Failed? I think it's a winner.
To my way of thinking, the Mk23 controls are perfect. I use mine in every mode that is possible, depending upon what I am doing at the time.
The size is roughly equivalent to a 4" revolver and certainly smaller than a six inch revolver while still wringing out the ballistic and other benefits of an non-vented, threaded barrel almost the same length and sight radius as the (disadvantageously) vented, 6" revolver. Holds over twice as many rounds and is lighter than most large frame 44/45 6" revolvers as well.
I bought mine because it is exactly what I wanted. I didn't KNOW it was what I wanted until I went through a lot of money buying (and modifying) carbines and hand guns that without exception fell well short. I wish I had read the Mk23 info before I started down the path years ago. It would have saved me a lot of money in the long experiment that lead me to the Mk23.
The Mk23 does exactly what I want it to. No other pistol available pistol does this in every way I want including the caliber. If the special ops teams prefer something else, it's no skin off my teeth, and I am very happy they had this one designed, tested, and built, and that I have the opportunity to assume they did the work for ME. I appreciate that. Couldn't have afforded to have it done by myself. I'll take advantage and own more or less the same pistol they replaced. The pistol suits me just fine.
From a special ops point of view, can Mk23 really be considered a failure? Or was it another step in the right direction? Time will tell. We'll see (when they want to talk about it) if the replacement pistols are indeed always the better option for them, and we'll see whether or not the Mk23 is revisited some day when the dust clears on the replacements. In the end, I bet they find that it's more than a one pistol world in special ops just as it is out here, and Mk23 or a very close cousin will have a continuing presence even if it's a small one.
I may sell my Mk23 some day or give it to someone worthy. But it will be when my hands can no longer operate it or my eyes can no longer see.
I'm a little tired of the "offensive handgun" moniker. It's as nasty sounding a misrepresentation as "assault rifle" is. From what I read, this was akin to being a bogus nickname intended to fool the brass into thinking it was something markedly different than a "normal" handgun, except with very good accuracy and higher reliability, and so the Mk23 was urgently necessary. This, to assure approval. Accuracy and reliability are nothing new to handguns and change nothing but the engineering and quality standards of the particular service grade product requirements. I'll leave this point at that.
My opinion's as worthy as one from any other doddering old grampa you have never met or heard of.
I am an HK fanboy and love tactical gear but just never felt the love for the Mk23. I can see how it "objectively" is a great pistol, but with the weight and high bore axis I found it less pleasant to shoot compared to other .45s. Now admittedly this was one trip to the range and just one kind of ammo, but it made an impression on me...and not a great one. I think the challenge of judging Mk23 success is that it is a specialist gun in a world of generalist shooters. For most real tactical encounters a .45 handgun is the backup when the primary weapon is out of ammo or goes down, so light and easy to use are the priorities. If you NEED an offensive handgun, then okay Mk23 is the gun to take. But that is a subset of an already pretty small subset of individuals. As a result, the Mk23 ends up being like the Sig P210. Both are expensive, arguably over-engineered, and absolute perfect weapons for a specific type of user. So, in a world of plastic, striker-fired pistols is the Mk23 a failure? Absolutely. But for folks who want the unique features of the Mk23 there is literally nothing else on earth that will meet their needs.
To each their own.
I for one love my MK23. It's big yes and I love it
It's accurate and I can hit what I want to hit.
Sure it's no where near stealth nor can one conceal carry it but hey that is not what it was designed for.
I think many people are rating this firearm down based on personal preferences and not on what it was created to do.
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I have small hands and can shoot it just fine. Shooting a Mk23 suppressed is one of the finer experiences in life. I’ve had one failure in thousands of rounds, experienced after I threw a Surefire light/laser on the front. Zero subsequent failures.
I found this paragraph interesting:One or two controls is fine, but three, THREE is too complex for a specops to handle? And the writer of the article seems to be amazed that all of the pistol's controls were actually put on the pistol! Where did he expect HK to put the pistol's controls?"The controls of the Mk 23 are sometimes described as too complex. While most pistols will have one or two levers within easy reach of the shooter’s thumb, the Mk 23 has three, probably due to “design by committee” resulting in all controls of the pistols being placed on the gun."
I agree with someone earlier who said that this was just clickbait. There is no new information in this article that hasn't already been in a dozen other articles, except for the startling revelation that HK put all of the pistol's controls on the pistol. Actually, some of the controls are on the LAM. If three controls are "too complex", how were the Navy Seals supposed to navigate the LAM where they had to choose between a visible flashlight, an IR light, a visible laser, and an IR laser, plus a possible combination of light and laser? Talk about complex (sarc). Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it seems like the writer of the article doesn't have much regard for the intelligence of of the SOCOM community.
Last edited by Callahan; 09-30-2019 at 10:35 AM.
If "Dirty Harry" had been made in 1996:
"I know what you're thinking: 'Did he fire twelve shots or only eleven?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being this is a HK MARK 23, the only offensive handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"
Is the Mk23 really a failure? Ask US special operators back in the mid-1990s when it was first deployed and the operators today. You'll find operators to have lukewarm to negative opinions due to it's large size and not much else. I know three SEALs who dislike the gun for this very reason, and prefer smaller and more compact sidearms. SEALs have the latitude to select their sidearms, and they tell me today it's very rare SEALs will even carry the 23 assuming it's still in SEAL inventory. Can't speak for the other services.
And HK is not to blame at all. HK fulfilled warfighter requirements vetted by special ops back in the early 1990s.
As for us civilians, it's a mixed bag but leaning towards the positive. The 23 is an icon and fulfills more of a specific "want" than a general "need".
I don't care much for MR23 the USP is as big of a gun as I would ever go let alone want to carry the MK23. I heard nothing but great things about it but never heard much of it being a failure or failing in performance.
I love mine...