Heckler & Koch USP (Metal Slide Version) - KSC
The Heckler & Koch USP range is one of the most replicated in Airsoft form.
I have reviews on this site of KJW's and Tanio Koba's USP Tactical as well as KSC's own USP Compact. Heckler & Koch themselves consider the Mk23 a form of USP and there are AEPs from TM (plus at least one clone) and numerous springers around.
The particular gun reviewed here is a standard .45ACP USP, from KSC, featuring a KSC branded Metal slide and outer barrel from new.
In the Box
The box for all KSC USPs is the same.
The outer box is a plainish, lightish blue and states the content is a USP Compact.
Inside, a dense grey polystyrene bed is cut out to allow a fullsize or compact to fit, along with a slot for a magazine (the gun will fit with the magazine in, too).
As well as the gun, there is the usual collection of warranty, parts lists and targets. A bag of .2g BBs, a tube,rod and hopper speed loader, a rotary hop-up adjuster and a device that looks like a clockwork mechanism key.
This example is all black and features the KSC branded metal slide and barrel kit.
As you would expect of a KSC gun, especially one with a metal slide, the gun feels and looks very realistic.
The frame is rather a gloss black, but this is typical of real steel H&K frames I have seen. If you prefer something more military in appearance, there are Tan and Olive framed versions available.
The metal slide is black painted and feels solid and heavy. The markings are sharp and clear, but purists will complain about the white paint on them (others will welcome the fact they are already painted) and observe they are more 'look-alike' trades than strict replicas, but H&K's litigious nature is, no doubt, the reason for this.
With the metal slide and barrel, pretty much everything that should be is metal on the USP, with the magazine release, hammer, slide lock, sights and trigger all being metal, leaving only the frame (polymer on the real USP) as plastic.
Like most KSC gun, details are good and the replication is excellent.
Details like the safety (on the left side, for the right handed, only) which decocks the hammer and the white dotted sights are excellently reproduced, as are the markings, on the whole.
In the all ABS form, the markings on KSC guns are often rather too fine and shallow, but the metal slide of this gun doesn’t suffer from that. However, the white painted trades are not particularly realistic and certainly not to everyone’s taste.
That said, the slide (especially considering it’s included in the affordable price) is quite impressive. It feels heavy and racks against the metal barrel with a satisfying ‘clink’.
On the left side it is marked with a HK logo (purists will point out that’s it more look-alike than strictly accurate, but H&K have been quite litigious recently, so that is probably unavoidable) and USP near the muzzle. Further back, the slide is marked “.45 Auto” with some proof markings and a serial number below it. The right side is unmarked save for a tiny slither of red on the extractor (fixed), which indicates a loaded chamber.
The barrel and chamber are metal too, but the finish is matt black. On this example, it seems a little thin as there is wear already visible on the underside of the barrel, where it contacts on the slide opening. Of course, many will see this as adding character that no plastic gun will ever be able to match.
The chamber is marked (again in white) with an H&K logo, “.45 Auto” and a serial number and proof mark.
The frame is well marked too. On the left side, there is a proof mark over the trigger and an HK logo and USP near the bottom of the grip. The right side the grip is marked with a US Lot number.
“WARNING”/”REFER TO OWNER’S MANUAL” is moulded into the underside of the trigger guard, whilst there is “Heckler & Koch. INC.”/”Sterling. VA” either side of a silver plate bearing the serial number on the underside of the dustcover, ahead of the trigger guard.
Minh Pham got in touch to say:
"I think it's a good idea to note that the right side of the USP'a frame is missing a 'Heckler and Koch GmBH Made in Germany' that is supposed to be present (similar to the Mk23 and USP Compact).
After some research, it appears that the Japan version do bear this marking, but the Taiwan and metal slide versions do not."
The frame of this black gun is shiny ABS. Many say this is closer to the actual finish of real USPs than the heavyweight finish KSC use on some guns and this gun certainly looks a similar finish (in frame and slide) to a commercial Mk23 I once saw in a US Gun store.
