Yes, a staple gun comparison and we’re not even talking about a Glock. Shocking, we know. Mad Duo
Weapon Trivia Wednesday: The Hk P7 Tactical Staple Gun
Mike the Mook
The Heckler & Koch P7-series of pistols was a unique design developed for the German military, which wanted a semiautomatic pistol capable of being drawn and fired like a revolver without external safety mechanisms. The first version was the HK PSP (Police Self-loading Pistol), which debuted in 1979.
The P7 differs from a traditional John Browning design by making use of a fixed barrel, which aids in the P7’s accuracy. The P7 has a fluted chamber which helps the extraction of a fired case by allowing gas to flow around the cartridge and keep cases from getting stuck. The P7 series operates on a delayed blowback system; gas pressures from the fired cartridge and are diverted through a port in the barrel before the chamber to slow the rearward movement of the slide. A piston located under the barrel works in opposition to the motion of the slide until the pressure decreases with an ejected casing.
What makes the P7 most unique among handguns is its “squeeze-cocking mechanism”. A finger grooved lever sits on the entire front of the pistol’s grip. When the shooter squeezes this lever it performs two functions: if the slide is to the rear, it releases it to chamber a new round. If the pistol is loaded with a chambered round it cocks the gun and makes it ready to fire. Releasing the lever decocks the pistol. This feature lends to the pistol’s nickname: The tactical staple gun.
Heckler & Koch made a few changes in 1983 to make the P7 appeal to the US shooting public. The heel type magazine release was eliminated in favor of an ambidextrous magazine release below the trigger guard and a lanyard ring was placed on the butt of the pistol. To address complaints of the frame heating up after long sessions of firing the pistol, a heat shield was installed. This version became known as the P7M8.
The P7M13 followed, which offered a wider frame to accommodate a 13-round magazine instead of the traditional 8 rounds. In 1991, A version in 40 S&W was offered called the P7M10. A prototype in .45 ACP was built, but never made it to the production line.
On the range the P7 is noted for its accuracy and dependability. Complaints center on the pistol heating up after a box of 50 rounds, its low ammunition capacity, heavy weight for its size, and hefty price tag. We often felt the superb accuracy outweighed all the others. This was our “hit a moving 3×5 card at 50 feet all day long” pistol.
Production of these unique pistols ceased in 2008. Fans have been clamoring for HK to bring it back but alas, it will never happen because we suck and they hate us.
The P7M8 served as my primary carry gun from 2001 up until a few years ago.
I didn’t mind the weight or reduced capacity, although the heat kept me from running any tactical courses with it. I simply dropped it from our carry rotation when I realized the price tag put it in the league of a first generation Colt Single Action Army revolver. So there’s that.
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About the Author: Mike “the Mook” Searson is a veteran writer who began his career in firearms at the Camp Pendleton School for Destructive Boys at age 17. A former prize fighter and Marine Corps boxer, he has worked in the firearms industry his entire life, writing about guns and knives for numerous publications and consulting with the film industry on weapons while at the same time working as gunsmith and ballistician. Though seemingly a surly curmudgeon shy a few chromosomes at first meeting, Searson is actually far less of an asshole and at least a little smarter than most of the Mad Duo’s other minions. He is rightfully considered to be not just good company, but actually fit for polite company as well (though he has never forgotten his roots as a rifleman trained to kill people and break things, and if you look closely you’ll see his knuckles are still quite scabbed over from dragging the ground). You can learn more about him on his website or follow him on Twitter, @MikeSearson.
The Mook doing his Boondock Saints thing (and accurately, perhaps not surprisingly).
The Mook, many years ago. We think this was taken sometime during the Banana Wars.
One of my friends (the late John Noveske) LOVED the P7 and I used to always give him shit about it. I’ve had the (un)pleasant experience of duty carrying a P2000 LEM for way too many years. I told Johnny and Bill Geissle that I’m amazed at how crummy some HK pistols feel. The P2000 LEM has a trigger pull that is 10′ long, is like 30lbs and has the positive reset of a marshmallow or wet newspaper. I was surprised when I shot the P7, which feels like a Wilson Combat Supergrade in comparison, though the staple gun grip type reminds me more of one of those hand strengthening things they sell at the gun show/stores