zone hits faster than with other weapons. Perhaps I was just having a good day, but on this particular day with this particular weapon I simply could not miss. I purposefully pushed myself for faster target acquisition, shorter target assessment, faster shots and faster follow up shots and each time I was pleasantly surprised that my hits remained consistant and true. It almost felt like I was shooting some type of self guided bullet. Although many of my 1911s may be capable of tighter grouping from a bench, as defensive shooting goes today I shot better than I ever have.
    [​IMG] I know as soon as I say this that I will draw much criticism from the hardcore priests of the church of John Moses Browning (inventor of the 1911) but the purpose in publishing this review is to share my honest assessment of this weapon, good and bad. As a member of the church of JMB (not a priest, but certainly a dedicated member) I find it somewhat difficult to say but the truth is the truth so here it is:

    I have never found a better trigger in any gun at any price, bar none.

    The trigger breaks very crisp and clean at about 3 pounds. Pull is short, there is no over-travel, and most important for me the reset point and the break point are same point....the exact same point. This makes a tremendous difference if you shoot from reset which I do, and I feel this is why my follow up shots and controlled pairs were so visciously consistant and it is the biggest reason why I just couldnt seem to miss with this weapon.
    [​IMG] The overall size of this weapon makes it perfect for carry. The slide is slim and rounded, perfect for IWB carry.
    [​IMG] I didn't shoot it enough to fully evaluate reliability, but function was flawless.
    [​IMG] The ergonomics were perfect. Being used to the 118 degree grip angle of the 1911, I often find European designs (such as the Glock) uncomfortable and unnatural for me. The 110 degree grip angle of the P7 however is a perfect match, possibly even more natural for me than the 1911. Trigger position was very good, I had no problems manipulating the trigger. The slide release is also located in the squeeze cocker, which you simply squeeze to release the slide making for a lightning fast reload. Alhtough different from what I'm used to, the magazine release at the base of the magazine isnt bad at all.



    What i don't like:
    [​IMG] Due to the blowback design the weapon gets hot.....very hot very fast. I noticed it warming up after two magazines (16 shots) and by 50 rounds in somewhat rapid succession it was uncomfortable to hold which affected accuracy and everything else. I found myself putting the weapon down to cool, and after about 100 rounds I was done. I don't see how the plastic heat shield on the M8 could make a difference when the trigger itself also gets very hot.
    [​IMG] I consider the capacity to be low for a 9mm of this size. Although 9mm +P ammunition has come a long way in the last decade (in terms of ballistic numbers), I find a true strength of the 9mm in its capacity. You can get 14 round total capacity in the p7m13, but you must have very large hands to hold it comfortably.
    Perhaps the reason the P7 PSP comes with 8 round magazines is because they figure after 8 rounds the weapon will be to hot to hold anyway. [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
    Bottom line: This is not a range gun or an all day shooter, but as a defensive weapon I don't see how it could get much better. When you consider size, reliability, accuracy, trigger, ergonomics, etc. few pistols match up to the P7.
     
  2. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    Nice write up. Most of the time you see folks talking about the M8's vs. the original PSP's like yours. They are my favorite as can be seen below.

    [​IMG]


    You can never have too many PSP's!
     
  3. silversport

    silversport Member

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    ...my older brother and I ordered a pair of Grade As from CDNN...advertised to be Like New, I sure hope they arrive that way...finally after over 20 years...my first HK and the only one I have ever really been interested in...
    Bill
     
  4. Catalina

    Catalina Member

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    That's becasue they've been impossible to find for like 15 years! The trade-in dump thankfully has released thousands of PSP's to our market at affordable prices for newbies to "discover" the wonderment of the most awesome pistol IMHO. I bought an M8 back in '96 for what was an awful lot of money and folks thought I was nuts until I let them shoot a few rounds. This guys incredibly detailed review is great - my same experience upon firing. I just can't miss with the P7 - but I regulary miss with other guns:confused:

    I believe the current prices from CDNN are not too far off from where the were new 20 years ago.
     
  5. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    The M8's mag release just hit my hand wrong so I always sought out and bought PSP's. To me they are just easier to shoot accurately and more fun all around. In particular the older style PSP's (PSP-E style) that the lead poster is showing or my bottom gun. They are much more accurate then the later PSP's (PSP-U style). I don't know why, but that has been my observation on virtually every one I have fired.
     
  6. silversport

    silversport Member

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    they are a bit higher than 20 years ago...I attempted to buy a P7M13 21 years ago...my duty arm was a Colt Python then...I paid $505 for it brand new and told myself...I will never pay this much for a pistol again...:what:...P7M8s were $449 and M13s were $499...I passed on my purchase...I don't believe I have bought many pistols that were less than that...ALL of them have been near or more...I sat stunned as prices once soared to $1500 used...when these came up in the condition described for the prices quoted (CDNN $674.25 for Grade A and $599.25 for Grade B as of 09/02/07) and my older brother talked about buying one I said...I really need to finally do this...:D
    Bill
     
  7. raytracer

    raytracer Member

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    Great review! I really liked the video too, except for the part at the beginning where you shot three rapid headshots, then cut in to show targets that had been shot precisely on the bridge of the nose at contact range.

