USP Compact .40 vs. HK45C
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Thread: USP Compact .40 vs. HK45C

  1. #1
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    Default USP Compact .40 vs. HK45C

    Fellas,

    I recently picked up a like-new USP Compact in .40 S&W for a very good price as a larger alternative to my Kahr PM40 carry gun.

    It’s a fantastic gun with the one exception being the size of the grip, I have L/XL size hands and I find the grip circumference to be just a touch on the small side.

    I can still shoot the gun quite well and I don’t plan to get rid of it, it’s still a top-notch combat .40 cal, but I can’t help but wonder if the HK45C would be a bit better in terms of the grip fitting my hand and would allow me to shoot it better and extend my effective range.

    Right now I’m getting to an outer limit of approximately 20 yards for my ability to keep all shots in an 8” circle with quick defensive-scenario firing.

    This is only a bit better than I can do with the PM40, my max range for that gun is about 12 to 15 yards.

    Do you guys believe that the HK45C has a grip that’s a bit bigger and a trigger reach that’s a bit longer than the USP Compact .40/9mm? Is it more hand-filling?

    I don’t really mind the loss in capacity and gain in size, the USP Compact isn’t exactly tiny anyway when compared to my PM40, what I’m looking for is a highly-durable carry gun that I can use effectively out to about 30 or 40 yards, the HK45C looks like it might fit the bill for those requirements.

    Perhaps the best way to answer this would be to rent one, but I figured I’d ask you guys if you have some opinions based on similar situations of the USP Compact having a grip that’s just a bit too small.

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    I’d say that’s your best option to find one and try it, or rent it. But yes the HK45C is a great carry gun, in my opinion.

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    I have large palms so I put Hogue slip-on grips on my USPs. Gives a palm swell contour and the material is grippier. Pro tip: squirt some hairspray on the grip before installing the Hogue sleeve. This lubes for easy install and when it dries the hairspray glues the sleeve in place. Remove with water.
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    AGG
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    Welcome to the site, and congratulations on the acquisition!!!

    Tony

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    Quote Originally Posted by azimuth View Post
    I have large palms so I put Hogue slip-on grips on my USPs. Gives a palm swell contour and the material is grippier. Pro tip: squirt some hairspray on the grip before installing the Hogue sleeve. This lubes for easy install and when it dries the hairspray glues the sleeve in place. Remove with water.
    I do the same thing with my USP's. I tried the new style grips of the new line of HK pistols but no matter which grip panels I used, I couldn't get the same positive grip and feel that I do from the USP's. I also found that I shoot the USP's more accurate.

    To the OP, a wrap around hogue is much cheaper than another pistol. Give it a shot and see if that helps your issue. But if you are able to, go rent the HK45c and test fire it. They are all great pistols.
    ROCK OUT WITH YOUR KOCH OUT!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nafester243 View Post
    Do you guys believe that the HK45C has a grip that’s a bit bigger and a trigger reach that’s a bit longer than the USP Compact .40/9mm? Is it more hand-filling?
    Yes, it is. The grip on the HK45C is longer, front to back, than on the USPc40. It is slick, like the P2000, and lacks significant texturing. This can be solved with 3M Deck Tape, or the like.
    The USPc45 is also more hand filling than the USPc40, and may provide another good consideration if you feel yourself drawn to the USP line more so than the HK45 line, as many of us do. Handling them both right now, I find the 45C less "blocky", but actually more "hand filling", if slick.
    The trigger on the USPc45 is absolutely excellent; better than the 45C. But that is subjective.

    Good luck, and you can't lose.

    I like them both quite a lot. It took more time for the HK45C to grow on me, but it is a suburb carry 'gun.

    There's no substitute for carrying a 45 Automatic...
    Never forget;
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    I think you should keep the USP 40 Compact. Then also go shoot a HK45C and maybe buy it also. Don't sell lol
    As for the shooting issue its not the gun so I would get with a Gun Club where you live or look up some NRA trainers to get you shooting better you should be able to shoot the bulls eye out of a target at 12yards with no issues. Unless you have something wrong that keeps that from happening.

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    As much as i like my HK45C, i do find that i have a tendency of resting my thumb on the slide catch that prevent the operation of it. I don't have this problem with my USP 40 Compact. Although both are great shooters.

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    Thanks for all the replies, fellas. Much appreciated.

    ---

    Disregarded9-side,

    Based on what you said about the HK45C and USP Compact .45, I will likely mark down the HK45C as my next purchase. I found the Tactical model for sale locally but didn't ask to look at it, the store was quite busy and I had other things to do. They didn't have one under the counter for the range either, unfortunately.

