HK P30SK Sub Compact 9mm Pistol Review

For all you HK fans out there the long-awaited arrival of the P30SK is here. Now ever since I first picked up the P30SK at the NRA show in Nashville this past year, I have been dying to get my hands on this pistol, take it down to the range, because the P30 is one of my all-time favorite handguns. And I’ll tell you what it was not disappointing.

Yeah. I’ve been a big Glock fan for a number of years but there’s a lot of other guns out on the market that are actually more ergonomic of higher quality and have a lot of really cool features. The HK P30 is to me one of the pinnacles of that kind of feel for a self-defense firearm. And you know one of the only big problems that I’ve had is even though it’s just about the size of a Glock 19, it’s just a little bit too heavy to carry on an everyday basis. And so HK has the answer and we have the HK P30SK. SK stands for sub compact, in German it starts with a K, which is kind of cool.

So it’s a 9mm pistol. It is in the same configuration as my P30. Now there are a number of different models they make and we’re going to get into a little bit of that in a minute. But this is a very brand new offering from HK. In fact it hasn’t really hit the market yet. They’re just starting to get it out to reviewers. So, I was really excited to get ahold of one these and really run it through its paces.

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First thing we’re going to do is make sure the gun isn’t loaded and it is. Here is the 10 round magazine. It is all steel construction. The base plate has a just a very thin rubberized coating it feels like. That makes it really soft. One of the things that I really like too is that it recesses into the mag well. So you’re not hanging down here with your grip ending. It’s actually fitted in to where the grip actually wraps around the base plate. That gives you a little more gripping surface.

Now I’ll tell you you’re not going to get a whole lot with your pinky. I’m sure that they will be offering, or an aftermarket company, an extended base plate here to give you a little more if you like that. It is extremely ergonomic. That’s one of the things about the P30 that just impressed me immediately, was how it felt in your hand. Very thin here, the texturing on the grip itself is really nice.

Now one of the things that’s different about the SK compared to the standard P30 is the texture of the grip. The texturing on the P30 is much more aggressive than it is on the new SK. The grips are actually more like the VP9. You can see the real fine texturing of the standard P30. I have scuffed these up just a touch because they are so fine. I’m really glad to see the P30 style with these little squiggles. It definitely will be more durable and that was a big improvement.

And on top of that there are six different panels that are interchangeable. You have your back strap. There is small, medium and large. And then the side panels here there is small, medium and large. And I’m going to show you how to take those off and change them out in just a minute. But the texturing goes around the finger grooves and the finger grooves are so molded that it doesn’t really make it feel like finger groves. It just fits.

Now the grip interchangeability is one of the things that makes this a little bit of an exception over most of your subcompact pistols. Most subcompacts don’t have all these options. Also the accessory rail. This is a Picatinny accessory rail. It’s short. It’s small. You can fit different lasers and lights on here. But you need to make sure before you do because some of them do extend it a little far. But it is an option which I really like.

Another thing that’s really big is the front serrations. Most of your subcompacts the slides do not have front serrations. The serrations here are very nice and as well on the front. So that allows you to get your hand up here and to be able to rack your slide. One of the things about a subcompact or a small pistol that you’re going to conceal carry, the more options you have the better because this is typically the gun that you may use in a self-defense situation.

These are the night sights. Now they do make their standard model has illuminated sights which need to be charged. I have that on my P30. But on this, this – these are Tru Dot and they are three dot and they’re night tritium night sights. They’re excellent but one of the things I really love is this little shelf.

I love this shelf right here on the back sight. It makes it really easy, one handed reloads, which can also be done on your boot. In most shootings your arms and your hands, your extremities are what get hit typically the most. And if you lose arm and you’re not able to load – and you run out of ammunition not about to reload another magazine that really could be a problem

Now the P30SK is fully ambidextrous as is. One of the things it has is the paddle release for your magazine release and I know a lot of guys don’t like that. You get used to that little frame safety or that frame magazine release. Guys will tell you it’s real easy to get used to that. And what I really like is using my trigger finger. Hitting it, you drop your magazine, it makes it really nice. You don’t have to adjust your grip in any way. So this, and of course you can do it with your strong hand thumb as well.

But it’s really nice to me and I’ve really gotten to where I prefer the paddle design. Also, the slide stop and if you’ll notice here and here the slide release is ambidextrous on either side, bring it back. It is extended and one of the things about that is, is it’s so easy to manipulate right here.

Now one of the problems that I found was when I first starting going to the range with this pistol is the slide would not lock back after the last round. After the first couple of times I realized that I was holding down on this lever. As I’m holding it down it’s really easy to depress that lever. Very easy. So just make sure you keep your thumb off of that lever. You tend to kind of rest your thumb right there. So just keep it off and that will keep that slide coming back. I kind of had a similar problem with the VP9, holding that down, and the slide going forward. I just trained myself and it works.

