Gun Report

Croatian PHP Model MV 9mm, $200 (Grade: B+ July 2011)

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Looking at first glance like a P-38 Walther, the big double-action PHP will most likely not win any prizes for beauty. However, it shot well and was reasonably reliable. We came to like it, much like one loves an ugly dog, once we figured out its obscure takedown procedure.

Croatian PHP Model MV 9mm, $200 (Grade: B+ July 2011)

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Home Defense
Law Enforcement
Concealed Carry
Recreational
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Trigger Pull Single
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Despite the mangled recoil spring, which we easily straightened, the remainder of the PHP’s parts were highly machined. We found no stampings anywhere, rather odd for a gun dating to only 1991. The takedown lever is just to the left of the breech block, which is right above the mangled spring. Note the tiny coil spring and the broken wire spring.
The pencil points to the takedown lever, which has been turned downward (clockwise) 90 degrees. Note that the slide must be locked rearward before you can move this lever. The next step is to bring the slide back to battery, even with the rear of the frame, and drop the hammer. Then the slide may be removed, but not all the way yet. The PHP was a very clever and intricate design, which we grew to like over time.

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