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Let me just say upfront I love H&K pistols so this review may be a little biased. When you hold one in your hand they just fell like solid, very well built guns. Once you start firing them, your suspicions are confirmed. Here's a quick summary of my experience with the full size H&K USP.

Pros:
-Reliable. This gun has never had a malfunction
-Polygonal 4.25'' barrel
-Durable "hostile environment" nitrided finish
-The grip is large and has a good 'stippled' finish that help you hold on to the gun when your hands are wet, sweaty, bloody, ect...
-The sights are somewhat recessed into the slide, minimizing the chance of snagging
-It's a very accurate gun with a nice crisp SA trigger
-The trigger guard is very big allowing for firing with or without gloves
-Ambidextrous magazine release (the location is my preferred location, this may be a con for others)
-The slide release may be my favorite of any handgun I own. I shoot with a 'thumbs up' grip and many slide releases get activated by my thumb. This one doesn't and is still large enough to not have to fumble with it when doing mag changes under stress
-Many different options available in terms of what trigger system you want. (my favorite is striker fired, with a DA/SA close behind)

Cons:
-A proprietary rail is plain stupid. They have resolved this with newer models but any duty gun without a standard 1913 rail is never a good thing in my opinion
-The DA trigger has a somewhat mushy break
-Magazine capacity (15 rounds) is low compared to other guns in its' class.

You're probably sick of reading by now so here's a video of some shooting from the 12m line, a table top review with disassembly/assembly, a discussion of pros and cons, a size comparison with several other pistols, and a chronograph test with popular duty loads:


Chrono Data:

Hornady 147gr TAP: 985fps, 317 ft/lbs
Winchester 115gr Ranger: 1146fps, 335 ft/lbs energy
Federal 124gr HST: 1152fps, 365 ft/lbs energy
Speer 124gr Gold Dot: 1176fps, 386 ft/lbs energy
 

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Let me just say upfront I love H&K pistols so this review may be a little biased. When you hold one in your hand they just fell like solid, very well built guns. Once you start firing them, your suspicions are confirmed. Here's a quick summary of my experience with the full size H&K USP.

Pros:
-Reliable. This gun has never had a malfunction
-Polygonal 4.25'' barrel
-Durable "hostile environment" nitrided finish
-The grip is large and has a good 'stippled' finish that help you hold on to the gun when your hands are wet, sweaty, bloody, ect...
-The sights are somewhat recessed into the slide, minimizing the chance of snagging
-It's a very accurate gun with a nice crisp SA trigger
-The trigger guard is very big allowing for firing with or without gloves
-Ambidextrous magazine release (the location is my preferred location, this may be a con for others)
-The slide release may be my favorite of any handgun I own. I shoot with a 'thumbs up' grip and many slide releases get activated by my thumb. This one doesn't and is still large enough to not have to fumble with it when doing mag changes under stress
-Many different options available in terms of what trigger system you want. (my favorite is striker fired, with a DA/SA close behind)

Cons:
-A proprietary rail is plain stupid. They have resolved this with newer models but any duty gun without a standard 1913 rail is never a good thing in my opinion
-The DA trigger has a somewhat mushy break
-Magazine capacity (15 rounds) is low compared to other guns in its' class.

You're probably sick of reading by now so here's a video of some shooting from the 12m line, a table top review with disassembly/assembly, a discussion of pros and cons, a size comparison with several other pistols, and a chronograph test with popular duty loads:


Chrono Data:

Hornady 147gr TAP: 985fps, 317 ft/lbs
Winchester 115gr Ranger: 1146fps, 335 ft/lbs energy
Federal 124gr HST: 1152fps, 365 ft/lbs energy
Speer 124gr Gold Dot: 1176fps, 386 ft/lbs energy
No, not sick of reading. Good write up. Even though most of the HK addicts around here know this stuff it's still better than reading the same old questions that seem to pop up every frickin day.

Good Vid
Good write up
Good stuff

Thank you.
 

