Decision! Colt M1911A1 or USP .45??


February 28, 2003, 12:00 AM
both in ACP as my first gun to keep at home.

which one is easier to maintain?

or better yet which one is a better gun over all?

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February 28, 2003, 12:17 AM
I have owned both & you'll probably find fans of equal number proclaiming the vertues of both. IMHO, the HK USP 45 is the way to go. 10 round mags come standard, DA/SA capable as well as cocked & locked for fans of condition 1 carry, 100% reliable, dependable & very accurate out of box. Both are eually easy to maintain, so that shouldn't be an issue. Try finding a place you can rent both & buy the one that works & fits best for you!

February 28, 2003, 12:33 AM
Agree with 10-Ring. By the time you tweak a 1911 to be as reliable and accurate as an out of the box USP 45, you're out a bunch more money. 10 round mags, DA/SA, cocked and locked, etc.

Downside of the USP is its grip isn't for everyone: medium to large hands need only apply. But that's what the USP 45C is for. ;)

February 28, 2003, 12:37 AM
thanks for the replies.

Is there a way to find out if my hands are big enough without trying the gun? I'm only 5'8" if that helps any.:confused:

February 28, 2003, 12:37 AM
I have fired both, and have a colt 2 feet away right now, but I would recommend the USP. They are great guns, and the 10 round mags are nice. The colt uses 7 round mags. They're both great guns, you won't regret either one.

February 28, 2003, 12:43 AM
Is there a way to find out if my hands are big enough without trying the gun? I'm only 5'8" if that helps any.

there is no way to tell without actually holding the gun, but it's real easy to go to a gun show or gun shop and fondle them. The best thing I have heard about testing grip size is to see if you can easily reach the mag release without having to twist and contort the gun in all directions. It seems reasonable enough to me, but I'd be interested to know what everyone thinks about it.

February 28, 2003, 01:26 AM
I love the M1991A1.

I'd recommend the one with the fewest cast (MIM, whatever you want to call them) parts.... :rolleyes:

February 28, 2003, 08:39 AM
But that's what the USP 45C is for.

Will someone explain to me how shortening the grip makes it better for smaller hands? The diameter's the same, the trigger reach is the same...

February 28, 2003, 09:10 AM
Certain parts of this thread are amusing.

Read what the man wrote:

"First gun to keep at home. Easiest to maintain."

That folks, is not the HK USP.

Add to the fact that this gentleman might not be a good candidate for the one size fits all polymer frame of the USP, and the HK might be bad advice.

A 1911 can use seven, eight, or ten round mags, (the 10 rounders stick out, but for a home gun are just fine). They are all readily available and one could buy two or three for the price of a third HK mag.

Some people on this thread are indulging in a myth. If you do a decent inspection of the 1911 you are thinking of purchasing, (bring a snap cap or five to check feeding, ejection, how the extractor holds a round against the breechface), you will need no reliability work. The 1911 does not still rule the roost of .45 popularity because everyone buys one that doesn't work out of the box.:rolleyes: IF the 1911 was such junk, it would have long ago fallen by the wayside 20+ years ago.

After some time with the pistol, most owners can detail strip a 1911. I do not yet know of a shooter in my personal experience who does this with a USP.

A 1911 grip is modifiable. One can buy flat or arched backstraps, a short reach trigger, or thinner grips, to customize the pistol to their hand. With an HK you are stuck. If you'd still rather have a polymer pistol, you might be best advised to go with a Walther P99 in 9mm or .40S&W, or an SW99 in .45ACP, all of which have changeable backstraps to accomodate more hand variations.

Buy whatever you want. I have no stake in you being another 1911 shooter, but please do not make your decision on the basis of "HK is infaliable" baloney. In my experience, there is nothing a USP can do that many other serious autopistols cannot do. Maybe if the HK could serve me a pilsner after I am done shooting. . . .

February 28, 2003, 09:38 AM

Well said.

