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Discussion Starter #1
Hows it going guys. Let me start off by saying that the only handguns I have ever fired is a glock 23 .40 compact and glock 26 9mm subcompact. I put about 200 rounds through it so I have a good idea of how a handgun feels but I am still very much and amateur. I completed my safety certificate today and I'm going to purchase a handgun tomorrow. It is primarily for home defense but I will be shooting with it at the range. It needs to be fairly accurate out of the box and EXTREMELY reliable.

I was originally going to go with a Glock 21 or 22 or a Sig226 but after spending hours reading the past couple days on this forum and on glock talk I'm reconsidering. I am now convinced that the HK USP45 is the right gun for me. If it fits my hand tomorrow and feels good I am going to purchase. I also want to go with a full sized firearm since I'm not going to be ccw'ing it and it will probably feel a little "smoother" than something compact.

-How much is ammo compared to the other common sizes - 9mm, .357, .40?
-How much can I expect to pay for the gun at a store, plus a couple spare mags?
-What other accessories do you guys recommend?
-How is the fit, finish, and reliability of the USP45?
-Is the recoil easier to manage on a full size .45 than say a glock 23? The glock23 I fired was very kicky and snappy.
-How does the power of the .45 caliber compare to other sizes?
-Can I change the barrel to make the weapon a smaller caliber?
-What model should I go with? USP, Tactical, or Expert? I like the idea that the tactical/expert have longer barrels.

I'm sure I will have more questions later but for now anybody who can answer those will have my appreciation.
 

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Hows it going guys. Let me start off by saying that the only handguns I have ever fired is a glock 23 .40 compact and glock 26 9mm subcompact. I put about 200 rounds through it so I have a good idea of how a handgun feels but I am still very much and amateur. I completed my safety certificate today and I'm going to purchase a handgun tomorrow. It is primarily for home defense but I will be shooting with it at the range. It needs to be fairly accurate out of the box and EXTREMELY reliable.

I was originally going to go with a Glock 21 or 22 or a Sig226 but after spending hours reading the past couple days on this forum and on glock talk I'm reconsidering. I am now convinced that the HK USP45 is the right gun for me. If it fits my hand tomorrow and feels good I am going to purchase. I also want to go with a full sized firearm since I'm not going to be ccw'ing it and it will probably feel a little "smoother" than something compact.

-How much is ammo compared to the other common sizes - 9mm, .357, .40?
-How much can I expect to pay for the gun at a store, plus a couple spare mags?
-What other accessories do you guys recommend?
-How is the fit, finish, and reliability of the USP45?
-Is the recoil easier to manage on a full size .45 than say a glock 23? The glock23 I fired was very kicky and snappy.
-How does the power of the .45 caliber compare to other sizes?
-Can I change the barrel to make the weapon a smaller caliber?
-What model should I go with? USP, Tactical, or Expert? I like the idea that the tactical/expert have longer barrels.

I'm sure I will have more questions later but for now anybody who can answer those will have my appreciation.
First off all a Glock 26 is a .40. Ammo is more expensive. Depends what model you buy and if it new or used. Prices on USPs vary now especially just a USP45 since they have been around. You should be under $800 on a new one and expect to pay more then that for a Tactical or an Expert. You can't change the barrel, if you want a different caliber get a new gun. Yes the recoil will be easier because it is a much bigger gun than a Glock 23. There is no point to get a tactical unless you want to put a suppressor on it, you will just pay more money. The expert has a longer barrel and might be more accurate, I have no experience with it. But they are harder to find and you will just pay more money.
 

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Hows it going guys. Let me start off by saying that the only handguns I have ever fired is a glock 23 .40 compact and glock 26 9mm subcompact. I put about 200 rounds through it so I have a good idea of how a handgun feels but I am still very much and amateur. I completed my safety certificate today and I'm going to purchase a handgun tomorrow. It is primarily for home defense but I will be shooting with it at the range. It needs to be fairly accurate out of the box and EXTREMELY reliable.

I was originally going to go with a Glock 21 or 22 or a Sig226 but after spending hours reading the past couple days on this forum and on glock talk I'm reconsidering. I am now convinced that the HK USP45 is the right gun for me. If it fits my hand tomorrow and feels good I am going to purchase. I also want to go with a full sized firearm since I'm not going to be ccw'ing it and it will probably feel a little "smoother" than something compact.

-How much is ammo compared to the other common sizes - 9mm, .357, .40?
-How much can I expect to pay for the gun at a store, plus a couple spare mags?
-What other accessories do you guys recommend?
-How is the fit, finish, and reliability of the USP45?
-Is the recoil easier to manage on a full size .45 than say a glock 23? The glock23 I fired was very kicky and snappy.
-How does the power of the .45 caliber compare to other sizes?
-Can I change the barrel to make the weapon a smaller caliber?
-What model should I go with? USP, Tactical, or Expert? I like the idea that the tactical/expert have longer barrels.

