Gun Review: Heckler & Koch P30

A decade ago, shortly after my 21st birthday, I purchased my first handgun, a Springfield XD chambered in .40 S&W. I was pleased with the handgun and it did absolutely everything I wanted it to do. Its only downfall was that the slide was not stamped “Heckler and Koch”. At that time in my life I was reading a lot of Tom Clancy and Richard Marcinko Books, and occasionally played the Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six video game. All the main characters, heroes and villains, used Heckler and Koch weapons.  Any web query and gun counter guru all agreed that Heckler and Koch made the best firearms in the world. Granted it would be hard to legally own an MP5 or a G36, but the H&K USP and P2000 series were readily available at my local Sportsman’s Warehouse. I wanted one, that’s all there was to it. I spent the summer farming and ranching as well as working for the USDA Forest. I saved up enough money, sold the Springfield XD to a good friend and found a Heckler and Koch P2000 for a decent price on Gunbroker.

My first outing with the Heckler and Koch P2000 was slightly disappointing. The gun had very sharp recoil and the trigger was very different from the Springfield XD that I had grown accustomed to in the previous months. My first group at 15 yards was terrible and the very sharp slide left some nice cuts on my right hand. I kept the P2000 for several months and shot it as much as possible. Though I loved the ambidextrous magazine release, the custom back straps and the de-cocker I could never get used to the trigger and the slide bite was proving to be a huge distraction. Through the years I came across several Heckler and Koch handguns that were decently priced and hard to pass up, the H&K USP and the H&K USP Compact. Though they were fun to shoot, I never got used to the trigger and both handguns turned into small but profitable investments rather than shooters. I have never had a Heckler and Koch handgun jam on me. All the Heckler and Koch handguns I have owned were very accurate and cycled any ammunition that was loaded into the pistol.

The Heckler and Koch P30 has a MIL-STD 1913 rail for mounting lights and accessories. Mounted is a Streamlight TLR-1S.

The Heckler and Koch P30 has a MIL-STD 1913 rail for mounting lights and accessories. Mounted is a Streamlight TLR-1S. *You can click on any of the pictures for a higher resolution photo.

9 years after selling the HK P2000 I was rather intrigued when the TFB Editor emailed me and told me a Heckler and Koch P30, chambered in .40 S&W, was on its way to New Mexico for review.

Heckler and Koch makes six variants of the P30. These pistols are only chambered in 9 x 19mm Parabellum and .40 S&W. End users looking for a .45 ACP should look at the HK 45, USP and Mark 23 series.  I was sent a Version 3 pistol with Tru Dot night sights. The Version 3 features a DA/SA trigger and a de-cocker. The Version 3 does not have a manual safety. Key features found on the Heckler and Koch P30 series pistols include:

  • MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail for mounting lights and accessories.
  • HK Recoil reduction guide-rod.
  • Interchangeable backstrap and side grip plates.
  • Fiber reinforced corrosion proof polymer frame.
  • Different hammer sizes to compliment certain styles of carry.
  • Several different trigger modes specific to various models.
  • Polygonal bore profile that is supposed to increase velocity, increase barrel life and facilitate easier cleaning.
  • Ambidextrous controls.
  • Lock out safety mechanism to disable firearm.
  • Corrosion resistant blued finish.
  • Bobbed and Spurred hammers available as well as hammer and firing pin safeties.
Heckler and Koch P30 alongside a Smith and Wesson M&P.

Size comparison. Heckler and Koch P30 alongside a Smith and Wesson M&P.

Heckler and Koch P30. Smith and Wesson M&P. Width and bore axis comparison.

Heckler and Koch P30. Smith and Wesson M&P. Width and bore axis comparison.

As soon as I was made aware that I was going to be testing a Heckler and Koch P30 I stopped by my favorite local sporting goods store and purchased a Heckler and Koch branded airsoft replica of the P30. Setting up a steel plate in my back yard I was able to run several hundred bio-degradable airsoft pellets through the pistol in preparation for live fire testing. The airsoft gun gave me a good feel concerning the ergonomics, bore axis, light placement, magazine release functions and reloading of the pistol. One issue I noticed immediately in my manipulation with the handgun was the slide release lever and its proximity to my thumbs. I shoot using a “Modern/Isosceles grip” where my thumbs are indexed along the slide and are pointed forward. Using this grip I found that my right hand thumb was sitting atop the slide release and was perfectly in-line to get some nice “slide bite” as well as prevent the slide from locking open, indicating an empty magazine. I immediately had a suspicion that the engineers in Oberndorf built the pistol with the Weaver grip in mind. This suspicion would come true on the live fire range.

Heckler and Koch branded airsoft pistol. Excellent training tool.

Heckler and Koch branded airsoft pistol. Excellent training tool.

Training with the airsoft pistol allowed me to familiarize myself to the Heckler and Koch P30 at night.

Training with the airsoft pistol allowed me to familiarize myself with the Heckler and Koch P30 at night.