February 28, 2003, 10:47 AM
In spite of what Boats said, which by the way is solid advice, out of the box, an HK has the edge on reliability, where the 1911 has the edge on configurability. Both are equally easy to maintain.

The reason I give the edge to the HK on reliability, is that it seems that 1911's are hit or miss when it comes to reliability out of the box and depending on what type of ammo you want to shoot out of it. HKs are generally more reliable out of the box more consistently than 1911s and require no modification to make them so.

Also, nobody has mentioned triggers. HK triggers are notoriously pretty sour, while 1911 triggers are pretty consistently quite nice.

Frankly, it all boils down to which you are most comfortable shooting. I've had both and prefer the HK. I'm also looking to buy a spendy 1911 to fulfill that craving. If I can find one that is as reliable as everyone elses seem to be, then I'll probably carry that instead. For now, the HK fits the bill for me.

February 28, 2003, 10:57 AM
good info guys!

keep 'em coming:D

February 28, 2003, 11:19 AM
A USP is like a Toyota Land Cruiser. Big, tough, refined and durable. Complex enough that you don't want to mess with the internals, but reliable enough that you shouldn't ever need to.

A 1911 is like an old Corvette StingRay. Classy, simple, old fashioned and far from perfect, copy to copy. If you want something to baby, easy to take apart and mess with, but may not run perfect out of the box, it's the ticket. Steel construction certainly appeals as well.

For the USP, I would go full size. The placement of all the controls makes it easy for smaller hands to use it (my hands aren't so big, but the mag release can be reached with the index finger). With the Full size you also get HK's excellent recoil reducing system, the USPc doesn't have it.

For a 1911, I haven't heard many complaints about the internals of the Springfields-they would be my starting point.

PS If this is just a home defense gun only, find something cheaper than either gun. The 1911 and USP were made for shooting, not sitting around.

February 28, 2003, 11:32 AM
A Corvette? The 1911A1 has seen more "police actions" let alone Wars, than any HK has, a testament to its ruggedness.

At least give us the original GI Jeep. Simple, user friendly, go anywhere-do anything, no plastic bodywork, limited capacity, tougher than snot, used by millions with complete satisfaction, and could be tempermental.:D

Which would make the Land Cruiser akin to an HK. A foreign copy that adds nothing except flattery and bells and whistles that do not make it a better combat or off-road rig.

February 28, 2003, 11:37 AM
Will someone explain to me how shortening the grip makes it better for smaller hands? The diameter's the same, the trigger reach is the same...

Ah, but they're NOT! (Woulda thought you knew that already). The USP Compact series has a slimmer grip than the Full size, and a slightly shorter trigger reach as well.

That folks, is not the HK USP.
Boats obviously knows his 1911's, but his very own statement:
"If you do a decent inspection of the 1911 you are thinking of purchasing, (bring a snap cap or five to check feeding, ejection, how the extractor holds a round against the breechface), you will need no reliability work."
shows that you have to know more about the 1911 out of the gate than you do the USP. All you have to do with the USP is check to see if it fits your hand, and if you can live with the DA trigger. Period. End of story. No "detailed inspection" (of NIB pistol) no careful scrutiny of the angle of the shell to the breechface, etc... you just buy it!

Sure, everything breaks, and lemons happen, but if it does, you just stick it in a box and send it to HK and they fix it. And of course, you want to know all you can about your pistol, but you're not going to NEED to learn the tricks and tweaks just to make/keep it running.

I bought a USP45 many years ago with very little knowledge of them, other than HK's reputation. I have never had a malf of any kind with it. I learned about it over time, with experience, because I wanted to. I can completely detail strip my USP, but I never HAD to. (except to switch the safety to "left-handed")

Had I gone out and purchased a 1911 instead with the "newbie" experience level, who KNOWS what I would have gotten! I have seen guys at the range, sitting at the bench with their tools, working on their 1911's because they had a malfunction. I doubt there's a 1911 owner out there who doesn't carry tools with them on every range trip, "just in case".

The 1911 is a great pistol, and the most customizeable pistol in existence... But that doesn't make it the "easiest, simplest to maintain" pistol out there. It may be for you, but that's because you have a lot of experience doing so.

