The P8 German Police/Military Service Pistol Caliber 9mm x 19
The P8 pistol from HK is the newest addition to the armed forces of Germany. Essentially a USP with the P8 designation provided by the German government, the P8 replaces the P1 (P38) in a number of units. The "backwards" safety lever was designed that way to facilitate the easy transition to the P8 from the P1. The P8 was first fielded in 1995 with 60 units going to German Navy divers, 195 went to KSK initially, then the first large scale order of 14,186 units to the Air Force, Navy and Bundeswehr depots. Then a follow on order for 20,720 more. In the years since, many thousands more P8 pistols have been fielded by the armed forces of Germany. The above example is one of the very first ones, with the frame mounted markings of S and F not yet visible. The Bundesadler (see symbols page) is present as is "Bw" (short for Bundeswehr), and it is marked over with a double X. Serial number on this gun is 028. The "white" 15 round magazine is standard issue with this pistol in Germany, both for armed forces and civilian sales. Very few white magazines ever made it into the U.S. before the ban in Oct. 1994. Capital City Firearms had the only ones that I knew about. I don't know that there has been an increase of their importation with the passing of the ban. Seems not.
The German preference for fire control. It differs from the USP in that the markings Sicher for Safe and Feuer for Fire are painted on the frame of the pistol, forward instead of on the selector lever/decocker, as is the case with USP pistols. The decocking system remains the same as to direction, but returns to safe under spring pressure instead of fire.