1. Squeeze cocking. IMHO the safest gun for daily carry. The gun goes from perfectly safe to perfectly deadly in a split second. If you drop it you may have a heart attack because it might get scratched but you can rest assured it won't go off. This gun is incredibly fast.
2. Trigger pull. Thanks to the squeeze cocking system the gun is safely equipped with an excellent single action trigger pull. I've had die-hard partisans of every type of gun praise my P7's trigger.
3. Compact. Although it has full-size controls (no pinky hang), the gun is sized like a compact approaching a subcompact. It is much thinner than almost any handgun.(1.1-1.2 inches).
4. Full-size barrel. Despite this gun's compact size it has a full 4-inch barrel.
5. Fixed-barrel. This gun lacks the tilting barrel assembly of most other full-sized guns. This lends the gun exceptional accuracy. In combination with the aforementioned trigger, this barrel makes the P7 ultra-accurate.
6. Low recoil. This is debatable. I have always felt that this has the least recoil of any 9mm. Some disagree, most don't. This is likely result of the guns low bore/axis and gas system (although some say the gas system should have no effect).
7. Tough! This gun is CNC milled from a solid steel forging. The gun is so solid it could be used as a nasty set of brass knuckles in a pinch. Without picking one up it is hard to imagine how solid this little gun feels. When I had mine hard-chromed the smith complained endlessly about how hard the P7 was to machine.
8. Excellent sight radius. Although the gun is short, HK maximized the sight radius by pushing the sights as far apart as practically possible.
9. Oddball manual of arms confuses bad guys and know it all buddies. There are many accounts of cops loosing their P7's to bad guys who were, in turn, unable to figure out the squeeze cocker. On the lighter side, a know it all at a local gun shop had just explained to all of his bad experiences with the P7 when I handed it to him only to watch him fumble around unable to cock it! Hilarious.
10. Chamber fluting allows the gun to function even if the extractor is broken. This feature really makes you think when you are trying to determine which gun you want to bet you life on (no offense, but this a much more serious advantage than being able to freeze the gun in a bucket of ice or whatever).
11. Easily childproofed. The P7's striker can be removed without tools (and without any other disassembly of the gun). The striker can be re-inserted into the gun in roughly 1 second. This could be a major consideration to those of us with small children and stupid friends.
12. Ambidextrous. With the exception of the slide catch and take down buttons, every model of the P7 is completely ambidextrous.
13. Ultra-fast magazine release. This has to be experienced to be understood. Rambo types complained about the PSP’s lack of rapid magazine release. HK, Germans that they are, decided to give them what they wanted—a magazine that ejects so fast and powerfully that they could be used as back-up projectiles in an emergency.
14. Ultra fast slide release. Simply squeeze the handle and the slide will be released.
15. 110 degree grip angle gives the gun natural pointability. 110 degree grip angle makes the gun point just like you finger.
16. Low profile slide. The P7’s low profile slide means that there is very little recoiling mass relative to the frame. This, along with the above mentioned 110-degree grip angle makes reacquiring targets a breeze with the P7.
1. The gun gets uncomfortably hot after 60 (or so) rapid shots. More of a training problem than a "real world" consideration.
2. Finish lacks durability. Blued finish wears quickly and is very little protection against corrosion.
3. Very expensive. At over $1000, this gun is out of the range of many buyers.
4. The gun's design is such that it gets dirty quickly when shot.
5. The gun malfunctions when not maintained properly. While this is true of all guns, the P7 seems to be more sensitive than most modern autos. The solution is to keep the gas cylinder clean.
6. The P7's cocking lever emits a click when released. This is more of an issue with SEAL wannabes than real people. The theory is that the noise will alert the bad guys to your presence. Easily overcome with technique anyway (press in cocking latch at top of cocking lever while releasing your grip). With this technique the gun is almost silent and certainly quieter than any SIG or USP with decocking lever.
7. Low capacity. Except in now unavailable M13 (LEO only) and M10 (discontinued for ugliness), capacity is limited to 9 rounds (with one in chamber).
8. Grip screws come loose too easily. Use lock-tite.
9. Can't use lead bullets (see cleanliness issues above).
10. Slide lock button too small for some.
11. Magazine release on M8/M13 too sensitive to careless holstering (accidental magazine ejection). PSP model doesn't suffer from this (Euro-magazine catch).
12. During an emergency a user might accidentally squeeze the trigger while squeezing the cocking lever. I personally think this isn't a problem. The P7 was designed with a fair amount of take-up in the trigger so the gun is tolerant of some sloppiness. The moral of the story is to keep you finger off the trigger until you are ready to kill something. It should also be noted that your trigger finger is relatively independent of your other fingers. I can't remember the physiological term, but the other three fingers usually act in unison while the index finger is only partially connected. Still, in an emergency anything is possible--practice proper form with all firearms!
13. For some, seriously ham-fisted users, the gun might be accidentally disassembled if the take down button is inadvertently pressed while the slide is being racked. This is extremely unlikely, however, it can be done with practice.
14. Disassembly not for mere mortals. A "detail
can involve a lot of head/heart ache. The gun has a fair number of parts but the real problem is the gun's unorthodox design [Expert reassembly tip, use grease to hold in the mag release spring--otherwise you will go mad trying to hold everything together while attempting to drive in the assembly pin]. An armorer at HK told me that they regularly have to reassemble guns for owners who let curiosity get the better of them. Fortunately, there is really no reason to strip it down beyond a "field strip." Just spray in some gun oil and wipe.
15. Possible difficulty depressing cocking lever with weak or injured hands. My father has weakness in his right hand related to a stroke he had a few years ago. For a while he was unable to cock my M8. On the other hand, once the lever is squeezed it only takes about a pound and a half to keep it cocked.