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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I just stumbled my way onto this forum while searching for info on HK USP pistols. I've been interested in the USP for quite some time now and I am getting ready to purchase. I do have a few questions that hopefully most of the experts here could answer!

1. When buying a used gun how does the shipping process work? I've figured out FFL means Federal Firearms Licensed dealer, but what does FTF mean? If I have a gun shipped to my local FFL will they charge me for this process? If so, what's a good rate?

2. I'm leaning towards the USP .40. I'm undecided on full size or compact. Right now I have my grandfather's M1911 .45 government issue that was his service sidearm when he was a Provis Marshall in the army. It's quite heavy and a monster of a gun but I love it. The gun will be mainly used for personal protection and sport shooting at the range. Any big pros and cons to consider when deciding?

3. What's with all the variants? Is it just the position of the safety switch?

4. Where would I find retail listings? A good friend of mine said he can get HK guns for nearly half off from his work. Would it be ok if he purchased a gun and then transferred it to me, assuming we did the correct paperwork?

I think thats about all I have for now! Thanks in advance! :)
 

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1. When buying a used gun how does the shipping process work? I've figured out FFL means Federal Firearms Licensed dealer, but what does FTF mean? If I have a gun shipped to my local FFL will they charge me for this process? If so, what's a good rate?
FFL is a person who handles a firearms transfer when the firearm has to cross state lines. Typically you send the seller the money for the purchase, they send the gun to your FFL (a local person) and then your FFL gives the gun to you once you have passed the required background checks. The typical price for this service can vary from $15-25. FTF means face to face, meaning if you can meet the seller in person it's easier/cheaper to do the weapon transfer that way, because in person you don't need an FFL.

2. I'm leaning towards the USP .40. I'm undecided on full size or compact. Right now I have my grandfather's M1911 .45 government issue that was his service sidearm when he was a Provis Marshall in the army. It's quite heavy and a monster of a gun but I love it. The gun will be mainly used for personal protection and sport shooting at the range. Any big pros and cons to consider when deciding?
The best thing to do when considering different sizes/styles of guns is to go to a shooting range that has rental pistols. You can then rent several of them and try each one out to see which one you like the best. You may find that the compact frame doesn't fit your hand very well, or that the full-size frame is too large. Also, you may find that the .40 round has too much of a fast snap and prefer the 9mm or .45. Rest assured though that as you own and get more familiar with whatever USP you choose, that any problems you have hitting your target are not the pistol's fault :). So pick the one you are most comfortable with and then go from there.

3. What's with all the variants? Is it just the position of the safety switch?
Safety position and also single-action/double-action are the two main things that the variants change. Here's a fantastic picture that shows all the possible variants and their specifics:

http://www.hkpro.com/uspvariants.jpg

4. Where would I find retail listings? A good friend of mine said he can get HK guns for nearly half off from his work. Would it be ok if he purchased a gun and then transferred it to me, assuming we did the correct paperwork?
There are any number of online retailers that sell pistols, all you really need to do is spend half an hour checking various websites that you can find via Google. Here are a few to get you started: Buds Gun Shop, The Armory, Impact Guns.

Having purchased a handgun at a retailer recently, I was surprised to hear them ask me if I was buying it for another person (edit). I guess some criminals use people who can pass background checks to act as their proxy when purchasing a weapon, to get access to a weapon that they otherwise would not be able to. You may be able to get around this by having an FFL act as an intermediary, that way your friend would not be liable in the event that he sold the gun to you face-to-face and that was how you bypassed a background check.

I'm not saying that you are a criminal :) but if he really can save you a good bit off of the retail price of the pistol you end up with, it may be worth the $15-25 for an FFL fee to make the whole process as legal as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
FFL is a person who handles a firearms transfer when the firearm has to cross state lines. Typically you send the seller the money for the purchase, they send the gun to your FFL (a local person) and then your FFL gives the gun to you once you have passed the required background checks. The typical price for this service can vary from $15-25. FTF means face to face, meaning if you can meet the seller in person it's easier/cheaper to do the weapon transfer that way, because in person you don't need an FFL.



