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Thread: At an Impasse and could use advice

  1. #1

    At an Impasse and could use advice

    Recently I've been toying with the idea of switching to 9mm after shooting .45 ACP for most of my life, for all the usual reasons. My primary carry pistol is an HK45C that I have more experience with than any other pistol. I also have a Glock 19 that I shoot acceptably well under a shot timer, but I am not as confident in my ability to make good hits with it as I am the HK. In a previous thread I was encouraged to try an H&K 9mm since I am so intimate with the 45C, specifically the P30 V3. I purchased one when a good deal came up. Last weekend, I took the 45C, the unfired P30, and my G19 out to the range with my limited supply of 9mm and some .45. I quickly discovered that I was indeed faster with the P30 than the 45C, and started really enjoying how the pistol shot, despite the long reset. The familiarity I had with it because of the HK45C was comforting and inspired confidence. I was beginning to fall in love as I rung steel, until about 350 rounds in. I loaded up the pair of 10 round magazines it came with (they are ban-compliant, and I had 17 rounders on the way but I couldn't wait), loaded one in the chamber, and then topped off the mag. On the first shot, the casing of the +1 failed to extract, being lodged as pictured below. The slide went far back enough that it tried to feed the next round, so the magazine was stuck. Without thinking, I stripped the magazine out, along with the loose round that was trying to feed, but remembered to take a picture of the brass left in the pistol. The ammunition was Winchester 124gr NATO, so it wasn't weak ammo. I shot another 50 rounds without issue, but ran out of the 9mm I brought.

    I prefer to fire at least 1,000 rounds in a new pistol before I start to consider it as a reliable carry piece, and I feel more comfortable after 2,000 consecutive rounds of reliable operation, provided proper cleaning between range trips. Unfortunately, my supply of 9mm is far less than optimal, and at least 700 rounds of it is cheap Aguila including 115 grain. I have evaluated what I would need to do to establish trust in this P30 after a malfunction in the first range trip: I would need to fire another 1900 rounds without a stoppage before I could trust it. I could buy a couple of hundred more rounds of 9mm at inflated prices to have the 1900 rounds I'd need, but it'd be a risk shooting it all to verify carry reliability in one new pistol.

    I'm trying to determine whether I should give this pistol another chance, or if I should save the 9mm ammunition for training with an already-proven reliable 9mm; my G19. I do really like the P30. With most of my experience being on an HK45C, staying with a very similar pistol in 9mm is appealing to me, as is the DA/SA action. However, I have no interest in keeping it if I can't establish a baseline reliability that I would trust, and the cost/value of 9mm ammunition it would take to do so is quite substantial. If it had more stoppages during the vetting process, I would feel like I just wasted a lot of precious ammunition for nothing. Am I being too harsh on the P30 for having one malfunction? Should I attempt to shoot another 1900 rounds through it to build confidence, or should I sell it and devote my 9mm focus on the Glock?

  2. #2
    Run the 19 for now, it's vetted.

    Don't sell the HK, ammo prices will go down eventually, and you can continue to vett it.

    Don't you reload? All serious shooters should, I think.

    I don't see that one malf as a big deal, especially considering it was a ten rounder, but if you don't feel sure, run the 19 for now.

    ETA: on the philosophy of blowing away copious amounts of ammo to proof a gun; what I do is, rather than just push hundreds of rounds through, I make sure I'm training as I do it. Shoot drills, do draws, SOTM, low-light, etc., everything I'd normally do shooting, so the ammo doesn't seem like so much of a "waste".
    Last edited by ViniVidivici; 10-09-2020 at 11:05 PM.

  3. #3
    Site Supporter SecondsCount's Avatar
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    I would trust the reputation of a P30 over that of Winchester ammo. Keep shooting the P30 and if the problem persists then I would send it back to HK.
    -Seconds Count. Misses Don't-

  4. #4
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    Reliability is the single non-negotiable characteristic of any piece of defensive gear. If you question the reliability of a gun, carry one you trust instead.

    With current ammo prices - assuming you can find ammo at all, I would expend ammo very judiciously until things improve.


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  5. #5
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    I wouldn't bother trying to change carry platforms until ammo is available at lower prices. However, if any 9mm pistol is good to go right out of the box, I think it'd be the G19 or the P30. I wouldn't worry much about carrying either one with full cap mags loaded Gold Dots or HSTs.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ViniVidivici View Post
    Run the 19 for now, it's vetted.
    ETA: on the philosophy of blowing away copious amounts of ammo to proof a gun; what I do is, rather than just push hundreds of rounds through, I make sure I'm training as I do it. Shoot drills, do draws, SOTM, low-light, etc., everything I'd normally do shooting, so the ammo doesn't seem like so much of a "waste".
    Fortunately that's one good thing. I am able to shoot at a range where I have access to all the steel plate racks and IPSC targets on stands as I want. If nothing else I did improve my speed at the plate rack and with transitions when I shot last weekend. I plan to go out again on Sunday.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by SecondsCount View Post
    I would trust the reputation of a P30 over that of Winchester ammo. Keep shooting the P30 and if the problem persists then I would send it back to HK.
    ^this.
    I have very low confidence in Winchester ammo. It gave me the only malfunction in my old 4003 that would literally feed empty cases. I won’t even buy it anymore.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Vista461 View Post
    ^this.
    I have very low confidence in Winchester ammo. It gave me the only malfunction in my old 4003 that would literally feed empty cases. I won’t even buy it anymore.
    I had found this to be the case with Winchester White Box 115gr, but this is the first time I've had any problems using 124gr NATO. I figured the QC would be better with the NATO ammo assuming it really is made to NATO specs. I was using that because from my understanding P30s like hotter ammo.

  9. #9
    #LowLife4Life Bigghoss's Avatar
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    One malfunction isn't enough info to go on. Why it happened is as important as it happening at all. Was it a bad round or a problem with the gun? If you don't know the answer, it's probably the ammo unless you can tell otherwise.
    Does anyone like pineapple on their pizza guns?

  10. #10
    I realized that I didn't even post the picture of the stoppage last night. Here it is
    Name:  p30stoppage.jpg
Views: 609
Size:  32.4 KB

    My thoughts on what constitutes a reliable pistol and how to go about vetting it has been undoubtedly colored by a 2012 post by ToddG:https://pistol-training.com/archives/6837
    It seems he was more apt to blame the pistol out of an abundance of caution. Given the apparent shady reputation of Winchester ammo including NATO, and using 10 round magazines loaded with +1 in the chamber, maybe it is too early to blame the pistol.

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