The Pinnacle of Polymer Pistols: The HK45 Review with HD Video

Discussion in 'Heckler & Koch Forum' started by Amsdorf, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. Amsdorf

    Amsdorf New Member

    584
    0
    0
    Pinnacle of Polymer Pistols?
    A Review with Video of the Heckler & Koch HK45

    I have a man-crush on the .45ACP. What red-blooded American male wouldn’t? I mean, come on. It is the epitome of handgun cartridges that has seen America through two World Wars, one “police action” and … whatever the Vietnam Conflict was. Designed by the Über-Mensch of all gun designers: St. John Moses Browning, specifically for his iconic 1911 handgun, the .45ACP has been the “go to” round in the American handgun arsenal for over 100 years and it is still going strong.

    When you start looking into polymer-framed .45ACP semi-autos you have a lot of choices. I have personally owned and used/reviewed and fired Sigs, Glocks, FNs, Berettas, but none of them, in my opinion, rises to the level of design and function that the HK 45 offers. And then, of course, you have Springfield’s line of imported Euro-handguns, S&W, Ruger, etc. etc.

    Here are some thoughts about what I’ve shot so far, compared to the HK.

    I do not like the fact that the Sig offers no external safety, thus giving you no option but to fire it from DA before you get to SA, if you choose to carry a round in the chamber. The SIG P220 has a very limited capacity, and you can get 10 rounds if you are ok carrying a gangly extended magazine with it. The SIG P227 has certainly caught my eye though, SIG’s first double-stack .45ACP. And, of course, SIG gives you an all metal construction. But, with it’s lack of external safety you therefore must master two trigger pulls, rather than one.

    The FN .45 ACP DA/SA semi-autos (FNP and FNX) are fine pistols and have the distinct advantage of the largest stock capacity out there 15+1. That’s a whole lot of .45ACP love right there. I’ve owned them and used them. Great handguns, but the “feel” compare to the HK is very clear, well, almost kind of “cheap” in comparison to the HK. The HK is much tighter, and feels stronger. The trigger group in the FNX feels almost toy like. The HK is much more rugged and obviously built to tighter tolerances. The Glock 21 is a terrific handgun and is clearly the winner in striker-fire actions. Chamber a round into a Glock and it is “always on” … you supply the safety: trigger finger discipline and proper mental discipline. The Beretta PX Storm comes in .45ACP but the “backward” safety on the Berettas drives me nuts, though the build quality and ergonomics are great. And, hey, it’s a Beretta, very well built, just nothing for me other than a range gun.

    The HK however offers the best of all worlds, in my view. You have a great external safety that has the best decocking mechanism I’ve run across yet. When you decock there is a clear “click” feel as you move it into decocking, something I have not found on anything else with a decocker. That tactical feedback is totally lacking on the FNX, etc. The trigger on the HK is nice and wide, offering the chance to get more of the tip of your finger on it, and making it easier to press the trigger back cleaning. The reset point on the HK trigger, stock, is not short enough, to my liking. The HK sights are crisp and visible, yellow in daylight, and glowing at night. The HK’s o-ring on the barrel allows for greater accuracy. It’s recoil spring is a monster. Clear the HK 45 has the best of the build features in its granddaddy, the HK MK23 or as I call it, “The Beast.”

    Shooting it is very comfortable, the grip is nicely ergonomically formed and with adjustable backstraps you are able to get what suits you best. I found shooting it to be very easy. The recoil is very manageable. I’d have to give the nod to the SIG P220 for comfort in shooting the .45ACP though.

    The major down-side of the HK 45 is its capacity: 10+1. Period. No extended magazines available. No base plates allowing more rounds. It is what it is, a 11 round capacity .45ACP. That alone may be the deciding factor for people wanting to have more rounds in the pistol: Glock offers more, and so does the FN platform, as previously mentioned.

    But, arguably, you have the higest quality build out of the box from the H&K, hands down better than anything I’ve ever used. I have not tried out Springfields or S&W’s or Ruger’s line of .45ACP polymer handguns. Hope to some day. I may be blown away by them, but I highly doubt it.

    The HK 45 is a great handgun and if you have a chance to shoot one, I think you’ll see what I’m talking about.

    Here is the video:

    [ame]http://youtu.be/4Kc3TwhTGR0[/ame]
     
  2. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

    6,811
    1
    0
    I would never be able to own one even living in Germany. The HK45 was geared towards the American public. It is not even made over here. It's ok though....USP variants are just fine.
     

    Attached Files:

    • 001.jpg
      001.jpg
      File size:
      30.9 KB
      Views:
      371
    • 028.jpg
      028.jpg
      File size:
      29.8 KB
      Views:
      316

  3. Amsdorf

    Amsdorf New Member

    584
    0
    0
    The HK45 has better ergos than the USP line. Oh, by the way, those SERPA style retention holsters are accidents waiting to happen.
     
  4. JW357

    JW357 New Member

    6,716
    1
    0
    Why do you say that?
     
  5. Amsdorf

    Amsdorf New Member

    584
    0
    0
    It is far too easy to get your finger in the trigger guard of your pistol while depressing the retaining button on the holster on the draw, plus, it's just one more thing to remember when drawing quickly in self-defense.
     
  6. JW357

    JW357 New Member

    6,716
    1
    0
    I see. I've never tried the holster, myself. Mostly because I don't like the idea of the push button release. But I figured anyone could train with it enough to turn it into muscle memory, just like anything else.

    If what you're saying about the trigger guard is right, though, then I can see the problem there.
     
