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  1. #1
    INSTIEN's Avatar
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    Polymer Frame or Steel Frame??

    I'm in the market to buy a new handgun. I'm definately going with a .45 however through all the reviews, and research i've looked at, still can't decide on wich one to go with. I'm considering either a HK45 (perhaps a USP depending on availability) or a Kimber 1911 Custom.

    Anyone's replies based off of personal or theoretical knowledge would be great!

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    Personally if I were to just buy a range gun in .45 I would buy a metal framed gun. No reason to get the lighter polymer if it's just a range gun IMO.

    Welcome to the forum!

    -Jeff-

  4. #3
    INSTIEN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeefyBeefo View Post
    Personally if I were to just buy a range gun in .45 I would buy a metal framed gun. No reason to get the lighter polymer if it's just a range gun IMO.
    Thanks for the opinion. However it may not be JUST a range gun. I just got done doing my concealed handguns license...actually looked it up 30 minutes ago....and it's still "processing". So I do plan on carrying it allot.

    Would this matter to you at all?

  5. #4
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
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    Then I would personally go polymer. It seems as though our taste is a little different as well though, because if I was going to have a gun that I carried all the time it would be an XD or a Glock. I would rather buy a polymer carry gun to beat up a little bit and save for that Kimber primarily as a range gun. That's just me though, there are many that would and do disagree with that, but that's just how I look at it

    -Jeff-

  6. #5
    INSTIEN's Avatar
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    Well I don't really fancy the Glocks. I know they are great guns. And probably one of the most reliable on the market. But for some odd reason that I can't explain, they just don't fit me.

    However, I am interested to hear the reason (or reasons) why you personally don't prefer the HK's. Maybe you can give me some knowledge on the pro's and the con's.

  7. #6
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    I handled two new HK .45 pistols just yesterday, and was utterly unimpressed. Thick and clunky, bore axis somewhere up around high earth orbit, and lousy triggers. But of course gun fit is a personal thing.

    At the same time, I handled Bill King's (Old Padawan here on HGF) Robar/Colt 1911. There is simply no comparison between a good, slick 1911 and one of the clunky HKs. I'd pass on the Kimber and get an S&W or Springfield pistol in that general price point, though, since I have known too many people who have had reliability problems with Kimber 1911s.
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  8. #7
    hawcer's Avatar
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    you can always look into a happy medium between steel and plastic.Sig has some nice aluminum framed 45's and Kimber has their Aluminum framed 1911's too.

  9. #8
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    Flame me if you must but I prefer polymer for all purposes. Anyone who has read any of my post surely knows how much I love my Compact XD45 (4" Barrel). I keep it at home for HD and will carry it when I get my CCWL but I even enjoy shooting it at the range over any 1911 I have ever shot. I admit I haven't shot many 1911's but can say I prefer my XD to my buddy's Taurus 1911 and another buddy's Kimber TLE 1911.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    I don't know anything about the HK 45's but I can say the wifes HK P30 is pretty sweet. The trigger reset on her HK is long but as a novice that is the only thing I would change if I could.

  10. #9
    Baldy's Avatar
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    I went through all this a few years back and I finally settled on a S&W SC-PD commander model. With a good holster and gun belt it carries very well. Its weight is 27oz mty.


  11. #10
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    My reasons are pretty much the same as Mike. I don't like the feel of them at all. They feel bulky to me and don't fit my hands right. But, as he said the feel is personal preference. This all goes without even mentioning the price of HKs! I have two XD's for the price of that HK or could have many other combinations for the cost of that gun. There are many people that love their HKs, I'm just stating my opinion

    -Jeff-

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    I handled two new HK .45 pistols just yesterday, and was utterly unimpressed. Thick and clunky, bore axis somewhere up around high earth orbit, and lousy triggers. But of course gun fit is a personal thing.

    At the same time, I handled Bill King's (Old Padawan here on HGF) Robar/Colt 1911. There is simply no comparison between a good, slick 1911 and one of the clunky HKs. I'd pass on the Kimber and get an S&W or Springfield pistol in that general price point, though, since I have known too many people who have had reliability problems with Kimber 1911s.
    Are you sure it was ah HK45 and NOT a USP? Because the HK45 is really comfortable and ergonomic, and it uses the match trigger from the USP series which is great. The trigger is very crisp. Your description doesn't seem accurate. If so then all I can say is wow, because every single person I know who has held an HK45 and/or fired it has either bought one or wanted to buy one.


    It looked like this here?



  13. #12
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Yeah, that one and the "compact" version, too. I thought they both just completely sucked. But hey, if you like 'em, great. That's why we have different gun designs.
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  14. #13
    Dredd is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    Yeah, that one and the "compact" version, too. I thought they both just completely sucked. But hey, if you like 'em, great. That's why we have different gun designs.
    Just wow is all, never met someone who didn't like em. If you get to actually fire the full sized HK45 I bet you'll like it. Honestly, there's like 0 felt recoil. But no matter. There's a first time for everything, and this is a first for me...actually hearing someone say they didn't like this particular gun.

  15. #14
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    I have no real interest in shooting it, to be honest, after examining it yesterday. I have enough experience to know what kinds of guns I like based on things like grip shape, trigger action and bore axis.

    I don't think .45ACP kicks much in any gun, but it makes no difference to me since I don't carry .45s anymore. The only .45 I ever even shoot is my old Commander, a gift from my father, and I only drag that out maybe once a year (on Memorial Day).

    I'll stick with my Glocks for fighting.
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  16. #15
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dredd View Post
    Just wow is all, never met someone who didn't like em.
    Well now you've met two

    -Jeff-

  17. #16
    Dredd is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeefyBeefo View Post
    Well now you've met two

    -Jeff-
    Ever heard the expression don't knock it until you're tried it?

