Here at Pistol-Training.com, we have a long history and love for the HK P30. I first shot one when TLG started his now-famous test. I picked up a P30 of my own a few years ago, and though it is great, I have not shot it a ton, as I cannot carry it. After a full season of shooting Action Pistol with my duty gun setup, I started to think about maybe switching to a slightly more competition-oriented gun. Most people will laugh at the idea of purposely going to a DA/SA gun for competition, but hear me out.
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My Gen5 Glocks are very accurate, but I suspected that a P30 might be more accurate. Of course, I prefer the DA/SA trigger, and the HK pistols have always shot very well for me at speed. On top of that, one of my complaints with the Glock is that the gun is very unforgiving. That’s great for “weight training”, but not for pure performance. I suspected that the P30 would be more forgiving of shooter error. So, when a new-in-box LTT P30L became available at a very good price, I decided to try it out. Mine has the lightest spring setup that LTT offers, as well as the Greyguns flat trigger and an RMR plate setup.
TLDR, the gun shoots amazingly well. About as good as any gun I have ever shot. Accurate? How about 1 inch at 25 yards, or 2.75″ at 50 yards. Those groups were shot prone, and are among the best groups I have ever fired. Offhand at 25 yards gives me 1.75″, also some of the best offhand shooting I can do.
But, DA/SA guns are just not fast, you need a single action or a striker-fired gun, right? On Cold Heat, my normal ability with my Glocks is 3 rounds. I have occasionally hit 4 times cold, but that doesn’t happen that often. The first cold run with the P30L gave me 5 hits in the black. Unfortunately, that has yet to be repeated, but still, the gun shoots very well at speed. My Cold Heat runs since that personal best have all been 4 hits, with a 5th happening just over the 2-second mark.
The target below is my first Cold Heat run (the only one that counts), plus 2 more runs. Each run was 5 shots, with the 2nd and third runs coming in under 2 secs, but the first with only 4 hits under 2 secs. It is rare for me to not miss a shot here or there, but zee German tracks and returns very well at speed.
On top of accuracy and easy shooting at speed, the gun draws fast and reloads fast. The mag well is good enough, and the slide release seems to be set up for my hands, much like my beloved Sig 229’s. How about the first-round shift with the hand-cycled round? If it happens, I can’t tell. All the shots seem to go in the same group, with any deviation looking like shooter error.
Though I’ve always liked the USP line, between the P2000 and the P30, I think HK has really knocked it out of the park. I view the P30/P30L as the duty guns, and the P2000 as a subcompact concealment gun, Border Patrol use notwithstanding.
No gun is perfect though, so where does the P30 fall short? I prefer the flat panels of the P2000 grip. Does it matter? Not that I can tell, but I still prefer a flatter side panel. The DA trigger on the HKs is very useable, with or without the Greyguns springs, but for pure trigger quality, the Sig P series is a fair bit better. HK’s DA trigger is longer, heavier, and simply doesn’t have quite the same quality that a good DA revolver does. Sig just comes closer to that ideal. Again, does it matter? I find it very easy to get hits with the P30, and missing almost seems hard to do, so maybe this is much ado about nothing.
Obviously, I’m not the first to recognize the benefits of the P30. I have a very high-end performance pistol on the way and am very curious to see how they compare. Since the “performance pistol” costs about 10 times what the P30 costs (base model prices), and about 6 times what the LTT P30 costs, it will be interesting to see how they stack up.
Until then, here is a teaser pic for next week’s post. Post below in the comments section if you recognize it (and its primary feature) and maybe the first person to get it right will get a small prize.