Monday, December 19, 2011

Dies ist meine pistole

My HK P30 has finally arived. Unfortunately, the Bladetech holster that I ordered has not, as in-stock items doesn't apply to relatively new H und K products. Because of that, I couldn't do any draws, so I stuck with testing out some defensive ammo to see what it likes.

A few months ago I ordered 1k rounds of 115 grain Federal ammo from The price couldn't be beat. I also ordered some 147 grain Federal HST +P, 147 grain Winchester Ranger-T, 124 grain Speer Gold Dot +P, and 124 grain Remington Golden Saber +P Bonded from wherever I could get it in 50 round boxes. I ran these loads through my chronograph, but I'll have to update this post with both the exact velocity information and group measurements as I don't have it at my fingertips at the moment. I shot two 5-shot groups for accuracy at 25 yards, which let me get the aftermarket Meprolight Tru-Dot sights dialed in.

The P30 didn't like the Ranger-Ts all that much; velocity was around 980 fps and the accuracy was consistently at just over 3". That's about what it gives the Glock 17, so I wasn't surprised. The Golden Sabers were stringing vertically, with by groups running over 3", but only because of flyers. The best four for both GS groups ran around 2.5", and I blame my shooting on the fact that I forgot to bring my folding table to shoot off of, and had to resort to using the back of my smiley face chair as support while crouching. Not the greatest setup for accuracy. Velocity for the GSs was near 1,150 fps. The Gold Dots had a couple of flyers too, but I think they can be counted on to shoot ten rounds into 2" or less, and velocity was about 1,178 fps if I recall. These rounds shot exactly to point of aim, while everything else shot a bit high. I'm a big fan of the Gold Dots, and they may become my carry load if I have any issues from the HSTs:

As you can see from the shot holes marked with a sharpie line, the first group was a scootch under 2" for the best four if you discount that one flyer, but the second group measured 1.3" center to center. Velocity averaged 1,047 fps. This load also felt pretty mild, with the 124 grain +Ps giving a noticable amount of snap. For fun, I shot a Gold Dot and an HST through four layers of denim and into water jugs to see if they would expand:

I only had six water jugs, and the Gold Dot penetrated into the 5th jug, destroying the first one. So I did what any good ol' Virginia boy would do in such a situation and duct taped the shot holes. Get a good look at my jugs:

Yes, I'm ghetto, but it worked well enough. The HST went clean through three jugs and stopped up against a fourth:

The Gold Dot went further because it didn't open up as much.

I don't have the exact measurements at hand at the moment, but the Gold Dot was in the mid .5"s and the HST was in the upper .6"s in average diameter. At the widest point the HST measured .712", which is pretty amazing for a 9mm bullet. I tried to put enough tape on the remaining water jugs to test a 90 grain Gold Dot from the Kel-Tec P3AT, but the last jug lost enough water that the round went through and was unrecovered. It did make it through the denim and two full jugs, and the exit hole on the last jug looked like the bullet had expanded quite a bit. Velocity was 989 for an average of five shots if I recall.

To finish off the short range trip I clicked off two boxes of the 115 grain Federals. I did get velocity data off of those as well, and I'll post them later. Since I didn't have a holster, I kept the gun low and would do some push-outs to see how the transition from Glock to HK trigger would go. The P30s LEM V2" 5.5ish trigger pull is much longer than the Glock, and the reset is basically all the way forward. There's a bunch of light takeup before it tightens up, and another 1/16th of an inch breaks the shot. It's not bad, and I can definitely get used to it, but I did find myself short stroking the trigger a few times, and I would often pull shots low. I found that when I pressed the gun forward onto the target, it worked best if I took all the slack out of the trigger before coming to full extention, and then breaking the shot right as the sights were lined up.

I'm a big fan of the interchangable grip panels on the P30. It surprised me on which ones I ended up using; I have the small backstrap on, with a large left panel and medium right panel. If I close my eyes and press the unloaded pistol out in front of me, when I open them the sights are perfectly level every time. I did this over and over with the small and medium backstrap until I was certain the small one was the way to go, and I practiced working the trigger in my basement at the Huron target Mike W. and Nancy gave me (no offense to Hurons). There's 8" of reinforced concrete behind it, so that's what I snap in on in the abundant free time that I have:

The differences in size between the P30 and the Glock 17 are mainly in the slide length, with the grip being slightly shorter and less of an angle with the P30:

The P30 is basically right in between the Glock 17 and Glock 19 in grip length (closer to the G19), and the slide is a touch shorter than the Glock 19. Perfect carry size. Once I get the Bladetech in, I'll modify it into an atrocity like my Glock 17 holster and carry it until my Custom Carry Concepts Shaggy holster comes in sometime in the distant future. As promised, here's the abominable G17 holster:

It's ugly as sin but it works great. Don't judge!

