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Alright, let's be real, the slowest-shooting HK has got to be the MARK 23 due to it's massive slide during recoil - but man, do I love shooting that beast!! ;)


I was watching a popular shooter showing off recently (Instagram profile 'truexodus') and thinking to myself, "Wow, that's fast!!" He was putting five shots into a 3x5" index card at five yards, drawing from AIWB concealment, in under two seconds. Very impressive - even though I think people that put this much focus on absolute speed more than anything else put themselves at risk of shooting themselves in the family jewels, especially considering that he's shooting a hyper-custom Salient Block 19. I started to wonder: Of course, 99% percent of this ability is all due to the shooter's earned skill, but what types of (HK) pistols lend themselves to shooting quickly with fast and very accurate follow-up shots?


- I personally love shooting my USP's. With a match trigger, they're a joy to shoot, and the Expert model feels like a custom-made pistol, IMO. Could they be run that quickly, with about 0.2 second or less splits, at such a small target? I remember reading something from Bruce Gray where he said that because of the way they recoiled, the sights on USP's didn't track consistently for very fast shooting (this is coming from a high-level competition viewpoint). Detriments to speed may be the somewhat chunky slide, and some people complain about the ergos and bore axis (I'm not one of these people).

- The late Todd Green of pistoltraining.com set what I believe to be his fastest F.A.S.T. drill time (4.08 seconds) with an LEM P30. The P30 seems to be a fast-running gun for a lot of people, but it seems to me that this could be improved on with a good trigger job. I would assume that the type of recoil assembly, the lighter slide, and the higher grip possible on the P-series vs. the USP series would technically allow for faster shooting. The P30 and P30L obviously have different shooting dynamics. For me and a lot of other people, I prefer the way the P30L handles recoil, and believe I could shoot it faster. Todd Green preferred the P30 with it's quicker (though probably 'sharper') cycling, and some people may notice faster transitions between targets or on the draw with the shorter slide.

- Speaking of Todd Green, man, could he shoot an HK45!! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nl4tbMHF3xk) He apparently could run the HK45 in a F.A.S.T. drill in 4.14 seconds, which is simply incredible considering it's a .45. So apparently, with enough practice (50,000 rounds of it), the HK45 can be run very fast.

- The VP9's get a lot of love and I think are starting to get used regularly in competition. They supposedly shoot fast for a lot of people, but for me personally they just don't give me any feeling that makes me particularly enjoy shooting them, so I don't. The trigger is definitely short, and the relatively light striker-fired trigger will be very fast for a lot of people.

- I hear that the P7's are relatively easy to shoot quickly, but I haven't had the pleasure of shooting one yet.


It goes without saying that, in order to achieve mastery as a shooter, it takes years of the right kind of practice, and training with a particular goal in mind. Someone that is primarily a bullseye shooter or hunter may have totally different goals than one that is geared towards competition and self-defense training. Any HK could be shot reasonably fast with enough practice, but which ones are going to have a certain point at which they really can't be shot any faster (comparatively), and which one(s) would have the potential to be shot as quickly and accurately as any pistol out there (except for 'race guns')? This is speaking primarily from a mechanical standpoint, or I guess any other relevant factors. Thanks in advance for your input!
 

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Interesting topic!

The MK23 easily feels the slowest to me. It's like shooting in slow motion. I think the P7 feels fastest/flattest but I'd want to compare them all side by side, and I haven't shot a VP9 enough to comment with any conviction.
 

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The P7 is the fastest shooting automatic pistol period. It just gets too hot to practice a lot. And its expensive. And they don't make them anymore. But I got mine...ha-ha.
 

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I would be inclined to think that lighter slides, in shorter cartridges (and the right recoil spring), would cycle the fastest. Less inertia, and less overall travel. To that end, I would guess a P7 would be mechanically the fastest, while the Mark 23 the slowest.
 

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Aaron Marco, AKA Dr. No, used to be on the old H&K shooting team. He is also a member of SWAT in a TX LEA, and is a GM in Prod (IIRC, he used a VP9 on that qualifier). He states that he can get 0.16 splits out of a stock VP9.

Aaron Marco said:
The VP9 runs circles around the [DA/SA] P30L. It recoils flatter, the trigger is more predictable, and since the gun extends back over your hand it is much easier to index. I would guesstimate that I'm a good 10-15% better with the VP9 without any significant transition training.