Unboxing a Heckler and Koch handgun always reminds you why you are paying a premium price. The finish, material, and engineering are all top notch. The test sample I was sent featured a lock, and several different side panels and rear back straps to customize the grip. The frame was scalloped and the polymer grip was textured. The controls were ambidextrous and all manipulations of the handgun could be done with either hand or even one handed should the need arise. After making sure the pistol was clear, the pistol was disassembled. The barrel of the handgun had a light coating of oil that I wanted to clean with a dry patch. After reassembly I experimented with several of the side panels and backstraps, and found a configuration that allowed me a solid grip on the pistol and kept my right hand thumb as far away from the slide release as possible.

The Heckler and Koch P30 comes with different size backstraps and side panels to allow the end user to customize to grip surface of the pistol as he or she sees fit.

The Heckler and Koch P30 comes with different size backstraps and side panels that allow an end user to customize the grip surface of the pistol as he or she sees fit.

Shooting Impressions

Due to the ammo shortage I was only able to purchase 300 rounds of ammunition for testing. Ammunition used for testing was a mix of Fiocchi and PMC. Testing was done at Calibers Shooting Range in Albuquerque New Mexico. The pistol cycled the ammunition flawlessly, and the recoil reduction guide rod made recoil a lot more manageable. Because I was shooting a .40 S&W I was not able to get back on target as quickly as if I had been shooting a 9mm. My suspicion about my grip negatively interacting with the slide release proved true. On several occasion the slide failed to lock because my thumbs were accidentally making contact with the slide release. I also found that I was getting slide bite on my right hand. Switching to a Weaver style grip these problems went away immediately. For the rest of testing I maintained a Weaver grip and was able to maintain very good groups. Heckler and Koch have done absolutely nothing to enhance the trigger on the HK P30. The trigger was soft and mushy. Unlike a striker fired handgun, there was no telling sign that the trigger was reset. It took many rounds to instinctively know where the trigger was reset in order to find an efficient degree of trigger manipulation. As long as I followed the fundamentals…sight picture, sight alignment, trigger control and follow through,  I was able to maintain an excellent degree of accuracy. After several hundred rounds no malfunctions were experienced. As expected the Heckler and Koch P30 performed flawlessly.

Heckler and Koch and Glock 22. Both pistols are chambered in .40 S&W. Testing was done at Calibers Shooting range in Albuquerque New Mexico.

Heckler and Koch and Glock 22. Both pistols are chambered in .40 S&W. The Heckler and Koch P30 was very comfortable to shoot one handed. The Heckler and Koch P30 compliments all contemporary flashlight/low light techniques.

5 shot groups at 7 yards. The guns are capable of a lot better accuracy! The Heckler and Koch group is on the left. The Glock group is on the right.

5 shot groups at 7 yards. The guns are capable of a lot better accuracy! The Heckler and Koch group is on the left. The Glock group is on the right. *You can click on any of the pictures for a higher resolution photo.

After test firing, the pistol was stripped and cleaned. Cleaning was done with M-Pro 7, and there was minimal carbon fouling. Heckler and Koch handguns are made to handle a lot of hard use. Heckler and Koch, upon request, was kind enough to provide some rough technical data concerning maintenance schedules and parts replacement. Heckler and Koch advises replacing the following parts around the 30,000 round mark. Please note that these parts can last up to 60-70,000 rounds with no problems.

  • Firing pin Spring
  • Firing Pin Block Spring
  • Hammer Strut Spring
  • Recoil Spring
  • Trigger Return Spring
  • Flat Spring
  • Extractor Spring

Some things that may degrade these parts faster is firing +P ammunition, lack of lubrication and how much the firearm is fired in a certain time period.

The slide serrations on the slide help with cycling the slide as well as conducting a press check.

The slide serrations on the slide help with cycling the slide as well as conducting a press check.
The front slide serrations help when conducting a "HSLD" press check.

The front slide serrations help when conducting a “HSLD” press check.


An Isosceles/Modern grip may negatively interface with the slide release.

An Isosceles/Modern grip may negatively interface with the slide release.

I had no problems when utilizing a Weaver grip.

Standard Weaver Grip.

Final Thoughts

The Heckler and Koch P30 is an incredible handgun. Having not shot a Keckler and Koch firearm in 7 years I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed testing and shooting the pistol. Getting to review firearms, as well as being an armorer I see a lot of weapons that are poorly made and will fail during critical times. The Heckler and Koch P30, frankly, was a breath of fresh air. The engineering, finish, and attention to detail are of the highest caliber and are a true testament to Heckler and Koch’s engineers as well as to their quality control. I am seriously considering the Heckler and Koch P30 as a concealed carry gun. I found that I had no problems concealing the pistol and I liked the safety associated with being able to carry the gun loaded with the hammer down. I feel that this is safer than a striker fired pistol. My one gripe against Heckler and Koch is that they don’t offer Armorer classes for civilians. Glock has been offering civilian armorers classes for several years. Smith and Wesson recently started offering civilian classes for the M&P line. I think these classes appeal to younger shooters and independent minded Americans who like to customize and rebuild their own weapons. If Heckler and Koch offered civilian armorer classes I would seriously consider changing my shooting style back to a Weaver grip, relegating my custom striker fired pistols to the safe and making a Heckler and Koch P30 my primary pistol. The Heckler and Koch P30 is the Ulfberht of modern times.

