Understanding the ‘most expensive handgun in the world’
Between its innovative “squeeze-cocking” feature and its West German craftsmanship, Heckler & Koch’s P7 was billed as “the best combat pistol” on the market when it was released in Europe, pitched to police and military use.
Once it crossed the Atlantic, this morphed into the world’s “most expensive handgun” in marketing materials in the U.S. in the 1980s with a list of the reasons why the P7 was superior to the more economical options.
With a fixed cold hammer-forged barrel and polygonal rifling, the all-steel P7 was accurate while the 110-degree grip angle was billed as being very natural. Reliable, the P7 was designed so that an empty case would extract and eject even if the extractor was missing from the handgun. Using a hybrid gas-delayed blowback, recoil was light.
It was imported in a few different varieties.
Add to this the P7M13, with the ability to carry 13+1 rounds, notably sported by fictional German terrorist-turned-crook Hans Gruber.
Ultimately, the P7 series was retired by HK over a decade ago but you can be sure that the legacy of these patrician pistols will endure as long as Die Hard is considered a Christmas movie.