Friday, March 23, 2012


The title ought to catch those googlers looking for holsters for the HK P7 PSP and it's variants. I'll refer to them collectively as "P7"'s durng the rest of this post, to avoid so much typing.

Actually, the holsters for the P7 and it's variants are different. Different holsters are required for the PSP vs. P7M8 and P7M13 because the triggerguard and headshield of the latter two make them bulkier than the PSP. I've heard that PSP's will fit in the P7M8/13 holster but I have not experimented. Recently, I've gotten some great holsters off of ebay for this gun, and all carry the gun far better than the Bianchi Askin's Avenger holster I've used for nearly 30 years.

The Askins Avenger belt holster carries most autos better than almost any concealment holster out there, other than perhaps inside the waistband holsters. With the 1911's and Browning Hi-Power's I own and have owned, the Askins Avenger carries them at a very comfortable height and position. I've owned Askin Avenger holsters, or copies of that venerable holster by custom holster makers, for guns as diverse as the Beretta Cheetah and it's Browning cousin, the P7, the Glock 19/21/26, 1911's, a Walther PPK/S and two Browning Hi-Powers.

With the P7, the Askins Avenger is a bit top heavy, since the shape of the P7 is vastly different than other autos with the squeeze cocker mechanism and a full magazine. The weight of the P7 is definately oriented towards the grip and not the barrel end of the gun. The Askins Avenger carries the P7 a bit high for my liking, and if it carried the gun an inch or inch-and-a-half lower, it might be the perfect concealment belt holster for that weapon.

I have searched, and seriously I mean I think I have looked in every nook and cranny of gundom and holsterdom for the past 30 years this coming November. I looked for a secure belt holster for the P7, and, dare I fan the dream, a holster that perhaps might work with something that wasn't as thick and constrictive as an "off duty or plain clothes gunbelt".

Again, before today, the only holster I was moderately satisfied with was the classic Askins Avenger holster by Bianchi. Now discontinued, over the past 30 years I've carried a lot of miles with Askins Avenger holsters.

So the point of that rambling dialog above is that I've never been happy with any of the concealment holsters actually made for the P7. I've got a field holster and a shoulder holster and some kind of euro/asian flap holster for some unknown type of gun that fits the P7 with an extra mag nicely, and carries well on a web belt.

But none of that works for the office or for concealed off duty carry or just regular citizen ccw.

The other problem with the P7 is that it has some rough edges, and the PSP is the worst with the rear slide serrations. The P7 is made of SERIOUS GERMAN STEEL FROM SEVERAL DECADES AGO, in most cases, and serious steel holds it's edge. Like Sonor drums and a Mercedes Benz, the P7 is overbuilt and seriously sturdy.

So I stumbled across this holster on Ebay and immediately noticed that the holster appeared to have the P7 sitting lower on the belt line than any holster for the P7 (including high dollar, with months to years waiting times, custom holsters) I've ever seen or used. So I got it, since I'd just sold a couple of holsters on ebay and had holster money in waiting.

It got here today. What a classic holster. Classy. Goodlooking. Very well made. Good leather. Firm leather. Leather that smells good and feels good.

It's made by a private maker and the ebay seller that sells these is shootist274.  He's got about 2000 in feedback and a 100% rating. Here's a picture of the holster, and notice where the triggerguard sits in relation to the beltline. Lower = better, at least to me.

It's a very decently made holster, and it carries the odd-shaped P7 better than any holster I've ever used for that gun.

Another classic holster I recently found for the P7, and it's so unusual that I was really surprised when it came across my ebay search notification, was a old style Bianchi Model 56 paddle holster. The new paddle holsters these days all have one fatal flaw, in my opinion, and that's the use of a plastic paddle. No matter how nice the paddle holster is, such as the Galco products, it's of no use if the paddle sucks.

The old style Bianchi 56 paddle holster features a paddle made of metal BUT covered with a nice suede leather all the way around. In addition to being far more comfortable against the skin, the rough out finish on the suede aids the holster in staying in place, both in wearing and in terms of drawing. You don't wanna draw your holster when you draw your gun!

Here's a picture of one of my Model 56 holsters for a 1911, since I don't have a picture handy of the P7 Model 56.

The paddle on the Bianchi Model 56 also rides much lower than on holsters made by other makers currently. These holsters are really only concealment holsters in the winter on larger guns, but S&W J frames and Colt Detective Specials conceal well in this holster. I own several Model 56's for various revolvers and autos, and even with the Models for full size hand guns, it's a comfortable and handy holster for the field and for wearing around the home.

A third holster I recently came across was a used ebay find as well. It's made by Tex Shoemaker, and is a rough out double layer suede IWB holster with a thumbreak. The material making up the thumbreak does a great job of protecting the skin against hostile contact with the sharp edges and sights of the P7, and again the rough out suede really helps keep the holster in place.

