Heckler & Koch USP Compact - KSC

This KSC USP Compact was loaned to me by Havoc_Man from Arnie's Airsoft forum, so first off, thanks to him for lending it to me.

It was good timing, as, at the same time, I had the KJW USP Tactical and the KSC Mk23, giving me a chance to compare the three sizes of USP available in airsoft form, if not every version available.

KSC do the smart H&K design credit.

The gun was virtually brand new and is a Japanese version of this model (more on that as we go along).

In the Box

The box is similar to other recent KSC guns I have seen, with a very dense polystyrene inner holding the gun, magazine (with room for in the gun, too) and accessories in place very securely.

Familiar to owners of recent KSCs.

The box itself is a fetching pale blue, with no pictures.

Inside the box, as well as the gun, is a typical KSC manual, tube-hopper-and-rod loading tool, the magazine (separately), a small bag of BBs and a second magazine base for the magazine. There is also the modern style KSC hop-up adjuster and another tool, which I'm told allows you to lock the hammer (although I never worked out how, Havoc_Man informs me that "In order to lock the hammer, you remove the mag and insert the 'key' into a little twisty plate lock thing on the back of the magwell. You turn it about 90 degrees to lock the hammer."), which is a replication of the real steel and a common feature on modern handguns.

There was much talk of the Compact being a precursor to a full size USP and the box cut-out is large enough to accommodate the KJW USP Tactical, but only with the extended, thread barrel removed, if that can be taken as an indication of anything.

First Impressions

First impressions are two-fold. Firstly it's a tiny little gun, almost exactly the size of a Glock 19 (just 1mm less, according to World Guns). Secondly, it's a solid little piece (weighing in at 700g, impressive for such a small gun).

Details are accurate and fit and finish are excellent

As you would expect of KSC, detail and finish appear excellent, although the trademarks are typically fine and shallow.

External metal parts include, the trigger, hammer, magazine release, front and rear sights and recoil spring guide rod.

Closer Look

Looking at the USP Compact more closely, the initial impression of quality continues.

The slide is finished in the heavyweight material seen on the Mk23 and numerous other KSC guns, such as the Beretta M9.

The frame is not as nice in the hand as the Mk23, suggesting that has a different material for the frame, but it is still solid and good to touch. Of course, like the real thing, the frame is ABS and there is already a metal slide and barrel kit to complete the metallization of the USP Compact.

Completeness of markings good, even if they are a little faint.

All the metal parts are finely finished, the safety having the S and F painted (unlike the KJW) in the correct white and red respectively. The trigger has three serrations to provide a firm purchase.

Metal plate bears serial number.

As I have come to expect of KSC airsoft products, the accuracy and completeness of the markings are exceptional. The left side of the slide (looking forwards down the gun) is marked with a largish HK logo, followed by "USP COMPACT 9mmx19. Below that, on the slightly raised part of the slide which covers the rails are 3 proof marks and a serial number (27-003471). There is another proof mark on the frame, between the rail and the slide lock and the grip is marked with the HK logo and USP on the left side.

On the right side, the grip is marked "pat. pend.", with "Heckler & Koch GmBH" on the frame at the top of the grip. There is also a unique KSC serial number starting XK, here, which marks this is a Japanese spec gun (Taiwanese ones do not have it, judging from the S&W M945. The right side of the slide is totally bear, but the chamber is marked with a small HK logo, "9mmx19","27-003471" and another proof mark.

On the underside of the frame there is a small metal plate bearing the "27-003471" serial number.Above it, the frame is marked "Heckler & Koch ING" and, below "Sterling, VA". The bottom of the trigger guard is marked "WARNING"/"REFER TO OWNER'S MANUAL".

A fun thing on KSC's recent guns is finding their trademark (unlike WAs...).In this case, you have to remove the slide lock to find it!

XK number identifies this as Japanese Version gun.

One thing I noticed quite quickly is that the Compact lacks a hammer spur, meaning you cannot cock the gun by pulling back the hammer.

I also noticed that it refuses to fire in double action after inserting a magazine. Havoc_Man also pointed out that the magazine needs a fairly firm push up into the grip to engage, when the slide is closed. It is not a problem with the slide back, so presumably the magazine feed jaw is a tight fit to the workings inside the slide.

White Dotted sights adjust for windage and can be swapped out.

The sights are metal and both front and rear sights are adjustable in their grooves in the slide for windage, but not for elevation.

Note flat magazine base fitted in this shot.

Up against the KJW USP Tactical (not to mention the Mk23), the USP Compact is just that. Compact. The grip is smaller, the frame and trigger guards shorter and the barrel is very short, although there is still a rail.

Interchangable magazine bases a nice feature.

One nice feature is that the magazine comes with two different bases. One is flat, for concealment, whilst the other has a curved extension on the front, giving the lower fingers something to rest on and providing a more stable shooting platform. The bases are changed by simply pressing in a sprung catch on the base of the magazine and sliding one off and the other on.

Grooves on trigger for secure purchase.

Quality is on a par with the excellent KSC Mk23 heavyweight, with lots of good H&K trademarks, although, as is always the case with KSC guns, the depth and width of the engraving is disappointingly shallow and narrow.

Shooting Impressions

Click on image for bigger version in separate window.

Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, I achieved good accuracy, especially for a gun with such a short barrel.

All 6 rounds broke into the centre ring of the target, with the best 5 grouping being 3.8CM (1.5 inches) across.

This compared favourably with the similar sized Glock 19, which could only manage a 2 inch grouping.

Over 10 shots, the USP Compact averaged 256 fps (using Abbey Ultra gas) indoors (at 16C). It was also noticeable that, with around a second between each shot, the power declined quite consistently on each shot. Presumably this was cool down and was a bit surprising for a modern gun, I felt.
Unfortunately, I cannot say if it's a common problem or unique to this example under these conditions.

Shot      FPS
1 269.3
2 263.9
3 260.8
4 258.7
5 254.6
6 254.8
7 253.6
8 251.1
9 251.3
10 243.9

The trigger action is good, with a smooth, shortish pull. The actual pull weight is 1,240g (43.7 ounces), a medium-heavy pull for a GBB, but on a par with guns like KSC's Beretta M93R, Tanio Koba's VP70 and TM's older Desert Eagle.

Take Down

Take down poses no surprises.

With the magazine removed, slide the slide back until the notch aligns with the front of the slide lock (at this point a line is visible on the slide lock, normally covered by the slide). Push the slide lock out of the frame and slide the slide all the way back and then forward off the frame.

The recoil spring and guide rod should then be removed and the barrel can then be removed by pushing it forward and then down and back.


Overall, the USP Compact is a good example of KSC's recent output.

Solidly made, nicely detailed, well replicated and reasonably performant (for such a short barrel), it is certainly a gun most would enjoy owning.

USP Compact is noticably smaller than even the USP

The only concerns would be around the seeming cool-down effect and the common complaint that KSC don't engrave their markings deep or broadly enough to look truly realistic.

A full size KSC USP would surely be a big seller, but if I was in the market for a compact auto, I would choose this USP over the Glock 19, personally.

Weight : 700g

Realism : ****
Quality : ****
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****

Real Steel link at World Guns

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