The H&K P7 (And Why I Carry One)

Alex C.
by Alex C.

The Heckler and Koch P7 handgun was designed in the mid 1970s by Helmut Weldle and utilizes an interesting gas-delayed blowback system, whereby pressure imparted on the piston serves to delay the action. The interesting squeeze-cocking mechanism also draws the attention of many for its uniqueness and inherent safe design. We mention the P7 often on TFBTV, and we figured that it is probably time to give it a review.

Transcript …

(gunshots booming) (mechanism clicking) – [Voiceover] The Heckler & Koch P7 handgun, a gun I talk about quite a lot on TFB TV but I’ve never actually reviewed.

So I figure it’s probably time to get that out of the way.

I’ve carried it for about five years and it rides either on my person or in my laptop bag, at all times.

The only reason I’m actually making this video is because so many of you have requested it.

So let’s discuss a few merits of the P7.

As you can see here, it’s got a heel release, so you can’t accidentally bump a button and release the magazine, making it great for concealed carry.

The squeeze-cocking mechanism also releases the slide and the gun cannot be fired unless you deliberately squeeze this.

We’ll talk a little bit about that in a second.

To fully field strip the gun, use just press a button, pull the slide back, and pull it off.

Boom, it’s ready for cleaning.

The gun functions via an interesting gas-delay blowback system whereby pressure imparted on the piston serves to delay the opening of the action.

The mechanism actually draws the striker to the rear, and like I said, without squeezing it, the gun cannot be fired.

P7s also have a fluted chamber just like an MP5, which aids in extraction.

And the barrel is polygonally rifled, something that was popularized, arguably, with the Glock handguns, but HK was actually the first company to polygonally rifle barrels in small arms.

So the squeezing mechanism serves to cock the gun.

It is not a safety, but it kind of doubles as one.

There are documented instances of criminals getting the gun away from law enforcement and then being unable to fire it, not knowing how to operate it.

The guns were also expensive.

HK actually had to release this advertisement justifying why they were expensive at the time.

Polygonally rifled barrels, fluted chambers, and the complex squeeze-cocking mechanism all made for a pretty expensive firearm in the ’80s.

I’m a firm believer that a concealed-carry handgun should not be a tiny little mouse gun.

It should be big enough to fight with but small enough to conceal.

As you can see here, it fits quite nicely into a laptop bag, because of its relatively slim profile.

The profile also allows it to be carried in the small of my back relatively easily with this pancake holster.

I think it’s a Comp-Tac, although I’m not a hundred percent sure.

I bought it, like, four years ago.

So I’m a relatively thin man, I’m about 6’4″ and 170 pounds.

And as you can see I can conceal the P7 in the small of my back in this holster very well.

It doesn’t print too much, except when I bend over, ah, quite a bit, you can see a bit of a lump, but it’s not something that anybody would recognize.

I can also draw it, cock it, and get the gun into a fight very quickly if I had to.

Although, to be honest, I never had to with this firearm, and I’m very thankful for that.

So for me, it’s sized right and conceals well, though let’s see how it shoots.

(gunshots booming) The fixed barrel of the P7 lends itself to pretty good accuracy.

It points very naturally and the grip angle is quite nice.

It’s very steep, but if you shoot something like a Glock or you’re used to a Luger for some reason, you might find that the P7 actually fits you quite well.

(gunshots booming) (mechanism clicking) About once a month, I like to take the gun out with a couple boxes of ammo and just really try and practice with it, by going from low ready, going up onto a silhouette, and trying to put all eight rounds from the magazine on target.

The reason I do not draw from a holster when I’m by myself is because that’s the most likely way you’re going to injure yourself, and if you’re like me and you shoot out in the middle of nowhere, and you accidentally shot yourself, you’re going to bleed out and die.

Be very conscious of this, and if you’re going to draw from a holster, do it on a public range where it’s allowed and there’s someone trained to accommodate the worst situation.

(gunshots booming) So after five years I’ve just found that the P7 works for me.

It’s extremely reliable, it has never jammed or failed.

It fits my hand well.

It’s large enough to fight with and small enough for me to conceal.

I don’t like the idea of changing up a gun that I trust my life to every couple of months.

That just seems foolish to me.

However, if that’s something you do, then, it’s your life and you can do whatever you want.

I’m just happy that I’ve found a gun that I like, I shoot well with, and I see no reason to deviate.

Big thanks to Ventura Munitions for helping us out with the cost of ammo and a special thank you to you for watching.

We hope to see you next time.

Alex C.
Alex C.

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

More by Alex C.

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2 of 137 comments
  • Kulibin762 Kulibin762 on Jul 31, 2016

    Marvelous engineering. Great barrel length to slide ratio, great sight radius. One of the few guns that have low bore axis AND point naturally. Accurate. On the flip side:

    Disassembly is easy, assembly less so;
    Heel release makes reloading one handed not exactly drama free;
    One of the most difficult slides to rack one handed;
    Locking the slide back one handed on a full mag (clearing type 3) is an adventure in itself;
    De-cocking without making loud clanking sound is awkward. Doing it one handed is pretty much impossible;
    This thing heats up in a hurry and stays hot. An average class of 40-60 rounds per evolution all day long might get interesting.

  • RickOAA . RickOAA . on Aug 01, 2016

    Just a little too funky for me. They are exceptional pistols.