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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm from the 1911 platform and was wondering if the transition to HK would be somewhat difficult in that I'm not use to the type of trigger on the HK. I did shoot the HK USP-C in 40 SW but that was a couple years back and I've forgotten how the trigger was other than it was different. It seems there was more take up than with the 1911. I'm currently looking at a HK45C made in Germany as evidenced by the DE and the stag horn and federal eagle prevalent on the non-ejection side of the slide as well as the DE. It's a beauty.

Probably the closest pistol I've had to the HK was a 1993 version of SIG's P220 and it had some take up in the trigger as well. I'm trying to wean myself away from the 1911 just a little as I don't feel I can trust it 100% for CCW due to it being inherently sensitive to magazines/springs. I have in my mind, the best of magazines such as the Wilson ETM, CheckMate 7 round mags with 11# Wolff springs and the Tripp Cobra Mag. Without a doubt that is the Achilles's heel of all 1911's-moreso it seems than with other platforms. So, in essence I suppose my question is does it take a while getting use to the difference in trigger function. I like the looks and descriptions of the HK45-C but not to wild about the ambidextrous slide release. I had an ambidextrous thumb safety on a Colt Commander and replaced it with just the single safety. It's not a deal breaker, just not too crazy about it. I've read the USP45C is not quite as ergonomic as the HK45C and the recoil is a bit different between the two. Probably not much to be concerned, however. Finally, from a reliability standpoint, how would the HK compare to the 1911. Is it also magazine sensitive? You have a variety of magazines to try with the 1911 but I can only surmise there's little choice with HK other than factory course, it may not be needed for others.
 

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HK like anything else that isn't a 1911 or AR15 perform best with OEM (factory) mags.

I am also trying to transition away from the 1911 for certain uses. I am currently acquiring an HK45 from a fellow member with a "variant 9" safety in that it can be carried "cocked and locked" like the 1911. We'll have to see how it turns out.
 

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Welcome to HKPro and to HK pistols. The difference between the trigger dynamics on 1911s and HKs are large. Particularly if comparing to a 1911 without a firing-pin-safety. The main reason for the difference is because the HK is a double-action/single-action (aka DA/SA) pistol, and the 1911 is a single-action-only (aka SAO) pistol.

On a SAO 1911 without a firing-pin-safety, the trigger's only (1) job is to trip the sear, releasing the cocked hammer. This makes for very short take-up, short travel, short reset, and clean break with minimal creep. This is the ultimate trigger. . . trigger nirvana even.

On a SAO 1911 with a trigger-activated firing pin safety, the trigger must first also operate the linkage required to free the firing-pin, so that when the released hammer hits it, it will hit the primer in the chambered round (trigger does 2 jobs). This generally makes for a somewhat lesser trigger experience than the "trigger nirvana" of the above 1911 without a firing-pin-safety.

On a DA/SA HK like the USP Compact or the HK45 Compact you mentioned, the trigger must operate the linkage to free the firing pin from the firing-pin safety (firing-pin block), it must cock the hammer in DA mode, and it must also trip the sear so that the cocked hammer may hit the released firing pin (3 jobs). Even if you are firing the pistol in SA mode (hammer cocked, trigger not being used to cock it), all this extra linkage and hardware to accomodate effective DA ability requires much longer take-up, travel, & reset lengths than you will see on a SAO gun like the 1911. All this makes for a much more complicated and convoluted trigger than the 1911. . . especially a 1911 without a firing-pin safety. With all that going on, and with all the extra travel length, trigger-creep is generally much more pronounced in both DA and in SA modes.

All that having been said however, there are 1911s with very bad triggers out there, and there are HKs with amazing triggers out there. An amazing HK trigger is better than a bad 1911 trigger, but the 1911 out-of-the-box generally has a far superior trigger to an HK out-of-the-box just due to the design and simplicity of the SAO system. If you want your new HK to be most similar to a finely-tuned 1911, send it off to Bruce Gray for a trigger-job and also have the safety-lever converted to safety-only without the decock function. Then your transition to HK will be heavenly, and you won't be far from trigger-nirvana.

