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Thread: Review: HK45, HK45C, and P30

  1. #1
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    Default Review: HK45, HK45C, and P30



    When Heckler & Koch engineered a next generation pistol to compete for the Joint Combat Pistol program, an ill-fated US Military contract, the company enlisted the help of Hollywood for its new ergonomic grip design. Warner Bros. is proud to present the next sequel in the USP saga: the new Batman grip HK45. Joking aside, the new HK45 and P30 series are forward-thinking designs—perhaps too forward-thinking for their own good.

    I’ve had considerable trigger time on the new HK45, HK45C, and P30. In fact, HK sent On Point Firearms one of the only HK45 military prototypes in the country last year. With the help of our friend, Erik at Rican Havoc Productions, we produced this video for Heckler & Koch USA:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6ybRq9Empk



    For years, I’ve been a USP shooter. So, I’ve come to expect quality, reliability, accuracy, and beautiful design from all things HK. However, I’m not ready to sell off my stable of USP pistols and “upgrade” to the new HK45/P30 weapons system yet. Why? It’s the law of diminishing returns, my friends. For more money, you’re not necessarily getting more “gun”.Indeed, the new ergonomic “Batman” grip found on the HK45 and P30 is very comfortable and its interchangeable back straps (and side straps on the P30) make fitting these pistols to smaller hands easy. But, the original USP line was already designed to fit most hands and was considered a highly ergonomic pistol for its day. In fact, most pistols are designed specifically for male shooters of average size. That’s logical as it appeals to the majority of shooters, not just the outliers with puny hands or freakishly large ones. The HK45 is a full size pistol that shoots .45acp. Make no mistake: this is a man’s gun-- designed not for concealment, but specifically as a candidate for the military’s Joint Combat Pistol program. The P30 blends form and function very well and the grip is a major improvement over the standard USP 9mm. The HK45C grip is very similar to the one found on the current USP Compact line, albeit with interchangeable back straps. But are these new grips such an improvement that shooters should absorb switching costs to bring this into their gun wardrobe?The slides on the new HK45, HK45C, and P30 feature a smooth profile and front serrations, to boot. That’s nice, but serrations could’ve been easily integrated into the USP line. Surprisingly, some users have even experienced problems with the HE finish (see thread on HKPro). If this claim is true, it would seem the Hostile Environment finish has changed-- and not for the better. Perhaps “Hostile Environment” is now defined as your local shooting range: slightly dusty—hint of cigarette smoke and gunpowder in the air.

    Atop the slide sit factory night sights on all three models. I expected Trijicon or Meprolight to come standard on an expensive German import. Instead, you get yellow glow paint. Service life: unknown.



    The trigger is all USP. No improvement here. So if you buy an HK45, HK45C, or P30, invest quickly in a Wolf 10lb hammer spring and bring that heavy DA pull down to size. There’s a new cutout in the trigger guard of the HK45 and P30 that seems like it would be an aesthetically pleasing feature. Unfortunately, it rubs your finger while shooting—becoming an irritation. The magazine release, albeit extended, is not as easy to operate as the one found on the original USP line. Wisely, the HK45C was saved from both of these “improvements.”



    The O-ring barrel on the HK45 and HK45C improves accuracy, but it’s a feature already found on the USP Tactical and Compact Tactical— models coming in at similar price points, but sporting threaded barrels and a match trigger (in the case of the full size Tactical.) Thankfully, fans of the “can” will be able to purchase models with threaded barrels shortly—satisfying their need to “go quiet.”



    The final insult is magazine capacity. At 10rds, the HK45 is a step backwards compared with the 12+1 standard capacity found on the USP .45. Look around at other full size forty-fives from Springfield Armory, Glock, Smith & Wesson, and FN. Clearly, 12+1 is the industry standard. Why should shooters paying a premium price expect anything less from Heckler & Koch—one of the finest monikers you can find stamped on your slide? Fortunately, the P30 is no slouch in this area. It sports an ample 15-round capacity and has a more low profile form factor than its predecessor. The HK45C and classic USP Compact .45 benefit from the ability to use 10-round magazines from the new HK45, so not all is doom and gloom.