I'm sure I will have more questions later but for now anybody who can answer those will have my appreciation.
-9mm offers some of the cheapest ammo out there but you can find ammo for the 45 suitable for range practice for around $11 a box at Wal-Mart.

-NIB the gun should come with two mags I have seen a wide range on prices so I kinda hate to say, realistic quess at a gun store something off the shelf around $800 for a USP.

-Night sights, and a good flashlight you should look at something that can be mounted onto the weapon.

-You will have a hard time finding something more reliable than a HK.

-Yes the recoil will be lighter in the HK in 45 then the glock 23 in 40

-The 45 was originally designed for the Army to replace the 38 because it lacked the power to bring down indians on drugs in Central America you will have trouble doing better in 9mm,40 or even 357sig IMO. I have also read stories of the round stopping charging horses in the old cavelry days. Not to mention the 45acp helped win Sgt. York the congressional Medal of Honor:28:

-Don't know about changing the barrel for other calibers there is nothing for the HK like that I dont think but I could be wrong.

-Depends on money the tactical, and the Expert if they even have them will be more expensive then the USP. Unless they have something used.
 

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What do you think about a 1911 as a home defense weapon? Is it realiable?
It depends if the individual pistol is reliable. Check out the new HK45. It is a 1911 of the 21st century! Good ergos, controllable, chambered in potent .45, 10+1 capacity, comfortable, accurate, and best of all HK reliability!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
From what I have read it seems that the HK45 is not legal in California... I had actually considered it as my first choice but Cali busted my bubble.
 

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It served our country well for alot of years. Most think it was a mistake to replace it with what we did. They are like most a taken care of mil-spec 1911will work, and work well. Most people start having problems with them when they start adding all the compitition stuff to them that press the limits in exchange for a better trigger, or recoil, or whatever. Or fail to maintain the weapon properly. I have several 1911s ranging from Wilsons to Kimbers to springfields. Never had any problems with them.

Get something quality and take care of it, and practice with it. It won't let you down if you don't let it down. Just look at the wide variety of environments they served in. Trenches of WW1, All over the world in WW2, Frozen Korea, jungles of Vietnam and I have even seen them in the desert strapped to the legs of Operators, and Blackwater agents. The real key with a 1911 or any gun is to practice with it, and take care of it.
 

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-How much is ammo compared to the other common sizes - 9mm, .357, .40?
For 50 rounds, basic range/practice ammo (like FMJ) is about $10 for 9mm to about $14 for .45. the others range in there. a self defense round (hollow point) will cost about twice that or more.

-How much can I expect to pay for the gun at a store, plus a couple spare mags?
I saw an hk45 for $860 mags about $50.
USP .45 for a little under $700 mags for about $20

-What other accessories do you guys recommend?
holster and magazine holders
basic cleaning kit
eye and ear protecton

-How is the fit, finish, and reliability of the USP45?
I have 4. I love the. A+ on all counts. None better for reliability

-Is the recoil easier to manage on a full size .45 than say a glock 23? The glock23 I fired was very kicky and snappy.
the HK45 and USP 45 both have a significantly easier recoil than the glock. Very nice recoil system in the guns.

-How does the power of the .45 caliber compare to other sizes?
Depends what you want it for. I love the 45 for full power target shooting, for self defense, and just plain fun to shoot. If you want to shoot tin cans, a .22 will do. 9mm may be a little cheaper on ammo, but I like the 45.

-Can I change the barrel to make the weapon a smaller caliber?
no

-What model should I go with? USP, Tactical, or Expert? I like the idea that the tactical/expert have longer barrels.
Again depends what you want to do. If you want to do IPSA target shooting, the longer barrel has an advantage. But for self defense most go with the regular USP. shorter barrel = more maneuverable, easier to holster and draw, still plenty of power.

also, if you are looking at the HK45, remember they now have the grips that can be changed out for larger or smaller hands.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice. What would the postives and negatives of going with a .40 vs .45?

What do you think of the Sig 226 and Sig in general?

Can anybody confirm that the HK45 is not legal in California or where the official list is located?
 

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Thanks for the advice. What would the postives and negatives of going with a .40 vs .45?

What do you think of the Sig 226 and Sig in general?

Can anybody confirm that the HK45 is not legal in California or where the official list is located?

The 40 I don't know where to begin....I don't like the round myself I would stay with the old war horse 45acp. Plus the 40 is more snappy then the 45. It is a standing joke to call the 40S&W the 40 Snappy&Worthless. They are fine I just don't like them myself but that is just me.