The whole finicky-mag thing with 1911s is totally a non-issue with HK pistols. HK mags are solid as a rock, and extremely reliable. . . as is the entire pistol. There is a guy who used to post on this forum who put almost 100 thousand rounds through his USP without changing a single spring or replacing any parts whatsoever. Finally, he replaced his recoil spring. . . just because he figured it was about time. These guns run so well and for so long that they're. . . boring. They put the Energizer Bunny to shame.

The HK45 Compact and the USP Compact 45 are essentially the same gun. They share identical recoil characteristics. The HK45 Compact has a modern universal accessory rail if you are the type who likes to hang various accessories on your pistol while the USP Compact 45 has a proprietary accessory rail which would require an adapter for certain accessories. The HK45 Compact is ambi, and it has interchangeable grip panels so that one gun can accomodate all shooters whether large or small, righty or lefty. This has certain advantages when trying to equip an entire department with the same gun. If the USP Compact 45 fits your hand well, and you don't require a universal accessory rail, it will perform identically to the HK45 Compact while saving you hundreds of dollars on the purchase price.
 

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Make the switch and don't look back. I would suggest either the HK45 or HK45C. The grip angles are almost identical, so the HK's point naturally. There are several different trigger variants, I chose light LEM. No more riding the safety. The HK's are not mag sensitive. They don't seem sensitive to anything that I've found. I've carried and shot 1911's for 20 years, and I still own several. But the HK is what I carry everyday now. Boringly reliable, very accurate, tough as nails, what's not to love? Say goodbye to mag wrangling and extractor tuning and join the 21st century!
 

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there will be a learning curve if you want to learn how to shoot a DA/SA trigger that are on most HK pistols.

The trigger will make you humble as a shooter compared to the 1911 that is a cake to shoot well.
 

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Welcome back to HK. The HK45c and the USPc45 are going to have nearly identical recoil characteristics due to them having identical recoil reduction (single recoil spring with ploy buffer). The full size USP45 is the one with the different recoil. You are finding yourself in the Catch 22 of moving from a 1911 to a non-1911. The thing that makes the 1911's such sweet shooters is their exacting tolerances. Everything is hand fit and filed to give the best possible trigger, but that also tends to be their Achilles Heel in the reliability department. In order to obtain an extremely reliable handgun like an HK, you are going to have to accept the fact that you aren't going to have a 1911 trigger. Variant 9 is a good idea for someone who wants to keep a similar manual of arms to a 1911 because you carry cocked and locked and don't have to worry about accidental decocking. I've heard that the right side safety can be ground off with a sander and some patience, but I would only do that if you are sure you want to keep the gun because that would kill the resale value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
The particular HK45C I was looking at is a Variant 1. I figured that would suit me fine. I wouldn't want the LEM version. My reliable old SW 4506 is DA/SA with a decocker and I have no problem with it in the 21 years I've owned it. I seldom used it in DA mode anyway as I never carried it...it's a big one!!

I haven't as yet ran across a German USP-C but I did find the HK45C mentioned. HK is like Leica cameras-none finer or Berndes cookware, for that matter. I was in "Deutchland" for 19 months in the military and use to be amazed at the construction guys I'd see each morning on a courier run from Hanau to Frankfurt. The way they worked, the equipment and the professionalism about it all even though simple construction type guys they looked and acted more like engineers, if that all made sense.

I have three 1911's, one Colt and two S&W. They are all Series 80 except the SW1911SC. Fine shooters but the "bolt over base" malfunctions at times drive me nuts. Moreover the occasional FTRTB issues could be life threatening if you carry one but as mentioned and as you know, the 1911 is probably second to none. It depends on what you want to put up with. This has been my experience as I know others may have not had the same problems I have with these and others. Hence, my main reason for a better more reliable auto.

If I can find the USP I have not qualms about it at all if I can find the German made version. Probably no difference in quality it's just a psychological thing, I suppose. I'm getting too old at 65 to be fooling around trying to tweak 1911's like I use to and I've had them off and on since 1967 with my introduction while in the service. I'm, more into shooting, reloading, casting and spending more time with my Corgi when not at the range than at the bench trying to figure out magazines and springs or links and firing pin stop radius tweaks.

