Posts Tagged ‘9mm’

May
24

How to Field Strip the H&K USP

I decided to do a couple quick how-to videos for new owners. Here’s the first – how to field strip the HK USP compact 9mm for routine cleaning.

Apr
10

9mm Ammo Shootout!

The day after I picked up my HK USPc 9mm, I put it through its paces with some Winchester Ranger 9mm NATO and some Speer Gold Dot. After getting surprisingly good results with both kinds of ammo, I bought a few more boxes of both until the day came when I could do a fair ammo shootout with the USP.

That day has come: Clear, sunny afternoon, 0-5mph breeze, 74 degrees. One couldn’t ask for a better day.

I gathered a good assortment of 9mm ammunition for the shootout, all 124 grain, both jacketed and hollow point.

The candidates:

I set up at 15 yards with 3″ orange spot targets. I chose that distance mainly because that’s about as far away as I could get while still being able to clearly see the center of the 3″ targets.

This was purely a test for the best groups – as I’ve stated before, I’m far from a superb shooter, so I shot groups of eight and took the best 5-shot group out of the eight as a standard for this test.

I started out by fouling the clean pistol with 10 shots and got to work.

I began the test with the Gold Dot, ammunition that I already knew shot reasonably well. Speer’s Gold Dot ammo is an excellent defensive round. These are standard loaded (not +P) 124 grain hollow points in nickel casings. The five shot group at 15 yards measured .863 inches.

Speer Gold Dot - 5 shots in .863 inches

Speer Gold Dot - 5 shots in .863 inches

Next up was Winchester Ranger NATO full metal jacket. This ammo is loaded to NATO spec, which is a higher pressure than standard. It’s fun to shoot – has a nice snap. The Ranger’s 5-shot group measured 1.298 inches.

Winchester Ranger NATO - 5 shots in 1.298 inches

Winchester Ranger NATO - 5 shots in 1.298 inches

I’ve gotten quality .45acp Hornady XTP ammo from Reed’s Ammunition and Research in the past, and I was looking forward to trying out some of Ron Reed’s 9mm ammo. Ron’s 124g XTP grouped quite well at .832 inches.

Reed's Ammo Hornady XTP - 5 shots in .832 inches

Reed's Ammo Hornady XTP - 5 shots in .832 inches

The next eight shots were with Federal’s American Eagle FMJ. This has typically proven to be reliable practice ammo in other pistol calibers, and the 9mm lived up to my expectations with a 1.338″ group.

Federal American Eagle - 5 shots in 1.338 inches

Federal American Eagle - 5 shots in 1.338 inches

Magtech’s “Blue Box” FMC has always shot surprisingly well for me, and this lot of 9mm was no different with a group of .981 inches.

Magtech FMC (9B) - 5 shots in .981 inches

Magtech FMC (9B) - 5 shots in .981 inches

This was the first time I’d ever tried any Black Hills handgun ammunition. This 124 grain FMJ 9mm ammo is loaded in once-fired brass. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, especially after seeing the various headstamps – there must’ve been brass from 6 different manufacturers all in one 50-round box. This jacketed ammo was on the expensive side, especially for being remanufactured, at $17.95 for a box of 50.

The Black Hills ammo blew me away with a .665″ group.

Black Hills Remanufactured FMJ - 5 shots in .665 inches

Black Hills Remanufactured FMJ - 5 shots in .665 inches

Winchester’s Supreme Elite Bonded PDX1 was another new one for me. I was looking forward to seeing what this ammo would do. This +P loaded ammo has very good expansion characteristics, but shot an unimpressive 1.223″ group.

Winchester Supreme Elite Bonded PDX1 - 1.223 inches

Winchester Supreme Elite Bonded PDX1 - 1.223 inches

The last ammo tested was Magtech’s Guardian Gold, their high-end defensive hollow point round. I expected this to shoot better than their cheap FMC, but was let down with the worst group of the day: 1.445 inches.

Magtech Guardian Gold - 1.445 inch group

Magtech Guardian Gold - 1.445 inch group

After it was all said and done, I decided to try 13-round groups (entire high capacity magazine in the HK) of the Black Hills and Reed’s ammo. The 13-round groups confirmed my earlier findings with a 2.01″ group from the Black Hills ammo and a 2.989″ group from Reed’s.

