Umarex H&K USP Pistol
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- Last updated: 27/01/2017
Picking up a replica airsoft pistol is usually high on the list of new players, and there are now so many models available out there that finding the right one for you can be a matter of some serious trial and error. Recently I’ve been testing the USP Compact, a fully licenced Heckler and Koch product put together by Umarex and distributed in the UK by ARMEX, and I’ve been more than please with its performance in all ways.
Originally designed for the American market, the USP (Universale Selbstladepistole or Universal Self-loading Pistol) has found international acceptance as an accurate and ultra-reliable handgun. Features favoured by US law enforcement and military users provided much of the design criteria for the USP. Given the diversity of the users though, the USP is not just one pistol but in actual fact a family which makes use of the same recoil reduction system has been tested and proven in the HK Mark 23 pistol developed for the US Special Operations Command.
Umarex have worked directly with Heckler and Koch to reproduce a number of the USP models, the USP .45, .45 MATCH, USP Tactical, HK 45, and the USP COMPACT which is the model I chose to look at here. In real life it’s chambered for 9 x 19mm and is the smallest, lightest and most concealable of the range. It’s a super little replica which carries all the correct trademarks and calibre information where it should. The construction is a combination of full metal and polymer just like the real thing, so with a total weight of just 715g it not only looks great, but feels superb as well.
The solid, full metal magazine holds 22BBs which is more than enough for a backup to your primary RIF, and when filled with gas it will easily send all of the BBs downrange. Running it through the chrono on Green Gas with .20g BBs the mean fps was 295 on a cool day; this is perfectly acceptable for all UK sites straight from the box. Accuracy is also very good via the simple notch and blade sights, with tight groupings achievable out to 30+feet once the hop was set correctly – a note here that the hop is situated inside the replica, at the rear of the inner barrel. Umarex include a small adjustment tool in the package which makes setting the hop simple; once it’s set, it also stays set so you don’t need to carry the tool around with you.
Controls show the US heritage very well, as they are almost identical to those that you would find on a Browning Hi Power or M1911 model. The safety catch is situated on the upper left rear of the frame, the slide release on the mid upper left, and the magazine release to the rear of the trigger guard; this release is fully ambidextrous, a nice touch.
As all of the Umarex replicas are licenced with the original manufacturer they are also truly 1:1 in scale, which means finding a holster is straightforward. I tested the COMPACT with a Fobus model loaned to me by www.tactical-kit.co.uk and it fitted absolutely perfectly. One point to note though is that the small forward rail is proprietary to the USP and not the standard picatinny style, so if you wish to fit a laser or tactical light then you’ll need to choose this carefully.
All in all the USP COMPACT is not only a fine replica but it’s a great field pistol as well. It’s solid and durable, shoots well and accurately, and additional magazines are easily obtained as accessories. Given the fact that it is licenced you may have to pay a few pounds more than other replicas, but believe me it will be money well spent!
For further information and stockist details please visit www.armex-airsoft.co.uk
As a new airsofter you are no doubt finding out all about the rules and regulations which govern us as players. In a nutshell you will need an exemption from the VCR Act of 2006 to legally own a Realistic Imitation Firearm (RIF). This means having a Defence in Law for owning such a replica, and the best way of gaining this is to be a member of an insured airsoft site and meeting the Home Office requirement of playing three times in more than two months there.
Making a purchase is then far easier if you have registered your site membership on the United Kingdom Airsoft Retailers Association (UKARA) system as it means the sale of a RIF can take place without the retailer needing to contact the site to verify your membership, which means there is no delay in getting your new replica whilst waiting for a site owner to reply. Before you try to buy a RIF please visit the excellent Q&A page on the UKARA website to find out what you need to do to become a legally registered player in the UK. www.ukara.org.uk/questions.php