Heckler & Koch USP 45



I. Product Description and Photos

II. Ken Hackathorn's Review

III. The HK USP .45 In Movies and T.V.

IV. Why Am I Selling This?

V. Other Links

Sold as complete set only.

I will not sell the gun by itself without the accessories.

It simply would not be worth my time and effort to sell the accessories separately.

The package includes

  • HK USP 45 full size handgun
    • variant 1, right-handed with safety/decocker, can be carried in single-action ("cocked-and-locked") or double-action mode
  • factory HK USP case
    • this is the old-style grey plastic-molded case, not the current foam-filled case.
    • I prefer plastic-molded cases, because foam-filled cases retain and keep moisture pressed against the contents
  • eight factory magazines
    • 2 10-round magazines with flat floor plates (these are the two that came with the gun)
    • 1 10-round magazine with "finger-rest" floor plate (for the USP 45 Tactical)
      • from October 2004 to September 2004, during the "assault weapons ban", 12-round USP .45 magazines were not available for civilian sale
    • 3 12-round magazines with flat floor plates
    • 1 12-round magazine with flat floor plate, marked "Restricted Law Enforcement / Government Use Only 10-94"
      • illegal to own from October 1994 ("10-94") to September 2004
      • legal to own since September 2004, when the "assault weapons ban" expired
    • 1 12-round magazine with "finger-rest" floor plate (for the USP 45 Tactical)
    • price and availability for extra magazines varies, but they can often be found at
      • CDNN ( about $50 ) CDNN has been the first place I shop for extra magazines for the past 10+ years
      • Bud's
      • HK Parts ( about $60 )
      • Midway USA ( about $60 )
    • At $50 each, the six extra magazines (in addition to the two that came with the gun) are worth $300
    • Ken Hackathorn in "Combat Ready" (Fighting Firearms, Fall 1996) wrote: "Surfaces of the steel magazine body are coated with a rust-and-corrosion-protective polymer finish. From everything I can see, the USP .45 magazine is very well made and exceptionally rugged. The heart of any magazine-fed weapon system is the magazine, and H&K has a reputation of designing and manufacturing some of the finest magazines in the world. Each USP comes with one spare magazine, but serious owners should procure at least a couple more. Like many H&K accessories, they can be difficult to find and will be almost prohibitively expensive...Spare magazines sell for $40, so plan on another $80 to give you at least the proper number of spares. You can get by with three magazines. But considering the hassle of getting anything from H&K, get an extra so if you need one, you'll have it."
    • Or, as Tamara Keel observed , "Time spent loading mags is time not spent shooting; the ideal, of course, would be to have a sufficient number of mags that you could load enough for a whole range session the night before. That's a little improbable but, hey, goals are something to strive for." This is something I learned about 10 years ago. Loading the magazines before going to the shooting range makes more effective use of my increasingly scarce range time. The magazines included in this package will hold a total of 90 rounds. If you load them up the night before going to the range, say while watching TV, that's more time spent shooting.
  • HK Universal Tactical Light (UTL) Mk. II
  • holster: Safariland 6004-932
    • made to carry the USP with the light attached
    • SLS (self-locking-system) to secure gun in holster
    • available from Amazon for about $150
    • MSRP is $185.00 (January 1st, 2011 price list. Safariland has not published a 2012 price list on their web site yet).
  • holster : kydex inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster, brand unknown

estimated value of this package is $1,522.87 :

factory gray plastic case

3 10-round HK magazines and 5 12-round HK magazines

the HK Universal Tactical Light (UTL) in original packaging

HK USP .45 with HK Universal Tactical Light (UTL)

what the bad guy sees

Kydex inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster, unknown manufacturer

SafariLand 6004 holster

This holster will hold the USP .45 with the HK Universal Tactical Light (UTL) attached.