13 rounds of Black Hills 9mm in 2.01 inches

13 rounds of Black Hills 9mm in 2.01 inches

13 rounds of Reed's ammo in 2.989 inches

13 rounds of Reed's ammo in 2.989 inches

The final results:

Ammo Type Group Size Price per round
Black Hills Remanufactured FMJ .665″ $0.36
Reed’s Ammo Hornady XTP .832″ $0.46
Speer Gold Dot .863″ $0.60
Magtech FMC (9B) .981″ $0.28
Winchester Ranger NATO FMJ 1.298″ $0.34
Winchester Supreme Elite Bonded PDX1 1.223″ $0.95
American Eagle FMJ 1.338″ $0.28
Magtech Guardian Gold 1.445″ $0.70

All-in-all, it was a great day at the range. When my worst 5-shot group at 15 yards is 1.445″, I can’t complain – the HK USPc 9mm is one heck of a shooter.

The Black Hills ammo really knocked my socks off – I’ll be getting more of that. And for now, I’ll stick to Reed’s for defensive carry ammunition – definitely the best bang for the buck as far as hollow point go.

Mar
24

The Ammo has Arrived

The Big Brown Truck stopped by yesterday and left me a nice shipment of ammo to test. Tracking says the new Chrony should be here today, so we’ll be able to test these loads up right.

A lovely variety of 9mm (9×19mm, for you sticklers) was in the box, and we’re going to see what kind of groups we can get with them the HK USPc.

A wide variety of 124 grain 9mm ammunition

A wide variety of 124 grain 9mm ammunition

A fabulous selection of .22LR match ammo was in the box. We’ll be shooting these through the Savage Mark II BTVS. There’s a certain amount of cleaning and fouling that has to be done to make such a test consistent, and I’ll guide you through that when the time comes.

Nice assortment of high-end .22LR match ammunition

Nice assortment of (mostly) high-end .22LR match ammunition

Lastly, we have some higher-end .223 ammo. These are heavier bullets (62-75 grain) that we’ll be testing through the Sig 556 after it’s properly broken in.

We'll see how this variety of 62-75gr .223 shoots in the Sig 556

We'll see how this variety of 62-75gr .223 shoots in the Sig 556

This should make for a fun and educational day of shooting!

Mar
24

Heckler & Koch USP Compact 9mm

This is the H&K USPc 9mm.

H&K USPc 9mm Stainless

H&K USPc 9mm Stainless

This is my primary carry weapon. It’s durable, reliable, accurate, and just the right size for me.

H&K offers the USP (Universal Self-loading Pistol) in a variety of calibers, and is available in full size and compact models. This compact 9mm takes a double-stack magazine. 9mm USPc magazines are available in 10 and 13 round capacities. I carry this in a Galco Summer Comfort IWB holster. It’s quite comfortable and conceals well.

H&K USPc 9mm - Variant 1

H&K USPc 9mm - Variant 1

This particular USP is a “variant 1,” meaning it is DA/SA with a “safe” position and control lever (manual safety/decocking lever) on left side of the frame. This means the user has the option to carry the pistol in a single-action mode (cocked and locked) with the manual safety engaged, or decock the pistol and carry in double-action mode. Double-action only (with or without manual safety) and right side or ambidextrous controls are available in other variants. The USP is also available in .40SW, and .45ACP.

H&K USP full-size .45ACP stainless

H&K USP full-size .45ACP stainless

The HK USPc 9mm is a surprisingly accurate pistol, just like its big brother pictured above. I’m not a great pistol shooter by any means, and I have no problems putting 5 rounds of 9mm in a 3″ group at 25 yards with this gun. Keep it clean, use good quality ammo, and it will serve you well for a lifetime.

Mar
19

Articles Inbound!

Some new gear is in, and a bunch of ammo is on its way. We’re going to have some exciting articles in the next coming weeks.

First, we have a brand new Sig 556 to break in. We’ll walk through the process of breaking in a new factory production barrel (much different from a hand lapped barrel like White Oak or Kreiger makes).

The Sig 556 barrel has a 1:7 twist, which is well-suited for heavier .223/5.56 bullets. We have a few varieties of match ammunition from 62gr-75gr that we’re going to run through the Sig to see what she likes.

We’ll also be looking at the HK USP 9mm compact as a carry weapon, and seeing how accurate this factory pistol can be with 8 varieties of 124gr 9mm ammo.

Match .22 LR ammo is inbound for a rimfire shootout! The Savage Mark II BTVS is one accurate bolt-action rifle, and we’ll have several varieties of match ammunition from Eley, Lapua, SK, RWS and Wolf to send down-range.

And last but not least, a new Shooting Chrony F-1 is on its way. This will not only help us understand more about the ballistics of what we’re shooting, but it will help us isolate ammunition issues and give us a feel for the consistency and quality of the ammo we’re testing.

Happy shooting.