KSC H&K P10

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The KSC Heckler & Koch P10 isn’t a particularly handsome pistol. In fact, it’s kind of plain. Not that you can blame KSC for this, because it’s a very good visual replica of the original handgun. Maybe that shouldn’t matter: after all, this is a replica handgun, not a fashion accessory. But the truth is that those of us who shoot and collect replicas are often influenced by how a pistol looks. I know that I am generally drawn to a replica in the first instance by its visual appeal (or lack of it) or the history behind the original. Which might lead you to overlook the P10.

And that would be a pity, because the KSC P10 sort of reminds me of BMW 5 Series saloons from the 70s. Huge, ugly, boxy things that sat on the road like a shed on wheels and made no concessions to looking “nice“. However, I owned a couple of those 5 Series Beemers in the late 70s and early 80s and despite looking plain, they were very good indeed. No frills or flounces, no pretty styling elements, just fast, competent and well made cars. And the KSC H&K P10 is a little like that. Not much to look at perhaps, but beautifully made and finished, efficient and reliable.

Real steel background

In the 1970s Heckler & Koch produced some innovative handguns. The VP70 from 1970 was the first polymer framed handgun and featured a DAO trigger (unusual at the time) and a combined holster/shoulder stock. The P7 from 1976 was a more conventional design but it was cocked, not by thumbing back a hammer or racking the slide, but by squeezing a cocking handle at the front of the grip. However, when H&K began work on a replacement for the P7 in the late 1980s, they returned to a much more traditional design.

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In 1993, the USP (Universale Selbstladepistole) was released. The USP is a short recoil operated, locked breech, semi-automatic pistol which uses a conventional Browning locking system (the functional design is actually similar to the Colt 1911). Most models feature a combined manual safety/de-cocker on the left side of the frame. However, moving the manual safety from “fire” to “safe” does not automatically de-cock the USP – the lever must be depressed to a lower position to de-cock. This means that the USP can be carried “cocked and locked”, like the 1911. The USP also incorporates a novel recoil reducing captive coil spring on the guide rod and provides extremely good corrosion resistance through the use of a hard, nitro-gas carburized black oxide finish, which gives the USP a distinctive matt black/dark grey appearance. Original USPs were chambered for 9x19mm and .40″ S&W rounds.

The USP quickly gained an enviable reputation for durability and reliability. It was subjected to a range of tests including exposure to extreme temperatures, use in hostile environments including mud, sand and salt spray and endurance tests which involved firing up to 24,000 rounds with no component failures. By the end of the 1990s the USP and derivatives had been adopted by military and law enforcement agencies in a number of countries including the US, Australia, Denmark, France, Spain and Greece. A slightly modified version of the USP (the P8) was also adopted as the main service pistol of the German Armed Forces (the Bundeswehr).

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H&K USP Compact

In 1994 the USP Compact was introduced, a scaled-down version of the full size USP which was not equipped with the recoil-reduction system. The USP Compact has a bobbed hammer and a 3.58″ barrel (compared to the 4.25″ barrel on the full-size version). A slightly modified version of the USP Compact with a spurred hammer was adopted as the sidearm of a number of German state police forces as the P10. The P10 is available chambered for the 9x19mm round only.

The KSC H&K P10

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I have talked about KWA and KSC before, in the review of the KWA HK45 (you’ll find a link at the end of this review). KSC is Japanese and KWA is Taiwanese and though they sell what appear to be almost identical replicas, nobody seems to be certain what the commercial relationship between the two companies is. Most people assume that KWA manufacture replicas in Taiwan and these are sold by both KSC and KWA but I don’t know if that’s actually the case. The review here is of a KSC product, but I think you are safe to assume that KWA products based on the USP Compact will be very similar if not identical.

In addition to replicas based on the full-size USP and the HK45, KWA and KSC also produce several replicas based on the compact version of the USP. These include the USP Compact, the USP Compact Tactical and the P10. All appear to be mechanically identical and differ only in markings, hammer, outer barrel and sights. The original version of the USP Compact produced by KSC featured a plastic slide but around four years ago a new version was introduced featuring a metal slide and the improved System 7 gas feed system (KWA versions have NS2, which appears to be identical). KSC claim that System 7 incorporates a new, advanced lightweight piston which increases the speed of slide movement and provides a harder kick as well as improved power and accuracy compared to older models.