This is the LEM version, which is law enforcement modification. It is a double action only pistol. It also comes in a frame safety and it also comes in a de-cocker. But to me the LEM is the best way to go as far as the best trigger. And one of the reasons why is because of the heavy double action trigger pull you’re going to get on most pistols. To demonstrate the LEM trigger, I’m going to show you how this works.

I’ve already safety checked it and I have to leave it this way to be able to demonstrate. Without the slide being pulled back it’s in double action and it’s – the hammer has to be fully pulled back so I take my trigger, I pull it. It’s a really heavy trigger pull. I mean it is extremely heavy. One of the things that the LEM does is when you rack the slide, it actually pre-cocks the hammer. And I’m going to show you what I mean. Watch the trigger. Look how easy that is to manipulate.

It makes it really slick. So I’m bringing my trigger back. There is some resistance right about here. And then a really nice little snap. The only way that you’re ever going to have that really heavy trigger pull is that if you have a round that has not gone off. So let’s say you pull the trigger and you need to fire again to or a second strike capability you can do that. And that will be the only time there will be a round in the chamber where you have that really heavy double action trigger pull.

The regular de-cocker, you know you’re going to have that long double action trigger pull. And then with the frame safety you can carry it cocked and locked. If you’re going to purchase a P30 or P30SK I just personally would highly recommend the LEM trigger. Definitely get two of the models out and check the LEM next to, either the frame, or the de-cocker.

Now as far as other safeties it does have a hammer drop safety. It has a firing pin safety. And it also has a loaded chamber indicator and it is right here. Here we’re going to take a dummy round, place it in, magazine. You can see a little bit of the red, so let’s go ahead and load it in the chamber and now you can see that it comes out and extends. Here you can feel it is tactile and of course there is a red indication there.

The polymer frame is exceptionally well done. It’s very smooth. Of course that’s typical HK. The slide is always on HKs to me it just looks really high quality. The sheen, it is a mat finish but it has just a very nice sheen to it. This slide is nitro carburized steel. And so it’s just totally impervious to the elements or any kind of conditions for corrosion and things like that. In fact it’s the hostel environment finish is what they like to call it.

It made it from a solid piece of billet steel. The barrel itself is cold hammer forged which extends the life. It has polygonal grooves, which actually keep the drag down when you’re firing bullets. It keeps them from going through the grooves so it’s actually going to add a little bit more to your velocity. You don’t want to use reloads because lead – or especially lead reloads because it will build up in the polygonal grooves.

They do have a flat darker frame that’s really nice. The reason why I didn’t pick that and really the only reason is because on their models with the night sights they’re running three magazines instead of two. And with the night sights and it was only about $100 difference. So I felt like that was really worth it. I mean the magazines are fairly expensive. And so, in fact about the $50 mark.

And then with the sights I thought it would be a much better deal like this so that is one of the reasons why I chose the black. But honestly it’s like one guy said on my Instagram account. He goes it looks like a gun Batman would carry. And I have to admit it does.

The balance is really exceptional. I mean it feels and shoots like a full size gun. In fact I took it out and shot it side by side next to my standard P30. And really beside just the lower part of the grip right here I really couldn’t tell a whole lot of difference.

Now why there is definitely a definite difference shooting the pistol of courses. The lighter weight, the shorter barrel, it’s going to give a little more muzzle flip. But really not that much, I mean it was very close to how the standard P30 felt. Which really makes it important because when you’re training and you want to take your P30 out, you know, and you’re doing a lot of shooting you can translate even that into your conceal carry.

Now of course considering this is a conceal carry piece you’re weight it about 24 ounces. The length of the slide is 6.42, just under 6.5 inches. Height is 4.57 or just over 4.5 inches. The width is 1.37 inches and that’s really a lot to do with the slides stops on either side or slide releases. It is fairly thin here at the front. And really it’s pretty thin over all. Even though these levers are here and they’re long, they’re very close to the frame. So they’re not really protruding. So it’s a really slim, trim firearm.

One thing you will notice is it’s a little bit, has a little more of a higher bore axis than what I am typically love, but for some reason I really shoot these guns well.

Now I would be remiss to not compare it to the Glock 26 or 27 here, the subcompact of the Glock. And I’m just going to give you a quick look at it. We’ll probably do a full blown comparison coming up but here the slides are really close to the same in length. The width themselves, the Glock probably has a little bit less on the width only because of the slide releases. And then here you can see it definitely has a higher bore axis. It’s going to ride just a little bit higher.

The grip is going to be pretty close and of course you can adjust the grip on the HK, you can’t on the subcompact Glock. Here we have a little bit more coming down. Let’s see if we’re going to line it up right here. Just a little bit more coming down. And of course it rises up a little bit on the slide. So it’s just a slightly bit larger than your model 26 or 27 Glock and the smallness is very minimal. So really these are very comparable in size but I think that the HK as far as the ergonomics is superior.

