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Pinnacle of Polymer Pistols?
A Review with Video of the Heckler & Koch HK45

I have a man-crush on the .45ACP. What red-blooded American male wouldn’t? I mean, come on. It is the epitome of handgun cartridges that has seen America through two World Wars, one “police action” and … whatever the Vietnam Conflict was. Designed by the Über-Mensch of all gun designers: St. John Moses Browning, specifically for his iconic 1911 handgun, the .45ACP has been the “go to” round in the American handgun arsenal for over 100 years and it is still going strong.

When you start looking into polymer-framed .45ACP semi-autos you have a lot of choices. I have personally owned and used/reviewed and fired Sigs, Glocks, FNs, Berettas, but none of them, in my opinion, rises to the level of design and function that the HK 45 offers. And then, of course, you have Springfield’s line of imported Euro-handguns, S&W, Ruger, etc. etc.

Here are some thoughts about what I’ve shot so far, compared to the HK.

I do not like the fact that the Sig offers no external safety, thus giving you no option but to fire it from DA before you get to SA, if you choose to carry a round in the chamber. The SIG P220 has a very limited capacity, and you can get 10 rounds if you are ok carrying a gangly extended magazine with it. The SIG P227 has certainly caught my eye though, SIG’s first double-stack .45ACP. And, of course, SIG gives you an all metal construction. But, with it’s lack of external safety you therefore must master two trigger pulls, rather than one.

The FN .45 ACP DA/SA semi-autos (FNP and FNX) are fine pistols and have the distinct advantage of the largest stock capacity out there 15+1. That’s a whole lot of .45ACP love right there. I’ve owned them and used them. Great handguns, but the “feel” compare to the HK is very clear, well, almost kind of “cheap” in comparison to the HK. The HK is much tighter, and feels stronger. The trigger group in the FNX feels almost toy like. The HK is much more rugged and obviously built to tighter tolerances. The Glock 21 is a terrific handgun and is clearly the winner in striker-fire actions. Chamber a round into a Glock and it is “always on” … you supply the safety: trigger finger discipline and proper mental discipline. The Beretta PX Storm comes in .45ACP but the “backward” safety on the Berettas drives me nuts, though the build quality and ergonomics are great. And, hey, it’s a Beretta, very well built, just nothing for me other than a range gun.

The HK however offers the best of all worlds, in my view. You have a great external safety that has the best decocking mechanism I’ve run across yet. When you decock there is a clear “click” feel as you move it into decocking, something I have not found on anything else with a decocker. That tactical feedback is totally lacking on the FNX, etc. The trigger on the HK is nice and wide, offering the chance to get more of the tip of your finger on it, and making it easier to press the trigger back cleaning. The reset point on the HK trigger, stock, is not short enough, to my liking. The HK sights are crisp and visible, yellow in daylight, and glowing at night. The HK’s o-ring on the barrel allows for greater accuracy. It’s recoil spring is a monster. Clear the HK 45 has the best of the build features in its granddaddy, the HK MK23 or as I call it, “The Beast.”

Shooting it is very comfortable, the grip is nicely ergonomically formed and with adjustable backstraps you are able to get what suits you best. I found shooting it to be very easy. The recoil is very manageable. I’d have to give the nod to the SIG P220 for comfort in shooting the .45ACP though.

The major down-side of the HK 45 is its capacity: 10+1. Period. No extended magazines available. No base plates allowing more rounds. It is what it is, a 11 round capacity .45ACP. That alone may be the deciding factor for people wanting to have more rounds in the pistol: Glock offers more, and so does the FN platform, as previously mentioned.

But, arguably, you have the higest quality build out of the box from the H&K, hands down better than anything I’ve ever used. I have not tried out Springfields or S&W’s or Ruger’s line of .45ACP polymer handguns. Hope to some day. I may be blown away by them, but I highly doubt it.

