Umarex H&K USP Part 4

Umarex H&K USP Part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Accessorizing the Umarex HK USP

Mounts, lights, lasers and holsters

By Dennis Adler

The addition of the HK Mil.-Std. 1913 Picatinny rail to the HK Universal rail mount adds slightly more depth to the frame than a semi-auto with an integral rail. Most of the adapter’s mass is in the Universal mount above the rail.

The Heckler & Koch USP was a dedicated military design and it left its mark on the world of military arms both in the U.S. and throughout Europe. Even after a quarter of a century the USP is still in use by military units, law enforcement, within the private sector and by civilians for its effective design, ease of handling, choices in caliber and options. While many of the military accessories developed for the USP are outdated today, the ability of the pistol to be modified for almost any type of light or laser, either a dedicated USP mounting or Mil.-Std. 1913 Picatinny dustcover rail mount, makes it as versatile as any 21st century pistol design. Otherwise there is nothing old or outdated in the USP’s operation; hammer-fired DA/SA semi-autos remain a top choice among all handgun options. The CO2 model is true to the original USP in every important detail and particularly when it comes to holsters, lights and laser assisted sighting.

The HKparts Picatinny mount uses a sliding section that is loosened to allow fitting it into the grooves of the Universal frame mount. It is locked tightly into the grooves by two large hex head screws. This is the same rail for either centerfire or CO2 models.

From dedicated USP mount to Picatinny

Find a Hawke Scope

As many airgun owners already have Mil.-Std. 1913 Picatinny rail mount lights and lasers, the USP poses an interesting problem. Most USP to Mil.-Std. rail adapters cost nearly half as much as the air pistol. However, the need to mount lights and lasers other than those made for the USP (again almost all more expensive than the CO2 model) has never been an issue because HK developed rail adapters. Modern manufacturing techniques have brought the cost of some of those adapters down to very affordable levels. While there are currently no accessories available on Pyramyd Air for the new Umarex HK USP CO2 model, since it is a 100 percent duplicate of the centerfire pistols, lower-priced USP mounts and accessories are readily available through which has all of the USP accessories manufactured for the civilian market.

Let’s begin with the Mil.-Std. 1913 Picatinny rail adapter. This piece is a high quality aluminum rail adapter that has a sliding USP mount that is locked by two heavy-duty hex-head screws. It fits into the integral Universal HK rail and keeps the profile of the Mil.-Std. 1913 Picatinny very close to the average depth of an integral dustcover rail mount. The HK adapter sells for $27.95.

Coming very close to the original UTL Spotlight designed for the USP, the Swiss Arms Compact Flashlight & Laser fits perfectly onto the Picatinny rail adapter. A very affordable combination light and red laser it is a top notch addition to the USP CO2 model.

Next up to accessorize the HK is a light laser or laser sighting system. With the accessory rail mounted any light or laser will fit but some are better suited to the HK design. Interestingly one of the larger combination units, the Swiss Arms Compact Flashlight & Laser from Pyramyd Air is remarkably close in size and shape to the original style Insight Technology UTL spotlight developed for the USP in the 1990s, only it offers the advantage of a 90 lumen Xenon lamp plus red laser in-unit with the tactical light. This is a very affordable (around $50) light laser combo that fits perfectly on the HK rail adapter and uses a pushbutton ON/OFF switch with three operating modes; quite a bit more advanced than the original UTL Spotlight design.

Here you can see the original UTL light made for the USP in the 1990s. This was a tactical light only and used an ON/OFF switch mounted on the grip which activated when the gun was drawn. The Swiss Arms model (in the previous photo) is a little larger but has the laser.
The advantage to the Swiss Arms design is the red laser. While the Swiss Arms Flashlight & Laser adds a lot of mass to the gun it does not add significantly to weight at only 4 ounces.

Last is a dedicated red laser made for the USP’s Universal Rail and again this comes from HKparts, which offers a low profile red tactical laser made specifically for the USP by NcStar. Built for the centerfire models it is certainly tough enough for a .177 caliber model yet has a retail of just $29.95 putting it in the same price range as many lasers made for air pistols.

There are two ways to have a light or laser on the HK USP, one the aforementioned Picatinny rail adapter (left) the other is a dedicated USP mount compact laser. The same model made for the USP (right) and sold by HKparts fits either the centerfire guns or the new CO2 model. It uses the same sliding mount design with two large hex head locking screws.
While the HK red laser looks like it is ambidextrous, the right side switch is actually a sliding lever activated by the trigger finger. Push it in and the laser is activated. To turn it off you push the lever back from the left with the support hand thumb.
The process is reversed for left-handed shooters using the support hand thumb to activate and the trigger finger to deactivate the laser. Notice how the lines of the NcStar HK USP tactical laser perfectly blend into the contour of the gun.

Holsters, magazines and magazine pouches

You might expect HK to offer some very nice holsters for the USP (and they do), but the most affordable, Level 1, injection-molded holster is an easy to wear paddle rig made by Sig Sauer’s Sig-Tac brand. The same goes for the dual magazine pouch pictured which is another easy to wear Sig-Tac paddle design for full-size HK USP magazines.

