Duty Gun: Hk USP .40 or Glock 22 RTF


March 16, 2009, 07:59 PM
I'm getting another .45, but I'm also getting another .40 for duty should I decide I want more capacity in my duty gun. I have found a helluva deal on an Hk USP .40, but I am also fond of the Glock 22 RTF (that texturing suits me quite well).

Which one do you suggest for duty carry for a police officer and why? And forget about price. Pretend they are free.

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March 16, 2009, 08:19 PM
I prefer the USP over the Glock -- I have both but prefer the feel and accuracy of the HK

Jed Carter
March 17, 2009, 05:02 AM
Glock 22, 1.43 lb, H&K USP .40, 1.65 lb, empty, not much difference in weight for duty use .22 lb. H&K USP barrel 4.25", Glock 22 barrel 4.49", .24" difference in length. H&K 13+1, magazines $49+ Glock 15+1, magazines $19+. Glock is almost idiot proof, no exposed hammer, safety, if there is a round in the chamber, it will fire with trigger pull. H&K has external safety/decocker, DA/SA, with experience it has proven to be very reliable, I prefer this type over the striker fired type. Both are excellent firearms, Glock stock sights excluded, even with the Glock being lighter, longer, 2 extra rounds, and easier to use, I would prefer the DA/SA H&K USP .40. It the H&K just seems to point quicker, shoots better in my opinion and experience. My Glock stays in safe, H&K stays loaded.

March 17, 2009, 05:15 AM
The glock i tried was a full sized 9mm. the trigger pull felt sloppy and long. i didnt like the feel of it at all. ive yet to shoot a H K USP but im sure it would feel better. im just not a fan of glocks =/

March 17, 2009, 09:06 AM
Every LE agency (that I know of) that used HK USP switched to Glocks or something else. I attended my instructor school in Tucson and spoke with their armorer/gunsmith about the HK's and why they switched to Glocks. They used USP 40's for a couple of years and then got rid of them. It was a mutual decision. The armorers/gunsmith hated them and the officers hated them even more (see the paragraph on mags).

I like HK's and owned three USP's at the time and thought they would make a great duty weapon, so I was very curious why they got rid of them.

First was fit. The gun was too big for many of their officers, especially the ones with small hands. This didn't make sense to me because Glock 22's don't fit any better. However, part of it was the total size of the pistol. The HK is poorly designed in its overall use of space and is bigger than it needs to be.

Second was parts and service. There is none. I went to the last HK MP5 armorer school last year and listened to a group of LE armorers trash on the HK rep for three days. No parts. No service. The rep admitted it was true. HK is on the outs with their US market right now and is having HUGE import problems due to ATF regs. Plus, if you find the parts they are VERY expensive compared to other pistols.

Glock is the exact opposite on parts and service. Spend $150 and go to an armorer school, which is only one day. The USP school, if you can find one, is two days and $500. Glock holds their schools in every state (just about) every year. Once you are an armorer you can buy more than 1/2 the parts in the gun for $1 each. Check www.glocktraining.com for their class schedule. The price includes a catered lunch.

Failures. The triggers and hammers on the HK's are prone to failure. Not sure why. But it is especially a problem when parts are difficult to get and expensive. Sending your gun in for warranty work is not really an option when it is your duty gun. Unless you want to buy two of them....

Magazines. This was ultimately why Tucson went away from the HK USP. The mags did not hold up and their instructor told me they were replacing them every year. At $50 each it didn't take long before they decided to do something else. Glock mags are $17 for LEO's direct from Glock. Easy math.

The biggest complaint from the officers was also with the magazines. For some reason the mags are prone to unintentional release while sitting in the patrol car. There are a limited number of duty holsters available for the HK and they allow the seatbelt lock to release the mag while sitting. It was apparantly bad enough that the officers had to get in the habit of checking their car seat before exiting. Nothing worse than drawing your gun on a call, feeling the balance off, realizing your gun does not have a mag it in and that you have a single shot pistol in your hand. If this happens with any regularity you CAN NOT depend on that weapon. If you can not depend on it, carry something else.

