Friday, July 31, 2009

H&K P30 and CZ P 07 Duty; A Tale of Two 9mms

This is a comparison of two compact belt pistols in the ever popular 9mm. The premise for this review was originally going to be just an evaluation of the H&K P30 (pictured in the top photo, above ). The P30 is not new to the H&K line-up but they are certainly scarce. At the gun shop I frequent a P 30 will disappear shortly after it hits the shelf. I have heard so many rave reports in the firearms media that I just had to get my hands on one and waited in great anticipation.

The CZ P07 Duty (pictured in the bottom photo, above ) was a pistol I originally wanted nothing to do with. When I first laid eyes on one in a gun magazine I thought "My Lord, CZ has gone out of their way to make an ugly pistol". Gone was the sleek profile and clean lines of the CZ 75 platform. The P 07 was unattractive and with memories of the unsuccessful polymer CZ model 100 I wrote off the P 07 as a Czech folly into Glock's territory which Glock seems to have defended quite well.

As fate would have it a week after I began my evaluation of the H&K P30 the gun shop received a CZ P07. When I first held it I realized that the grip was pretty thin and felt pretty good in my hand, not as good as the contoured and checkered rubber grips on the CZ 75, but good nonetheless. It was also built, as all CZs are, wth the slide running inside the frame which lowers the axis point of the pistol theoretically improving accuracy and reducing felt recoil. At that point I decided that a comparison with the H&K P30 was in order. There is a huge difference in price between these two pistols (Bud's online price, usually the lowest I can find, has the H&K for $820 and the CZ for $418). So the question became "is there enough difference between the two guns to justify spending almost twice the price of the CZ in order to get the H&K".

So, lets start by looking at the specifications:

Overall length: HK 6.99 inches, CZ 7.3 inches

Barrel length: HK 3.86 inches, CZ 3.7 inches

Height: HK 5.43 inches, CZ 5.1 inches

Width of the grip: HK 1.29 inches, CZ 1.16 inches

Width of the slide: HK 1.13, CA 1.16

Weight without magazine: HK 1.72 pounds, CZ 1.7 pounds

Trigger Action: Both are traditional Double Action for the first pull and single action for the second pull; each are equipped with a decocker. The CZ-P07 comes with a safety to replace the decocker (if so desired) to turn the pistol into a Single Action Only platform.

Double Action trigger pull: HK 12+ pounds, CZ 10 pounds

Single Action trigger pull: HK 5 pounds, CZ 6 pounds

Capacity: HK 15 + 1, CZ 16 + 1 (although I have not been able to get that 16th round into the magazine)

Sights: Standard 3-dot fixed on both.

Trigger in Action

The double action trigger pull of the H&K P30 is somewhere north of 12 pounds. My Lyman digital scale tops out at 12 pounds and the pull of the HK registered "ERROR" on every of the 12 trigger pulls I tested. That is a negative for me. The trigger reset is fairly long almost requiring the trigger to return to its original position.

The trigger on the CZ is a thing of beauty. The P07 incorporates CZ's new Omega trigger system which is touted as a design with less moving parts. Not being a trigger system engineer I can't comment on that but I can tell you that the double action pull of 10 pounds feels much lighter due to the fact that it is so smooth. Many people, including myself, lamented the trigger pull on the CZ 75 P-01 when it arrived. It was heavy and gritty. Well, not so with the P-07; CZ got it right on this baby. For comparison purposes the trigger on the CZ P-07 feels much better than the trigger on the H&K in either double or single action.

The reset of the CZ P 07 is fairly short and firm. It is not as short a reset as a Glock trigger or a SIG that is equipped with their Short Reset Trigger but the CZ still allows for fast follow-up shooting. By saying that the reset is "firm" I mean that it is very positive and you can clearly tell when it is reset and ready to fire again.


One of the stunning enhancements on the HK are the interchangeable grips. Not only do you get three changeable backstraps, you also get three sets of changeable side panels. This allow the shooter multiple different combinations of side panels and backstraps to allow them to find the best set up for them. A technical advantage to this system is that changing the size of the grip also changes the reach of the trigger finger to the trigger. All too often people forget that trigger control is one of the most important factors in the accuracy of their shooting. For right handed shooters too little of the finger on the trigger can cause the shot to jerk to the right and too much of the finger on the trigger can push the shot to the left. The HK P-30's interchangeable grip panels and backstraps should allow the shooter to find a grip that is comfortable and helps get proper finger placement on the trigger.

