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Discussion Starter #1
I bought this gun about 10 years ago after reading the review on Gun-Tests. Since then family and career got most of my time and attention. Only managed to put about 200 rounds down range. Finally had some alone time tonight so I went on over to my local indoor range where I'm a member. I did a range report on my 45 USP Expert in detail recently. Figure I'd skip the details on the Elite since the fit/finish and comparison to other guns are the same.

Except for the 6.2" long barrel/slide the rest is almost exactly the same as the Expert. The trigger breaks consistently at 4.0 to 4.25lbs which is .5lb less than the Expert. Sight radius, Elite's almost 8.5" vs. Expert's 7.5". The Elite is 2oz heavier. Both handle the same and almost balance the same too but the longer sight radius definitely made precision work easier.

The Expert was shot with some hot loads (185JHP over 6.4 and 6.0 grs of Bullseye). This time I used a lighter load with same components to see if it does any better.

Load:
Bullet: Nosler 185gr. JHP
Powder: 5.4 grains of Bullseye
Case: mix headstamp, trimmed to .890"
Primer: Federal Large Pistol (150)
Crimp: .001"~.002"

This load felt very controllable but functioned 100% and burned clean. No smoke or powder residue. Muzzle flash was visible but not blinding like the last 2 loads. Brass ejected with authority but not harsh. The highlight is the accuracy. It ain't easy finding an accurate load for JHPs and this one is excellent.

The 3 consecutive groups were shot with 2-hand-hold with only magazine base rested on 1 sandbag. Didn't have time to shoot off-hand today. The shiny circle in the middle of the photo is a quarter for size reference.
 

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Thanks for the great review! Nice shooting! I liked your review on the Expert .45 a lot. I read it around the time I got my Expert .45. You mention the overall weight of the Elite being heavier than the Expert. I remember when choosing between the two I read on the HK site that the Elite is 2 oz lighter than the Expert (2.08 Elite vs 2.10 Expert). Very minor weight difference. Maybe that's a typo on the site, but I also recall someone on the forum explained why the Elite, despite it's longer slide was lighter; and it was because the milling is different, it's less solid on the extended front end.

My question to you is, given that the HK specs are correct and the Elite is lighter, does it feel heavier to you than the Expert in your hands. I
ve held both guns, but did not have enough time to really feel any difference.

Which do you prefer shooting over all? It seems like you shoot them both very, very well.

Also, if you put looks, collectibility, etc. aside, and could only keep one gun for pure shooting, which would it be?

Once again great review and great pic of some tight groups!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your kind words. I read magazines & Internet forums for years and had been disappointed most of the time trying to find some real life accuracy data or user experience in the areas I look for in a gun (accuracy, reliability & value). So I figure I'd start that.

I'll weigh them again, I might have put the wrong number down. Overall, they balance almost the same. I tried handling & pointing them with my eyes closed and really couldn't tell the difference. I think they're about equal in terms of potential accuracy. I'd probably prefer the Expert due its size for ease of handling & carrying. The extra 1" long barrel and sight radius on the Elite only comes in handy when you shoot longer distances in my opinion... also one of the coolest looking guns ever.
 

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I'm right there with you on being disappointed by most of what I read. It seems we have similar taste in guns and look for the same thing. I look at accuracy, reliability and value as well. I love my Expert and see a possible Elite in the near future. These guns are a pleasure to shoot. They certainly provide a solid base on which to build skill.

The Elite is without a doubt one of the coolest looking guns made.. where the Expert is certainly one of the most attractive in my opinion.

Thanks for posting your Range Report again!
 
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