...

The position of the slide lends to much more controllability. (Is that even a word?) The way it sits further back in your hand lets you point more naturally. The trigger and how it moves lends to a very predictable break which lends to accuracy. Shorter trigger travel helps to not have so long to make a mistake while pulling the trigger. The way its sprung with 124gr ammo seems to return exactly to a natural POA for me.

Overall you just don't have to fight the gun much. That allows you to run it harder and still be accurate. It really is a no brainer.
I'll note that the FASTest is not the best indicator of fast shooting. It is an excellent indicator of gunhandling in general, due to the draw and reload, but at the same time, the inclusion of the reload means a significant portion of the time is dedicated to a non-shooting task.

The long reset of typical LEMs automatically means that any gun with that trigger system will generally be slower at speed.

The USP has a less predictable recoil pattern, which makes sight tracking more difficult, due to the dual spring assembly, or so I am told.

Overall, most of the H&K handguns have a high bore-axis, which is not conducive to pure speed; bore-axis is greatly overrated, and matters only when one is a complete novice shooter (and thus has poor grip) or when one is at the very highest level of competition shooting (i.e., you're competitive with the likes of Vogel, Stoeger, Grauffel, Miculek, etc.), but it does matter if raw speed is all you're after.

Technically speaking, striker-fired guns tend to return to battery faster than most hammer-fired guns, or so I have been told by Mike Pannone, due to the fact that the slide is retarded by the act of cocking the hammer, and this can be noticeable when running for pure speed at high levels, such as on a Bill Drill; he notes that he can definitely notice a difference in his splits between the P-07 and the P-09, with the P-09 being slower due to the longer slide, so the P30 vs. the P30L and the various USP variants probably have the same relationship.
 

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I shoot with 2 of the guys on the current HK team. One of them was trying out an expert the other night (which I shoot a lot in matches) and commented that he felt like he "was waiting for the slide" before he could pull the trigger again. After one or two stages he went back to his vp9. He's a hell of a shooter. For me, I don't see a whole lot of difference. I think my regular USP full size with match trigger is a little faster than my expert. What I do see is that some of my CZ's, even my Glocks get back on target a little faster or I can pull the trigger faster because of shorter reset, or whatever. However, my scores are highest with my HK's. But I am a C shooter. Not bad enough or good enough for the gun to make much difference:)
 

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Yeah... But if you've got a GMG, then you've likely already won.
 

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What are the fastest/slowest HK's? (Based on mechanics & shooting experience)

Fastest: G11, VP70M, P46
Slowest: GMG, MK23
G3Kurz
I read the title and instantly thought G11. 35rds a second in 3rd burst is rather quick. Obviously not humanly possible though to pull the trigger that quickly.


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I would say the VP series is the fastest, but I wouldn't say any of the HK pistols are slow.

I can do a Mozambique Drill at 7 yards, IDPA target, in under 2 seconds with a USPc LEM 40.
My time with a VP9 is a tenth and a few hundredths quicker; I will say however doing it with the VP series is easier.

Also, people like to say one caliber is faster than another.
For what it is worth, my Bill Drill times are the same with a VP9 and a VP40 when using carry ammo in each.

It really comes down to the shooter, not necessarily the weapon.
 

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As far as trigger and recoil characteristics, the VP series guns are some of the fastest HK's. I sold my P7M8 years ago because it was unusable at the volume I shoot, but I can certainly shoot my current VP9 faster. A comfortable bill drill results in .16-.19 splits generally, though I've seen as low as .11 on rare occasions when I'm especially relaxed. Of course, when I played with my SP5K, I was a little surprised to get sub .20 splits with the long/heavy subgun trigger.
 

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I'm curious how fast the adjustable trigger P9S could be. The .45 P9S SG III I own has the crispest break and shortest reset of any H&K pistol bar none and it's very light too. I'm not sure how slide speed would compare but the trigger is incredible.
 

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As far as trigger and recoil characteristics, the VP series guns are some of the fastest HK's. I sold my P7M8 years ago because it was unusable at the volume I shoot, but I can certainly shoot my current VP9 faster.
Might that be because you've had intervening years of high volume shooting to get as fast as you are currently? I'm certainly not anywhere near your plane of shooting, but I shoot my M13s noticeably faster than my VP9s, and I believe that it's because the lower bore axis yields less muzzle rise and dip. I can definitely see how you would have had to abandon the P7M8 shooting high volume, not only with the heat but the amount of cleaning you would have had to do.

