Heckler & Koch USP Compact

Description

The Heckler and Koch Universal Self-loading Pistol Compact is a semi-automatic medium-frame pistol chambered in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. The USP Compact is a smaller version of the standard size USP, which is used by USSOCOM.

hk_usp_compact45_0103111 hk_usp_compact_0103111

Specifications

9mm
Caliber:9mm
Grip:Polymer
Capacity:13
Sights:Three-dot fixed
Features:Ambidextrous magazine release; No snag, bobbed hammer; universal mounting grooves for installing accessories; de-cocking lever; and patented Lock-Out safety
Action:Semi-auto
Material/Finish:Stainless steel
Steel/blued
Size:Medium
Trigger:Double-action/single-action
Website:http://www.hk-usa.co…
Weight:1.47 pounds
Trigger Pull:4.5 pounds
Barrel Length:3.58"
Length:6.81"
Height:5"
.40 S&W
Caliber:.40 S&W
Grip:Polymer
Capacity:12
Sights:Three-dot fixed
Features:Ambidextrous magazine release; No snag, bobbed hammer; universal mounting grooves for installing accessories; de-cocking lever; and patented Lock-Out safety
Action:Semi-auto
Material/Finish:Stainless steel
Steel/blued
Size:Medium
Trigger:Double-action/single-action
Website:http://www.hk-usa.co…
Weight:1.47 pounds
Trigger Pull:4.5 pounds
Barrel Length:3.58"
Length:6.81"
Height:5"
.45 ACP
Caliber:.45 ACP
Grip:Polymer
Capacity:8
Sights:Three-dot fixed
Features:Ambidextrous magazine release; No snag, bobbed hammer; universal mounting grooves for installing accessories; de-cocking lever; and patented Lock-Out safety
Action:Semi-auto
Material/Finish:Stainless steel
Steel/blued
Size:Medium
Trigger:Double-action/single-action
Website:http://www.hk-usa.co…
Weight:1.6 pounds
Trigger Pull:4.5 pounds
Barrel Length:3.8"
Length:7.09"
Height:5.06"
MSRP$941.00

Editor Review

A Surprising Carry

My brother is a security contractor working for the XXXX XX XXXXXX at the XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXX in XXXXX, XX and he guards XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXX – (damn redaction). Him being in security and me being a gun writer, you can guess what we talk about. However, I often steer the conversation about firearms towards his top-secret job. I often ask about the dirty details of what types of guns they carry and the calibers, and most of the time his answers are vague. The only definitive answer I’ve gotten is, “I carry a rifle and a Glock.” (Wow! Amazing! Law enforcement carrying Glocks!) Otherwise his lips are sealed pretty tight.

I asked him, “Is it the same Glock you own?”

He shook his head.

“So you carry a Glock on and off the clock?” I asked.

He said no and that he prefers to carry a 9mm Heckler and Koch USP Compact over the Glock when he’s not working, and, honestly, that surprised me.



When I asked him why he just told me, “It has a better feel to it.”

And I’ve found that statement to be true.

Glocks vs HK

When you’re thinking about polymer frame, semi-automatic pistols, the first guns that come to most American’s minds are Glocks, which is pretty fair.  Glocks have pretty much made a name for themselves in the gun world and they seem to belong in a category on their own. However, upon discovering my brother’s preferred carry gun and after a little research, I’ve found HK is a close second and, when you place these two side-by-side, it’s clear we are looking at fierce rivals.  Both handguns are accurate, dependable, and have a simple design that’s easy to maintain. While Glock pistols seem to dominate US security contracts, HK has had its fair share awards (like USSOCOM and Homeland Security). Also, HK pistols tend to cost a few hundred dollars more, but come with some key features. In the end, when looking at the two it’s not like choosing Coke or Pepsi.

What makes it different than a compact Glock?

If you’ve never fired a Glock before then let me tell you, it’s easy – dummy proof even. The USP Compact, on the other hand, is a little more complicated and bigger, which’s what I like about it. Unlike compact Glocks, the USP Compact has a longer grip, cocking hammer and safety switch.



At the Range

Besides talking about guns, my brother and I go out and shoot them too. And guess what we went to shoot that day? The MP5, actually (that’s another story)– but I intended to write about the USP Compact, so that’s what I focused on. We got two lanes and on one we fired the Glock 19 and the USP Compact and the other was strictly for the machine pistol. It was a newer range with shiny stainless steel booths and the floor was smooth concrete. An optimal location for firearm shooting and testing.

While my brother stayed in the other lane to spray 9mm bullets at a zombie target, I had zombies of my own to worry about. I loaded all three magazines for the HK and three for the Glock. A few times I shot one gun after the other for comparison. And then I shot a few sets just with the USP Compact.

How’s it handle?

On the USP Compact the recoil is forgiving because it feels balanced unlike compact Glocks, which always seem to feel like they’re about to jump out of my hand when I shoot them. I didn’t have that problem with the USP Compact because the grip is a full inch longer. When I hold it my pinky is close to the edge, but not hanging off, and the 10-round and 13-round magazines extend out giving a little extra room for comfort and positive control.

But is it concealable with a longer grip?

My bro didn’t have any complaints about carrying it. The HK USP Compact is a bit wide and slightly heavier than the Glock 19—about 1.5 ounces, which isn’t much to write home about but a notable difference nonetheless.

Trigger

The USP Compact’s trigger is its biggest selling point. You can set it for double-action or single-action whereas Glocks are exclusively double-actions.  To activate the gun’s double-action, you have to de-cock it—that’s where the safety-lever comes into play because it also acts as the de-cocker. Just swoop the safety on down and there you go. Double-action is great if your primary purpose is concealed carry.  If you shoot for leisure you’ll rarely set it for double and it’s only a lingering pull for the first round.



The pull, however, was great. Double-action was smooth like it’s supposed to be and you can feel resistance the entire way. HK lists double-action at 11.5-pounds.



Accuracy

When compared to the Glock 19, the USP Compact’s accuracy is comparable. I shot 25 rounds with both guns at 10 feet and 15 feet.

The first 50:

And the second 50:



Complaints

My only complaint is that the magazine release takes some getting used to: it is a lever below the trigger guard instead of a button beside it and for some reason this throws me off. I had trouble applying enough downwards force with my action hand’s thumb while my wrist was straight. I had to train myself to use it effectively. My natural instinct was to turn the weapon slightly to the left instead of keeping it down-range when I switched mags, which I felt could become problematic.

The Verdict

I was overly satisfied with my discovery (is that possible?) I honestly feel like I struck gold with the USP Compact.

If you’re planning to buy a handgun for dependable personal defense and fun leisure shooting—and cost isn’t an issue because you quite literally are paying a few hundred bucks more for this handgun than you would for a similar Glock—the HK USP Compact would be a great investment.

Check out what others say about the HK USP Compact: