Page 1 of 142 1231151101 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 1412

Thread: HK USP 45 field pistol

  1. #1

    HK USP 45 field pistol

    Moderator Note: The posts leading to the creation to this thread can be found here: https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....5-Super-thread

    I guess it is time to stop polluting the S&W 1076 thread, and start a USP 45 thread.

    Here is the deal. When I moved to Alaska in 2002, I was carrying a four inch S&W 629 in the field for protection around bears and large animals. I was also frequently shooting a revolver as a primary handgun. The positive was six reliable shots of a proven, hard cast penetrating load. The negative was it weighed a lot, held relatively few cartridges, and frankly was not pleasant to shoot with full power ammo. I most often carried the wheel gun in a Blade Tech OWB kydex holster on a Wilderness belt, with a Galco 2x2x2 ammo holder, a Leatherman and a Surefire 6P. I wore this rig over my pants, waders, whatever. It was not concealed at all, which was't a factor. I was unable to wear this rig flying and transitioned the revolver to a shoulder holster in the aircraft.

    I experimented with some smaller revolvers, most happily with a Bowen tuned four inch stainless Blackhawk .44 magnum. It was more comfortable to shoot with full power loads, as the gun rolled in your hand. After taking the Gunsite Backcountry course twice, I became convinced that a single action revolver may be great at many things, but as a fighting handgun (animals), the DA revolver offered too many advantages to not carry. When the Scandium 329 revolvers came out, I instantly got one for my wife and I. So did a bunch of other pilots. They were great to carry, but not great to shoot. I ultimately had a half dozen, between my wife and I, all tuned by Bowen. It got so bad, that during periodic function testing, I would shoot three rounds in my right hand, transfer the revolver to my left hand, and finish the last three shots. My wife basically said the only way she was shooting a whole cylinder was at a bear. She is a strong shooter, but would rather shoot a four inch S&W .500.

    As I transitioned back into shooting semi auto pistols as primary, my wife increasingly shot a Glock. She asked why we shot thousands of rounds of 9 and .40, 18 rounds a year of .44 magnum, and were carrying a revolver. She started first carrying a Glock 20 and 29, and I followed suit. We assumed that just as a Glock 17 shot most all 9mm ammo, that the Glock 20 would shoot most all 10mm ammo reliably. We picked 10mm loads based on our assessment of the ability of the bullet to perform on a moose or bear. Those loads were often hard to get in quantity and very expensive. Through trial and error, we realized that many high performance 10mm loads would not function reliably in the Glock 20 and 29. My wife's solution was to use 200 XTP factory ammo, which did run. I tried a variety of other pistols, including the Glock 22 with a KKM barrel, and the S&W 1066/1076.

    I was especially high on the 1066/1076, and it seemed to function with a range of the higher performance loads. The downside of the 1066/1076 was that they were expensive, harder to get, heavy, and not well supported for sights, parts, magazines and holsters. This spring, during my beginning of the season testing, I encountered the hard cast loads that I favored, would not function reliably in the 1066/1076.

    Last winter, during the HK sale, and being a HK fan boy at heart, I bought a USP 45 on a lark, as a possible .45 Super launcher. My due diligence was nothing more than reading HK Pro and it being an HK. For different reasons, I didn't get to shoot the USP until early June. It functioned 100 percent reliably from round one, and has continued to function 100 percent reliably with about 600 rounds of Buffalo Bore .45 Super 230 FMJ-FP ammo and an assortment of .45 acp ball and JHP ammo. Besides functioning, it just feels like the pistol digests it without stress. That differs from some pistols, that just feel like they are unhappy shooting certain loads.

    To support the USP, I of course got a second one. I also got a JM George, a Fricke Gideon, a Fricke Gideon that mounts on a Safariland QLS fork, and I have a Safariland retention holster on special order. I LOVE that I can shoot garden variety .45 through it, which is much less costly and more available than 10mm, and I can run .45 Super ammo in the field. Both types of ammo shoot close enough POI, that walk back drills to 75 yards with an eight inch plate are doable mixing ammo. I have Trijicon HD sights and an HK match trigger waiting to be installed in my USP #2. I really like double action in a field pistol that may be operated in cold, wet, unhappy circumstances. While I train to move the thumb safety with my presentation, I most often leave the thumb safety off in the holster.

    The USP is small enough I can carry it concealed with the JM George. It is light enough that it doesn't bug me on ridge climbs. It holds enough cartridges, 12, that I feel like I have a chance with a sow and two cubs. The trigger guard is big, for use with gloves. An unintended benefit, is I know I am carrying a bigger HK than Darryl.