Don't like the Sigs either grip is too straight up, and down for me. Kinda reminds me of the Colt 1905. I like a canted grip but go look at one you might like it lots of people do.

The HK45 is not legal in Kaliforistan yet. With some of the new laws out there I wonder if HK will even bother. Not too mention it don't have a mag safety by design and I THINK Kaliforistan requires one. Not too sure on that though.

Have a good night, and good luck.
 

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Glad to see you are interested in an HK. One benefit that the HK has over the Glock is the external safety. We have all heard the rules about a gun only being as safe as its operator, but in my opinion, the extra manual safety helps. I dont doubt your abilities, but a safety seems like a good thing to have for someone who is not a seasoned shooter.

I think you are on the right track by looking at the USP. The HK45 is new and cool but the USP will do the job you need it for, and its a little less $$ too. I would say skip the .40, as the other guys have said, it is harder for a novice to master the "forty" because of its snappy recoil characteristics. Plus, you can buy home-defense 9mm rounds that are just as effective as .40's.

So now the choice is between the 9 and the .45.....How big are your hands? The .45 is a little bulkier, though not by much. You are trading capacity for punching power with the .45, though 12 (or 10 in Cali) rounds of .45 is still plenty. The .45 is a very smooth shooter for its size, and is definately easier to work with than the .40.

The MOST important feature in a defensive weapon is reliability. Dead nuts stone cold reliability. Glock is great, very reliable. Sig is also good, though they can require a little more upkeep. In the end, the HK is probably THE most reliable handgun around. Take that coming from a guy who has used and abused tons of different weapons, not just an HK junkie. There is no other pistol in my arsenal that I would pick to defend myself with other than the USP. Not only will you have a great quality firearm, you will have something that stands out from the crowd of Glocks and Glock clones, something with a certain element of ownership pride, so to speak.

Get your hands on a USP and try out the feel. Whatever you pick, just remember to practice practice practice with it. Walk around your house with it. Sit at your computer or in front of your TV with it. Get to the point where your gun feels like an extension of your hand, then practice some more. Hope you enjoy your gun, it sounds like you are definately headed in the right direction.

GT
 

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Sweet and simple answers (my opinions of course).

Glocks are reliable weapons. However, they're not nearly as accurate and well crafted as your other choices. Bottom line, unless you're in law enforcement, don't buy one.

Sigs are fantastic, well crafted and accurate weapons. The p226 in particular is probably the best 9mm on the market.

Do not get a compact if you're not carrying.

The .40s&w is a good round for law enforcement because it gets the best of both worlds - bullet size, and mag capacity. However, the difference in mag capacity is negligible and personally I see no point in getting a .40.

Contrary to what some believe, a 9mm is not as effective as a .45 bullet - I dont care how much it expands.

1911's are for WW2 Vets and for bullseye shooters. It's a great gun, but cannot compare to the reliability of todays finest combat pistols.

As far as I'm concerned, your caliber choices are 9mm or .45. If you go with a 9mm, pick up a Sig p226. In .45, grab the USP - unless the grip is too big for you in which case, the Sig 220 is also an incredible .45 pistol. Keep in mind also that Sigs have far better triggers and grips than HK's. They may even be a tad bit more accurate (probably because the grips are better). However, the HK's are a tad bit more reliable. It's really a choice you have to make for yourself.

The advantage in getting a 9mm is that you'll be able to learn to shoot with a lower recoiling weapon - it's like learning to walk before running.

Ammo prices are all expensive as hell - you're looking at a $4 difference per box between 9mm and .45.

I was in your position about a year ago. First gun was a Sig p220 Carry. Mistake #1 - went for a compact gun. I soon decided I needed a full size weapon and got an HK USPf .45. It is a fantastic gun and has become my primary weapon (although the trigger and grips do not even come close to the Sig's). The third weapon I picked up was a USP compact SS 9mm - reason being, I wanted a smaller weapon with cheaper ammo. The grip on that gun is incredible - feels like sex in your hand. The point is, you'll buy more than one gun - whether you like it or not - so dont stress it.

PS - If I hadn't gotten so used to the trigger finger mag releases on HK's, I would probably be picking up a Sig p226 but at this point, I want to be consistant in my weapons. Wouldn't want to get confused in a real situation.
 

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I have a usp expert .45 and my father has a glock 23. for defense usage, my experts sights aren't too useful, but I am replacing my front sight with an ameriglo, so things may change. For home defense I have a M6X tactical light/laser, that I think will shock an intruser with the brightness, and intimidate with the laser, so that's a plus. I have never had a malfunction with my hk, and I believe my father has only had one, a stovepipe. My expert 'rolls' unders recoil as opposed to the glock 23 which seems to definately snap more. FOllow up rounds on the glock seem to be a little quicker, I think it may be due to te angle of the grip requiring constant tension to keep the sights straight/pointed down. Accuracy wise my expert seems far superior, but the usp just 'feels right', so that may help. Also the longer sight radius on the expert is a plus. The trigger on my expert is excellent, nice crisp break, but it sounds like regular USP's don't fare as well. I don't think you can go wrong with either gun, but I think the USP will last longer, and is a more "solid" gun overall. But get the gun you shoot best, and fits you comfortably.
 

