HK USP gun control issue


February 7, 2009, 03:07 AM
The control issue is the safety control lever.
( I know it was a cheap trick... but at least I got your attention}

I've got a great gun in the USP40 variation1, which is the std, safety/decocker SA/DA.

My problem is that my thumb drifts (especially under stress) and ever so lightly engages the safety in the middle of a course of fire - NOT GOOD - especially when I'm stress training for defensive mode. The whole lever doesn't need to pop upwards, since it's on a cam-like mechanism.

All my other guns have that distinctive large movement and 'click' to engage the safety. Not so my HK, just lift that lever a fraction of a mm and the gun don't go bang!

I'm used to 1911's, Glocks & S&W and NEVER have had the problem with any other firearm. If that darn safety control lever was just angled up to a 45 or even 30 degrees, it wouldn't be an issue (I think).

So - am I stuck with retraining extensively, changing my decades long habit of thumb placement, just to accommodate THIS gun? (It's a superb piece of engineering otherwise, and a tack driver)
Or do I have to change it over to a DAO or LEM?

I really hate to give up the SA/DA feature because their DA is such a long pull (which I like for carry - it's that little extra protection from being too stupid too fast - which can occur all too frequently under stress).

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February 7, 2009, 08:07 AM
I never had that problem with the USP I owned (USP 45). The two options I see:

a) perhaps adjusting your grip may fix the problem. For example, putting your support hand thumb over your firing hand thumb.

b) I think the USP can be fairly easily converted to any of the other configurations.

February 7, 2009, 08:26 AM
I have a habit of riding the safety with my strong hand thumb, hence my preference for the 1911 platform. So I've run into similar problems on other differing platforms.

For now (for serious purposes), I would certainly stick to what is more familiar, as in a SHTF situation, you are going to fall back on instinct anyway.

If you really like the gun (which it sounds like you do), I don't see any issue with trying to adapt to it's design/ergonomics. If you can, great. If you can't, well, at least you will have tried and you won't have any regrets about it later.

As for conversion, I have no idea, as I know next to nothing about the HKs. But other THR members should be able to help you out there.

February 7, 2009, 12:05 PM
I have always had the problem of riding the USP safety the opposite way with my strong thumb on top. Never accidentally decocked the gun while shooting, but it could happen. Of course, this wouldn't present as serious a problem as yours.

February 7, 2009, 10:33 PM
jad0110 - Yeah, I'd like to carry it but don't for that SHTF reason. It was un-nerving enough in practice drills. It took me a while to figure out what was going on because as soon as I repositioned minimally it was fine. Like I said, it was a fraction of a mm lift and would never have noticed if I didn't stress train.

punk - I think maybe I'm stuck with converting it to V3 which eliminates the safety - I don't carry C&L anyway. Retraining at this point isn't likely. I don't have room for the grip you suggest, it bows out my weak side thumb too much. I'm used to thumbs running in a straight line along beneath the slide. Thumbs being what they are, my strong side peeks up just a smidge, and under stress, rides up a frog's hair more - but a frog's hair too much. It's not ALWAYS riding too high - but intermittent.

mstirton - rethink the decocking possibility if you carry for self-defense. Sure, it's easily remedied by another pull - providing you've got the luxury of time to do so.

February 7, 2009, 10:55 PM
Interesting, I have never thought about it but I guess it could be possible. I tried to engage the safety on my USP with a 2 handed grip and it is very hard to do. The safety on mine is pretty stiff and does not engage easily. It is easier to engage the safety on my 1911's but I never had any trouble with them either. I would stick to what you feel comfortable with as a carry gun.

February 7, 2009, 10:57 PM
That would be a good choice. But you may want to ask an armorer if there is any chance of a hang-up if you hit the lever, first. If so, you could consider V7 which will give you a moderate (6.5 Lbs) DAO trigger with no lever.

If you're set on the DA/SA trigger you could also look into V4 which would put the lever on the other side. It's possible it would be out of harms way there and it won't be a problem since it'll be a decock only anyway.

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