.45 HK USP vs. Sig P220


September 20, 2010, 10:30 PM
So, I'm sure this question has been posted many times before, but I am somewhat of a novice so please just humor me.

In the .45 caliber, which is better between the HK USP and the Sig P220?

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September 20, 2010, 10:31 PM
What is the purpose of the gun? What attributes are you looking for?

September 20, 2010, 10:36 PM
Conceal carry and self defense.

September 20, 2010, 10:39 PM
Different, not better. I like the P220 better because it is a single stack and has better ergonomics for me. My USP .45 felt a bit like holding a 2x4. However, it holds 12 rounds to the P220's 8.

They are both highly durable, accurate, and reliable.

I am very biased however as the P220 is my favorite pistol and I recently traded my USP .45 to fund another. I found the Sig to be a smoother, more enjoyable gun to shoot.

If the grip fits and you shoot it well the HK is great, otherwise you can't miss with the P220.

September 20, 2010, 10:41 PM
For concealed carry check out the compact or carry version of either model.

September 20, 2010, 10:49 PM
I know this isn't what you asked, but if you want to conceal, then an HK45 would be the best choice. P220 is about as big as semi auto guns come (mainstream). The USP has a very (IMO needlessly) boxy slide that inhibits vision when looking down the sights. The best thing that the SIG has going for it is the trigger. I would go for a W. German p220 though if that is the route you decide.

September 21, 2010, 02:10 AM
I have owned a few H&Ks and also currently own a Sig P229 .40. While this particular Sig is a great gun, I still don't think Sig can touch H&K in the reliability/durability department. Overall, I think H&K makes a better combat/defense pistol than Sig does.

I personally wouldn't carry either of those two guns, as they are both chunky guns for every day carry. I think there are much better options out there for dedicated concealed carry. That said, I would take the USP.45 over a P220 every single time.

Good luck!

September 21, 2010, 07:56 AM
I still don't think Sig can touch H&K in the reliability/durability department

Show me evidence that the above statement is true. From my personal experience and what I've read that is an egregiously false statement.

Both guns are legendary for durability/reliability.

I get that you like HK more so just say it. Don't make some silly unfounded claim to prove your point.

Get whichever is a better fit for you. Both are stone cold reliable.

September 21, 2010, 09:38 AM
I know you did not ask but have you considered the H&K 45. It has vastly improved ergonomics and a better trigger (generally) than the USP 45. Both are big guns and will be difficult to CCW however.

Corporal K
September 21, 2010, 10:23 AM
I own a USP 45 and I had a 220 in the past. Both are great. The Sig is a little easier to carry concealed but they're both about the same in quality

September 21, 2010, 11:07 AM
I own a USP Tactical 45 and a SIG P220SAO. Of the two, I prefer the SIG. It seems better built and much smoother. The trigger is worlds ahead of the HK, it feels better in the hand (and I have big enough hands that neither the HK, nor my G20, nor the Desert Eagle really presents problems for me), and mine has been more reliable than my HK.

Plus the SIG is indisputably the better built gun, at least in my experience. My SIG has been buttery smooth with not so much as a machining or tool mark to be seen--obvious care went into its production.

My HK on the other hand pretty much started cannibalizing itself. The washer on the end of the captive dual recoil assembly wore a hole in the frame from the inside of the dustcover. I am pretty sure the shiny metal visible from the inside of the frame is the backside of the serial number plate. And there was some galling of the frame rails as well. HK elitists and uber-snobs will tell you this is "acceptable," that it is "breaking in (yeah it's breaking something alright)" and that the way HK does its frame rails is superior to its mere mortal competitors ([clears throat]Glock-cough-cough) because "_________________."

I say "at least my Glock isn't eating itself." Plus my Glock has a better trigger, and despite firing a more potent cartridge (10mm Auto vs. .45 ACP) has less perceived muzzle flip, greater capacity, and the advantage of actually being reliable enough to be useful. And it cost about half as much. O and did I mention IT'S NOT CHEWING HOLES IN ITS OWN FRIGGIN FRAME!!!!