The drop-holster, also called a thigh-holster, places the handgun below below the waistline, allowing access if wearing a heavy coat (such as while hunting or camping) or while wearing a tactical vest.

the SafariLand 6004 holster with HK USP .45 with Universal Tactical Light (UTL)

The date code KF means that is was manufactured in 1995. This makes this gun one of the first commercially available USP 45s, which were introduced for sale in May 1995 (two years after the USP .40 and USP 9mm).

I purchased the gun back in 1999. It does not have the integrated lock that current production HKs have. For most of you, that won't be an issue, but I know that some people with kids want that feature.

the actual UPS .45 for sale here, in the actual inside-the-waistband (IWB) for sale here

the image is reversed because I took the photo using a mirror

a 1996 magazine advertisement for the HK USP .45


Ken Hackathorn's reviewed the HK USP 45 in the Fall 2006 issue of Fighting Firearms (a Soldier of Fortune spin-off publication) :

In 1993, Heckler & Koch introduced a new service sidearm known as the Universal Service Pistol (USP). First imported in .40 S&W, then followed with a 9x19mm NATO version, the USP .45 was new for 1995.

. . .

In recording shooting results and accuracy, one point was very clear: The USP was always near the top. In pure mechanical accuracy (firing groups), it was the best. In fact, few custom match-grade M1911 .45 pistols can shoot as accurately as the out-of-the-box USP .45. Best practical accuracy based up on scores fired in "skill drills" was the first test and the rankings were the M1911A1 Springfield Armory pistol, followed by the USP, S&W M4506, Glock 21, and SIG P220.

Reliability was also monitored, and here the USP is unequaled. In fact, I believe the H&K USP .45 ACP to be the most reliable .45 auto pistol made.

. . .

In more than 2,000 rounds fired through the test USP, not one malfunction was recorded. The consistent comment by all parties involved in the USP test was "it's big, but damn, it's reliable!"

Range sessions were often in heavy snow and bitter-cold weather. We would place the USP in the snow after shooting it, and although warm from firing, it would quickly freeze with snow and ice. All we would do was pick it up, shove a fresh magazine in place, cycle the slide and shoot. Nothing seemed to bother the USP. As long as a round would fit into the chamber and go off, the USP would work. The number-one factor of any combat weapon is reliability, and the H&K USP .45 is number one in that respect. I am a great fan of the M1911 .45 pistol, but anyone who tells you tat the current M1911 pistols marketed are 100% reliable without custom gunsmithing is pulling your leg. You buy a new Colt or Springfield Armory M1911, then add the cost of the gun in gunsmithing, and you will then have a reliable, trustworthy pistol. If you buy an H&K USP, you can skip the gunsmithing. I am convinced that the USP is as reliable as a service pistol can be, right out of the box.

. . .

One very impressive feature of the USP during extended testing was the fact that, regardless of the ammo power range used, the pistol remained very reliable and controlled well. Anyone who is not a competent shooter will suffer when shooting serious-caliber sidearms. However, whether we used light target loads like the 185-grain wadcutter mid-range rounds or Remington 185-grain JHP +P, the USP was dead reliable and operated smoothly. With many pistols, when you change ammo the pistol will often stutter in the recoil-counter-recoil cycle. You can occasionally actually feel the pistol cycle with some slight hesitation due to the difference in pressure levels or bullet configuration. Not so with the USP; every shot fired is uniform in feel and operation of the pistol.

. . .

With more than 3,000 rounds of varied .45 ACP ammo fired through the test USP, I can say that I am very impressed. If I had to buy a .45 ACP service pistol out of the box and use it "as is," the H&K .45 USP would be my choice.

. . .

The USP .45 ACP pistol from H&K is the most reliable auto-loading pistol I have ever used. It is extremely accurate, easy to use, and well made. I like the features it provides, and even if it is big, it doesn't require a serious outlay of cash to have it converted, modified, or custom tuned to be a "combat" .45 auto. With a suggested retail price of $700, it is one hell of a service pistol.

. . .

