Testing the Umarex H&K P30 Part 2

Testing the Umarex H&K P30 Part 2 Part 1

Downrange with the Heckler & Koch airgun

Shop SIG Sauer Airguns

By Dennis Adler

The Umarex HK P30 comes in a hard plastic storage case with two 8-round rotary pellet magazines, the BB insert, pellet seating tool and one CO2 BB magazine.

A little more expensive than some CO2 semi-auto models, the dual firing system (rotary pellet and combined CO2 BB magazine) make the Umarex H&K P30 a double threat for accuracy and training. The double action trigger pull on the HK P30 airgun is 11 pounds, 10.5 ounces average. Single action, the trigger pull drops to a refined 5 pounds, 2.5 ounces average. The 9mm models average 5 pounds, 8 ounces single action and 11 pounds, 4 ounces double action, so the airgun’s trigger is nicely matched with only 0.375 inches of travel fired single action, a crisp break and minimal over travel. The latter is irrelevant since you have to manually cock the hammer again before you can shoot single action, although with a two-handed hold you can cock the hammer with the support hand thumb pretty quickly. Either way, this is an easy pistol to handle.

The cast alloy 8-shot rotary magazines are loaded by depressing the slide release lever which lets the front half of the slide and the internal 3.35 inch rifled steel barrel slide forward. Once the magazine is inserted the front half of the assembly is pushed back until it locks in place.
Even more realistic than one would expect, every Umarex HK P30 has an individual serial number mounted in the same place as cartridge-firing models. Also note the clean approach to the mandatory airgun warning information which is embossed into the bottom of the triggerguard to keep the side of the slide clean and authentic in appearance.

Carry Options

An important part of arms training for law enforcement, military, and concealed carry, is learning how to carry, draw and re-holster quickly and correctly for safety. The HK P30 airgun fits the same holsters as the 9mm models, including the Galco Combat Master and Blackhawk SERPA Autolock concealment holster used by many law enforcement agencies. This is a carbon fiber Level II retention design that securely locks the pistol into the holster by engaging the triggerguard. In order to draw the gun, the trigger finger must hit a release pad on the side of the holster as the weapon is drawn. This is an essential repetitive training skill that can be practiced with the airgun. The Blackhawk can also be worn either as a belt holster or a paddle holster by changing back plates. Muscle memory skills learned with the Umarex are all applicable to carrying the 9mm (and .40 S&W) HK P30 cartridge models.

The Umarex HK P30 is shown locked into the Blackhawk SERPA Level II Autolock belt holster. This provides secure carry for concealment and helps protect against a gun grab by an assailant.
When drawing the HK P30 from the holster, depress the release paddle with the trigger finger to free the triggerguard from the lock. This also positions the trigger finger in proper alignment with the side of the frame as the gun is drawn.
The author illustrates how the Umarex CO2 model can be substituted for the cartridge model during training exercises that require drawing and firing. This saves a great deal on ammunition costs, while demanding the same skills.

Hands on Operation

The medium size backstrap panel is what the airgun uses and it fits most hand sizes perfectly. The P30 has superb balance with the back of the frame resting firmly over the web of the shooting hand, and fingers solidly engaging the front strap grooves. The curved, serrated front edge of the triggerguard provides a solid resting place for the support hand’s index finger if you employ this type of hold. This works best using an Isosceles or Strong Isosceles Stance. The author’s preferred stance is the Weaver Stance with a two-handed hold. This technique places the weak-side foot and shoulder angled toward the target.

Right up to the moment you pull the trigger and fire a 4.5mm lead wadcutter pellet, every step of the exercise is identical to handling a real HK P30 semi-auto.

Among other P30 features that carry over to the airgun are the elongated, ambidextrous slide releases. On the CO2 model only the left release operates and is used to open the slide, which separates allowing the front half to move forward and the 8-shot rotary magazine to be inserted. To close, just grasp the front slide serrations and push the slide back until it locks.

The manual safety (shown in the FIRE position) is simply pushed from left to right to put the pistol in a SAFE condition. Identical to the cartridge-firing HK P30, the airgun also has a fully functional decocker on the back of the slide.
The pistol is shown in the SAFE condition with the manual safety pushed to the right side of the slide. This is another training skill that can be practiced with the Umarex model. 

