I would however love to find my self a HK Mark .23 SOCOM. I would still prefer that over the HK45. But they seem very hard to find. Not to mention expensive.
Anyway, to the OP...can you take them all out and fire them? I know that the HK45 is new and hard to get, but maybe you'll find someone to let you try it? I also understand that a Kimber 1911 can be hard to find for rent. I have a range local to me that has a Kimber 1911 to try out, but I don't know how different their various models are so I really couldn't say if firing one would give a feel for them all or not.
Obviously the real test is in your hands on the range, but how easy is it to do this testing prior to dropping multiple bills down on a gun?
If you think you'd like a Mk23, I would honestly hope you know what you're getting yourself into. They're huge...I mean it, just large in every way possible. Shoot good if you can wield it though.
I do like the triggers on the 1911's. I've heard many great things about them, and the one I shot (about a year ago) seemed great. I'm not a gun expert by all means. I'm actually about to buy my first pistol. I do have a couple of rifles...but no pistols.
As far as the size of the Mk23 goes...I actually prefer larger pistols. I'm a pretty big guy (6'3" with hands big enough to palm a basketball with some to spare) so the larger pistols just feel better to me.
One question...is it not possible to change out or upgrade the triggers on HK's? And if so got any resources I can look at?
I own both a Springfield 1911 Stainless Loaded .45 and an HK USP EXPERT .45. Yes, there is nothing like the fit of the 1911 in your hand, but there is something to say about the accuracy of an HK. The EXPERT is the first composite gun I've bought and I've changed my opinion on composite frames. I like them each for their own reasons and they each have their advantages. Buy what feels good in your hand and the gun that will fit it's purpose. Good luck.
If I'm looking to get a 56 ACP I am more often than not looking for a 1911. I'm just not as big a fan of plastic guns. I've owned several and most of them I've owned or shot have been pretty good shooters..I just like the all metal more..Maybe I'm just old..heh. The one plastic gun I have is a Browning Pro 40. It's really nice and has the one thing I just got to have..A hammer. Are my all steels better than the "Tupperware"? For me yes.
I'm not a Kimber fan though.They are really well made they just don't do for me what a Springfield,Colt, or a Para does for me.
It comes down to your usage, a 1911 is a better gun for the range I'll say that. You see many more 1911 fans in competition than other brands. Not to say that other brands don't have a following and competitive teams etc, but the 1911 is more or less the de facto standard for ISPC etc. I too like a hammer on my guns, which is why I prefer a HK over a Glock, M&P, or XD. I would take a 1911, but I find the polymer guns to be more reliable in less than ideal conditions.
I would say that if you are going to carry a weapon concealed, get one that you will actually take with you all the time. That means, small, light, and reliable. And then practice with it until you can hit center mass and do headshots at ten feet. At distances much further than that, an armed citizen risks placing stray rounds into bystanders, in an urgent situation where one cannot stop and look around carefully. If I am not nose to nose with someone, I am most likely going to take cover, not start shooting.
I am also not convinced, from experience, that the only caliber that works for self defense is the .45. At the ranges in which a citizen can engage in a defensive gunfight, almost any caliber will work. I think many people carrying concealed firearms are mentally preparing themselves for some kind of tactical duel that will never happen to a concealed carry permit holder.
I suggest carrying a light, convenient weapon and learning to accurately point shoot with it; hand to eye and target to hand.