There are a lot of reasons to purchase extra magazines for the USP, first and foremost is that they are available concurrently with the gun, not something that always happens. Secondly, the heavy follower spring and small follower tab makes loading a minor chore. The magazine holds 16 rounds so it is equal to total capacity of the USP in 9mm. For training, spare magazines are a must and for the USP there are even readily available magazine pouches.
The Sig-Tac models (from Sig Sauer’s brand of accessories) are also made for the USP and both the holster and dual mag pouch are paddle designs for fast mounting and easy removal. Both are also cant adjustable and currently available from HKparts.

Both are available through HKparts and priced at $29.95 and $19.95, respectively. I usually prefer paddle holsters (when available for a specific model) over belt holsters as they are easier to work with, provide easy on and off mounting and positioning around the waist. The holster and dual magazine pouch are also cant adjustable for user preferences and carry position. And of course, you need extra magazines to fill those two injection molded pouches, and Umarex has made them available concurrently with the air pistol, which is another big plus for the HK model as an ideal training gun.

The Sig-Tac injection molded paddle holster is a Level 1 design with a triggerguard locking mechanism to help prevent a gun grab. The release is activated by the trigger finger pressing in on the release when drawing. This takes a firm push before the gun will come out of the holster.

While I have made my bed, so to speak, by selecting the Umarex Beretta 92A1 as my “if I could only have one blowback action air pistol” choice, I made that decision before the Umarex HK USP model was available for testing. I still have to defer to the Umarex Beretta 92A1 because it has select-fire, a definite advantage over any other model in its class [1] but, if select-fire isn’t a “must have” feature, then the new HK USP is categorically number one with a bullet! Well, make that a BB.

The HK USP CO2 model has three hammer detents, fully lowered (far left) for a full double action trigger pull, the de-cocked hammer position (center), and fully cocked SA position. The trigger is staged differently for all three. With the hammer fully lowered, which would have to be done intentionally by manually decocking the gun and setting the safety rather than using the decocking lever, you have a full DA trigger pull for the first shot. If you were to reload and not chamber a round, the hammer would also be down. Firing DA from the lowered hammer is the heaviest trigger pull at around 11 plus pounds. If you have a fully cocked gun and use the decocker, the hammer drops to the second position, and although the trigger has the same length of pull as firing DA, trigger pull is around 8 pounds. Fired SA, the trigger locks back and trigger pull is around 5 pounds, which is about average for a DA/SA pistol.

In the Part 5 conclusion we put everything into practice.

[1] The Crosman PFAM9B is also a select-fire version of a Beretta Model 92.

4 thoughts on “Umarex H&K USP Part 4”

  1. Dennis,

    I reread your detailed explanation that answered my question at the end of Pt. 3, and that plus the captioned photos of the hammer and trigger descriptions in this installment combine to make an excellent manual for the operation of the HK DA/SA system.

    I still haven’t charged my blow-back HK USP with CO2 to shoot it, but it feels more solid in the hand than any other air pistol in my collection, and its look is a combination of being all-business and fierce. I should point out that the warning language is small, placed such that it is about as unobtrusive as possible, and in person the lettering does not jump out as it always seems to do in photographs.

    I have been waiting a few days now to shoot it, and the anticipation is killing me!


  2. This pistol shows why replica airguns are popular. This falls into the, I probably don’t need this firearms, but I would like to see how it feels and functions . To my way of thinking this is a better pistol than the Sig da only pistol Da only pistols are for people you don’t trust with a real handgun. The H&K gives the option of a Da first shot , a half cocked first shot both with rapid sa follow up shots, and a cocked first shot. Personally, if one arm is injured or otherwise occupied, I like the sa shot . This pistol gives the option of dropping to half cock if needed. For a pistol issued to left and right handed shooters the left hand or ambi version should be optional . If I knew I was going into a close quarter situation I would prefer two pistols to a Carbine. I can shoot about as well with my non dominant hand . Never like poking more of me out of cover than necessary. That’s my 2 cents

  3. Dennis,

    Off topic, but I thought better to ask here in Oct. 2018 than ask in a thread from 15 months ago. I just reread your series “21st Century Colt 1911 Rail Guns.”

    Are there any SA only, 1911 style trigger poly pistols (not necessarily .45ACP)?

    Other than “boutique” makers like Wilson and STI, I don’t know of any.


    • There is another I know of because I reviewed it a few years ago in Combat Handguns. It is the American Tactical (ATI) FXH-45 which is a hybrid design that met with mixed reviews. I liked it. It is a 1911-ish design with a polymer frame that has integral finger grooves in the frontstrap, a Beretta 92FS-style triggerguard and a deep, Mil.-Std. 1913 Picatinny rail integral with the polymer frame. It is a bear to get holsters for because it is between a 1911 Government model and Beretta 92FS in shape. It also has an interesting ported slide, flat mainspring housing, and extended palmswell safety and beavertail. It is quite an unusual 1911.

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