The KSC H&K P10 reviewed here is the newer version with a metal slide the System 7 gas feed system. This version also has a metal trigger, hammer and controls and the magazine is also of mainly metal construction.

Spec;

Calibre: 6mm

Magazine capacity: 22 BBs

Propellant: Green gas

Barrel length: 90mm (3.54″)

Weight: 726g (1.6lbs)

Overall length: 185mm (7.3″)

Sights: Notch and post, three white dots, rear sight has windage adjustment only.

Action: SA/DA

Packaging and presentation 3/5

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The KSC H&K P10 is provided in a sturdy card box with a polystyrene interior with cut-outs to house the pistol and accessories. It is supplied with a tool to adjust hop-up, a locking key and a small bag of unidentified BBs. It also comes with what appears to be a comprehensive user manual which includes some background to the USP series. Unfortunately the manual is wholly in Japanese without translation of the text to any other language.

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An alternative magazine baseplate is also provided which does not incorporate a “pinky-grip” extension.

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Visual accuracy 10/10

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H&K P10 (left), KSC H&K P10 (right)

The KSC P10 is a very good visual replica of the original though it incorporates features more commonly seen on “tactical” versions of the USP and USP Compact including a threaded extension to the barrel for mounting a suppressor and high level sights (to maintain a good sight picture with a suppressor fitted). The P10 is more commonly seen with the standard barrel and sights though it’s certainly possible that some may have been modified in this way.

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Some of the markings of the KSC P10

Markings on the KSC are very good indeed. On the left of the slide you have the Bundesadler (Federal Eagle), “KH” (indicating a pistol manufactured in 1997) the “stag horn” proof mark from Ulm and a (non-unique) serial number. Markings on the left side of the slide are laser etched in white – all other markings are engraved. The serial number is repeated on the outer barrel and on a metal plate under the accessory rail. The pistol also features assorted “Heckler & Koch GmbH” and “GE/Polizei” markings. There are no markings referencing KSC or Taiwan as the country of manufacture nothing noting indicating that this is a 6mm replica. Even the “WARNING REFER TO OWNER’S MANUAL” text engraved under the trigger guard is an accurate reproduction of what’s on the original. There are no markings here that you wouldn’t find on the original and nothing from the original has been omitted.

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The finish of the slide is a good match to the non-reflective nitride finish on the original and finish on the polymer frame and metal slide match well. There are no prominent moulding seams and generally, it’s difficult to see how you could have a more accurate visual replica.

Functional accuracy 14/15

Some KWA/KSC pistols are intended as training aids for the cartridge versions, and the functional accuracy of the KSC H&K P10 is extremely close to that of the original. The hammer, trigger, slide release, magazine release and safety/de-cocker lever all operate here precisely as they do on the original.

p1017The only thing that I can see which doesn’t work on this replica is the ejector pin. On the real weapon, the ejector pin projects slightly when a round is in the chamber and the upper surface of the pin is painted red, acting as an external visual loading indicator. The red paint is present on the replica, but the ejector pin is fixed in place, though this hardly a criticism given that I’m not aware of any replica which currently includes this function.

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The KSC P10 field strips as per the original – the magazine is removed, the slide is moved back until a cut-out is aligned with the combined slide release/locking pin on the left. The pin is then pushed out from the right side and removed, and the slide can then be pushed forward off the frame.

Shooting 34/40

The KSC H&K P10 magazine is filled with gas in the usual way, though it does seem sensitive to different nozzle types on gas cannisters. While most filled without leaks or issues, one can of green gas (which works without problems on my other replicas) produced a noticeable loss of gas while filling. There do not appear to be any leaks from the magazine, and the follower locks down to allow up to 22 BBs to be loaded from the top.