For routine maintenance, the USP is an easier pistol to deal with for someone who doesn't know either pistol.

February 28, 2003, 12:01 PM
I'm a 1911 fan but I'll also vote for the USP. I have owned a dozen 1911's(Colt, STI poly's, Kimber, Para-ord...) over the years and non feeds HP ammo reliably out of the box w/o some work. Unless you wanna stick to round nose only, I'de say 1911 is okay, otherwise get a USP (or Glock :D).
For easy maintenance and simplicity of operation (great if your significant other is not into guns), I'll vote for a revolver it doesn't need field stripping to clean and not picky w/ ammo.

If you get a USP, invest on snap caps if you plan on dry firing it alot. I've heard of some firing pin breakage due to dry firing. :(

February 28, 2003, 12:26 PM
Yeah, I'd buy into the Jeep brand vs. Toyota Brand comparison.

You ever notice what UN inspectors, safari guides, scientific inspections and foreign armies world wide use in rough areas?

Well, not Jeeps, anyway.

So we can stick with Jeep = 1911. I think that's fair.

February 28, 2003, 02:23 PM
Ditto what Boats said. 1911 is a fine pistol for 100 year old technology, but I'd bet John Browning would have come up with something like the USP full or compact if he had lived past the 1920's. If you are willing to learn the 1911, and are a good amateur pistolsmith, buy it. Old war stories get inflated over time. The Germans, Swiss, and Austrians make the best autos in the modern world. Sorry John Browning.

February 28, 2003, 02:51 PM
Listen to this advice, it is some of the most unbiased discussion regarding 1911 vs. HK I have ever heard, err... read.

I've got both. I have a Kimber Pro CDP on my hip right now (1911), but when I go to work this afternoon, I'll be wearing an HK USP45F on my duty rig.

I guess I just couldn't decide, so I bought both! By the way, I spent more on the Kimber ($850) to get the same performance as I get from my HK ($650).

Oh, and one other thing: the HK field strips MUCH easier for the novice than a 1911A1. But neither would be considered "difficult" to field strip.

February 28, 2003, 05:37 PM
Though I wouldn't have to pay $200.00 more for a 1911A1 trigger on a pistol, I would if I had to.

I agree with those who say that a USP trigger cannot compare to the tunability of a 1911 trigger.

If you buy your 1911 from a reputable maker and it goes lemon on you, it will be made right. (Springfield, Kimber, Dan Wesson, S&W, and all of the semi-custom makers). Only Colt right now is a crap shoot among the name brand 1911s.

Europeans make wonderful pistols. I have had some in the past, and am currently acquiring a CZ 85B. That said, none of them are a quantum leap ahead of the 1911, if they are an improvement at all.

All of the "improvements" that have allegedly been made to pistols in the past century are made manifest in 1911 pattern pistols.

Polymer? Yes.
Hi-Capacity? Yes.
Multiple sizes? Yes.
Multiple calibers? Yes.
Gas system? Yes.
External extractor? Yes.
Lights? Yes.
Lasers? Yes.
Night sights? Yes.
Tough finishes? Yes.
Double Action?:rolleyes: Yes.
A striker? Ho-hum, rather have an honest to God hammer. So apparently would most HK fans.:evil:

The 1911 can still offer even the discriminating "modern" shooter something.

"Those that carry, carry polymer. Those that shoot carry a 1911."

And dat's da fact, Jack!:D

February 28, 2003, 06:08 PM
A full size USP is the only gun I would ever take out of the box, clean, load, and carry with complete confidence. Yes, they're that good.

I own and love the 1911, too, but I carry a USP45. The extra capacity is nice (I'm an anointed one, so I get 12 rds), but its the complete reliability without having to screw with it that makes the difference.

If you wear a men's large or bigger glove, you won't have problems with the grip. You may not anyway - a woman I know with small hands loves the USP45, and shoots it well. The 9mm and .40 have a slightly smaller gripframe (and full-capacity mags are available for citizens, though pricey).

If you choose the Colt, be happy, but test it well before trusting it.

Kahr carrier
March 1, 2003, 05:38 AM
I like them both myself but if you have smaller hands the 1911 might be the way to go.You can customize the 1911 many different ways the skies the limit and your wallet .Sometimes the mods you have done can cost more than the pistol itself. On the other hand the HK USP is a great gun out of the box and Armourer can even change your Varient to a differerent varient with just a few parts.If you have the monet buyem both.:D

March 1, 2003, 09:43 AM
I don't care for USP's at all; wouldn't own one if someone gave it to me (well, I'd keep it long enough to trade it out for a SIG or maybe a Glock and a case of ammo), and I own four 1911's, but it would be just flat wrong to say that an off-the-rack 1911 has as much chance of running reliably with JHPs as an off-the-rack USP.

The 1911 is beating the USP by twelve votes to one in this thread (, however... ;) :p

March 1, 2003, 10:14 AM

I would not turn down a USP if it came to me for about $500+/-10%, what it is really worth given its trigger (more to come).:scrutiny: I could never see clear to paying more for a plastik HK than for a Glock or a Walther.:uhoh:

I also have little doubt that given 10 NIB USPs versus 10 NIB 1911s of name brand manufacture, the odds are higher that the 10 USPs would operate flawlessly. That said, the unreliability, such as imagined often here and on other non-1911 sites, is tremendously overblown because the odds that the 10 NIB 1911s would contain among them, a serious malf problem, are also exceedingly remote.

I just do not want to see someone dismiss a choice on the basis of uberpistole hot air. I own/owned five 1911s, three are flawless unless I am monkeying with recoil spring weights and Triton ammo, two of which operated very well as long as I didn't use Blazer. I have trusted my life to all five. I have also had four Berettas that never failed, A Walther P99 I didn't like the trigger of, a brief affair with, ohmygawd, an HK USP45c, on which the trigger felt copied right off an old cap gun, and a BHP that bit me until I got rid of it. That is twelve autopistols since I began legally owning them in the mid-80s. Not a dog among them reliability-wise. I must have burned all of my lottery mojo on handguns.:D

My father owns about a dozen 1911s, only one of which, a Kimber Series II, was a lemon NIB, and now he doesn't have one with a Schwarz system grip safety at all.:scrutiny:

Like I said, I do not care if lionken buys a 1911 or not, there are plenty of us out there that shoot the pistol already. However, we must all be dupes or rubes for not choosing the European .45ACP pistol _________? How could I have been so blind to the fact that we 1911A1 shooters are using lumps of iron that will fail the very moment we must call upon them to perform? How could I have dumped all of my modern eurotrash in favor of obsolesence?:p

My bad. Twelve to one on the errornet is the final word after all.;) My official position remains shoot what you want.:neener:

It is a good thing that the Hi-Point 9mm is not the favorite autoloader in America or else we would all be reading about how great/crappy they are.:evil:

March 1, 2003, 10:24 AM
Waxed a little hyperbolic after those first two paragraphs, there, didn't you? ;)

March 1, 2003, 10:35 AM
I was running out of smilies I wanted to use.:what: Who knows, the world might be a more colorful place with more taciturn HK owners running about muttering about "compromise." They could be the "Gimlis" of the shooting scene.:D

March 1, 2003, 12:38 PM
Well you have certainly touched off religion with your question:D

I own both a Colt 1911 and an H&K USP Compact .45

I have put thousands of rounds through both.

The H&K is my home defense gun for a couple of simple reasons.

It can be picked up and fired just like a revolver. Just point and shoot. My wife can shoot it without having to remember anything except point and pull the trigger.

On the 1911 you have to decide if you will keep it cocked and locked. Then you have to fumble with a safety. Or you might want to keep a round in the chamber with the hammer down, then you have to cock it. Or you may want to leave the chamber empty, then you have to rack the slide to load it. All of these things are confusing late at night when you may be under stress too.