I'll have more range reports to follow in the near future, hopefully. I'll have some time off after Christmas, and I plan on shooting as much as possible. I still want to sandbag this gun from a bench to see if I can shrink those groups a bit, but it looks like the HST is going to be my carry load. I also plan on testing out the V4 springs that I have for it to see if I like a heavier trigger pull.


Drew said...

gotta love them hst's

i carry the 124 gr +P

i now want to test a 147

Unknown said...

I hear that the standard pressure 147s work great, which is good considering how hard the +Ps are to get. I figure that the +Ps will give me expansion at a greater distance.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the good review. I had really thought the P30 was larger than the G17. You've gotten me interested in that gun.

I can't quite tell from the photo, how did you get the holster to tuck in more?


P.S. Do you feel you are as fast with the 147 +Ps as with the others loads?

Unknown said...

Terry - the rubber plug on the trigger guard of the holster acts like a wedge that drives the grip in towards the gut. I had it attached via screws on the inside of the holster, but realized that that was probably dangerous because they could potentially back out and snag the trigger, so I epoxied it and it ain't going anywhere. The duct tape holds a padded piece of an old crappy holster that I cut up which puts a small bit of leverage near the muzzle end of the holster driving the rear of the slide in towards the body. It's similar in function to the Garrity Invictus holsters "ravioli" which does the same thing. The Invictus also has the wedge which turns the grip.

For being such an ugly beast, this Bladetech is very comfortable and I can conceal it under a normal fitting T-shirt with almost no printing. Sometimes the very end of the G17's grip will touch the shirt, but it's not anything anyone seems to notice. The P30's grip is just short enough that I don't think it will do the same thing.

And yes, I think the +P 147s are every bit as fast. I've taken standard pressure 147s and mixed them in the magazine with regular 115 grain target fodder, and I can't tell which is which. The +P 147s only give you about another 30 fps, so they're not really any hotter. The +P 124s recoil noticably more, and I find that lighter weight high-pressure stuff tends to be much more snappy.

Unknown said...

I forgot to add: there's a few more pictures in the photobucket folder for this post that show the size difference between the G17 and the P30, and also the back of the abominable holster. Click on any of the pictures and it should take you to the folder.

Anonymous said...

Thanks C Tone I understand it better now and the extra pics helped.

How much thickness at the bottom and at the trigger guard did you add?

It's funny of recoil is always subjective, for me the 124gr +Ps barely recoiled more than the 115gr walmart specials in a G19.


Unknown said...

The total thickness of the wedge is about 5/8", but the thickness that is actually useful is 1/2", as part of the thickness is used up in the contour of the trigger guard. It could really use another 1/8". The thickness at the bottom under the duct tape is very minor, maybe 1/8' in all. The holster I cut up was a cheap padded nylon one, the kind with a barely usable thumb break. I intend to take some pictures of the same process with the Bladetech I ordered whenever it gets here.

I just ordered a Safariland 27 today as I found out on their fitting chart that they do in fact make one for the P30, and it's a favorite of AIWB carry for being comfortable and inexpensive. $37 sounded good to me, and hopefully it's here in a few days.

Broken Andy said...

I have to say that I am impressed with the uses you find for duct tape. The next time we get together I'm gonna have to check your range bag to see if it standard CTone issued gear.

BTW, I wonder if the jugs would fail to rip apart if the caps weren't on them. That might save them from catastrophic tearing that even duct tape can't fix.

Old NFO said...

Good report, and FWIW, I carry 115gr Gold Dots in my P9.

Unknown said...

Old NFO - Anything Gold Dot is good to go. I've never had a problem with em in any caliber, and I plan on loading my own 147 grain Gold Dots here in the very near future.

mike's spot said...

nice write up! are you a righty or a lefty? only curious because of the grip combination that worked out

Unknown said...

I'm a righty. The large grip panel on the left of the gun gives the meat of my support hand more "stuff" to grip to.