Fired New HK45 Yesterday.
Yes, I managed to fire three of magazine's worth of .45 ACP 230 grain FMJ out of Heckler & Koch's HK45 (seen here in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heckler_&_Koch_HK45 ).
Evan and Donna Kostreva of On Point Firearms in St. Petersburg, FL and the St. Petersburg Police Pistol Club hosted a "pre-launch" event yesterday where one could fire HK45 serial number 20 to their hearts content. On hand too was Erik Laracuente from Rican Havoc Productions.
The gun, as seen in the attached photo, has one of those "Earth colored" frames. Parents of small children would have another name for that color......but I digress.
The gun was a "Variant One" configured gun; for you non-HK owning/familiar folks; that means it is a "traditional" double-action (DA)/single-action (TDA) firearm with a manual decocking safety lever on the left side of the frame (where John Moses Browning intended a manual safety to be).
The lever serves as a safety when in the "up" position; "down" (actually the lever parallel to the slide) allows the gun to fire; and all way "down" decocks an already cocked hammer. The lever is spring loaded when used as decocker; after decocking, release and the lever springs up to the "fire" position. Pushing it up, then "safes" the gun.
The safety can be engaged while the hammer is cocked (cocked and locked) or down (DA).
This is no different than with the HK USP "Variant One" guns. However, it seemed to me that the HK45 lever was slightly longer than my full-sized USP .45 ACP "Variant One's" lever. The lever was easier to get to for me on the HK45.
The grip of the HK45 was, for me of course, a vast improvement over that of any USP. It had better texturing and seemed much thinner over my USP; the HK45 also bore finger grooves.
Normally, I detest finger grooves on a guns'/stocks' frontstrap....all hands are not created equal. Most finger grooves conform to the hand size of the "average male" (whomever that is). My hands are not "average;" mine are on the small side. Well, bravo HK, the finger grooves on your HK45 fit my hand (and those of others that shot the gun yesterday); they actually helped me acquire a slip-free grip without the grooves crowding my fingers together or feeling like they were too spaced apart.
The grip of the HK45 was, again, much better than my USP for my small hands. The grip redesign allowed me to actually engage the DA trigger with the distal joint (first joint on your index finger). To engage my USP's DA trigger, I'm using the first pad of my trigger finger.
Good job HK.
Regarding the trigger itself; not having a device to measure the trigger pull led me to this opinion: the pull is marginally better than that of the USP. It is a bit better without doubt; but we aren't talking a radical improvement that would make much difference in my shooting or probably that of most shooters. But, one's mileage may vary.
The sights had three dots of a material that looked like they were self-illuminating. The sights themselves were nice and blocky, so acquiring a good front sight picture was fast and easy. I did find the front dot to be a bit distracting though.
The ambidextrous magazine lever release (behind the trigger on the frame) functioned in the same downward push fashion as those for the USP; but the lever was wonderfully longer. I am a big proponent of this type of release. Walther went with this type release with their P99 line of handguns.
What this type of release does is allow one (me) to use their shooting hand's middle finger to release the magazine without shifting the whole gun in your hand. With a traditional pushbutton magazine release, I have to shift the whole gun in my hand to allow my shooting hand thumb to hit the release; then reposition the gun in hand to reacquire a proper hold. For me, that is a good bit slower than using the HK/Walther P99 magazine releases.
The bad thing about this type of release is if you shoot guns using a traditional release. You may be pushing in on this type of release when you need to be pushing down. If you are used to a traditional release, it does take a bit to train your muscle memory to get used to pushing the lever down.
The magazines on hand were ten-rounds in capacity. Evan told me that 12-round magazines would be forthcoming. One thing I did not like about the magazines was that the floorplate was on the big side. Not a boon for concealment, but then again, full-sized USP .45 ACP (which don't fit this gun...I had one of my magazines on hand), are just as big. Further, to put it all in perspective, this gun was not created to be a concealed carry weapon; but another tool in our Armed Forces' small arms arsenal.
My observations in firing just 30 rounds was that the gun was accurate; as much or maybe a bit more than my USP....perhaps due to the improved grip, slightly better trigger, nice sights, and a polymer"ish" "O" ring on the barrel. Ejection was positive and the mags fell free with no problems.
There will be a Compact version of the gun; some on-line searching will point out the differences.
All-in-all, the HK45 is a nice gun. I won't be in line for one since my USP adequately serves my full-sized TDA .45 ACP needs for the most part; the HK45 better access to the DA mechanism due to the gun's improved ergonomics makes this an appealing gun though.
Lastly, thanks to Erik and Donna of On Point and the nice folks at St Pete PPC for hosting the event. It was fun!
On Point: http://onpointsupply.com/
St. Pete PPC: http://www.floridasbeachsports.com/l...=217&list=3132
Rican Havoc Productions: http://www.onpointfirearms.com/blog/...c-productions/ (Go to Erik's and Evan's links to video reviews of various guns and products).