Do you have any experience with the Heckler and Koch P30? Tips, questions, sarcasm, gripes and jokes are welcome in the comments below!

Load that bipod…stay safe!

Fit for both the mantle and battlefield.

Fit for both the mantle and battlefield.



Thomas Gomez

Thomas Gomez currently resides in the mountains of central New Mexico. He has an M.B.A, an Ar-15/M16/M4 armorer certification from Specialized Armament Warehouse as well as a Glock armorer certification. Aside from writing for The Firearm Blog he works as a Clinical Analyst for a large Hospital. He spends his free time farming, ranching, hiking, fly-fishing and hunting in the beautiful forests and prairies of New Mexico. He can be reached at


  • verymiddleeuropean

    H&K. It takes only decade to save up for one. And then you are too old to join Special Forces anyway.

    • Leonard

      In my local gun-store (in Germany, note), the H&K P8 (USP Variant used by the Bundeswehr) costs the same as a Glock 17, 700€. Not much, I think.

      • Thomas Gomez

        Thanks for the information. I had heard that Glocks and HK’s were similarly priced. Nice to have a confirmation on that. Hope this finds you well!

        • Leonard

          Thanks Thomas. As far as handgun prices are concerned, at least here in Germany SIG is far more expensive than H&K. My father owns a SIG 226 X-FIVE and it costed far more than anything H&K has on offer, over 2100€ while H&K’s most expensive pistol (the Mark 23) costs about 1600€.

          I am not a H&K fanboy in the classic sense (when buying my first pistol, I chose the Glock 17 instead of the P8 because it simply felt better in my hand) but I disagree with the notion that everything H&K make is overpriced. Yes, it is often expensive, but also quite a high quality they offer.

          • Karina

            The X-Five’s price does not surprise me, it’s a very high quality version of the P226, oriented towards competition shooting. A fairer comparison would have been a more standard P226 or perhaps their latest P250 against the G17 or the P8.

            Speaking of, is it true that the P8 is largely the same as an USP except it simply has a rifled barrel instead of polygonal?

          • Leonard

            The P8 main differences from the USP are:
            -rifled barrel as you said
            -specific placement of the safety lever-positions (Fire, Safe, Uncock)

            -translucent magazines

            Source: de/

            Btw. since you asked, a basic P226 costs 1700€ at the same shop I got the other two prices from (note that this shop is generally a bit more expensive, especially so compared to online-only shops)

    • AZRon

      Yeah, I know, huh? Those Gol Dang H&K meanies!

      Back when the USP was introduced, I waited two years for it to be chambered in .45 ACP. When it finally was (1995?) , it cost me nearly a third of my weeks paycheck. ($505.00 USD brand new, at retail) I still have it after ~20,000 rounds, and it’s still 100% reliable despite the fact that it has neither been modified, nor sent in for service.

      Ba$tards! How dare they charge money for a quality product! Occupy, Occupy!

      My advice:

      1. Check a few other manufacturers. Good stuff insn’t cheap. But for you, I’d suggest Hi-Point or Glock. You can take it to the range in your Yugo.
      2. Consider higher education. It might afford you the benefit of a job with a higher pay scale. (decade?)
      3. Stick to the tireless “hates/sucks” nonsense. It seems to suit you.
      4. Special forces supply their elite with firearms. Wanna-be mall ninjas, not so much.

      • Michael Pham

        Ah elitism. Remember everybody, its everywhere. There’s always somebody who thinks they’re better than you because of where they came from, or who they’re related to, or, in this case, what they have.

        I normally get tired of the HK “You suck and we hate you” shtick but its people like you who revitalize it for all of us.

        • AZRon

          Your accusation of elitism is unfounded. I drive a 1998 Chevy, wear 20 year-old clothes, was born in a crappy neighborhood, currently live in a crappier neighborhood, and shoot several different brands of firearms; long, short, and smooth bore. (the key part of the equation is that I ACTUALLY shoot)

          The OP’s statement was ignorant, and likely based on 0% experience, and an overabundance of internet time as opposed to trigger time. (as I suspect yours is)

          I use what I use because it actually works for me. If I required a $2500.00 1911, a Porsche, or an Armani suit I’d buy it. But they won’t do a damn thing that my current accoutrements won’t, except quickly diminish my bank account for no specific reason. Where are the guys calling out the other high-end manufacturers on their prices? NOWHERE! It’s ALWAYS H&K. It’s pathetic. (sucks/hates you…ha ha ha, look how many crackers I can eat)

          Bring your Les Baer over at your leisure, and we’ll compare targets,

          A smarta$$ that has grown weary of internet “experts”, but NEVER an elitist.

