The earlier Heckler & Koch P2000 series of semi-automatic pistols of Germany were debuted in 2001. The line was then modernized through the HK "P30" offering of which prototypes were known, at one time, under the "P3000" designation. This newer 2006 entry, developed by Frank Henninger, appeared in a 9x19mm Parabellum form prior to the introduction of a .40 S&W model and multiple trigger variations were brought along while some parts were made interchangeable with the earlier P2000 series. In the end, the P30 has stood as its own true design, having been adopted by special military and police units across Europe and elsewhere and throughout the civilian market.
Internally, the gun sports a short-recoil operation relying on a Browning-type tilting barrel and locked breech arrangement. Effective range is out to 50 meters. Feeding is by way of a 15-round (base model) detachable box magazine inserted into the grip handle. The P30SK (sub-compact form) utilizes a 9x19mm Parabellum chambering as well but supports a 10-round count magazine instead due to the weapon's reduced dimensions. The .40 S&W version has a 13-round magazine capacity due to the change in cartridge. Iron sights are used across all models and a section of Picatinny rail seen under the muzzle end adds support for tactical accessories - a feature lacking in the earlier P2000 model series. The spur hammer is also exposed at the rear of the slide - another quality not found in the P2000.
The P30L is given a longer slide and the P30S, P30LS and P30SKS are all variants given an optional external (ambidextrous) thumb safety feature.
To date (2016), global operators include Germany (customs, police), Malaysia (PASKAL special forces), Norway (police), Portugal (police, national guard elements) and Switzerland (police).
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