The HK4: H&K’s First Pistol (Four Calibers, One Gun)

Heckler and Koch made a name for themselves when they began producing rifles, but in the mid 1960s they decided to expand their product line to include pistols. The result was a caliber convertible, small handgun that could fire .380, .32, .25, and .22  cartridges by having the end user do a quick conversion.
The pistol was by no means groundbreaking, nor did it set the world on fire from a sales perspective, but it did lead to the company breaking into the lucrative pistol market.

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Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


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  • Twilight sparkle

    I’ve wanted one of these ever since I read about it in a Jane’s recognition guide I acquired years ago

  • retfed

    I remember seeing those when they first came out and thinking it was a cool idea, but the only one of those calibers that interested me was .22. (That’s still the case.)
    Are you sure that was H and K’s first pistol? I seem to remember reading about the VP70z and the P9S before the HK4. Of course, I could have read about them out of order of their introduction, or (horrors!) my memory could be playing tricks on me.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Design work on the P9 began a year before the 4, but actual production began a year after. The HK4 pistol’s mass production dates from 1968, and the P9 is from 1969. The VP70 became available in 1970, of course, hence the name.

  • Kelly Jackson

    I’d buy that today if it were purely a .380 and <$400

  • pdxbnohica

    I’m pretty sure that the designer of the HK4 was also the man who designed the Mauser HSC. You can see many design similarities. I own a late war model of the latter but have yet to acquire an HK4.

  • Michael

    You are correct: the designer is/was Alex Seidel, formerly with Mauser and designer of the HSc and one of three founders of Heckler & Koch after WWII.
    In the fifties H&K designed a .22lr that was a spitting image of a HSc, prompting Mauser to sue, resulting in H&K to abandon the project. In the sixties H&K started a new development programm, differing from the HSc and leading to the HK4. Although a lot of tje internals still have a striking resemblance…

    As to the Franc coin: HK4 were built/final assembled by Manurhin in France to comply with Allied regulations to be fielded as police and customs gun in Berlin: gums from german companies were prohibited, therefore the ‘official’ license to Manurhin, circumventing Allied Rules (with knowledge of the three western allies). The coin could be a hint o this, even if the gun is german manufactured.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Neat gun. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come since then with guns like the Glock 43 and Shield.

  • Broz

    Thanx for presenting this little ‘lost classic pistol, my friend. I used’ta see these in Gun & Ammo back ca 1964 or so and think “What a COOL idea!!! After that they seemed to disappear…I’ve NEVER seen one of these at any gun or collector’s show since I’ve been going to shows back in the late 80s…

  • gunsandrockets

    Thank you for this review. The HK4 has been of interest to me for a while. Seeing the conversion is so much better than just reading about it.

  • DIR911911 .

    looks like an ultimate prepper gun , high quality , 4 calibers . . .what’s not to like? and there’s one on gunbroker with all 4 calibers for $1300. . . too bad I’m poor

  • Dickie

    Today’s equivalent i guess would b the sig P320 with its xchange kits. I like the hk alot better and wish someone would make one like that today.

  • Dickie

    Any idea the cost about for a decent condition one?

  • CupAJoe

    How’s the trigger? Looked like you were struggling a bit with some of the da shots.