And the winner is…

4-Apr-10 – 23:57 by ToddG

Congrats to gtmtnbiker98 for his early guess that the next endurance test gun will be the Heckler & Koch HK45!

Specifically, the pistol is an HK45 LEM. If you’ve been following the P30 test, you know that the LEM trigger has completely won me over. The only complaint is that the P30’s reset could stand to be a bit shorter. Well, the LEM mechanism in the HK45 answers that call by cutting the reset distance in half. How much practical benefit we’ll see from that — especially in a gun that has substantially more recoil than a 9mm — is an open question, but it sure feels good.

The HK45 is a particularly great choice because two good friends — Larry Vickers and Ken Hackathorn — played major roles in the gun’s design and development. That’s like saying Tiger Woods helped design your golf clubs (except neither Larry’s nor Ken’s wife is likely to chase them through the front yard while hitting them over their heads with an HK45, but you get the idea). You can expect to see both Larry and Ken discussing their thoughts on the HK45 here at over the next few months.

If all goes according to plan, shooting will begin this week with a goal of reaching the 50,000 round mark before the end of the year. This will be the first non-9mm test we’ve done, and it should be an exciting year!

  • How much will the added recoil of a .45 affect shootability?
  • How will the larger size impact everyday concealability?
  • How will HK’s first “made in the USA” pistol stack up against its Teutonic brethren?

Obviously, tremendous credit goes to Heckler & Koch. For a second year in a row, HK is providing the guns and the ammo for a endurance test without any control over what we do to the gun, how we use it, or what we say about it.

Thanks to everyone who guessed in the contest, and congratulations again to gtmtnbiker98 for his winning guess!

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 31 Responses to “And the winner is…”

  2. well obviously I would’ve never guessed it, as I didn’t…..
    one of the things I’m interested in seeing with this test is how you hands and wrist stand up to the heavier .45. I’ve already got some problems developing in my support hand from the amount of shooting I do, and that’s 9mm. If you have the opportunity to do any hand tests before you start this (strength, dexterity, conductive tests related to carpal tunnel etc), and then updates on that near the end, I think it would prove to be quite informative.
    This should be a fun test to watch.

    By Rob E on Apr 5, 2010

  3. Dude, I will be quite impressed if you can appendix carry that big boy.

    By Gtmtnbiker98 on Apr 5, 2010

  4. Excellent choice. My H&K USP .45 is going to be jealous!

    By David Spanburg on Apr 5, 2010

  5. The HK45 is pretty well balanced and pretty smooth shooting. I don’t foresee you having any wrist/arm issues.

    By Brian E on Apr 5, 2010

  6. An HK in .45 ACP for the torture test? I’m intrigued and kind of impressed, because this should be pretty cool.

    By Caleb on Apr 5, 2010

  7. This will be interesting. Greg Bell tried something similar (but only got about 1/5 of the way to 50K…):
    He was paying for it himself, though, so the difference is understandable. If your experience is like his, expect to get bored with the reliability.

    By Dave on Apr 5, 2010

  8. I was going to guess HK45 but figured it wouldn’t be the same brand twice in a row. I’m excited to see the test though, I’ve wanted an HK45 since before they were released.

    By AdamG on Apr 5, 2010

  9. I would have never guessed it lol

    By Shenaniguns on Apr 5, 2010

  10. Todd…With the HK P30 and the HK45 looking so similar, how are they different besides the trigger reset? Can the length of the trigger reset ever be adjusted on the P30 by a qualified gunsmith?

    Did any of the Vickers/Hackathorn design and development carry over to the P30?

    By AaronC on Apr 5, 2010

  11. bummer

    By Stephen on Apr 5, 2010

  12. double bummer. kinda wanted to see a different brand. Maybe something us average poor guys can afford next time. :)

    By practicalgunreview on Apr 5, 2010

  13. I would rather have seen you test the HK 45c but I guess the full size will do :-). It’s crazy accurate and I have a feeling you will get bored quickly with its reliability. That is going to be a beast to carry though…I couldn’t conceal it well in the Arizona Summer…

    By BMcDonald on Apr 5, 2010

  14. Triple bummer.
    Just don’t really see the HK45 as a viable day-in-day-out carry pistol, it’s a big boy (and I carry a G17 24/7).
    As a former H&K LEM owner, your comments on the HK45’s reset being better than the P30’s just kind of tells me it’s been a while since you’ve put a number of rounds through a Glock…
    Oh well, good for you Todd, sure wish someone would flow me 50,000 rounds of .45 (at the going rate I’d still probably try to trade it for 100,000 of 9mm though).
    Good luck on the test.

