Heckler & Koch HK45

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Nathan
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Heckler & Koch HK45

Postby Nathan » Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:27 am

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(Military photo)
"The HK45 was designed to meet requirements set forth in the U.S. Military Joint Combat Pistol program which had the purpose of arming the U.S. Military with a .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol instead of the 9mm M9 pistol. The Joint Combat Pistol program was suspended indefinitely in 2006, and the M9 pistol remains the standard issue handgun for the U.S. Military. Even though the Joint Combat Pistol program had ended, HK decided to make the HK45 available to civilians and law enforcement/military groups to purchase. Heckler & Koch with Larry Vickers, an ex-Delta Force operator, and Ken Hackathorn led the development of the HK45 to meet Joint Combat Pistol program requirements which was canceled due to the price of re-arming the entire military." - [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hk45"]SOURCE[/url]


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When I saw the above pictured HK 45 on the shelf at my local gun store I had absolutely no intention of buying it. Since I already have several USPs I saw no point in buying yet another service size .45 that is difficult to conceal and the $950 price tag was yet another reason to keep walking. The harder I tried to ignore the HK 45 sitting there the louder it called out to me; I eventually made the fatal mistake of asking to hold it. That this review exists shows that was all it took to sell me.


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The HK 45 comes with the standard hardsided case, Owner's Manual, trigger lock, extra magazine, etc. In addition, it also comes with two backstraps (small and large) for fitting different size hands.


[size=4]What I Like:[/size=4]
Image Ergonomics: From the familiar Browning controls to the grip that melts itself into my hand, I have never found a more perfect weapon and the adjustable back-straps makes it a match for most any size hand. I could have walked away from any other aspect of this weapon but the ergonomics are such a perfect match for me that I really had no choice in buying it....yes, it feels that good!

Image Employment: Employing the HK 45 is the most natural draw I have ever found. The weapon draws and points naturally without effort. Although this is another aspect of the previously listed superior ergonomics, this weapon points so naturally that I felt it worthy of mention. At typical defensive shooting distances I can draw and fire this weapon with reasonable combat accuracy with my eyes literally closed.

Image Accuracy: The grouping of this weapon far exceeds combat accuracy requirements. In fact, with some trigger work I wouldn't hesitate to compete with this weapon. Weapon grouping is very impressive, and it also enables the shooter to shoot more accurately and do it naturally (due to its vastly superior ergonomics). I don't yet have video of this weapon in action, but I didn't want to delay the release of this review any longer. When I have video available I will ad to this review.

Image Reliability/Durability: While this can only be proven after long term usage, this is an HK and that in and of itself gives you a certain level of expectation. I have only fired 200 rounds through this weapon (150 rounds of various brands of range ammunition and 50 rounds of various defensive ammunition) and as I expected the weapon functioned flawlessly.

Image Recoil Reduction: The recoil reduction system with shock buffer make this weapon a true pleasure to shoot with even the hottest loads. In fact, HK states: "This recoil reduction system buffers the impact of the slide on the frame as the barrel unlocks and when the slide travels rearward. Its buffering effect plays a major role in extending the service life of the HK45, especially when considering the punishment inflicted on any pistol when firing powerful +P or +P+ cartridges." - [url="http://binaries.concealedcarryforum.com/hk45.pdf"]SOURCE[/url]

That's right, the HK 45 is built so durable that the manufacturer does not warn you against +P+ loads. I don't know of any other manufacturer that believes in their product this much. This is just one more example of HK quality.

Image Lifetime Warranty: The willingness to stand behind their product forever is another example of HK quality.


