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Thread: My USP 40 to 9mm conversion

  1. #1
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    Default My USP 40 to 9mm conversion

    Most of us know the all too familiar question about converting a 40 to 9mm. We all know that many just swap out the 40 barrel for a 9mm one. Some buy the EFK conversion barrels. Some of them claim to have success. Some of them don't.

    Well, I hate non-factory solutions. And I kept my ear to the ground at GunBroker for the most difficult piece of the puzzle to show up, a 9mm USP slide. Much to my amazement, I ended up finding a slide, and won the auction for... I think... $50 or $75. For those of you that pay attention, the slide is the most expensive part of the USP pistol. Buying one from HK will cost ~$450, if memory serves me correctly. And they don't sell them except as replacement parts.

    When I received the 9mm slide, I initially thought it was a hack job. As it turns out, HK essentially mills the guts out of a 40 slide to lighten it for the 9mm. The muzzle opening is smaller on the 9mm slide as well. The 9mm and the 40 use the same recoil assembly, extractor, firing pin, firing pin block, and all related springs. As an added bonus, the 9mm slide I got was a late enough date code that it had the newer disconnect design.

    Long story short, I then bought a complete parts kit that included almost all parts to make a complete USP 40, minus the frame. $165. All I needed then was a 9mm barrel, which I got for $87 a few weeks ago.

    So all in all, I have put in ~$300 for a complete factory 9mm upper. And if I wanted to, I can recoup a fair amount of that money because I still have an entire USP 40 parts kit sitting around. I just ran 15 rounds through it and had a single failure to extract. My suspicion is that the extractor from the parts kit is out of spec, or possibly that the extremely tight fitting roll pin causes some issues with extraction.

    Either way, the answer that usually came up in the "how do I convert a 40 to 9mm?" threads was "buy a 9mm USP". I was never happy with that. I just kept my eyes open and used some search-fu to scrounge the parts together for roughly half of what a USP 9mm costs. And this way, I get to duplicate the feel of my match trigger, ambi controls, jet funnel, Laser Devices BLAST lower at ~75% of the cost for ammo that I was earlier. There's a lot of value there in my opinion.

    I'll probably end up buying some extra 9mm jet funnel mags as well. I just happened to have one laying around for the little test.
    Last edited by MaverickH1; 12-27-2011 at 11:01 PM.
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  2. #2
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    That's really cool. I can't believe you were actually able to find a Slide on Gunbroker. I think this would be a very valid option if the slides were a little more readily available. It's cool that you were able to get everything together and working pretty well.
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  3. #3
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    Good job MaverickH1! For once, someone did the conversion the proper way! Let us see some close ups of the new 9mm slide and completed 'top end' on and off the frame!
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  4. #4
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    I do have ONE question. Is the width of the breach end of the barrel (flat to flat) width of the 9MM the same as the 40 S&W barrel? I know on Glocks, they ARE NOT. I know the breach faces must be a different width as well. I imagine that measurement will follow the caliber. In other words, the 9mm barrel WILL NOT work in a 40 slide. If this is fact, it needs to be made into a sticky so people know that you just can't take a slide & slam a 9mm barrel into it to make a 9.
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  5. #5
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    Years ago, I bought a 40SW "conversion" on this site. It came in its own box and came with a slide, barrel and 10 round magazine. I regularly put this on my 9mm frame for two gun matches. I later found a spare buffer for sale here. So I can switch to 40 in seconds. I was hoping to get a 9mm upper as well, but they are like hens teeth.

    I didn't think putting a 9mm barrel into a 40SW slide would function 100%. The 9mm and 40SW slides have different weights.

  6. #6
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    Ha, just when I thought I had the slide market cornered... ;)

    Congratulations Mav, I know that you've been working on putting together a 9mm conversion for several years now, and I glad to see that you finally did it! I'm also amazed at the cost of your parts. I've put together two complete 9mm top-ends (among others), and you definitely got that slide for one hell of a deal! As a great and fictional man once said, "I love it when a plan comes together."

  7. #7
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    I'll snap a few pictures and get some measurements for you guys in a few days.

    M E, there is quite a bit of slop in a 40 cal slide using the 9mm barrel in the area you mention. I ran a 9mm barrel in a 40 slide a few years ago... just to see. Because I had a few spare slides, so why not? I think I recall shooting 150 rounds and having 2 failures. Accuracy though... I never shot it for accuracy.

  8. #8
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    The slop is due to the narrower 9mm barrel resting in the larger 40 breach face. You may be able to get it go bang but that;s about it. Here you go ~ a true Glock story that happened to me.

    Was at the big range north of Phoenix.( Ben Avery today). There was a guy with a fully auto M16 there. He had a 200 round drum on it. Could make the center of the target go away in one drum. A good shooter. He was at the table next to me. He puts the M16 up & opens a box with a BRAND NEW G26 in it. He took it out & cleaned all the packing grease off of the pistol. It was never fired. He loads up a couple mags & starts shooting at 7 yards. Not one hole ANYWHERE to be seen! Runs 4 mags~ no holes!! He comes over & says can you shoot this gun? I know it CAN'T be me. I load up two mags & have at it. NO HOLES!! Shot it from my rifle rest. Finally found two holes 3 feet from point of aim!! Looked at it & found I could slide the barrel side to side & up & down in the slide WITH a chambered round!!!!

    What they had done at the Glock plant was to miss mark a G27(40 S&W) slide with a G26 marking!!! They assembled the 40 slide marked G26 with a 9mm barrel, just like they should have. OOOOPPPPSSSSSS!! They obviously never shot the gun at the factory or they would have found out that if you wanted to hit the broadside of a barn, you had better be inside the barn with the doors closed. Funny yet a true story. The barrel was very loose in the muzzle end as well as the beach end.


    So, I guess it would be safe to say that you cannot drop a 9mm barrel into a 40 slide & get it to work. If you want to switch it out, you NEED a complete slide ASSEMBLY IN 9MM to place on your 40 frame. Don't forget the mags!! You WILL need new ones ~ in 9MM.

  9. #9
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    no mav, you didnt read the request. we want the pics now!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_E_ View Post
    snip
    Did you convert him to the virtues of HK after this incident with the mismatched Glock? Just saying!

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