    Applies to guns.

  18. #17
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dredd View Post
    Ever heard the expression don't knock it until you're tried it?

    Applies to guns.
    Why would I even bother trying it when I don't like the feel of it? That doesn't make any sense to me what so ever. It doesn't matter to me how the gun shoots, if it doesn't feel comfortable in my hands then there's no reason to go past that point. How it shoots is not magically going to make it feel better and more comfortable in my hand.

    -Jeff-

  19. #18
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    I work with guns for a living. I've shot more than enough different guns to know which design elements I like and which I don't. The HKs I handled had all the "features" I dislike and none of those I like.

    Not saying they're necessarily bad guns - I'm sure they're accurate, reliable, etc. I just found them rather crude, bulky, and clumsy to operate. It was pretty clear to me they were not designed by actual shooters. The mileage of others may (and does) vary, which is okay with me. I am sure Galco will sell plenty of holsters for them.
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  20. #19
    bompa is offline Junior Member
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    I have been a metal gun fan forever but a while ago I thought that a plastic gun might be something different..Well I was thinking about a Glock but after handling one it was no go..Next to it in the case was a Sigma so I had to handle that and found that it felt great in hand..Well it followed me home.I like it but it does have a heavy trigger pull..Working on fixing that but that is another story..
    There is now a great plastic gun on the market in all the calibers and sizes,it is the M&P by Smith & Wesson..It feels great in hand and shoots great also..Even cast bullets with no problems..Different size bachstraps to fit many hands and decent sights out of the box..
    Check it out,you might be surprised..

  21. #20
    Dredd is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    I work with guns for a living. I've shot more than enough different guns to know which design elements I like and which I don't. The HKs I handled had all the "features" I dislike and none of those I like.

    Not saying they're necessarily bad guns - I'm sure they're accurate, reliable, etc. I just found them rather crude, bulky, and clumsy to operate. It was pretty clear to me they were not designed by actual shooters. The mileage of others may (and does) vary, which is okay with me. I am sure Galco will sell plenty of holsters for them.
    The HK45 was in fact designed with the help of actual shooters. Larry Vickers had an instrumental role in the development of the HK45 among other goodies from HK in recent years.

    No matter, thought I'd throw my opinion on the HK45 out there as it's a super reliable gun that shoots any ammo I've been able to throw in it. There's a running blog where someone is trying to shoot their Hk45 until it breaks. So far he's up to 5420 rounds and no issues. It was one of the original considerations of the OP as well so...

  22. #21
    INSTIEN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dredd View Post
    Are you sure it was ah HK45 and NOT a USP? Because the HK45 is really comfortable and ergonomic, and it uses the match trigger from the USP series which is great. The trigger is very crisp. Your description doesn't seem accurate. If so then all I can say is wow, because every single person I know who has held an HK45 and/or fired it has either bought one or wanted to buy one.
    I actually completely agree with you on this one. A friend of mine absolutely sold me on the HK45 today. He just purchased a HK P30 9MM and me and him went out to the range for some testing. After which I decided the HK is definately my choice. A friend of his that tagged allong braught his Kimber 1911 out there with him. Side by side you could definately see the bulkiness of the HK compared to the 1911 but suprisingly enough it fit in my hands better, and more comfortably than the 1911. I didn't get to shoot the Kimber however I did shoot the P30. I do know there are shooting differences between a P30 and a HK45 but they are BASICALLY the same design. Seeing as how the HK fit my hands perfectly, felt great, fired great, I definately see my self buying the HK45.

    *EDIT*
    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.
    *EDIT*

  23. #22
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dredd View Post
    Larry Vickers had an instrumental role in the development of the HK45 among other goodies from HK in recent years.
    Larry Vickers is certainly a respected name in the industry. But clearly he and I have very different ideas about service pistols, if he indeed drove the design of these pistols. Not a problem, diversity makes the world go 'round.
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  24. #23
    Dredd is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    Larry Vickers is certainly a respected name in the industry. But clearly he and I have very different ideas about service pistols, if he indeed drove the design of these pistols. Not a problem, diversity makes the world go 'round.
    I always wished that more real world shooters and servicemen would put their ideas to usage in the firearms industry. Sometimes there's a great gun that's waiting to be realized, just needs a bit of smithing work and custom parts to get it there. Would be nice to have someone behind the design from the get go so that the gun is as good out of the box, as it can be with the custom work.

    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?

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by INSTIEN View Post
    I actually completely agree with you on this one. A friend of mine absolutely sold me on the HK45 today. He just purchased a HK P30 9MM and me and him went out to the range for some testing. After which I decided the HK is definately my choice. A friend of his that tagged allong braught his Kimber 1911 out there with him. Side by side you could definately see the bulkiness of the HK compared to the 1911 but suprisingly enough it fit in my hands better, and more comfortably than the 1911. I didn't get to shoot the Kimber however I did shoot the P30. I do know there are shooting differences between a P30 and a HK45 but they are BASICALLY the same design. Seeing as how the HK fit my hands perfectly, felt great, fired great, I definately see my self buying the HK45.

    *EDIT*
    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.
    *EDIT*
    A tuned 1911 trigger is very difficult to beat, even a custom worked match trigger on a Sig P210 would be difficult to compete with. That's the one thing that a 1911 has over everything else regardless of the overall feel of the 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.

  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dredd View Post
    A tuned 1911 trigger is very difficult to beat, even a custom worked match trigger on a Sig P210 would be difficult to compete with. That's the one thing that a 1911 has over everything else regardless of the overall feel of the 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?

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