Below is my review of the H&K USP:
The Heckler & Koch USP is a polymer framed, semiautomatic (also called”self-loading” or “autoloading”) pistol that is available in a variety of calibers and form factors. The name “USP” comes from the German phrase “Universelle Selbstladepistole” which translates to “Universal Self-Loading Pistol”. First produced in 1993, the USP is known for reliability, and has garnered a devoted following over the last 15 years. Models include compact, tactical, match grade, elite, and expert, with single action, double action, and single action/double action trigger options available. There is a USP model to meet just about any pistol user’s needs.
The USP comes chambered for .357 Sig, 9x19mm, .40 S&W (my favorite), and .45 ACP. I wish that a version chambered for 10mm were available, but then again I have that same wish for other pistols such as the Springfield XD. Regardless, there should be a supported pistol cartridge for the USP that will make just about anyone happy.
I find the Springfield 1911 and Springfield XD to be more comfortable to hold, however I prefer the USP over Glock pistols. Left handed shooters will appreciate that the safety/decocking lever is optionally available on the right side of the pistol. On some models, the same lever serves to engage/disengage the safety, and to operate the decocker. I dislike this feature, as I prefer to have one control serve one function, so as to avoid confusion in stressful self defense situations.
The USP has a recoil reducing system built in beneath the barrel. It is designed to both reduce felt recoil, and to take stress off the pistol’s internal components. While this feature is rather impressive sounding, I don’t really notice a subjective reduction in recoil, compared to other pistols. I believe that this is due to the USP’s light weight, which will make it recoil harder than a heaver gun. So overall, I find the USP’s recoil to be ordinary, which is just fine. What I do notice is increased muzzle flip, which seems to be caused by relatively high barrel location. I don’t find this to be a real problem, but thought it was worth mentioning.
Those looking for a polymer framed pistol should certainly consider the Heckler & Koch USP. Its wide variety of trigger options are a nice touch, as are the (optional) ambidextrous controls. The recoil buffering system is a nice feature to have as well. I still prefer the Springfield XD when it comes to polymer framed pistols, but to each their own