Reviewed By: Mark Z on 09/14/2011
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]
I don't know how you can add any more good things to the exceedingly long list of achievements of the H&K USP... the only thing that is left is personal impressions. And my impression is that I would trust my life to this gun in the harshest of conditions under the most austere abuse I could throw at it.
While not nearly as famous as it's slightly larger brother the USP 45, the USP 40 yet carries with it all of the same flawless engineering, beautiful aesthetics, seamless and fluid ergonomics, and awe-inspiring reliability as its .45 ACP counterpart. If you only want or need to own one polymer pistol in .40 S&W, save up for a couple of months and spend the extra money, because this is hands down the gun you want to have. Recoil is almost exactly comparable to a Glock 22 (which is in fact almost the exact same size as the USP 40, except the USP's grip is ever-so-slightly shorter due to the -2 magazine capacity), however the USP's grip is such that it truly does feel like an organic extenstion to your own hands, and thus, at least in my opinion, making an average shooter a good shooter (as was the case with me, haha). The grip on the USP 40 is average size and would accomodate easily almost every hand size from quite small to very large. I've fired hundreds of rounds of both the best and worst ammo through this gun, and not once amongst 800+ rounds have I had so much as one FTF, let alone a jam or a stovepipe. The USP is as solid a combat pistol as a civilian is likely to be able to buy, but it is also very gentle in the hand and immensely forgiving. When you see this gun for the first time, the thing that will occur to you immediately is how perfectly made it is. Everything is tight and to exacting specifications.
The gun comes with standard white three-dot sights, which are pretty nice, but I highly recommend going to MidwayUSA and shelling out an extra $100.00 or so to get either TruGlo or Trijicon tritium three-dot night sights. Don't let anyone fool you, you CAN install night sights on your own if you have patience, a vice (PADDED), a screwdriver, a hammer, some oil, a can of WD40, a deft touch, and PATIENCE. Both front and rear sights can simply be tapped out, and the new ones filed down ever so slightly, oiled, and then tapped gently into place.
While obviously a full-size gun, the USP is easily concealable even under nothing more than a long shirt by an average size person with a good concealment holster like Galco's Concealable Belt Holster (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNu-
mber=229638). Though keep in mind, after many hours you WILL feel the weight. Obviously there are better options for CCW in practice, but don't let that fact make you think that you cannot conceal a USP.
Single action firing feels PRISTINE... but full double action trigger pull is a bit stiff and long, but by no means unmanagable or worse than any other DA/SA gun. Just practice a bit. A purposeful squeeze and your first double-action shot will be almost as accurate as any other. You can carry this gun cocked and locked with the safety on if you desire (which I do not), and the thumb safety does double as a solid and safe decocker. The ambidextrous magazine release lever makes for very rapid reloads without ever having to take your gun, or even your eyes, off of the target. The slide release is a little bit too far forward to use seamlessly or quickly with the thumb of your right hand, but you may quickly come into the habit of keeping your firing grip firmly in place with your right hand and using both the magazine release and slide release with the thumb of your left hand. (I guess reverse all of that if you're left handed).
I will say in conclusion that there are also many accessorizations you can apply to the USP, such as a threaded tactical barrel, tactical sights, a Jet Funnel grip extension/magazine well to allow you to use the 16-round magazines, etc, etc... the list goes on and on. The ONLY drawback to a USP is the integrated rail which will not allow you to directly use attachments that have the industry standard picatinny or Glock-style rail, but a few companies make the adapter which attaches with an allen wrench which will allow you to add a Streamlight or almost any other type of light/laser combo. But seriously, you don't NEED a laser... you have an H&K USP!!
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