P30 Thursday: Week Six

11-Jun-09 – 23:03 by ToddG

7,387 rounds
2 stoppages, 0 malfunctions, 0 parts breakages


Some great news and some bad news this week.

First, the bad news: two extraction failures shooting NATO-specification 124gr Winchester FMJ ammunition. Simultaneously, the pistol began acting a bit weird during slidelock reloads (slide going forward on its own not just when the magazine was inserted, which rarely happens for me otherwise, but also occasionally when the empty mag was simply ejected). A call to HK diagnosed the problem as weak magazine springs, and they overnighted new ones to me. I’m happy to say the problems went away, as tested today during 700+ rounds of shooting everything from the incredibly soft shooting American Eagle 124gr Indoor Range TMJ to 124gr +p Gold Dot.

p30-withrlsNext, the great news. Luckily, there is a lot of it.

Safariland has sent one of its RLS (Rapid Light System) gadgets for evaluation. The RLS lets you carry a normal handheld light via belt clip, but with just a simple motion it attaches to the Picatinny-style accessory rail on your pistol. After ditching the supplied Safariland-branded light for my trusty Novatac 120P, I’ve been carrying it for about a week. The RLS has its pros and cons. The only major negative from my perspective is that it is incompatible with my normal shooting grip, and trying to find a way to hold the gun without giving up the benefit of a two-handed hold — the whole reason for using a weapon-mounted light in the first place, after all — is tricky.

I pulled a best-ever P30 F.A.S.T. score this week, 4.47 clean. I’m consistently in the 4.50-5.00 range with the gun now. My personal record is 4.26 with the M&P9 about four months into last year’s test. It will be interesting to see how the P30 is doing by that point.

hkgrayroomperspToday, I became the first certified P30 armorer in the United States. In fact, the program is so new they do not have armorer manuals printed up yet. And while I was at HK USA getting trained, I also had a chance to spend a couple of hours in the legendary Gray Room! So as a new feature of P30 Thursday every week, we’ll be posting a picture of the endurance test gun along side one or more historic, famous, or prototype HK weapons. To start things off, the first such picture (at the beginning of this entry, click for larger version) is with an HK4, the first pistol the company ever produced.

Finally, we’re very happy to announce that pistol-training.com is partnering with Atlanta Arms & Ammo, supplier to such prestigious folks as the Army Marksmanship Unit and Team Glock, for a big chunk of the ammunition that will be used in testing the P30. Thanks go out to everyone at Atlanta Arms & Ammo for their support! As the AA&A ammo starts to arrive, we’ll be able to pick up the pace on the P30 test significantly. Our goal for next week: hit 10,000 rounds.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

Previous P30 Endurance Test posts at pistol-training.com:

  1. 18 Responses to “P30 Thursday: Week Six”

  2. i have a question but i’m not really sure i expect you to answer it but have you formed a preference yet for the HK v. M&P? i’ve never held a P30 yet but that grip looks pretty sweet.

    By David on Jun 12, 2009

  3. David — They are two totally different guns in terms of function. What I am finding is that, contrary to conventional internet wisdom, the P30 is much closer to the M&P in terms of raw shootability than I expected. Each gun has proven its advantages and disadvantages. Beyond that, it’s hard for me to offer a fair comparison because first, I had a lot more time on the M&P to get acclimated to its design, and second, the M&P went through a lot more abuse than the P30 has so far.

    By ToddG on Jun 12, 2009

  4. interesting problem with the mags. Kudos to HK for the quick service. Unfortunately it’s not something we could ever expect in Canada due to the company that distributes HK up here.
    Drool on the “gray room”. I’ve heard about it, first pics I’ve ever seen. I know I could entertain myself for hours in there.

    By Rob E on Jun 12, 2009

  5. Do you think the magazine issue was caused primarily upon your reliance on the first two magazines? I know that I own two HK P30s and only have four magazines in total for them. I can’t seem to find any extra mags, anywhere! Perhaps HK jinxed themselves by not supplying you with extra mags. Your thoughts?

    By gtmtnbiker98 on Jun 12, 2009

  6. You have the greatest job in the world, you know that?

    By Lane on Jun 12, 2009

  7. Todd,

    How are you differentiating between a “Stoppage” and a “Malfunction?” In my mind a FTE could and maybe should be classified as a malfunction depending on the circumstances cause.

    I think of a malfuntion as a situation where the firearm either failed to perform a function correctly, in this case it was a failed extraction which is both a stoppage and a malfunction, or it performed a function that it wasn’t intended to, like suffering from a slam fire type situation.

    In contrast, a stoppage would be any situation where the firearm could not be operated as intended. This could be due to a gun malfunction, like you had, or due to any number of expternal factors, poor ammo or poor technique by the shooter.

