Choice of baseplates
largest bored KSC piston
new hopup mech
sintered alloy parts
HK USP Models The
Heckler & Koch USP pistol was introduced in 1993
with the intention of incorporating all the various features
which military and law enforcement agencies appeared
to find vital. USP is an acronym for Universale Selbstlade
Pistole or Universal Self-loading Pistol. It is a double
action semi-automatic pistol with a frame-mounted safety
that doubles as a decocking lever. The frame is made
of polymer synthetic material and has mounting grooves
for installing accessories such as tactical flashlights.
It has a 4.25” barrel (4.41” for .45) and comes in three
different calibers: 9mm Para, .45 ACP and .40 S&W.
In 1996 HK released the USP
Compact, which is slightly shorter than its bigger brother
the USP. The compact model has all the features of the
larger USP and comes in all the same calibers, with the
addition of .357 SIG. It has a 3.58” barrel (3.8” for .45)
and is comparable in size to the compact Glock pistols.
then, several models also have been spawned from the original
version. The P2000 is a variation of the USP Compact, while
the USP Expert and USP Elite are competition-style models. Special
tactical models such as the USP9SD, USP Tactical and MK23 SOCOM
are made for law enforcement and military. These have extended
threaded barrels allowing sound suppressors to be attached
for special operations uses.
USP Compact Stemming from the
success and popularity of their MK23 SOCOM gas blowback
pistol, KSC has released their latest variant of the HK
USP series — the USP Compact. It is modeled after the 9mm,
Variant 1 version.
Currently, the real USP Compact has
10 different variations! They range from single/double
action with safety/decocker on left side (Variant 1), SA/DA
safety/decocker on right side (Variant 2), SA/DA decocker
only on left side (Variant 3), double action only “DAO” with
no control lever (Variant 7), and so on.
gun is packaged in a plain blue cardboard box with inside
styrofoam protection. Along with it are a nice detailed
manual (sealed inside a plastic bag), small bag of BBs,
loading tools, hop-up tool, hammer-lock key (a safety feature)
and barrel plug.
The magazine comes with an extended finger
floorplate installed, but a standard flushed floorplate
is also included. A very nice touch! Replacing the plate
requires pushing in a small pin at the base and then
sliding it out. This may take a bit of effort as the plate
is installed pretty securely. I decided not to replace
it as I find the extended plate adds a nice appearance
to the whole gun.
According to KSC's manual,
the airsoft model weighs 710g, meaning it is virtually
the same weight as the genuine model (real USP Compact
weighs about 730g). The magazine can accept 21 rounds,
but loading tools are required because it doesn't allow
drop-in feeding. The magazine is nicely constructed and
is made of good sturdy metal. Both the extended and standard
floorplates are of plastic.
On the back of the magazine
are numbers with recessed circles (holes) next to them
to imitate the cartridge count. The numbers only go up
to 10, which doesn't make sense because the real USP Compact
(9mm) can hold up to 13 rounds. However, in the U.S. the
magazine capacity is only 10 rounds for civilians. This
is interesting; maybe it's a replica of the U.S. civilian “post-ban” magazine
or something. I don't know… just my own speculation, not
gun itself is made of high-quality ABS plastic and has a matte-black
finish. The surface of the slide and frame differs slightly;
the slide is smooth while the frame has a very fine texture to
it. The trademarks are all there (see photos), including those
tiny symbols on the slide. One thing I couldn't find is the KSC
logo that they sometimes put on their guns (in the most inconspicuous
places). The only giveaway that this is an airsoft model is the
tiny “JASG” on the right of the frame.
The grip is very comfortable
to hold and has a rough stippled texture on each side. On the
front and back there are square checkering for added secure
grasp. I find the grip fits medium-sized hands very nicely, but
larger hands may require the extended finger floorplate. External
metal parts include the rear/front sights, hammer, trigger, slide
release, safety and magazine release.
The bobbed hammer makes
the gun more compact, which will not snag on clothing. The safety
lever is on the frame and placed at just the right place. Using
the thumb to manipulate the lever proved to be smooth and quite
fast. The safety lever has the letters S (safe) and F (fire)
engraved onto it, with S painted white and F painted red. Pushing
the lever upwards places the gun on SAFE and lines up the S with
the “white mark” painted
on the frame (the mark is repeated on opposite side for left-handed
levers). One thing I like is the paint is on a slightly recessed
surface so that it will not wear off so easily. On the real Compact,
you can choose models with the lever on the left or right side
When the hammer is cocked, pulling the safety lever
downward decocks the hammer onto a “semi-cocked” position (slightly raised).
The trigger has to be pulled in order to bring the hammer down
to full rest (flushed with the slide). The gun can be placed
on SAFE with either the hammer rested or cocked (for “cocked
and locked” carry).
