HK P30 Review: It’s good, but expensive…

by Daniel Young

March 1, 2023

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4.6
(10)

The P30 is the ultimate evolution of the double action/single action H&K design. This HK P30 review will assess whether it is a worthwhile gun today, or simply a historical artifact.

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HK P30 Specs

  • Name H&K P30 V3
  • Caliber 9mm Luger
  • Magazine 15+1
  • Action DA/SA
  • Frame Polymer
  • Sights Metal 3 Dot
  • Barrel Length 3.86 inches
  • Barrel Cold-Hammer Barrel
  • Weight 26.07 ounces
  • Safety Decocker

HK P30 Background

Heckler & Koch has been a major player in the handgun market for decades. The P-7 is one of the more innovative pistols to hit shelves, and it remains a status symbol today. Their VP/70 was the first pistol with a polymer frame. The USP combined a double-action/single-action trigger and hammer with the still-new technology of a polymer frame.

While the USP has achieved legendary status, it is quite long in the tooth. H&K first improved the design with the P2000. It kept an overall similar layout to the USP, but with some tweaks to the ergonomics. The decocking mechanism was moved from its position on the cocking lever of the USP to a new location at the back of the slide by the hammer. This separated the decocking motion from the manipulation of the safety. It also made it possible to decock the pistol without removing it from the holster.

The improvements of the P2000 were welcomed by the market, and it was adopted by the U.S. Border Patrol. But it was something of a half measure. It could almost be categorized as a generational change of the same gun rather than a new design. From a distance the P2000 could easily be mistaken for a USP. H&K made another iterative change with the P30 design, but it feels like more of a jump from the P2000 to the P30 than the USP was to the P2000. The most visible change is the reshaping of the grip to make it more ergonomic. It also added a standard picatinny rail instead of the old USP-style accessory rail. The slide was also reshaped to be a little more slim than the USP or P2000.

The P30 is probably most notable now as the forefather of the VP-9. The VP-9 is an almost exact copy of the P30 with the exception of being striker fired. Many parts, including magazines, holsters, and sights, are interchangeable between the two.

HK P30 Features

HK P30 Gun Features
1 Decocker

Unique decocker lever placement at the rear of the slide

2 Sights

Metal 3 dot sights with non-radioactive luminescence

3 Grip

Very adjustable grip ergonomics (27 unique combinations) with interchangeable side panels and backstraps

4 Trigger

Ours is a DA/SA but you can get it in L.E.M. DA only

5 Accessory Rail

Military Standard 1913 picatinny rail to mount accessories

Models and Variations of the HK P30

H&K makes a cornucopia of various P30 models. The standard P30 has an approximately 3.9 inch barrel. The P30SK is a subcompact model with a shortened grip and 3.3 inch barrel. The P30L adds a long slide to the standard frame, with a barrel length of 4.4 inches. For those still interested in the .40 S&W, it is an available option. H&K also makes various “Versions” which combine various safety, decocker, and trigger functions. For shooters who prefer a single trigger pull type instead of a DA/SA setup, H&K makes LEM versions of the P30 which have a light double action trigger.

HK P30 –  Our Take

HK P30 Review 1

This review gun is a “V3” model with no external safety lever. It retains the decocking lever by the hammer, as well as the double action/single action trigger mechanism. Locating the decocker next to the hammer was a piece of design genius. It both separates the decocking function from the safety function, and makes the decocker accessible while the gun is holstered.

I found the double action trigger pull to be very good. The pull weight is consistent, unlike some lesser DA pistols which have a perceived pull weight that changes throughout the pull. The single action pull is light and short. Transitioning from a decocked first shot to a single action second shot is less jarring than other DA/SA pistols.

The good trigger pull assists with accuracy. It was easy to shoot clean little groups on the range or to shoot fast. Obviously, single action trigger pulls are easier to shoot for accuracy shooting. But the double action did not feel like as much of a handicap as on other pistols. 

HK P30 Review 3

 Fans of a very aggressive trigger reset will be disappointed with the P30. There is a soft tactile reset, but it is not as good as a stock Glock trigger. The reset point is also in front of the wall of the trigger pull. This means that there is slack that must be taken up after the trigger is at the reset. 

Many fans of the P30 point to the grip ergonomics as a major selling point. They have a point, and the grip is very comfortable. It also features replaceable side panels and backstraps to customize the grip. HK was smart to keep this grip on the VP9.

One ergonomic feature that will be a “love it or hate it” thing is the magazine release. The P30 has a paddle/lever on the trigger guard rather than a button as is common on American pistols. This can be a real adjustment for the average shooter because they are so conditioned to hitting a button to release the magazine. However, it is one of the least obstructive ambidextrous release styles. The slide stop is also an ambidextrous design and is easily manipulated with either hand.

The standard sights on the P30 are adequate but nothing special. They feature a 3-dot design and metal construction. This particular gun has luminous dots that glow when they are exposed to light. Improved tritium night sights are available on some models for those who want them.

The P30 was originally supplied with a 15-round magazine. That is a decent capacity, but is generally more common in a compact pistol rather than a full size gun. H&K eventually released a 17-round magazine that still fits flush in the grip, but those are not supplied with new P30 pistols at this time. An extended 20-round magazine is also available.

HK P30 Review 2

One given feature of any H&K pistol is reliability. They are one of the gold standard firearm manufacturers in the market. H&K claims in their promotional materials that a P30 fired 91,000 rounds without a major component failure. Based on my experience with the P30, I believe them.

Aftermarket support for the P30 is not amazing but it is adequate. Its extensive commonality with the VP9 is a major advantage in that regard. The P30 is not a dominant design, and specific upgrades to the trigger mechanism should not be expected, but things like holsters, sights, and magazines will remain available.

The value proposition with high end handguns is always a little tricky. Is it an excellent, robust handgun? Yes. Does that justify the price point in the $700-800 range? Maybe. It is hard to find a DA/SA pistol better than the P30. But DA/SA guns seem to have fallen out of favor in the current market, with striker-fired guns accounting for the primary share of the defensive pistol market. But if a shooter is dead set on getting an excellent DA/SA gun, the P30 is one of the best options in the market.

HK P30 Pros and Cons 

  • Grip – Very comfortable grip
  • Reliability – H&K reliability
  • MSRP – High price
  • Aftermarket – Weaker aftermarket support

Report Card

Shootability

Minor trigger reset gripes are the only issue.

A-
Reliability

This gun just works. Period.

A+
Ergonomics

Few guns are more comfortable than the P30

A
Accuracy

Very good for a combat pistol, but not match grade.

A-
Value

It’s a great pistol, but slightly overpriced

C
HK P30 Final Grade

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by Daniel Young

Reader’s Grade

A-

Based on 9 Reviews

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HK P30 Starter Pack

If you’re into shooting guns you need to have the following items to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to the range.

  • Gun Cleaning Kit: We’ve got a whole article dedicated to gun cleaning kits you’ll need to keep your pistol in tip top shape.  
  • Eye Protection: This should go without saying, but you need to invest in some quality shooting glasses. One errant piece of brass, and you’re in for a bad day. Check out our recommendations for the best shooting glasses!
  • Hearing Protection: Upgrade your shooting life and get some quality hearing protection. We’ve gathered all of our favorites to help you decide the best hearing protection for you.

Upgrades and Accessories for the HK P30

If you are looking to improve your HK P30 we have made a list of items that we think will make this great firearm even better! 

You will always want to add several magazines to your inventory. We found both a 17 and 20 round magazine that would work great.

We also found a great set of nights to help you see your sights in low light situations as well as a weapon mounted Surefire light to help identify your targets.

Every handgun needs a great holster, and the ALS holster from Safariland will securely hold your gun in place.

Finally, if you want to really enhance your handgun, we found a threaded barrel so you can add a suppressor do your handgun.

Best Accessories For The HK P30

H&K P30 Factory 17 Round Magazine
  • 17-round, 9mm capacity
  • Steel construction
Check Price
H&K P30 Factory 20 Round Magazine

 

  • 20-round, 9mm capacity
  • Steel construction
Check Price
Safariland 6377 ALS Belt Holster
  • Automatic Locking System
Check Price
Trijicon HD XR Night Sight Set
  • Enhanced Front Sight Acquisition
  • “U” Notch Rear Sight
  • Tritium-Phosphor Lamp
Check Price
SureFire X300 Ultra Weapon Light
  • 1000 Lumens of LED white light
  • Integrated rail lock system of picatinny or universal rails
  • Ambidextrous activation switch
  • constant and momentary on modes
Check Price
H&K Threaded Barrel P30 9mm
  • Factory H&K threaded barrel
Check Price

Best Ammo for Your HK P30

For the HK P30 you will want both training ammo and defensive ammo for duty. Here are some great deals on ammo we have found for you. 

Training Ammunition

Sellier and Bellot 9mm Ammo

Sellier & Bellot 9mm 115 GR FMJ

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Sportsman’s Guide $0.32
Brownells $0.29
Palmetto State Armory $0.28

Self Defense Ammunition

Speer Gold Dot 9mm Ammo

Speer Gold Dot 9mm 124 GR HP

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Palmetto State Armory $1.50
Optics Planet $1.50

Other Pistols of its Class to Check Out

The HK P30 got top marks. But if you’re not sold on a DA/SA, there are other options out there. Here are some of our favorites. 

#1 Glock 19

Glock 19

Glock 19

The Glock 19 in 9 mm Luger is ideal for a versatile role thanks to its reduced dimensions when compared to the standard-sized option.

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A
  • Reliability A
  • Ergonomics B
  • Accuracy A
  • Value A

Our Grade

A-

Reader’s Grade

A-

Based on 43 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

#1 Sig P320 Compact

Sig P320 Compact Feature Image

Sig P320 Compact

The Sig p320 is a modular reliable 9mm pistol that is the best all-around handgun.

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A
  • Reliability A
  • Ergonomics A
  • Accuracy A-
  • Value B

Our Grade

A-

Reader’s Grade

A-

Based on 93 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

#1 Springfield Prodigy Commander 4.25 Inch

Springfield Prodigy Review

Springfield Prodigy Commander 4.25 Inch

The Springfield Prodigy is an excellent double-stack 9mm 1911 with many performance upgrades straight from the factory.

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A+
  • Reliability A+
  • Ergonomics A+
  • Accuracy A+
  • Value A

Our Grade

A+

Reader’s Grade

C+

Based on 4 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

How to Care for Your HK P30

MrGunsNGear has a great video walking you the full disassembly and cleaning process for the HK P30 series of handguns.

We found some extra information for your HK P30. Check out the links below for the manufacturer’s website, operator’s manual, and some great videos on the HK P30.

If you are looking for a great video review of the HK P30, Kit Badger does a nice job walking you through his experience with the HK P30.

Lucky Gunner has a great video discussing the L.E.M. trigger variant in particular if you wanted to learn more about that version.

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About Daniel Young

Daniel is an attorney and lifelong gun nerd. His Instagram account, @fromtheguncounter, grew out of his work at a gun store and shooting range. He can usually be found in the hills with a rifle when he's not working.

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