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When inserted in to the grip, the magazine locks positively and cleanly though I did notice on a couple of occasions that inserting a loaded magazine caused the slide lock to release, causing the slide to move partly forward. This doesn’t happen with an empty mag, and it seemed to happen more often while the pistol was very new.

p101With the magazine in place and the slide racked, you’re good to shoot. The sights are a simple notch and post design and the white dots allow a clear sight picture against any background. The rear sight is adjustable for windage only. The KSC P10 doesn’t offer anything in the way of alternative backstraps, but the grip is a reasonable size and should comfortably fit most average sized hands. The “pinky-grip” extension on the magazine does help to give a positive grip, though an alternative flat version is also supplied. Although the magazine release is ambidextrous, the slide release and safety/de-cocker are left side only, so this isn’t a particularly lefty-friendly replica. The slide operates through a full range of movement, releases with a satisfying clank and moves positively and with authority.

p1011In single action mode, the trigger pull is short, light, creep-free and precise. In double action it’s obviously longer and a little heavier, but still precise and pleasant to use. Blowback is snappy and strong, but despite KSCs claims for System 7, I didn’t find it to provide notably more recoil effect than most other 6mm replicas I own. The P10 isn’t particularly loud, but it does shoot with a sharp crack that’s quite distinctive.

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Ten shots, six yards, rested, 0.25g BBs. All but one of the shots is inside or touching the 1½” diameter black centre circle.

Accuracy and consistency are good both with the recommended 0.20g BBs and with heavier 0.25g BBs. Groupings at six yards are generally around 2″ or less with very few flyers. After adjusting hop-up, the point of impact is around ½” below the point of aim at six yards. Adjusting the hop-up is very easy on the P10 due to the use of the KSC tool which allows adjustment without removing the slide. With the slide locked back and the magazine removed, the tool engages with a toothed wheel on the outer barrel, which allows quick and very fine adjustment.

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Gas consumption is good with 50 – 60 shots from a single fill of the magazine. Overall, the most notable thing about shooting the KSC P10 is it’s consistency and reliability. I haven’t experienced a single double feed or other loading problem, the trigger pull is predictable and good, the slide locks back on empty every time and I can confidently place BBs on target time after time. As a shooter, this is up there with the very best 6mm semi-auto replicas.

Quality and reliability 13/15

I have shot around 500 BBs of various weights with the P10 so far, and to date I have had precisely no misfeeds or failures to fire. None. That’s pretty impressive, certainly better than most 6mm replicas I have tested and it suggests that the feed and gas system the P10 is carefully designed and well engineered. The KSC P10 just seems to go on reliably and relentlessly pumping out BBs with a minimum of fuss.

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Mine did have a couple of very minor issues out of the box. The front sight was loose where it is drifted into the slide, and it moved from-side-to-side due to the effects of blowback. However, this was easily fixed with a thin layer of packing under the sight to wedge it into position. I also occasionally found that the slide would unlock and move partly forward as a loaded magazine was inserted, though this mainly happened when the P10 replica was very new. Otherwise it has functioned flawlessly, finish and overall quality seem very good and there is no obvious internal or external wear on my P10 at all.

Overall Impression 12/15

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If you have read this far, you’ll know that the KSC P10 doesn’t appeal to me in the way that some other replicas do. On one level I know that shouldn’t matter, but then I’m shooting these replicas purely for pleasure and I do like a replica that looks good. Consider the Umarex Walther PPQ for example, or the Cybergun S&W M&P 9c. Both are similar polymer framed replicas of modern semi-auto pistols. However, the originals they’re based on have (for me, at least) far more visual appeal than the P10 and both can be configured for left-hand use. And yet, when I want to put some fuss-free BBs on-target, the P10 is often the replica I reach for. It has been completely reliable and I never have to fiddle to get it to shoot as it should. Overall, this one has grown on me. It just does what it says on the box and gives the impression that it will continue to do so for some time to come.

Conclusion

So, the KSC H&K P10 – as ugly as a sack of frogs, but as reliable as if it was carved out of a solid block of granite. It also shoots with good power and accuracy, has nice, strong blowback and a fairly loud report and from previous experience of KSC/KWA products, I anticipate good long-term reliability. And you know, I’m kind of getting used to the way it looks. Perhaps calling it “ugly” is unfair. Maybe “functional” or “utilitarian” would be a fairer description. It may not be a replica you’d choose to display on the wall, but as a shooter it’s very good indeed.

