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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm starting this new thread to feature a modified version of a little thing I wrote up over on another topic. As a new-to-HK world guy, I have been spending a LOT of time researching and reading everything I can get on current HK handgun models; consequently, I've included a MK23 in my collection. I thought I'd write this piece up and invite others to suggest changes/additions/corrections. Might make for a nice little thing to provide to folks asking about the MK23. Post suggestions for change in the comments after the article and I'll evaluate them and incorporate them as warranted. Thanks!


Why Consider a Heckler & Koch MK23 Handgun?



It is huge. It is heavy. It only holds 13 rounds. It has never been the first choice of special forces units in US SOCOM for whom it was developed. But it is still here, twenty years later and still attracts a lot of interest, fascination, questions, scorn, admiration, "neato" and "cool" and so forth. People who learn about them reach a point where they ask themselves, "Why consider a Heckler&Koch MK23?" Why indeed? Here is a brief list of reasons to consider as you answer that question for yourself. They are the reasons that convinced me I wanted one.

First, I am a very big guy. I have XXXL sized hands. The MK23 is not "too large" for me, in fact, it feels "just right."

Second, I wanted the most rugged well-tested and well-proven handgun chambered in 45ACP that I could find. The MK23 fit the bill. Read up on its history and development and testing.

Third, I wanted a handgun I knew I could depend on to hell and back. Paranoid? Maybe. But, the MK23 is the ultimate in SHTF handguns. Load it up with 13 rounds of 185gr JHP +P and you have a force to be reckoned with against man or beast. The MK23 was intentionally built and designed to handle more modern, higher pressure, 45ACP +P rounds and can also function well shooting the 45 Super cartridge as well. It's rugged engineering can easily withstand the force of these higher pressure loads as its testing demonstrated. During testing the HK MK23 was subjected to the strictest reliability testing any pistol ever went through. The requirement was for no less than 2,000 MRBF; the HK OHWS averaged 6,027 MRBF and could reach 15,122 MRBF. Three pistols went through a 30,000-round endurance test and maintained accuracy of 2.5 in (64 mm) at 25 meters; only the O-ring needed replacement after 20,000 rounds.

Fourth, and this is extremely important, the MK23 offers you a DA/SA option and a SA option, because you are able to carry the handgun cocked and locked. The SA only mode provides the most consistent trigger pull on every shot, from first to last, a feature long admired by 1911 users who are accustomed to the "cocked and locked" method of carrying and firing their handgun. I'm not aware of many other (any other) DA/SA handguns that offer this level of versatility with trigger options in a hammer fired weapon. One should also note that this is one of, if not the only, DA/SA firearms that offers a completely silent decocker action.

Fifth, I like the threaded barrel and suppressor option as a possibility, and with 45ACP you have a subsonic round that is able to be very well suppressed, unlike supersonic rounds that still produce a noisy "crack" regardless of suppression or not.

Sixth, the long sight radius, for me, helps me be more accurate with my handgun. The MK23 gives you over 7.75" of sight radius (!). It's amazing. Combine that with the unique rifling in the barrel and o-ring and you have a match-grade accurate hangun right out of the box. Accuracy testing of the MK23 produced genuinely "match" pistol results. In more than 450 accuracy test firings from a precision firing fixture at 25 meters, MK 23 pistols far exceeded the government accuracy requirements, averaging groups of 1.44 inches, with 65 groups of less than one inch and four groups of .5 inches, with 5 rounds going through the same hole.

Seventh, the recoil system on the MK23 gives you perhaps the softest shooting 45ACP you will ever experience. Very easy to get shots off quickly and on target rapidly. Tames the 45ACP. Unlike a 9mm, when you shoot a 45ACP you do have a noticeable perceived recoil.

CAVEATS: Let me also make this point very clear. The MK23 is NOT a good choice for EDC. It is heavy and large. The right tool for the right mission. I would not recommend the MK23 to a person looking for his first handgun, or a handgun useful for concealed carry purposes. And I'm not really sure unless you are able to open carry every day it is the right choice for EDC either.

