The HK USP. It came out in 1993, and when I first saw it in 1994, I bought it on the spot. It was a .40 caliber. Big, mean looking, but it shot very good. The gun became very popular, even making the cover of “Rainbow Six”. I loved it. HK loved it too, as it really brought them into the US Handgun Market. Since 1993, there have been many variations, and evolutions. But what made the USP so good, and why is it still a good option today?
HK went all the way with the USP. They used features that American Shooters like… Frame mounted safety that has Up for Safe and Down to Fire, just like a 1911. A 1911 grip angle is also there. Wide, easy to use control levers. If this gun was a car, it would be a full sized Mercedes… big, comfortable, powerful, easy to drive and with a lot of options. Some variants also have a down to decock feature, or a Decock Only, depending on what the shooter wants or is used to. These options made a big difference. Also, the full size slide and oversized trigger guard that make operation with Gloved hands much easier. Aggressive but not uncomfortable texturing on the grip frame… the USP has it all. And it does it all in a package that is well balanced, accurate and great shooting. Outside of Military and Law Enforcement items – the USP was HK’s first real Home Run in the US. And it still is.
Point Blank Range had their Grand Opening Week last week. From May 16th to the 24th. This went along with NASCAR’s RACE WEEK, which is a huge Broohaha in Charlotte, NC.
One of the things I did was to get Harley Davidson of Charlotte to come out – and they did! They know I’ve been wanting a new bike, and they brought them. Each of the ones I’ve been wanting.
One is a nice little Sportster Forty Eight. Mini Ape Hangers (Which I am not all that fond of – but the riding position actually feels good), great aftermarket seat, Vance & Hines pipes and a Screaming Eagle Intake. All tuned to run together nicely. I like the Sportsters, and especially the Forty Eight model. I will have one eventually. As much as I love the look of them, that 2.1 gallon tank is limiting. If I was to have just one bike – I don’t know if I could live day to day with only a 2.1. I need a tank that LOOKS like that one, but holds 3, or 3.5 gallons. That would be perfect.
Then there’s the Fat Bob. In “Sand Camo Denim” I don’t get Harley’s name for the paint, but it’s a flat desert tan. I really dig the twin headlights. If I got the Sportster – I’d want to put lights like these on it. In LED. If possible. But I love the look. Reminds me of a vintage WWII bike, with some modern touches. I’d name the bike “Rommel” and put Afrika Korps emblems on it. I think these bikes are badass… and they ride very well. Very balanced and planted. The most Stable bike I think I’ve ever ridden.
Yeah, I have to post a second photo of this one. Love it. Just love it.
But then there is this one… The Breakout…
This image doesn’t do it justice. The red paint is just gorgeous. As is that huge fat rear tire. “Dat Ass”! The Breakout is a dream bike.
I was going to probably trade in my car on that Fat Bob… the Wife said “Do what you want”. And then I go to do it – she’s all “No, don’t.”
I love my car, it’s very nice, but I need something that feels alive and a part of me. Something with muscle.
Lead contamination is dangerous situation that we shooters all worry about – or should be worried about! I work at an indoor range. We go to great pains to make sure that exposure to lead is as minimal as possible. Every day we clean each range bay, and we use state of the art HVAC and air filtration systems to keep the air clean. Not just to make the range comfortable, but to keep everyone safe as they enjoy their experience.
Lead particles can get everywhere. In your hair, your clothes, all over your guns, and all over your hands. We always encourage our patrons, guests, and friends to wash their hands after shooting. But there is one area that gets neglected, that we don’t think about.
Our Range Bags.
Think about it. It’s right there on the firing line with us. We go into the bag all the time for ammo and magazines… and it’s catching some of everything we throw down range. Powder and Powder Residue, Brass at times… and lead particles.
As dirty as your hands can get, you grab that range bag. Then, you go and wash your hands, and then you grab your range bag again to take it to the car. At home, you wash your clothing, shower, and then you grab your range bag. Your hands could be getting contaminated with lead even before you shoot for the day.
Let me ask you this; when was the last time you cleaned your range bag? You don’t have to answer that. I’ll be honest. I don’t think I’ve ever cleaned my range bag! How much lead have I been bringing into my home?
Make cleaning your range bag a part of your shooting schedule.
Glock’s dominance in the LEO market is epic. Over 68% of the market is staggering. But that’s actually not that surprising to me.
What is, well, not so surprising, but disappointing… is the complete falling of SIG and Beretta. 22.6% and 8.5% respectively. As bad as that is… is the results of the question “What would you like to carry?” Those numbers being only 21.3% and 4.6%.
This very clearly tells us that the time of metal framed guns fired with hammers is going the way of the Flint Lock. This saddens me. I prefer the metal-hammer guns over poly-striker guns. The feel, the weight, the superior single action pull… and that I can pull more accuracy out of a hammer fired gun.
What saddens me the most about this though – is that it tells me that Law Enforcement is no longer a Profession of Shootists. Like the FBI, Municipal Law Enforcement isn’t a Gun Culture anymore. They no longer want fine guns of refinement and craftsmanship… they only want Shooting Appliances. They want guns – and this is the secret to Glock’s success – that are simplified down to the lowest common denominator. Yes, I’ll say it.
