Handloader|February - March 2022
Brian Pearce

Heckler & Koch GmbH (HK) officially entered the firearms and defense business in 1949. It has developed and offered many innovative guns that have proven rugged and unusually reliable. In the past 72 years, it has never issued a single recall.

This brings us to the HK P30 autoloading pistol, which features a polymer frame with a steel slide and is similar in size to the Glock 19, that company’s most popular gun. However, that is where the similarities end. While there are several variants such as the P30SK (compact) and P30L (long slide) and several others, I elected to test the standard P30 chambered in 9mm Luger, which appears to be the most popular version.

The P30 weighs 23.6 ounces without a magazine installed and 26.7 ounces with a magazine. Interestingly, the sample pistol came with 17-round steel magazines, but it is still listed on the HK website as having a 15-round capacity. Its basic design is double action and single action with an external hammer. A small decocker button is located at the rear of the slide, to the left of the hammer, which is easy to operate and unobtrusive. The safety is ambidextrous and can be engaged or removed with the hammer in the down or fully cocked positions.

The P30 also features a fully ambidextrous magazine catch/release that is located at the rear of the trigger guard. To activate it, either side can be pushed downward. Some users can use the index finger and the thumb to push it downward at the same time, which allows the pistol to remain in the hand without the need to reposition. The magazine catch/ release function departs from the more traditional push button-style found on most autoloading pistols, which has resulted in some complaints. However, with basic use and training, it is natural and easy to operate.

The P30 features a slide release on each side of the frame for left- or right-hand operation, which combined with the above ambidextrous safety and magazine catch/ release, results in a fully ambidextrous pistol. Incidentally, the slide release(s) worked positively, but they are also very easy to use to drop the slide and make a fast reload. Anyone with even modest thumb strength can easily make it work!

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine