New USP Compact 9mm: Am I a "Tactical Poseur" now?


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Marko Kloos
April 15, 2003, 05:45 PM
I made my bi-weekly Friday trip to the cop shop on the other side of town a few days ago. Whilst browing through the assortment of new Glocks and HKs, confiscated police trades, and used LEO turn-ins, I saw a USP Compact in 9mm on the shelf for $500.

Now, this is Knoxville, and this town just doesn't have any USPs in any kind of shape for less than $600. I asked to see the gun, and it appeared unfired. Apparently, it had been owned by a little old lady who only carried it to church on Sundays. (In actuality, it seems like somebody bought it for his wife, and she didn't like the feel of it, so they traded it on a Glock.)

$500 seemed reasonable for a used-but-unfired USP Compact, in the box, with papers and *three* magazines. We sealed the deal, and ten minutes later I was in possession of my first "tactical poser" pistol. Having never owned a USP, but always having thought of them as overpriced Glocks, I was curious if it would perform according to its price tag. (In this town, a new USPc costs well north of $600.)

Initial impressions (read: playing with it all weekend) were very favorable. Fit and finish are excellent, especially for a polymer pistol. The grip is reasonably thin, yet offers a full hold unlike many other compacts. Then again, this pistol is "Compact" only by virtue of being smaller than the full-sized USP, which is a horse pistol. Dimensionally, the USPc is a dead ringer to the CZ-75 PCR and the SIG 228. All three of these pistols are within fractions of an inch in length, width, and height, and all of them hold 13 rounds of 9mm in non-neutered magazines. The USPc is a bit lighter than the PCR by virtue of its polymer frame, weighing 30.5 ounces fully loaded to the 31.5 ounces of the PCR.

The trigger and safety arrangement, traditional DA/SA with safety and decocker, offers both safe cocked-and-locked and Condition 2 carry. All of my autos except for the P32 are DA/SA guns, so the manual of arms is in line with the rest of my carry battery.

I finally had a chance to take it out and run a hundred rounds through it this morning. Ammunition used was Winchester WHite Box 115gr. "Wally World Special".

The very first round out of the new gun, fired DA, resulted in a stovepipe jam. I cleared the stovepipe, and proceeded to empty the rest of the magazine without incident. A second magazine also cycled through without stoppages. I handed the gun and a full magazine to Tamara...and her first shot from a full magazine promptly stovepiped as well. The rest of the magazine went without a stoppage.

We both suspected that we had both limpwristed the gun on the first DA shot, and I intentionally limpwristed the gun on my next magazine. It obliged by stovepiping again. For the rest of the 100-round box of ammo, I paid attention to my hold on the gun, and the rest of the ammunition was fired without a stoppage. Ejection was a bit lackluster, with many cases ejecting less than three feet from the gun, and quite a few cases coming straight back to bounce off my melon on occasion.

I brought the gun to my 'smith this afternoon to give it a once-over, and described the few issues we had. He was surprised to hear about the stovepipes, since USPs are not usually prone to limp-wristing in his experience. He checked the extractor tension, and gave the gun a clean bill of health. We concluded that it was probably a combination of limp-wristing, new springs, and/or a dry gun. Ejection with +P carry ammo should be a little more zesty, and I gave the pistol a through cleaning and lubing when I got home. I am inclined to write the three stovepipes off as limp-wristing, especially since I intentionally produced one to verify that theory. Ammo should not have been an issue...USPs have a reputation for ammo insensitivity, and a pistol with a $700+ MSRP had damn well better feed wet firecrackers.

I think I'll sacrifice a box or so of 9mm +P+ carry loads to verify the gun's reliability. If it has no further issues with my carry ammo (Federal Hi-Shok 9BPLE +P+), I'll take the USPc into my carry rotation.

http://www.frontiernet.net/~lendringser/images/uspc_l.jpg

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No4Mk1
April 15, 2003, 05:51 PM
I had a few stovepipes in the first 500 rounds with my USP-9F when it was new just out of the box. I found that a tiny bit of grease on the rails has eliminated this. I have not had a single malfunction since beginning this practice. Good luck and welcome to the club! ;)

Marko Kloos
April 15, 2003, 05:54 PM
Hmmm... I did shoot it bone-dry, right out of the box, without lubing the rails. That might be a contributing factor...

Skunkabilly
April 15, 2003, 06:12 PM
good gun :neener:

Seriously, no you aren't a tactical poser. You are celebrating your roots by observing your cultural heritage or something like that!

Marko Kloos
April 15, 2003, 06:18 PM
German cultural heritage is not that complex, actually. You drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of Sauerkraut and pork, and every fifty years you get the urge to kick the snot out of the French.

Skunkabilly
April 15, 2003, 06:58 PM
German cultural heritage is not that complex, actually. You drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of Sauerkraut and pork, and every fifty years you get the urge to kick the snot out of the French.

In my German class, on Bastille Day we wanted to break into the French class and steal their overhead projector, chalk and erasers. :D

Tamara
April 15, 2003, 07:08 PM
It went:

*bang!* (stovepipe jam) (tap) (rack) *bangx19*

"Here, you want to try it?"

*bang!* (stovepipe jam) (tap) (rack) *bangx9*

"Here, you want to shoot my new 442? It won't stovepipe." ;)

Brian D.
April 15, 2003, 07:17 PM
If this was the Wally-World Whitebox Winchester Wondernine (WWWWW) ammo I'm thinking of, occasionally the velocities bounce up and down a good bit. Sometimes you can plainly distinguish the light ones by sound alone. Must be some reason they throw it loose into 100 rd. boxes and sell it cheap, no?

care-less
April 15, 2003, 07:21 PM
imagine that! cleaning and lubricating a new pistol, and it stops jamming! hmmmmm1:banghead:

El Tejon
April 15, 2003, 07:21 PM
Every 50 years??? My English heritage gives me the urge to kick the snot out of the French every day. And that's only when they are our allies.:D However, I must eat much worse food and my beer is warm (for some reason).

Important lessons from the Voice of Reason for all: check your weapon with your carry ammo. Wring it out so you don't get wrung out.:D

New_comer
April 15, 2003, 07:23 PM
Ejection was a bit lackluster, with many cases ejecting less than three feet from the gun, and quite a few cases coming straight back to bounce off my melon on occasion.
Sounds about right for a USP, as mine also ejects the casings "gently", about four to five feet away, but I've never experienced being hit with one. In a way, I like the way it ejects, as I could easily gather the spent casings.

Do you think its one of those "uber-engineered" qualities of the HK USP, the smooth and gentle case ejection? I do... ;)

How do you find the mag release? That's the primary difference of the USP with your other carry guns...

Anyways, congrats on your new acquisition, and welcome to the club! :D:D:D

Sean Smith
April 15, 2003, 07:27 PM
Well, so much for the USP reliability edge over a Colt... :neener:

Marko Kloos
April 15, 2003, 07:28 PM
imagine that! cleaning and lubricating a new pistol, and it stops jamming!

It's a HK...it's supposed to run in adverse environments, right? I figured it would be fine to run out of the box. I've never needed to lube a Glock before taking it out for its first range trip.

Climb14er
April 15, 2003, 07:29 PM
Fine choice! Excellent price. Clean and lube 'er up and you'll have fun. In almost 1000 rounds, with fmj ammo, I have had not a single misfire or problem. Keep on shooting her and it'll find a way to your rotation. Enjoy.

Sean Smith
April 15, 2003, 07:37 PM
Well, see, even though the USP is the pinnacle of rugged combat hardware, you have to baby it for it to actually, um, fire an entire magazine. And use the special Kung Fu grip.

:evil:

(NOTE: I have no problem with HKs or USPs, and hope lendringser actually gets his gun to work OK. But we know that if he bought a 1911 and had this happen, all the plastic lovers out there would be busting his balls for not buying a "real combat weapon"... LOL!)

10-Ring
April 15, 2003, 07:46 PM
Congrats on the new USPc 9! ;) Welcome to the club :D :D :cool:

gudel
April 15, 2003, 08:07 PM
i have the full 45 usp. no stovepipe here. i think you should lube it before you use it, specially when it's out of the box. the lube may dried up while in shipping or in storage.

HKcenterMass
April 15, 2003, 09:08 PM
Congrats! What a SWEEEEEEEEEEEET pistol! I have the USP 45 F, cant wait to throw some .45 super through it!

Traithe
April 15, 2003, 09:32 PM
I'm half English and half German, so does that mean I can kick French butt everyday, and drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of Sauerkraut and pork? My USPc 45 is being shipped out tomorrow and should be in my hands by this weekend. :D :D :D This will be my first HK. I can't wait. Sold my Glock 36 to buy it.

Al Thompson
April 15, 2003, 10:06 PM
I think it's new gun break in blues and the fact (posted here somewhere) that the Win White box only hits 1050 fps or so.

If that was 124 grain +P GA Gold Dots, I'd bet good money that there would have been no stove pipes.

Bergeron
April 16, 2003, 12:20 AM
I've got a USPF in 9mm, and I run it bone dry, usually only lubing it up once every few (4-5) months. I've never had any limpwristing problems, ejection with standard pressure ammo is usually right next to the gun, sometimes simply rolling down near my right hand. It's been totally reliable, no jams, I did break a firing pin, but that might have been my own fault.

Regardless, if you feel that the gun is not properly working, consider sending it back to HK. Maybe there is an actual problem, HK would be able to tell you.

Also, you might want to try different types of standard pressure ammo. I have shot a whole bunch of Olympic, PMC, and some Wolf through mine with nary a problem. +P Remingtons, my defense load, give what I had previously deemed to be standard ejection distance, so I feel that the gun is set up to feed and fire +P on a standard basis without excessive wear.

Oh yeah, you're not anywhere near being a tactical poser. Ya got to rig out a SL8, get a M1S90, and all kind of black clothes and plastic to be a true "tactical poser" Why, you're only a "tactical poser poser" right now. :p

Tamara
April 16, 2003, 01:07 AM
Sounds about right for a USP, as mine also ejects the casings "gently", about four to five feet away,

No, this isn't "gently" like that; this is "gently" as in I had one spent case fly maybe an inch straight up in the air and roll down the top of the slide before dribbling down my wrist and onto the ground... :uhoh:

Skunkabilly
April 16, 2003, 01:33 AM
Lendringser, you need a black HK shirt, Royal Robbins pants, Danner boots and an Emerson knife. THEN you can be a poser! (poseur?)

Tacblack
April 16, 2003, 01:46 AM
Doesn't he need one of those photog vest I always see everyone at the IDPA matchs wearing also:D

Maybe a sure-fire light too!

Strange but I kinda feel left out not wearing one of those vest at IDPA matchs

Schuey2002
April 16, 2003, 01:46 AM
an Emerson knife
http://ourworld.cs.com/BNSCONGER/CQC_10.jpg
You're right, Skunk, he needs an Emerson.

I was going to say, "Get one of these." But, I don't know if I can say it with a straight face. This early rendition of the H&K Emerson CQC-10 is a little too funky looking.:uhoh:

Marko Kloos
April 16, 2003, 06:48 AM
I have a lot to learn, I guess. My constant carry knife is so un-tactical, it hurts.

Berg01
April 16, 2003, 08:19 AM
Your post mentions 3 of what I consider to be the top 9mm CCWs; (HK USP 9c, CZ 75 PCR and the Sig P228). I paid $450.00 for my LNIB P228 which I wouldn't sell for any price. I would take either of the other two in a heartbeat. $500.00 for a LNIB 9c is almost like free; once you start shooting it, it will be "priceless".

Sean Smith
April 16, 2003, 09:19 AM
Why are all you guys saying he got a great deal if THE GUN DOESN'T WORK!?!?!? Talk about fanatics... :neener:

El Tejon
April 16, 2003, 09:26 AM
Sean, we've been over this. The gun looks cool. The coolness points make up for the shortfall in reliability points for a overall tacticality rating (German+foreign+grassalwaysgreener+blackticality+DDD usage+ultramodernDA+hardtoget) of Very High.

Marko Kloos
April 16, 2003, 09:28 AM
You know what? Never mind.

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