HK USP .45 vs Sig Sauer P220


Dr. Loomis
May 23, 2009, 11:59 PM
I need your advice by giving me your opinions on these two firearms if you have any experience with them. I need to purchase a good pistol before I enter police training and I've narrowed my search down to these two weapons. I love .45s and these two weapons feel great in my hands and I hear nothing but great reviews from the both of them. Please help out a fellow 2nd amendment supporter with this difficult tie that needs to be broken.

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chris in va
May 24, 2009, 12:06 AM
Well, first off...what gun will the department be issuing? If you get a Sig then find out the pistol you're given is a Glock 40 caliber, well...might throw a wrench in things.

May 24, 2009, 12:16 AM
I own a Sig P220 West Germany and a USP .40.

Advantages to the Sig:
1. Better trigger (USP trigger is notorious)
2. Better all-round handling (HK feels bulky)
3. Doesn't have really sharp stipling that can make prolonged shooting painful.

Advantages to the HK:
1. Higher capacity
2. Can be carried in DA or cocked and locked.
3. Is perhaps a stronger pistol (polymer frame, dual recoil springs, etc.)

Advantage/Disadvantage (?) to HK:
Has polygonal rifling (can't shoot lead bullets)

I think HK and Sig are equal and top of the line as far as quality goes. I would say the USP is definitely the quintessential .40, whereas the P220 is the greatest double action .45. I generally prefer single stack .45s. Go with the Sig.

May 24, 2009, 12:20 AM
yeah, what he ^ said.
I prefer my usp45f over the 220 or 220ST, but only by a slight margin. The biggest drawback of the USP is the grip size and you can figure that out for yourself by handling it before you buy. It is fine for me so the USP works. You could get the HK45 for a smaller grip and spend about $800.
I just got some ACT mags for the SIGs for about $20. It would be close to $60 to replace an HK mag.

Dr. Loomis
May 24, 2009, 12:42 AM
The department I'll be working for allows us to carry whatever weapon we want as long as its on their recommended list- and the Sig and HK both are on the list. I've handled both and yes they are each big but that doesn't bother me.

May 24, 2009, 02:34 PM
Sig 220 - most fabulous pistol........muy bueno in SLC talk.

May 24, 2009, 02:45 PM
Have you gone to a dealer and held either of these two? If not, do that, then get back to us.

Oh, and welcome to THR! :)

May 24, 2009, 04:19 PM
I'd go w/ the USP 45 for the added capacity and in my hands shoot alot better than the SIG

May 24, 2009, 06:23 PM
Sig 220

May 24, 2009, 06:30 PM
I coulda sworn Ive this question before. ;) Oh well...

Regardless of the opinions here, it will be up to you to decide which weapon best fits your particular needs. Given your situation, maybe the higher capacity USP would be the best choice. However, there are several things that the Sig P220 has going for it (as mentioned in previous posts). Also, which one just "feels" better to you? This would be a good place to start.

Both are great weapons and even though I own and prefer the P220, I would feel completely comfortable with the H&K as well. However, given the fairly recent reports of people having issues with the P220 extractor, I would recommend researching this particular model a bit further. I have had no such issues with my P220, but its a late 2007 model. The extractor issues seem to be an issue with the fairly recent batch of P220's. The guys at Sig may have sorted this out by now, Im not sure.

Either way, and all opinions aside, this truly is a personal choice on your part....either weapon should serve you well.

May 24, 2009, 07:54 PM
i like the Sig 220 because it feels slimmer in my hand and i llike the feel of the trigger better. i'd add the Hogue Al or G-10 grips for better pointing index.

the USP in .45 has been updated to the HK45 which does feel alot better...the reg USP is being replaced by the P30...and might be cheaper as dealers clear them out

both are very accurate, with the 220 a bit heavier due to it's stronger alloy frame

May 24, 2009, 08:32 PM
For a cop, you might be concerned with mode of action? I'm not sure the statistical chance of a cop being shot with his own gun, but it seems enough of a concern that some departments favor magazine safeties, just for example. P220 has a decocker, only. A BG gets your gun, all he has to do is pull the trigger. An HK with a manual safety might give him a little bit of pause.

Sheldon J
May 24, 2009, 08:42 PM
Been carrying one for over 7 years, 7 days a week, it has seen some real bad conditions, been in the desert summer heat, Mi winter cold, had thousands of rounds cycled through it, and still has no rust and functions and looks like a new gun, it has been flawless, can you say rugged...

N if you can get use to a Glock trigger then a HK trigger will be a piece of cake, and once you do get use to it this is one very accurate gun. I have shot mine at 100 yards and can put 6 out of 10 in the lethal zone with the other 4 in the hurt like heck area...

But then I have big hands and this gun just fits me very fine.....

May 24, 2009, 11:45 PM
I own both and enjoy both, however, from a LEO perspective I have issues with both. As a quick disclaimer, my agency issues Glocks (no surprise).

