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Are HK's Really Superior?

Discussion in 'Heckler & Koch Forum' started by ColCol, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. ColCol


    Apr 15, 2010
    Think about it.

    Why HK?

    1. Most are designed, built and tested to NATO MIL specs (ACC-225), not commercial specs. NATO specs includes tests not conducted by many commercial makers such as drop tests, obstructed bore tests, extreme temps, ice, static sand, OTB, elevated/depressed, etc.

    2. All (100%) of HK firearms are test fired and zeroed at the factory. In some companies only a % are tested.

    3. HK materials (steel, barrel, etc.) are of the highest quality available and it shows in long-term or worst case scenarios. The superior barrel performance is a good example, though you may never see it in casual use.

    4. HK pistols are not assembled by armorers’ students and then sold to customers. Some companies have been known to do so.

    5. The average German worker is paid at a far higher rate than the equivalent US worker. Part of the reasons why includes the mandatory training they must receive and tests they must pass before receiving the position. The cost of living in Germany is also higher and HK contributes to a substantial “Pensioner Fund” for its retirees. Many also work at the same company for decades and not uncommon are 40 year employees!) and therefore rise high on the pay scale for their extensive hard-earned skill and experience.

    6. HK barrels are made by a cold hammer forged process using a material that is unique to HK guns. Many barrels get special HK-unique steps added such as a tapered, poly, hybrid poly bore profile or induction hardening and all long-gun barrels are straightened. As an example, Stelite liners are not used in HK MG barrels – they are simply not needed and perform as well or better.

    7. Compare the polymer molding and machining of say an HK P30 and a SIG P229. It is RARE to see machining marks on an HK.

    8. HK rigorously tests their products to destruction in a "Firing Lab" manned with very senior test personnel before the design is frozen. This reduces the incidence of post-release issues. HK also takes and test its products at remote environmental test facilities to include desert (Yuma Proving Grounds, Saudi Arabia), arctic (Norway, Alaska), jungle (Brunei, Panama). That costs BIG bucks but pays off in hard core performance.

    9. HK guns are imported for the most part (or the parts used to assemble them in NH) are imported. That results in mandatory FET, freight and exchange rate subsidies being added and passed on to the customer. HK as a German gun maker and importer they also have to comply with stringent export controls and that too costs money, which gets passed along in sale prices.

    10. The cost of the production tooling (and materials) used by HK to produce, assemble and QA product is high as it includes QA tests and steps not conducted by many other makers. HK cut its teeth as a mass producer and still today builds the production tooling with that in mind –high volumes with a lot of automation. That tooling and gauging costs money as does the high hourly rates of the skilled workers and the additional time required to conduct it.

    11. 10-20% of HK’s annual operating budget is spent on its extensive “Technique” departments to include Design, Prototype Fabrication and the Firing Lab. These are the highest paid, most skilled workers at HK and that costs money as well. They are best of breed and always have many more projects up in the air then you might think, or know of (Phased Plasma Rifle in the 80 watt Range).

    12. HK places itself purposely in the “higher end” of the market. Like BMW and Mercedes HK knows it rates are higher and always will be compared to say Colt, S&W, Beretta, etc. So they go after superior performance and quality at a higher price point to fewer purchasers versus a cheaper, lower quality product to more buyers.

    13. @ 15% of HK annual revenue is reinvested in new products, and infrastructure. While that may not seem like a lot it is and the state of the factory at in Oberndorf shows it. Look at the state of their competitors factories. There are few that compare to HK GmbH in the eyes of those who have been to many others. HK spends the revenue it makes off of both commercial and Government sales on new product so in a way the US commercial buyer who purchases an HK45 pistol helps fund the development of the MG4 LMG or XM25.

    14. HK builds much of the weapon parts in house to maintain quality control. While cheaper subs are available one loses some control in doing so. HK’s goal has always been to minimize cost but maintain quality and to do so it keeps many items in house that in many others companies go to the higher bidder (magazines, small piece parts, etc.). HK also has some of the very best MIM and molding capabilities and can thus up the quality of their product by using their own, superior product.

    15. Like HK, HK’s subs are of a higher quality for the same reasons and with the same end results. You buy the very best frame mold in Germany, it will cost you but the end product is superior.

    16. Interchangeable parts – very few HK parts are not fully interchangeable without hand fitting. Even in a gun like the GMG, there are no parts that require hand fitting. This requires that each and every raw material and finished part, and each tool that fabricates the part, is dimensionally and exactly the same and maintained the same at all time by constant checks by skilled personnel with high dollar measuring devices and gauges. Again something you may never see but it insures when you replace a part it both fits and works w/o modifications.

