Review text and images by "Hacksaw".

The Heckler and Koch P7 series began development in 1971, as a Police sidearm. The "PSP" or Polizei Selbstlade-Pistole (Police selfloading pistol) was originally issued to West German Police officers, while the Border patrol got the same pistol now renamed "P7". The P7 series is still issued to some GSG9 / KSK operatives.

The M in the name stands for "Magazinkapazitat" or magazine capacity, in this case 13 rounds, hence P7M13.

The P7 series has a number of innovative features. The first is the unusual grip arrangement. A similar concept to the grip safety found on 1911's, this time situated on the front of the grip. Without a firm grip on the pistol it is impossible to fire, H&K also made the pull strong enough that children could not pull the lever back. But this is not all; the action of squeezing the lever would also cock the weapon, preparing it to fire in one action. Releasing the lever would also de-cock the weapon automatically. In doing this H&K produced a pistol that could be carried safely with a bullet in the chamber, with no external safety for the operator to worry about.

Glock have tried a similar concept, but these have been found to accidentally discharge if dropped. There is also an additional safety near the rear of the frame.

The P7 is also one of the first pistols to have the now familiar H&K magazine release, just behind the trigger. Originally the release was at the base of the grip, but was later moved.

Quite an unusual pistol, in having such a large grip and trigger guard arrangement, it looks deceptively small. But in the hand it is near to the size of a Glock 19 with a very large grip.

A fine cinema appearance of the P7 was in Die Hard, where "Hans" (Alan Rickman) favoured it both with and without silencer. A perfect choice for his character, who seems to be obsessed with style.

MGC Heckler and Koch P7M13

MGC are known to have produced some very nice, innovative Airsoft products, so when one of these came up on the forums sales, I had to have it. Especially when it ties in with my recent Heckler and Koch obsession.

The gun came in a rather nice plastic case, none of this cardboard rubbish, with HK and P7M13 detailing all over the lid. Inside is a moulded polystyrene insert holding the gun, magazine, speedloader and documentation.

Pulling the pistol free of the polystyrene I was first struck by its weight. Even with the mag out this is a heavy piece. Apparently MGC used copious amounts of metal powder in the mix for their ABS parts, this is certainly held up by the weight of the gun and the coldness of its touch. Although not as cold as an aluminium slide, the ABS / metal powder slide feels more metal than any other I've touched.

Looking over the gun we find metal 3 dot sights (rear adjustable for windage), trigger, magazine release and grip safety. There are small signs of surface rust on the grip safety, announcing the fact that this is steel, as is the magazine release. The other metal parts are made from the usual zinc alloy judging by their shape and feel. Onto the trademarks. Well MGC didn't scrimp here either, every trade mark I can find on the real HK P7M13 is here. Sadly it also has the ubiquitous "Made in Japan ASGK". The plastic grips also bear the "HK P7M13" markings.

Racking the slide brings yet another pleasant surprise - this gun has the strongest recoil spring I have ever come across, stronger than the upgraded ones I fitted to my old full metal Para-Ord's and even stronger than an old C02 PPK I used to use for target shooting.

The grip safety functions how it should, although it doesn't cock or decock the gun it does restrict its ability to fire only to when it is squeezed.

The more observant among you will have noticed that this is a very bare gun, with hardly any working levers on the outside. This points to another neat feature of the grip lever. Imaging you are in a firefight and have to change mags (slide locks back of course). With a new mag inserted it looks like the only way to release the slide is to pull it back and manually cycle the slide. Not so, simply squeeze the grip and the slide gets released automatically. No muss, no fuss and you are ready to fire in moments.

A difference to the more commonly available GBB's is that the ejector port does not expose the BB "chamber"; it merely slides over the blowback mechanism.

Another small let down is that the real steel has a cocked / loaded indicator at the rear of the slide, with a similar operation to that found on Walther P99's - out means it's ready to fire. This is not recreated on the Airsoft piece, which is a shame as MGC have obviously gone to great lengths to duplicate other aspects.

The hop is fixed; some guns are reported to have rifled "cyclone" barrels, which was something I wanted to experience. The manual of this gun does mention the cyclone barrel, but I cannot discern any rifling effect onside the barrel. Obviously the rifling would only impart a swirl to the gas as it pushed the BB, thereby imparting spin, but I would have expected to see something. It will be interesting to see what the accuracy is like.

Moving on to the magazine, this too is very authentic to the real steel. All the bumps and cut outs feature. A different design to what I am used to seeing too, the gas internals are shrouded in a steel outer casing (which makes up the shape of the mag), which also has correct trademarks when compared with real steel. They also hold 15 BB's each, near enough to the real steel loading to call this Mil-Sim!

This is an incredibly accurate replica, dimensionally perfect and even the same weight as the real steel. I have read that the recoil spring and safety lever spring are both identical strengths to the real steel. Whereas I can accept (and well believe) this in the recoil spring, either my safety spring is weaker than others or their claims that some women cannot compress it are false. It's possible that there are weaker women out there, but we are talking about a gun designed in Germany…

Time to load it up and fire it

Once gripped and ready to fire the seemingly large grip becomes comfortable to hold, and the rake of the pistol is similar to other H&K hanfguns.

The little beast shoots BB's out at around 220fps using Green Gas (or equiv). Accuracy is quite good even compared with today's standards. I was managing to get roughly 3-inch centres at 15 metres despite never shooting the gun before.

Range however is disappointing (when compared with newer GBB's); the BB drops quite severely after 15 metres, so much so the sights are bereft of function, to get the range I was lofting the shots quite a bit. It's interesting to see how the rifled barrel approach compares with the now standard hop. I prefer hopped guns despite their inconsistency with temperature and the hassle of setting them correctly. I think the advantage of greater range far outweighs these drawbacks.

The noise and recoil is pleasing to experience though and all 15 BB's are shot with similar power.

These tests were carried out at winter temperatures using Excel 0.2gm BB's, although I did try a mag loaded with the free BB's that MGC supply. According to the packet, "When you use these pellets with your guns, the goddess of the victory will always smile at you in any shooting game". I don't know about that, but they fared the same as Excel did, so either MGC and Excel are blessed by the same goddess, or I am…

In conclusion, I must say I am very pleased with this piece. The attention to detail, the design (all credit to H&K) and the overall package is excellent. The small downside of comparative ranges aside, an excellent gun for target shooting, or in my case, sitting watching "Die Hard".

Now, where are those detonators?


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