SO between the two, I'd take the SIG in a heartbeat. On pure principle, I don't see how it's even a competition--a better built alloy framed pistol that requires machining, heat treating, ect. vs. injection molded polymer on a $400 pistol with a $300 name. They both cost about the same, but even if you pay the same for them, there's only one $700 pistol between the two, and it's not the HK.

Personally, I'm probably trading both of them away and getting at least another Glock.

September 21, 2010, 11:58 AM
Show me evidence that the above statement is true. From my personal experience and what I've read that is an egregiously false statement.

Go look at the SIg Forum - Many of the guns are ONLY being made in the USA now - and people seem to be having a lot of trouble with the USA made ones. Especially the 220s it seems.

It may be better now, but as of a few months ago, that was the feeling going across many of the boards. Many people now will only buy used German made Sigs because of the current SIg problems on the USA made ones...

September 21, 2010, 03:07 PM
I do go to the Sigforum and I read a lot of people disputing the claim the U.S. made 220's aren't reliable.

What I read over there is 'my P220 goes bang every time I pull the trigger'.

September 21, 2010, 03:31 PM
Having the opportunity to handle and test-fire an example of each might go a long way to answering many questions ...

Which us a better truck? Ford or Chevy? Toyota or Nissan?

When you ask such questions on an internet firearms enthusiasts forum you're going to get a lot of opinions and personal experiences.

Do you want a plastic or metal frame?

Do you want a single column or double column magazine?

Do you have a preference for the trigger mode?

Can you shoot either of them well?

Both are good quality examples of their respective company product lines when it comes to service-type pistols.

I've been to the Sig pistol armorer class, but not the HK USP pistol armorer class. I only know a couple of HK USP armorers. Parts and support is not exactly high on their list of favorite topics of conversation.

The 220's with the external pivoting, plunger & spring tensioned extractors are the newest ones.

As a long time owner and shooter of various .45's, and having shot examples of each design mentioned since they were introduced (which means back when the P220 was being imported as the Browning Double Action in the case of the Sig) ... I haven't felt the inclination to spend my own money on either of them. I prefer other makes/models ... but that's me.

Try to find a way to rent and test-fire each and see if either interests you.

There are going to be satisfied and unsatisfied owners of each brand to be found on the internet. Hardly surprising.

I do own 9 pistols chambered in .45 ACP at the present. They include Colt, Ruger and S&W (both 3rd gen and M&P pistol). I anticipate my next .45 purchase is going to be another M&P, this time a compact (M&P 45c), and maybe followed by a Performance Center SW1911.

Like I need 11 .45's ... :scrutiny: :neener:

September 21, 2010, 05:43 PM
"Try to find a way to rent and test-fire each and see if either interests you.

There are going to be satisfied and unsatisfied owners of each brand to be found on the internet. Hardly surprising." Fastbolt

I think your question is kind of lose,lose. Yes its a good question and you will get a little useful info but mostly you will get "I like this one." "I like that one." So yes, if you can def. try to fondle and shoot both of them to see which one YOU like best

"Show me evidence that the above statement is true. From my personal experience and what I've read that is an egregiously false statement." Prion

Now I'm no SIG expert but dont the 220's have extractor breakage issues or need replacing quite often ? Correct me if I'm wrong/elaborate, as I would like to know correct info. Thanks

OP I say USPc .45 by the way or HK45c, good luck

September 21, 2010, 06:45 PM
Now I'm no SIG expert but dont the 220's have extractor breakage issues or need replacing quite often ? Correct me if I'm wrong/elaborate, as I would like to know correct info. Thanks

Depends on what you've heard and to what you're referring.

I can remember when the older 220's (with the then-new American mag catch) had what was reportedly identified as some heat treating issues with some extractors which were breaking. I only heard about it because a nearby agency temporarily decertified some 220's due to broken extractors (old style breech block extractors). That was many years ago (early 80's?).

