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Initial Impressions: HK P30SK

Initial Impressions: HK P30SK

“Isn’t that just the P2000SK with different grips?” That was the first question I asked myself when I saw the announcement from Heckler & Koch of the P30SK while scrolling through my Instagram feed. Say what you want about HK, but the P30 is a king in the world of 15-round polymer compact handguns. So it should be little surprise that I wanted to get my hands on the P30SK and see whether HK was able to recreate the phenomenal P30 in sub-compact form.

Out of the box, the P30SK comes with two 10-round magazines, two interchangeable backstraps, two interchangeable side grip panels and one Glock-like magazine loader, which to my knowledge is new for HK.I’m convinced Germans can’t help but over-engineer anything involving metal, and the HK P30SK is no exception. Every component on the gun is overbuilt as if it were destined to live in the depths of hell.

Picking up the P30SK for the first time, my middle and ring finger sit perfectly in the very prominent finger grooves of the Batman-like grips. However, my pinky finger is forced to find shelter at the bottom of the magazine baseplate. Notwithstanding my homeless pinky finger, the grip on the P30SK feels surgically attached to my hand, even more so than on the P30.

Unlike the smooth, refined texture of the P30, the P30SK’s grip texture is pretty rough. It’s not stipple-job, put holes in your T-shirt rough, but it’s noticeably rougher than the texture on the P30. It’s the same texture you get with the HK VP-series pistols.

I’m convinced Germans can’t help but over-engineer anything involving metal, and the HK P30SK is no exception. Every component on the gun is overbuilt as if it were destined to live in the depths of hell. There’s the ambidextrous surfboard-size slide lock, the trigger guard that looks like the doorway to Narnia, the paddle-style magazine release sculpted by the Kardashians’ family surgeon. There’s even an abbreviated Picatinny rail where most manufacturers would say to hell with a rail altogether. The slide feels like it was built from a decommissioned Abrams tank, the guide rod could easily pass for Damascus steel and the luminescent sights—which are like night sights, only 10 times worse—are also made of metal.  

Unfortunately, all that metal adds weight, and it’s hard to make the case that “more weight” is a good design strategy for a carry gun. Compared to the Glock 26, it’s noticeably heavier and thicker. I can see this weight difference being a deal-breaker for some and a moot point for others.    

Anyone familiar with HK knows that the company’s guns can come in myriad configurations. There’s V1 through, like, V1000? Okay, maybe not that many, but there’s a lot. You can get guns with a safety or no safety, safety/decocker, DOA only with their LEM trigger—it’s simply a buffet of configurations that I don’t have the patience to memorize. My P30SK is the V3 DA/SA with the rear decocking button. Initially I hated the rear decocking button, but over time it’s grown on me, as it’s more intuitive than it seems. The gun’s DA/SA trigger is slightly better—and I mean slightly better—than the P30. And by better, I mean it’s a little cleaner. I am still not thrilled about the trigger: I get that it’s supposed to be a combat trigger, but at this price point people expect something pretty phenomenal. Hopefully the trigger will be much better during live fire, as is true of the P30. 

So what market segment is HK going after with this gun? I don’t feel like they had anything specific in mind. I believe this is a gun for people who only want to carry an HK and own a P30, but feel its size isn’t always ideal. It’s a gun that knows its faults and just doesn’t care. It knows that certain people are going to buy it and feel superior to the people who bought that other gun. Not because they're egotistical, Audi S8-driving assholes, but because they have a thing for the little details; and those little details make owning a gun like the P30SK that much sweeter.