The frontstrap on the HK is stippled with nice wide finger groves. Finger grove are not appreciated by many shooters and several gunsmiths do a nice business removing the grooves from the frontstraps of Glock pistols. The groves on the P-30 are wide and shallow; I think most shooters will find them to be acceptable. The one thing I do not care for on the P-30's grips are the aggressive stippling all the way around. This is a personal preference for me but the texture of this much stippling feels like wearing a scratchy wool sweater and I could do without it. There are other ways to offer the shooter a good grip but I am sure that the stippling is effective for it's purpose and appreciated by many people.

The grips of the CZ P07 are very comfortable. They do not offer you any changeable backstraps or side panels but for someone with small to average hands they should fit quite nicely. The CZ's grip is shorter than the HK's and if it were any shorter my little finger would be dangling off the bottom. The shorter and thinner CZ P 07 make it a better choice for deeper concealed carry. Because of the shorter grip the bottom of the triggerguard has been undercut (or undermolded) to allow a higher grip on the pistol.

The HK P-30 really some very innovative controls. It has ambidextrous slide release levers and the magazine release is a lever set into the rear of the trigger guard with an ambidextrous set of paddles on each side. They take some getting used to but they are easiest to operate with your trigger finger rather than your thumb. The advantage of this magazine release it the ability to release the mag without having to adjust your hand in order for your thumb to hit the frame-mounted magazine release button.

Another innovation if the P-30's decocker. Rather than being side mounted to the frame as it is on most DA/SA pistols. This one sits on the rear of the slide, next to the hammer. This every very ergonomically friendly as the decocker is very easy to reach with your thumb. The decockers on the SIG pistols are mounted on the frame in front of the grips. I always have to change hand positions in order to reach the decocker on a SIG. The H&K P-30's decocker is well thought out and excellently executed.

The CZ P-07's controls are very flat. They are obviously designed for concealed carry since they protrude very little. Besides being flat they are easy to operate, much more so than I would have imagined. Looking at the picture (above in the section on Grips) you can see that the levers have ridges on them in the direction of which you will be pushing them making them very easy to access properly. Another thing you will notice is the small section of raised stippling on the frame above the trigger. This is there to help you know that you trigger finger is in a safe area, off of the trigger when not firing. I like this feature quite a bit.


Anonymous said...

The P30 in V3 (DA/SA; 11.4/4.5lbs) is I think less desirable than the P30 in variant 2 (LEM; 7.3lbs). The DA at 12 lbs certainly slows one down and defeats accuracy. The feel of the trigger is not that great. There is not an edge/break point which is well defined. The reset is not very positive and obvious when shooting--you also cant hear it when dry firing. There is flex in the HK trigger systems that one can feel by covering hammer and pressing trigger--slack in the mechanism. After the reset, in SA mode there is too much travel before the mechanism gives you much feel and there is some amount of overtravel. Total SA travel is too long but weight is fine; the "feel" is horrible. The trigger was designed for an oaf under stress with mediocre trigger discipline to operate.

The LEM trigger V2 suffers from some of the mushy feel but is much better overall. There is the long first stroke but the first half is very light and doesnt impede speed too much. There is a defined break point (although it is a bit heavy at 7.3lbs and may impede some fine precision shots). The reset is ok but not great. But the long DA pull is gone and the trigger is the same consistent weight pull--albeit heavier than the V3 in SA mode.

Certainly if the CZ fits your hand it is a much better buy (With the latest price increase HK is way over priced!) In addition HK love to give horrible customer service and jerk their "customers" around. In the fall of 08 they said they would never import the LEM (guess what--not true). Now HK says they MAY import in 2010 the V4 lem in the ~6.2 lb trigger. Guess what I dont believe them. They have been out of P30 mags in the US for 4 months and every month HK USA says its coming and HK germany doesnt send. Enough of the rant; but they deserve it. As says: "HK, because you suck and we hate you." Perfect description.

Anonymous said...

чтобы добавлять свои статьи, обязательно ли регистрироватся?

Average Joe's Handgun Reviews said...

You do not need to register to leave a comment.

Нет, вы можете просто введите Ваш комментарий

Unknown said...

i have a issue i had was the magazines not free falling as they should when the magazine release was pressed. contacted CZ USA and they had me ship the pistol back o them..they paid all shipping and set up the shipping through fed ex. all i had to do was box it and send it...i got the pistol back in less than two weeks..pistol works great...this is my first CZ but wont be my last...i found the customer service dept. very professional and very helpful.they did everything they said they would do and kept me updated...thanks CZ, glad to see a company that is willing to stand behing their product without the headache!