The newer extractors designed for the machined slides used a different style of extractor. It was pre-tensioned to be able to retain sufficient tension after being snapped up inside the slide's extractor recess. We were told in the armorer class that it was also intended to be installed once, and that if ever removed it should be replaced with a new one (because the removal and attempted re-installation might decrease the remaining tension too much to allow for intended feeding & extraction). There were some reports of some of these guns having to be returned to Sig for new extractors.

The newest extractor in the 220's is similar to the one previously adopted in the machined slides used in the other calibers, and which has proven itself to be a reliable design. (It sort of reminds me of an 870 extractor.) I remember asking in my armorer class why the Sig engineers hadn't simply adopted the existing external, pivoting extractor design which had proven itself to be reliable in the 226/229's, and the instructor said that it was a very good question to which he had no answer. Of course, that's exactly what they ended up doing later on.

Now, if there's been some new development with the revised external extractor, I haven't had the chance to hear of it. I probably won't recert my Sig armorer status since I don't personally own any and only a handful of our folks have bought any.

September 21, 2010, 06:51 PM
Both are very large guns. The HK is really bulky. Frankly, both need to be dressed around.

You may wish to consider guns that are no taller than 4.75" from bottom of the magazine to top of the slide. This seems to be the sweet spot in balancing size versus concealment for many folks. The Glock 19/23/32 is a good gun to measure against in terms of dimensions.

As for reliability, I have had two West German P220s, four American made P220s and an American made P220 Carry. All were fine, reliable pistols except the P220 Carry. It needed a trip back to the factory for tweaking. Once it came back, it was excellent.

September 21, 2010, 07:02 PM
The USP .45 is a great range gun, shot some of my best groups ever with it at the 50 yard line. It feeds any bullet shape, I like the match SWC's (jacketed) in it that caused feeding problems in Glocks and 1911's, the USP never bobbled them once.
But, it a BIG gun.
You have to train yourself not to ride the safety/decocker with a variant 1 USP, it can and will decock on you with the recoil. It can easily be converted to variant 9, DA/SA no decocker if you must ride the safety.
The Sig P220 has great ergonomics, you just have to decide if you like it's unique manual of arms, the slide release placement, the DA/SA transition (I had trouble getting the first DA shot to hit in the same spot as the following SA shots during 25 yard bullseye shooting, in close it's fine).
Definitely a lot slimmer than the USP in both the slide and frame.

The Sig decocker is superior IMO to the HK decocker, that is it's nearly silent, and you can ease the hammer down to the DA position.
The HK decocker drops the hammer hard on the safety block and make a loud 'clack'.

Both are better than average and are mostly worth the extra money they cost.
I prefer the USP slightly, but for CCW I would pick the Sig for it's slimness, lack of manual safety, and the decocker.

September 21, 2010, 07:40 PM
From what ive heard, the Sig has better performance, (smoother, more accurate) but the USP is the better combat gun, thats more rugged and reliable. Those are just the general things ive heard, i could be wrong.

September 21, 2010, 07:53 PM
They are both top quality handguns. HK overall seems to be more innovative i.e., synthetic buffers on the recoil spring, ambidextous slide release and mag release, as well as adjustable back straps (some models).

I like them both. Sig has the better DA trigger. Both are about equal on the SA trigger. The new HK's, HK45, P30, are wonderful designs, with both being ergonomic master pieces.

September 21, 2010, 08:01 PM
synthetic buffers on the recoil spring,

I don't recall this feature on either my USP 9 or .45. Dual recoil springs, yes, as does my Sig X-5 Tac.

Don't know if other HK models have this feature.

September 21, 2010, 08:03 PM
It's not. It's on the HK45 and P30.

September 22, 2010, 03:36 AM
Show me evidence that the above statement is true. From my personal experience and what I've read that is an egregiously false statement.

Both guns are legendary for durability/reliability.

I get that you like HK more so just say it. Don't make some silly unfounded claim to prove your point.