    Seriously. I absolutely refuse to believe you shot that good. No way. Had to have faked it. Somebody check his pockets for a .38" hole punch.

    Alright. I'll believe it tomorrow, just let me enjoy the rest of my weekend for heaven's sake.

    All kidding aside, the instructor I train with is the type of experienced shooter that can pick up any handgun and get good A zone hits on combat drills. Like Eddie VanHalen can pick up a $30 pawn shop guitar and make it sound good, he can transition from whatever he's carrying, to whatever the student is shooting and show that, yes indeed, it's me not my pistol.

    The only time I've ever heard him have gear lust is for a P7.

    Joe
     
  8. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Member

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    I've had my non-surplus P7PSP for around fifteen years and would never sell it. I updated the mag release and grips then had it refinished a few years ago when I first got my FL CCW. Great guns!
     

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  9. silversport

    silversport Member

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    who's finish is that??? Hard Chrome??? I already know that at some time, mine will have a finish like that...niiiiiiice!...:D
    Bill
     
  10. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Member

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    Bill, it's a high-Boron finish (Gunkote, I think) from CCR. Brad did *great* work!

    Mine had a lot of holster wear, and I sweat like a pig - I thought it best to refin it before carrying. It doesn't get carried a lot since I live in IL, but I do travel.
     
  11. MaterDei

    MaterDei Member

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    Great write up!

    I've been wanting a P7 for a number of years.

    I'm curious, what's with the Carhartt jeans? You use them as a back drop in your excellent PPS review.
     
  12. MontanaBighorn

    MontanaBighorn Member

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    gentlemen thank you. it was a pleasure to review such a fine weapon. i am completely pleased with my p7, and plan to order another before they dry up.


    to make it even more incredible, the first three shots i took in the video were the first three times i fired the weapon, ever. it felt almost as if i were in some circus trick shooting act. i simply could not miss with the p7. if you watch the video and look behind the targets at where the bullets impact the ground it should answer any questions concerning the validity of shots. :)


    theyre a heck of a lot cleaner than my carpet and therefore make a much better backdrop. :)
     
  13. silversport

    silversport Member

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    heavy duty...thanks...yet ANOTHER finisher to consider...:D
    Bill
     
  14. usmcgrunt

    usmcgrunt Member

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    Thinking about getting myself a P7 PSP model! Starting to gather crap to sell off to get my hands on one! Thanks for all the info and the video as well!

    Grunt Out!
     
  15. CWL

    CWL Member

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    I like my non-refurb P7/PSP, it is slightly thinner than my P7M8 and for some unknown reason feels better in the hand. It is quite common for those who own both PSPs and M8s to prefer the PSP.

    I don't care about the lack of heat shield (that M8s have) but I can never get past the heel mag-release design. Because of this, I prefer my M8.

    Otherwise, I'm glad to see the resurge of interest in P7-family pistols.
     
  16. silversport

    silversport Member

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    the "new" ones are not refurbs just for the record...good to know someone who owns them would still buy them...

    Bill
     
  17. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    Great review, thanks for posting.

    I own several of these fine pistols and also prefer the PSP, at least for carry, to the M8. It fits my hand better and I don't carry a spare magazine, so mag changes aren't something I'm too worried about.

    If you carry it enough you'll probably add durability of the finish to your list of dislikes. It doesn't bother me at all that my guns show holster wear, and I haven't had any problem with rust, but it does bother some folk and some people have had some rust problems when the finish wears off. The P7 line seems to be a top candidate for refinishing.
     
  18. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Member

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    I'm one of those people that the P7M8 just doesn't work for - my trigger finger causes a mag drop every 200 or 300 rounds. That's why I sought out a PSP all those years ago - they weren't easy to find back then!

    Strangely, the M10 and M13 don't have the same problem for me in my limited exposure to them. Something about the M8 grip size and the shape/size of my hand, I'm sure.

    My PSP originally had the smaller grips and protruding mag release as shown in the HK ad at the top of the first post. I was concerned about inadvertent mag ejection from rubbing against a car seat so I switched over to the wide release and long grips. It really does change the feel of the gun!
     
  19. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    I'd buy another in a second.
     
  20. yongxingfreesty

    yongxingfreesty Member

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    very nice vid! those look like some fun drills.

    does anyone have a picture of their p7 next to a sig p239 for size comparison?
     
  21. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    I shot my first P7 a couple months ago. What can I say, I want one in a bad way now. It was so natural to shoot, accuracy was spot on and suprisingly thin for CCW use.

    Gotta wait though, being laid off is no fun.
     
  22. MontanaBighorn

    MontanaBighorn Member

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    being laid off just gives you more range time. :D
     
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