    By ChipK on Apr 5, 2010

  15. I don’t think the HK45’s larger size will have a huge impact on concealability, at least for Todd. Compared to the P30, the HK45 is .53″ longer and .4″ taller. I’m 5’6″ 140# and I can conceal a P30 at 4:00 or AIWB (just got the Shaggy) so a bigger guy could probably hide the extra half-inch of grip and barrel without too much trouble.

    Anyhow, I’m very interested to see if HK’s 9mm reliability carries over to the HK45.

    By Mike B on Apr 5, 2010

  16. I’d never have guessed an HK45, I own one and it’s a true fullsize gun. Daily carry should be interesting. The HK45c is (IMO) a better choice as far as concealment, I carry one often. I’m looking forward to the test. Having Larry and Ken chime in will definitely be cool.

    By Irish_Devil on Apr 5, 2010

  17. Regarding the size: I carried the M&P9 in an AIWB holster for 6-7 months. That gun is the same length, almost the same width, and one-third of an inch shorter in height. I’ve carried SIG P226 and Beretta Brigadier/Elite for CCW, as well. The Beretta was an inch longer.

    One thing I can already see will be necessary is removing the front “lip” on the magazine basepads, though.

    ChipK — I’m not sure what a Glock’s reset has to do with the difference between the HK45 LEM and the P30 LEM. Certainly there are guns with shorter reset than the HK45 LEM… SIGs with the Short Reset Trigger, for example, and of course the 1911. My only point is that the HK45’s reset is noticeably shorter than the P30’s. And as I’ve commented in the past, I don’t think reset distance is nearly as important as many people make it out to be.

    By ToddG on Apr 5, 2010

  18. Really waiting on FAST times reports with 0.45 ACP. This test will provide a great info on 9 vs 45 info in regards to control and split times. In some sense I wish reset on P30 and HK45 was similar, just for purposes of more even comparison

    By YK on Apr 5, 2010

  19. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. Greg Bell did 10k+ test a while ago on his own HK45 even with a few hotter .45 Super load.

    HK45 (V1 DA/SA and not HK45c) is my carry gun. I’m 5’10” 160lb and conceal carrying it (up to 14 hours a day) with a good holster (raven concealment) is not impossible (in my perspective) although I hope to have a flat magazine base plate. Just like P30, you can’t carry it without a undershirt. The grip texture is quite aggresive.

    HK45 V1 can be carried cocked-and-locked so trigger pull is consistent (no long first double action) and reset is short. I use it regularly in IDPA practices (9mm in matches though) with full power ammo and can keep up with some slower 9mm shooters :) Cutting trigger finger from the bottom of the trigger guard can be a bigger problem than it is on P30 due to stronger recoil. I sanded it down and smoothed it out. HK45c has a different trigger guard and doesn’t have this problem.

    HK45c probably is a better carry gun (shorter frame, smoother grip) but no regret on HK45 at all. It’s truly amazing (well, not that heavy DA pull).

    By x-man on Apr 6, 2010

  20. “Congrats to gtmtnbiker98 for his early guess.” Early guess? I thought there was going to be a random drawing; gtmtnbiker98 is also a lucky dude since there were 5 of us that said HK45 and his chances were 33% as the contest post read re the drawing.

    The choice made sense as I said in my guess: “(marketing guys want it since its a bit too big for a duty gun and HK is still sore for not getting a crack at the DOD contract; and its “made in NH” )”

    By P30man on Apr 6, 2010

  21. P30man — I could three people who guessed HK45 full size. Of those three, one is lucky I counted his guess since he violated the “only one guess” rule, but he guessed HK45 first so I figured no harm, no foul. That gave gtmtnbiker98 a 50% chance (since he guessed first he got two “chances”).

    By ToddG on Apr 6, 2010

  22. It’s great that HK signed on for another test. I own both the P30 and HK45, I’m cofident the HK45 will do as good if not better than the P30.