Get whichever is a better fit for you. Both are stone cold reliablelol..Don't get your panties in a bunch.

I obviously have no physical proof in my possession to back up my claims. I made my statements based on my own perception of what quality and durability means to me. H&K's machine work is flawless. *edit* By flawless, I should say "perfectly machined as far as tolerances go." H&K doesn't care to polish out swirls made from the machining process. Instead, they tend to focus simply on whether or not it was machined to perfect specs and whether or not the parts mate well together where they need to (ie barrel to slide fit). Sig, on the other hand, will let pistols leave the factory with horrible defects like burrs that cause major galling, for example. Also, H&K's cold hammer forged barrels can't even be touched by Sig's two-piece construction. Try this: Buy a brand new H&K and a brand new Sig. Check the barrel and barrel hood after 200 and then 1000 rounds. Tell me which one is wearing more evenly and which looks to be built with closer/more accurate tolerances. Oh that's right..that would be the H&K's. To me, the wear on the metal parts of a gun tells the whole story.

That's not even mentioning the current quality control issues and money-saving, el-cheapo tactics Sig Sauer is known for today. Face it. They aren't what they used to be. They now produce 10 blinged-out versions of every gun they make and making money is clearly their only priority. H&K, on the other hand, has been and continues to produce rock-solid utilitarian weapons with almost unheard of quality control as their main priority. They understand that without a consistent and high-quality product, they wouldn't be where they are today. Sure, they have a shrewd business model, but in the end their products reflect what kind of company they are.

Another thing I'd like to mention is that a lot of people are bothered by the fact that H&Ks are polymer-framed pistols, yet cost a few hundred more than other polymer guns like Glocks, XDs, etc. I personally don't feel that just because Sigs have machined aluminum frames that they are any more worthy of a premium price over an H&K. You have to consider the entire package, whether of polymer or all-metal construction, and decide whether or not that weapon is worth the price to YOU. For me, H&Ks are worth every penny. I still own a few 9mm Glocks and several other guns as well, but H&K is what I'd choose if my life was on the line.

We can argue about this all day, but in the end you shouldn't get your feelings hurt just because someone like me that owns BOTH guns, made a slightly subjective statement about which one he prefers.

That said, I do love my Sig P229. It's a CPO gun w/o the rail up front. Paid $530 shipped for it and it was worth every penny. IMHO, these are the only Sigs worth owning. So far mine has been 100% reliable. I still won't buy another Sig though. This will be my one and only!


September 22, 2010, 03:50 AM
Between these two, you're better off comparing features rather than reliability.

Steel frame (Sig) vs Polymer (USP)
DA/SA w/ Decocker (Sig) vs DA/SA w/ safety and decocker (USP)

I personally prefer the USP because I like to carry in condition 1.

September 22, 2010, 04:05 AM
Another thing...

I am not knocking the design of Sig Sauer pistols one bit. They are fantastic guns by design and when you get a good one, you should be proud to own one (like I am). But like I said before, when it comes to repeatability and overall reliability and quality control, I think H&K does a much better job than Sig at producing guns. This is equally as important as the design of the weapon.

September 22, 2010, 07:49 AM
Yeah? Well, my dad can beat up your dad!!!

