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Old Yesterday, 05:02 AM   #1
simonrichter
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Why has the HK P7 series been discontinued?

I reckon that has something to do with the gas delay system it utilizes. What are the downsides of this approach? Because otherwise it appeared to be a quite compact gun that would fit ideally into the concealed carry world, after all...
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Old Yesterday, 07:29 AM   #2
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The polymer age happened. That and tooling aged and those that made the guns and maintained the machining aged and retired without being replaced at HK. The P7 was in production for twenty years but much of that production was during the first few years. High cost, lower demand later doomed it.

Walther currently makes a gun that uses the gas delay piston system.
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Old Yesterday, 09:49 AM   #3
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heavy and expensive to manufacture , low demand, the squeeze cocker design never really caught on, it was very well made and one of a kind, but not practical for modern light weight cheaper to produce, polymer pistols.
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Old Yesterday, 04:36 PM   #4
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I doubt that it has anything to do with the gas system considering that Walther pretty much ripped it off wholesale in their CCP pistol, which is actually among their lower-priced pistols.

It's most likely the reason for the discontinuation of most other all-metal pistols which were previously successful, it being more expensive to produce and less profitable than a polymer wonder.
Sadly, a large number of otherwise fantastic pistols have been discontinued for the same reason. Not because they weren't profitable, not because they weren't selling enough units to justify keeping them in production, just because it were more expensive to produce and less profitable than other firearms in their catalog which made extensive use of injection-molding, casting, and CNC machining.

I'm going to go against the grain a bit here because I'm not going to irrationally hate on more modern designs which are cheaper/easier to produce as well as more profitable, but rather place blame where it belongs, on the shoulders of the bean-counters who propose that production of older, more sophisticated models be discontinued entirely because they're less profitable, and the greedy executives who approve them.
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Old Yesterday, 05:34 PM   #5
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Way too expensive to produce and too pricey for today's market of molded plastic.

Not only that, but the folks that built them at HK retired. There's no need for craftsmanship today for 99% of the firearms produced.
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Old Yesterday, 06:13 PM   #6
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but rather place blame where it belongs, on the shoulders of the bean-counters who propose that production of older, more sophisticated models be discontinued entirely because they're less profitable, and the greedy executives who approve them.
I think that's a mite simplistic of a reason. I'm no fan of "bean-counters" or "greedy executives" but if a product doesn't sell because it's too expensive to make to be profitable, well, that's what some might call running a business that makes money. Companies aren't in business to lose money-unless you're the U.S. Post Office, of course.
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Old Yesterday, 06:53 PM   #7
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I had heard that the tooling for them was at the end of its useful life. Between the costs of new tooling and the costs of the pistols as the market was changing I don’t believe it was seen as profitable to make the added investment. Frankly for a company like HK that has had cash flow problems over the years I don’t think this would have made sense for them. Bean counting to prevent insolvency is a good thing.


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Old Yesterday, 07:57 PM   #8
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Yeah, plastic.

It might be the greatest pistol in the world, but the business is trying to maximize "profit per pistol" times "number of pistols sold." Thus, plastic + marketing hype.

As for the actual pistol itself, I liked the concept, enjoyed carrying the pinnacle of handgun over-engineering (all the way down to the high-hardness metalurgy), but my fingers were just slightly too long for the squeeze cocker. This created a problem that wasn't apparent in dry-fire practice. In live fire, the recoil of the pistol would sometimes slide the squeeze cocker directly behind my knuckle, and I would lose leverage, causing the gun to de-cock in the middle of a string. Tried for a while to overcome it, but eventually came to the realization that my efforts were better spent doing something other than trying to make bad geometry work.

Today, it's a piece of kinetic art that I admire for the creative, elaborate engineering (and the escalating value). It's not likely to be surpassed in that regard, for quite some time.
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Old Yesterday, 08:02 PM   #9
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Everything others have written is correct.

To add, the P7, with an empty magazine weighs about 1.9 pounds.

It was designed as the replacement firearm for West German police. Meaning that with ammo it meant it's going on a duty belt that would be compensated with other mounted items to balance out distribution of weight. You take that steel into consideration and reevaluate that you're getting 8 rounds of it.

When you throw in how expensive it was as a production firearm, even then, it was meant the price tag was for a governmental agency and rarely an average citizen.

Then in 1988 H&K as a corporation went through major structural organizational changes from ownership to manufacturing.

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Old Yesterday, 08:20 PM   #10
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A heck of a shame.

Good question.
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Old Yesterday, 11:44 PM   #11
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I am hearing fine arguments here but I’d like to ask about the “end life of the tooling.” Would it seem rational that twenty years and the tooling is wearing out?

In my gun travels, the “tooling was wearing out” answer has been used most famously in explanation for the discontinuation of the S&W Model 52. That one was in production for 32 years.

