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Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by Dillinger, Mar 23, 2008.
nothing to see here...OP is below
Ok, so I'm not trying to beat a dead horse here with the "lolwut's better .40 or .45?". To be completely honest, I really didn't know much of anything about the .40 besides that it was a shrunk down 10mm until this weekend.
A few years ago I shot a friend's HK USP .45 and loved it. The way it felt in my hand, the way it was balanced, the low recoil, just everything about it was a dream to shoot in my opinion, and I've wanted one ever since. Well, now I am at the point where I'm looking to add one to my family of firearms.
In my digging around this weekend, having read dozens of purely opinion based ".40 vs .45" threads, looking at wound channel pictures, looking over different loads and their FPS/velocities/energy, the .40 and .45 cartridges both seem to preform similarly. OK, granted the .45 tends to have greater expansion(in all but like 2-3 test results I saw) and the .40 tends to have a bit more reach and anecdotal reports of greater recoil. I have never shot a .40 before, but know quite a few guys who own them, and have never said anything about the recoil, except when they very first got them. I own a .357 and a .45(1911) already and am a pretty good shot with both, in the past, I had to qualify on a range for a security using a 9mm and walked away with 92% accuracy on the course.
Friday I went down to my local gun store and inquired about the USP .45. It's going to run me 879$. While I was waiting for the guy to look up the price I was browsing in the case and they had an HK .40 sitting there for 619$. I had another guy get it out and I held it and drooled, and it felt just as good as the .45 in my hand. From the info I looked at, with the two rounds being comparable, would I be better off with the .40 vs the .45? I'm honestly not trying to sound cheap, I'm just curious about if there is that huge of a difference between the two to justify the 260$ difference.
My planned usage for the gun will be every day carry and to possibly have on my hip during hunting seasons.
I owned an H&K USP Tactical in .45ACP. I notice that your choices are of the H & K brand, so I feel I should caution you just a bit.
H & K has a mystique about them - they are in every video game, every movie and they know it. Their customer service is not the best and their service after the sale is lacking. Keep that in mind before you spend some hard earned cash.
Now, as for the weapon itself. My Tactical came rated to handle +P loads from H & K, which is something that a lot of manufacturers won't do without changes to their product like a recoil spring, and even then it will compromise your warranty. I had put about 1,000 rounds through it and never had any problems. It came with adjustable sights, which I personally find useless on a pistol, I prefer fixed night sights. What good is adjusting for a wind variable that is only present on one day shooting?
The pistol is big, almost too big and this is from a design that was "downsized" from the MK-23. I am over 6ft, wear XL gloves and even my hands are "too small" for this weapon to be handled properly in my opinion. To eject the magazine, I need to either use my off hand thumb, or rotate the weapon off target to press the latch that drops the magazine. While not a big deal, I feel that it's inconvenient and not the safest of actions to give up that firm handshake on the butt of the weapon just to replace mags. The trigger pull is good, with almost zero over travel right from the factory, but once again it's not a 1911, so it lacks in my opinion.
This is not a carry weapon, unless "carry" is on your hip, in a tactical thigh rig. The weapon weighs almost 2 pounds unloaded and that is a lot of weight to pack around all day on your hip or in a shoulder rig. Plus the profile is huge, so unless you are "working" in a ski town with a lot of heavy layers, or you are a member of the trench coat set, this will stick out like a sore thumb.
You can carry in position 1 with this weapon, which is a plus in my book. The frame mounted safety is one of two and is crisp with a positive "on" & "off".
As a home defense pistol, in a safebox next to the bed, it's a great piece of kit. 12 rounds of +P will put anyone in line for a dirt nap, plus it has in integral frame rail to put a SureFire X-200 to light up the night.
For a carry gun, I would recommend you look elsewhere. For a good home gun this pistol has several pluses that make it cool to own and it always garners attention when you break it out at the range. Comes with ( 2 ) 12 round mags, several replacement rubber "O" rings for the barrel and a neat black, tactical nylon carrying case.
Best of luck in your shopping efforts.
PS - As for .45 or .40
I carried a .40 for several years and like the round. It has good power, it's common, but it is a bit snappy in feel on recoil, especially in a poly or aluminum framed gun. Lots of muzzle flip in your average pistol.
The .45ACP, in my opinion, is just a better all around cartridge. Given the platform that you are looking at though, the .40S&W is going to offer a lighter and easier to carry weapon.
Nice objective review JD. I've had a couple of HKs and while they are "nice" - I no longer have them. As JD said, they are large & chunky and not an ideal carry piece if concealed is desired. Mags & parts are very pricey and for me I see no benefit over other poly pistols costing considerably less.
They are tacticool though and you can brag about owning an HK if that's important to you...
My first gun right out of the gate is the H&K USP Compact .45 Cal. After I shot a friends I was hooked. I carried it for years which most think it's too big. It's not to big until you need it. Not sure about customer service as in 9 years I never contacted them. I got a high dollar gun and also have the best bang for the buck S&W Sigma .40 which is basically a Glock for half the price. Picked one up for $250. Get what is comfortable for you.