Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:00 AM
If you will indulge some reminiscing, I can tell you that the USP presented some intersting challenges when I was once again shooting for HK-USA, from '99 through '02. At first I ran an Expert .40 in Limited. That necessitated the development of some trick reduced-reset action work and a few tweaks to make the sights track and return faster and more consistently.
It IS possible to get really shootable triggers on USP's but it's not easy nor obvious. We eventually doped out a reliable system for this work that we still use today in our shop and I'll be happy to provide some advice on the subject if y'all wish.
The second challenge was that darned inconsistent muzzle flip and sight return of the USP Fullsize pistols. Everyone who saw my USP's commented on the high bore axis, and indeed they are a bit higheer than, say, a 1911. However, the dual-function recoil buffer is most of the problem; it makes the USP-F bounce like a jet-powered pogo stick compared to similar-leverage platofrms like the P226. It may theoretically increase durability (it's actual purpose) but it does nothing for rapid sight return, so we came up with two different methods for eliminating the thing. Take it out and spring thr gun appropriately, and the big USP will really start playing nicely. FWIW, I was sadly bemused when SIG put a similar buffer in the XFive. We get rid of those as well.
As for mags, I simply adapted STI 140's to my Experts. They ran really well, and were more durable than the funky "white" mags that tend to develop liner-adhesion and feedlip issues after a while. The only feeding issues I can recall with my Experts were due, I believe, to these mags after they started to spread and crap out.
These Experts were very accurate, though I ran BarSto's in mine most of the time since, as a true dinosaur, I shot Laser-Cast 185's in competition and these bullets wouldn't group well from the stock barrel. From the BarSto, my load of 4.4gr. Universal and a Laser-Cast 185 40/1911 bullet would give me under 3" at fifty and was way soft.
When I made the Production team prior to the WS in 2002, I was already having serious problems with the nerves and joints in my hands and arms that ultimately compelled me to retire from competition in 2004. (Beki says I should have been a male model rather than a gunmaker or shooter. It seems I'm not cut out for manual labor, and the fragments in my right hand didn't help either.) That's relevant here because I literally, and I mean this, could NOT fire a stock USP9F in DA mode with my right hand. I had never cared a rat's ass about DA until then, but suddenly I had three months to dope out how to make that work for me and train up as best I could. Desperation is a great motivator. My USP9F action was very competitive, it ran perfectly and I shot it well. My son Miles carries that USP on duty now.
The original USP's, however optimized, still have some handicaps. They are flippy, they can be breakage-prone (including sear springs, firing pins and trigger bars), and they aren't necessarily as ergonomic as other options for many shooters. HK corrected many of these issues with the P30, though they introduced a few new issues as well. Still, it may offer an edge over it's predecessors. It's ergos are way ahead overall, the bore axis is lower, the action is better and they won't lilely break parts as readily. I still think the standard original USP9F, with some tweaks, would be a reasonably competitive Production gun today, and is arguably faster to load than the P30, but the P30 will beat it in a Bill Drill contest every time. We are seeing more of the latter these days in our shop.
I hope this helps frame the discussion a bit. Thanks.
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