Umarex Heckler & Koch P30
- 3 Comments
- Last updated: 26/01/2017
Well… all I can say is, what an intro to the world of CO2 pistols! As a diehard disciple of Field Target and HFT competition shooting, I’ve tended to overlook whole sections of our sport that I knew wouldn’t advance my cause.
To dismiss CO2 power as somehow unworthy, however, is foolhardy in the extreme, and I really do stand corrected.
When it transpired that the test pistol was to be this rather impressive looking Heckler and Koch (H&K) P30, I had a sneaking suspicion I was in for a treat, and I’m pleased to say - I wasn’t disappointed.
It’s a Gas…
CO2 as a power source has real pros and cons, so let’s quickly get those out of the way. The obvious drawback with CO2 is the cost of the power capsule itself, whilst increased susceptibility to temperature change (i.e. velocity fluctuations) is a point of fact. However, whilst of concern in a 10m match rifle, it becomes less relevant when considering these ‘clone’ style pistols which are used more for rapid fire disciplines than precision plinking.
Put my tedious observations to one side and consider the advantages of CO2, and suddenly it’s no contest. Rapid fire as fast as you can pull the trigger, coupled with near as damn it, zero cocking effort, and suddenly a whole new world of airgun fun opens up!
This Hechler and Koch P30 is supposedly a near faithful reproduction of the genuine cartridge version, and I can certainly vouch for the authentic feel up close. As such, I find myself wanting to issue safety warnings as to where and when it should be brandished. On reflection, the same care and consideration obviously has to be applied with any pistol, whether overtly replica in appearance or otherwise.
First H&K Licensed Air Pistol
The P30 is made under licence by Umarex; apparently the first ever company to be legally licensed to make CO2 versions of H&K firearms - and they’ve done a splendid job. The lower part of the frame is made from a plastic compound, with precisely moulded detail; whilst the upper slide mechanism is all metalwork. The result is a finely balanced pistol, and at nearly 2lbs in weight, is a satisfying handful without being overly heavy.
Presentation is excellent, with the P30 coming in its own padded case, along with two metal 8-shot rotary magazines, and an instruction booklet.
To load a 12g CO2 capsule, first press the ambidextrous release catch, just to the base of the trigger guard, and remove the dummy mag. Twist the base of the grip towards ‘open’, then slacken off the brass retaining wheel and insert a new CO2 capsule. Re-tighten the brass wheel and twist back the base cap. At this point a small hiss may occur as the top of the capsule is gently pierced by the mechanism. (I did have one curious capsule failure at this point, as I disappeared in a cloud of CO2 as the capsule emptied itself, having done nothing knowingly different. Other than this it all worked perfectly). Now push the whole assembly back into the pistol, which is now primed
The P30 takes both BB’s or conventional pellets, but I would recommend using pellets every time. BB’s will slowly wear the barrel, are less accurate than pellets, and are far more prone to ricochets. Point made. If you really insist, then BB’s are loaded via the spring loaded carrier within the Capsule assembly Yes I did try them, and was surprised by the reasonable accuracy out to 10yds - but I’m moving swiftly on.
To access the rotary magazine area, press the thumb-bar down on the right hand side. This causes the front section of the slide to shoot forward in a satisfying manner, exposing the loading area. Take one of the 8-shot mags supplied and feed pellets into each chamber, taking care to push them snugly home. I used the Umarex flat-headed wadcutters supplied, which cycled faultlessly. Now sit the magazine in its recess and close the action. My one criticism of this pistol actually concerns that recess, which hardly holds the mag at all until the action is closed. After letting the magazine drop to the floor a few times - after opening the action between fills - I finally wised up to the precaution of cupping the hand to catch the mag. OK, I’m a CO2 novice remember!
Power levels with this pistol are irrelevant since the emphasis is on fun and relatively close range accuracy- but for the record, they produce around 300fps dependant upon pellet used, which equates to around 1.5-2ftlbs
On the range, the option of double or single action trigger pulls really makes a difference. For fast-fire action, double-action, where you pull right through, is preferable, but for more deliberate shooting, it has to be the more civilized single-action route. Set the hammer by pulling it backwards until it engages. Aim the shot, and gently pull the trigger. In this mode, the P30 trigger creeps fairly significantly. However, you can feel the sears move to a different point, and hereafter, only gentle further pressure is required. The end result is a pleasantly light let-off, which really aids accurate shooting. I managed groups of around a little over 1/2inch at 6yds, and 3/4inch at 10yds, which I reckon is darn good for a non-target model.
In short, this is an immensely enjoyable pistol to shoot, and really has addressed my pre-conceptions with regards to CO2 as a power source. Great build quality and clever design come together, making the Umarex H&K P30 an accurate performer in an exciting format.
One for the shortlist I feel.
• Model:Umarex, Heckler & Koch P30
•Power Source:12g CO2 cartridge
•Ammunition:Airgun pellets or steel BB’s
•Shot Count:On test using pellets, over 100 shots per 12g capsule
•Sights: Fixed front/adjustable rear
•Magazine Capacity:8 shot pellets or 15BBs
•Overall Length: 7inches
•Trigger: Single or double-action
•RRP:£195 approx.(complete with case, magazines, accessories etc.)
•Accessories:Umarex Flat head pellets -£7.50 per 500;Umarex steel BB’s -£7.50 per 1500;Walther steel BB’s-£9.50 per 1500;CO2 12g cartridge-90p each approx
•Contact:Armex Ltd. tel 0121 6434900