Testing the Umarex H&K P30 Part 2 Part 1
Downrange with the Heckler & Koch airgun
By Dennis Adler
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.