The HK USP Compact is a small frame pistol capable of firing the most powerful cartridges in .45 ACP, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, and 9mm x 19; including all +P 9mm ammunition. Based on the full size HK USP (Universal Self-loading Pistol), these handy pistols are a reasonable synthesis of compact size and effective shooting capabilities. Unlike some subcompact semiautomatic pistols that use a difficult to shoot "two-finger grip" frame, the HK USP Compact uses a narrow, full hand grip frame. This makes the pistol easy to shoot without sacrificing concealability.
All variants of the USP Compact have a modified contoured slide and frame for effective concealability. Several variants also have a no snag, bobbed hammer.
The frame mounted control lever, a combination safety and decocking lever, has a slimline profile for compactness but is still quickly accessible, unlike the slide mounted safeties common on many semiautomatic pistols.
The USP control lever has a positive stop and returns to the "fire" position after decocking. The control lever, featured on many variants of the USP and USP Compact allows these pistols to be safely carried "cocked and locked".
Derived from the full size Heckler & Koch USP introduced in 1993, the USP Compact is designed with the demanding needs of the American shooter in mind.
Features favored by US civilian, law enforcement, and military users provided the design criteria for the full size USP and the USP Compact. Controls are uniquely American, influenced by such famous and successful designs as the Government Model 1911 pistol. And like the Model 1911, many variants of the USP and USP Compact can be safely carried "cocked and locked".
Using a modified Browning-type action, the USP Compact is built to take the punishment of high energy +P loads. But unlike large frame USPs, the Compact does not use the patented USP recoil reduction system. To reduce the size of the slide on the USP Compact, the mechanical recoil reduction system found on large frame USPs has been eliminated, replaced by a specially designed flat compression spring contained in the captive recoil spring assembly by an absorber bushing made of a high strength polymer.
The polymer frame of the USP Compact was designed using technical experience gained by HK engineers in the development of the world's first composite material pistols, the HK VP70Z and P9S. These same high-strength/corrosion free materials are used in the MK 23 .45 ACP handgun produced by HK for the U.S. Special Operations Command.
Major metal components like the one-piece, machined steel slide are also corrosion resistant, treated with a special "HE" (Hostile Environment) protective finish. The HE finish is an extremely hard, nitro-gas carburized black oxide coating, and resists even the worst types of corrosion and wear, including prolonged exposure to salt water.
Stainless steel models are also available for those who prefer metallurgical corrosion resistance and the contrasting appearance of these materials.
The HK USP Compact pistol is presently available in calibers .45 ACP, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, and 9mm x19. Large frame USP models are also available in the same calibers with the exception of .357 SIG.
The design characteristics of all HK USPs provide a wide range of flexibility for users. By using a modular approach to the internal components, the control lever function of all USPs can be switched from the left to the right side of the pistol for left-handed shooters. All USPs can also be converted from one type of trigger/firing mode to another. This includes combination double-action and single-action (DA/SA) modes and double action only (DA-Only) modes.
Both large frame and Compact USPs are available in the following trigger/firing mode configurations (see Figure 10).
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