Universal Selbstlade Pistole
, german for "Universal Self Loading Pistol". Manufactured by Heckler and Koch GmbH
. Univeral in the sense that it can be easily changed from one firing mode
to another. Comes in 9 variants
encompassing all the possible combinations of firing modes of a semiautomatic
The USP is also the direct descendant of the Mark 23 SOCOM and uses most of the technology and improvements the Mark 23 SOCOM has. Despite of this the USP Tactical has been actually found to be more desirable by many spec ops operators as it has most everything the Mark 23 has in a smaller, handier package.
The USP has distinctly american features although it is of a german design and manufacture. The safety lever is configured to be up is safe, down is fire, the magazine release is near the trigger guard instead of the heel and the magazines drop freeee when released. The slide also locks back after the last round is fired.
- Variant 1 - Double Action/Single Action (DA/SA)with "safe" position and control lever (manual safety/decocking lever) on left side of frame.
- Variant 2 - Double Action/Single Action with "safe" position and control lever (manual safety/decocking lever) on right side of frame.
- Variant 3 - Double Action/Single Action without "safe" position and control lever (decocking lever) on the left side of frame.
- Variant 4 - Double Action/Single Action without "safe" position and control lever (decocking lever) on the right side of frame.
- Variant 5 - Double action only DAO with "safe" position and control lever (manual safety) on left side of frame.
- Variant 6 - Double action only with "safe" position and control lever (manual safety) on right side of frame.
- Variant 7 - Double action only without control lever
- Variant 8 - there is no Variant 8*
- Variant 9 - DA/SA with "safe" position and control lever (manual safety/no decocking funtion) on the left side of the frame.
- Variant 10 - DA/SA with "safe" position and control lever (manual safety/no decocking funtion) on the right side of the frame.
- since variant 7 does not have any control levers (manual safety or decocker), this variant is already ambidextrous
and need not have a lefty
To give you an idea of how this relates to other semiauto pistol
designs I will show you examples of other manufacturers and which "variant
" they have chosen as the standard configuration of their guns.
Variant 1 is the most flexible and offers the most number of choices in your mode of carry. HK is one of the few makers that offer this variant. Variant 3 is the default configuration of the SIG P series pistols with the exception of the SIG P210 which is a single action auto. The Variants 5 and 6 are configurations that you might commonly see on a Beretta 92 pistol. Variant 7 is the closest to the Glock design whose only external controls are the trigger and slide release lever. Add to this a law enforcement modification trigger set to a 4 lbs pull and you practically have a Glock.
Variant 9 is similar to the CZ line of auto pistols, in that while it has a double action capability (for second strikes if needed) it does not have a built in decocker. This variant is also the closest to the 1911 design which was meant to be carried cocked and locked.