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H&K pistols : Are they worth the high price ?


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Are H&K pistols worth the high price ? I am asking mainly about the hammer fired ones . I looked at an H&K P30SK last week. it's the smaller hammer fired one. A bit fatter than a Glock 26. I've never had an H&K and always wondered about them. Also the magazine locking area on the magazine where it hooks up to the pistol looks very different than other pistols. Thanks in advance for any information. 

Edited by tercel89
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Yes and ... no. Yes, in that the quality and resell are typically there. No, in the fact that most of the quality far exceeds the limits a normal recreational shooter will need or even approach using. 

It's kinda like saying is a Shelby Cobra Mustang worth it over a regular  Mustang. 

Edited by Smith
  • Like 2
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There's some stiff competition at that price point these days. Everything from upscale versions of the common striker fired pistols, to other nice hammer fired guns like those from CZ or Arex. The H&K is supposed to be extremely durable and comfortable, but then again so are many competitors. 

Ideally, try to find a P30sk or some others you are interested in for rent and get some trigger time. Nothing beats experience, and in my opinion the decision whether the P30sk is worth it to you over the competition is going to come down to subjective factors like how it feels to you. 

  • Like 1
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I had a friend who is a HK nut, I don't think he owns any other brand.  I've shot some of them and particularly liked the VP9.  They have a nice fit and finish and I was able to shoot them well, but I can't say that, performance wise, they were all that much better than their competitors, and for me personally, not worth the extra cost.

Edited by JN01
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HK has never seemed worth the price to me.  I don’t have a lot of experience with them, but do have some with their DA/SA guns.  The few I’ve shot seemed to be of excellent build quality, but kinda clunky in design with lousy triggers.  A friend had a USP that I joked was an overpriced grip strength tool.  

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I went out and handled a lot of the hammer-fired H&K's that I was interested in. Mainly the P30. They all had the ambi slide-stop levers. All of them had their right sided slide-stops very loose. Most would move up and down on their own or with very little movement of the gun. I handled a used P30SK and it's right side slide-stop lever would just flop up and down. I went to an H&K forum and this seems to be a common problem that H&K says is normal. Some guys are "fixing" it with shrink wrap , some with velcro , and some with nail polish. These are only band-aids and there is no way in hell I'd spend that much money on a pistol with a floppy lever like that. Dont mind me ranting , but dang I wanted a P30 but not this bad. 

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I am not sure if you may be exaggerating a bit to make a point or justify passing, or if its simply that some real tools previously owned some of the guns mentioned. But my smallish representative sample of HK's dont do what you're claiming to have run into.

P30S, HK45CT, and USP45 Expert. The P30 has exactly zero movement on its right release. The HK45 has just under half a millimeter. And nothing on the Expert.

The right release is what comes off when removing the slide. If you dont seat it all the way, it can wobble on the shaft and result in some play.  I did see one genius on the HK forum complaining about it being "too tight" and sanded down the splines, and then complained about it being loose.  I can imagine there could be production variance that could be excessive, but in most cases I think its fair to say the problem is a person who thinks they know how to work on guns but may not be the case.

Wouldn't be too surprised by some just not pushing them on all the way just because they think its far enough or leaving it a looser will make it easier to strip. Either way, I put mine all the way on, and they dont wobble, flop, or move around.

My only complaint is they tend to make the left side (being right handed) release levers too darn long so they can get ridden, and trigger reset is long. Grays has a great short reset kit, and their factory match hammer and spring combo tend to interchange and give a basis for a very nice trigger (expect for P30). The P30 out of the box took a bit of trigger work, more than others. All worth it in the end, great running pistols. The USP Expert is a tack driver out of the box,

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I owned a couple USPs over the years one in 9mm and the other 45 ACP.They were accurate and I liked the DA/SA or cocked and locked option. I didn’t like the clunky feel they had.The 45 wouldn’t feed 200 gr swc reloads (I’ve had 3 Glock 30s that wouldn’t either).

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Totally agree on the USP ergonomics from the make it like a brick era.  The HK45 / P30 solve the grip ergo, too bad they didn’t carry that over to the Hk45C. 

Even with the short release lever swapped on the P30, Its just a but too long.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The short answer is, yes they are worth it. The long answer is also yes, depending on your needs. 

1. Ergonomics:.  In my experience the ergonomics lends itself to a quicker first shot sight acquisition.

2. Quality:  Their quality is at the top. The quality across the USP line, the P Series line, even into the striker-fire pistols is very consistent. 

3. Accuracy:  Accuracy is very consistent with different ammo (I've fired everything from range ammo to defensive ammo, w/ the same high level results).

4. Maintenance:  They are low maintenance. Some HK firearms are designed to fire hundres of rounds between cleanings.The USP test fire was 85,000 rounds w/o malfunction. (Obviously, the average shooter won't fire near this many rounds and should clean on a regular basis after shooting). 

5. Trigger:  Triggers come down to personal preference (HK triggers break-in point is around 2,000 rounds. Their triggers become significantly smoother after the break-in point). 

6. Value: HK firearms only go up in value. Recent state of affairs a side, the only other standard run pistols I've seen accrue value like an HK, is the older Colt Snake revolvers. 10/12 years ago you could find an HK P7 for around $800. Today they are in the $2k range. 

7. Engineering:  It's German engineering. What some call clunky, others called durable. HK doesn't make the most slim, smooth, compact pistol out there.  HK's compact sized pistols are comparable to most other manufacturers mid-size pistols.

8. Price:  HK products are expensive. It depends on your reason for buying (It's my personal stance that self-defense and protecting my family are the last two places I want to save money). 

Your reason for buying plays the biggest role in choosing an HK over another brand. If you're willing to buy used and are patient, you can usually find an HK between $500/$700.They are very durable, consistent, reliable firearms. Take a look at the agencies around the world that rely (not solely) on HK weapons as part of their arsenal. Israeli and U.S. Special Forces are two such agencies (if it meets their standards, that's good enough for me). HK's are not the perfect fit for every situation, that depends on your demands from the tools at your disposal. An HK pistol should definitely be one of those tools.


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The only pistols that quit working during my HCP class were HK's. It was 30 deg outside and the girl next to me had a USP.  It went bang, bang, click on the first 3 strings of fire before the instructors gave her something else. The other one jammed every couple rounds. 

After class they decided both had been excessively oiled which gummed up in the cold. They laughed about how the Keltec's and High Points ran just fine. 

I've shot a couple HK's and thought they were nice, but not that nice. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

My opinion is that what HK offers is essentially an overbuilt handgun in any given caliber that will keep working long after you've lost interest in shooting it.  More than many other brands, they are designed to have a high mean time between failures and minimal parts breakage.  The USP, P30 and HK45 designs in particular have held up to insane round counts.  

They are good "take them to war" pistols for that reason. However, for standard recreational or even competitive shooters, other platforms are more desirable for other reasons (ergonomics, size, etc.)

I've owned a fair number of HKs and sold many of them.  Some I still keep and take them out from time to time.  The USPs in particular feel rather clunky and unrefined while shooting due to their size and triggers, compared to other models like the S&W M&P, Walther PPQ/PDP, or even Glocks.   The HK VP9 and possibly the P30 series are a little more in line with modern designs but still feel a bit large for what they are.   They have all been uniformly quite accurate and dependable.

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