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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
I bought a NIB P30L 9mm about two months ago and I could use your help. My first two range visits with 115 grain were disasterous. Countless FTEs and the slide frequently failed to lock back after the last round was fired. My grip was firm, I wasn't riding the slide, and I wasn't touching the slide release. I did a search on this site of P30L FTEs and discovered that the general consensus was to use 124 grain for at least 500 rounds and after that 115 grain would cycle properly. HK cs confirmed that solution.
I now have about 700 rounds of 124 grain downrange and the pistols' performance has greatly improved, however I still have intermittent FTEs. That brings me to my question, Would 147 grain ammo improve the cycling even better than 124 grain? The gun is a pleasure to shoot, and would be so much better if it would be as flawless as my VP9. I really don't want to send it back to the mothership for repairs unless all else fails.
Once it starts to work properly I plan on using up my stock of 115 grain and only using 124 grain as I can get them for the same price.
Yor input would be appreciated.
 

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I had the same issues. I didn't know enough when I got it to rewalize there was a difference in Ammo. I just shot 115 thru it and it went away. I still don't know much about ammo grain but I would use 124 NATO and hand cycle it a bunch. Once the spring loosens a bit it should be fine with anything, as mine is. They are sweet shooters. I'm sure someone will give a better answer soon. Congrats and welcome!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick response JonFrost. Like you, I don't know enough about ammo. Guess I need to do some homework.
 

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I had FTE issues when my P30L was new, even into some hundreds of rounds, using 115 gr. I quit, standardized on 124 gr, both standard charge and NATO or +P, and have had no issues w/ feed or ejection since. I also installed the shortened slide lock, but that wasn't the cause of most of my issues. I did, though, have to adjust my grip, particularly where I place my strong hand thumb, from what I do with the .45 guns. Many commenters have stated that 115 gr target ammo is or may be undercharged to a degree that challenges the margins of the slide's movement. It's not worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
leicar7, Is 124 gr different from 124 gr NATO? If so, could you explain how? I'm not as up to speed on ammo as I should be. Thanks
 

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leicar7, Is 124 gr different from 124 gr NATO? If so, could you explain how? I'm not as up to speed on ammo as I should be. Thanks
NATO ammo is loaded hotter and provides higher pressures, closer to +P.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
NATO ammo is loaded hotter and provides higher pressures, closer to +P.
Thanks for the quick response. I will be ordering a case of ammo soon and was going to order Geco 124 gr. For about the same price I can get MAN 124 gr NATO. Or would I be better off ordering 147 gr? I'm hoping to get past the FTEs as quickly as possible.
 

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I have never used 9mm 115 gr bullets or ammunition, only 9mm 124 gr and 147 gr bullets and ammunition. IMO, cheap ammo typically gets less than stellar results.
 

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Thanks for the quick response. I will be ordering a case of ammo soon and was going to order Geco 124 gr. For about the same price I can get MAN 124 gr NATO. Or would I be better off ordering 147 gr? I'm hoping to get past the FTEs as quickly as possible.
I think you mean MEN 124gr surplus from Germany -- it's great ammo, buy it. Also Winchester 124 NATO isn't bad and there's a decent deal in an ammo can at SGA.
 

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I shoot one kind of 9mm bullet. 147gr Berry. I buy 10,000 at a time and when the winter blues hit Dillon and I load em up. I have never had a malfunction of any kind with good ammo.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks bastardsonofelvis, your response was spot on, twice. The ammo company is MEN, not MAN as I thought. Secondly, according to a few sites I researched 124 gr NATO has 10% greater pressure than 124 gr (that isn't specified as NATO). Effectively +P.

Today's range visit resulted in 5 failures out of 200 rounds, and one of those may have been operator error. That was with non NATO 124 gr. These results are the best I've had since I bought the P30L. I've put 700 rounds of non NATO 124 gr down range. I'll be away for several days but as soon as I return I'm going to order a case or two of 124 gr NATO.I'll update results then.

Thank all of you for your input. greatly appreciated.
 

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I have to say, guys, this conversation is kind of disconcerting. Why would/should a high-quality handgun like a HK choke up on 115 grain 9mm? I have had plenty of other handguns and have never had a single problem with ANY 9mm ammo, from the cheapest Russian stuff to high-end +P JHP SD ammo from Federal (147gr) with my Glocks, Rugers, Springfields, FNs, Walthers, etc. etc. etc. Was gibt?
 

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Use 124-grain +P as mentioned previously.

Other courses of action include leaving the slide locked back overnight to break in the recoil spring, and, if you want to get really fancy, you can get the barrel plated in Robar NP3 Plus Nickel Teflon, which will make the action cycle noticeably smoother and faster, which will therefore allow for a wider range of functioning reliability with ammunition that may be somewhat underpowered.

Winchester 124-grain Nato is my favorite practice round in an H&K 9mm, with 9mm 124-grain +P in either Winchester Ranger-T, Federal HST, or Winchester PDX-1 for carry/defense in the same platform.
 

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I have to say, guys, this conversation is kind of disconcerting. Why would/should a high-quality handgun like a HK choke up on 115 grain 9mm? I have had plenty of other handguns and have never had a single problem with ANY 9mm ammo, from the cheapest Russian stuff to high-end +P JHP SD ammo from Federal (147gr) with my Glocks, Rugers, Springfields, FNs, Walthers, etc. etc. etc. Was gibt?
As mentioned previously, 115 is most likely to be cheap and loaded light. With everything else good, it runs OK. If other factors are marginal, it has issues. My 100 lb wife who seldom practices has (feed and/or ejection) issues with a lot of semi-auto handguns, worse with lightly loaded ammo. I reload and I've loaded a spectrum for her to test and it holds true. hot-loaded 115s she has very few malfunctions (but more complaints of recoil). my 6-5 250lb former rigger and mechanic self has very few issues with any loads but I can feel the lightest loads struggle to cycle the gun (it's VERY noticeable in my R51 because of how the Pederson block action works). Heavier bullets in factory loaded ammo tends to cost more so they don't mind putting an extra few tenths of grain of powder. It's also sort of a marketing thing. general (gun-buying) public people see low numbers and expect low power/low recoil. people that want higher weight bullets want more oomph and expect more power in the powder charge. Yes those of us on here debating it know better but we're here because we're interested and know (or want to know) such things. For every person on the forum, there are thousands of gun owners that know less than any of us that will buy into that notion.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I want to thank everyone for taking the time to help me with my problem. As it turns out I could have avoided the FTE, FTF problem if I had just done what I always told my little fourth grade students, "READ THE INSTRUCTIONS". On the HK site the operators manual clearly states that the P30L was designed to use 124 gr Nato ammunition (p. 17). Honestly, I did read the manual but I guess my comprehension skills were lacking that day. I get an "F".

To lonestarjack, it's not the guns fault, the problem is with the moron behind it.

To k5ghost, there is nothing special about MEN 124 Nato, I only mentioned it because it is usually available at one of the sites I order from.

So, thanks to all for your help. The people on this site are amazing.
 
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