I voted Glock. Why? Tried and true. Is it perfect? No. But find me another gun that is currently being used by more police, civilian, and military with the consistency that Glock has. My agency has been using them for 20 years and recently looked at XD's and M&P's. They both appeared to be as durable and reliable, but neither offer the service that Glock does, or the extended track record. For LEO's sending the gun in for service and getting it back in 10 days (S&W has excellent turn around) or 3 weeks (Springfield is still good) is not an option. It is a duty weapon and needs to be fixed immediately.

There is no other company that offers the durability, affordability, service, parts availability, and accessories that Glock does. Plus, look at the other officers and what they carry. How many have HK's? Look at agencies where their officers/deputies have their choice of guns and see how many carry HK's. Of the hundreds of LEO's I know, not a single one carries an HK on or off duty. I am included in that. I like my USP, but it is a safe queen.

The county here allows their officers to choose their duty weapon (we are issued ours). You will primarily see 2 gun. Glocks and 1911's. I know of one Deputy that still has a Sig 220. None of them carry HK's.

Hk is a good gun, and I like them, but they have not proven to be a reliable, durable, dependable, duty weapon. Even the MP5's are going away. They have a limited but important role. However, no parts, expensive mags, no service... That makes for a bad combo. Some agencies are selling their MP5's to any agency that will take them for a couple hundred dollars. (I would love to take a Class 3 MP5 for a couple hundred :)

I am in charge of maintenance and purchasing for my agency and have some experience in this area. Feel free to PM me if you would like more information.

March 17, 2009, 10:00 AM
Baneblade that is one of the better posts I've seen on THR.

Even for a non-duty weapon it makes one consider the glock as a top choice, and I'm in the market for a handgun....

oh no! what have you done?? :uhoh:

March 17, 2009, 10:04 AM
A friend bought a new H&K .45 before Christmas. The trigger pull was nothing short of gruesome, worse maybe than a Colt All American 2000.

I've got a 2nd Generation Glock 22. It's a great gun.

March 17, 2009, 10:41 PM
Atticum, join us on the dark side.

Glocks aren't perfect (despite their logo) but they truly are a proven gun.

I love to collect guns, but carry a Glock on duty, off duty, and in my truck.

March 17, 2009, 11:46 PM
Only proplem with the Glock is it does not fit/feel/shoot right in my hand. Of course niether does the USP. Sig 229 fits and shoots nice. the S&W M&P is ok for me. SO get the one that FITS/Feels/Shoots right in your hand(s) ie shoot both strong and weak hand

March 17, 2009, 11:48 PM
What Baneblade wrote was completely truly. But from what I have heard, those agencies which contracted with HK mostly carried USP Compacts in 9 mm or 40 SW, and rarely, do they contract full-size USP, largely due to its large and awkward size. The original USP was USP full-size in 40 SW. USP .45 and USP 9 mm were later refinements based on the USP .40 SW. USP Compacts are compromised designs to reduce the size of the pistol to be more suitable for CCW.


1. USP Compacts are not up to par with USP full-length because the recoil mechanism. Full size USP were designed with the patented recoil reduction system but the USP compact were not, because USP Compacts were much shorter, hence they could not accomodate such full-length design. Therefore, the lesser recoil systems on the compacts causes more wear and tear on the overall USP mechanisms, creating long-term issues.

2. USP 9 mm and 40 SW magazine were made mostly of polymer. However, USP .45 magazines were made with steel. Polymer magazines were an effort to reduce the weight and manufacturing costs, as the earlier USPs were all made with steel magazines.

Therefore, in my opinion, a reliable USP would be a full-length USP, preferably in .45 caliber. But in comparison to Glock, the cost/benefit ratio undoubtedly favors the Glock as a duty weapon.