    The HK45, HK45C, and P30 represent the future of Heckler & Koch pistols. Is that a good thing? Each of my USP pistols has years of service life left in them. Spare parts and magazines are easy to come by. So, there’s no need to switch platforms for a few cosmetic improvements. Are the new HK45 and P30 series good guns? No, they’re GREAT guns. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge proponent of Heckler & Koch products. I highly recommend them to my friends and clients. However, this is my opinion on the HK45: Buy one if you’re a die-hard HK aficionado. Otherwise, a USP .45 in your holster will serve you well for years to come. Regarding the P30: If you don’t already own a USP full size or compact 9mm, surely this is the one to get. It’s the best of both worlds. Compact and slim enough for concealed carry, but with enough firepower and barrel length for home defense, competition, or range duty. As for the HK45C: Wait for the threaded barrel version to hit the streets. That’ll make it an excellent upgrade from USP Compact Tactical.

    Have a good one.

    -- Evan
    ________________________
    Evan Kostreva, Owner
    On Point Firearms

  2. #2
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    sstoli123's Avatar
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    Great Info Thanks a lot
    USP9F
    USP45F
    P2000sk40
    Glock17
    S&W 9

  3. #3
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    What about the rail? The USP rail sucks. Now with an HK45 I can carry an x300 when safariland comes out with the holster. The UTL lights are old and not bright enough.

    That, the grip, and the interchangable mags are huge improvements to people who use them as working guns.


    Don't get me wrong, I love my USP 45f I'm still carrying, but as soon as a holster comes out, I'm switching to my HK45 as my daily weapon of choice.

    And the two bullets less doesn't bother me. If you can shoot, one will do the job.

  4. #4
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    Greg Bell's Avatar
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    Default Many disagreements

    the company enlisted the help of Hollywood for its new ergonomic grip design. Warner Bros. is proud to present the next sequel in the USP saga: the new Batman grip HK45.
    The Karl Nill design firm, the foremost ergonomicists in the field designed the grip. Function over form has always been HK's way.


    Surprisingly, some users have even experienced problems with the HE finish (see thread on HKPro). If this claim is true, it would seem the Hostile Environment finish has change
    I would not base this on one guy's blurry pics of a wet gun with a few fingerprints. Not to mention the fact he seems not to have noticed the marks when he was putting crayon colors on his gun.



    Atop the slide sit factory night sights on all three models. I expected Trijicon or Meprolight to come standard on an expensive German import. Instead, you get yellow glow paint. Service life: unknown
    .

    HK has never issued tritium sights as their base sights. Neither does nearly anybody else. The Superluminova sights are a replacement for standard sights.



    The trigger is all USP. No improvement here. So if you buy an HK45, HK45C, or P30, invest quickly in a Wolf 10lb hammer spring and bring that heavy DA pull down to size.
    Well, that is a bit misleading with regard to the HK45. It has the match trigger, which is from the USP line, but is a substantial improvement over the base USP. I definitely would disagree with your advice to tinker with the spring weights. My advice would be to either carried it cocked and locked or learn to shoot DA/SA.

    There’s a new cutout in the trigger guard of the HK45 and P30 that seems like it would be an aesthetically pleasing feature. Unfortunately, it rubs your finger while shooting—becoming an irritation.
    That isn't true for me. I place my finger in the center of the trigger.

    The magazine release, albeit extended, is not as easy to operate as the one found on the original USP line. Wisely, the HK45C was saved from both of these “improvements.”
    Total disagreement. The extended mag relaease is much easier to operate on the HK45 than on the USP, IMHO.



    T
    he O-ring barrel on the HK45 and HK45C improves accuracy, but it’s a feature already found on the USP Tactical and Compact Tactical— models coming in at similar price points, but sporting threaded barrels and a match trigger (in the case of the full size Tactical.)
    Well, the HK45 comes with the match trigger. Further, the models you cite do not have the improved ergonomics of the newer guns. And lets face it, the USP .45 (full size)line had an awful grip (though not Glock 21 bad), not just the middling grip of the standard USP.




    The final insult is magazine capacity. At 10rds, the HK45 is a step backwards compared with the 12+1 standard capacity found on the USP .45. Look around at other full size forty-fives from Springfield Armory, Glock, Smith & Wesson, and FN. Clearly, 12+1 is the industry standard. Why should shooters paying a premium price expect anything less from Heckler & Koch—one of the finest monikers you can find stamped on your slide?
    First of all, the only gun in the same ergonomic class as the HK45 is the Smith M&P 45, and it holds 10 rounds standard. There is no "magic" to magazine design, no matter what "monikor" is on the slide. You can make em long or fat, plastic or metal, single or double. It is all a trade off. HK designed the HK45 to address shotability and ergonomics for the military contract. The capacity kings tend to have horrible ergonomics.
    Last edited by Greg Bell; 03-29-2008 at 05:41 PM.
    Boy, if you try and pee out a forrest fire all you are going to get is a burnt pecker.