I've heard the opinion before that bore axis is not a significant factor, but looking at the physics of the situation I just can't see how it isn't. I own and shoot USPs and compacts, P2000s, P30s and VP9s in 9mm and HK45s, compacts and USPs in 45 and I shoot quite a bit faster with P7s than any of them, although other design characteristics probably come into play as well.
 

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Might that be because you've had intervening years of high volume shooting to get as fast as you are currently? I'm certainly not anywhere near your plane of shooting, but I shoot my M13s noticeably faster than my VP9s, and I believe that it's because the lower bore axis yields less muzzle rise and dip. I can definitely see how you would have had to abandon the P7M8 shooting high volume, not only with the heat but the amount of cleaning you would have had to do.

I've heard the opinion before that bore axis is not a significant factor, but looking at the physics of the situation I just can't see how it isn't. I own and shoot USPs and compacts, P2000s, P30s and VP9s in 9mm and HK45s, compacts and USPs in 45 and I shoot quite a bit faster with P7s than any of them, although other design characteristics probably come into play as well.
You bring up some good points. I think you are on the right track with reference to familiarity. My own experience with various HK's over the years is that any of them *could* be shot very quickly, but some required either significantly more effort or significantly more practice with them to achieve the same standards as others. My P7, while extremely accurate and enjoyable to shoot, by its nature never afforded me the opportunity to get enough volume of live fire with it to be as comfortable with its recoil characteristics as my VP9's, or even my HK45C. It also tended to jump around rather than track back to the same spot every time. So while I could pull the trigger just as fast as with the VP9, the consistency and accuracy was not the same while doing so.

So, objectively speaking, the P7 may very well be as fast as or faster than a VP9 when it comes to shooting accurately at break-neck speed, but at least for me it was impractical to put that theory to the test.
 

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What are the fastest/slowest HK's? (Based on mechanics & shooting experience)

My guns ranked by speed:
VP9
USPc 9
USP 9 Match clone

The muzzle weight definitely flattens out the full size, but it still cycles slower than the compact or VP9.

Surprisingly my 1911 commander is second to the VP9 and my Hi-Power is by far my slowest cycling pistol.


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Based on trigger alone, yes?
No. That was not the thread question "fastest/slowest HK's". I read that as weapon cycle time (time between rounds fired).
That being the case it is not based only on the trigger function and has little to do with "shooting experience".

From the responses I now see what he was after.

And I did not include the VP70Z in my post - apparently you did. I didn't know others could amend someone else's post. Good to know. Warrants watching. Probably should not be possible or allowed IMO.

G3Kurz
 

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Probably should not be possible or allowed IMO.

G3Kurz
People are only able to edit someone's "post" as it's quoted in their own, which can be handy for removing unnecessary info irrelevant to their response. (Like I just did.) Your post is still there in the thread, unmodified and as you wrote it. His response read to me like he added it just as a way of asking for your input.
 

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9mm: VP9, P7M8, and USP9
45acp: USP, HK45


VP9 is the fastest HK 9mm I've run. It's balanced, and well tuned. I'd also give a nod to the P7M8, but she gets melt your face hot faster than any pistol I've run into. I will say the USP9 SD I picked up is also pretty quick. The P30 series can be, but that SA reset can really let you down. If HK used a more USP or HK45 style internal setup for the trigger vs the P series, then everyone would own one. Hands down.

After that USP 45 and HK45 are both very fast guns once you figure out how to drive them. Here's my HK45:


And a word on the MARK 23. It can be shot quickly, I'm still mastering mine. What I've found is, you have to drive her 100%, 100% of the time. There's no half measures with the MARK 23, and the trigger in SA is too fast for her size. But if you can drive it, and keep her flat, you'll be able to shoot it quickly. I've never seen one bump fired, but I'm sure it's mechanically capable of shooting that fast. It's all about knowing when, where, and how hard to apply force to keep her in line.
 

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This discussion about slide speed reminded me that my USP9 Expert slide cycle time actually got faster after I added the frame weight made by Nightwolf0215 (simlar to Merkle tuning weight). Not sure why that would happen since I changed nothing else but the change was enough that I noticed it.
 
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