Anonymous said...

I thinking of purchasing the the cz duty due to the safety features and ease of the gun. Since this would be my 1st hand gun am i making a good choice?

Average Joe's Handgun Reviews said...

Anonymous, I think the CZ P07 is an excellent choice as it come with a safety replacement for the decocker. Therefore you can leave it with the decocker lever and carry it in the traditional Double Action mode or replace the decocker with the supplied safety lever and carry it cocked and locked.

Anonymous said...

I just returned from shooting my new P07 9mm for the first time.I have to tell you it is amazing. In both da and sa the trigger was smooth as silk. I have never shoot a new pistol so well and tghis is aftert rwving about my XD45 when it was new, too. I love this gun even more and better than my 75 BD Police. I was shootiing casually in the desert and drink cans were bouncing all over the dunes so I begwan shooting empty shootgun shells to make it harder, it wasn't. Wonderful gun and available for $399 at Academy. WOW!!

Anonymous said...

I bought a CZ and had similar problems with Magazines not dropping. I contacted CZ USA and shipped the pistol back to them. They shipped me a brand new pistol and the magazines drop freely. However, they never addressed the issue of the magazines not holding 16 rounds as advertised and listed in their specifications. I don't care that it doesn't hold an extra round, but why haven't they changed the information on their website. (I actually did cram a 16th round into one of the magazines, but the magazine would not seat into the pistol.)I have a Glock 22 and love it, but I must admit that the CZ P-07 is more fun and easier to shoot; not only because it's a 9mm v. a .40 cal., but because the grip is very comfortable, point of aim is quickly acquired, and the smooth SA trigger on follow up shots makes it easier to shoot accurately.

Anonymous said...

Hey all. I love my p07. Never had a problem not being able to place the 16th round into the magazine, however have had the problem with it not releasing all the way out of the gun. Still love her to death as she can eat whatever I decide to jam into her without fail.

Anonymous said...

Dude, are you serious about this comment: " Capacity: HK 15 + 1, CZ 16 + 1 (although I have not been able to get that 16th round into the magazine) "

The magazine holds 16 rounds, the
(+ 1)is in the chamber. When you rack the slide back and chamber a round in the pipe, it comes from the magazine, after that you have a magazine with one less round, you can always eject the magazine and replace that round. Now you have 16+1. I hope you were joking, i was stunned.

Average Joe's Handgun Reviews said...


I was not joking and you should unstun yourself. According to the owner's manual and the CZ website the model P07 has a "magazine capacity" of 16 rounds. Check for yourself:

Anonymous said...

The author is really cool. But some of the commentators are just posting stupid words.

Anonymous said...

Two comments regarding the CZ P 07:

1) I bought the P 07 in .40 S&W two months ago. 350 rounds through it so far and I love it! Really nice grip (in my smallish hands) and great accuracy. Same performance as the P 07 in 9mm described in this review.

2) CZ seems to have definitively resolved the magazine drop issue. However, it remains the case that the magazines are extremely difficult to load to capacity. And it's not just the P 07. I had the same problem with my CZ 75b. The only solution is to "train" the magazines -- that is, store magazines fully loaded. Over time, this seems to effectively reduce spring tension.

Anonymous said...

... oh, and 3) the new Omega trigger system makes for very smooth shooting (better than anything I've fired with the exception of the Colt Woodsman).

Anonymous said...

I purchased a P07/9mm on 02-2011 and it has been a great gun.

I have no problems getting 16 rounds in the mag.

Mags drop freely also.

This is a very accurate pistol for its size!

The only thing that I don't like is that the mag extensions are always back-ordered.

20 in the mag would be great for target practice.

Anonymous said...

My son has a CZ P07 Duty the triger waw always hard to squeeze until it actualy became impossible to fire the gun. Sent it to CZ for repair after 3 weeks they sent another replacement gun. That gun's spring from the slide release flew out luckily the gunsmith at the Shoot Straight range was able to put it back on no charge. The gun is bulky and hard to conceal. The good it is cheap. Oh and try to find a IWB for it good luck.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to know if P07 and CZ75 magazines are interchangeble?

Anonymous said...

Get a p30s v3 with the light trigger return spring and then the da action is the same as the lem but your sa is still nice and light. Only 17 bucks for the part

Anonymous said...

