HK P7 Mini-Upgrade

The 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 trade-ins” shows up every now and then. Few 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 trigger-break, mild recoil, excellent reliability and outstanding workmanship and materials. Features any handgun would be proud to possess.

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