Mark23 vs. USP.45 Tactical vs. HK45 vs. Highend 1911


May 27, 2010, 06:17 PM
What is the ultimate "crisis" .45. I would easily choose the Mark 23, but would really like to know if a highend 1911 has any real technical superiorities. I personally like 1911s, but the weight and capacity seem to have slightly outdated the design. Not outclassed however, I'm not trying to start a flame war either.

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May 27, 2010, 06:30 PM
I'm not sure A hk 23 and 1911 Is a valid comparison. They are not the same size. A 1911 can tuck in a wasteband the 23 has more capacity etc etc. I gues you could compare an sti style racegun with the 23 similar size and weight.

Sti vs hk23? One I'd rather have at the rAnge punching steel. The other I would pick for jungle/desrt ops. Personally I would carry something much smaller a la GLOCK 23 And put the weight savings toward my long gun allotment

Nine Lives
May 27, 2010, 06:31 PM
A 1911 is awesome but for a "crisis" you might was well have the capacity of the HK's, I'd pick the USP45T over the mark 23 since the only real difference is that the size isn't as ridiculous. They both definitely require less maintenance than the 1911 though, as fine-tuned as those high end ones are.

May 27, 2010, 07:11 PM
That's precisely what I was questioning Mr. Ninelives, I appreciate your response.

May 27, 2010, 07:28 PM
I'd go with the MK23 as the ultimate crisis pistol based on the fact that it is so over-engineered and raised the standard of robustness to incomparable levels.

I don't know that accuracy is better but the longer barrel does give the rounds that much more Umph too.

May 27, 2010, 07:49 PM
1911 All the way!

May 27, 2010, 08:22 PM
What is an 'ultimate crisis' .45 pistol?

If you mean a service-type defensive pistol chambered in .45 which is reliable, durable and relatively easy to maintain in the field, then I'd easily choose a 1911 made to the proper specs, made of good materials, fitted for service use (meaning not target use) and combined with proven, good quality magazines.

Picking a 'high end' 1911 wouldn't be something that would occur to me, though. I'd be satisfied with a good quality basic model that functioned as intended using reasonably good quality ammunition and magazines. What more is needed? (Well, okay, some better sights isn't a bad thing. ;) )

Now, being a Colt Model O Pistol armorer ... and a long time owner, user & shooter ... I'd lean toward a standard 5" Government Model that was properly manufactured & fitted from the beginning. The last couple of brand new 1911's I bought both fed & fired all of the various JHP/FMJ ammunition I've tried in them, using a mix of at least 3 brands of good quality magazines. (One uses a pinned extractor, though, and a bar gauge is needed to check the fit of any replacement extractor, so it really isn't as 'easy' to replace for field repair as a standard internal 1911 extractor.)

I've never bothered to become a HK armorer, but I know a couple of them. The design and number of parts in the HK guns seems to make for a bit more complexity than the typical 1911-style gun.

And yes, I've personally observed a HK USP 45 start exhibiting problems for an instructor during a class ... listened to the HK armorers complain about functioning problems caused by their people not sufficiently lubricating their USP's ... and spoke with a fellow who spent a year overseas in the sand and had a chance to do some shooting with both a standard USP 45 and a Mk 23, both of which were quickly adversely affected by the very fine sand as far as the safety levers not properly functioning when contaminated by sand. (But hey, what mechanical equipment does like sand? ;) )

My point is that I'm not under an illusion that any make/model of handgun can't fall prey to occasional problems, especially if called upon to function in adverse or harsh conditions, and would prefer a gun which is easiest to support, maintain and repair in the field with common parts.

Capacity is less of an issue for me than other considerations. I carried issued .45's with mag capacities of 7 & 8 rounds without any qualms.

May 27, 2010, 08:27 PM
Personally I like the new HK45, but here are a few HK Mark 23 opinions from a thread from Feb, of this year.

May 27, 2010, 08:51 PM
I've owned or currently own ALL the guns you mention. In a crisis, I'd grab my USP45 Tactical. No question. I love my 1911s but they can't compare in terms of reliability and/or capacity. The Mark 23 is an amazing gun but the size if just too ungainly for me, and you don't gain any capacity over the USP45T. The HK45 is an ergonomic dream but the match trigger and two extra rounds of the Tactical make it my "crisis 45". Good luck with yours.

May 27, 2010, 08:59 PM
The Glock 21 SF beats HK's hands down.

I own both.

