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Discussion Starter #1
I have been thinking I need to get a pistol I can beat up a little bit. My 1911 is kind of too nice. I would primarily bring it along when hiking or camping, for home defense and of course it would get a workout at the range.

Primarily I want a pistol that is reliable and easy to maintain. I have been thinking full size, and I would like to stick with .45 cal. A decent trigger is important. The more magazine capacity the better. Price is not a big deal but I don't want to get too carried away.

I have been leaning towards a HK USP 45. It seems to be my best bet so far.

I'm not a big fan of the Glock trigger. The Sig 220 is a contender, but it doesn't hold quite as much ammo as the HK.

Is there something else I should consider? I would appreciate any input.
 

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You could check out what Para-Ordnance has to offer.

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If God didn't want us to own guns, why did He make the 1911?
 

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The USP is a great gun, but it only holds 10 rounds. Also the 10 round HK mags are junk and are prone to breakeage. The 12 rounders are not. Unfortunately, the preban 12 rounders are going for over $100. Retail from HK mags hovers around $50.

Although the gun itself is fantastic, I'd either invest in the 12 rounders, or another gun.

-Proud owner of the Mark 23, + over 12 broken mag parts.

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-Electric Armadillo-
"You're basically killing each other to see who's got the better imaginary friend." - Yasir Arrafat (On going to war over religion)
 

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Although the Para LDA seems nice, I kind of feel this is a solution to where there was not a problem. For what a HK full size goes for, you could easily buy a SA or Kimber 1911. What is nice about the HK however, is that you can go cocked and locked or hammer down DA/SA. I have a SA Loaded which I love, a heavily modified Para P14, and an HK USP compact. I love the HK for its ruggedness. I recomend you look at the compact. The full size is BIG. I went with 40 in the HK which gets you 10 rounds instead of 8. I can tell you that having 20+ thousand rounds behind a 1911 trigger, the DA/SA mode of the HK gives me real trouble so I only go cocked and locked with it.

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George Orwell: "That rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."
 

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HK! Do it, you'll not be sorry. While I love my 1911, the HK is my first choice for all-weather, any condition, any threat carry.

Steve
 

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Ok, you want a pistol you can beat up I'd go with a full size EAA Witness for around $350, or CZ97 for about $100 more.

My other choice would be a used high-cap Springfield Armory or Para.

I guess I just can't see spending more than $500 on a "beater" gun.
 

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I own an HK Expert and Compact in 45 ACP. They are supremely reliable and well made guns but there are a few thing I am not wild about:

- high bore axis. In combination with the light polymer frame, both guns "roll" or "flip" more on recoil vs. a high-grip 1911 or P7

- for the USP, 10 round mags are very hard to load 10 rounds into, 9 seems to be the practical limit when loading by hand.

- the DA triggers on both guns are gritty, decidely not smooth. The "match trigger" SA on the Expert is OK but not like a SIG and a fare cry from a nice 1911.

- the 12 round "preban" USP mags are probably not pre-ban but unmarked post-ban imports. Very controversial in the HK community and not worth the possibility of a felony conviction.

If you're looking for a shooter - what about a loaded Springfield or a basic Kimber? If you want bullet-hose capacity, buy some extended 10-round mags.

[This message has been edited by psp (edited 11-14-2001).]
 

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I have both the 1911 and HKs USPf in 45. If you want a rugged gun its the HK or the glock. I don't care for the glock but the fact is it can take a lickin. Go with the HK as I have never had any problems with it. I don't understand the magazine problems. I can always get the 10 rounds into it. And as for the mags breaking as E.A. states, I don't know what he does to break 12 magazines. I have only five and they all work 100%.
I don't baby this gun but I also don't abuse it either. Good luck with your choice whatever it will be....TJ
 

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Originally posted by shane45:
What is nice about the HK however, is that you can go cocked and locked or hammer down DA/SA.
I really don't see why you'd get a DA/SA pistol, and carry cocked and locked. ???
 

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I have not had any trouble with my HK USP45 mags. I don't even find it that hard to get all 10 rounds into the mag, my P7M8 mags are much harder to stuff all 8 rounds into. My mags also get abused from when I was still shooting IPSC with my USP. They been dropped hundreds of times, not one has failed yet.
 

