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HK P30 Review

HK introduced the P30 series of pistols in 2006. Previously, HK had made both the Mark 23 and the HK USP series which were both hammer-fired polymer frame pistols. The HK P30 was a modernization of the HK USP series. You’ll likely know the HK P30 for its very ergonomic grip. HK was truly ahead of its time with the grip on the HK P30 and it’s still more modular than any other handgun grip in existence. Our HK P30 Review covers all the details good and bad.

HK P30 Right Rear

Role Based Off Size

HK is known for reliable, super high-quality firearms. And the HK P30 is no exception to this role. The HK P30 is a fairly large gun. Its size similar to a Glock 17 in grip length. Due to this, you definitely won’t be carrying it in a pocket or on your ankle. But it’s still concealable enough to carry inside the waistband if you would like.

This gun can function just as well as a duty gun as it can a concealed carry firearm. 

Features 

The HK P30 ships with a 15-round flush fit magazine. For years, the 15-round magazine was the only option but recently, as in 2020, the HK P30 will accept the 17-round magazines that HK redesigned for the HK VP9 2020. They’re still flush fit and they add no extra link to the firearm. Taylor Freelance and a couple of other companies do make magazine extensions for the HK P30/VP9 series. There are also some aftermarket mags from that company called S-Tec that offered 21 rounds of capacity and extended magazines. HK doesn’t have a huge aftermarket magazine extension selection like a lot of other firearms but there is enough to meet your needs.

Magwell

HK P30 Magwell Top

The magwell on the HK P30 is very lacking. It has two areas that are cut out above the sides of the magazine base plate that allow you to rip the magazine free in case you were to suffer a malfunction. You’re likely not going to suffer malfunction with this handgun unless you’re shooting crappy animal but it’s nice to have that feature but at the same time, that feature takes away along the column on the side of the grip that could make for a faster reload. I would rather see a larger magwell on the gun and have a feature that allows you to easily strip a magazine or a very rare malfunction.

Grip/Ergonomics

HK P30 Left Rear

The HK P30 grip is truly amazing. The gun has a lot of features that no other firearm on the market has except for the HK VP9 which followed the HK P30 by a couple of years. The HK P30 has removable back straps which at the time it was introduced was a completely new idea. Now removable back straps are extremely common but at the time they were not. Another unique feature of the gun that is still unique to this day is the removable side panels. 

You can access the side panels by removing the backstrap and then replace the side panels. This gives you a ton of options for making the grip fit your hand. And it makes the HK P30 truly one of the most ergonomic firearms in existence. The grip itself is based off on an Olympic target pistol grip. So this had to be scaled down to be a little more practical for a carry.

HK P30 Grip

The ergonomics are just excellent. And I really can’t say enough how well this gun will fit in the hand. My one complaint would be the finger grooves on the front of the firearm. They work great for me with my average size hands but if somebody has really small or really large hands, I could see how they could cause issues. 

Grip Tang

HK P30 Tang

The tang on the grip or the beavertail as some like to call it is very well-rounded. This gun does have a fairly high bore axis but it also has a very well-rounded tang that just makes the hand fit in that part of the grip very flexible, and you can get as high on the grip as the gun will allow you without having any discomfort in the web of your hand.

Texturing

Texturing on the HK P30 is absolutely fantastic. It’s different than say something like a CZ P-10 season super aggressive on the front strap and super aggressive on the back strap as well. It’s more similar to the texturing along say 60 to a 65 but it’s much better. The texturing extends around the grip 360 degrees and it feels like sandpaper. But not super aggressive sandpaper, a very light grit sandpaper. Maybe something in the 800 to 1200 grit range. When you feel this grip and you feel the texture and you can tell just high quality the polymer on the HK P30 series really is. 

HK P30 Front strap

The texturing is probably some of the best texturing on a struck fire firearm. I’m a big fan of the texture on the CZ P-10 C which uses a different approach for getting that great texturing. But the HK P30 might be better. This is one of those things I’ll probably never truly decide where I stand but the HK P30 is the one gun that can make me say it has a better texture than the CZ P-10 series.

General feel

The HK P30 is arguably the most high-quality polymer frame pistol on the market. It feels just exceeds anything else out there. And the polymer is noticeably higher quality feeling than say something like the HK VP9 series and definitely feels better than something like a Glock Smith and Wesson XD, CZ P-10 C, or name any of your polymer striker fire handguns on the market. Now, this gun isn’t fancy by any means but it does well exceed anything you’re going to find on the market currently. Just in terms of quality.

Slide

HK P30 Front Serrations

The slide on the HK P30 series again was ahead of its time. The featured forward cock-in serrations which was not a common feature in 2006 when it was introduced. They’re not as aggressive as I would [inaudible 00:07:08]. I will say the HK slide finish is not as slick as many others. It seems to have a little more texture on it than something like the HK VP9 series which is very slick. And again, it feels higher quality than the HK VP9 but the serrations themselves just leave a little bit to be desired. They’ll work. And if you have wet hands, they’ll still work but they lack a little bit of the aggressive bite I would like to see.