By comparison to the H&K, the 1911 is a dinasoar. It is, to be certain, a great dinasoar. But it has not changed much, if at all, since 1911. Oh sure, details like metals and of course you can spend a fortune on one making it a target gun or a "tactical" gun. But for sheer utility, the H&K spits out the potent .45 round accurately and reliably.

I don't think reliability is an issue here. Its ergonomics. Do get an H&K in your hand to see if it fits you.

And, as for cleaning, the H&K is utter simplicity.

After you get your H&K, make your next .45 a 1911. They are a lot of fun and they are relatively easy to detail strip and perform upgrades on (within your skillset of course).

But for what you describe, get an H&K.

March 1, 2003, 01:48 PM
I'm in kind of the same boat you are. After doing lots of research, visiting all kinds of forums, and spending all kinds of time thinking about it, I have this to say - don't buy either one till you shoot both. I really like the HK, but wasn't such a fan after I shot it. I didn't care much for the checkered front strap or the grip shape. I then shot the most basic 1911, and loved the way it felt. The HK was a nice pistol, but not right for me. Shoot both, then buy. Both are excellent handguns, but they both suck if they don't fit you.

March 1, 2003, 03:03 PM
I like .45's, and have the full-size USP .45 and several Colt 1911's. I like both, and wouldn't sell them.

Each has strengths and weaknesses, as mentioned previously in this thread, and the choice of one or the other depends mainly on type of use envisioned for the gun. The original poster said something about having the gun "at home", and I note that he lives in New York City. So I'll assume he won't be carrying it concealed, and may use it for home defense and the occasional range visit. I gather he is not competing in IDPA, etc.

I think the all steel, full size Colt 1911 design is best for accurate use at the range, because of the gun's weight and great trigger. If you want the smallest groups you can shoot, it is easier with the 1911. It is also perfectly good for home defense, for similar reasons. But the gun is challenging to carry concealed because of its weight and barrel length. Some do, but they are diehards.

The H&K USP .45 is lighter weight and holds a few more rounds than the 1911, but has an average trigger and is difficult (for me, at least) to shoot as accurately as the 1911. I have shot both at the range together in the same session, and am pretty sure of this statement. But it is a reliable gun that feeds anything, and for self defense at short range it is perfectly adequate. So I tend to use the USP for home defense and occasional wintertime carry, when my coat will hide a big bump. I trust the USP to work every time, which is comforting. And the sight of it is intimidating enough that you may not need to shoot at all.

March 1, 2003, 08:07 PM
Many thanks to everyone who replied to this thread. But somehow you all made it more confusing to me:p...trying both guns will be hard here in the city of NY. You either have to buy it first or ask someone you know to let you shoot it, but that's beyond the point...

anyone in the city willing me let me try theirs?
more info on this issue will be helpful I guess...

Thanks again everyone:)

March 1, 2003, 08:55 PM
Why is everyone knocking usp trigger? Mine is smooth in double action, and actually so light in single action as to cause me some uneasiness. Maybe I just got a good one. I would not feel unarmed carrying either, but I've been tinkering with the 1911 for thirty five years. If you don't know what you are doing , get the HK, it is already ready to go. Bear in mind the US military has not bought a 1911 since 1945. The only 45's they have bought in the last 58 yrs have been HK. That ought to mean something.

March 1, 2003, 09:14 PM
Bear in mind the US military has not bought a 1911 since 1945. The only 45's they have bought in the last 58 yrs have been HK. That ought to mean something.

It means that the 1911A1 is such an excellent and rugged design, the Marine Corps is still making front-line pistols for MEU/SOC off of the frames they acquired generations ago. I have also read that the Mark 23 SOCOM is not a very popular pistol, speaking of big and heavy. . . .

A polymer or alloy framed 1911 is no more difficult to carry concealed than any other pistol.

Threads that make you go SHEESH!