[size=4]What I Don't Like:[/size=4]
Image Trigger: I find it hard to accept that the same company that produced the perfect trigger over 30 years ago (P7) would produce this otherwise wonderful weapon with such a god-awful trigger. If you're already familiar with the USP trigger you will be equally disappointed in the HK 45 trigger. In fact it seams they have taken the USP trigger and made it worse (that, or my USP triggers have smoothed out over time). The DA pull is loooooooooong and heavy; the SA pull is equally poor in its own ways. There is nothing crisp about the sear release. It almost feels like the sear releases in stages and you have to guess at what point it will actually release. Precise trigger reset is very difficult to find instinctually making controlled pairs very difficult. In fact, half the time my controlled pair attempts resulted in a single discharge for having missed the reset point completely. Perhaps I can get used to this in time, or perhaps i will just give up on firing controlled pairs from reset with this weapon. I hope the trigger will improve in time; if not I hope the trigger can be smoothed out by a competent gunsmith. Out of the box, this is one of the worst triggers I have ever fired.*

Image Price: $950 is a ridiculous amount to pay for what you get. This should be a $700 weapon and thats factoring in the HK name.

Image Night Sights: These sites are more accurately described as "glow in the dark" sights. So long as your weapon is exposed to bright light prior to walking into the dark the "night" sights are very bright and highly effective. If you carry your weapon concealed and you draw your weapon in the dark you will get nothing from the so-called night sights. This will be disappointing to those intending to use this weapon as a night stand gun.

Image Owner's Manual: Perhaps this was a simple packaging mistake, but the owner's manual included with my weapon is for P-Series weapons. It covers the P2000, the P2000c, and the P30. The HK 45 isnt mentioned anywhere in the manual and I have no idea how much of what applies to the P30 applies to the HK 45. How often should I change the rubber O-ring on the barrel? I don't know because the manual isn't for my weapon.

* - I will be the first to admit that after a lifetime of shooting finer 1911s I have become a blatent trigger snob. Factor this in when considering my harsh criticism of the HK 45 trigger.


[size=4]How Does It Compare?[/size=4]
In order to determine overall value and appeal I am comparing the HK 45 to a comparable service size polymer .45, the S&W M&P.

Ergonomics
HK45 [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]
MP45 [:)][:)][:)][:)]

Reliability
HK45 [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]
MP45 [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]

Accuracy
HK45 [:)][:)][:)][:)]
MP45 [:)][:)][:)][:)]

Trigger
HK45 [B)]
MP45 [:)][:)][:)][:)]

Cost
HK45 [B)]
MP45 [:)][:)][:)][:)]

Concealability
HK45 [B)]
MP45 [B)]

Asthetics (irrelevant and relative)
HK45 [:)][:)][:)][:)]
MP45 [:)][:)][:)]

Testosterone Factor
HK45 [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D] (pick it up and you'll grunt like a caveman!)
MP45 [:)][:)][:)]


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HK45 beside a Glock 23


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HK45 beside a Glock 31


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HK45 beside an M&P


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HK45 beside a Springfield Champion


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HK45 beside a Springfield TRP


[size=4]Conclusion[/size=4]
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The true strength of this weapon lies in the sum of it's parts. The instant the HK 45 hit my hand it was as if the weapon melted itself into my hand. The ergonomics are so perfect that it feels like they used my own hand to mold the grip and grip angle. The grip texture ensures positive control enabling the shooter to employ this weapon with absolute confidence.

The unique (albeit brief) history of this weapon gives you an accurate level of expectation. The HK 45 is the best effort of one of the finest weapons manufacturers in the world to win the confidence of the superior global military force, and I feel that it meets and exceeds that challenge. Our soldiers deserve the finest combat weapons available, and it is a true shame that our military cancelled the Joint Combat Pistol study.

Ultimately if I werent an HK enthusiast I wouldnt purchase this weapon based on cost alone. Since I am an HK enthusiast however, I can really appreciate this weapon for exactly what it is. Mine. [:D]

See [url="http://hk-usa.com/hk45_general.html"]HK-USA.com[/url] for more on this wonderful weapon.
Nathan in Image

NRA Certified Instructor in Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Personal Protection Inside the Home and Personal Protection Outside the Home.
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