Footnote: I did not take up the 45ACP v. Other caliber debate. That's frankly, a whole other conversation, but just a couple links for you to consider. How lethal is the 45ACP? This video demonstrates it punching through 5" of wood at 440 yards. This video shows the effectiveness of a quality JHP +P round in ballistic gel. This video demonstrates it on a hog's head.



 

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the most offensive thing about it as far as I'm concerned is the price. :)
There are 2 big chunks of steel molded into the frame , the quality and design of the trigger group , chrome lined barrel , slide is another big chunk of steel . You see many pistols that cost more that don't function near as high as your Mark 23 . just sayin' .......
 

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I love the Mark 23, as stipulated in my HK Fanboy contract, but I'd still say that for 99.7% of people not currently living in World War Z, a USP Tactical 45 would be the better choice if you can only have one. Obviously, everyone should have both, but the Mark 23 does teeter pretty close to novelty "just cuz it's cool" territory IMO.
 

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I love the write-up and the reasons!

i have three HKs. The MK23, a USPc9, and the newest, a p30L. What's odd, is that I truly think The USPc9 is really the perfect-sized carry gun for me. I love most everything about the gun, and I really enjoy it. It fits me really well. and then there's the MK23. definitely my favorite "full-sized" gun. I don't have a want or need for any other .45s. As for the P30L... well, I held Azimuth's and then had to have one. but, then, that's the same way it was with the mK23 too.

Dang it, Azimuth! this is all your fault.... ;)
 

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I love the write-up and the reasons!

i have three HKs. The MK23, a USPc9, and the newest, a p30L. What's odd, is that I truly think The USPc9 is really the perfect-sized carry gun for me. I love most everything about the gun, and I really enjoy it. It fits me really well. and then there's the MK23. definitely my favorite "full-sized" gun. I don't have a want or need for any other .45s. As for the P30L... well, I held Azimuth's and then had to have one. but, then, that's the same way it was with the mK23 too.

Dang it, Azimuth! this is all your fault.... ;)
Hey I'm just a friend presenting options......lol Who was it that put an HK45ct in my hands in the Walmart parking lot? Hmmm? Seems I had to buy my own just a few weeks later. Speaking of....I introduced another long time friend to HKs a year ago. He bought a P30s and loved it. I taught him how to shoot. Last week he bought a P30sks and I showed him that the full size mags fit with an xgrip spacer. He is stoked. Now his wife wants one. It's contagious. We are either harlots or evangelists. I suppose which depends upon the beholder. :biggrin:
 

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What a great write-up! Makes me try really hard to justify why I would even need this pistol. So far, I've resisted quite well.
Still, I think it'd be a great woods/hiking gun. Maybe with some 45 Super loads. Hell, I don't know...just trying to come up with some reasons...lol
 

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Thank you very much for taking the time to share your thoughts on the MK23. You answered a lot of questions I had which have that kept me away from purchasing and trying one.
 

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It is a great gun. If you run out of ammo you can use it as a club. :) There is something about the Mark23 that stirs my primal instincts like no other weapon ever has.
 

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You can justify anything you like, or you don't even have to justify it. MK23 is mostly a collector item that can be used for some purposes. The most legit purpose that I know of is that it is one of a few 45 guns that's rated for 45 Super and as such is valued by folks who like to practice with 45 and carry 45 Super in bear country. USP Tactical works well that way too.

The #4 reason is a recipe for bad stuff happening. Preus, I don't know what is your experience with handguns in a sense of some formal training but if you haven't had any, I recommend that you maybe take a class from someone good. This is a truly friendly advice, I am not being an ass, although sometimes I am.
 

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Sam carried a Mark 23 in a few episodes of Supernatural ... Thats why! Sam knows lol
Mark 23 is a Supernatural handgun ... Period! =)
 
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