The best thing to do when considering different sizes/styles of guns is to go to a shooting range that has rental pistols. You can then rent several of them and try each one out to see which one you like the best. You may find that the compact frame doesn't fit your hand very well, or that the full-size frame is too large. Also, you may find that the .40 round has too much of a fast snap and prefer the 9mm or .45. Rest assured though that as you own and get more familiar with whatever USP you choose, that any problems you have hitting your target are not the pistol's fault :). So pick the one you are most comfortable with and then go from there.



Safety position and also single-action/double-action are the two main things that the variants change. Here's a fantastic picture that shows all the possible variants and their specifics:

http://www.hkpro.com/uspvariants.jpg



There are any number of online retailers that sell pistols, all you really need to do is spend half an hour checking various websites that you can find via Google. Here are a few to get you started: Buds Gun Shop, The Armory, Impact Guns.

Having purchased a handgun at a retailer recently, I was surprised to hear them ask me if I was buying it for another person (edit). I guess some criminals use people who can pass background checks to act as their proxy when purchasing a weapon, to get access to a weapon that they otherwise would not be able to. You may be able to get around this by having an FFL act as an intermediary, that way your friend would not be liable in the event that he sold the gun to you face-to-face and that was how you bypassed a background check.

I'm not saying that you are a criminal :) but if he really can save you a good bit off of the retail price of the pistol you end up with, it may be worth the $15-25 for an FFL fee to make the whole process as legal as possible.
Thanks for the detailed response to each question!! Here's some more!

5. If I were to buy FTF from either my friend or another person, what kind of paperwork is involved to make it legal? Do you have to have a FFL involved to make it legal?

6. Who all sees the transaction of buying a used gun? If I were to have my friend buy the gun and then he sells the gun to me will HK see this transfer of ownership? The reason I ask is I wouldn't want him to get in trouble for hooking me up with his discount. (He is also interested in buying a gun and would probably buy 2 at the same time, then transfer ownership of one to me.)

7. Do warranties transfer?

8. Anyway to check on a gun's history via the serial number? (Something like a carfax.)
 

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Thanks for the detailed response to each question!! Here's some more!

5. If I were to buy FTF from either my friend or another person, what kind of paperwork is involved to make it legal? Do you have to have a FFL involved to make it legal?

6. Who all sees the transaction of buying a used gun? If I were to have my friend buy the gun and then he sells the gun to me will HK see this transfer of ownership? The reason I ask is I wouldn't want him to get in trouble for hooking me up with his discount. (He is also interested in buying a gun and would probably buy 2 at the same time, then transfer ownership of one to me.)

7. Do warranties transfer?

8. Anyway to check on a gun's history via the serial number? (Something like a carfax.)
5 - buy from a friend (or face to face) - no paperwork is required whatsoever, and no need to involve an FFL. In fact, you can even ship it to an individual with no FFL involvement as long as it is within the same state. One thing I'm not sure of - if you do a FTF with someone from a different state. For example, if one of you lived in Kansas City, Kansas, and the other lived on the other side of town in Kansas City, Missouri, and you met in downtown and bought it. I'm leaning towards it still being fine, but I may be wrong on that.

6 - well, no one will "know" about it. SInce there's no registration, no paperwork at all, nobody else knows diddly about it. Note: just be sure you are legal to own said firearm. Legal people buying firearms for others with no firearm rights is called a straw man purchase, and will get both parties into a lot of trouble.

7. Not sure about that one. Contact the manufacturer, but with lifetime warranties, usually not. But sometimes the mfg will honor them anyways, it just depends on the manufacturer.