Glock is the Common Core of handguns.
Most LE Agencies are not hiring shooters anymore. They want guys with education in Psychology and Human Development… They want Councilors. We saw this trend starting 20 years ago. I think this is why we see so many questionable police shootings… so many cops shooting dogs. I think a lot of these COP 2.0 guys may be power tripping… because the guys that come from the Gun Culture don’t get worked up or feel the need to power trip and flex their authority so much as these C2.0 guys and gals.
Huh… Oddly enough, all my LEO friends are from the Classic Old School variety. Good Cops that use Common Sense before using Ego. Damn good Cops. Many of them carry Glocks, because of Policy, not by choice. Some choose the Glocks… and that’s fine. They can’t shoot that well anyways. (j/k)
The Sidearms used by the most astute of shooting professionals remain hammer fired, metal framed guns. The US Navy SEALs, I must point out – having the freedom of using anything they want, use SIG 226’s. I don’t know any single group that personifies a Gun Culture more than the SEALS. They take Pistol Craft more seriously than any other group… with US Air Marshals being a close second. And they want that SIG. They want a stable shooting platform with as much accuracy as you can have in a Semi-Auto handgun.
In the Consumer Market – sales of SIG’s and Beretta’s are down. Regardless of quality, and regardless of special offers and marketing efforts, you just can’t sell them like you used to. The first choice is Glock… followed by the S&W M&P and the Springfield XDM series guns.
I’m not counting 1911’s – that is a market unique to it’s own, and I’ll talk about that in more detail at another time.
For me – I will remain a fan of the SIG’s and the Beretta’s. I prefer the triggers. I prefer the safeties. Now, if you are going to go Glock – get a new trigger system from Lone Wolf. Get some new sights from Lone Wolf. And you can make the most out of that Glock, if that’s what you prefer or have to live with. And I do appreciate the Glock for what it is… and do like them with LWD triggers. But given my druthers, I’ll take my Beretta over any Glock.
Oddly enough, the guns I want the most are all metal framed, hammer guns of the Revolving variety. With only a couple automatics. A SIG M11A1 is one the autos. The other are Browning/FN Hi-Powers and a SIG P210. But my beard is grey and I don’t like the music these kids listen to these days. Oh… and get off my lawn.
I like this gun. It felt very good in my hands, shot very accurately… Much closer to point of aim, point of impact for me… just ran “Good“.
Good isn’t really the right word… Freaking Awesome is about right. It felt freaking awesome. I know the Storm isn’t a SIG or a 1911… But it’s a wonderful shooting gun. 10 rounds in the mag isn’t all that impressive, but the mag is smooth and easy to load and feels like its a higher quality piece than most other mags.
I don’t mind the Beretta Safety. I even like it. I don’t mind the DA/SA trigger. I even like it. I don’t mind the funky action – I really like it. I’m weird that way. But when you have a .45 that shoots like it’s launching Nerfs instead of 230 grain slugs… that’s something. When you have a gun that puts the first 5 rounds into the same bloody hole, right where you wanted it to go – That’s awesome. I know this group doesn’t look like its really all that much better than the Glock 30s’s group. But the gun felt like I had much more control, and that I was placing my shots better…. It felt like that. I knew where the bullet was going to go before I looked at the target. I could call the shots with it. Normally I can only really do that with a 220 or 1911… but I could with the Storm.
Now, the Storm is not up there like a SIG P220 is, or a nice 1911 is… But it’s right up there, real close. I like this gun. A lot.
The trigger pull could use some work. It’s not all that smooth on the example I fired. Which was a Range Rental Gun, that I think I was the first guy to try it out.
There was a time… 2013, where the Glock 30s was the object of my desire. Having spent some quality time with one… I’m not all that hot to trot for it anymore.
At 30 feet, that’s a respectable group. But I just feel… “Meh” about it. Not that there was anything wrong with it. The gun shot very well. And 10+1 Capacity of full bore .45 Auto is nothing to sneeze at. That’s more ammo on board than a full sized 1911, in a package that is much smaller and lighter. Trigger was typical of Glock’s 5.5 pound trigger… You feel one, you’ve felt them all. And I know that can be altered at will thanks to our friends at Lone Wolf Distributors. And the sights too. The sights on factory Glocks… Why THE HELL are they so stupid? Seriously. They suck. Balls. They suck balls.
The grip needs a bit of work being rather slick in my hands. To me, really, Glocks are project guns. Spend some time with them, making them feel and fire how I want them too. And then once the project is over, I just feel done with them. I like them enough to want to play with them… But I am not emotionally attached. Like Vegas hookers or something.
I know all the arguments for the Glocks… I do. I sang them myself when I was drinking the Glock-Koolaide. But… I’m just… Done with Glocks. They are just not me. I don’t feel that connection with them. I don’t feel that connection with my Microwave Oven either. But I do with my old fashioned Weber Grill. One is an appliance that I use to get a job done. The other gets that job done, but takes time and care… and I spend more time with it and come to love it all the more every time I use it. Not the Microwave. And not the Glock.
But if you like it – I understand way. I respect your opinion. Mine just differs.