          P.S. pi$$-off.

          • iksnilol

            This is why I like being a CZ guy. Quality that isn’t cheap nor expensive enough to get people to complain that you are cheap/elitist.

            PS: Yugos are decent cars. Not good but decent.

          • Hey guys lets keep it civil. You guys are better than that.

          • Thomas Gomez

            I second that.

          • I look at it this way. If you can afford a $4500 pistol good for you you’ve done well in life to be able to afford it. Am I jealous? Not in the least more power to you. If you like expensive guns fine it doesn’t make you an elitist unless you believe all other guns are crap and you poor guys have to settle.
            Why H&K catches so much hell is beyond me. They make a quality product at a reasonable price. They really don’t cost any more than a 1911 such as Sig etc. Nobody gets upset at those prices and they are the SAME.
            I want to hear about the experiences you guys have had with them not they cost to much and all the other ingrained Internet opinions/rumors.

          • Karina

            H&K catches so much hell because of the aggressive publicity and reputation. The entire “Special Forces” shtick dates back to that one SAS operation where it was very apparent they used the MP5. When the MP5 became the public flag-bearing product of the Oberndorf brand, they capitalized on it. “The Special Forces use it, it is the best” mentality; no different from the popularity of the AR-15 because the US military uses the platform; it is not unfounded claims. Of course the best want the best gear.

            Where the unfounded claims lie are in the fans much more than the detractors. Like all things popular, thanks to ubiquity in the media, from Tom Clancy’s books to nearly every video-game featuring guns ever since the 1990s, you have enthusiastic “fanboys” which ruin and alter the truth. Elitism is born out not out of excessively liking a product, but shunning all others and those not agreeing with you; this is true of so many things, especially online.

            Make no mistake, I am as much of a self-admitted “Koch-sucker” as it gets (I’ll thank a certain weapons imageboard for the nickname; I consider it affectionate more than anything now). But deriding brands with battle-proven efficiency just because they aren’t H&K is as childish as deriding H&K for their supposed large price margins or over-priced products. H&K products are generally nothing short of amazing. But guess what? So are Glocks, so are SIGs, so are S&Ws, and I could go on. I’m not even trying to favor one brand or another.
            Ultimately, the only thing that is absolute is this: “Shoot what you shoot best, the best gun is yours.” To add a personal note, it is the reason I love firearms. All firearms.

          • Thomas Gomez

            Cheers amigo!

      • john huscio

        Once you get past the $500 mark, most pistols perform pretty much evenly…..a $500 glock matches a $800 HK in pretty much every category other than price and perhaps ergonomics……glock triggers (along with those of several other guns) areare better out of the box too.

        • Kyle

          When it boils down to it, almost all the current pistols on the market are short recoil, magazine fed, 15-18 round pistols. I’m personally a Steyr person because I like them a lot. They shoot great, they shoot flat, and if they came in 10mm I’d consider them to be perfect. On the downside the M series has a lawyer lock, and mags are expensive, but every gun has it’s downsides and none are perfect.

      • Thomas Gomez

        “Occupy, Occupy!” Thanks for the comment AZRon. 20,000 rounds and still 100% reliable. Amazing engineering. Hope this finds you well!

    • 2wheels

      It must be a law somewhere that you can’t have an HK thread without people whining about how much they cost.

      • Thomas Gomez

        I totally agree. I love the 1911 platform but no one complains about the price of that platform. Thanks for the comment. Hope this finds you well!

        • Karina

          WHAT? What do you mean “nobody complains about the price of that platform”? It’s a common gripe for 1911 detractors to sarcasm about how “you can spend 500 dollars for a 1911, but you have to spend 1000+ for a dependable/reliable/actually working 1911”, or variants thereof the gripe.

          If there is ANYTHING that is as much criticized as an HK for its price, it’s a 1911 (of good quality).

    • Cymond

      If people think HK pistols are expensive, I can’t imagine what they think about quality rifles, especially with optics.

      • Thomas Gomez

        Good point.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Thanks for the comment! Hope this finds you well!

  • 5

    My experience with HK pistols suggests you’re not getting much more value for the price paid. Quality 1911’s are in the same price range.

    • MikieK

      HK is the only manufacture that engineers their barrels to fire to with obstructions in the barrels. You think a $900 1911 can fire 91,322 rounds, with only failure due to ammo? ( My P30 fires 2″ groups at 25M off a rest, that is what 2K 1911s promise, every p30 fires this good or better.

      • Chance

        You beat me to mentioning Todd Green. Amazing pistol, whoever and however it was tested.

      • 5

        I starting to believe the motto for HK fanboys is, “If you don’t like HK you suck and we hate you.”