March 1, 2003, 10:13 PM
I also have the good fortune to own both. When I bought my USPc, it was going to be my carry gun, as I had recently aquired a CPL. $759 later the USPc was with me at the range, and it was everything I had hoped for. Everybody is right about the dependability, it has swallowed and spit out everything I've put through it. If it has one fault it is with recoil with good personal defense cartridges such as 230 gr Hydra-shoks. By no means unpleasant, but it reminds you what is in your hand.

Alas, the USPc turned out to be everything for me except compact. It's just not small enough for me to carry comfortably. Having and loving a Colt Mark IV was reason enough for me to start looking for a smaller version. The Kimber Ultra CDP II was just the ticket. It's tiny size was perfect for concealment and it's weight was only 25 oz. Hmmmm.........I wondered about the recoil issue with the H&K, surely this little thing was gonna be worse. Turns out, no, it's not. The little Kimber recoils less than my USPc. Evidently the 1911 design is just best for me. Strange too, because I loved the way the H&K felt in my hand, and seemed to "point" better than the Sig P220 that was vying for my attention at the same time.

The Kimber was almost $200 more than the H&K, but Kimber makes steel guns and different size configurations much cheaper to put them on par with the H&Ks. And you won't have to change anything with a Kimber. It's worth a look.

I believe my H&K will have a laser added to it (I've always wanted one) and be relegated to home defense. I know I'll never sell it, because even though it's job has changed, I like it too much to ever part with it.

March 2, 2003, 02:03 AM
I have rented USP's a couple different times, and was unimpressed both times. If you like DA autos I'd go with a S&W or a Sig 220 before the USP.

As for 1911's, I've bought new four late production(made after 1990) Colts - and they have all been reliable enough for defensive use out of the box.

If you get a new fullsize Colt .45 auto I expect it will run quite reliably for you. In New York though, you may have to get a pistol with an integral lock? That would limit you to Springfields.

March 4, 2003, 12:33 PM
Greetings all,

I have the USP45F. It is a somewhat big handgun. It, without a doubt, is easier to take down than a 1911. There a lot of complaints about the trigger on the USP. Yes, when new they are heavy, however, after 1000 rounds or so, they do smooth up a lot. I shoot this pistol more accurately in DA than any other in my inventory (Sig 226 &225, Beretta 92FS). It is a very accurate, soft shooting, reliable pistol. Sights come up easy and even though the bore axis may be relatively high, the gun's sights come right back after the shot. Don't get me wrong, I do think very highly of the 1911 (it may very well be my next pistol purchase), however I think for someone new to handguns, the USP is the way to go.

March 4, 2003, 01:04 PM
My goodness-did they somehow change the design of the mighty 1911 in the last couple of years? All this trouble to field strip it from what I'm hearing makes me wonder:rolleyes:
That, and "if you buy brand X German wundergun and it doesn't work, just send it back and they will make it right". Is this not so on a standard Colt???
I have been working with 1911's for coming up on 35 years, and I don't have a problem field stripping them (remove mag, check chamber, depress recoil spring plug, turn barrel bushing, release tension on spring slowly, push slide back to disassembly notch, push slide stop out, pull slide off frame, remove barrel bushing, remove barrel). My wife, who has no experience with firearms, learned how to completely disassemble with a screw driver and a punch, clean and reassemble in under one hour. Her back ground is sales, and no technical background what so ever. The problems with the 1911 are so over blabbed that you would think they are useful paper weights at best. Quit trying to be a garage gun smith and shoot the thing. You will :D greatly and often.

Carlos Cabeza
March 4, 2003, 01:07 PM
To put it bluntly, TUPPERWARE IS FOR LEFTOVERS ! .......:D

March 5, 2003, 10:06 AM
Something we may be losing sight of here... WEIGHT. I have shot many 1911's, and bet my life on one (the hard way) for several years. It never failed me. However, at the end of a long day, it was a pain in the posterior (or at least a proximate region! :D ) to have that 40-oz. weight dragging at the back of my hip... The huge advantage of polymer pistols, IMHO, is not their superior functionality (a good 1911 is perfectly functional), or their ergonomics, but their ease of carry for long periods. That's why my usual carry pistol is a Glock: ultra-reliable (I've only had three malfunctions in all my Glocks put together, in something over 100,000 rounds fired through them: all were ammo-related, not the gun's fault), light to carry, and perfectly manageable with the right training and practice. I still love 1911's, and own them, but don't carry them any more... and my back thanks me for that every day! I've never owned a USP, but I suspect it must be at least a third lighter than the average 1911: so if your pistol is being purchased for carry purposes, that's got to be a major factor in the decision-making process.