While I realize that there is extreme expense in high quality, high volume tooling when it comes to working on steel, just which part of the tooling is so expensive and needs replacing so much that it takes a legendary gun out of production forever?

Whew, glad that S&W’s “K-frame .38 revolver tooling” was deemed important enough for upkeep/replacement! (that’s a joke for a hundred years and 6-7 million K-38’s)
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Old Today, 02:00 AM   #12
simonrichter
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interesting, thank y'all. Wasn't aware that the CCP features the gas delay system...
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Old Today, 06:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
I am hearing fine arguments here but I’d like to ask about the “end life of the tooling.” Would it seem rational that twenty years and the tooling is wearing out?

In my gun travels, the “tooling was wearing out” answer has been used most famously in explanation for the discontinuation of the S&W Model 52. That one was in production for 32 years.

While I realize that there is extreme expense in high quality, high volume tooling when it comes to working on steel, just which part of the tooling is so expensive and needs replacing so much that it takes a legendary gun out of production forever?

Whew, glad that S&W’s “K-frame .38 revolver tooling” was deemed important enough for upkeep/replacement! (that’s a joke for a hundred years and 6-7 million K-38’s)

Obviously someone at S&W decides that the cost associated with updating the tooling over the years was justifiable in potential return. Given the popularity of K frame revolvers from S&W (a line that could be argued to be iconic for the brand) that seems like a fairly safe bet. The HK P7 did not, to my knowledge, enjoy the sales figures of the K frame revolvers. I imagine someone decided differently in that case. Absent someone here having worked at HK personally and been involved in that decision I’m not sure how to know for sure.


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Old Today, 07:16 AM   #14
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When production is ended on most guns it is due to many reasons. Though the one at the top usually is "lack of sales."

The original Python was a work of art. The quality of the work in one was second to none. In the end it was deemed the small amount of sales they were generating was not bringing in the amount of profit Colt was looking for. So they stopped making them. If the new ones don't sell well enough they will go away as well.

It is a cold hard fact.
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Old Today, 07:53 AM   #15
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I think that's a mite simplistic of a reason. I'm no fan of "bean-counters" or "greedy executives" but if a product doesn't sell because it's too expensive to make to be profitable, well, that's what some might call running a business that makes money. Companies aren't in business to lose money-unless you're the U.S. Post Office, of course
Yep, Ruger, Browning and all the rest do it all the time.

I love my P7s, no other gun is as totally ambidextrous as that one and being LH, that is a nice touch. No levers all over the gun, simply point, squeeze, and shoot. The only button is for a simple takedown, the fixed breech barrel is accurate, the gun is designed with the flutes in the chamber to allow it to function without an extractor..........
While heavy, that weight makes it more controllable and for ME, more accurate
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Old Today, 08:02 AM   #16
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Why has the HK P7 series been discontinued?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgludwig View Post
I think that's a mite simplistic of a reason. I'm no fan of "bean-counters" or "greedy executives" but if a product doesn't sell because it's too expensive to make to be profitable, well, that's what some might call running a business that makes money. Companies aren't in business to lose money-unless you're the U.S. Post Office, of course.

The Post Office wasn’t losing money until the retirement care requirements imposed in 2006:
https://ips-dc.org/how-congress-manu...how-to-fix-it/

Compared to most federal agencies the Post Office doesn’t get taxpayer funding. Meanwhile Colt keeps going bankrupt despite being one of the originators of two of the most popular types of firearms sold in this country.


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Old Today, 06:44 PM   #17
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Look at every "good" gun that has gone out of production in the last century+.

It's ALWAYS a matter of profit for the maker.

Gun companies are (or were) often founded by people who wanted to make guns, and make enough money to keep making guns and make a living at the same time. So, make good guns, in order to make money....

Generations later, many are run by people who want to make money, by making guns. And whatever makes the most money is the best thing for the company, themselves, and their shareholders.

You and I might have a deep abiding love of a given model, but to the maker, its just another product, and more so these days than in the past.

What bothers me is the idea that even a good gun, once out of production is now worth 2 or 3x what they cost while in production. Yes I understand supply and demand, but if the demand justifies a highly inflated price for an out of production model, why did it go out of production in the first place?

Tooling does wear out. Its not just the cutting heads it everything overall, the cutters, the machines that operate the cutters, all the dies, jigs, fixtures and gauges used, all have a life, and eventually do wear out,. Smart makers, making something they intend to produce for a long time, have new tools made to replace what wears out, as an ongoing process.

Others take a different view, and use what they have until it gets too worn, and THEN decide if the cost of replacements are justified.

Often, at that point, they aren't.

With foreign makers, and the US as a major market there is another factor, and that is the fluctuation of currency value.

Where that market sits, at the time of decision making can be the final nail in the coffin, so to speak.
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Old Today, 06:47 PM   #18
bac1023
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Well, the good news is that there are still plenty around on the used market.


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