        • MikieK

          No I could care less what you carry in your holster, unless you are a LEO. Justifying why I like HK is no way telling you that you suck or any hate you. You are an American and in my eyes makes you a brother. Sorry if I came across as abrasive, just really happy with my HKs and have turned many of my friends into “HK fanboys!” ha ha

      • Thomas Gomez

        I came across that in my research. I was a bit hesitant to write about the barrels being able to fire through an obstruction. Such instance may cause the slide to lock behind a potential bulge in the barrel.

        Thanks for the comment! Hope this finds you well!

        • MikieK

          Thomas, I can’t remember exactly where I read about the bulge barrel on the P30 I think it was MSW blog; HK had tested the USP, in every instance it continued to function. Also you can replace the slide release with a P2000, for a P30S, or do some garage notification. I flat filed it down, checkered, cold blued, then painted the slide release on the left side. I have not had an issue with unintentionally activating the slide release since the modification.

          • Thomas Gomez

            Awesome information. Thank you.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Hello 5
      Quality 1911 for around $1000? What brands do you recommend?
      Hope this finds you well!

      • 5

        I don’t recommend brands anymore. Too many friends having buyer’s regret based on my opinion. I do recommend going to a facility that has “try” guns before buying anything. I’m not a fan of 1911s but if I’m shelling out 1k or better, it’s not going to have HK on the side.

    • Anon

      Apples and oranges, dude.

      • 5

        Only at the TFB does anyone give a crap about my opinion. Plus I’m a dude and a brother! Winning an argument on the internet is like winning at the Special Olympics. Enjoy your HKool-aid.

        • Anon

          No Hk fan here. Just saying comparing a modern Hk pistol to a 1911 is just because they’d be in the same price range is… interesting. Peace.

        • TenD

          Irony sinking in in 3…2…1..

          • 5

            Your winning

          • TenD

            Simply pointing out that you ‘don’t recommend brands to anyone,’ yet contradict yourself by specifically not recommending H&K’s. You mention your disdain for internet arguments, but as far as I can tell from your OP, that’s exactly what you were looking for.

  • Jeff

    I enjoyed shooting the P30 (German Customs version chambered in 9mm) much more than the USCBP LEM P2000 in .40. I love the Bundeswehr P8 though – such a sweet shooting pistol. Too bad we can’t get that exact version in the US. Oh well, I’ll stick to my SIGs. 🙂

    • MclarenF1Forever

      Cool, now I just need to wait for the Germans to switch to a new hand gun and I can get a P30 or P8. They are expensive for what they are, polymer framed hand guns, where everybody else manages to sell them for less than $600. The only way I’d buy them is if they are surplused/superceded LE/MIL guns.

      I got an older recently imported/surplused H&K P9S, more as a historical/interest piece than a shooter.

  • 2wheels

    I’ve got one similar to the one reviewed, except mine has the not so awesome painted on “glow in the dark” sights rather than true tritium night sights. Replacing those is on my to do list.

    The trigger could be better, but overall it’s an excellent gun I’d recommend to anyone willing to pay a little extra for a polymer handgun. Most people who handle mine are impressed by how good the grip feels in their hands. As for cost… They’re actually not that expensive if you can find them used, I bought mine used and while it was still more expensive than your run of the mill Glock/M&P/XD I’m definitely glad I spent the extra cash.

    I too occasionally have trouble with the slide stop lever, primarily because as a mostly 1911 shooter I tend to keep my thumbs pretty high. I prefer HKs decocker setup over just about every other DA/SA decocker I’ve tried. Somewhere down the line I’d like to pick up an HK45 to keep my P30 company.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Thanks for the comment 2wheels. Larry Vickers has written several times about the glow in the dark night sights…they drive him nuts. Hope this finds you well!

  • RickH

    I’ve never been that crazy about H&K handguns, I admire them but never really warmed up to them. The first one I ever shot was the P9 “squirt gun” back in the day. A friend of mine bought a P13 when they were first introduced and still has it. He has a huge amount of rounds through it, and it still runs like clockwork.

  • avconsumer2

    Got to put a few downrange with a V2 (variant with a double action-like trigger). Sadly, I would have preferred the V3. Up against a DA/SA P226, it was the poor cousin. I imagine the V3 would have given it quite the run for it’s money though.

  • Very nice review! I love the p30 pistol, especially the very comfortable grip (that you can of course configure to your liking).

    • Thomas Gomez

      Alex! Thanks for the feedback amigo…! I was awaiting your response since you are TFB’s Heckler and Koch guru! Cheers!

  • Andrius Juozapaitis

    I shot my friend’s 9mm USP compact a bit. Was very disappointed with the trigger. Very long, soft, hard to tell when it breaks. Enjoyed MP much more.

  • insertjjs

    As a left hand shooter, I bought a P30S V3 in 40cal because I wanted a pistol with ambidextrous controls. Slide release, mag release and safety all mirrored on the right side of the gun. The grip is fantastic and I have not had a single failure of any type with that gun.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Awesome…what kind of holster device are you using? Hope this finds you well!

      • insertjjs

        I have a Blackhawk Serpa CQB Holster. It was one of the only ones that I could find for left hand carry. But I mainly carried it while hunting.