  5. #5
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    I have to agree with Greg. Pistols that try to be all things to all people end up being nothing to nobody. I like have a USPf and just bought a HK45c. Totally different purposes. You need the right tool for the job at hand. CCW is HK45c territory.

  6. #6
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    Yeah...what Greg said. Well stated...I couldn't have said it better myself.

    Bottom line...USP...great gun. HK45...that much better.

  7. #7
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    Why give up 2 rounds? So the gun can fit more hands. Its not an insult or downgrade to me.

    The ergonomics of the USP line was advertised as having the same grip angle as a 1911 pistol compared to a glock's grip angle from hell. At the time of 1994 there were very few polymer guns on the market. The friendly 1911 grip angle was a huge improvement over the glock angle. Thats about all I remember regarding the improved ergonomics of the USP series when it was launched. By today's ergonomic standards the USP grips are like bricks.

    As stated, the HK45 has a match trigger, which makes it an upgrade over standard USP guns.

    The 0-ring comes standard on the HK45.

    My USP 40 didn't come with night sights. So the superwhateverlmas on the HK45 are an improvement.

    In addition, the bore axis is lower on the HK45 when compared to the USP line. Most HK45 reviews mention this, and also mention how much better the HK45 returns to zero for faster followup shots. A definite improvement over the USP line.

    Sorry, but if they make a .40sw in either HK45 or P30 format it will be a huge upgrade over my USP40.

    Frankly I've watched your video, I don't get why these negative comparisons weren't mentioned in your video review. I'd say you've got a credibility gap going on right now. This review is almost the exact opposite of your video review.
    Member of the Secret Society of the Purple Sear

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dumak View Post
    Why give up 2 rounds? So the gun can fit more hands. Its not an insult or downgrade to me.

    The ergonomics of the USP line was advertised as having the same grip angle as a 1911 pistol compared to a glock's grip angle from hell. At the time of 1994 there were very few polymer guns on the market. The friendly 1911 grip angle was a huge improvement over the glock angle. Thats about all I remember regarding the improved ergonomics of the USP series when it was launched. By today's ergonomic standards the USP grips are like bricks.

    As stated, the HK45 has a match trigger, which makes it an upgrade over standard USP guns.

    The 0-ring comes standard on the HK45.

    My USP 40 didn't come with night sights. So the superwhateverlmas on the HK45 are an improvement.

    In addition, the bore axis is lower on the HK45 when compared to the USP line. Most HK45 reviews mention this, and also mention how much better the HK45 returns to zero for faster followup shots. A definite improvement over the USP line.

    Sorry, but if they make a .40sw in either HK45 or P30 format it will be a huge upgrade over my USP40.

    Frankly I've watched your video, I don't get why these negative comparisons weren't mentioned in your video review. I'd say you've got a credibility gap going on right now. This review is almost the exact opposite of your video review.
    +1

    My first impression with the "review" was.....Ehhhhhhhhh.

    I'm going to assume the video was made before the guns were actually released to the public, however, that should still have given them more then ample time and testing to form a formal opinion. Call me old school but ANY round count over 7+1 from a typical single stack .45 1911 is just fine by me. The number of rounds mean jack diddly if you can't shoot. The ergonomics of the HK45 go a long way in my opinion to insuring the most shooters behind it will be be able and capable of doing just that.

    Shoot...and shoot well.

    While I have shot and fired USP's on any number of occasions over the years....I was never convinced to buy them. Not one. When the HK45 and P30 were released.....I bought my very first HK handguns. For me, that screams significant improvements over the USP lines. I own high end handguns from both STI and Nighthawk Custom. Having said that I hope that I have a well rounded opinion of a GOOD handgun and both the HK45 and P30 fit that bill to a "T."

    Does the new HK45 and P30 warrant a USP owner trading up? Personally, I'd say yes. To each his own.
    " We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. " -George Orwell

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    "Silent, Swift, Deadly"

  9. #9
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    Big +1 on what Greg said.
    P2000 9mm LEM

  10. #10
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    Thanks so much for taking the time to produce your review- very informative!!! ;)

    Tony

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