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For the CA Approved Handguns list, check out http://certguns.doj.ca.gov/

In centerfire, I shoot both a 9mm USP and a Springfield 1911 and love them both to death. I keep the 1911 loaded in a drawer at night, and I figure that if I can't get an intruder to leave after he gets a good look down that gaping .45 caliber barrel, then the first shot had damn well better put him down. Also my 1911 has tritium night sights while the USP has standard white dots, although the USP can mount a light, so as soon as I get myself one, it'll probably replace the 1911 as my home defense weapon.

But for home defense, I don't see why .45 would do better or worse than 9mm or .40. I figure that chances are mr. homie from the hood isn't going to be wearing body armor so all bullets will have no trouble entering his body, and since the .45 is slower than a 9mm or .40, it'll be less likely to pass through the target and continue through walls, potentially injuring innocents.

But when I go to the range, I tend to go through a lot more 9mm just because it's cheaper than .45. But you should definitely go with whatever you're most comfortable shooting.
 

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Sounds like you need to find a gun range that rents HKs and whatever else you're considering buying. See how they fit your hand and know firsthand what the recoil is like. I personally don't like Glocks. That's just me personally and that's my point. It's rather like asking someone what boots you should be wearing. Unless you try them on all you'll know is that they fit someone else. I like either .45ACP, or 9mm. That's my personal preference. Some folks love the .40, it's not for me though. You'll pay less for a Glock than an HK. HKs are generally priced less than many 1911s these days. It all depends on what you want and what you can afford. The USP full size, or USP Tactical are both nice pistols and I'm glad I have them both. The USP compact isn't all that much smaller than the full size and I enjoy shooting it as well. 9mm is much cheaper to shoot than the .40s, or .45s. That's why I own several of them. Get out and do some test shooting and you'll be much happier in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You guys are being very helpful, thank you.

I have decided to go with the .45 acp caliber. As for the gun itself, it's either going to be a G21 or a USP45 (leaning towards the HK). I considered Sig at one point but it seems that I'm hearing more and more about upkeep, and finish quality, etc. Whichever gun feels better in my hand is the one I will end up buying, it might even be a Sig if I don't like the feel of the Glock or the HK. My hands are fairly large, not bear-like but large. I just bought a pair of XL Timberland gloves the other day and they fit... well like a glove. I think the USP may work well for me.

I like the comment about buying more guns after owning one... that is how it is with everything. Once I get into something I like to be the best I can.

In California, is mag size restricted to 10 rounds in all handguns? That's pathetic... I hope that is not true.

EDIT: I was curious... how would you compare the stopping power and penetration of the .45acp vs. .40 s&w vs. 10mm vs. 9mm? Just a rough ranking will suffice.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well it seems that in fact California magazines after 2000 are limited to 10 round capacity, so basically the advantage of going .40 for increased magazine capacity is nullified... they really tie our hands over here I had no idea. I mean what can 13 rounds do that 10 rounds can't??? Ridiculous...
 

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The G26 is a 9mm:
http://www.glock.com/english/index_pistols.htm

What round is better for accuracy and stopping power? A .40 or a .45? What do you guys think of Glocks? I hear nothing but good about them...
Glocks are cool. I'd carry one any day of the week. My G17 hasnt had a hickup yet. I just prefer the HK's a tad more. My carry piece is a USP40 Compact. My favorite!

Consider a USP compact if the full size grip feels too big, but you do get used to that very quickly as well. The compacts are just as accurate as the full size guns, its just the sight radius thats slightly shorter, making accuracy at distance harder.
 

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Thanks for the advice. What would the positives and negatives of going with a .40 vs .45?

What do you think of the Sig 226 and Sig in general?

Can anybody confirm that the HK45 is not legal in California or where the official list is located?
Lots can be said about .40 vs .45. It would be worth using the search feature to look for some of the many threads that have been done on the topic.

The one and only gun that I think comes close to HK in my never-to-be-humble opinion is the Sig, and the 226 is pretty nice if you want to go 9mm or .40. But, I must say, I like the USP .45 fullsize.

If you have a rental range near you, that is the best way to decide. Go shoot a couple and compare.

that is correct. the HK45 has not been approved for California yet. The roomer is that they submitted before a certain deadline and we are hoping that it does pass. Here is the link for the list of what you can buy in Cal.

http://certguns.doj.ca.gov/
 
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