The trigger is slightly grooved and is very
smooth in both single and double action. The trigger guard is
flared recurved with serration for a solid hold by the weak hand
index finger. At the front of the frame are universal mounting
grooves (rails) for installing accessories. There's also a lanyard-type
loop at the base of the grip. The magazine release is ambidextrous
and can be activated by pushing it down. The release is placed
more forward ahead of the grip. I had to reposition my grasp
in order to reach for it with my thumb. However, a better way
is to bend my trigger finger back to touch the release. I use
this same method for my Walther P99. Inserting the magazine
gives a solid “click” and it is held solidly in place without any “rattle.”
inside the magazine well is a special patented safety feature
that HK had developed (and nicely replicated by KSC). HK calls
it the Lock-Out Safety Device and it is designed as a built-in
gun lock. There's a small dial inside the mag well that you
turn 90-degrees clockwise with the key to prevent the gun from
firing. The dial has two holes and the key has two short prongs;
so to lock the gun insert the prongs into the holes and turn.
With the dial rotated, the trigger can be pulled one-third way
only. To unlock it, simply reverse the procedure. Anyone not
familiar with the pistol will not be able to figure out how to
There is a faint seam down the center of the frame,
though most of it is interrupted by the serrations, checkering
and letter markings on the frame. I'm not too concerned because
it's minor. KSC makes it up by adding very nice details to
the gun. One is the imitation loaded chamber indicator on the
extractor. On the extractor there's a red mark on it to indicate
that the chamber is loaded (it's just a detail and not a functional
feature on the airsoft model). Also, the inner walls of the outer
barrel have the imitation polygonal rifling grooves that are
copied from the genuine model.
The fixed rear and front sights
utilize the 3-dot system for quick target acquisition. The
white dots are not painted on, rather they are plastic inserts
that go into pre-cut holes. The dot on the front sight is the
same size as the ones on the rear, so when lining them up the
center dot appears slightly smaller. This is not a distraction
at all as the white dots can be seen clearly and brought up quickly.
Performance For the chronograph test I used
HFC134a gas and 0.2g BBs. I fired the gun in normal room temperature
and I also warmed up the magazine. Accuracy test was done using
a standard 6-inch bulls eye target at 16 feet away.
Injecting gas into the magazine is no different
than any other GBB made by KSC. The loading tools consist of
a rod, a metal tube and the tube connector base. The magazine
doesn't have the “exposed” follower
that can be pulled down for loading. The mag holds 21 shots and
are stacked in staggered formation. But I find that if all 21
BBs are loaded the mag will not fit into the gun that well because
the spring is forced to maximum compression.
First the velocity. I fired the entire magazine and calculated an average of 234
FPS, with a high of 249. Not very impressive at all from a
good-sized GBB like this. I had expected around 250, but at least
the blowback was good. However, it has very good gas efficiency.
I was able to fire 93 good shots from one charge.
I fired 10 shots
into the target and got some pretty decent groupings (see target
photo). Six of the 10 shots landed inside the inner 3-inch ring.
The blowback was sharp and quick and the slide locked back after
every last round. The sound consisted of a quick “puck” of average
decibel from a GBB discharge. It wasn't too loud; I have other
GBB pistols that are louder. The accuracy is no better than other
GBB pistols that I have, including ones from WA, Marui, Maruzen,
Marushin and other KSC guns. I noticed the shots tend to land
to the right. I have other smaller guns (with shorter barrels)
that are more accurate than the USP Compact (WA Spy Pack is one
The hop up is located at the inner barrel, right
where the BBs are loaded in. The tool is metal and has raised
notches around the area that connects with the rubber ring on
the barrel. Turning it clockwise increases the hop.
the gun, first release the magazine and then push the slide
back slightly so the slide catch lines up with the pivot point
of the slide release lever. Now on the right side push the lever
out and remove it. The whole slide will run forward and off
the frame. The outer/inner barrel, guide rod and spring can then
be removed from the slide as well.
Conclusion This is a very nice and clean
GBB pistol from KSC. The details and functions are all copied
to near perfection. The blowback is great, but the power could
use some boosting. Overall, this is one of KSC's finest and is
certainly worth the money.
Just an interesting observation: The styrofoam
mold that protects the gun is larger than the gun itself and
it looks suspiciously that a full-sized USP would fit nicely
into the mold. I know the mold is made specifically for the USP
Compact (not some other gun) because there're recessed areas
for the safety and slide release levers. There is even space
reserved for a full USP hammer and the area that fits around
the trigger guard is larger (full USP trigger guard is larger
than that on the Compact). Maybe it's just my wishful thinking,
or maybe a full-sized USP is in development! Who knows?