    .44/.45 caliber ammo in the 250 grain at 1,050 fps range has been killing a lot of game for years. The .45 Super 230 FMJ-FP is just over 1,100 fps in the USP.

    Here is my set-up:

    Last edited by JDM; 07-06-2015 at 04:12 PM. Reason: spell better
    Likes pretty much everything in every caliber.

  2. #2
    Licorice Bootlegger JDM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Albuquerque
    Fantastic thread, G! I'll be reading with interest.

    You're not interested in an LEM variant?

    Also, does HK offer a version of the USP where the safety functions only as a safety, and does not decock the gun? Have you had any problems riding the safety and decocking under recoil?


    When I first started carrying a gun everyday, it was a full size USP .45. I'd like a reason to get another one or two.
    Nobody is impressed by what you can't do. -THJ

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by BOM View Post
    Fantastic thread, G! I'll be reading with interest.

    You're not interested in an LEM variant?

    Also, does HK offer a version of the USP where the safety functions only as a safety, and does not decock the gun? Have you had any problems riding the safety and decocking under recoil?


    When I first started carrying a gun everyday, it was a full size USP .45. I'd like a reason to get another one or two.
    Not interested at all in LEM for the way I use this pistol, as I would rather have DA on shot one, SA for the rest, and a thumb safety to use when I want.

    I used to have the decocking problem with the HK45 and 45C, and went to variant 9 plates, before switching to LEM in those guns. Have never had the riding the safety/decocking issue with the USP. Perhaps the geometry is different, or perhaps it is now because I ride dominant thumb over the outside of my support thumb, which TLG taught me is Sig and HK slide stop friendly.
    Likes pretty much everything in every caliber.

  4. #4
    Licorice Bootlegger JDM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Albuquerque

    HK USP 45 field pistol

    Ah! I do the same thing with my thumbs now, because SIGs. I believe Todd showed me that as well.

    Perhaps it's time to revisit the USP!

    Thanks buddy.
    Nobody is impressed by what you can't do. -THJ

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by GJM View Post
    Not interested at all in LEM for the way I use this pistol...
    Translation from the Alaskan: first shot out of basically unshootable 16 lbs DA into the dirt, for the hope that the bear will run away, after that a mag dump out of a decent SA that's easier to run fast than LEM.

  6. #6
    Thanks for making this endeavor and thread.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by BOM View Post
    Also, does HK offer a version of the USP where the safety functions only as a safety, and does not decock the gun?
    This is all you need to convert a variant 1/2 (DA/SA) to a variant 9/10 (psuedo-SAO, since it still fires in DA in a second-strike scenario or thumb decocking): http://www.hkparts.net/shop/pc/Deten...0-200p1247.htm. Swapping the plate in my HK45 took about 90 seconds with a hammer and a multitool acting as an improvised punch, and that's with me being unfamiliar with how to do it and not watching any YouTube vids; I'd imagine the USP is just as easy.

    Off-topic, but I've always found the full-sized USPs to be a very aesthetically pleasing gun, far more so than my P30LS. Too bad they lack the ambi features of their newer cousins in the P-series.

  8. #8
    Site Supporter CCT125US's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Lane 7, behind the gun.
    Nice write up. The USP 45 was the first handgun I ever purchased. I foolishly sold it a number of years later, and hadn't thought of it until just now. Thanks
    SWYNTS
    Just because it "feels good", doesn't mean it's best.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    East Greenwich, RI
    I've followed GJM's bear pistol threads with interest since I arrived on PF. The wife and I love Alaska and we are up there about every other year. Usually I'm carrying a Blackhawk with stout .45 Colt hard cast loads. I shoot the Blackhawk well but would really like to find a service type pistol for all the reasons mentioned above. The G20 seemed like the obvious choice, except for the reliability issues.

    I'm not sure I'd trust a .40 S&W in that role. I think I also remember GJM reported problems with the G22 with KKM also. If I felt the .40 was adequate, I'd likely pick up a P226 (or maybe 320) in that caliber to run hard cast loaded to the max. My guess is the SIG would run those better than the G22, which has always been Glock's problem child. The SIG would be a good choice for me because I have lots of time with them.

    I had never considered the .45 Super option. For the most part, I'm not an HK fan. LSP972 had tried in the past and I've put a fair number of rounds through his arsenal. I find the DA/SA HK trigger pretty sucky and my stepson has a .45c with a DA pull that is completely unmanageable. I don't like the LEM in general, but I might consider it on a field pistol.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    S.W. Ohio
    "An unintended benefit, is I know I am carrying a bigger HK than Darryl."

    This should be reason enough...

    I am very interested in where this concept goes for you.

User Tag List

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •