Thread: 9mm vs.45
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 01:26 PM
johnlee johnlee is online now
John Lee
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,150
Yeah, the P7's gas system really heats up the pistol. The pistol is too hot to hold after several magazines.

Just forward of the case mouth, you can see a gas bleed tube that runs from the barrel to the gas tube under the chamber. As soon as the bullet passes this port as it's driven down the barrel, gas pressure fills the gas tube and helps to keep the breech shut. This gas is obviously very hot and heats up the pistol's frame. The frame can get hot enough that the shooter has to grip down on the handle and the middle finger of the firing hand has to be kept away from the receiver and the trigger guard. This is contrary to the way the pistol should be held, as the firing hand should be scrunched up as far as possible into the pistol to lower the bore axis and minimize muzzle flip.

The heat problem is a disadvantage on the range but not in real life, as it takes several magazines to heat up the pistol. I think a much bigger disadvantage of the P7 is its 9mm chambering. I wish HK made a usable P7 in .40 or 10mm or .45. A 1911-sized P7 chambered in .45 ACP would be a very sweet pistol, perhaps the ultimate service pistol. I would bet even Jeff Cooper would convert to that pistol if it existed.

Another disadvantage of the P7 is that it's a very "dirty" pistol to shoot. The chamber is fluted and this blows a lot of carbon fouling back onto the breech face. This doesn't affect reliability at all. In fact, it enhances reliability. But it takes longer to clean a P7 than it does a modern short-recoil pistol like a Glock. No real biggie though.
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