The Reason Why Police Forces Love the Heckler and Koch P30
November 10, 2019 Topic: Security Region: Europe Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: GunsPistolsHeckler And KochHandgunsWeapons

The Reason Why Police Forces Love the Heckler and Koch P30

A solid weapon.

Key point: The P30 is a good choice for anyone who wants a reliable concealed carry.

In the mid-2000s, German arms manufacturer Heckler and Koch introduced a new generation of pistols designed for self-defense and law enforcement markets. The HK45 was chambered in .45 ACP while the HK30 is chambered for the more internationally common nine-millimeter caliber. The result is a pistol that is popular among European police forces for its reliability and one gaining favor in the United States, particularly among the company’s many North American fans.

In the mid-2000s, the U.S. Army took the lead on procuring a new handgun for the U.S. Armed Forces. The Joint Combat Pistol Program, or JCPP, would have replaced the M9 handgun not only within the U.S. Army but also the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and likely the Coast Guard. The HK45 started as Heckler and Koch’s entry into the JCPP and was a blending of the best features of the company’s Universal Service Pistol and P2000 handguns.

The JCPP ended without picking a replacement for the M9, and it was only in 2017 that the Army picked the Sig Sauer P320 as an all-service handgun. Meanwhile, Heckler and Koch released the HK45 to the U.S. domestic market. Following its introduction, the company released a smaller version, the P30.

The P30 pistol is a hammer-fired handgun, using the traditional hammer and firing pin operating system. The hammer is available bobbed to enable a smoother draw for concealed carry or spurred. The pistol incorporates both hammer and firing pin safeties to ensure it only fires when the trigger is pulled. A built-in de-cocker/safety allows the operator to lower the hammer without discharging the pistol.

The pistol has an overall length of 7.12 inches with a height of 5.43 inches, putting it in the same size category as the compact Glock 19. The HK30 has a barrel length of 3.85 inches. The gun is 1.37 inches wide, making it a little wider than similar pistols on the market. It weighs 26 ounces with magazine.

The P30 features a fiber-reinforced polymer frame as a weight saving measure, with the slide made from nitro-carburized steel. The barrel is cold hammer forged, which will extend the shooting life of the pistol for thousands of rounds. The pistol features three white dot sights, Picatinny rail for adding lights and aiming devices, and Heckler and Koch’s patented recoil reduction system. Paired with the moderate nine-millimeter cartridge, this makes the P30 a smooth shooting pistol with a high degree of accuracy in fast follow-up shots.

The P30 carries fifteen rounds of nine-millimeter ammunition in the magazine, and users can carry an additional round in the magazine for a grand total of sixteen. Alternately the P30 is available in .40 Smith & Wesson. While nine-millimeter is a common police caliber in Europe, .40 Smith & Wesson is more common among American law enforcement. The .40 S&W model is exactly the same in size and weight, with the only difference being a slight reduction in ammo to thirteen rounds.

Heckler and Koch put a premium on ergonomics with the HK30. The pistol is fully ambidextrous, with slide and magazine releases on both sides of the pistol. The HK30 also features interchangeable backstrap inserts and frame panels of varying sizes, allowing the user to adjust the pistol to suit smaller or larger hands.

The P30 has enjoyed considerable success in Europe as a police handgun, with law enforcement in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, and Finland all fielding the pistol. The P30 remains an excellent compact duty pistol for those that prefer hammer-fired pistols. 

Kyle Mizokami is a writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in The Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and The Daily Beast. In 2009 he co-founded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. This first appeared in July 2019.

Image: Heckler & Koch.