Watch: H&K USP 45 Meets the Gauntlet

   10.06.17

Watch: H&K USP 45 Meets the Gauntlet

The Military Arms Channel on YouTube has a series of gauntlet tests where handguns are put through water, sand, dirt, and finally mud. In this video, MAC runs an H&K USP 45 through that gauntlet.

The tests are divided into two sections:

  • Handgun is washed off in dirty water between each phase. This is called the environmental tests.
  • Handgun is not washed off between each phase.

The H&K Universal Self-Loading Pistol (USP) was introduced in 1993. As with many handguns from that era, the USP has either a safety or a decocker, and is hammer-fired.

Now for the video.

Overall, I am impressed with how well this handgun performed. There was one hiccup when the slide did not go all the way into battery. This was resolved by tapping the rear of the slide by hand.


One of the big questions that should be addressed is, “How much did the recoil of the 45 play into reliability?” The 45 has more recoil that the 9mm. As such, did that recoil help knock trash out of the handgun? In other words, did the heavier 45 ACP recoil force the handgun to function more reliably than 9mm?

Is it possible the 45 ACP is more reliable than the 9mm when it comes to dirt, sand, and mud?

The other question, if a handgun that was designed in 1992 and introduced in 1993 can do so well in these gauntlet tests, why do so many other handguns have problems? For example, the Beretta 92f was an under-performer in these same tests. Then there was the FN 509, which failed miserably.

Some may chalk it up to H&K reliability. However, all those other handguns were 9mm, while the H&K USP is 45acp. Hmmmmm.

Special thanks the Military Arms Channel for another excellent video.

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