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Heckler & Koch HK 45

Semi-Automatic Pistol

Infantry / Small Arms

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Image from official Heckler and Koch marketing materials.

The Heckler and Koch HK 45 series semi-automatic handgun was developed as an improved form of the 1990s HK USP product.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 11/23/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The HK 45 by Germany's storied Heckler & Koch firearms concern is an all-modern semi-automatic pistol marketed to law enforcement, military services, and as a personal defense weapon the worldover. It is an improvement upon the earlier HK USP ("Universal Self-Loading Pistol") which eventually arrived in various forms (including compact) and chamberings. The HK 45 favors the .45 ACP, a proven man-stopping in the pistol realm, and has its own full-length and compact models available. Its development was tied to the American military's "Joint Combat Service" (JCS) and "Combat Pistol" programs to succeed the aging Beretta M9 (eventually succeeded by the SIG-Sauer P320 detailed elsewhere on this site).

The HK 45 has a conventional Browning M1911 design layout: the slide runs the length of the gun and showcases ribbed sides for gripping. The hammer is exposed at the rear of the weapon and forward and rear iron sights (adjustable, 3-dot) are noted over the receiver. The slide release arm and magazine release controls (integrated into the trigger loop) are ambidextrous while the safety mechanism is set to the left side of the body. The ejection port favors the right side. The ergonomic grip (replaceable) handle doubles as the magazine well with the magazine's base exposed at the bottom in the typical fashion. The trigger loop protects the slim trigger component and can accept a gloved hand. Tactical accessories can be mounted under the barrel ahead of the trigger group on the integrated MIL STD 1910 Picatinny rail section. Specialized threaded barrels can accept suppressors for clandestine work favored by special forces operatives

The basic full length form is 8.03 inches long with a barrel measuring 4.46 inches in length. With its magazine installed, the complete system weighs 31.2 ounces.

In its .45 ACP chambering, the metal, spring-loaded magazine accepts ten ready-to-fire rounds. Internally, the handgun fires using the proven Browning "linkless" recoil operating system. The barrel relies on polygonal rifling to help improve accuracy and long-term resistance to general wear-and-tear.

Several versions of the HK 45 are currently marketed, differing mainly in trigger function: Double-Action (DA) / Single-Action (SA) (V1 with two or three magazines) and Law Enforcement Modification (LEM) Double-Action Only (DAO) (V7 with optional night sights).

Compact forms include the HK 45 Compacy (HK45C) that feeds from an 8- or 10-round magazine with revised grip styling and the HK 45 Tactical (HK45T) / HK 45 Compact Tactical (HK45CT) with tritium-based sights and optional threaded barrel assemblies.

To date (2020), the HK 45 is featured in the inventories of Australia's Tactical Response Group (Western Australia Police), Singapore's special forces branch, Malaysia's PASKAL special forces troops, America's Maine State Police and Fort Lee's police force, and U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command (as the "Mk 24 Mod 0").


Heckler & Koch GmbH - Germany
National flag of Australia National flag of Germany National flag of Malaysia National flag of Singapore National flag of United States Australia; Germany; Malaysia; Singapore; United States
- Clandestine Operations
- Close Quarters Battle (CQB) / Personal Security
- Sidearm
Overall Length:
204 mm (8.03 in)
Barrel Length:
113 mm (4.45 in)
Weight (Unloaded):
1.94 lb (0.88 kg)
Iron Front and Rear.
Semi-Automatic; Single-Action / Double-Action / Double-Action Only
HK 45 - Base Series Designation.
HK 45 Compact (HK45C) - Compact, short-form model with revised grip handle design; 8- or 10-round magazine support.
HK 45 Tactical (HK45T) - Tactical model with tritium sights and optional threaded barrel for suppressor support.
HK 45 Compact Tactical (HK45CT) - Compact version of the HK45T.
Mk 24 Mod 0 - Naval Special Warfare Command designation of the HK 45CT V3.

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