Testing & Evaluation: May 1999
By Al Paulson
Accessories for the USP45 Tactical and Glock 17/18/19
Pretty much any pistol of interest to the armed professional or the serious collector can benefit from some well-conceived accessories. Here are some interesting gadgets that should tantalize anyone with an H&K USP45 Tactical Pistol, the H&K Mark 23, as well as the large and medium-sized 9x19mm Glock pistols.
The first noteworthy bit of technology is a very well engineered quick-mount folding stock for the Glock 18 machine pistol manufactured by Capital City Firearms (Dept. SAR, P.O. Box 29009, Richmond, VA 23242; phone 804-740-4926; fax 804-740-9599), which is also a licensed importer/exporter of firearms.
CCF’s detachable Glock stock is built primarily of 7075 aluminum, which is more appropriate for this application than the more commonly seen 6061 aluminum. It’s also more expensive than 6061. The Glock stock is finished in a flat black anodizing.
A tang on the stock slips into the open space in the Glock’s grip behind the magazine well. The tang is secured to the front leg of the stock with a large steel hex-head cap screw. A spring-loaded button on the tang locks the stock in place with the lanyard hole in the Glock’s grip. A thumb-operated slide on top of the forward section of the folding stock locks the two halves in the open or closed position. A U-shaped bend in the rear leg of the folding stock provides clearance for an extended magazine when the stock is folded while attached to a pistol. The rear of the curved buttplate features a repeating pattern of raised steps designed to keep the butt from sliding off the shoulder during full-auto fire when used with a Glock 18.
The butt is welded to the rear leg of the stock, which has an overall length of 15.0 inches (38.1 cm) when extended and 10.3 inches (26.2 cm) with the stock folded. The stock weighs 10.1 ounces (287 grams). I’ve always had a weakness for stocked pistols, whether or not they were select fire. A shooter of average ability can significantly increase the effective range of a handgun by adding a stock. Of course, anyone living in the United States must register a pistol as a short-barreled rifle with BATF before adding a stock.
Although it’s designed specifically for the Glock 18, CCF’s folding stock will also fit the Glock 17 with no modification. Fitting the stock to a Glock 19, however, will require drawing a flat file over the flat part of the tang until it fits into the space behind the magazine well. The tang must also be shortened slightly for a Glock 19’s of early vintage. This is a fairly easy job for someone with no gunsmithing skills.
About the only criticism I can level at this robust and well-engineered stock is the shape of the buttplate, which has too strong a curve for someone of my large body build. It feels rather like the crescent buttplate on an old Winchester rifle. This doesn’t seem to be an issue with people of average stature, however.
Accessories for USP Tactical
The USP Tactical Pistol is an attempt to combine the best features of the Mark 23 and USP (Universal Self-Loading Pistol) in a smaller, lighter, and much less expensive package than the SOCOM pistol. The USP Tactical is an inch shorter, a quarter-inch thinner, and nearly three-quarters of a pound lighter than the Mark 23. It’s also about half the price. The pistol features match trigger parts and an adjustable trigger stop, which provide a much-improved trigger over both the USP and Mark 23 pistols. The new USP Tactical also incorporates high profile sights to see over a sound suppressor, extended (Mark 23 style) threaded barrel with o-ring, a loaded chamber indicator, and extended floor plates on the two magazines supplied with the pistol (Heckler & Koch, Inc., Dept. SAR, 21480 Pacific Boulevard, Sterling, VA 22170-8903; phone 703-450-1900).
The pistol comes with a number of interesting accessories including a nylon case made by Eagle Industries, an H&K cleaning kit, operator’s manual for the USP with a supplement for the USP Tactical, rear sight adjustment tool, hex wrench for the trigger stop, two spare o-rings, and a nifty black Master padlock with red H&K escutcheon which has been standard issue with all H&K weapons since April 1998. The hard-sided case also includes detachable pouches for a sound suppressor (not included), two spare magazines (one spare included) and a UTL module (Universal Tactical Light; not included). While this is a very well thought out and affordable package, the pistol does not come with a thread protector.
Capital City Firearms offers a simple, appropriate and inexpensive thread protector with a raised knurled surface at its front to facilitate installation and removal. The thread protector has 16x1mm LH threads to match the Tactical’s extended barrel. These threads are different than the Mark 23 barrel (which is threaded 16x1mm RH) so sound suppressors featuring a recoil enhancement module designed for the Mark 23 could not be installed accidentally on the smaller pistol.
CCF also sells a four-pronged flash hider for the USP45 Tactical Pistol. Both the flash hider and the aforementioned thread protector are manufactured from 4140 ordnance steel, which is finished in a black oxide. The flash hider has an overall length of 1.81 inches (46 mm) but it only extends the overall length of the pistol by 1.26 inches (32 mm). The steel flash hider has a diameter of 0.86-inch (22 mm) and a weight of 2.0 ounces (59 grams). Most importantly, it seems to reduce the weapon’s considerable muzzle flash at night by about 50 percent. This flash hider is also available with the appropriate threads for the H&K Mark 23 pistol.
The final accessory CCF offers for the USP45 Tactical—as well as for H&K’s Mark 23—is a dummy silencer based on the Model OHG sound suppressor from Knight’s Armament Company (KAC). Classified by BATF as a barrel extension, the dummy silencer can be used for display by collectors who live in states where silencer ownership is not permitted. Some dealers also use these dummies when traveling to shows. As a long-time student of sound suppressors, I must confess that I’ve always had a rather condescending attitude toward dummy silencers... until now. The CCF facsimile of the KAC silencer is a classy presentation. Machined out of a solid billet of aluminum finished in black anodizing, the dummy can even features raised knurling on the rear of the tube. The can is 7.3 inches (18.6 cm) long, has a maximum diameter of 1.36 inches (34.5 mm), and has a weight of 13.3 ounces (377 grams). It’s the only dummy silencer I’ve ever considered purchasing.
By the time you read this, Capital City Firearms should be producing silencers of Swiss design for H&K’s USP45 Tactical and Mark 23 pistols. The Bruegger & Thomet silencers will be manufactured under license in the United States by an offshoot of CCF called CCF/Swiss Inc. (Dept. SAR, P.O. Box 29009, Richmond, VA 23242; phone 804-740-4926; fax 804-740-9599). Catalogs are now available for $5 which describe the full line of CCF/Swiss silencers, but initial production will focus on suppressors for .45 ACP and 9x19mm pistols. You can check out their website at: http://www.ccfa.com.
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