Retrospect Series Part 6 – H&K P30
The Heckler & Koch vs. Walther CP 99 conclusion
By Dennis Adler
As you may recall, Part 5 ended with what appeared to be a problem with the P30 magazine, and we had to wait for a new magazine to arrive. With the new mag in hand we will pick up where things left off earlier this month with a short recap of the end from last time.
“To recap, I shot Meisterkugeln Professional Line 7.0 gr. lead wadcutter pellets, which averaged 342 fps, a little slower than expected. [Then I shot] lighter weight 5.25 gr. H&N Sport Match Green alloy wadcutters. Beginning with a fresh CO2, the first eight shots averaged 328 fps, which makes little sense and leads me to surmise the magazine is not holding air and is losing pressure prematurely. My first shots started at 355 fps and after 16 rounds (two magazines) had dropped to 317 fps.”
To pick things up, I am going to reshoot the velocity tests with the new magazine and see what the HK P30 delivers with the Meisterkugeln and then with the H&N. The new magazine averaged 328 fps with the lead wadcutters, so even slower than the old mag. Switching to H&N, average velocity clocked an impressive 372 fps with the 5.25 gr. alloy wadcutters, so almost 20 fps faster overall than with the H&N in the old magazine. I ran the 7.0 gr. lead one more time and the average velocity clocked 323 fps, so the P30 is shooting lead pellets at the speed of steel BBs through most blowback action CO2 pistols, and alloy pellets at more impressive speeds (with the new CO2 magazine). Curious at best, but I am going to stay with the H&N for the duration of this test and pick up where I left off in the comparison to the Walther CP99.
Most of you probably do not chronograph you air pistols and are most interested in how accurate it is, not how fast BBs or pellets are traveling downrange, that’s the job for reviewers, to inform readers of how well a gun functions. The differences in velocity do not have a tremendous influence on accuracy at close distances like 21 feet unless the velocity is under 300 fps. This has been my experience, however, with pellet pistols like the HK P30, one has certain expectations beyond 21 feet, and accuracy does begin to suffer with lower velocity CO2 pistols. The P30 pushing alloy wadcutters downrange at 370 fps is more than capable. Even lead wadcutters in the 320 fps range will do well enough. But in this comparison between the older CP99 and more recent P30, the accuracy will be determined with alloy wadcutters.
What the CP99 did last time
With the H&N alloy wadcutters, the CP99 had averaged 382 fps with a high of 401 fps and three out of eight at 396 fps, and a low of 378 fps, so faster than the HK P30 on alloy even on the low end. As for the CP99, my10-meter test with the H&N was 1.125 inches, about average for me with that gun at that range. Now, it comes down to the P30 at 10 meters, and having altered the gun with the addition of white dot sights, (which I added during the first comparison earlier this month), sighting is now equal between the two guns.
At 10 meters the H&N punched eight shots into 1.5 inches. Again, not as good as the CP99, which appears to be the clear winner in the pellet-firing challenge.
But remember, the HK P30 also shoots BBs. And to round this out, I am going to run one last test with the new magazine and Umarex .177 caliber steel BBs. To prevent any chance of magazine jamming caused by BBs being driven down into the loading port (because of the light follower spring), I am only going to load eight, same as the pellet magazine. Average velocity with the steel round balls clocked 410 fps but accuracy with BBs at 10 meters is not great. My best eight shots spread across the black at 1.875 inches. Accuracy is inconsistent.
As a high velocity BB pistol it is adequate for plinking, but being a non-blowback design it is over-priced compared to other models with more features. That puts it into the pellet pistol category for cost and the final word on the P30 there, is that it’s no match for the CP99. In a battle of two guns there can only be one winner, and the HK comes in second.