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Originally designed for the American market, the USP (Universal
Self-loading Pistol) has found international acceptance as an accurate
and ultra-reliable handgun. Features favored by U.S. law enforcement and
military users provided much of the design criteria for the USP. The
controls are uniquely American, influenced by such famous designs as the
Government Model 1911 pistol.
All USPs use a fiber-reinforced polymer frame
stiffened by stainless steel inserts at areas subject to stress and
friction. HK pioneered this use of polymer materials in the production
of handguns more than 30 years ago with the development of the VP70Z and
The USP control lever, a combination safety and
decocking lever, is frame mounted and quickly accessible, unlike the
slide-mounted safeties common on many semi-automatic pistols.
Using a modified Browning-type action with a
special patented recoil reduction system, the USP recoil reduction
system reduces recoil effects on pistol components and also lowers the
recoil forces felt by the shooter. This same recoil reduction system has
been tested and proven in the HK Mark 23 pistol developed for the U.S.
Special Operations Command. The USP recoil reduction system is
insensitive to ammunition types and requires no special adjustment or
maintenance. It functions effectively in all USP models.
The modular design of the USP's internal
components allows the control lever function to be switched from the
left to the right side of the pistol for left-handed shooters. The USP
can also be converted from one type of trigger firing mode to another.
This includes combination double-action and single-action (DA/SA) modes
and double action only (DAO) modes.