This IWB holster is an excellent concealment holster for this gun. I'm going to order a lighter weight High Noon IWB holster known as Mr. Softy, as I like that line of holster as well for carrying large and medium sized guns comfortably and discreetly, but I can tell I'll be getting a lot of use out of this Tex Shoemaker creation. It seems like it has a spring in it which keeps it open enough to make reholstering possible, something which is often difficult with other IWB holsters.

Here's a picture of the Tex IWB:

Although I usually prefer a strong clip to a belt loop, this one
works pretty well and more importantly, it's positioned in exactly
the right spot to keep the gun from sticking up too far from the beltline.

I've owned three different HK's, with the first being a PSP (with heel magazine release) and the second being a P7M8, with a magazine release button in the usual location. I found with most holsters except for shoulder holsters, the mag release would often activate and eject just enough of the magazine to render the pistol useless. You wouldn't be aware of it until the gun was drawn and fired and the magazine either dropped out or stayed in place just far enough removed from the gun to prevent reloading.

So the third P7 I got went back to the PSP. They've all been surplus Police guns from Germany, and all were factory refurbished prior to me getting them. The first one I bought off a narc friend back in 1982 for the princely sum of $200.00. I later sold it for 3 times more than that. It was unique in that the former police owner had filed the squared triggerguard to a round shape to facilitate holsterless carry, i.e. stuck in the waistband carry. Of course, the P7 is probably the safest pistol with which to carry in this manner.

I sold it and bought the purplish refinished P7M8 because I wanted a newer model of the gun. I had that for several years before acquiring another PSP. My P7 PSP is a marvelous shooting handgun, although the finish was excellent enough it was not refinished at the factory and but it does reflect years and years of holster wear. Still, you don't have to worry about rust with these pistols because they are made of a serious steel. Years of IWB holsterless carry by the narc owner of my first P7 made not a bit of rust or even tarnish on the finish of that PSP's  ground down fingerguard. It was bare metal and shiny as could be!

Of course, the fan base is small for these guns and I don't know why. A few American police agencies went to these in the 70's and early 80's but quickly changed to other guns in a few years. More European agencies used these guns for a longer time, hence the supply of Euro police surplus guns. I don't think these guns have actually been manufactured by H&K for many years. Thankfully, spare parts and mags are available, if not semi-expensive. I'm stocked up on spare internals but no matter how many magazines I have, I could always use a few more.

The beauty part of the P7 is how it shoots. Shooting hot 9mm +P Cor Bon loads from this gun is nothing. It's by far the easiest shooting 9mm I've ever shot, and I've shot quite a few different models. It's as accurate as a Glock, which of course makes me look like an accurate shooter, but the main thing is how it's gas system absorbs recoil of super hot 9mm loads.

Like my good HPD friend Texas Ghostrider always says, a handgun is just good for protecting you until you can get to your long gun, and I agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment. Old habits die hard, and when I carry a single stack gun like the P7 or the 1911, I frequently carry several extra magazines though, just in case I'm having a hard time getting to the long gun.

My P7 has also taken it's fair share of snakes over the years, using the CCI 9mm shotshells. They feed great in this gun as well. The P7 is somewhat Glock-like in it's ability to digest any ammo I've ever fed through, from cheap and dirty range reloads to high end powerful loads and everything in between. My favorite target shooting load is Winchester Black Label 9mm Nato hardball ammo, but now that I've found some Nyclad 9mm's for sale, I'll be buying a bunch of those. The Nyclad design is not only much cleaner on the barrel but I've always been impressed with how the bullet opens up.  It's nice to have at least a magazine of Cor Bon +P ammo handy, but for average self-defense situations in populated areas, I like the Nyclads.

Any other P7 fans out there?

When El Fisho Jr. was a small tyke unable to understand the concept of gun safety, this was a great gun to have around. He didn't possess the strength to work the squeeze cocker mechanism in case he accidently (he never did) stumble upon the gun. Every other gun was locked up except for the P7M8.

Prices have risen drastically since I bought my last P7 PSP. Drastically. That means I probably won't be adding either the .40 caliber variant or the 13 shot magazine capacity P7M13.

But maybe one day a good trade will come along for one of these.


  1. Hey! Great article! That is some nice leather.

    I only own one p7 and have only one holster for it, from Matt Del Fatti.

  2. Somehow I knew that a man of your taste and distinction, Zach, would own a P7. I bet that DelFatti holster is sweet as sugar!

  3. It may ride a bit high for your taste. I can ship it out to you if you want to give it a ride.

  4. I appreciate that, Zach, and may one day take you up on it. The ebay holster mentioned at the beginning of the article has surpassed all expectations and carrys the gun at exactly the right height for my build and body type.

  5. Another great holster is the High Noon Slide Guard. They offer this holster for all models of the P7. I have one in shark skin for my P7 PSP, and I've been very pleased with it. Retention is great, and workmanship is top notch.