September 30, 2011, 01:36 AM
i am just curious as to where you got these wild ideas? or do you just like to disagree with everyone? i own an hk usp 45 hk uspc 40 and hk p30 9mm and i own a sig p226 elite a sig p220 compact sas a sig p228 sig p238 and sig p239
that said obviously i like both companies and would pick either over any other brand out there but sig does something you obviously missed the quality control you think hk has is a confusion because they fail to deal with any customer who isnt satisfied and like you said they do leave swirls all over the inside of their guns and the tolerances are good but pretty slopppy for a $500+ gun sig on the other hand makes sure their tolerances are perfect and have a great appearance also the whole idea about blinged out flashy models from sig theres good reason behind it PEOPLE BUY IT they cant make the design any better than it already is it is perfect so the only thing to change is the look so do they have 5 differant models of every model yes but its because somewhere along the line people said i love sigs reliability and design to bad they arent also "pretty" so what did sig do? the oposite of what hk does they did what the customer asked for i have had several issues with my hk's the only one that hasnt acted up is the hk uspc 40 the usp 45 has about 1100 rounds through it but it is already getting ALOT of wobble in the slide and the recoil has become lots more noticeable in the first 400 rounds so i called hk and asked them if they would send me a new recoil spring and they claimed that i would install it wrong......so i had to send it back to them then i get it back with the exact same spring i marked it with a sharpie before i sent it back so when i received it i called them and they said i was mistaking so i figured whatever ill order my own and did and replaced it with success and now with 1100 rounds through it the slide wobble actually scares me that it might just fly off while im shooting and ive sent it back 3 times now they say that it is COMMON and theres no way to fix it long story long hk brand new is a great firearm and possibly better right out of the box than sig but when you actually shoot the gun it becomes temporary if you want a gun to outlive you and continue to be something you can put your and your families life on then pass down to your kids and grandkids to put their and their families lives on then buy a sig

September 30, 2011, 05:49 AM
I have owned a few H&Ks and also currently own a Sig P229 .40. While this particular Sig is a great gun, I still don't think Sig can touch H&K in the reliability/durability department. Overall, I think H&K makes a better combat/defense pistol than Sig does.

So let me get this straight, you're making the comment above based on owning one P229 (that in your own words is 100% reliable) and what you've read and your ability to think? :rolleyes: I have five P220s, two P225s and a P239. I've owned SIGs since '93 and have shot tens of thousands of rounds through SIG pistols over the years. I can personally vouch for the reliability, accuracy and durability of SIGs both old and new. I still own every SIG that I've bought and don't ever plan on using the word "owned" when referring to any of them. In addition, I have no problem with the idea of buying another P220, since unlike the few "experts" on this and other forums, I don't have a problem with the new models. I've found my 2010 P220 Combat, P220 Carry and P239 to be nothing short of superb and will trust my life to any of them. Since I know nothing about the H&K USP other than having shot one once, I won't insult the intelligence of other members here by making BS statements about H&K products based on what I've read.

September 30, 2011, 06:27 AM
My personal choice would go to the HK. I've owned both a USP and P220 in .45acp. There were some aspects of the Sig that didn't agree with me, mostly ergonomic, whereas I can't fault the HK in any way. I'll echo others and say; if I were to carry one I would look to the compact for ease of concealment.

September 30, 2011, 03:53 PM
Good lord has it already been a year since I replied to this thread? For some reason I still remember it... I need to post more often.

September 30, 2011, 04:19 PM
I have both along with some other SIG's and HK's and like both companies. However, all my SIG's except the C3 are German. My P220 and USP 45 have night sights and are good HD weapons, but I find them a bit large for carry. For that purpose, I prefer my HK45C or one of my compact 1911's.

September 30, 2011, 05:44 PM
I have tried both USP and P220 and prefer the P220 by quite a margin and can shoot it quite a bit better.

BUT one should find out for themselves what works for them and then make their decision.

Both are very high quality pistols.

Oh and don't worry about SIG quality as it is superb in my experience with many SIGs and those of many other SIG shooters reporting nothing but 100 percent relilability. Don't let internet rumors brought on largely by about half a dozen VERY VOCAL members of another forum that use every opportunity to jump on the slightest issue as proof positive that SIGs are junk. My comments are about the P210/P220/P225/P226/P228/P229/P239/SP2022/SP2340 series of SIG pistols.

Below are some links to site with overal ratings of SIG pistols by those that actually own or shoot them that will put you at ease.









September 30, 2011, 08:27 PM
I have and love both. But... Buying mags for the USP is painful. They run between 50 and 60 per mag.

