HK45 and HK45 Compact (HK45C) Pistols: Future USSOCOM Combat Pistol (CP) System?

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by David Crane
[email protected]

Gunwriters David Fortier (David M. Fortier) and Ken Hackathorn have both recently written articles about the HK45 and HK45C .45 ACP combat pistols, and both articles can be viewed at the Vickers Tactical Inc. website ( The articles are in PDF format and are downloadable. Vickers Tactical, Inc. is owned by gunsmith/pistolsmith and retired U.S. Army 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-Delta, a.k.a. Delta Force) operator Larry Vickers. Mr. Vickers was instrumental in the design and development of a number of recent Heckler & Koch (HK) firearms/small arms/weapons, including the HK416 carbine/subcarbine/SBR (5.56x45mm), HK417 battle rifle/carbine (7.62x51mm), HK45 pistol and HK45 Compact pistol (a.k.a. HK45C pistol). The HK417 is essentially just a scaled-up/larger-caliber (7.62mm) verson of the 5.56mm HK416.

Fortier’s article on the new HK45 and HK45C .45 ACP pistols came out in the April 2006 issue of Shotgun News and is titled A First Look at Heckler & Koch’s New HK45. Hackathorn’s piece on the HK45 variants just came out in the September 2006 issue of Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement (GWLE), and is titled Two New Heckler & Koch’s HK45s: Full and compact–.45ACPs for the 21st Century!. The HK45 and HK45 Compact pistols are both…

competing for a potential Combat Pistol (CP) System (formerly Joint Combat Pistol (JCP) System) contract that may eventually be issued by the U.S. Special Operations Command a.k.a. USSOCOM a.k.a. SOCOM (Solicitation #: H92222-05-R-0017), and you can read all about it here. It’s DefenseReview’s understanding that one of HK’s competitors is a .45 ACP version of the striker-fired Smith & Wesson M&P (Military & Police) pistol. Glock (also striker-fired) reportedly also has a dog in the race, but our current information on it is limited, other than it has a smaller-circumference grip-frame than the Glock 21 (G21) (information on Glock CP candidate just rumor at present, a.k.a. unconfirmed/unverified report). The HK45 pistol is hammer-fired, since, from what we’ve been told by one of our sources, it’s basically a cross between an HK USP .45 and HK P2000 (unconfirmed/unverified). It’s possible that some elements of the HK P3000 pistol were also borrowed (unconfirmed/unverified).

Defense Review interviewed an "industry insider" (that’s all we can say about him) yesterday about the HK416 carbine/subcabine/SBR, HK 45 and HK 45C tactical pistols, Hecker & Koch (HK) as a company, and the infantry small arms industry in general, and we may (or may not) publish excerpted portions of that interview at a later date. Needless to say, however, is that it was an interesting conversation. During that conversation, I mentioned that while I like 1911 pistols, I tend to prefer striker-fired pistols to hammer-fired pistols when it comes to modern high-tech polymer-framed pistols/handguns, since you can achieve a lower bore axis (yielding less muzzle-flip/rise when shooting and thus quicker/faster shot-to-shot recovery, target-reacquisition, multiple-target engagement, etc.) with a striker-fired pistol, a la the S&W M&P pistol, any Glock pistol (including my carry Glock 19), the Heckler & Koch P7-series pistols (including the HK P7M13, P7M8, and PSP models), and Springfield Armory XD pistols (including the Springfiled XD .45 ACP and Springfield XD .45 GAP pistols), and the Steyr M-A1 Series pistols.

Provided that the S&W M&P .45 ACP pistol meets all the Combat Pistol (CP) System/Joint Combat Pistol (JCP) System specifications (specs) and requirements (i.e. is reliable and durable under adverse conditions and high round count, accurate enough, adequately corrosion/rust-resistant, can function reliably (and with proper timing) with a silencer/sound suppressor, and has a powerful-enough striker mechanism (for activating rounds with tough primers) with a corresponding trigger pull that’s smooth enough and not-too-heavy for accurate and prolific fire in combat conditions, it’s going to be tough to beat.

Heckler & Koch Defense Inc. (a.k.a. HK Defense Inc.) Military Programs division can be contacted by phone at 703-450-1900 Ext. 272, or by fax at 703-450-8163.

You can contact Larry Vickers/Vickers Tactical Inc. by email at [email protected]. Larry Vickers’ custom combat/tactical 1911 pistols are superlative from everything DefenseReview has seen and heard. Mr. Vickers is known for building high-end hard-use tactical 1911’s designed for combat under any conditions, including the adverse conditions of infantry combat.

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If you’d like to subscribe to Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement (GWLE), contact them toll-free at 888-444-4953, or click on this link to visit their subscription form page.

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HK45 and HK45 Compact (HK45C) Pistols: Future USSOCOM Combat Pistol (CP) System? by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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