    By bmwm3p on Apr 6, 2010

  23. I’ll predict a parts breakage before 15000 rounds. And not a spring. Just cuz I always join deadpools and such. If I’m wrong I’ll donate $50 to a charity of Todd’s choice.

    By Rob Engh on Apr 6, 2010

  24. Todd’s giving up driving now that he’s a hk45 man. Why? According to Todd: “You can always tell the guys who shot the whole class with a .45, they’re the ones who can’t hold the steering wheel to drive home afterwards.” (google it.)

    PS: Youre right about the wrong stats my browser highlighted all the “hk45” and I spaced the c’s in two cases–so it was a flip of the coin. I guess that error would require PT if I was in the service. And the fact that I had a “second guess” (as basically an explanation of why it should be the hk45c) would get me KP for a week; but then again I had it basically right why HK chose to the HK45 to do next–and it is not because I live close to the newington factory. Then again all my bosses and teachers didnt appreciate my east coast snarky when combined with texas straight talk. :-) Namaste.

    By P30man on Apr 6, 2010

  25. P30man — You’re in good company. Quite a few of my friends have commented on if (when?) the .45 recoil will start to have a deleterious effect on my shooting… or my physical wellbeing. 8)

    As some may have noted, we’re not promising “50k in 6 months” as we did with the two previous (9mm) tests. The goal instead is about 9 months. At least right now, my guess is that there won’t be any 2,000+ round days at the range with the HK45.

    However — and this is getting a bit far afield — I’m also a believer that there’s a big difference between the beating you get from a 3.5# steel gun and a 1.5# polymer gun. The lower weight, recoil reduction system, wider backstrap, and inherent flex of the polymer in recoil should ameliorate the fatigue somewhat.

    How much? Well, that’s one of the things we’ll learn over the next nine months!

    By ToddG on Apr 7, 2010

  26. Todd what do you think about the “steering wheel test” regarding 40 cal in either heavy steel or lighter polymer guns in your classes? Everyone complains about the 40 “snappy” recoil and liking the 45 more–I wonder if the 9mm guys drive the 40 cal guys home too?

    I have only shot high volume sessions in 40 cal with an HK frame with one of those (polymer?) buffers. Since the P30 is a very soft shooting in 9mm I assume it figures that P30 in 40 would shoot softer than most 40 cal of similar size and weight. This might be a pretty good selling point for HK if it were accurate. The P30 to me is a better balanced/pointing gun than the USP/P2000 which seems a little top heavy in comparison and might torque the wrist of a shooter a bit more.

    Also for recoil reduction what do you think of Brian Enos slide glide lube–some say it dampens/smooths the recoil a bit due to its viscous nature and ability to stay put.

    By P30man on Apr 7, 2010

  27. I had an HK45 for a while with intentions of competition. Loved it! I’m interested to see how grip-to-bore axis effects the drill times.

    As far as controllability of the .45 round: not an issue with the HK45.

    By GhettoSmack on Apr 8, 2010

  28. Regarding 9mm vs. .45 recoil . . . . it’s a bigger deal with polymer guns. In my opinion/experience, 1911 .45 has much less violent recoil compared to the polymer .45’s I have shot (Glock, H&K). I can’t stand the 9mm Glock recoil feel! A 9mm 1911 5″ is LIKE BUTTER! (CZ-75 is really nice, too.)

    My point being that any caliber through a steel pistol has less battering of the user compared to a polymer pistol in the same caliber and size. My wife has carpal tunnel and reminds me of this every time we go shooting.

    By GhettoSmack on Apr 8, 2010

  29. You will be a bored man! That gun is nuke-proof.

    By Greg Bell on Apr 9, 2010

  30. I had a feeling Todd was going to choose the HK45 LEM model being I had read his comments regarding that pistol in a previous article. I am looking foward to reading up on his testing results & will eventually be picking one up to go with my P30 LEM & HK45 as well.

    By RMA on Apr 11, 2010

  31. Cool thing is he can also bring this one with him to the Frozen North this June.

    By Rob E on Apr 11, 2010

  32. holy crap!
    I’m excited! the HK45 was the hand gun I went into the store to originally buy when I wound up purchasing the P30. This’ll be interesting to see how the two compare… especially since they’re being run back-to-back!

    By John on Apr 16, 2010

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