    Keep up the good work!

    By Daniel C. on Jun 12, 2009

  8. gtmtnbiker98 — As of yesterday, HK USA isn’t expecting more 15rd P30 magazines until July.

    Daniel C. — Stoppage: Any failure of the pistol to go through its entire cycle of operation. This could include a failure to feed, fire, extract, or eject. A problem qualifies as a Stoppage if and only if the shooter is capable of fixing the problem without the use of any tools, without disassembling the gun in any way (magazine can be removed), and the pistol is in firing condition in less than 30 seconds. For example, a stovepipe or failure of the slide to go fully into battery would be Stoppages.

    Malfunction: Any failure of the pistol to go through its entire cycle of operation and which requires the use of tools, disassembly of any part of the pistol, and/or takes more than 30 seconds to resolve, but does not require any parts replacement. For example, a dislodged spring or a front sight that falls off the gun would be Malfunctions.

    Breakage: Any failure of the pistol to go through its entire cycle of operation and which requires parts replacement to resolve. For example, a broken spring or chipped extractor would be Breakages.

    By ToddG on Jun 12, 2009

  9. Is that seriously not just one, but *four* G11s on the wall of the gray room? I’m drooling here.

    By commandar on Jun 12, 2009

  10. Can someone please identify the second pistol from the far wall on the left side of the room, top row?

    J/K 😀


    By Timothy Slemp on Jun 13, 2009

  11. I can count two stoppages on all of my HK pistols, total. One occurred on a 9mm P2000 during a USPSA match where I tried to reload my pistol and the magazine wouldn’t lock home, went thru two mags trying to keep the gun running. I diagnosed the problem after the stage discovering that I had mistakenly reassembled my 9mm magazine using a flat .40 cal base plate. The base plates are of different thickness to account for the slightly extended .40 cal mags. They simply wouldn’t seat. I pay close attention to this now.

    Second, was a failure to go into battery on my 9mm P30 during a IDPA classifier. The gun was back into action quickly and I’m not entirely sure that it was the gun’s fault. I am fairly certain that, at the time, I was using a very aggressive thumbs forward grip in which my master hand thumb was riding under the slide release and applying upward pressure on the slide release. But still, I can only speculate, so I default to counting it against the gun even if it was a fault of my technique. I have never repeated this with the pistol since modifying my grip slightly.

    Other than these “stoppages” I have never experienced an interruption in any of my P2000/P30 pistols in thousands of rounds fired. I still have yet to clean my P30 and it chews through any ammo I can stuff thru it including aluminum-cased Blazer.

    Frankly, I think HK uses the best extractor design in the business. There’s virtually nothing that can be done by a smith to improve its function. It is well engineered and thoroughly hardened, features that you are not likely to find across the board among its competitors.

    By Timothy Slemp on Jun 13, 2009

  12. Hey Todd,

    What maintenance schedule does the P30 get from you, and what products do you like for clean and lube on the polymer pistols?

    By Jeff Moline on Jun 13, 2009

  13. Can someone please identify the second pistol from the far wall on the left side of the room, top row?

    It’s a Phase III (Production) Mk23 Mod 0 with KAC suppressor and LAM.

    By ToddG on Jun 13, 2009

  14. Jeff Moline — Presently, I’ve been cleaning the gun every thousand rounds or so. The solvent I use is Shooter’s Choice and for lubrication it’s Militec-1.

    By ToddG on Jun 13, 2009

  15. “It’s a Phase III (Production) Mk23 Mod 0 with KAC suppressor and LAM.”

    OK. Now you’re just showing off. :p

    Impossible to stump the chump.


    By Timothy Slemp on Jun 13, 2009

  16. Tim — Actually, I just happened to take a photo of that end of the display and was able to see it at a resolution allowing me to read the ID tags. 8)

    By ToddG on Jun 13, 2009

  17. Does this mean that the mag springs on a P30 should be changed every 3500 rounds (assuming you only have 2 mags)?

    Also since you are the only p30 armorer, what is the maintenance schedule for the gun (ie the slide spring, recoil buffer, etc)? Manual is silent on these issues.

    Finally have you had to replace the chewed up P30 mag followers? Mine got chewed up after 1000 rounds.

    Finally, the P30 did hiccup when near new with some frangible being used (with your former mates) at the Sig Academy; a new P2000 .40 absolutely hated the frangible there–double feeds r us!

    By P30man on Jun 17, 2009

  18. Speaking of P30 mags…..any ideas when new mags will be available?

    By Rich on Jul 27, 2009

  19. I’m looking for a P30 armorer in my area, NH, any ideas how to find one? Are there any more since you went through?

    By tsd685 on Aug 24, 2010

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