HK P30 Sights Review

HK P30 Sight Picture

Sights for the HK P30 are going to be a bit of an issue. They come standard with three-dot luminescent sights and you can also order them from the factory with three-dot night sights. Both of these sight options are somewhat mediocre and they use the same sight picture. It’s outdated and frankly, they look like they come from 2006. Now we have a lot better sight options on the market and factory guns like the Glock are coming from the factory with Ameriglo high contrast sights as well as guns like the Springfield Hellcat that also come with an awesome set aside from the factory. Heck even the Canik TP9 SF Elite comes with a great set of fiber optic sights.

HK P30 Rear Sight

So considering the price point of this gun is disappointing to see that it doesn’t come with a better set of sights. The good news is there are sufficient after-market offerings for this model. 10-8 night some sights for the HK P30, as well as Trijicon and Vickers Tactical. HK P30 uses the same sight cut as the HK VP9 and HK 45 C. So there are a decent amount of offerings. But you may not be able to find your favorite set of sights as not all aftermarket manufacturers support HK handguns.

Red Dot Options

Currently, there are no Red Dot cuts from the factory for an HK P30 series. And I’m not so sure if that’s something we’ll see on the US market anytime soon. There are a couple of companies that will custom though you’re done it won’t be cheap.

The HK has a slide that tapers down and has decent drafting along each side of the slide. So you’ll more than likely have to have an adapter plate built for the firearm unless you go with a red-dot like a Holosun 407K or 507K that is much thinner and profile. Due to this, the adapter plate normally costs more than competitors. And it might cost $300 to $400 to add a red-dot to your HK P30.

Controls

The HK P30 is a very complicated firearm when it comes to controls. And the reason I say that is there are multiple variants and these variants all have different options such as a safety that will allow you to get cocks and locked, a thumb managed decocker that will also work as a safety. A decocker on the rear of the firearm, and then the HK LEM, which is what I have, where there are no external safeties on the gun. 

Variants HK P30 Review

HK P30 V1

This is the variant I have. It’s the light LEM trigger with no safety or de-cocking features. You’ll get a consistent trigger pull each time with he HK P30 V1.

P30 V3

This is HK’s DA/SA variant. It features a decocker on the rear of the slide. It’s easiest to access with your support hand so it’s not the best design for one-handed use. But it is nice and low profile.

Other Variants

The HK P30 V1 and V3 are the only current production variants on the US Market at this time. There are other variants with safety levers and safety levers that also function as decockers. Hopefully, HK will bring more options back. You might find one on the used market.

Mag Release

HK P30 Magazine Release Right

The HK P30 magazine release is really amazing. HK is known for its paddle-style mag releases and this is no exception. The magazine release on the HK P30 is fully ambidextrous and as a right-handed shooter, I am able to find three ways that I can quickly release the magazine. One is using my trigger finger, another is using my primary hand middle finger, and the other is using my primary hand thumb to drop the magazine. All require me to slightly break the grip on the firearm but I don’t find that to be a huge issue. 

Many will say that the HK P30 style magazine release is not as fast as the more common button style releases but I find that to be false. Most of the time spent on a reload is going to be getting your new magazine up and into the gun not dropping the spent magazine. Due to this, the HK P30 is a really good system and you never have to worry about your magazine release being inadvertently pressed and unseating your magazine.

Slide stop

HK P30 Slide Stopped Locked Left

The slide stop/slide release on the HK P30 is excellent as well. It is fully ambidextrous and mirrored on each side and it sits far enough back that you can easily reach it with your primary hand thumb even if you have really small hands. This gun is just an absolutely excellent way the ergonomics all match up. And it’s also very wide. It has a wide ledge on it. So if you’re a person that likes to use your support hand thumb to drop the slide when reloading, then your support hand thumb will easily fit on a lot of the ledge of that slide release making reloads in the gun a breeze. 

HK P30 Slide Stop Locked Right

HK did an awesome job with that. Now, we’ll warn you that if you have really large hands that you’d like to ride with a high grip, the HK P30 may cause issues with inadvertently locking back the slide or the slide not locking back due to the placement of this slide stop. Now, that said, I don’t think this is going to be an issue for 99% of shooters but it could be an issue for some.

Trigger

HK P30 Trigger

Now, there are a variety of trigger options for the HK P30 series as I mentioned up in the safety section but they really break down into two categories. You have your double-action, a single-action trigger that can be carried in the double action, single action or you can carry it cocked and locked making the trigger almost like a single action only operation. And then you have the HK LEM series. 

The HK LEM series has two different weights. And I have the lighter-weight trigger in my HK P30 LEM. So we’ll start by talking about the HK LEM series. The HK LEM series trigger has a lot of very-like take-ups. And when you go through and pull that takes up, you’ll notice that the hammer goes to the rear of the firearm and lightly presses back.

Safety Factor

What this means is that when you’re reholstering the firearm in your HK P30 holster, you can put your thumb on the back of the slide of the HK P30 and that will prevent the hammer from going back. That’s also a good feature know that you ever get in a combative fight on the ground with somebody that is trying to shoot you with your own HK P30 or theirs, you can put your hand on the back of the slide and it will prevent the hammer from moving back thus preventing the firearm from going off if the trigger is pulled. There talk in about the trigger pull on the HK P30. The trigger pull itself has very light take-up and then it goes very far the rear to where you reach a wall from that role, you have a rolling break.