Tucson PD used to carry USP's but got rid of them for a couple of reasons. For some reason the Mags don't hold up and had to be replaced on a regular basis (not just the springs). Just look at the price for their mags and you can see why that is a problem. Many of their officers hated the USP because the magazine catch would regularly be engaged by the seatbelt with a duty holster. After returning from a call they would find the mag from their gun sitting on the driver seat. Never a good thing. They also had trouble with Officers that had smaller hands... not that that affects you.

As for the Sig P220, I only have one complaint. Low capacity. However, I don't know of a single incident where a LEO officer lost a gun battle because of capactiy (or lack thereof). The only other issue is the double action pull out of the holster, but you will have that with the HK too, and the Sig double action is smoother and lighter that the HK.

Both guns are reliable, accurate, easy to maintain, durable, and expensive. If I were in your shoes I would pick the Sig P220. The 220, and Sigs in general, are proven police pistols. They are, if I remember correclty, the #2 issued/carried LEO gun in the USA, second only to Glock. How many agencies issue HK USP's? I know of three in AZ that issue Sigs and several more that authorize them. 1911's are also popular with LEO's, but there are not any agencies in AZ that issue them.

Remember, all guns break eventually. As a LEO you can't wait for a warranty return, you need to be able to fix it right away. Parts for the HK are much harder to find than the Sig. Armorer schools are almost non-existent for the HK, but the Sig ones are held regularly in the South-west.

Our state police carry 229's and love them. Just get used to that double action for the first shot.

May 25, 2009, 04:41 PM
Don't they make SA/DA and SAO versions of the P220?

May 25, 2009, 08:06 PM
the 220 does come in different versions: DA/SA, SAO and 2 versions of DAO (triditional and DAK)

all my 220s are DA/SA, because that's what i started with and it allows instruction of all variations. i would recommend the DAK before SAO for LE work

May 25, 2009, 08:31 PM
Get both. Get which ever one you see first and then get the other one later. You need one for home too right?

Philip Marlowe
May 25, 2009, 08:43 PM
Either is a great choice, but my vote goes to the HK.

I own a number of them and have NEVER, EVER HAD A SINGLE MALFUNCTION. I'm sure this is the same for many Sig owners as well, but I'm speaking for my HKs.

I happen to like the 'cocked and locked' aspect and second strike-capability from that (unlike a 1911).

That said, agree with other posters that magazines are insanely expensive and it's like holding a 2x4.

Good luck - you should truly feel confident with either choice.

May 25, 2009, 08:47 PM
They're both fantastic .45's, couldn't go wrong with either. I think the decision would come down to your own individual requirments.

Personally I like the 220's better, the SRT trigger is fantastic as is their SAO trigger. If you want a DAO trigger, I think the HK LEM trigger is better than Sig's DAK however.

June 6, 2009, 11:20 PM
The only other issue is the double action pull out of the holster, but you will have that with the HK too, and the Sig double action is smoother and lighter that the HK.

I agree mostly with all of your well explained points but, as others have noted, the HK can be carried cocked and locked whereas the 220 in da configuration can only be fired double action on the first shot-unless, of course, you manually cock the hammer first.

I have the SIG 220 and an HK USP40. Though I like both pistols, I prefer the SIG simply because it fits my hand better.

English Bob
July 20, 2009, 11:02 AM
Have a USP9 and a P220.

I like both, but prefer the way the SIG feels in my hand.

July 20, 2009, 04:23 PM
The Sig P220 by far! one of the most accurate "out of the box" firearms. Feels incredable in your hand. all around great gun

July 20, 2009, 04:36 PM
Make mine Sig. Natural pointer. Very accurate. Uber reliable. Get an Elite model for beaver tail goodness. Love my 220.

July 20, 2009, 05:02 PM
my vote goes to the's just a thing of beauty.

July 20, 2009, 05:07 PM
I'd say Sig...of course there would be more debate if you were going HK45 vs P220, but whatever.

Pick the one you shoot best/feel more comfortable with.

July 20, 2009, 05:11 PM
of course there would be more debate if you were going HK45 vs P220,

very true, the ergos of the HK45 are much superior to those of the USP

July 21, 2009, 04:27 AM
I prefer H&ks to Sigs generally, although both are fantastic premium quality pistols. I think you should be looking at the HK45 instead of the USP.45. Ergos are far superior to both the USP .45 and the P220, IMHO. At a mag capacity of 10 rounds you lose 2 to the 12 round USP.45, but still have two more than the 8 round mags of the P220. It has a full-length light rail up front (whereas the USP requires an adapter) and it is lighter than the P220. You can carry it cocked and locked or DA/SA. You can't go wrong with any of these guns being discussed, but IMHO the HK45 is the best.

July 21, 2009, 08:05 AM
+1 for the HK45

Otherwise, based on what you plan to use this gun for, I don't think there is a choice. Yes, the Sig is a decent weapon, but the HK gives you 4 more "opportunities" to deal with the BG, AND it can be carried cocked and locked. Throw the $10 Hogue Handall grip on the USP and its ergos improve immensely. As for trigger? I've owned and shot both of these guns and neither has a "dream" trigger. Once you make your decision, practice, practice, practice, and the trigger (either one) will be fine.

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