Police agencies now looking to select a .45 ACP pistol for issue would be wise to take a hard look at the USP. Anyone from the private sector wanting a top-quality .45 auto and not wishing to spend the extra money to get an M1911 .45 pistol "up to speed" would be well advised to select a .45 USP.

The entire article is available as a 6 MB zip file here.

The pages were scanned to .jpg files, so it might be easier to read if you print them out onto paper, depending on your computer screen.

UPDATE: 15 MB .pdf of the same article is available here.

It is worth reading, especially if you remember the 1990s, when

In the last 10 years, interest in mounting lights on weapons has become widespread

and when plastic frame guns were still a novelty

One of the hot topics these days is the use of polymer in firearms. We hear constantly about things like "high-tech synthetics" or "space-age polymers." These terms sound much more expensive than "plastic," which is, of course, what they are. Polymer is a very classy term; plastic implies "cheap," which is what they are. Despite all the hype about polymer applications, the number-one reason polymer (plastic) is used in firearms is because it is inexpensive.

Of course the introduction of the Glock pistol made the issue of polymer in firearms valid. Even though H&K designed and manufactured the P9S and VP70Z pistols back in the late 1960s, the trend was not accepted n the marketplace. People wanted handguns made of steel. Even aluminum-frame pistols were suspect for most shooters of the day.

. . .

When Gaston Glock set out to design his now-famous pistol, the use of injection-molded polymer frames was well established by the earlier H&K attempts. With some steel inserts for reinforcement of critical areas, and to guid the slide rails, the polymer frame was established as a trend of the future by Glock. now we have the S&W Sigma, and we also the defunct Colt M2000 marketed with a polymer frame. Ruger has just announced a new P95 pistol with a polymer frame. Plan on seeing more handguns with "plastic" frames.

H&K describes the polymer frame of their USP as made form "advanced injection-molded polyamide." Polyamide is simply nylon, typically of the 6/6 or 6/12 family using a 30-40% fiberglass-reinforced structure. This nylon 6/6 or 6/12 is superb for injection molding, produces excellent mold detail, and has minimum shrinkage. Tensile strength is high, nearly that of aluminum. Very resistant to high temperatures, chemicals, solvents, and radiation, the use of these super-strength nylons has been widespread in the firearms industry. H&K alone has been one of the leading firms to use these nylons in weapons.

. . .

H&K has set the standard for use of injection-molded polymer in firearms, and an examination of the USP frame will show excellent detail and molding quality. Compare the Glock frame-mold quality to the USP. You will see why H&K likes to think of itself as the Mercedes Benz of gun companies.

. . .

Polymer guns are a fact of life. Plastic frames will continue to be the norm in modern handgun designs, but the major reason for using plastic is cost, pure and simple.


The most iconic image of the Heckler & Koch USP is probably from the 1998 video game Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six, although the "Rainbow Six" USP was in caliber .40 S&W, not .45 ACP

Robert DeNiro's character in Heat (1995) carried an HK USP .45 in the early part of the movie

Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) can be seen carrying a Heckler & Koch USP-45 chambered in .45 ACP (noted by longer grip and barrel) in the early scenes of the film. 

Note the checkered back of the grip and the shape of the external thumb safety and slide release, all uncommon to a SIG P220. 

It is usually not seen clearly during the film, but the shape of the slide can easily be discerned during the shootout at the drive-in (when McCauley fires the gun through the window of his sedan at the shooter with the Steyr TMP). 

Neil then dumps his USP 45 for the Sig P220, most likely to get rid of the evidence, since it was used during the drive-in theater shootout

Several Delta Force operators used the HK USP .45 in the TV series The Unit (2006 - 2009)

"In Season 2's "Extreme Rendition", the Unit operator in the foreground uses a USP. 

Note that this USP has been fitted with adjustable sights."
While searching for the President-elect, Bob draws his USP in Season 4's "Sacrifice".
A Glock 26 is briefly seen among other handguns when Sam (Wes Chatham) is choosing his sidearm. 

