When we think about roller-delayed blowback firearms, we generally think of H&K rifles – but H&K also made a miniature version of the system for the P9 pistol in the late 1960s. The P9 was made as a single-stack design in both 9mm and .45ACP, along with a target version (with adjustable sights) and a suppressor-ready version which is what we have in today’s video). The original short run of production was the basic P9, with a single-action-only trigger, which was quickly replaced by the P9S with a double-action trigger. The P9 was a pretty good gun overall, and I really don’t have any complaints about it after shooting (although the cocking/decocking lever is not necessarily intuitive).



  1. Tengo una H6K9S. He tenido un problema , al romper la pieza situada en la parte anterior del armazón, que sirve de apoyo al cañon, y va solidaria mediante dos tornillos (en su interior lleva en amortiguador de polímero). El importador me dice que no quedan repuestos de este tipo de arma. ¿ Alguien me puede ayudar?

  2. Excellent weapon, the P9s. I’ve got a 9mmP one, and it’s among my more accurate handguns.

    Funny side note: One of these was carried prominently by the lead character on the cop series “Hunter” in the 1980’s. Actor Fred Dryer’s P9S had a longer Target barrel and barrel weight – not really concealable, but they made it work in a shoulder-holster anyway.

    Another “roller-locked” pistol you should look at is the CZ-52, a fairly common service pistol made behind the Iron Curtain in 1952-54. Great gun, and a neat study in the roller-locking design.

  3. Also used, at least in the one episode I saw, on the 1983-1986 TV series Hardcastle and McCormick, where the retired judge played by Brian Keith wielded one. Unsure of the caliber but since Keith was a wartime Marine machine gunner, it was probably a 45acp…..I hope.

  4. In the late 1980’s these were being sold NIB either calibers for approx. $600.00. Boxes are really cool, old style HK hard cardboard with metal mesh reinforced corners for additional box rigidity. All came with 2 clips , full paperwork plus target. Very neat package, even back then not an inexpensive piece though. The long target barrel was also being pushed at the same time and they ran around 150 to 175 or thereabouts. Never made a target version but did have the 45acp barrel cut and threaded for a suppressor. I had one in each caliber, a 9mm and a 45, but suppressed the 45 since no special sub sonic ammo was really needed. I hope the new owners are treating them well, as they are long, long gone from me.

  5. to clarify, I was referring to myself, that I never made a target version from the additional target barrel I purchased . H&K did indeed make a factory target version which I know came in at least the 9mm, unsure if 45 as well. It has as standard a long target style barrel, adjustable target sights (adjustable factory rear target sights were available on either caliber with the regular length barrel as well. This was in lieu of the standard rear combat sights and cost a bit more money back then) Plus the grip was a beautifully sculptured wooden target grip—very comfortable for a right handed shooter as I recall plus it had counterweights up front, one could add or subtract the amount of weight depending on other factors—what a sweet piece and to think in the early and mid 90’s they were so much more available and to me reasonable back then.

  6. Overdesigned and overrated.

    A 43-year old specimen I bought showed the elastic recoil buffer to totally dessicated and useless. The Instruction and Repair Manual does recommends checking the frame for cracks. If you are considering buying a used one inspect it first – that means removing both the grip and trigger guard.

    A limited-lifespan rubber recoil buffer – what were they thinking at HK ? My Mauser C-96 made in 1889 is still serviceable more than 100 years later.

    The decocking lever is an invitation to an Accidental Discharge – and I do mean AD, not Negligent Discharge.

    There is no slide release lever – you have to use the second hand to pull the slide out of its locked-open position. There obviously was no room for such a lever because of the cocking/decocking lever. Even something so simple as rounding off any sharp edge on the sights was too much to ask for.

    Removing the grip reveals a very complex frame – obviously designed by a bunch of engineers on heavy-duty steroids.

    I am keeping it a curiousity – the famed HK over-engineering, not to shhot, not without its fragile rubber buffer. This dog deserved to become extinct.

    A P7M8 is a far superior product. Even more complex than the P9S and not dependent upon a rubber buffer yuou cannot find anymore.

    • J. Hogue’s comments are largely incorrect.

      The cocking lever is the slide release.

      The buffers last a decent amount of time and are inexpensive to replace – much like a recoil spring in most guns. You can replace the buffer without removing the trigger guard – you just take out the screws. The buffer is the reason the P9S has such a phenomenal reputation for low recoil and flat shooting – especially for a .45.

      Decocking is fairly safe because pushing down on the cocking lever automatically intercepts the hammer, so if you have the cocking lever pushed down at all when you pull the trigger it won’t fire no matter what you do afterwards. But if there is any concern, put the firing pin safety on while decocking.

      Earlier pistols did not have the feed ramp to feed hollow points, but that changed mid to late ’70s. The earlier guns can be modified easily enough.

      Like the Makarov, the P9S uses a full length firing pin – the hammer never touches the firing pin except when fired. The full length pin may be why the mainspring can be lighter to provide an excellent DA trigger pull.

      This might be the first production gun with truly modern combat sights.

      The P9S combines the cocking/decocking/slide lock lever of the Sauer 38H with the takedown of the Mauser HSc. A superb weapon to this day.

      • owning and having shot one of these for the last 30 years proves the point that Hogue is probably better off buying a Black Powder pistol or a high point because it matches his level of weapon experience.
        However, someone must have hit him hard on his noggin because he got the P7 part right.

    • No slide release? … Use the lever on left side to release slide. Simple enough. (I’m wondering if You really have a P9S … You should know …)

  7. Dad got one of these in a big sell off our cousin had it’s the 45 model haven’t had a chance to shoot it but the single action pull is amazing

  8. Nice video. Two things though. That barrel looks a bit longer than original. Could it be because of the threading? My barrel don’t stick outside that much.
    Second. The barrel itself is used to unlock the bolt head – You don’t have to use a screwdriver. Quite clever

  9. I purchased a mint condition P9S 45 cal and attempted to replace the buffer before firing. I fought for days trying to depress the buffer enough to put the housing back together and finally took it to my local gunsmith. He trimmed one of the sections off from the buffer, which made for an easy installation and said it should be fine. Can you tell me if I’m risking damage to the housing/frame by reducing the buffer length?

    • Mike

      Without seeing your buffer it’s impossible to say for certain, but, I would not shoot it without an original, full-length/size buffer.

      Replacment OEM buffers can be found online for under $20, and replacement *should* be easy… here’s a website with detailed instructions:

      Good luck!

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