    • salty_pickles

      Being left handed myself, I bought the P30 as my first firearm for the exact same reasons you did for ambidextrous controls. I held others (Sig, S&W, Springfield) but the ambidextrous controls on HK were a better fit. This prompted me to then get the HK45C which resembles in size and shape the P30 allowing me to use the Safariland ALS and Minotaur MTAC interchangeably.

  • Philip

    I had the same slide release problem with my XDM. Fortunately, Springer Precision makes a low-profile aftermarket slide release that alleviates this problem. Maybe there’s something similar out there for the P30?

    • Thomas Gomez

      Sounds like you might have a good idea for an aftermarket part! Hope this finds you well!

  • Alright, whether you like HK products or not we can probably all agree that they are indisputably the best at one thing: starting flame wars!

    • Thomas Gomez


    • FALster

      While the non-fans are consistent on bashing the higher prices, one can’t but help notice another consistency – they’re devoid of reliability complaints.

  • Mike Knox

    I’m aware how praised the new H&K P series pistols are but I still prefer the older USPs and I’m starting to warm up to the FN FNP series. But non the less, I’m always sticking to my .357SIG P226..

    • Thomas Gomez

      Awesome caliber! Awesome guns! Did your P226 work reliably when you bought it? Any break in period? Hope this finds you well!

      • Mike Knox

        Worked smoothly out of the case as expected. I went through 5~6,000 .40 S&W rounds in the first month and only malfunctions were around a dozen faulty rounds. Switched to .357 Sig another thousand rounds later,

        I’m fond of anything German and Swiss like Mercedes-Benz and Victorinox, so it was an obvious choice as a replacement after finding a Mk23 too bulky

  • TJ

    Thomas, what’s your impression of the M&P pistol. You framed it again the HK in your first picture.

    • Thomas Gomez

      I really like the M&P platform. I installed the APEX sear to enhance the trigger. I need to do a bit o’s stippling in the near future.I have about 1000 rounds through the pistol and the only malfunctions have been ammo related…generally bad primers. I am aching to build another Glock. My next build will probably be a custom Gen III Glock 17.

      Thanks for comment! Hope this finds you well!

  • Vorpalis

    I have a P30 V2 with the LEM trigger and I can both feel and hear the trigger reset, so the reviewer’s experience with vague trigger reset might be caused by the V3 trigger internals. My HK45 came with the DA/SA trigger, and when I got my P30 I preferred its LEM trigger so much that I ordered the parts to convert my HK45 to the LEM trigger. Never looked back, either.

    I’ve never had problems with the slide release, even with an isosceles stance. The problem the reviewer had might be overcome with modifying his grip.

    To me, the way these pistols fit my hand, how well thought-out the controls are, and the reliability made them worth the cost. To each his own, though.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Hello Vorpalis. Thanks for the comments. I have heard the LEM trigger is a bit more crisp. In regards to the iso grip…I could not get that grip to work very well. If I wasn’t accidentally hitting the controls my hand was getting sliced up. Thanks for sharing your experience. Hope this finds you well!

  • Thomas, thanks for the enlightening review! I’ve been eying a P30 in 9x19mm for a while. Still torn between that and the HK45, though.

    Also, it’s nice to see I’m not the only shooter left on earth that actually uses a Weaver grip in this day and age!

    • Thomas Gomez

      Schwamenius! If you are Weaver guy you are going to the love the P30 or the HK45! 45 is getting expensive to shoot these days. Can’t go wrong with either pistol. Thanks for the comment! Hope this finds you well!

  • agent_orange

    I have a little over 5,800 rounds through my 9mm P30 at present date. Not a single jam or hiccup so far – overall operation has been 100% flawless as I’ve come to expect from HK. My USP’s have been equally reliable, and some have even higher round counts, but they don’t feel as nice in the hand as the P30 does. HK haters love to whine and whine incessantly about HK’s price, but they fail to realize HK builds combat pistols – not safe queens or range toys. If you want a nice trigger, get a 1911. But if you want a combat oriented firearm that will take a beating and last the duration of your life get an HK. There’s a rather tenacious tendency in the firearms community to denigrate anything that they can’t immediately afford. If you can’t afford it, don’t knock it. There’s no shame in being unable to afford something. I’m just sick of reading all the unhelpful whining – most of it without any real basis in facts or actual significant time spent behind the platform (one or two magazines doesn’t really count that much for real experience. Lets hear your whining / criticisms when you’ve dumped 1000+ rounds down range or actually used the thing in combat / self defense / etc.) Price is price is price – in other words, it doesn’t particularly matter on the face value and in inert form. It’s only through hard use that you will determine the actual utility and value of your tools to you as the end user. And by that point, if it has held up good and strong and has taken a beating and keeps on ticking, you will have spent considerably less time whining about the price than you will have been smiling about how much fun and solid use you’ve had with it.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Thanks for sharing your experience with HK agent orange. Hope this finds you well!