Yes, I know there are good lightweight 1911-type designs out there: but in my experience, they tend to kick harder, be less reliable, and wear faster than the full-weight steel guns. I've never yet seen an aluminum-frame 1911 design that wasn't in need of some serious adjustment and tuning-up after about 25,000 rounds. (This is derived from comments from many gunsmiths, instructors, and my own experience.) On the other hand, a friend has a G21 with well over 100,000 rounds through it, and apart from spring replacements at regular intervals, it's still chugging along merrily...

March 5, 2003, 10:44 AM
Preacherman: But this fellow is looking for a house gun. So weight won't matter. In fact, I'd argue that the more weight the better because it will recoil less. Given where he lives, he probably can't get a CCW permit. But if he does, there's lots of 1911s around with aluminum frames.

I've got two HK USP compacts, one in .40 and one in 45. I've got 6 1911s of one variety or another.

The HKs have certainly been reliable and reasonably accurate. Both have significantly more muzzle rise than my Kimber Compact (let alone my full size Kimber). The SA triggers on the HK are ok at best. The DA triggers just plain suck -- if you pull them slowly they get very heavy towards the end of the travel. Yuck. I'm not a particular fan of the HK's magazine release. The HKs thumb safety is blockly and poorly contoured for using a high-thumb hold. The light rail is nice if I decide to spend the money for a weapon-mounted light (sheesh they're pricey, however).

For me, the 1911s just fit my hand better. The triggers are better out of the box and any good gunsmith can make a 1911 trigger very nice for short money. The 1911s manual safety works better for me than the HKs. Some of the 1911s have required a bit of fussing to get to where they are 100 percent reliable. But not all.

Choose what you like. Both are fine guns. My choice is the 1911.

March 5, 2003, 11:49 AM
This was what was asked:

Decision! Colt M1911A1 or USP .45??

both in ACP as my first gun to keep at home.

which one is easier to maintain?

or better yet which one is a better gun over all?

Out of the box reliability: USP... It's also 45 Super compatible, if you're a sucker for powerful shots, just go ahead and blast some! :D

Ergonomics : It depends on your preferences, but I prefer DA/SA/decocker (guess I've gotten so used to it). I have a pair of small /medium-sized hands (7" tip to wrist) but I could operate the USP mag release much much faster than I could a 1911. And I never use the slide lock. Also with drop safety

Ease in maintenance : Hmmm, if it's the weapon's ability to function despite being choked with house dusts/dead insects/lint/gross neglect, then it must be the USP : see for torture tests.

Better gun over all? For me, the USP, if we discount looks.

I'd have to admit the Colt1911 is devilishly more handsome. ;)

March 5, 2003, 12:01 PM
1911, I don't care for the USP series.

March 5, 2003, 02:52 PM
But what would you think if the USP series came in a 10mm Delta?

March 5, 2003, 03:05 PM
But what would you think if the USP series came in a 10mm Delta?I've already got a stainless Colt Delta Elite. I'd prefer that over a 10mm USP. YMMV.

March 5, 2003, 03:16 PM
Hmmmmmmmm, I would still probably prefer the 1911 style, but I sure would buy an USP if they upgraded to 10mm. :D

March 5, 2003, 03:47 PM
If you have not fired a handgun before, a 45 ACP may not be the best choice. I know plenty of people who fired less than a box of cartridges (usually about 5) and sold the gun and remaining cartridges. Either gun is OK but the Colt 45 Auto would be my choice out of the two.