    17. HK has voluntarily developed, tested and included in their product unique features like USP firing mode modularity, MK23 barrel O-rings, special high performance finishes, unique G36/HK416 gas systems, drop-in LEM trigger systems, side-loading 40mm grenade launchers, GMG’s with extruded aluminum receivers and HK211’s with Ti receivers, unique cartridges for things like MP7 and P46, etc. HK also makes over 100 models of HK firearms currently and 1000’s of modular variants for users the world over speaking many languages, which costs money to build, inventory, document and record these countless production variations.
  2. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Great list but I'm not sure what the big deal is about interchangeable parts, at least for handguns. Doesn't everyone making mass market guns do that now?

  3. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    I personally think HK makes the best polymer handguns.
  4. NEOH212

    NEOH212 Diesel Girl

    Mar 25, 2008
    North East Ohio
    I'm yet to see anything that disputes that fact. No other polymer gun has a thing on HK. HK is the best poly gun on the market period. All others take a back seat!

  5. :goodpost:
  6. Wil Ufgood

    Wil Ufgood GTDS #88 CLM

    Mar 20, 2009
    Out There
    i wish they would bring back the P7 series.
  7. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    Jan 16, 2005
    I don't care for H&K handguns and never have - especially the polymer ones. They seem to eb reliable, but they have terrible triggers and I can buy an equally relaible gun with a more shootable trigger any day of the week. Comparing them on the range to a beat-up Army issued M9, I was struck by how much easier it would be to shoot the German qualification course with the Beretta, over the USP.
  8. Ford302Glock21

    Ford302Glock21 Chrome Horsie

    Dec 3, 2004
    Orlando FL
    Had a usp 45 and only sold it back to original owner at his request because he missed it. Very high quality firearm and I would have a very hard time claiming another maker had a better or equivalent product. I would not mind having another.

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
  9. ca survivor

    ca survivor

    Dec 25, 2011
  10. stopatrain

    stopatrain Lifetime Member

    Aug 28, 2005
    Very nice for sure.
  11. Clusterfrack


    Apr 26, 2012
    Pacific NW
    Great post. I agree. My USP/c .40 has had zero failures in 13 years. I do wish HK would bring out a striker fired pistol with a decent trigger and low bore axis that is easy to detail strip (oh wait, that's a Glock).
  12. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

    May 24, 2000
    My USP .40 has been awesome.

  13. HK Dan

    HK Dan

    Mar 27, 2008
    Short answer: Yes. Yes they are.
  14. deeHKman

    deeHKman "It Is Written"

    Aug 13, 2010
    A far back seat in fact! Look at what Todd Green can do with a HK45 he broke below 2 second's(Bill Drill) with a concealed HK45. All mine are DA/SA and i can shoot them better than any other gun.

    Some send their HK's to Bruce Gray for a trigger job that put's a already Top Tier gun into one with a Superb Trigger. I just do my 2,000 rd trigger job, dry fire and the trigger's smooth out fine for me.

    [ame=""]HK45: 1.98 Bill Drill from Concealment - YouTube[/ame]
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  15. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    The HK45 Todd Green used was a LEM trigger. That's a great testament to the usability of that trigger. I did not know that the reset on the HK45 is shorter than on other LEM pistols.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  16. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
  17. deeHKman

    deeHKman "It Is Written"

    Aug 13, 2010
    Yes Todd has his own version on the LEM. I have had HK's since the mid 90's and never seen a LEM. He's on there and that forum is great very little thread noise just good info. sharing. I use Todd's Press Out that has helped my DA shooting alot it's on his blog there.

    I think the reset(LEM) on the HK45, HK45c and USP's are all shorter.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  18. deeHKman

    deeHKman "It Is Written"

    Aug 13, 2010
    I agree!! Just amazing. I cannot think as of now anyone that can break under 2 second's with even a 9mm.

    Glock seem's to be going the way of Sig. lately. I don't have any Glock's now but if i did it would be a older used one.

    cowboy nice observation!!
  19. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    I don't personally mind the LEM reset length on the P30 at all but then again it's the only LEM I have experience with.
  20. deeHKman

    deeHKman "It Is Written"

    Aug 13, 2010
    Once i got my side's and back strap the reset on my P30's seem less. I know there still the same but they change your grip and where your trigger finger are.

    I agree the reset is a non issue. Just shoot, train and dry fire it become's a mute point. A friend near me has some LEM HK's a HK45 and two HK45c's i look forward to trying...

    The link below is amazing read on the HK45c...
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012