I'm struggling at the moment. I have a USP Compact 9mm H&K.

I'm looking at buying a 2nd handgun namely the P30 H&K, Beretta PX 4, and CZ 07

I really like the PX4 but I've heard that they have problems jamming if not kept squeaky clean? I'm also a bit sceptical about the reliability of the CZ 07?

As for the H&K I'm familiar with its reputation.

I stay in South Africa so the last thing I want is an unreliable firearm.

Average Joe's Handgun Reviews said...


I can't help you with the Beretta, they hold no interest for me so I haven't reviewed one. Either the H&K or the CZ P07 will be fine. I liked the CZ just a little bit better and here it is almost half the price of the H & K.

Anonymous said...

Wow I wish I had your gun. My P07 can't get through a full magazine of twelve rounds without jamming at least nine times. On top of that, the spring that holds up the trigger bar has a tendency to pop out which makes any trigger pull unpredictable. I was highly disappointed especially because of the high praises it received from guns and ammo. I guess it's easy to buy your publicity now days. Bottom line, I wish I would have bought a Ruger or some other brand that takes pride in their work.

Anonymous said...

I have fired the cz p07 and found to be a blast to shoot the grip was a little small. The one I shot was the .40 cal its recoil wasnt as bad as I had expected making follow up shots spot on. The cz never jammed even after 40 rounds of rapid firing.

I used to own a Glock 10mm that you could shoot inside a house and never hit a wall proving that even Glock let's poor quality slip through once in a while.

In the end price and feel will make my decision right now it'll be the p07

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Youtube's hickok45 has a video shooting the p-07 suppressed which he uses the cz 75b magazines. They didn't seem to fit flush or perfectly like the one's issued with the gun but considering the cost of magazines I am considering trying to find 75 mags to practice with.

Anonymous said...

I picked up a CZ P-07 in .40 a few weeks ago. WOW what a pistol, very impressed! Has me thinking of getting rid of a couple of my Walther P99s. Combat accurate, flawless reliability, great fit in the hand, and de-cocker or safety option(DIY.) I'm a de-cocker fan, carried and M9 Beretta for 20+ years. so the concept is second nature now. I own, Walthers, HK USP, and a Glock. CZ is quickly becoming a favorite! Worth a look!

Anonymous said...

I own both and both have been flawless shooters with thousands of rounds fired through each! My HK, just to clarify, is the V2 model with the LEM trigger and it's very close to the fit & feel of the Omega trigger in my CZ. I wouldn't hesitate to use either as my "Go To" pistol!!

Anonymous said...

I understand, but if I'm going to be paying $830ish for a handgun, it would be nice to have a lighter DA trigger right out of the box, instead of having to spend MORE money to resolve that issue.

Anonymous said...

Ive owned cz's for the last 16 years. They failed terribly on the cz100 which I still own. You can make the trigger better but its the worst trigger on earth. Super accurate , very thin. Fast forward and I was able to pick up a P09. Wow the really have this dialed in. Trigger is awesome. Very accurate and minimum recoil. I've always like the frames since they mimmick the 1911 platform. Die hard 1911 guy, but the czs just work.

One of many Bobs said...

Howdy Joe!
I am a .45ACP guy. But I am also getting to be an older guy.
So with that said I am looking mighty hard at the CZ P07 Duty in 9mm to be my second 9mm handgun, the first was an issued piece that got left behind for our 1911A1's.
I will still be keeping my .45ACP handguns so this will all be new though I have researched the new(er) 9mm ammo and what they can do.
Plus I have found a used piece still with its box, second mag etc... for $300.00
I believe I will just get that gun and be done with it then take it out and shoot the heck out of it.
I appreciate your review and the other posters as well.

Unknown said...

I've tried lots of handguns - most of my favorites have been 1911 Commanders but there are some exceptions and one is the CZ P07. Mine came with interchangeable back straps and I use the smallest. I never expected to like this gun so much. I expected to carry it a week or two and then report on it for students of our classes or customers at our gun store. But, for some reason, I keep putting it on every day. I like the way it carries. I like the way it shoots. I can get 16 rounds in my magazines. I've shot my favorite cartridges through it - ARX, Fiocchi and Gold Dot - all with excellent results as far as accuracy and reliability. This gun is more comfortable for me to carry and shoot than my Sig P229 which cost about $400 more. Great carry gun.

Anonymous said...

It was my first handgun and I don't regret it whatsoever