    I would also agree on the "no substitute for carrying a .45 Automatic..." statement, anyone who says that 9mm is "just as powerful with modern ammo" is someone who hasn't used automatic handguns for hunting, a .45 230 grain XTP at 900 FPS will easily kill a deer quickly and leave a good blood trail, but I've yet to see any 9mm, standard pressure or +P, that will do that reliably. .40 S&W is equal to .45 ACP with certain ammo and not far behind with most anything else. 9mm will definitely kill things, but it won't do it as quickly or consistently as the larger/heavier bullets will.

    ---

    As to the suggestions of a Hogue grip sleeve, I do actually enjoy those and have had very good success in the past at curing the issue I'm now having with the USP Compact, however, I no longer use them on carry guns for a few reasons:

    - I find that they sometimes tend to catch on clothing and make printing or showing the gun more likely
    - They tend to slow down my draw a little bit because the tacky material takes longer to move my hand across and then grab
    - It makes it more difficult to pay attention to how hard I'm squeezing the grip because the rubber gives/compresses, while the bare polymer frame doesn't, so my training/practice can be thrown off

    ---

    USP/P30,

    I don't think I'll ever sell this particular gun, it's extremely durable and reliable and I think it's a good representation of the absolute pinnacle of carry guns from the mid to late 1990's. And frankly the USP series is still among the absolute best handguns available today when you consider the combination of durability, accuracy, and reliability. It's aged well, in other words. It'd be interesting to be in my 80's or something and be able to pull a still-perfectly-serviceable USPc .40 from the safe and reminisce about the good-ol' days.

    I get excellent velocities from it as well, 1,210 FPS with Magtech 155 grain JHPs (a discontinued load that I currently use for carry and home defense) and right at 950 to 1,000 with most 180 grain JHPs, which is very good performance when you consider the fairly small size and 12+1 capacity. The double action first pull (Mine's a V1) is also very good, it's short and smooth and not difficult to hit with, easier than most of my revolvers actually.

    The gun is also a real tack-driver, I get right around 2" to 3" groups at 25 yards when shooting single action off of a sandbag rest. I just can't shoot it as well as I'd like to offhand, though 20 yards is still quite a useful distance for self defense in urban areas.

    ---

    AGG,

    Thanks for the welcome.
    Last edited by Nafester243; 09-12-2019 at 10:04 PM.
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    ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Nafester243 View Post
    anyone who says that 9mm is "just as powerful with modern ammo" is someone who hasn't used automatic handguns for hunting, a .45 230 grain XTP at 900 FPS will easily kill a deer
    Absolutely. I find the populist nature of peoples' determinations on most everything these days simply astounding--"9mm is just as powerful as 45 with *modern*" is a perfect point in case, and a humorous one at that. When the US Army tested the 1911 they found the 45 Automatic cartridge to knock down and mortally wound a cow with one round of 230gr ball at around 820fps. That was the qualification. I don't believe it's gotten less powerful in the last 110 years.

    In modern, well-maintained, firearms (like 50 years old or newer, like a Hi-Power) 9mm is certainly able to be SAFETY loaded and enjoyed at pressures far above what CUP calls for, and nearly double SAAMI. Some modern propellents have really helped. Computer aided bullet design means that *if all things work out perfectly* and you shoot a naked guy/dude in two jean jackets shaped like ballistic gel, you might get half inch expansion (just kidding--sorta). But in seriousness modern 9 out of a polygonal barrel is a formidable round, especially with 15+ of them and an ability to score multiple hits fast. I often carry a 9mm. I think what people don't understand about the argument for 9mm as opposed to 40 and 45 is not that the power is comparable, but that the benefits of carrying a 9mm and its host generally far outweigh carrying a 45--which is logic I generally I agree with.
    People will argue with me on this. I guess that's okay. Just know I don't post for the sake of argument. YMMV from the tens of thousands of 9 and 45 rounds I've loaded and fired.

    Obviously, all the propellents and projectiles have moved forward just as fast for 45 Auto. .356 may expand. .45's already....45".
    And if you like double the pressure and high velocity, ask me about 45 Super (which probably shoots in your stock FS HK!)

    A 9x19 115gr FMJ RN is slow, light and will not deform; an absolutely terrible self defense cartridge. 124gr NATO is a little better, but if you talk to soldiers who've used it in the field...
    I'm not a prepper, but I like to keep a few thousand rounds for my weapons just in case some Jeffersonian fertilization is ever forced upon me. 45 Automatic 230gr ball, as discussed, is a formidable round. As is almost anything in a 45. A SWC leaves a nasty wound.
    Last edited by Disregarded9-side; 09-13-2019 at 12:03 AM.

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