For the range test I selected Meisterkugeln Professional Line 7.0 gr. lead wadcutter pellets and Umarex 1500 steel BBs. This is a fast handling gun from the holster to the target and is remarkably easy to point. All tests were shot single action from 21 feet (pellets and BBs) using a Weaver stance and two-handed hold. I fired two 8-shot groups on each target for pellets and 10 rounds for BBs. Factory rated velocity for steel BBs is 385 fps, and 360 fps for pellets.

A total of 10 shots in the 10 and X rings from 21 feet with the rifled barrel and Umarex steel BBs.

The .177 caliber steel managed a best group of 10 shots in the 10 and X rings measuring 1.81 inches; the best 5-shots, with a triple in the X, covered 0.875 inches. Stepping up to the 4.5mm Meisterkugeln wadcutters, a total of 16 shots (two rotary magazine loads) 13 out of 16 rounds obliterated two sections of the 10 and X for a total spread of 1.74 inches and a best 5-shots, all overlapping, at 0.68 inches.

A total of 16 shots (two 8-round rotary magazines) had 13 of 16 rounds almost overlapping and obliterating entire portions of the 10 and X rings. Best group, all overlapping, measured 0.68 inches.

Considering the pistol’s internal barrel length is 3.35 inches and does not have the 9mm’s white dot sights, or even just a front sight white dot, at 21 feet the rifled barrel delivered very tight groups just slightly above POA. Even without the 9mm’s sights, the CO2 model remains a well thought out pistol, just like all Heckler & Koch handguns, and the P30 air pistol with its combined BB and pellet-firing capabilities certainly adds another notch in HK’s grips.

A word about safety

Models like the new Umarex HK P30 provide the look, feel and operation of their cartridge-firing counterparts. All arguns, in general, look like guns, but those based on real cartridge-firing models even more so. It is important to remember that the vast majority of people can’t tell an airgun from a cartridge gun. Never brandish an airgun in public. Always, and I can never stress this enough, always treat an airgun as you would a cartridge gun. The same manual of operation and safety should always apply.

23 thoughts on “Testing the Umarex H&K P30 Part 2”

  1. After seeing the P30 holstered that unconventional safety is starting to make more sense. Totally accessible while holstered has advantages, while the decockers position is naturally ambidextrous a plus for lefty’s like myself. I’m curious as to whether there is a loaded chamber indicator? Very accurate, and I too like having the legal stuff discretely located. Very nice

    • For law enforcement and military ambidextrous controls are essential, not only for left-handed operators but for using the off side hand to handle and fire the gun, if the strong side hand is injured during a confrontation. A loaded chamber indicator is an optional feature on the P30, most semi-autos use the extractor as an indicator. When a round is chambered it will slightly protrude from the right side of the slide. This is both a visual and tactile indicator. In 1980 my first firearms instructor was one of Jeff Cooper’s contemporaries, Tom Feiereisen (who trained the first U.S. Sky Marshals and also worked for Colt), and he taught me to shoot both left and right handed, even though I was right handed.

      • That is an excellent point . I have always felt Sig was negligent in not having ambi controls on all models I guess I am biased as a lefty, but yearsback I switched rifle shooting to right shoulder due to a dominant right eye . Can still shoot as well from the left shoulder. Practice shooting right hand pistol as well .Younever know when your dominant hand may be injured or otherwise engaged. I also prefer when shooting weak hand side or rather non preferred side from behind a barricade , to shoot from that side with the non preferred hand than expose more of myself to shoot preferred side.

  2. Basically a double action revolver dressed up as a semiauto. Accurate anyhow , and serves a training purpose but not as well as say the S& W M&P 40 . Nice to see somebody else shooting from what I consisder the superior Weaver stance. The isosceles stance is flat footed , weaker and has you presenting a larger target in a gun fight . The Weaver locks the hands gun up better , and is also more mobile. Back in the day I would demonstrate how immobile the isosceles stance was compared to a Weaver, especially to a person charging at under 21 feet with a knife . One stubborn guy said but yeah I will be accurate from this stance . Ok , can you rapidly move out of the way or do this, as I shot a front kick into his solar plexus with my rear leg from a Weaver stance. Well , no . I can still throw the kick by the way, so Weaver it is

  3. Do you have to be named Dennis to be involved in airgun valuation? Just read the article on Dennis Hiller in Airgun World you two have more than a few parallels.

