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Thread: What is an HK P46?

  1. #11
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    It really is too bad that the project had been canceled because IMO it could've been THE ultimate combat pistol. But it was canceled for a good reason. G3Kurz said that the 4.6mm round is just too powerful and high pressured for a handgun to handle.

    There's a reason why the MP7 is gas-operated instead of simple blowback-operated like the typical SMG.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmthecoolguy View Post
    I got a Hk key lanyard from Germany and it has the MP7 and a pistol on it that says P46. Hk suspended the project correct?

    G3Kurz...this is where you chime in!
    Looks like I'm starting to get a reputation!

    The HK P46 (first called the UCP - Ultimate Combat Pistol) was/is a 4.6x30mm handgun firing the same family of ammo as developed for the HK MP7A1 PDW. The P46 designation was from the German Army who wanted the gun to replace the 9mm P8 (USP9 full size). Samples were developed and tested during HK Desert testing in Prescott AZ in the early 2000's. During that week numerous prototypes performed very well - accurate, low recoil, 20-rd magazine, reliable, BEST trigger on any HK pistol! Various customers there shot the gun - hard - with no issues. I am convinced still today if HK had decided to complete the project and build the gun it would be in use by the German Army and at least one US SOF unit.

    HK designers opted not to complete the work based on concerns with long-term service life and obstructed bore concerns. The 4.6x30mm round if far more powerful than the 5.7mm FN P90/Five Seven pistol round and does not rely on case shoulder set-back for function as do the FN guns. That is the reason HK opted to use a gas operated rotary bolt system in the MP7 versus the blow-back system in the P90. Last time I asked the program was dead for technical reasons.

    The German Army envisioned two P46's - the full size variant you see in the photos posted here and a compact "Shithouse" variant - one small enough that it could be carried/worn anywhere to include when the operator goes to the latrine to do his business.

    As to the comment about the terminal effects of the 28-40 grain 4.6x30mm projectile, that issue will be open for endless debate. Remember that THE primary design goal of the FN 5.7mm and HK 4.6mm PDW rounds was to penetrate the Russian SPETNAZ/NATO CRISAT panel (Ti and Kevlar) at 50 meters. Both rounds do that - the 5.7mm round at 150 meters, the HK 4.6mm round at 300 meters! If you cannot penetrate the body armor you cannot defeat the guy behind it thus the need for high velocity small caliber penetrating rounds. To make it easy to use for poorly trained support personnel (the primary customer) they had to keep the recoil impulse down which means a small high velocity round was best (also makes full auto fire easier and allows more stowed rounds in a compact weapon) unlike something in say .45 ACP or .40 S&W.

    I can tell you for a fact that 4.6mm MP7A1's are killing plenty of terrorists so we know in actual practice the round does work when employed properly by well trained gun fighters. That is ALWAYS the key to terminal ballistics effective hits on target.

    G3Kurz

  3. #13
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    G3...Your prompt, reliable responses are always appreciated!
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  4. #14
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    Will the P46 serve as a basis for the new striker fired "P40" being developed? Also G3K, you mentioned that HK turned down the GLock design in the early 80's. Do you think HK would have embellished the design more "HK" like or used it as is? For example, though to improve the Glock will frustrate some, that thing is "clunky" and would have benefited from HK polymers which could have slimmed the weapon down a bit, as well using metal mags instead of the thick polymer ones they currently use.

    Lastly, that is an encouraging comment about the P46 trigger being the best to date-can you elaborate? Was it the pull, reset, etc.

    Thanks, and I for one can't wait for the striker fired gun!
    Dave

  5. #15
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    THANK YOU G3Kurz!
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  6. #16
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    And a semi-auto version of the MP7 is going to be available when? :)

  7. #17
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    [I][QUOTE=Polecat;960097]Will the P46 serve as a basis for the new striker fired "P40" being developed?

    I can only guess Dave but somewhat doubtful. The P40 fires pistol-caliber cartridges and thus can make do with the a short-recoil locking system (a la Browning). The P46 could not so the functional design is radically different due to the locking system required for the more powerful 4.6mm round.

    Also G3K, you mentioned that HK turned down the GLock design in the early 80's. Do you think HK would have embellished the design more "HK" like or used it as is? For example, though to improve the Glock will frustrate some, that thing is "clunky" and would have benefited from HK polymers which could have slimmed the weapon down a bit, as well using metal mags instead of the thick polymer ones they currently use.

    Hard to say of course. HK was one of many (all) that turned the Glock design away. Funny thing is one can make a case that the Glock was a copy in many regards to the first series-production polymer framed pistol - the HK VP70Z which came out in the 70's @ a decade BEFORE the Glock. Gaston Glock stated that his design was nothing radically new, that it was a combination of existing technologies and features. Timing was its biggest plus as many PD's transitioned to "Wonder 9's" from DA revolvers and the Glock's Safe Action trigger functioned with equal ease. Getting targeted by the anti-gunners for being able to pass through metal detectors undected (false BTW) also helped launch its eventual fame. The G17's also worked/works well and are easy to train folks to use.

    The HK VP70 had a polymer frame, hi-cap 9mm mag, DAO striker firing mech, excellent exterior finish, no manual safety. While admittedly rough (size, trigger pull weight @ 20 lbs.!) a side by side comparison of the two reveals many similarities. They are clearly in the same species.

    My guess is had HK purchased the Glock design at that time in their history they might had sat on it and not produced it. The HK Design Chief at that time didn't like much not developed in Oberndorf. In the eyes of the Germans at that time the P7 was deemed superior to everything else out there, even after it failed in various high profile military tests (US XM9 for one). Look to the new P40 as to what HK MIGHT have done with the original Glock design - the P40 is clearly being made to compete directly with the Glock and Glock-style designs (S&W M&P, etc.) - a smart move.

    Lastly, that is an encouraging comment about the P46 trigger being the best to date-can you elaborate? Was it the pull, reset, etc.

    I don't recall seeing specs but the pull weight was below 5 lbs. and VERY crisp and short and with a short reset distance. It was a double tappers dream and the customers who shot it all picked up on that right away. THE very best HK trigger pull ever by a long shot and unique to the P46.

    G3Kurz

  8. #18
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    Wait what is the new P40? I cant even google pictures of it.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by G3Kurz View Post
    The HK VP70 had a polymer frame, hi-cap 9mm mag, DAO striker firing mech, excellent exterior finish, no manual safety.G3Kurz
    Huh, my VP70 and all the others I've seen have a cross bar safety on it. Never once used it as the 20 lbs trigger pull means it's not going off unless you really, really want it to.

  10. #20
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    I forget..... what was it's mag capacity again?

    -Wes
    Various HK models
    One SigSauer 9mm. P226 TacOps



    Glocks are like small block chevy's... Over abundant, and rarely impressive.

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