8. No, not really. Many companies will do a serial number search (Colt I know will charge $25 a serial number search), but it will only tell you the original owner (or buyer if it was initially purchased by a dealer and then sold to an individual that didn't register the warranty.) THere might be some way to check it against a list of stolen firearms, but theres' not like a universal website you can go to that lets you look up things like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
5 - buy from a friend (or face to face) - no paperwork is required whatsoever, and no need to involve an FFL. In fact, you can even ship it to an individual with no FFL involvement as long as it is within the same state. One thing I'm not sure of - if you do a FTF with someone from a different state. For example, if one of you lived in Kansas City, Kansas, and the other lived on the other side of town in Kansas City, Missouri, and you met in downtown and bought it. I'm leaning towards it still being fine, but I may be wrong on that.

6 - well, no one will "know" about it. SInce there's no registration, no paperwork at all, nobody else knows diddly about it. Note: just be sure you are legal to own said firearm. Legal people buying firearms for others with no firearm rights is called a straw man purchase, and will get both parties into a lot of trouble.

7. Not sure about that one. Contact the manufacturer, but with lifetime warranties, usually not. But sometimes the mfg will honor them anyways, it just depends on the manufacturer.

8. No, not really. Many companies will do a serial number search (Colt I know will charge $25 a serial number search), but it will only tell you the original owner (or buyer if it was initially purchased by a dealer and then sold to an individual that didn't register the warranty.) THere might be some way to check it against a list of stolen firearms, but theres' not like a universal website you can go to that lets you look up things like that.

REF #6. So there is no transfer of ownership or requirement to register a firearm after it is sold/bought? If it helps I live in GA. (Trying to hunt down the information on this.)

REF #7. Sorry, I was referring to HK warranties.
 

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REF #6. So there is no transfer of ownership or requirement to register a firearm after it is sold/bought? If it helps I live in GA. (Trying to hunt down the information on this.)

REF #7. Sorry, I was referring to HK warranties.

6 - Look at www.nraila.org, but I didn't see anthing about it. I did answer one of my own unknowns - you can't do face to face sales with someone from out of state. They must be transfered to a dealer first any time a firearm crosses state lines, whether by mail or in person. It doesn't make a damn bit of sense to make the distinction, but that's what it is.


7 - excerpt from http://www.hk-usa.com/warranty.htmlhttp://www.hk-usa.com/warranty.html

Heckler & Koch Firearms Purchased After January 1, 1998

A new Heckler & Koch firearm is warranted to the original retail purchaser only for the lifetime of the said original retail purchaser. This warranty applies only if the firearm was purchased from a Heckler & Koch Dealer.

http://www.hk-usa.com/warranty.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
6 - Look at www.nraila.org, but I didn't see anthing about it. I did answer one of my own unknowns - you can't do face to face sales with someone from out of state. They must be transfered to a dealer first any time a firearm crosses state lines, whether by mail or in person. It doesn't make a damn bit of sense to make the distinction, but that's what it is.


7 - excerpt from http://www.hk-usa.com/warranty.htmlhttp://www.hk-usa.com/warranty.html

Heckler & Koch Firearms Purchased After January 1, 1998

A new Heckler & Koch firearm is warranted to the original retail purchaser only for the lifetime of the said original retail purchaser. This warranty applies only if the firearm was purchased from a Heckler & Koch Dealer.

http://www.hk-usa.com/warranty.html

Great! Thanks for the help. So much work to exercise our 2nd amendment right! :)
 

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what does FTF mean?

:)
"FTF" can also mean Failure to Feed (round does not feed into the chamber during cycling) but you probably won't need to remember that now that you're getting a USP
 

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Dittos on the idea of going to a range where you can rent and try. I did that and HK found the center of the target in my hand. I have tried others with friends at the range since and I still like/shoot better with HK. But, every person is different, try before you buy and you will be more likely to end up with something you will like for a long time.
Re buying from your friend, I'm all for saving money but... how can I say this diplomaticly, register the sale through a FFL and you cab be confidant you do not have a wepon that was stolen at one time.
 
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