He initially selects the G26 but is conviced otherwise by Mack and takes a USP .45 instead. 

[ If I remember this scene correctly, Mack tells Sam "Go big or go home. We're not here to hurt people's feelings." ]

Kurt Russel in Executive Decision (1996)

Dr. David Grant (Kurt Russell) is seen near the end of the film wielding a .45-caliber Heckler & Koch USP mocked up to look like a Heckler & Koch Mk 23 Mod 0, fitted with a LAM unit (HK Universal Tactical Light (UTL) or Insight Technology M2 light) and a fake Knight's Armament suppressor. This was done because at the time the movie was made, the only Mark 23s in existence were the military Mk 23 Mod 0 issued to U.S. SOCOM; the commercially-available Mark 23 for non-SOCOM users did not become available until a few years later. Coincidentally Kurt Russell will be the first actor to handle a real MK23 in 1998, on the set of "Soldier".

Perhaps the best known use of the HK USP .45 on screen is by Tom Cruise's character Vincent the assassin in Collateral (2006)


Vincent confronts two street thugs who have stolen his briefcase from Max's cab


Vincent stalks his target in Club Fever, with the FBI and LAPD on his trail


A few years ago, a friend of mine bought an HK45. He later sold it to me to fund another 1911, and I don't want to have to purchase and keep track of accessories (eg, magazines, holsters, etc.) for both the HK USP .45 and the HK45. If both guns used the same magazines, I would keep the USP as a "backup" to my newer HK45.

For those of you who are not familiar with the HK45, it is basically a USP modified to have better ergonomics, rather than oft-used-phrase "ergonomics of a brick" to describe the USP (and Glock). While my big hands never had any problem gripping the USP, and I can conceal a full-size USP .45 inside-the-waistband (IWB) under an untucked polo shirt (see photo below), the HK45 definitely feels better in my hand; it was designed to. But if you look at the photos and video clips of Tom Cruise from the movie Collateral above, you will see that even someone of his stature has no problem shooting the full-size USP .45.

I figured that my friend would eventually buy the HK45 back from me when he had money, and I'd keep the USP .45. But he just purchased another HK45. In addition to not wanting to support the logistics of two handguns, I might was well standardize on what my friends have (as much as possible), so we can group-buy magazines, etc.; or at least have the same equipment when the end of the world happens. That way, when the zombies finally catch up with him, I can grab his unused HK45 magazines and keep fighting...


HK's pistols web page

HK Pro's USP web page

HK Pro's USP 45 web page

HK Pro's forums

HK-USA product page

price comparison at ebang

HK USP at the Internet Movie Firearms Data Base

HK-USA's USP page (MSRP is listed as $983 in 2012, compared to "about $700" in 1996).

HK USP 45, $760 in CDNN's 2011-1 catalog, page 8 (download as 34 MB PDF file)

"Buy Now Before All HK Prices Go Up 5%"

Their 2012 catalogs simply say "Call" for prices.

At military.com, Brandon Webb wrote

Gun of the month: HK USP .45

by Brandon Webb on November 8, 2011 · 97 comments

I’ve always been a big fan of HK since my first exposure to the HK SOCOM .45 in the SEAL Teams.  It was a big gun but ultra reliable and very accurate.  I used this extensively as my secondary, and favored the .45 to the 9mm round for stopping power.

The main reason I initially went to an HK over the SIG 226 (also a great weapon), was that we had a string of bad magazines from the Team.  The springs were bad internally and I had multiple magazine failures (e.g. the bullets were tumbling internally in the magazine) and was uncomfortable using them. When you’re climbing a caving ladder at night to board a hostile ship this is the last thing you want to think about, believe me.

I took my new USP .45 to the range with Thomas (like a brother to me) for a few hours of range ops.  The first video is some magazine change work and the second video shows how to break down the USP and assemble it again.  Enjoy the videos.  

Out here-Brandon