May 27, 2010, 09:07 PM
A "crisis" to me also means the possible necessity of traveling in "gray man" mode and also the likely shortage of available parts, mags, etc. For that reason I would prefer a 1911. It's slim and portable enough to hide on your person should you need to venture out amongst the public and there is a greater likelihood of finding spare parts & mags should you need them.

May 27, 2010, 09:10 PM

May 27, 2010, 09:45 PM
The Glock 21 SF beats HK's hands down.


May 27, 2010, 09:46 PM
I'd take my HK USP .45 over anything in a 'crisis'.

May 27, 2010, 09:49 PM
Okay, if we're going to expand the selection to other than the original choices, then I'd choose the full-size M&P 45.

May 28, 2010, 12:05 AM
My full size Kimber for quick, accurate, long distance shots. But I now carry my Glock 20, 10mm. I will switch to my fnp 45 if it stops having feed problems.

Zak Smith
May 28, 2010, 02:26 AM
I've owned HK's and high end 1911's and Glocks and other stuff. I second the recommendation of the Glock 21 or 21 SF if it must be a .45 ACP. But I think with good bullets the 9mm can do anything the .45 can and I'd rather have a Glock 19 than about any other pistol for all around defense use.

Jed Carter
May 28, 2010, 04:28 AM
Personally I prefer the USP Expert, loose the MK23 and have a back up pistol.

Nine Lives
May 28, 2010, 04:45 AM
Sure thing man :)

I am an HK fan and they are rugged as they come, at least as rugged as Glocks and Sigs and from what I see over here (Afghanistan) they run better than anything else. I used to be a sig guy but after seeing the way those USPs run in the hands of the germans and the security contractors out here I'm a convert. Plus I've always thought the USP is the sexiest looking pistol, but that's another story.

Not dissing glocks or anything else, HK has just won my heart over here :)

May 28, 2010, 05:01 AM
I'd take my HK USP .45 over anything in a 'crisis'.

I second that! :D

May 28, 2010, 04:14 PM
I was in search too. I found the 1911 a tad outdated and not quite as reliable as others. I passed on the MK23 & USP Tac. Hks due to their odd rail system and having to use their overpriced odd light accessories, but I see the hk45 is friendlier. Good luck on dealing with customer service for HK. Many find HKs very thick given their double stack mags like Glock so concealing can be a challenge. For carry I settled on a Glock30, but for the ultimate all around 45 a Sig Combat P220. Most folks will agree the Sig 220 is the most accurate out of box 45. Also the P220 is much easier to conceal than a HK or equal sized Glock. Its decked out with high night sights for my suppressors and a good standard rail that accepts all the quality accessories. Its the most accurate centerfire pistol I own, but the Glock isnt too far behind.:)

Nine Lives
May 28, 2010, 04:20 PM
Overpriced rail accessories? buy a TLR-3 and call it a day.

The P220 is nice but no 45 measures up to the USP45 imo because they all lack the recoil reduction system that those have. It's like shooting .40 or a hot 9mm load, but you're slinging .45 downrange. 1911's/glocks/sigs don't give you that, plus the capacity rounds things out nicely.

I will say though that while HK has most everyone else beat on .45, Sig takes the cake for 9mm/.40/357SIG. I still don't understand why people buy USPs in those calibers, they are so overbuilt and the capacity is far from mind-blowing. Oh well, to each their own :)

May 28, 2010, 10:23 PM
I appreciate everybody's insight, and I mostly agree with everyone. It seems that in the real technical scheme of things, the 1911 is outdated. I still love(not like)them,but my life is more important than romance. I have a Glock 21 that I just bought w/ nightsites, less than 50rds throught it. Going to save for a Mark 23 and within 6 months I'll probably buy one and do a little write up for everyone. If school, work, and marriage permit!

May 29, 2010, 02:08 AM
Some elements in US SOCOM, mainly Navy SEALs, are testing out the H&K HK-45C Tactical as a replacement for the H&K Mk 23 Mod 0.
Even though the Mk 23 Mod 0 is very accurate and reliable, it just to big to be used on most occasions. So, the H&K HK-45C Tactical is being tested as a replacement as a more "user friendly" suppressed pistol.
Navy SEALs are currently using the SIG P-226 for every day applications.

May 29, 2010, 05:17 AM
My ideal crisis gun is a Beretta M9 or its civilian equivilant 92. There will plenty of ammo and mags around.

Sticking to the OP's parameters, I personally like the 5" 1911. I've shot the 1911's alot, it's readily serviceable, quick to move from target to target and not excessively heavy.
The HK's go in the same class as the Ruger P90 in my mind. Good guns, but not in the 1911's handling department yet.

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