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American Handgunner March/April 2012 Digital Edition - Page 36
HK p7Mini-Upgrade T he HK “squeeze cocker” pistol was introduced in the mid-1970s and discontinued some 30 years later. Thirty years would seem to be sufficient time to decide if I wanted one, but I never quite made it. About the time I’d decide to buy one there would be a price increase, or I’d find some other item I just had to have. Time just gets away from us. Of course, once a gun is discontinued everyone wants one. The HK was never a cheap gun; currently some of the more unusual variations, such as high-caps and .40 S&W models, are trading (or at least being offered) at rather shocking prices. Fortunately a supply of “police tradeins” shows up every now and then. Few BETTERSHOOTING dave anderson this Hk p7 is an excellent example of a “used but not abused” police trade-in. US police agencies adopted the squeeze cocker. I believe those once issued to New Jersey State Police were eventually sold as surplus. More recently some German police trade-ins have been imported and offered for sale. I’ve seen them priced at around $700; if that seems like a lot for a used pistol, remember it’s about half of the last retail price on new examples. The pistol shown here is a P7. It has a heel clip magazine release latch, which was replaced by an ambidextrous lever release on the P7M8. The M8 version also had a synthetic heat shield. The design uses powder gases to keep the slide closed until pressure has dropped to a safe level. As a result it tends to get hot from extended firing, and frankly the firing doesn’t have to be terribly extended — even three or four magazines fired quickly can get the pistol so hot it is hard to handle. I suppose it’s a bit late now to talk of the design’s virtues, but they are real and worthwhile. They are famous for excellent accuracy due to the fixed barrel, a quality single-action triggerbreak, mild recoil, excellent reliability and outstanding workmanship and materials. Features any handgun would be proud to possess. Single Mod i Here’s the same Hk p7 after robar applied its superior np3+ finish. looks better than new, and it’s rust-resistant and easier to clean. ostrichskin shoulder holster made by Haugen Handgun leather — a classy rig for a classic pistol. this Hk p7 was a police trade-in. though not a lot were issued to police departments they do show up now and then. robar np3+ finish is attractive, rust-resistant, extremely durable and makes cleaning much easier and faster. Holster/ magazine carrier by Haugen Handgun leather. 36 wouldn’t modify a new in box worth it. I remember when we had to or rare variation model, but this make a decision on a new roof for the used, sound P7 is a fine choice as barn. The estimate for steel was quite a a shooter. Actually, there isn’t much to bit more than asphalt shingles, but we modify. The trigger is very good, sights were glad to pay the extra price. Instead are adequate and it functions perfectly. of having to do it again in 20 or 25 years, The one modification added is a NP3+ we’re done with it. By the time the steel finish from Robar. needs replacing the next generation can NP3+ is a truly amazing finish. It’s worry about it. attractive, rust-resistant, very tough and The outstanding Robar workmanship durable. It has the added advantage of enhances the fine HK workmanship. natural lubricity; in technical terms it’s The P7 is a compact, reliable, durable slicker than oil on plate glass. On some pistol and now it’s rust-resistant and guns (revolvers especially in my experi- easy to clean as well. Looks good, too. ence) the slickness of NP3+ improves operation and trigger pull. On the P7 the advantages I was after were rust-resistance and ease of erry Evans at Haugen Handgun Leather made cleaning. The gas operation a couple of classy rigs for the P7; an ostrichof the design can result in a skin shoulder holster with double magazine buildup of powder fouling. carrier, and a sharkskin belt scabbard with It can get so baked-on the single magazine pouch. Don’t let the stunning, fouling has to be scraped museum quality beauty fool you; these are also off; NP3+ is so slick, fouling comfortable, practical holsters. doesn’t stick. The P7 is a There’s never been a wider choice of quality very easy pistol to fieldstrip new handguns than there are today. There have — it can literally be done also been a lot of good ones discontinued over in a few seconds — then a the years. Maybe there’s a model you liked but quick wipe down with a soft (like me!) missed out on the first time around. cloth with a bit of powder Sometimes, if you keep your eyes solvent on it, is all it takes to open, you get a second chance. make the pistol look new. NP3+ is not an inexpenFor more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/ sive finish but it is absolutely product-index and click on the company name. haugen holders J * WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MARCH/APRIL2012