Big Daddy Grim
March 17, 2009, 11:54 PM
I wish I could carry one of my H&Ks my duty gun is a Sig don't get me wrong I love my Sig P220 but I love my USP more.

March 18, 2009, 01:49 AM
I agree with Baneblade. Very good reasons right there to go with Glock.

March 18, 2009, 05:00 AM
Which one do you suggest for duty carry for a police officer and why? And forget about price. Pretend they are free.

I'll go with the Glock. I am a bit biased because of the fact that I personally carry a Glock as a duty weapon, but I still think it has some things going for it:

1) Easier to find parts, magazines, holsters, etc.

2) Best reputation for reliability. People always talk accuracy, but any handgun I've ever held has had enough inherent accuracy to satisfy the needs of a police officer in a typical duty encounter. At the end of the day, reliability is king... It simply must go "bang" every time when we're working!

3) Glocks are simple weapons, and are easy to use, clean, strip, etc.

March 18, 2009, 05:14 AM
Baneblade, that is a very impressive post indeed. And many of you have pointed out very good things about both pistols. Have any of you personally experienced any of these failures with the Hk? I've never seen one first hand, but I have seen failures in Glock 22's first hand. But, I've seen A LOT more Glock 22's on the range than any Hk.

I'm confident either choice will be a winner. I am a decent shooter and I already know I can perform above par with either of them, so this is more of a preference thing. Thanks for the comments, guys, and feel free to keep em coming. So far so good!

March 18, 2009, 07:22 AM
I am a huge Glock fan and would almost always suggest Glock, however the RTF is a terrible feeling grip IMHO :barf::barf: Feels like coarse sandpaper...no thank you.

The HK is the choice of the two, however, change it to a 2nd gen or regular 3rd gen and the 22 gets the vote.

March 18, 2009, 11:01 AM
I have experienced the trigger/hammer failure on an HK USP. I was not an armorer at the time, late 90's, and it was on a full size 45. Something broke inside and both failed to function. It was sent back in and repaired under warranty. Due to that experience I thought the service was good. In fact, I thought that right up until the HK Rep himself told me their service NOW is no longer up to speed. As he explained it, their biggest problem right now is due to political pressure. This was during the previous administration. I don't imagine that has gotten any better.

I forgot to mention one thing. The magazine release can consistently cause blood blisters on your primary hand middle finger. I don't have this problem, but my wife does (she is also an avid shooter). It just depends on how your hand fits on the gun. If you are considering a USP for a duty gun spend some time doing magazine exchanges. It only takes one blood blister to ruin your day. If it gives you one everytime you release a magazine, that is definately No Bueno. Just try it out, and do some stress reloads, not just an administrative magazine exchange. If it doesn't effect you, no big deal. If it does, you will be glad you found out before purchasing a rather expensive firearm.

As for Glock 22's, I have seen many failures as well. But I have also been present or instructed as 100's of thousands of rounds have been fired. Most of the problems I have seen are due to 2 things. Old mags and old recoil springs. Glock recommends you replace the recoil spring every 2000 round or so (they are only $3 for armorers). Most of the guns at my agency have never had a new recoil spring put in. Our springs and mags are about 12 years old now. Unfortunately, we don't have any money to buy new parts, or even better, new guns. At least it isn't a problem unique to my agency.

March 18, 2009, 11:12 AM
I own both a USP (40) and a Glock 17, I'd choose a Glock 22!


1 - Magazine cost / capacity
2 - The barrel is too high in the USP.... at least in my opinion.
3 - I like the Glock trigger better (the USP trigger just feels spongy to me)

I do prefer the DA/SA design of the CZ-75 over a Glock 17, but in 40 S&W I'd take a Glock over any other duty weapon.

March 22, 2009, 04:34 PM
It seems the poll largely favors the USP, but the comments largely favor the Glock.

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