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Variant 9?

Well, you could always get the HK in a Variant 9, which has a 1911-style safety lever (not decocker) on the left side of the frame, facilitating carrying "cocked and locked" if you desire.

I know from IPSC/IDPA events that one big complaint about having a Variant 1 HK is that when you "load & make ready" and re-holster cocked and locked, when you draw you can inadvertently de-cock the gun rather than just off-safe.

I also detest the DA pull of the HK's but have no objection to the SA pull, so that's the primary benefit of cocked and locked carry.

I like the DA and SA pull of my SIG P220 much better than the HK.

One more thought on capacity. Assuming you have a spare mag with you, I would say that if you need 20 rounds of .45 RIGHT NOW, you are very much in the wrong place...and the odds of 16% more ammo helping seems woefully unlikely.

/TCP

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HI,
I had a USP .40 and I didn't like it, I can't really say why, it just didn't work very well???? Not my thing I guess. I also had a P16, had to replace the whole damn gun it seemed like, they just don't hold up to lots of use.
In the original post you said that you wanted a beater gun to use as a defensive pistol???? I would think that the last thing you want to do to your carry pistol is beat it up....always want that baby in tip top shape...
Don't you?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey Everyone,
Thanks for all of your input. I didn't expect to see quite so many responses.

In the last year I have been primarily shooting a Kimber Gold Combat and a Ruger 22/45. I have to admit the 1911 has really made me picky, as far as the trigger and ergonomics go. This has really made my decision a lot harder and I may just end up with another 1911.

I know it is stupid but I guess I'm just more comfortable putting scratches in a plasticky gun than my kimber, it's kind of my baby. Not that I would abuse whatever I get, it is something you trust your life to after all.

ParaOrd stuff is really nice, but I don't actually like the idea of DAO.

I have been thinking the DA / SA trigger would be tolerable on the HK because I like the idea of being able have a round in the camber and decocked. But I have yet to shoot one, so I'm not sure if that will give me trouble or not.

TCPilot, you had some really great comments. The Variant 9 is an interesting idea, and you are right the SA trigger is pretty good. You are probably also right about capacity. I really shouldn't let it influence my decision too much. (after all 12 rounds is kind of the magic number in law enforcement, statistically it is very rare for an officer to fire more than 12 rounds if they do have to use thier weapon. I do normally carry at least one extra mag but if it came down to it, I'd rather not have to reload.

I am going to the range tonight and I'll rent an HK, a Sig and some suitable 1911. That will be the real test.

Thanks again for all the good feedback, I'll have to let you know how it went.
 

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Originally posted by T.Labren:
And as for the mags breaking as E.A. states, I don't know what he does to break 12 magazines. I have only five and they all work 100%.
I only have four, but each has been sent back to HK-Sterling at least two times for the baseplate prong breakage. I shoot IDPA and IPSC, and I'm doing nothing more strenuous than ejecting a mag. An empty combat mag shouldn't break when it hits the ground.

The HK Compact has the well designed baseplates, and does not have this problem.


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-Electric Armadillo-
"You're basically killing each other to see who's got the better imaginary friend." - Yasir Arrafat (On going to war over religion)
 

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I drop my empty mags on concrete floors and on hard dirt, guess i've been lucky as I had no problems. I can see the weak tab area that may be a problem. I normaly do tact. mag changes now. I'll look for spare parts just in case.
 

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Originally posted by Bobby:
go to the gunsmith page, a very interesting post by Larry Vikers about a test on the HK, 1911, and Glock.
Bobby! I can't find the page you speak of.
 

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python1340,
Although I like cocked and locked, I find that when I am not around, leaving the gun off safe hammer down is a much more tactically sound state for the gun to be in for my wife to use in an emergency as she does not train as much. I want her to be able to just pick it up and shoot.

I have had that decock problem myself and have considered going to varient 9 but I have enough 1911's around to leave it alone for my wife
I was considering picking up a LEM though. Anyone play with one yet. I shot one before I really shot my own USP much and in retrospect I can see the advantage to that system.

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George Orwell: "That rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."
 

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The accidental decock problem can be solved by having a ambi safety installed. The safety lever on the other side will hit your hand preventing you from decocking. You have to slightly shift your hand for the lever to decock.
 
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