Reviewed By: Andrew C on 07/31/2013
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]
It's interesting to read/watch/research all the reviews/information based on the H&K USP only to find that you won't know the truth until you take that leap of faith. The USP Compact is an outstanding pistol. One must understand that it was never really geared towards a civilian market. The pistol’s priorities would be military first, law enforcement second, and civilian (concealed carry) last. So with that in mind, one would understand the level of quality, function, and performance for the USP compared to say a Glock (geared more for law enforcement / civilian).
I hate to have to compare different models/brands but it’s an absolute must for gun buyers. Obviously, the most popular concealed carry pistol is (arguably) the Glock 19 (which is a different breed, respectively). When comparing this to my brother-in-law’s G19, there are a few things that reviewers tend to leave out. First off, the size is NOT that much in difference. The USP’s slide is slightly taller (3/8’s of an inch) and slightly wider (less than an 1/8); where length is longer on the Glock by only a hair. The USP frame is shorter in length (again by a hair), longer in height (by about 3/16’s and only because of a lip that I think it can do without), and is actually the exact same size in width (if you take out the fire control lever). The USP is noticeably heavier without a scale, but again not by much. It’s insane how reviewers are over-exaggerating on size and weight (Nutnfancy?), when in reality, the USP is nearly the exact same size (if not smaller), and only slightly heavier.
The USP trigger does have some creep and weight, but again it’s not ridiculous. In all honesty, the trigger is perfect for military duty use, especially if used with gloves. The Single action is phenomenal; the double action is surprisingly lighter than I thought. I was under the impression that the double-action was excruciatingly heavy, yet it was lighter than my co-workers S&W 38 snub. I was able to get 2 inch groupings at 7.5 (I’m used to a 1911 trigger, so NO, I’m not a double action guy). I kinda feel cheated since I’ve already purchased the USP Match Trigger Kit (bought it 6 months before this pistol) because I felt it was an absolute must for single/double action. I’m looking forward to see it’s performance once it’s installed. In a nutshell, I like the stock trigger.
The barrel, sight radius, and magazines are a negative compared to a glock, however, it does have some pluses. The barrel’s feed ramps are more pronounced, it’s chamber is thicker, but it’s barrel is thinner than the G19. The sights are pretty nice. You have to put the front blade over the target which I’m learning is better because it’s a more point and shoot than “remember to put the blade below the target.” The magazines hold less capacity and are made of steel, but one thing I noticed is that the mags don’t just fall like a glock; they shoot out. I held my bro’s g19 and the USP upside down, the mag on the glock does a little pop-up when you push the mag release; the USP literally wants to jump up and out of the gun (of course, that was all empty; I’ll try it when full).
The mag catch is obviously a big negative impact on shooters (European style), but I have to say it just works. The control lever was my main concern (I was afraid it was gonna be too stiff); it wasn’t. It worked fine. I only put 105 rounds downrange, and there was 1 failure. However, that failure was a Blazer Steel cased well over 15 years old; the primer dimpled but the round didn’t go off. The rest of the ammo worked absolutely perfect – Federal FMJ (new), Blazer Steel Cased (15 years old+), and random reloads (unknown source).
All in all I am very happy with the purchase. I've debated between 9 or 40 for this, but I the 9 is the better way to go. 40 should be for full size with it's proper recoil reduction system. There's a few things I can complain about, but it's really minor. The gun comes with 2 finger extended magazines (I would of prefered 1 extension, 1 standard flat/flush floor plate). Bud's service was excellent but I was hoping to receive it a day earlier considering I order on friday, received wednesday (still very good compared to amazon/midway - plus free shipping). Not sure how the gun was packed since it was handled by the FFL, but there were no dings/scratches so I'm assuming the mags were shipped outside the box. Either way, it worked for packaging.
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