HK Mk23 Review


March 16, 2004, 04:00 PM
After endlessly debating where to dump $2000 worth of cash, I finally bought a HK Mark23 Socom.
I did lot of research prior to buying this, so I had pretty good idea what I was getting into. Here are my initial observations about MK23.

-It's big, desert eagle big. It dwarves my other 'fullsize' handguns. I just wish they came out with bigger handguns. Surprisingly, it's not heavy at all. Same weight as full size 1911, but extra 5rds or .45 does add little bit more.

-DA trigger is long, but much smoother and better than factory USP. SA is
surprisingly crisp. Best SA of DA/SA trigger I've felt, may be except for HK P9s.

-Thumb safety is kinda small, and is not easy to reach as 1911 or USP.

-Nice sight picture, similar to excellent P7 sights, but it has that glossy finish even on the sight, and reflects light.

-I have smallish hands, but I had no problem handling Mk23. Grip checkering and stippling gives positive grip, but rear checkering is bit sharp, and is abrasive on the web of a hand.

-The maritime finish is paint like, and will chip/scratch easily, but Mk23 is suppost to be double finished with HE finish underneath. Black finish is indeed fragile, but is nice and shiny in a pretty way when new.

-Cocking Mk23 makes very distinct 'chuka' sound. Like cocking a shotgun. Very cool.

-It's not sexy, but it's COOL beyond belief. Everything hollywood action hero wants, but which actually works, and shoots more than 3 rounds without jamming.

-Barrel is completely chromed inside, from muzzle to chamber, something uncommon on handguns.

Shooting Impressions:

-Sucker is accurate. I can shoot 1" group at 25yards with cheap walmart ball amo. Everything from O'ring barrel fit, loooong sight radius, and match quality trigger helps.

-Recoil is mild, and it is very smooth and comfortable to shot., but there is a noticeable muzzle flip compared to 1911. To me, it makes very distictive 'tah tah tah' noise.

-Due to a muzzle flip, quick and acurate 1911 style double tap is difficult to do, but consistant rapid fire is very manageable. I can consistantly empty 12 rounds into a head of the silluette target at 10 yards in 7 sec. or less.

-It points very naturally, and sight acquisition is very fast.

-As with all HK products, it is 110% reliable.

I usually am not fond of plastic handguns, but I think Mk23 definitely makes an exception.

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March 16, 2004, 04:18 PM
Congrats on your purchase.

That is one very thorough review of the SOCOM. Thanks.

I've a USP .45 Compact. Double taps are not quite as fast as a 1911 but I feel that is due to the longer trigger pull as opposed to muzzle flip.

I think HK puts out an excellent line of firearms.

George Hill
March 16, 2004, 05:05 PM
This is the first handgun review I've ever read that talks about the sounds the gun makes.


March 16, 2004, 06:00 PM
Actually it also has a distictive odor. It smells like new furniture (wood+paint). I don't know what it is, but very strange smell.

March 16, 2004, 06:08 PM
I'd own a Mk23 by now! I love that gun. But I picked up a new Tactical a few years back and after some polishing and a set of championship springs (H&K did the work) it is about as good as a handgun can be! In fact, it's in the car now, and will be at the range in about an hour!

The Mk23 is going to be on my "want-to-buy" list until I one day own one, but for now...I just get to drool thinking of one.

Congrats! Enjoy!!!

(oh, and good report...the only thing that would have improved it...a .wav file of that slide in motion!)


Black Snowman
March 16, 2004, 06:21 PM
I'm curious, does the documentation say anything about .45 Super ammo? I've heard rumors it's supposed to digest it indefinately without issues as long as you change the recoil springs and have no doubt it can. I'm just wanted to know if they had an "offical" position on it.

March 16, 2004, 06:25 PM
Black Snowman,

I've read on the HKPro boards that the gun eats it like candy. I assume someone on that board could give you the low-down.

KCKS heh? I'm off the Bullet Hole tonight to run some reloads thru the ol' Tactical!


March 16, 2004, 06:25 PM
their official position is yes.

Black Snowman
March 16, 2004, 06:42 PM
OK, that's what I thought on the Super ammo but I'd never seen it in print. Considering it's apitite for .45 super it makes it much more compedatively priced to equivilant 1911 platforms. Try finding a long slide match grade .45 Super 1911 for under $2000. Not likely.

Hey, VonFatman. We might have to hook up some time. I live just down the road about 5 minutes from the good-'ole Bullet Hole :)

March 16, 2004, 07:12 PM
The closest to a Mk23 is my Airsoft. :(

Nice short review though! Enjoy!

March 16, 2004, 09:15 PM
I think smell on MK23 is from lubricant. It smells like crayola crayon. It's the same oil Benelli shotgun came with, the one in a grey bottle. Good smell, I guess even lubricants smell fashionable when coming from Italy.

March 16, 2004, 11:51 PM
Well this is my first post here, so I guess that I picked the right thread...

The Mark 23 is on of my all time favorite handguns. Now if I could only find a way to legally get that 2,000+ dollars to afford one. Well I guess till then, its just me and my P89. :p

March 16, 2004, 11:57 PM
I love USPs, so I guess I'd love a USP 45 on steroids!

March 16, 2004, 11:59 PM
Just think, you coulda had an Ed Brown... ;)

If you had to buy polymer, though, you made a decent choice. :)

(Would it be sacreligious to say that I'd take a 9mm P-99 over a Mk23? :uhoh: )

March 17, 2004, 12:03 AM
Get this Tamara, I also have evil-nasty IR laser ordered for this gun as well.

As for Ed Brown, can it fire .45 super or 40,000rds of +P ammo without any part breaking?

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