As I mentioned before it is TRUGLO sights and they are three dot and again you can get just the standard illuminated sights. Again, they run about $100 difference with the night sight model but then again you get your extra magazines. So really it’s – to me it’s well worth it if you like night sights.

Definitely an accurate pistol. In fact when I pulled these two down here I knew that I was going to pull it when I pulled the trigger and so really they should have all been in that range. This is sighted on dead center, seven yards, right from the factory. And that first shot was a telltale of really where this thing should be hitting every time. Using HPR 115 grain jacketed hollow points.

Okay, we’re going to disassemble the firearm, drop your magazine and check to make sure the chamber is empty. This is a really easy way to break this pistol down and of course you had this little small dot right here or little ride and what you’re going to do is bring back your slide. And you’re going to bring it back to that second position on the slide. And then push out right here, and then just pull your slide release out, right here until you see the red. When you see the red just pull your slide right off. So nothing comes out, it just pops out.

Here of course the slide we have our recoil spring and guide rod and this is part of their soft shooting recoil system. It is a recoil management system with the double recoil springs but also in the way that the recoil springs are actually shaped. They’re more flat and they absorb the recoil even better. So this really helps and also the way it links up to your barrel. The barrel is about 3.25 inches in length. It is again cold hammer forged and of course I have not cleaned this since I shot it and we have really put a lot of rounds through this gun.

And then of course the polygonal grooves. You have a nice ramp right here. And you know just very reminiscent of the Browning Hi Power design. And here is the frame, very well done. Honestly not as complicated as you would have expect. To me it’s pretty streamline.

And so here we have the gun fully field stripped. To reassemble just go ahead and drop your barrel in. One thing you want to do is make sure the hook is in the down position on your recoil spring. And it just hooks right there into place like so. Then bring it back over your slide. And you’re going to – once you get it to this position right here in that little slot just close it and you’re done.

This came in a nice plastic hard case box. Close foam padding here. Really nice, very well cut out. Here we have our grips. Of course one extra magazine, the other was in a bag and in the top. And then of course a magazine loader.

One of the things I want to point out though is this is one of their lock out keys. And on the pistol right here and it actually disengages your main spring. Right here there is two teeth that correspond with these two teeth and you can place it in here and you can disable the firearm. And I typically don’t use these kind of things but it is an added security measure for, especially if you have children around.

Of course not only did they have that but they also had to add this thing. And these are about to drive me crazy so, but these are important and they are important to go with the kit and some people really rely on these. Again, with small children and other reasons.

It does comes with a spent shell from the factory and an HK sticker. And guys I’ll have to admit the operator’s manual is exceptional. And there’s – it goes into all of kind detail. It shows very good diagrams. This is really good.

And as I mentioned before you have six different grip options, three different back straps, three different sets of side grip panels. And I’m going to show you how to install it. Of course it’s fairly simple. Right here is a small little roll pin, right here. And just find something kind of hard and just push that through. And then the pin will come out. And you can see it’s just a small roll pin.

Take and just bring your back strap off. Now you’re side panels will come off backward, toward the back strap. There’s a groove right here that will correspond with the back of your grip panel. And you just line that up, and then it goes into place like this.

These are the larger; in fact the larger one was on here when I got it, which was a little surprising. It does add quite a bit to the grip and it gives you a little more gripping surface especially if you have larger hands. It feels it here with palm swells and right here at the back near the palm. Then re-enter your roll pin, and you’re done. Very simple, very easy to do.

One thing that I really like is they mark the back strap, medium, small and of course I’ve added the large right now. Now as far as the price goes on the HK website the SK is running $719 full retail, with two magazines and the standard illuminated sights. If you get the night sights and three magazines they’re going for $819. Now that’s not street price and street price typically is considerably less than that price because these have not actually been released at the time of this video we’re not going to know about the street price. But the standard P30 typically those are running the lowest I’ve seen them is around the $850 range. And that’s street price.

So they’ve come in a lot less on the P30SK. And I think that is to compete with a lot of the subcompacts that are out there on the market because there are a lot of really high quality subcompacts. But I’ll tell you one thing, I don’t think there are any that are going to go above what the little P30SK is. I mean this is really a high quality pistol. HK is legendary of course with the firearms that they have produced. And I’ll tell you what guys I think HK has a winner with this one. Of course now we’re all waiting for the VP9SK.

I can tell you guys right now this is going to be my primary conceal carry piece. The HK P30SK. Thumbs way up. Be strong. Be of good courage. God bless America. Long live the republic.

That’s pretty un – okay now there are a number of things – okay; now that’s one of the things. Okay. This also is tactile where you can feel; yeah I didn’t think I did that. Okay. You got momma bear and you got little baby bear. And boy do they sure do have a bite.