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I still don’t care for the extended outer barrel or the raised sights, and I’d like it even better if I could use it in my left hand, but you just have to respect something that’s made and finished as well as this. If you want a replica that has the “wow” factor, you may want to look elsewhere. But, if you want a reliable, well made, well engineered pistol that also shoots very nicely, the KSC H&K P10 could be the one for you. A 1970s BMW 5 series of the replica world.

Total score: 86/100

Pros and cons

Pros

Well engineered and finished

Reliable, consistent and accurate shooter

Extremely realistic

Cons

More expensive than some comparable airsoft pistols

Not ambidextrous

Not much of a looker

Related pages:

KWA H&K 45 review

Umarex Walther PPQ M2 review

Cybergun S&W M&P 9c review

Buy

You can buy the KWA USP Compact at Pyramid Air here.

Video review

 

New Umarex replica pistols for 2014

As regular readers of this site will know, I’m a big fan of Umarex replicas.  So, I’m delighted that at the IWA Outdoor Classics Show at Nuremberg on 7th March, Umarex have announced several new replica pistols which will be available over the next few months.

4.5mm BB pistols

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2½”, 4″ and 6″ versions of the Python .357.  4″ version is also available in polished silver

The new model I’m probably most excited about is the Python .357 revolver, a replica of the Colt Python, arguably one of the best revolvers ever made.  These CO2 powered replicas will be available as 2½”,  4″ and 6″ versions with black (2½”and  4″ only) or polished (4″ and 6″ only) finish.  The overall shape looks close to the original (though it doesn’t quite replicate the hump-backed rear frame of the original) and these will feature fully moving cylinders, vented barrels, removable shell casings, a manual safety catch, speed loader and fully adjustable rear sights.  The 4″ version weighs around 2.2 pounds, the 2½” version slightly less and the 6″ a little more.  I really like revolver replicas and if these even come close to the quality and accuracy of the Umarex TRR8, they’ll be worth waiting for.  Even if they do look very similar to the recently announced Swiss Arms .357 from Cybergun, I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these!

umpress2The new Walther PPS also look very interesting and this one will almost certainly be unique to Umarex.  Based on the concealed-carry Walther Polizei-Pistole Schmal , this replica is a CO2 powered, blowback BB shooter featuring an “Enhanced Blowback System“, which is claimed to give a more powerful blowback without increasing CO2 usage.  It features a metal slide, polymer frame and grip and a drop-out magazine which holds up to 18 BBs.  The specification also notes an “integrated allen wrench in the backstrap for exchange of CO2 capsule” – so it sounds as if this may have a new CO2 tightening/piercing system.  It’s a very compact pistol at just over 6″ in length, but still weighs a reasonable 1.3 pounds.  If this is as much fun as the Umarex Walther CP99 Compact, it could be very special indeed.

umpress6The Colt M45 CQBP is a replica of a development of the venerable Colt 1911 produced as a Close Quarter Battle Pistol for the US Marine Corps.  It’s an all-metal, CO2 powered, blowback BB shooter with a 19 round drop-out magazine.  I don’t know if it features a working grip safety, but it is single action only and will be available in black or dark earth finish.   Also featuring an under-barrel accessory rail, ambidextrous safety and grooved, memory beavertail.  Another hefty replica at around 2 pounds in weight.

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If you want one of the new Colt 1911 WWII Commemorative editions (and, let’s face it, you can never have too many 1911 replicas!), you’ll have to be quick – only 1000 will be produced.  This an all-metal, CO2 powered, blowback replica of the Colt M1911A1 with a 19 round drop-out magazine and wood grips and is single action only.

It looks like a very similar to the KWC 1911, in which case it will be a very good replica indeed.  The black finish has been aged to make it look like a survivor from World War Two, it weighs just over 2 pounds and each pistol will feature a unique serial number.  I hope Umarex will also produce a non-aged version in larger quantities.

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The IWI Jericho B is the first Umarex CO2 replica of a pistol from Israel Weapon Industries.  It’s based on the IWI 9mm service pistol and features a movable metal slide (but no blowback), a working safety-catch, 23 round magazine and a double action trigger.