September 30, 2011, 08:52 PM
Toss a coin, I don't have their spec's in front of me but the sig is pretty chunky and will be heavier which is always a consideration for CC. I also prefer the controls of the USP to that of the Sig.

September 30, 2011, 10:36 PM
incase i sent the wrong message with my post i have nothing against hk they are either
2nd or third favorite first of course is sig because of the proven reliability and the customer service but let me also say for cc the p220 is going to be heavier than the usp but that said it will also be less recoil and it is much thinner and rounded edges as opposed to the square-ish design from the usp one other thing is the sig p220 compact is able to use extended magazines or the compact and keep it thin the sig p220 compact sas i have conceals easier than my hk usp 40 compact due to the slim profile

October 1, 2011, 12:59 AM
I love my Sig P220 which is a "Made In W. Germany" model. It has 15,000 plus rounds through it and it still works great. It's very accurate and very durable. Of all the torture tests I've seen Sig endured the worst set of tests by far. They blew it up, burned it, shot it (with another gun), froze it, dropped it from a 5 story building on concrete, hit it with a baseball bat, ran over it with a bulldozer (steel tracks), and several other things and it still worked. If any gun is more durable than that I don't see how. That test was online for years but it's gone now. You can still find the text of the article without the photos on this web page. This was an incredible test and well worth reading about if you're interested in a P220. Yes it was the "combat version" but that only meant it had a different kind of paint on it.

I'm sure any poly pistol would have been crushed when they brought out the contruction vehicles.

October 1, 2011, 12:17 PM
You dig up a year old thread just to argue this?

cpshooter doesn't even post here anymore.

Don't be that guy.

October 1, 2011, 12:34 PM
Haven't read all the posts to this topic, so don't know if it has been said, but anyway don't most HK's use polygonal rifling and most Sig's use conventional rifling in their pistols? If this is true, and you reload alot using lead as your primary type of bullets, then your limited in choice, as it is generally not recommended to use lead bullets in polygonal rifling. I own a Sig 226 and it is a utterly reliable pistol and have also heard the same for HK's but for the above reason is why I have not bought an HK yet. LM

October 1, 2011, 04:46 PM
RE above: HK pistols have no lead prohibition, (except for the P7 for a specific reason). I've shot a lot of lead through my USPs with no problems at all.

October 2, 2011, 01:02 AM
first of all the start of the thread is implying the op wants to know which we think is better and so its not arguing it is called weighing the differences to see which has more pluses that said did you not see my handle? thatguy686 so i will be "that guy" anyways the reason i posted here is because i feel others who may be in this same situation as the op may want more info on both guns as oppose to one person who reads alot and shoots a little then posts a totally false report also how am i suppose to know cpshooter doesnt post here anymore?

October 2, 2011, 08:48 AM
I didn't have a whole lot of good luck with the two Sig P220 .45 acp pistols I owned.
I currently own an H&K USP Elite in .45 acp and if you are looking for a belt gun I can recommend the USP line without any hesitation, they are simply fantastic IF you can handle the large grip and trigger reach.

If you are looking for a CCW .45 acp, there are better options out there than either the P220 or the USP line.

Springfield Inc. offers some excellent compact 1911 designs and the G36 Glock is actually quite good, both good examples especially if you have smaller hands while the larger girth G30 offers 10 rounds in a very compact design.

Kahrs and Kimbers, meh, too many issues to recommend.

October 2, 2011, 10:41 AM
I love my p220s :neener:

October 2, 2011, 11:19 AM
Didn't even notice this thread was over a year old.

Jeez, I'm sure the guy has made up his mind already. Why dredge this up from the depths to post a single paragraph run on sentence?

My apologies for contributing to this abomination -Twice!

December 2, 2011, 08:31 AM
Ok...everyone stop. We all know HK is a better gun. :)

December 2, 2011, 09:26 PM
Hate it when I post a response in such an old thread. Sorry, should have read more carefully.

December 2, 2011, 10:51 PM
Here's my Sig P220 Compact.


Mine is DA/SA and accurate as can be.


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