T Nation

H&K vs. Springfield


Hey guys, time for another "what gun should I get?" thread, with some other general gun questions.

I currently have a Colt .357 magnum, 4" barrel, which was an inheritance. At the range I've been shooting 158 grain rounds, but after reading around it seems most people recommend 125 grain for self defense with the 357. Is it that much of a difference? I only have a few hundred rounds of the 158, so I could go through them quick if I should be shooting the 125 grain.

After shooting the 357 a bit, I have the same thought that any sane person has, which is "more guns!" What if someone invades my home, and I'm all the way over here and my gun is all the way over there? So I find myself interested in the H&K USP, and the Springfield XDm. Both are offered in the 40S&W and 45ACP. I understand the general differences between the rounds, but have shot neither.

The Springfield XDm in 40S&W has a 3.8" barrel and is 16+1 for ~$550. The 45ACP is 13+1 and has a 4.5" barrel for between $575-$600

The H&K USP is 13+1 in the 40S&W, and 12+1 in the 45ACP. Cost wise it is ~$750+ and $820+ respectively.

Have any of you shot both frames? What are your impressions? What am I paying more for in the H&K?

For reference, I'm interested in general home defense, and not CCW with this specific gun (I'll talk the wife into another gun for that!) and I have a Remington 1100, so hold on to suggestions of a shotgun for home defense. I have two small kids in the house and don't want to be sending slugs through the walls. I know the 40 and 45 will both go through my walls, but I'll have a bit more control over the pistol.


If you ever have to defend yourself you want to look good doing it. I suggest the Springfield XDm because it looks awesome.

Robbers will be like "Oh, shit that cracker has the Springfield XDm in 40S&W that has a 3.8" barrel and is 16+1. Shiiiiiitttttt son let's bounce!"

(I don't know anything about guns but I know style)


The difference is $200. I've never used an H&K but everything I've read is they're extremely nice guns. Springfields are no slouch, they make great weapons in all kinds of sizes and types.
You can't go wrong with either I don't think. IMO it'll be what you like the best, what feels best in your hand.
What about a Glock?



Check out the FNP-45 DA/SA. This company manufactures most of the small arms for the US military including the SCAR. You could get the Tactical Handgun with a pre threaded muzzle. It's not a small pistol by any standard. Three magazines, owner's manual, locking device, and lockable fitted hard case come standard. @$600 and my next gun.

review by NC law enforcement officer of FNP-45 USG


I've owned a USP in the past. They're overpriced for what they are. They're nice guns, sure, but they cost about 2-300 buck more than they really deserve. I'd take the XDm (but I'd go with the full size 9mm) even at the same price.

The placement of the safety on the USP is weird. Too low for a low-thumbs grips, but if you run run a high-thumbs grip, it ends up decocking the thing if you have the V1. USPs have a number of different trigger configurations, the V1 is manual safety and decocker. Something to consider if you go the HK route.
Also, HK mags are ridiculously expensive compared to Glock or XD mags. HK really doesn't care much about civilian buyers, their bread and butter is gov't contracts.

The S&W M&P also deserves a look. The M&P357 is my current carry/nightstand gun. It's easily the most accurate non-1911 I've owned (and I've owned alot) Great ergonomic with interchangeable backstraps, and the trigger is very nice with the Apex tactical sear.


Best advice is to go to a rental range and shoot 50 rounds out of each. There are all kinds of ergo differences that you might or might not like and the only way to find out is to shoot the guns. Both HK and Springfield have great reputations.

I chose Glock even though it's not the best feeling gun. I didn't like the de-cock on the HK and the Sig was too heavy although I do own Sigs and HKs.


I owned an XDm 9mm and the more I shot it the less I liked it until I sold it recently. Probably just me. The XD's were $300 when they first came to the US, the Springfield bought the distribution rights and the price went up to almost $600. What they added, aside from a lot of marketing that made it cost twice as much is beyond me. If I'd paid $300 for mine I would've been happy with it.

Anyway, shoot a lot of different guns before you buy anything.


I can speak up for the Springfield 1911 A-1, I have had mine for about 20 yrs and have never had an issue with it. I used to participate in tact matches and never had the misfires or jamming that some of the other models experienced. Easy to break down and clean, and never had any issues with different loads.


What do you need a gun for, when you have such an awesome sword?


H&K is gonna cost a little more, and mags are pretty expensive. Full size USP .45 mags are like $32. I have a USP .45 compact, and mags for me are $58. :((( but oh well. If you wanna know why the USP is more expensive than the SA XD series, go look up the USP on wikipedia and read about the reliability and endurance testing they did on it.

The recoil system, which reduces felt recoil quite a bit, in a different gun was tested with 30,000+ +P rounds, and 6,000 proof rounds without damage or any excessive wear to any major components. Even the weakest components are rated with a life of 20,000 rounds.

My USP is my favorite gun of the 8 that I own. I've been thinking about buying another one, only full size. The gun is extremely easy to maintain, it is comfortable in my hand, comfortable to shoot, surprisingly accurate for such a short barrel (on the compact), and its reliability is a thing of legend. Fact is, if it comes to a life or death situation, there is no gun I'd rather have in my hand than my USP.

In my personal opinion, and I'm sure others will disagree, you just cannot find a better handgun. period. Keep in mind, as with most things, firearms especially, you get what you pay for.

The springfield I have never handled, or fired, and not really researched at all either. (as far as I'm concerned I've got the only polymer frame automatic I need) So I won't comment on it, but I've heard good things. When it comes down to it, its up to you to do your research and make it good. Don't rush off and drop several hundred dollars on something you may not like 100 rounds, or a dozen cleanings down the road.

As for your first question, if you're using a .357 mag for self defense, what grain the bullet is don't make any difference. Its still a hunk of lead flying 1100fps. Not to mention the .357 bullet was literally designed to be a people stopper. I've never shot anybody with my .357 but I'm willing to bet that the grain of the ammo won't make too big a difference.