The Jericho B is a fairly new pistol, and as far as I’m aware, this is the first licensed replica, though I have also seen a similar looking Swiss-Arms Jericho from Cybergun.

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Although it’s not mentioned in the Umarex IWA press release, another new Umarex BB replica was announced at the Shooting, Hunting Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show at Las Vegas in January.  This is the PM Ultra Blowback Makarov pistol.  It’s a CO2 powered, 4.5mm BB shooting blowback replica of the Makarov pistol with a drop-out 18 round magazine.

I believe this will be sold as part of the Umarex Legends series.  I don’t know much about it other than that Umarex are claiming 400fps, which is impressive for a blowback Bb pistol.  It does look very similar to the Gun Heaven Model 59 reviewed on this site, and I’m looking forward to trying one of these.

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Also mentioned at SHOT was the Umarex Legends Mauser C96.  This one seems to have been under development for some time, and I hope it will be available soon.  It’s another CO2 powered, 4.5mm BB shooter with blowback and a 19 round drop-out magazine.  Early pictures seemed to show an ugly extended plastic tip to the barrel, but more recent pics suggest something that looks a lot more like the original.   Another one that I’m really looking forward to…

Pellet shooters

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No new releases for fans of Umarex pellet shooters were announced, just a couple of cosmetic updates to existing models.  The Beretta 92FS Sniper Grey looks to be identical to the existing Umarex 92FS, but comes in a matt dark grey finish.  The Heckler & Koch P30 ODG is a replica of the H&K service pistol and appears to be identical to the existing Umarex HK P30, but features a frame and grip finished in olive drab.

6mm BB pistols

The new CO2 powered 6mm Legends .357 looks identical to the 4.5mm Colt Python, but only seems to be available in 2½” and 4″ form in black finish.   The CO2 6mm IWI Jericho B appears to be identical to its 4.5mm counterpart other than for a reduced magazine capacity of 16 BBs.  One interesting new 6mm arrival is the AEG Beretta M92 A1 Tactical.  With a rechargeable battery concealed in the frame, this non-blowback electric replica features a (non-functioning) suppressor and single and full-auto fire modes.  Mind you, with just 30 rounds in the magazine, you won’t be shooting for long in full-auto!

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It’s a pity that there aren’t any new pellet shooters forecast for 2014, but some of the new BB replicas look very nice indeed.  It’s particularly nice to see some additions to the Legends range and I hope to review some of these new products in the near future.

All pictures courtesy of Umarex Sportwaffen GmbH & Co. KG

Related pages:

Umarex Walther CP99 Compact review

Umarex HK P30 review

Gun Heaven Model 59 review

Links

No details yet of when the new pistols will be available to buy, but information about all new products will be released on the Umarex website:

http://www.umarex.com/de/airguns/co/pistolen.html

Umarex HK P30 review

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The HK P30 seems to be one of the least regarded Umarex pellet-firing replicas.  It’s the less interesting cousin to such fine guns as the Umarex Colt 1911, Beretta 92 or even the Walther CP-99.  Why is this?  Is the P30 is somehow worse than other Umarex guns?  Is there something intrinsically wrong with it, or does it just suffer in comparison to other more popular pistols?  This review is an attempt to answer some of these questions.

Real steel background

Heckler and Koch was founded in 1949 by Edmond Heckler, Alex Seidel and Theodore Koch, former wartime engineers with Mauser Werke.  H&K was registered in 1950 and established in Oberndorf am Neckar in what was then West Germany.  Initially the company produced sewing machines and parts for the machine tool industry, but since 1956 H&K has been producing firearms for customers including the US Department of Homeland Security, the British Army and police forces in Germany, Switzerland and Holland.  In 1991 the company encountered financial difficulties following cancellation of German government contracts for the G41 Assault Rifle and G11 Caseless Rifle System.  H&K was then bought over by the Royal Ordnance Factory, a subsidiary of British Aerospace.  In 2002 BAE Systems (as it had then become) sold the company to a group of private investors who formed a holding company (HK Beteiligungs GmbH) which currently controls H&K.  HK tend to produce expensive but very high quality handguns and this is reflected in the company tagline: “No compromise“.

