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Guns of Pop Culture: “John Wick” & the HK P30L

"John Wick" is the ultimate gun guy movie with plenty of cool guns. But we're diving deeper into Wick's HK P30L.

John Wick might be the best gun guy movie in the last few decades. It’s a movie directed and created by stuntmen who have an appreciation for finely made firearms.

The films currently span three entries, with another two on the way. 

The films portray mild-mannered Keanu Reeves as legendary assassin John Wick. It takes us into a world of shadowy organizations, hotels with strict rules, and a gold coin currency I can’t quite figure out.

Throughout the three films, Mr. Wick is constantly in a running gunfight with bad guys of all stripes. 

The first film remains my favorite. I find it a bit more grounded, and I like not quite knowing how this shadowy world works.

Oh, and it features my favorite handgun of the Wick series, the Heckler & Koch P30L…

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Guns, Lots of Guns 

Throughout the series, John Wick uses a ton of different guns — assault rifles, SMGs, shotguns, and of course, handguns.

In the second and third films, guns from Taran Tactical were Keanu’s costars, but in the first film, John wielded the always cool P30L

Not just a plain P30L, but the gun is outfitted with a custom compensator that is seemingly massive for a comp…like, it adds inches to the weapon and even appears to have a rail at the bottom.

While likely a bit much, it does give the gun a very distinct look, and hero guns gotta look cool. 

The P30L keeps that HK promise of high quality, reliability, and dependability.

Like most modern handguns, the weapon features a polymer frame, but that’s about where the commonality ends. The P30 system is a DA/SA gun with an external hammer, rare in a time where polymer frame, striker-fired pistols rule. 

The V3 variant is my personal favorite and the choice of John Wick in the film. It features a hammer with a spur for manual single-action cocking and a great decocker. And it’s mounted beside the hammer and requires nothing more than a press to activate.

John Wick firing the P30L at the Red Circle Bathhouse
John Wick firing the P30L at the Red Circle Bathhouse

This decocker requires less movement and is super ergonomic. On top of that, you get the HK and Walther style paddle magazine release that sits on the trigger guard and is a lever rather than a button.

HK VP9
Note the paddle-style mag release on HK’s VP9

It’s ambidextrous and very easy to use. 

“L” in the P30L name stands for long, and this variant features a 4.4-inch barrel. The original P30 uses a 3.9-inch barrel.

This gun features an outstanding stock trigger! The double-action is heavy but smooth, and the single action is super light and very sweet.

The grip allows for a ton of customization and allows the shooter to swap side and rear grip panels to fit the gun to your hand. 

John Wick reloads the P30L at the night club
John Wick reloads the P30L at the nightclub

Mr. Wick Whips It 

As evidenced by the film, Keanu knows how to handle a gun.

The first film showed that he trained hard to manipulate the weapon. He looks confident with the weapon and executes a variety of reloads, close retention techniques, and modern shooting styles throughout the film. 

The P30L and Wick execute a ton of nameless Russian gangsters and do so in style. Let’s be real, the firearms handling and stunt work has changed the action movie genre.

Most movies pre-John Wick feel a little dated and boring. Keanu Reeves and HK’s P30L most certainly played a part in changing modern action cinema, and I’m grateful for it!

John Wick established that the audience wants to see the action, the guns, and the mayhem clearly. 

Final Thoughts

John Wick is full of so many incredible guns. We get Glocks, Brownings, Benellis, Sig Sauers, and so many more that could deserve their own entry.

Yet, I still feel the P30L earns it the most. 

John Wick's hidden arsenal
John Wick’s hidden arsenal

It’s the gun that John Wick got started with, and it’s the gun that carried him through the first movie’s explosive choreography.

Sure the Taran Tactical guns are excellent, but the P30L feels raw and grounded, just like the first movie. 

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What’s your favorite Wick weapon? The Benelli M4? The Glock 34? Or that pencil…let us know in the comments below! For more on your favorite movie guns, check out Jurassic Park & the SPAS-12.

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1 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Cap

    Great read Travis.
    -Cap-

    May 11, 2022 11:16 am
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