Wednesday, November 21, 2012


It seems that replica guns in .22 are all the rage. Major makers like Sig sell the *made somewhere to the east* 1911's chambered in .22, as do numerous other makers. Colt is somehow partnered or has licensed Umarex to make various 1911 models in .22, including a Gold Cup model.

There are lots of other replica guns out there, in fact, there are so many I know I'm going to miss a few. In addition to Single Action .22's like Colt and Ruger and others have made, there are .22's resembling M1 rifles, Uzi pistols and rifles, some kind of Russian sub-machine gun, AK's, Beretta M92s and a ton of M4 or AR-15 imitations.

Walther just last week announced the new Walther PPK/s in .22, and from the price point of around $400 to $429 per the Walther spokesman, it's got to be an Umarex/Walther product.

I'm thinking we need an HK Umarex version of the P7 in .22 caliber. As any P7 fan knows, there was a version similar to the P7 that came in .22 called the P7K3. It had interchangeable barrels and slides and such to convert it from .22 to .32 to .380, if one wanted to buy the extra parts.

I'd like to have one, but used ones are not only rare, but when seen they are out of my price range.

Like Walther and Colt, HK is already partnered or somehow licensed with Umarex making .22 replicas of some HK sub-machine guns.

I say it's now due time to reintroduce thee P7K3. 

Re-engineer it for a polymer frame and see about some new design for the slide.

You can read this excellent summary HERE of how the P7K3 operates and how it operates very differently from the PSP/P7/13 line of pistols. Chris has a very good explanation, and instead of cutting and pasting it here, just click over there. I can't duplicate the cool page he has, and of course if you're a P7 fan then you've probably already googled the subject and seen this excellent site, full of good information and links.

The whole reason to go to the trouble of doing all this R and D and reconfiguring and basically developing a totally new product is because the squeeze cocker design is simply the safest gun ever made. Period. Make it right and it's a highly accurate gun. And a pleasure to shoot.

Rifle. Shotgun. Handgun. There is no gun as safe as the P7. With sufficient practice, the squeeze cocker becomes second nature upon presentation and let's face it, who wants the possibility of an AD (accidental discharge) EVER. EVER.

That's why I feel comfortable carrying the P7.

As I recall reading some years ago when handgun writer/retired cop/competition shooter Massad Ayoob was big into carrying the P7 and lauded it on it's safety. Ayoob carries lots of different types of guns, but it means something to me that the gun impressed him.

I know I've owned several and as far as reliability, accuracy, fit, safety, function, build quality and materials quality goes, it gets five stars in every column.

But I've dwelled on my admiration ad nauseum previously in other posts. Suffice it to say, I think the safety factor alone would be a marketing truth that could really interest the shooting enthusiasts as well as the home defense buyer.

Like it or not, many folks all over our nation rely on nothing more than a .22 of some sort to defend the home and hearth. I've always said that the .22 has probably killed more people in this country than any other round, simply due to it's prevalence.

Although the lowly .22 is not my first choice for home defense, there are men as well as women who don't want more. They really don't want to blast an invader into oblivion, for religious or personal reasons. They want to be able to injure someone enough not to hurt the shooter but don't want to kill another if they can help it, if that makes sense.

It's not my philosophy of home defense to use a .22, particularly in the case of invaders, but I can respect their opinions. And there are some advantages to using a .22. Multiple rounds can be directed at an attacker, and if a laser is used with say an M4 in .22, 30 rounds of .22 might discourage attacker(s) if those rounds were delivered in a lightning fast nature and in small concentrated target areas.

The low recoil of the .22 results in faster follow-up shots with more accuracy and tighter groups than one might get rapid firing a larger caliber under duress and stress.

As many gun writers have noted, the .22 is all some people can or want to handle for a defense gun. The elderly, the infirmed and weak, those who are disabled or handicapped and again, many men and women who don't mind shooting a .22 but don't like recoil and won't upgrade to any larger caliber.

As for my market sector, lots of my friends would buy a .22 version of the P7. It's a great design and a fun shooting gun in 9mm, and I know if properly done it could be an incredibly fun and cheap to shoot version of the P7.

It's a safe gun to have around households with children, who lack the grip strength to activate the squeeze cocker. Yes, a gun in such a house should be in a safe or with a gun lock, but we know accidents happen, and if they do and a .22 is your choice of a home defense weapon, should it be of the P7 design or a cocked and locked 1911 clone?

Could Umarex make this gun? No problem. Would they? I don't know.

I think it would be a great gun if the recoil system could be designed in such a way as to operate reliably and allow accuracy with the barrel. Perhaps a lighter weight slide would give more options to the designers. I think part of the heavy duty design of the bigger P7 line carried over to the P7K3 resulting in typical German overkill in certain products.

German overkill is not bad. For me, it's preferred. For many years I played Sonor drums because they were made with high quality wood and metal featuring luxurious features and a great sound. Unfortunately, most Sonors are VERY HEAVY to tote around. They're more suited for a studio or home kit where they don't have to be moved.

Likewise, particularly in the 70's and 80's, HK guns were built to bulletproof standards. Very high quality metal and components. I've always been impressed with the high quality metals used in the P7. Stronger than it needs to be. And I like that in a gun.

So in the past couple of years, several of the guns I'd long wanted to see made have been made or have been announced. The Walther PPK/s, the Henry Mare's Leg in .22 LR, and the very reasonably priced but surprisingly well constructed Rossi Ranch Hands in .357, .45 Colt and .44 Magnum. Although I and others have previously blogged for someone to makes these guns, I'm not sure we influenced the makers in their decisions to do so.

The point of this post is the hope some marketing guy or product guy at HK or Umarex will stumble across this on a google alert, as other companies have who have commented here or emailed to me that they did, and either thank me for the mention or ask me my opinion on something. That HK or Umarex employee can then take full credit for re-designing and introducing the P7 in .22 and rapidly rise the corporate ladder on this fame and glory.

And I can have a very fun P7 chambered in .22 that I can shoot often and for very little money. Selfish, I know, but I'm up front about it.

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