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The HK factory

The HK P30 pistol is a fully ambidextrous, polymer framed, short recoil operated, locked breech pistol which is currently used by a number of European law enforcement agencies as their principal service sidearm.  It has a good reputation for reliability (in a recent test, a P30 fired over 91,000 rounds without any major component failures) and is a development of technology first seen on the HK USP Compact.

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HK P30S

Several variants are available including a DA/SA version, a DA only version incorporating the HK Law Enforcement Modification (LEM) trigger system, the P30S which features an external ambidextrous safety lever on both sides of the rear frame and the P30L with a longer barrel.  The grip on all versions is customizable through the use of alternate backstraps and side panels.  The slide and magazine release are fully ambidextrous (as is the external safety, where fitted).

The Umarex HK P30

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The Umarex HK P30 is a fully licensed replica.  It is constructed of metal and polymer composites in the appropriate places.  It follows the pattern of other Umarex pellet firing replicas in having an eight-shot rotary pellet holder which is hidden inside the front part of the slide, and accessed by operating the left side slide release which allows the front of the slide to move forward.  However, unlike other Umarex replicas, the P30 stores CO2 in a full-size, drop-out magazine and provides an additional feature in that it can shoot steel 4.5mm BBs as well as .177 pellets.

Spec;

Calibre: .177 (pellet), 4.5mm (BB)

Capacity: eight pellets in rotary holder/15 steel BBs in magazine

Propellant: CO2

Barrel length: 3.3″, rifled

Weight: 1.7 pounds

Length:7.1″

Sights: Rear sight adjustable for windage  only

Action: SA/DA

Packaging and presentation  4/5

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The HK P30 is provided in a nice quality black hard-case lined with eggshell foam.  It comes with a brief user manual, drop-out magazine, two rotary pellet holders, allen key for sight adjustment, a pellet tamping tool, spare magazine feed lip and a blanking piece to allow BB shooting.

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Visual accuracy  7/10

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HK P30 (left), Umarex HK P30 (right)

The overall profile and contours of the Umarex P30 closely match the real weapon, and the replica correctly includes HK P30 markings on the front left of the slide.  The hammer, trigger, decocker and magazine release are all accurate copies from the original.  However, when you look more closely, there are a couple of things that mar the visual accuracy.  The first is a pronounced and very visible gap between the fixed rear and moving front part of the slide.  This is much more noticeable than on other similar Umarex replicas such as the Colt 1911 and Walther CP88.  The second anomaly is the safety catch.  The P30S has ambidextrous safety levers on either side of the rear frame (most other variants don’t have a manual safety).  The safety catch lever is a distinctive feature of many HK pistols, and I don’t see why, if they wanted to provide a safety on this pistol, Umarex couldn’t have replicated this?

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Top – safety catch and slide release on HK P30S

Bottom – safety catch (arrowed), slide release and slide gap on Umarex HK P30

On the replica, for some reason the safety is a plastic bar which slides across the rear part of the slide.  When the pistol is safe, the bar lies flush with the left side of the slide.  When it’s ready to fire, the bar projects to the left and a red line is visible.  It’s a perfectly workable safety, but it looks nothing like the original.  A minor additional issue is that the slide release on the left of the replica also doesn’t match the profile of the original – it almost looks upside down compared to the original.  The non-functioning moulded release on the right is a better match for the shape of the original.

Viewed from a few paces away, this looks like a good visual replica of the original.  However, details spoil it.  The quirky safety catch is odd and looks nothing like the original and the gap between the rear and front parts of the slide is very evident.

Functional accuracy  4/15

Like the other Umarex pellet firing semi-auto replicas, this is a revolver masquerading as an automatic.  So, no surprise that functional accuracy is poor.  However, the decocker, magazine release, hammer and trigger do work as per the original.  And in contrast to other similar Umarex replicas, this does feature a full-size drop-out magazine.

The Umarex HK P30 can’t be field stripped. It is possible to detach the moving front part of the slide by removing the screw below the muzzle, but this won’t give access to much more than the slide return spring. Any further disassembly involves splitting the two halves of the cast body.  The real weapon features replaceable backstraps and grip side panels, but unfortunately this isn’t replicated here.