The HK 45 is a great handgun and if you have a chance to shoot one, I think you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Here is the video:

YouTube
 

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Pinnacle of Polymer Pistols?
A Review with Video of the Heckler & Koch HK45

I have a man-crush on the .45ACP. What red-blooded American male wouldn’t? I mean, come on. It is the epitome of handgun cartridges that has seen America through two World Wars, one “police action” and … whatever the Vietnam Conflict was. Designed by the Über-Mensch of all gun designers: St. John Moses Browning, specifically for his iconic 1911 handgun, the .45ACP has been the “go to” round in the American handgun arsenal for over 100 years and it is still going strong.

When you start looking into polymer-framed .45ACP semi-autos you have a lot of choices. I have personally owned and used/reviewed and fired Sigs, Glocks, FNs, Berettas, but none of them, in my opinion, rises to the level of design and function that the HK 45 offers. And then, of course, you have Springfield’s line of imported Euro-handguns, S&W, Ruger, etc. etc.

Here are some thoughts about what I’ve shot so far, compared to the HK.

I do not like the fact that the Sig offers no external safety, thus giving you no option but to fire it from DA before you get to SA, if you choose to carry a round in the chamber. The SIG P220 has a very limited capacity, and you can get 10 rounds if you are ok carrying a gangly extended magazine with it. The SIG P227 has certainly caught my eye though, SIG’s first double-stack .45ACP. And, of course, SIG gives you an all metal construction. But, with it’s lack of external safety you therefore must master two trigger pulls, rather than one.

The FN .45 ACP DA/SA semi-autos (FNP and FNX) are fine pistols and have the distinct advantage of the largest stock capacity out there 15+1. That’s a whole lot of .45ACP love right there. I’ve owned them and used them. Great handguns, but the “feel” compare to the HK is very clear, well, almost kind of “cheap” in comparison to the HK. The HK is much tighter, and feels stronger. The trigger group in the FNX feels almost toy like. The HK is much more rugged and obviously built to tighter tolerances. The Glock 21 is a terrific handgun and is clearly the winner in striker-fire actions. Chamber a round into a Glock and it is “always on” … you supply the safety: trigger finger discipline and proper mental discipline. The Beretta PX Storm comes in .45ACP but the “backward” safety on the Berettas drives me nuts, though the build quality and ergonomics are great. And, hey, it’s a Beretta, very well built, just nothing for me other than a range gun.

The HK however offers the best of all worlds, in my view. You have a great external safety that has the best decocking mechanism I’ve run across yet. When you decock there is a clear “click” feel as you move it into decocking, something I have not found on anything else with a decocker. That tactical feedback is totally lacking on the FNX, etc. The trigger on the HK is nice and wide, offering the chance to get more of the tip of your finger on it, and making it easier to press the trigger back cleaning. The reset point on the HK trigger, stock, is not short enough, to my liking. The HK sights are crisp and visible, yellow in daylight, and glowing at night. The HK’s o-ring on the barrel allows for greater accuracy. It’s recoil spring is a monster. Clear the HK 45 has the best of the build features in its granddaddy, the HK MK23 or as I call it, “The Beast.”

Shooting it is very comfortable, the grip is nicely ergonomically formed and with adjustable backstraps you are able to get what suits you best. I found shooting it to be very easy. The recoil is very manageable. I’d have to give the nod to the SIG P220 for comfort in shooting the .45ACP though.

The major down-side of the HK 45 is its capacity: 10+1. Period. No extended magazines available. No base plates allowing more rounds. It is what it is, a 11 round capacity .45ACP. That alone may be the deciding factor for people wanting to have more rounds in the pistol: Glock offers more, and so does the FN platform, as previously mentioned.

But, arguably, you have the higest quality build out of the box from the H&K, hands down better than anything I’ve ever used. I have not tried out Springfields or S&W’s or Ruger’s line of .45ACP polymer handguns. Hope to some day. I may be blown away by them, but I highly doubt it.