March 5, 2003, 03:55 PM
I think what BigG is talking about is painful recoil. If that is a factor, it's another vote for the USPF. The recoil reduction device is so good that it's more like shooting a 9mm.

March 5, 2003, 04:32 PM
Lionken, I like both. I know this isn't the answer you're looking for, but I recommend buying both if your pocketbook will allow, and training and shooting with both.

Sell the one that you don't shoot as well, and buy more magazines and ammo and training with the leftovers.

March 5, 2003, 05:11 PM
I think what BigG is talking about is painful recoil. If that is a factor, it's another vote for the USPF. The recoil reduction device is so good that it's more like shooting a 9mm.That's not been my experience. First, a full-size steel 1911 is a big heavy gun. I don't perceive it to have a lot of recoil. It is more than a Glock 17, but it isn't sharp. I haven't shot the USPF. My USPcs (in both .40 and .45) have significant muzzle flip. Much more than my steel Kimber Compact (let alone full-size 1911).

March 5, 2003, 06:41 PM
All of the current model Colts I've handled and shot have been excellent. I'm no big fan of MIM but then, who really is? If it does it's job, then I'm happy.

The USP is just too big for my hands. I'm 5'7", maybe 5'8" when I'm feeling exceptionally proud. :p And the USP grip is just not for me. My Taurus PT (Beretta design) and double stack CZs in 40S&W fit just fine - the USP is a big gun. The full size USP and the C version seem like they have the same size grip to me. of course, I like the think 1911 grip.

For reliablilty, while I have had very good luck with 1911s, I might have to give a slight advantage to the USP. My new rollmark Colt never failed but if you put 1,000 rounds through 100 of each the Colt and the UPS, I'd bet there would be fewer failures with the USP.

I'd get the Colt. But would suggest that you handle both of them and preferably shoot both of them.

On a side note, I think the CZ75s are the best values in new handguns right now. In 9mm or 40S&W. The CZ97 is a bit big for me. I hate it when people suggest choices that aren't listed but for considerably less than either the Colt or the USP, you can get a gun with an excellent finish, good trigger nearly 100% reliability out of the box and an excellent warranty.

March 5, 2003, 08:39 PM

The USPc models don't have the recoil reduction system. It's only found in the Fullsize models.

March 5, 2003, 11:01 PM
. My USPcs (in both .40 and .45) have significant muzzle flip. Much more than my steel Kimber Compact (let alone full-size 1911). I would agree. As I stated in my post above, my USPc .45 recoils more violently than my 25 oz Ultra CDP.

March 5, 2003, 11:21 PM
UPS 45!! I'd KILL for an H&K in this state. You can get the other gun later but the H&K -- my ideal gun second to my Berettas.:D :D

March 6, 2003, 01:50 PM
Sorry Tamara, I'm with Onslaught on this one. . .

Will someone explain to me how shortening the grip makes it better for smaller hands? The diameter's the same, the trigger reach is the same...

Allow me to explain. . .

As you say, shortening the grip does not make it better for small hands. However, the diameter is NOT the same, the trigger reach is NOT the same.

I don't have my H&K's with me right now or I'd give exact dimensions, but the primary reason the compacts have metal magazines (instead of plastic like the full sized versions) is grip size reduction. This is evident by simply comparing the two.

Those of you who have commented on the "large" size of the USP full size, yet recommend other comparable firearms. . . if you compare the USP dimension by dimension with the other fullsized autos in .45 on the market, you'd be surprised. They do LOOK bigger, but when compared they are NOT. Ergonomics are personal, but to say the USP is too huge, then recommend a GLOCK or a SIG in the same caliber is a little on the comical side.

There is nothing wrong with either weapon (1911 or USP) for a house gun. Ergonomics and shootability rules here. . . you decide.

I'd be happy with either, prefer the USP as I shoot it better than any other centerfire handgun I own (1911s included).


March 6, 2003, 01:53 PM
UPS 45!! I'd KILL for an H&K in this state. Just curious. Have you ever actually shot an HK USP 45?

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