Shooting  18/40

The Umarex HK P30 shoots in both single and double action and alongside the hammer is a de-cocking lever.  With the safety catch applied, the trigger still operates the hammer in single and double action, but the gun will not fire.  Operating the slide release on the left allows the front part of the slide to move forward for loading the rotary pellet holder.  Unfortunately the slide release on the right is just moulded into the frame which means that, unlike the original, this replica isn’t fully ambidextrous.

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Slide open for loading and (inset) rotary pellet holder

The P30 uses the familiar metal, eight-shot rotary pellet holder which is also used on several other Umarex replica pistols.  Also included with this gun is a small plastic rod which can be used to tamp down pellets in the pellet holder – the first time I have seen this useful tool included with an Umarex replica.  Where the P30 differs from other Umarex products is the way in which the CO2 is loaded.  Instead of removing one of the grips to allow insertion of the CO2, the P30 has a drop-out magazine which is released by operating the ambidextrous catch at the base of the trigger guard.  The base of the magazine is rotated clockwise, CO2 is inserted and a thumb-screw is manually tightened until the cartridge is snugly seated.  Piercing is achieved by turning the base of the magazine anti-clockwise.  CO2 loads without any significant loss of gas and without leaks.

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The magazine can also hold up to 15 BBs.  To load BBs a sliding catch on the magazine must be moved to the left, which allows the follower to be depressed and BBs loaded.  Umarex have also included with this gun a spare BB feed lip for the magazine and the manual notes that this can be glued in place and used as a replacement if the original wears.  Does this indicate that Umarex that are expecting rapid wear here?

I shot RWS CO2 Target pellets with the P30.  Loading is done in the same way as for most Umarex pellet shooters – pellets are placed in the rotary pellet holder and then tamped down with the supplied plastic rod to avoid jamming.  Accuracy with pellets was fair.  I produced consistent groups of about 1½” – 2″ at 25 feet in single action.  The pistol tends to shoot a little high and the white dot (but not phosphorescent) sights are adjustable for windage, but not for elevation.

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Eight shot string, 25’, RWS CO2 Target pellets.  Outer ring diameter 6”.  Inner (black) ring diameter 1.1”.  Note that only seven shots have actually been fired due to de-cocking issue.

I had no misfires or misfeeds when using pellets, but I did come across a singular problem.  The double action trigger pull is quite heavy, so I did most of my shooting in single action, manually cocking the hammer before firing.  I do this on my other Umarex pellet guns (Colt 1911, Walther CP88 and Beretta 92FS) without any issues.  With this gun however, I found that approximately every three or four shots (though it was completely random), the hammer would de-cock just as I released it.  I’d then have to manually re-cock, which would index the rotary pellet holder to the next pellet, leaving one pellet un-shot.  This was so prevalent that after several hundred shots, I don’t think I managed a single eight shot string without leaving one or two pellets in the holder.

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Safety catch and de-cocker

Initially, I thought that I might be accidentally touching the de-cocking lever as I was drawing the hammer back.  The lever is very sensitive (the slightest touch activates it) and it’s located right next to the hammer.  However, even when I was very careful to ensure that I wasn’t touching the de-cocking lever, and even if I cocked slowly and deliberately, the hammer still de-cocked approximately every three or four shots.  I found this very irritating, and it spoiled my enjoyment of shooting pellets with this gun.  Now, this may have been a fault with this particular P30, but I have heard of one other person having the same problem.  I would strongly recommend cocking and dry firing any P30 you’re thinking of buying several times to check whether it has the same problem.

I also tried shooting steel BBs with this pistol.  I don’t normally shoot steel BBs through a rifled barrel (because steel BBs erode the rifling), but in the interests of a balanced review I ran half a dozen magazines of Umarex steel BBs through this gun.  Before you can shoot BBs, you must insert a plastic blanking piece in place of the rotary pellet holder.  I found it very hard to close the slide with the blanking piece in place, though I suppose this may get easier with time.