There is an accessory rail built into the USP’s dustcover, but this is a unique design to H&K guns and so either requires a dedicated Tac Light or an adaptor to use more commonly sized ones. Unavoidable, but Tanio Koba include an adaptor with the gun.
The grips (part of the polymer frame, of course) feature aggressive chequering on the front and back, along with a stippled surface to each side. There is a securing point for a lanyard at the rear of the grip.
Overall, it feels solid and well made, being compact and almost a kilo in weight.
Like all KSC USP models, the KSC one features an ambidextrous magazine release at the rear of the trigger guard. Personally, I like the design, but not everyone finds it easy to use. This is metal, as is the slide lock, hammer (just bobbed enough to be possible to cock with your thumb), thumb safety, smooth faced trigger and the sights.
The sights are dovetailed in front and rear and feature prominent (and bright) white dots for rapid target acquisition. They work well.
In the US today, nearly every gun is sold with a mechanism to render the gun inoperable with a key. Only KSC USPs (this model and the Compact) currently replicate this feature in airsoft form, with a key included in the package which locks the hammer spring, by turning a small disk with two holes in it inside the back of the magazine well.
Being a midsized gun, the USP fits in the same space as the Beretta 92, Glock 17 and SIG P226, all replicated in airsoft form.
The USP also provides a more wieldy option for anyone who hankers after the huge, but popular Mk23 SOCOM pistol
The USP is a comfortable gun to handle and shoot, as you would expect of a replica of a Heckler & Koch firearm. Lefties will be a little disappointed that there is no way to swap the safety/decocker from the left to right side as there is with the real USP, but otherwise it offers no real problems for anyone, with a grip size that will suit most (It is much smaller than the Mk23s, if you’ve been put off H&K airsoft replicas by that gun’s huge size) and a trigger guard big enough to accommodate even well padded gloves.
The balance, in contrast to many of Tokyo Marui’s guns, is even, making the USP easy to get (and keep) on target, aided by those bright white dots on the sights.
In terms of performance, the KSC USP is a good, if unexceptional, performer.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Accuracy, at 5m, was as you would expect from this style of gun. Shooting off hand I was able to group 5 shots from 6 in a 47mm diameter, although 4 of them fell within just 25mm. At 70ft, the gun was easily able to hit a chest sized target area.
One disappointing aspect was the trigger pull. Although not especially heavy, even the single action pull is long and dead tending to lead a degree of anticipation on the shooters behalf which can have a detrimental effect on shooting the gun accurately.
Over 10 shots, the KSC USP averaged 293 fps (using Propane gas and .2g BBs) indoors (at 26C).
Experience suggests this would equate to around 261 fps at 20C, pretty much on a par with most similar sized GBBs.
Trigger pull was 1410g (50 Oz), which is a medium to heavy weight pull for a GBB.
More disappointing was the long, dead feel to the trigger (even in single action), which led to a degree of anticipation on the shooter's part, which must affect the accuracy to some degree.
Field stripping a USP is similar to a 1911 (and very like a Mk23).
Remove the magazine, then push back the slide until the notch in the left side of the slide aligns with the front of the slide lock.
The slide lock can then be pushed out of the frame from the opposite side and the barrel and slide will then push off of the front of the frame.
The recoil rod and spring can be removed from the frame and then the barrel pushed foward and down to remove it from the slide.
If you’re in the market for a modern, midsized GBB, this one is great value straight out of the box and all but the most demanding will find the metal slide and barrel enough to satisfy their requirements.
It performs more than adequately, is compact enough not to get in the way and solidly made.
The replication is good overall, although if you’re really picky you can get better quality after market metal slide kits (and barrels with threads to fit silencers) which won’t have the white trades.
The aftermarket for KSC guns is good, if not as extensive as for Tokyo Marui guns, but there is little doubt that this KSC USP is a much more impressive looking gun than any stock Tokyo Marui GBB (with the possible exception of their 1911A1).
If I was in the market for a mid-range GBB, I would happily put my hand in my pocket and buy one of these myself, although I'd rather have the newly announced Tactical personally.
Weight : 960g (340g magazine)
Realism : ****
Quality : ****
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****
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