BTW-Many thanks for the welcome. I haven't really looked into all the Variants yet. all I know about is Variant 1.
 

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Just got a usp 40c and love it. I think the USP feels more like the 1911s. My go to carry gun has been a Kimber UC2 for years. The usp feels the same in many ways. You won't regret it at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Something I failed to mention. Does the Variant 9 have the control lever on the left side only or is it on both sides for the USP and HK-C versions? I couldn't find any pics.
 

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Variant 9 has it on the left side. Easiest way to get to a Variant 9 is to buy a readily available Variant 1 and swap out the detent plate ($14 part and takes all of 30 seconds to accomplish).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That sounds easy enough. I've only saw the Variant 1 and 3 but never a 9. Is the HK like the Glock in that you can't shoot lead bullets in it? I'm into casting for three calibers(357, 44 Mag and 45 ACP) and find it far and away cheaper to shoot more often and longer at a session than with jacketed bullets. From what I've been told, the HK has polygon rifling, which I understand is conducive to having problems. I have zero leading in the 45 ACP but wasn't sure about the rifling in the HK.
 

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Unlike the HK45 Compact, the USP Compact 45 comes with a single-side saftey lever, and a single side slide release (aka slidestop). HK polygonal barrels are not subject to the same leading problems that some Glocks are. Hundreds, if not thousands, of reloaders shoot unjacketed bullets through their USPs without issue. Contrary to popular Internet rumor, HK has never stated that you cannot run unjacketed bullets through their polygonal bores. Glock on the other hand has stated that very thing in several of their manuals (this is why people assume it is a polygonal barrel thing). If your casting dimensions & hardness are correct, and your powder charges/velocity are correct, you will have no issues. Since you are an experienced reloader, I'm sure you will know how to keep a proper eye on it.
 

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Oh, and one more thing you mentioned: All USP Compact 45s are completely made and assembled in Germany.
 

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Welcome from Iowa!

I made the switch from 1911s to the HK45 (full size) it took me a couple hundred rounds to get used to but I really find it growing on me. I'm currently running the gun in the Variant 9 configuration, but have the LEM kit that I just need to put it and test out and see how I like it. I did the V1 to V9 conversion myself and like was said above, it's a snap.
 

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Also made the transition from 1911's to HKs, currently have a P30 9mm and a 45C, both LEM. Use the P30 for IDPA and carry the 45c. Now my range time is spent shooting, not trying to figure out why my 1911 is not doing what it is supposed to do.

Very easy transition, great trigger especially for CC.
 

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If you don't want a RH slide release on the HK45C just remove it; the pistol works just fine without it. I removed mine, albeit because it rattled!

I purchased one of the first 200 HK45 German-made pistols and the next pistol I bought was the HK45C. I haven't looked at 1911s or other .45ACP pistols in gun shops since.

One last point: don't close the book on the LEM trigger system just yet...not until you try it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That's good to hear about no problems with lead bullets. I shoot a H&G #68 200 gr SWC cast using wheel weights and about 2% tin or equivalent that gives a Brinnel hardness of about 12. There's no leading in the 1911s with that bullet and 6 gr of Universal or 5.4 gr of 231.

I've run across a HK45C made in Germany for $1100 and a USP-C also made in Germany for $925...decisions are tough and not sure which wahy to go. $170 difference is not all that great but I'd love to feel both but that's not going to happen around here. This is Glock, SIG and a scattering of Kimber 1911 country.
 

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d This is Glock, SIG and a scattering of Kimber 1911 country.
Well, current Sig and Kimber products are just piss poor examples of sidearms, thanks to Ron Cohen. (The Irish can always **** something up...) :690:

Good that you've moved up to real quality pistols. Congratulations. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
The German made USP-C I'm looking at has the letters "AK" between the federal eagle and the stag horns. I've seen "BB" before but wondered what the AK stood for. Is that the code for a certain year of manufacturer?
 
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