It’s not often that simply picking up a gun impresses me, however I had the chance the other night to play a little bit with an HK P30L.  That of course is the “long slide” version of the HK P30 (long being relative, as it’s only a 4.5 inch barrel on the L).  I’ve been told this is the most ergonomic 9mm on earth, and now I get it. I have never picked up a gun off the table, set it in my hand and said “hey, that’s perfect”.  Small enough that I was able to reach the DA trigger with ease, large enough to give my hand plenty of gun to hold on to, I mean really I hate to sound like an HK fanboy here but my goodness.

I haven’t been provided with any kind of promotional compensation for this; but it’s rare that I have a visceral reaction to a firearm and I felt as though that was something to be shared with my fellow gun nuts.  The only thing I’m not a huge fan of on the P30 is the paddle style mag release, however as I’ve often said on other things, that’s a training issue, not a gun issue.

Will the HK P30L become my Bianchi Cup Production gun?  Will I forsake ESP and Single Stack for Production and SSP?  I don’t know, but I do know that I’m definitely going to get more rounds through one of these, and soon.


  1. HK..because you suck and they hate you.
    /end Correia reference.

    Honestly..I had the same reaction when I picked up a P250 at the NRA expo here a couple of years ago.

  2. When I picked a P30 up at the NRA Annual Meeting in Charlotte, it just felt right in my hand. I have shorter fingers and it fit my hand nicely. Haven’t bought one yet…

  3. That thing takes ugly to a whole ‘nother level. I like how my USP45 looks, though.

  4. NMM1AFan -> to me, Glocks also look extremely ugly, but they’re also extremely functional which is why I like them 😀

    I wonder how much they cost, and how available they are in New Zealand?

  5. It’s exactly why I picked up a P30 myself. The ergonomics are terrific. I think the paddle release is far superior as well, as it you do not have to break your grip whatsoever to manipulate it, regardless of which hand it’s in.

    You’re welcome to put some rounds through mine on Tuesday if you want Caleb. 😉

  6. Why the heck do they STILL insist on using that paddle mag release? If anyone has any insight on this I’d really be curious as to the reasoning.

    At one time I was considering getting a USP45 since someone here local was selling one for a pretty reasonable price. Went down to a local indoor range that had one for rent and while it was pretty obvious the range did not clean their rental stuff frequently I enjoyed my time with it except for the paddle mag release. No matter what I did I’d either not be able to hit it all the way to disengage the magazine forcing me to adjust my grip or it would wind up pinching the tip of my finger after I released it. Needless to say I passed on the deal with the hope that they’d change to a more traditional design.

    Still, I am curious to get my hands on one since you seem to have a positive take on it magazine release aside. But, with the Kalifornia Roster thing it’s probably going to be awhile and expensive to boot since we’ve get to deal with higher pricing than most of you guys in free states do.

  7. According to some people who know some stuff about guns, the paddle mag release is actually way more awesome than the button release because it can be easily actuated with the index finger without shifting your firing grip on the gun. That is pretty hot, but it would take me some training and practice time to be able to do it under stress.

  8. I held one and it was absolutely amazing. I’ve yet to shoot one though and while I have no doubt it shoots well I refuse to spend $800 on a used one until I know.

  9. Not to bring fire and brimstone down on myself or anything, but I like the paddle release style better than the 1911 button style. It does take a few mags to get used to it, but once the epiphany hits it hits pretty hard.

    Having said that, the button is mechanically simpler. For that reason alone it may be the better trade off in a long working firearm.

  10. The paddle release consists of the lever and a spring. This is just like the button and spring in a Glock or M&P and fewer parts than, say, a SIG P22x mag release. I haven’t seen any evidence tom suggest the HK paddle is any less durable.

  11. Caleb,

    Maybe it was just the size of either the grip or the button on the USP45 I tried but I just could not get it to work well for me. I looked at some bigger pics of the P30 and I found it interesting that the paddle mag release was MUCH larger than the one on the USP45 which could make a big difference with those who had issues with the smaller one on earlier H&K pistols.


    As with all things it will take a bit of, well, training to get used to something a bit different. Not really sure to be honest which one is really the better but do remember that outside of maybe the H&K, since I do not know of any others so correct me if I’m wrong, but most other pistols do have the button release style which unless you go H&K for all your pistols could setup a bit of confusion if you switch between two different mag release styles.

    Anyway, still curious to see one in person and give it some range time before I really can say more.

  12. The nice thing is, if Caleb gives into the temptation to buy it becuase it feels good, he will be prepared to shoot his qualifiers against the Lava Men of Iraque.

  13. ToddG, I’ll have to take your word on the H&K design since I’ve never seen one. There’s at least an extra pivot point on my Walther P99 and the levers themselves are more fragile than a button. There’s also the pure compressive forces (easy} versus tension/torque in the paddle system (hard) which nod to the button style.

    The tensioned rod and captured cylinder system that make up the “button” on my M&P is about as fail proof as a mechanism could be.

    Mag changes on my P99 sure are slick though!

  14. When I first saw the HK ambidextrous (the first truly ambi mag release I had seen that wasn’t some variation on the Euro-style heel release) magazine release, i was impressed. To my mind, calling something “ambidextrous” when it’s really only “reversable” didn’t count — if you have to take it apart and put it together differently, it isn’t a true ambi design (hint, rhymes with “Beretta”).

    Having since seen the XD’s ambidextrous release (which, while I haven’t dissassembled, I am pretty sure is more complex than the HK design), I am less impressed from an ergonomics point of view — the HK/Walther style paddles look easier to accidentally release than the Springfield’s push button.

    However, I haven’t heard any horror stories about any of these three designs punching out magazines by accident, so I have to admit I would feel comfortable with a pistol that used any of them.

    I must try out the HK30 for feel — I’ve pretty much stopped paying much attention to HK pistols in general, as there are so many that fit poorly in my hands, and so many quality guns from other guys that fit well, cost less, and offer equivalent performance.

    Sort of like I stopped paying attention to post oil-crisis American designed passengers cars — why bother risking ANOTHER disappointment when I could close my eyes, throw a rock on to a lot of Japanese designed cars that were built (probably in the US to boot!) after 1985 or so, and the one that I dented would probably be at least as good as anything I could get from Detroit. . . and cheaper.

  15. The only direct experience I’ve had with paddle mag releases other than a few rounds through Todd’s HK45 was with my Walther P22. While that gun had a host of it’s own problems, I can honestly say that the paddle release was one of it’s better features; and I can echo that sentiment on the Walther PK380. Paddle releases are pretty awesome!

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