  • Haunted Puppeteer

    I can definitely relate to the childhood HK fantasies. Though I was a wee 8 years old when Rainbow Six came out, I played it on the N64, and I distinctly remember the nigh-mythical way the manual described the HK MP5. I also remember feeling rather miffed that such a good game like Goldeneye had all fake names for the guns – and really crappy models for said guns. I mean, really. Klobb? PP7?

    I digress. My first firearm was, in fact, an HK P30. I’m a college student and I work part time as a lab assistant, so it took me a good few months to save up for it.

    My particular example is of the 9mm variety, and started its life as a V2 (LEM, heavy). I did not have it a week before I converted it to a V1 (LEM, light) (the TRS and FPBS replaced with their lighter counterparts). It serves as my carry pistol – no mean feat considering my 5′ 11″, 125lb frame. Overall, I’m not disappointed in the slightest. I haven’t and wouldn’t even be able to afford to fire it as much as, say, Todd Green (though my god I’d love to) – but I haven’t encountered any problems, and I don’t expect to. It’s not some mythical teutonic weapon that functions as a dowser’s wand, pointing where the bullet needs to go. It’s a working gun, as much as any other. Frankly, if the Glock 19 were more comfortable (to me), and if it weren’t for the fact I’m left handed, I’d probably have a Glock instead. But the details count for a lot, and the HK P30 just turned out to be a better fit for me in quite a literal sense.

    • st4

      I hear ya. I own only two Hk’s for similar fantasy/nostalgia value – a Mark 23 and a VP70. But for packing purposes, it’s been a good ‘ol Glock 17 for me.

    • Thomas Gomez

      That is really neat your first pistol is a HK P30. You sound like my brother…his first pistol was a HK USP compact. Did you replace replace the TRS and FPBS yourself?

      Hope this finds you well! Good luck with your studies.

      • Haunted Puppeteer

        I did indeed. The TRS was a right pain in the tookus until I got the right (very small) pair of needlenose pliers. Then it was relatively easy.

    • verymiddleeuropean

      Well, I must confess, I also have thing for HK – but in my case its the classic roller locked G-3 and its derivative MP-5. That particular fascination was born, of course, out of watching first Die Hard on VHS. I was simply in awe of the Gruber crew and wide variety of their teutonic toys. So, I do not consider myself a bona fide HK Hater. Contemporary line of their product just doesnt catch my interest that much, though I appreciate engineering and quality. These of course, must come with the price. It could be justified, if you are avid collector of HK items or well funded professional, but it, in my opinion, USP offspring just does not deliver that much more for average citizen (be it for IDPA competition, or carry), over other popular models. In Poland P-30 v3 indeed costs almost as much as 2 glocks ( equivalent of ~1000 euro vs about 550 eu), so I`ll just stick with my boring austrian “Number 17 brick”. To each his own, though.

  • Victor Yarter

    I was given a H&K P30 V3 for Christmas in 2010, and I have to say, its the best present I have ever received… Its been flawless for thousands of rounds, even shooting dirty inexpensive lead reloads. It is super accurate, comfortable, and 100% reliable, and a pistol I’d trust my life with any time, any place. Sadly it’s not approved for duty carry and I used a Glock 22 for a long time, and recently I picked up a S&W M&P .40 because it feels and handles more like the H&K, but between the three pistols, I’ll take the H&K any day.

  • Pugilist

    I have had my HKP30 for about 6 years now, not 100% sure as to which version I have but it looks the same as the one test minus the Tru -Dot sights, which I would like to have. I know that just because it looks the same doesn’t mean its the same version thought. Anyway, the P30 is the only hand gun I have bought so far and there for I am not experienced in many other handguns. But I have not had any problems at all with mine at the range, I don’t know how many rounds i have shot through it but I know its probably in the thousands by now. I have even shot over 600 rounds in a weekend at a defensive carry class and watched and waited as others had jams or other malfunctions. How ever one thing I have noticed and it may be operator error,(even though friends of done the same) is that every once in awhile when I am changing out a mag in a quick reload as soon as I slam the fresh magazine in the slide will slam shut. I am not sure if that is intended or not, especially since it doesn’t do it all the time, I am sure some one on here may know the answer? Also, I dont use the weaver stance and I have never had problems with my thumbs stopping the slide or magazine, i don’t use gloves though. Thanks.

  • dragonheart

    After glowing reviews I purchased a P30L-V3 and I have to say the grip is the best of any polymer handgun I have ever held. The gun functions flawlessly, but in today’s market thats nothing exceptional and every gun I have meets that criteria. However, your review glazed over the trigger and reset, which is absolute crap! The initial DA trigger pull is long and heavy, which I can handle, and the SA is around 5 pounds, but the reset is about 3/8″ or more. Shooting an IDPA course, one will have to shoot this handgun exclusively to get used to this very long reset for quick follow up shots and even then shooting with this trigger is going to cost you time. If you are used to excellent 1911 triggers and excellent triggers on a number of polymer handguns you are going to hate this trigger. I understand many P30 owners are sending in these guns out for custom trigger work to improve the function, but at a cost of $300 for a trigger job. Add that to the very high initial sales price and this is one expensive polymer gun, that won’t out run or out perform a much less expensive Glock-34. I have to say I am very disappointed with my P30 purchase and can’t believe HK has not addressed this trigger issue. When I mentioned to a fellow “Master” shooter I had placed an order in for a P30L, his comment was “nice gun, but you are going to hate the trigger”. Was he right!