  4. I was referring to Dennis Adlers involvement with the blue book, and Dennis Hillers guides to air gun collecting. However I will always appreciate any expert input meant to improve my novice experience in both firearms, and blog posting. Ever in the Hoosier state I would definitely be interested in getting some left hand on instruction in firearms handling.

  5. I have used El Paso Saddlery and Old West Reproductions. Dennis probably has more experience . As starter holsters the tooled ones fromPyramid are reasonable and available in left hand . There are tons on eBay . If you want to practice fast draw use a stiff but unlined holster . The leather lined ones tend to be too tight.

  6. Didn’t know they had holsters on P.A. Great info sounds like a good place to start. I would love an El Paso anything they have these antique stitchers that work unlike any other vastly superior

  7. Nice shooting Dennis. I enjoy your series of pistols very much. At some time in the future will you do a series of tests on other types of pistols? I would love to read a current review of the Cometa Indian.
    Best wishes

    • Glad to hear you are enjoying the article. I do plan on a series later in the year on target pistols and that will include some serious competition level single and multi-shot models. The Cometa Indian probably won’t be one of them. It kind of reminds me of my first target air pistol (which I still have) a Webley Hurricane.

      • Thank you very much for your reply. I will be looking forward to your series of target pistols.
        I got a late start in this wonderful air gun hobby . I currently have a pretty nice collection of
        pistols, the most accurate seems to be my Webley Alecto . They physical size of the Webley is kind of a downer for me. I like the size of the my Turkish made 22 caliber Tempest and my Crosman 2240 The Cometa Indian intrigues me with it’s cool looks but reading reviews, seems that it is not a particularly accurate pistol. Maybe some other readers could give me some insight on it.
        Thanks again

  8. When I submitted my customer review of the Umarex H&K P30 CO2 pellet / BB pistol in March 2013, I said I would not shoot steel BBs fearing that doing so might damage the barrel rifling. Back then the 7.4 grain copper plated lead Excite Smart Shot BBs had not yet been introduced to the market. Now that the Smart Shot BBs are available, I decided to try them in the H&K P30. Like Dennis, I shot standing with a two hand grip at about 21 feet from a Birchwood Casey Dirty Bird target. Seven of the ten shots landed in the 1.5 inch red center with the remaining three in the next ring out (It’s not labelled, but I think it would be called the 10 ring.). The 10 shot group measured about 1.6 inches with the 7 shots in the red measuring about 1 inch. Unfortunately, I can’t say the Smart Shot BBs are a good choice for the H&K P30 because on each of two 10 shot magazine loads, I experienced ammo feed problems while shooting. After two or three shots of the Smart Shot BBs, I would get a blank shot. When I inspected the magazine, I found the BB follower had been pressed all the way down below the BB loading port, and a Smart Shot BB was jammed in the port preventing the follower from pushing the BBs up. I shot Umarex Steel, Copperhead, Daisy, and Hornady Black Diamond BBs, and did not experience any ammo feed problems.

    • Generally I believe in bbs in BB guns and pellets in pellet guns .Excite bb rounds are more expensive, heavier , shoot slower. You can find bargain bulk 177 pellets and while bulk Crosman pellets don’t shoot as well asRWS Meisterkugen, they are accurate enough .You have one head , wear one hat.

    • I have had a few failures with the copper plated lead shot myself, but have not tried it in the HK P30. Will do that, along with another option you might consider if you are worried about damaging the P30’s rifled barrel with steel BBs.

      • I’ve used the Smart Shot BBs in a few other BB pistols with complete success although I can’t remember now which pistols those were. This P30 is the first one in which I experienced ammo feed problems with the Smart Shot BBs and just with the Smart Shot BBs. As I mentioned before, I did not have any ammo feed problems with any of the steel BBs I shot.

        One thing I did notice that may have something to do with the Smart Shot ammo feed problem was the extra space in the top of the magazine BB stack. The space between the CO2 port and the BB “exit port” at the top is about the size of 1 and 1/2 BB instead of being just large enough for the top BB. I wonder if that extra space at the top is allowing some of the CO2 to be deflected down the magazine BB stack thereby driving the BBs and the follower down far enough for a Smart Shot BB to jam in the magazine loading port. It’s possible that is happening with the steel BBs as well, but because the steel BBs are harder than the copper plated lead Smart Shot BBs, the steel BB does not jam in the loading port the same as the Smart Shot which allows the follower to push the steel BBs back up to the top.

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