The HK 45 is a great handgun and if you have a chance to shoot one, I think you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Here is the video:

YouTube
I just finished mowing the lawn, twice, to get it short and pick up any clumps. I barely scanned your post (I will read it later) and I don't have to bother with the You Tube Link.
I've had a total of 3 HK pistols. A PSP, and currently, an HK UPS CT 45acp with a suppressor, and a full size USP 40 cal.

You don't have to convince me! I like my Glocks, but I like my USPs more. They really won't do anything better than the Glock, aside from safety and decocker settings,
but I like them more. I realize you are talking about the newer HK-45 but it's essentially the same gun, and the grip frame on the USP is fine with me.

You really don't think you are the only person here that likes HKs, do you? :D


* OK, I just read your post. I am not particularly concerned with high capacity capability in 45acp. I think the SIGs are every bit as good as the HKs, but I do like the HKs more. My older Euro pattern P220 is a great gun. I could care less it holds 8 rds. I grew up shooting revolvers and older semi autos, so although one can make an argument against DA/SA guns, it's no problem for me. I also have a P-228, another great gun.

My take on high caps (even though I have many) - I never, never leave the house with a gun without at least one extra magazine, speed loader, or speed strip. I think that mitigates the importance of a high cap, to some degree.

Interesting thread. Thanks.

Gotta go shower now! :rolleyes:
 

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Very impressive. The video is professionally done and highlights a wonderful semi-auto; to quote the presentation, "Rolls Royce of polymer frame .45ACP's".

I'm betting it is a fantastic gun.

I did note the muzzle flip, something that a weightier metal-framed Colt has not burdened me with. Strictly from an old-timers viewpoint, I prefer my Special Combat, XS or XSE-type weaponry. But I have shot the H&K and Glock .45's and while I'm not too old a dog to be taught a new trick, I'm still cautiously optimistic I'll prefer the Colt. :cool:
 

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And when Walther introduced their PPQ the engineers at H&K wept. :p

Although they don't make a .45 ACP version (and most likely never will as little demand) the PPQ has the best ergonomics & trigger of any polymer handgun and for a helluva lot less money than an H&K. I still carry a Glock and love them, but if you want the best trigger available this side of a tricked out 1911 then the Walther PPQ is your gun, albeit in 9mm or .40 S&W. I've seen several die hard H&K owners shoot one and then quietly list their H&K guns for sale. :p
 

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As an aside, I have a Walther PPS I use very often. It's 6-8 rds in 9mm and 5-7 rds. in 40 cal.
It's not a high cap pistol, but it is superbly accurate and has neglible recoil in 9mm, all with a 3.3 inch barrel. It is a very fine pistol designed with concealment as it's primary function. The trigger is of the Glock type but is smoother, lighter, and the release is a little crisper.

I also have 5 PPKs, two of which are just shooter grade. The other 3 are investments. I have retired the two beloved shooter grades for the ugly, modern plastic Walther.
 

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And when Walther introduced their PPQ the engineers at H&K wept. :p

Although they don't make a .45 ACP version (and most likely never will as little demand) the PPQ has the best ergonomics & trigger of any polymer handgun and for a helluva lot less money than an H&K. I still carry a Glock and love them, but if you want the best trigger available this side of a tricked out 1911 then the Walther PPQ is your gun, albeit in 9mm or .40 S&W. I've seen several die hard H&K owners shoot one and then quietly list their H&K guns for sale. :p
Boge, please excuse me, I am not trying to be smart, but you didn't say if you shot a PPQ yourself? Are you going by friend's opinions?
It's more important to me if you have tried the PPQ than if you are going by word or mouth or internet anecdotes.
I was never interested in that particular model because I find it pretty ugly, but mainly because I have too many carry/plastic guns already and now I'm retired. I don't spend as much as I used to do.
 

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Malysh, yes I bought one in June 2011 when first available and ran about 10K rds. through it that year. :) Looks are deceiving in that the grip is super ergonomic and has three different backstraps. Shoot one and you'll be hooked.
 
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