    • Gene

      In my opinion, if you want a 1911 trigger, get a 1911. Boy, that sounds simple enough. The HK is intended for combat, not pistol matches. As far as accuracy, the HK is capable. The SA trigger is smooth, longer than Colt Gold Cup, but smooth. I wish people would stop comparing 1911 triggers to everything on the market.

  • David Wilson

    I love the mag release everyone seems to hate. For me, it works without a hitch. i’m a lefty, and wish more guns were ambidextrous, hear that Glock? The grip fits my hand like a glove, and it seems to point on target almost by itself. I even like the trigger. As opposed to glock, HK has full chamber support. I reload, so I feel safer with it than I do Glock, M&P, and other pistols that don’t have full support. HK’s stock sights are hard to beat. Where I hate to keep comparing to Glock, their stock sights are lousy. I own a Glock, maybe that’s why I’m comparing.

  • Gene

    Update: I simply can’t understand the slide bite problem. I guess everyone’s hands are different, but I have large hands and have fired over 1,000 rounds without a hiccup, or cut hands.

    I use the Isosceles grip and have no problems with the slide release either. Maybe a gloved hand makes a difference?

    Every time I shoot this gun, I like it even better than my last shooting session. It may be because it’s getting broken in now. Did I say I love the P30 40 S&W? Balance, self pointing (for me), very comfortable grip, quality components, keen looks, accuracy. I can’t find a flaw except in the price tag. That goes with quality though. You get what you pay for.

    It shoots LSWC without a single leading problem. I think that came from Glock saying not to shoot lead bullets. It’s my understanding some people were shooting soft lead, which will definitely cause leading. Hard lead with good lube are OK in the HK polygonal barrel.

    Oh yeah, mine has a ambidextrous manual safety (P30S), so I can carry it cocked and locked. It’s now my EDC. My glock is getting dusty, and jealous.

  • bangsy

    Very nice review. Here’s my experience.
    I bought a 9 mm HK P30L V3 (SA/DA) about three years ago and have put about 3,200 rounds through it. At first, the gun would not reliably cycle 115 grain bullets, which stove-piped as often as every fifth round. They just didn’t have enough oomph to completely cycle the slide. Apparently this is a known issue, especially with the long slide version, and HK recommends breaking in the P30 with 124 grain NATO or equivalent. From day one mine never failed with 124 or 147 grain ammo of any kind and since round 800 also has been completely reliable with 115 grain ammo — which is good because 115 grain range ammo is usually cheaper and sometimes it’s all I can get.
    Things I like:
    * Ambidextrous controls. Shortly after buying the P30L I injured my right arm and was unable to shoot with it for about six months. After years of neglecting weak-hand drills, I got pretty good with the left, but it sure was awkward handling a 1911 and a couple of Beretta Cheetahs set up for right-hand use.
    * Accuracy. No complaints with any kind of ammo.
    * Sights. Painted glow-in-the-dark, but very visible out of the box.
    * Ergonomics. Customizable for a perfect grip. Personally, I have never had a problem with slide bite, trigger bite, accidentally hitting the slide release, etc.
    Things that took some getting used to:
    * DA trigger pull is pretty mushy and the reset is long, but I’ve always been able to feel it, and I’ve gotten used to both.
    * Bore axis is higher than some other guns I shoot regularly, notably a P7 PSP. This seems to result in a little more muzzle flip with the P30L, but I can’t say it hurts accuracy or speed in any measurable way. It just feels a little funny.
    Overall, the P30L has been a fine performer. It would be at my side if things really got bad due to its excellent accuracy, high capacity and efficient ambidextrous controls. However, it is a bit large to conceal easily. I would shoot it more but to me it’s not as fun as the P7 or several revolvers I shoot regularly or even the .22 and .380 Cheetahs (which are also phenomenally reliable).

  • Cookie

    I have owned a P30 for about 1 year. It is very well made, and obviously very combat ready. It is an excellent built .40. This opinion is from a guy that owns several Sig 220s in 45. The elite models cost more than the P30. No sticker shock for me. HK price is OK!
    The only minor glitch I have is the take up in DA is excessive compared to all
    SIGs. However – the HK is flawless in handling, loading, and accuracy. If you are in law enforcement – get a HK! It is cheaper than SIG! It will never fail you!

  • Josefius

    I recently sold my Walther P99 (good pistol but I couldn’t get used to the AS trigger). Quality and feel is outstanding. I love shooting it, and can’t wait to get to the range when I have more time.