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I think for your disclosure of being biased in favor of H&K pistols that it was a very objective video. Well done. Thanks for posting!
 

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Plouff... nice review. I was considering this vs. the P30L... have you by chance shot one of those as well and if so, how do you feel the 2 compare?
 

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Out of curiosity and in regards to- "Magazine capacity (15 rounds) is low compared to other guns in its' class."

What is the average number of rounds in its' class?
 

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Edit: Great review and shooting!

17 to 18rds of 9mm is normal in full size 9mm semi-auto pistols. G17, M&P9, PX4, FNP, etc...
Even oldie full sizes like 92fs and P226 have flush fit 17/18 rounders now.

It would be awesome if HK would design metal mags for USP9/40.
 

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I'm not dissappointed in the 15+1 capacity of the USP, yea 17,18,19 is the standard now but 17 round M&P's, 20 round Sig's and 19 round 9mm XDM's weren't around in 1992 during the birth of the USP so take that into consideration when talking about mag capacity for the USP... For LEO I can see a legit bitch about only 15 rounds but for civilains I can't. How come 15 rounds was good enough for self defense a decade ago but since Springfield found a way to cram 20 rounds in a mag we all think we need 20 rounds for self defense now? What will be the magic number ten years from now?... 25 rounds of 9mm? It's simple, if you think that 16 rounds in a USP won't get the job done then carry a extra mag. BAM! 31 rounds of 9mm on your person... Feel better now?

This isn't directed towards anyone specific... But I'm just frustrated because I can't understand this fascination with the "I need more and more bullets" idea. Most of us aren't humping it in the Afghan mountains or patrolling the streets of Compton LA or controlling riots in Greece in which more bullets would be a must... most of us are headed out to Starbucks so what the hell do we need 20 rounds of ammo for when 15 is just fine? Just because Smith and Wesson, Springfield and others have found a way to cram 20 rounds into a service size handgun doesn't mean the standard for handguns and self defense has changed it just means that these gun makers have found another fad that consumers will just soak up to be more tacti-cool.
 

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I'm not dissappointed in the 15+1 capacity of the USP, yea 17,18,19 is the standard now but 17 round M&P's, 20 round Sig's and 19 round 9mm XDM's weren't around in 1992 during the birth of the USP so take that into consideration when talking about mag capacity for the USP... For LEO I can see a legit bitch about only 15 rounds but for civilains I can't. How come 15 rounds was good enough for self defense a decade ago but since Springfield found a way to cram 20 rounds in a mag we all think we need 20 rounds for self defense now? What will be the magic number ten years from now?... 25 rounds of 9mm? It's simple, if you think that 16 rounds in a USP won't get the job done then carry a extra mag. BAM! 31 rounds of 9mm on your person... Feel better now?

This isn't directed towards anyone specific... But I'm just frustrated because I can't understand this fascination with the "I need more and more bullets" idea. Most of us aren't humping it in the Afghan mountains or patrolling the streets of Compton LA or controlling riots in Greece in which more bullets would be a must... most of us are headed out to Starbucks so what the hell do we need 20 rounds of ammo for when 15 is just fine? Just because Smith and Wesson, Springfield and others have found a way to cram 20 rounds into a service size handgun doesn't mean the standard for handguns and self defense has changed it just means that these gun makers have found another fad that consumers will just soak up to be more tacti-cool.
Not to mention in a self defense situation, I think it would be over pretty quick... I doubt you'd go through half of the rounds in the clip to begin with no?
 

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thanks for the review

On one point, the mag capacity. If you need more than 6-8 rounds as a civilian odds are you wont need the extra rounds but will need a priest. I know this point is rhetorical on my part, just sayin'


The Glock 17 topped off holds 18 rounds, the USP 16. Thats a little more than a 10% increase. When I look at it that way its not big deal to me.
 

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Mag capacity can be more just add the jet funnel and some 18rd mags now you have problem solved. However I am fine with 15rd mags that should be more than enough.
 
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