And then from the reset, the HK P30 resets slightly further forward. I’m going to say twice as far forward as to where the wall sits. The reset point is roughly halfway between the initial start of the trigger pull and where you reach the wall. So you’re going to have a little bit of taking before you restart the wall again and have a nice rolling break.

This is a pre-cocked hammer or partially-cocked hammer. So the way the HK P30 LEM works, is it pops the hammer most of the way. And then when you get to the final part of the wall, you have to use your strength to just overcome the last little bit of the Hammer pull. The HK P30 LEM trigger is similar to a striker fire trigger in that respect but it feels completely different. And it’s unlike any trigger that I have ever felt.

Good The Bad And The Ugly HK P30 Review

Personally, I like it, but I can see out and take some getting used to. Now, the other options in the HK series are the double action, single action offerings. The double-action triggers on the HK P30 are very heavy and springy and not exceptionally smooth. HK is not known for having exceptionally smooth triggers but they are known for having very reliable trigger systems. And the single action is similar to the double-action and that it’s not a great single-action trigger. The HK LEM is considered to be one of the better triggers for offered any HK P30. So I just keep that in mind. If you’re looking for a super smooth trigger and a double-action, single-action firearm, you’re likely going to want to look at something like a SIG P-226 or a CZ 75 series trigger.

Aftermarket

I said earlier there aren’t a ton of aftermarket options for the HK P30. The fact that the HK P30 uses VP9 magazines and sights really opens up offerings for those parts. But outside of that, you’re not going to find a lot of accessories. There are a sufficient amount of holsters to find a good holster to carry, as well as cool accessories like weights that sit on the end of the firearm and compensators. But once you get past that, there really isn’t a lot to look for. The good news is, the HK P30 doesn’t need it. The gun comes very well set up out of the box with the exception of the sights.

Maintenance

HK P30 Disassembled

Maintaining the HK P30 is a little bit different from other handguns. The HK P30 takes down using a somewhat odd method. You have to lock the magazine back to a certain point and then you’re going to need to press out the slide stop itself.

HK P30 Disassembly

I know that sounds confusing but you’ll see in the picture here how the system works. You’ll need a 10 or a punch to push the slide lock far enough out. But once you get used to it, it really is a good system. And I like the way it works. It’s not a hard firm tech part. It’s just different from what you’re used to if you’re used to something more like a Glock or a SIG.

HK P30 Slide Partially Off

Aesthetics HK P30 Review

Aesthetically, the HK P30 is an absolutely beautiful firearm for a polymer-framed gun. It has just the right amount of detail on the grip combined with the forward and rear serrations and details on the slide that it doesn’t look busy but it does look refined. It’s hard to find an equivalent to this firearm.

HK P30 Right

Most firearms tend to overdo the busyness and markings on the slide or they completely underwhelm you like a lot of the Glock offerings. The HK P30 finds you just the right balance. In my opinion, it’s an extremely proportional and aesthetically pleasing firearm.

HK P30 Shooting Review

If you read the review up to this point, you likely think that this file is going to be one of the best guns in the world based on ergonomics and all the features. And just in general the high quality of the gun. But shooting the HK P30 was a bit of a disappointment for me. The HK LEM trigger takes in a lot of getting used to. The trigger can be run great once you’re used to it but is slower than most of your standard striker fire triggers. It just takes a little more work to get an accurate hit on this gun.

Recoil

The recoil of the HK P30 is typical for a gun of its size which is also a little bit disappointed. It shoots like a super reliable handgun, but it doesn’t necessarily shoot slick. The gun is not superseded in its operation. There is a decent amount of muscle fled due to the high bore axis and heavy slide. And the gun is just a little bit disappointing from a shooting perspective. This is a yarn I want to love and I would love to carry but I can’t see myself getting this gun because I just don’t shoot it as well as other offerings. That said, it’s probably one of the safest firearms due to the LEM trigger.

The LEM trigger offers a lot of advance for somebody that doesn’t feel comfortable with a striker-fired trigger. But who doesn’t have the skill to work a double-action, single-action trigger appropriately. The trigger lies somewhere between the two in terms of ease of use. Personally, I plan on spending a lot more time with this gun just to see if I can shoot it better, as I would carry it for my emotional love of this gun but from a practical standpoint, it’s really hard to justify carrying this over all the other stretch fire options that I shoot better.


This is an opinion piece, but I always aim to eliminate bias. Look, we’ve all read them before. Gun reviews that claim to be helpful, but they’re really thinly veiled hit pieces trying to get you to buy something before you’ve even started your research. Or, even worse, a review put together by a content writer who has never even held a gun.

I’ve trained with some of the best in the business to learn various shooting styles and ideologies to better serve our customers. I’ve purchased guns of all price points, calibers, and action types to build the best products for the market. I want you to walk away knowing you have the information you need to make a sound purchasing decision.

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