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BB blanking piece (arrowed) in position

Up to 15 BBs can be loaded in the magazine.  However, I found accuracy and power with steel BBs to be woeful!  I was getting groups of 5 – 6 inches at 25 feet with BBs being sprayed at random within that area.  I accept that steel BBs are always going to be inherently inaccurate (the external diameter of a steel BB is slightly smaller than the internal diameter of the barrel, so they tend to rattle along the barrel, giving an uncertain trajectory when they exit).  But surely even when doing a bit of fun plinking you want to hit roughly what you’re aiming at?

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Eight shots, 25’, Umarex steel BBs.  Outer ring diameter 6”.  Inner (black) ring diameter 1.1”.

With this gun you’d need a very large can indeed to reliably hit it with a steel BB at 25 feet.  However, I must point out that I have seen at least one other review of this gun where groupings of less than 2” with steel BBs at twenty feet were claimed.  I can only say that I couldn’t get anywhere close to that.  The de-cocking issue persisted when shooting BBs, but because the BBs are loaded from a vertical stack this didn’t leave unfired BBs in the magazine.

As an experiment I tried firing three magazines worth of Gamo 4.5 mm lead balls through the P30.  These gave much better power and accuracy than steel BBs with around 2½” at 25 feet.  I didn’t have any feed problems with the lead balls, but you should note that the manual for this gun specifies the use of steel BBs only.  So, if you do use lead balls, you may find that your warranty is invalidated.  You have been warned!

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Eight shots, 25’,  Gamo 4.5mm lead balls.  Outer ring diameter 6”.  Inner (black) ring diameter 1.1”.

I got around 60 – 70 full power shots to a CO2 cartridge, which is about average for a non-blowback gun.  Shooting BBs seemed to use more CO2 than pellets.

This is a disappointing shooter.  It’s reasonably accurate when using pellets, but the decocking issue is a problem.  Accuracy with steel BBs is so poor as to be pointless.

Quality and reliability  10/15

The overall feel of this pistol is very good.  It has good weight and the finish seems well applied and durable.  It feels of equivalent quality to the other Umarex replica pellet shooters.

The involuntary decocking was a major issue which spoiled the shooting experience.  This may have been a problem with the particular pistol I was using (though I have heard of at least one other instance of this)  but it’s something I’d want to check before buying a P30.  The gap between the front and rear parts of the slide is also very noticeable (more so in real life than can be seen in photos) and spoils the overall look of this replica.  Again, this may have been an issue with the particular pistol I was using, but looking at other pictures of P30s, it seems to be common to most.  This is especially disappointing when other Umarex replicas do such a good job of concealing this gap.

Overall Impression  11/15

This isn’t a pistol which gets taken out of my gun cabinet often.  Other than as a test for this review, I haven’t bothered to shoot with BBs at all and pellet shooting is marred by the decocking issue.  And for me at least, the HK P30 just doesn’t have the emotive appeal of (for example) the Colt 1911.

However, this is a very well made and well constructed pistol which, like most of the Umarex replicas, gives the impression that it will last for a very long time.  It’s nicely presented in a hard case and finish on my example has shown no signs of chipping or wearing.

Conclusion

p5

It’s difficult to recommend the Umarex HK P30 when there are so many other pistols out there which are cheaper, better replicas and better shooters of both pellets and BBs.  Accuracy when using pellets is no better than any of the other Umarex semi-auto replicas and was compromised for me by the decocking issue.  I found shooting steel BBs to be an utter waste of time and this feature seems like a pointless gimmick which will erode the barrel rifling over time and may eventually degrade accuracy with pellets.  Accuracy with BBs was worse than, for example, the much cheaper Umarex Walther CP99 Compact (which also has blowback).

Visual accuracy is spoiled by the odd and unrealistic safety catch and the noticeable gap between slide halves.  Other Umarex semi-auto replicas don’t suffer from either problem.

As noted, the decocking problem and the lack of accuracy with steel BBs may be issues specific to the reviewed pistol, but I’d want to check carefully before  buying an Umarex P30.  In my opinion, unless you particularly want an HK replica which fires pellets, this is probably best avoided.  No Compromise?  Not in this case!

Total score: 54/100

Related pages:

Umarex Walther CP88 review

Umarex Walther CP99 Compact review

What makes a great replica?

Links

Umarex web site