An In Depth H&K P7 Review

Heckler & Koch’s P7 is THE pistol that belongs in a spy’s hand when telling the villain in a calm yet threatening voice, “Release her! You don’t want to find out what happens if you don’t…” *cue music*. It holds itself in a very sleek and composed classy manner. Unlike the more common polymer handguns being produced now, the steel design doesn’t have the block-like or bulky style to it at all. Every component on and within the pistol are extremely flush—leaving out all tactical style.

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Overall Appearance

The built-in cocking lever may seem to be bulky in theory, but just by looking at the appearance of the P7 I think it contributes a unique style to gun. The lever looks as if it were meant to be there as part of the pistol from the get go. The slightly textured grip is another component that contributes to the P7’s exterior minimalist and friendly design with the magazine release at the heel instead of the top—the top being where some people may find to be inconvenient. With the P7, there’s no way you could accidentally release the magazine while shooting. I mean…unless for some reason you’re giving it a viper-like death grip and the bottom of your palm somehow provides enough force to push into the release. If that happens then I don’t know, I’d think we have bigger things to worry about.

The external slide release button for the P7 is non-existent because the cocking lever serves this purpose, continuing the clean exterior design. With a pressure of roughly 12-15 pounds squeezing the lever in, the slide will follow in its release. This feature also acts as the pistol’s safety if you will—without the lever squeeze, nothing happens. To manually pull the slide back and have it remain, there’s a small notch built into the trigger guard that can be pushed inward for the slide to stay back.

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Ease of Use and Ergonomics

Despite its steel design the P7 feels extremely light in my hands with a comfortable grip. That’s definitely saying something because I have small hands and I am of smaller stature; I was expecting it to feel heavier even though it’s listed at just under 2 pounds. Once the cocking lever has been depressed it only takes about 2 pounds to keep it there, following with a smooth and light trigger pull. I found there’s quite a bit of slack (I feel more than what I’m used to with the PPQ) and it takes about a 4 ½ pound squeeze all the way through. The trigger has a serrated texture to it and is also wide, but not too wide, providing a comfortable feel. I can adjust easily and quickly with positive results if I notice too much or too little trigger finger. A downfall for the exterior features are the sights. Looking down range I find there’s not much that’s special about them; the P7 has standard rear and front sights with the 3 white dots.

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Reliability

There are no malfunctions to report on my end after shooting roughly 150 rounds through it. Shooting more than 150 rounds through a pistol whose magazines only hold 8 rounds, in addition to the frame and trigger guard heating up to high hell is not worth the burn and red marks on my fingers. But 150 rounds through it without a single malfunction or hiccup gets an A for reliability in my book!

Now, about the before mentioned heat issue… Yes this pistol is super sleek with the steel design and lightweight, but boy is the heat build up a let down! After putting just 50 rounds through, the entire trigger guard as well as the magazines get to an uncomfortable heat level. The heat emanating from the gun is an inferno, I can’t imagine going through a competition with this pistol if I couldn’t even handle 50-70 rounds at the range. However the upgraded P7M8 has a heat guard around the trigger area, so that might be something to consider.

Applicability

The P7 would be a great conceal carry weapon. Its weight and size are perfect and it would serve its purpose in being easily withdrawn from the holster. You’d have no qualms or issues finagling with a safety switch or even a malfunction because of the cocking lever. As a competition and range pistol? Definitely not competition only because of the heating factor. If I had to choose, I’d say using it as a pistol at the range to practice is bearable if you take breaks because the accuracy is phenomenal and something I cannot ignore.

Accuracy

I brought my Walther PPQ with me as comparison to this James Bond of a pistol. I am still upset about this because I shoot better with the P7 than I do with my favorite pistol! It’s ridiculous. As much of a nuisance the cocker lever can be for someone with smaller hands when changing magazines, it actually forces me to stick with the grip I initially establish when squeezing it back. I cannot adjust (a bad habit) between shots—if I do that with the P7, it de-cocks then I’d have to resqueeze 12-15 pounds all over again. Therefore, the built-in cocker actually works to a shooter’s advantage, maintaining a steady and constant grip as well as trigger pull. As you can see in the pictures below, I produced better grouping with the P7.

Ease of Disassembly

At first I thought it was going to be a pain to disassemble because it’s technically an old gun but despite this it wasn’t bad at all. It took me a couple tries to get the slide pulled back but once I had a firm grip I had no issues pushing the button at the back of the slide. All it took was a slight lift and a forward slide, then voila. I had the pistol disassembled into three pieces and took the opportunity to clean it up as well. Reassembly was just as easy: pulling the slide all the way back and it automatically slid back into place—like Lego’s!

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Favorite and Least Favorite Features

Despite having to squeeze roughly 12 pounds every time I want to cock the gun, the cocking lever is my favorite feature of the P7. It requires me to keep it depressed until the magazine is finished, resulting in phenomenally great accuracy.

My least favorite feature of the P7 would have to be the sights. In this review I’ve only mentioned it once and didn’t have much to say about it. The sights are functional but aren’t anything I can rave about.

Aftermarket Options and Availability

In 2012 the P7 was being sold used for $900, that alone I would consider expensive. The cheapest I have seen it selling now in 2016 is at about $1200 used on sites like Gunbroker. The selling price is one of the more common aspects that deters people from actually wanting to purchase it. That, and the fact that you really have to research and look hard for a P7 since they stopped producing them in 2008.

I’ve found the upgraded P7 (P7M8) selling for $2500 on Gunbroker. $2500! I’ll let that sink in… Aftermarket availability options for the P7 are extremely limited because they are expensive compared to the average 9mm pistol pricing. But I can still find holsters and magazines for the P7. H&K sells the 8 round magazines for $65 while Gunbroker sells them for close to $100 each—in this case, go with H&K’s direct site.

Specifications for H&K P7 (PSP)

Caliber: 9x19mm

Capacity: 8+1

Weight: 1.88lbs with empty magazine

Barrel: 4.13inch

Height: 5inch

Width: 1.14inch

Overall Length: 6.54inch

Sights: Steel, 3-dot white sights

Finish: Steel, Black

MSRP: Out of Production

Ratings (Out of 5 Stars)

Accuracy: *****

Ergonomics: ****

Reliability: *****

Applicability: ***

Trigger: ****

Overall: ****

Overall I’d give the P7 a four star rating. Although most of the features such as accuracy and reliability have proven to be of 5 star rating, the only purpose I could see the P7 serving is that of a concealed carry weapon. I can’t give it 5 stars due to the trigger guard becoming overheated after putting only 50 rounds through and its applicability only being for conceal carrying. BUT keep in mind, you cannot find any pistol on the market now that’s remotely similar to the P7 in style with its unique and flush design. H&K did a superior job keeping this pistol smooth and classy, providing the ultimate spy pistol.

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