  7. Amsdorf

    Amsdorf New Member

    584
    0
    0
    You are certainly correct about training. I've run three combat pistol courses with a simple retention holster with nothing other than the "friction grip" keeping it in place. Ran a CQB class with a Serpa style and it was a nightmare.

    Sure taught me the HIGH value of muscle memory for any kind of stressful stiuation!
     
  8. 2manyhobbies

    2manyhobbies New Member

    209
    0
    0
    lost me at 10 round max... :rolleyes:
     
  9. miamivice

    miamivice New Member

    47
    0
    0
    You clearly need more practice if 10 rounds of .45 ACP isn't enough for you.
     
  10. CrazedJava

    CrazedJava New Member

    848
    0
    0
    So, are you saying nobody needs more than 10 rounds?
     
  11. JW357

    JW357 New Member

    6,716
    1
    0
    Oh my God here we go again.
     
  12. CrazedJava

    CrazedJava New Member

    848
    0
    0
    Not trying to start a debate, just pointing out that the desire for more than 10 rounds is not unreasonable, regardless of caliber.

    I do have an issue with the HK 45 being called the "Pinnacle of Polymer Handguns"

    First issue, very low actual ownership. Most claims about the handgun are 3rd hand hearsay AT BEST. Depends on how credible you find HK marketing, which themselves are trying to sell their products.

    Second issue, tied to the first I have no idea how durable these weapons are because I know ZERO HK 45 owners and relatively few HK owners in general. Very few owners are willing to torture test their guns because of the high cost.

    Third issue, the supposed torture tests are run by HK which is not an unbiased source.

    Fourth issue, while the pistol looks intriguing enough it does have an oddball magazine release that assumes users will have a certain hand-size. Hands aren't that big? Too bad! So while they improved the ergonomics of the grip versus the USP they still insist on doing a magazine release their way because...I don't know. Because they're HK so shut up?

    Fifth issue, on top of the cost of the pistol, you're going to shell out a fortune on magazines and accessories. Hope it was worth it!

    BTW - If anyone has links to independent endurance testing run by third parties I would welcome it. I generally have had a favorable view of HK products but in the last few months I have been rightly challenged on the fact that most of my favorable information comes from HK themselves. The choir of fanboys counts not a bit.

    Now I looked long and hard at an HK 45 last year and it was on my short-list. In the end I couldn't justify the price and went with a Magnum Research Baby Eagle in .45 ACP and haven't regretted the decision. Despite all the issues with getting spare magazines and holsters, it's still less esoteric than the HK 45 or HK USP which I considered. Possibly about the same pain level as owning a FNX 45, but I suspect it will get better support as time goes on.

    If I were to compare polymer versus polymer, which disqualifies my choice since it is steel frame, I'm not convinced the price is justified despite the fact I believe (but cannot quantify) the HK 45 is more accurate than say a Glock 21. There might be enough trade-offs between the two designs, since the Glock 21 is better on some features but worse on others, that overall there is no distinct advantage. Also, I can actually talk to a Glock 21 owner and get their direct impressions while everything I know on the HK 45 I've read on the Internet.
     
  13. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

    6,811
    1
    0
    "The choir of fanboys counts not a bit." Please explain this statement.
     
  14. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

    10,198
    0
    0
    KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!!! :eek:
     
  15. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

    6,811
    1
    0
    Wait a minute...I want to know what is meant by "The choir of fanboys counts not a bit."
     
  16. CrazedJava

    CrazedJava New Member

    848
    0
    0
    Sure. HK has built up a loyal legion that will sing their praises despite having no practical experience with their products.

    Most of these are people whose entire experience with HK is from their own marketing and videogames. Name a major videogame in a modern setting in the last 10 years that hasn't featured an HK product or at least has an identical weapon that maybe has its name changed to avoid licensing issues. IF you can find such a game chances are good I can come up with a LONG list that not only has HK products but they also feature prominently. These same fans will defend HK to the death despite this utter lack of experience.

    The opinion of those people means nothing.

    I do plan on making my next rental a HK USP in .45 for so I can try one for myself. Right now my knowledge is all based on research, but I have had relatively few owners to bounce questions and observations off of. Even the Internet can be useful as it can expose patterns. The Glock fans and critics are present enough to provide recurring themes that can expose strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen with HK due to the aforementioned fanboys and the relative dearth of actual owners.

    I know you actually own HK products, so it's not a dig at you specifically.
     
  17. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

    6,811
    1
    0
    Fair enough. I stand down.
     
  18. CrazedJava

    CrazedJava New Member

    848
    0
    0
    It was a fair question. I'm well aware there are people out there that consider anyone with anything positive to say a "fan boy".

    Also, I have nothing against the HK 45 specifically. I am just starting to question my own knowledge of HK products. How much is accurate, how much is marketing, and how much is hype?

    Unfortunately, I cannot get any hands on time with the HK 45. The USP will have to do. I hope to try the USP and the 2000SK (If I have the designation right) within the next month or so.
     
  19. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

    6,811
    1
    0
    HK45 is strictly a US product. It will not be found over here. The Bundeswehr uses the P8. It has been proven in combat zones like Somolia. My friend was in the Bundeswehr and carried a P8 during the conflict. He only had awesome things to say about this USP variant.
     
  20. jjones45

    jjones45 New Member

    839
    0
    0
    I will own a hk45 one day. That is one awesome looking gun. One of my many dream guns. The problem with dream guns is that they cost a fortune and I always think wow I can get two really good guns or a different gun and plenty ammo and accessories instead. Another problem is I want both the fullsize and compact and can't choose between the two and can't afford both. I can tell you as a real hk owner that heckler and kock make great guns, but so does the other gun makers. U definitely pay for the name as well as the performance.