You wake up one morning after a wild day at your local FFL, your head is pounding from all the Glock counter talk and 5.11 gear, take a 800mg Motrin, we're about to discuss Heckler & Koch.
Some of us have been there, you awaken to discover you suddenly have a Heckler & Koch handgun. While the initial compliment of magazines at the time of purchase will serve you well in the short-term, eventually you’ll need to either replace the magazines completely or overhaul them with some key components.
Let’s face it, we need magazines for our handgun(s) and it only makes sense to know what you’re investing in, we'll even suggest a few other solutions that will bring some versatility to your Heckler & Koch handgun collection. Like most handguns on the market, the original manufacturer is the exclusive maker of the respective magazines. In the case of Heckler & Koch, they are without question the only viable option for their handguns. There is ProMag, they make a quality-deficient product for the Heckler & Koch USP 45, stay away!
Breaking it Down in Technical Terms
Magazine Bodies - Heckler & Koch makes 75% of their magazine bodies from the highest quality steel, expertly crafted using exact specifications. Magazine bodies feature a blued finish that not only protects against rust and scratches, but also provides a low-friction and protective barrier that makes loading and unloading near effortless. For the 9x19mm and .40 S&W variants of the USP handgun models there are black and translucent polymer magazine bodies that offer equal durability and fit with a steel inset feed lips all at about half the weight of a steel magazine. Heckler & Koch even makes a polymer jacketed steel magazine, a highly durable hybrid development that compliments the USP in 9x19mm. Feed lips are a critical element of a magazine, that being said feed lips are either steel based on the magazine body and inset steel piece for polymer bodies.
Magazine Springs - Heckler & Koch utilizes a proprietary alloy for their magazine springs which offer excellent lifecycle and function. These springs are corrosion-resistance treated in order to prevent rust.
Magazine Followers - Followers used in magazines are polymer and feature an intuitive anti-tilt design that provides for efficient feeding. Scratching on the face of the follower is minimized as Heckler & Koch uses a strengthened polymer that maintains it’s properties without sacrifice in extreme conditions.
Magazine Floor Plates - Floor plates are critical as they are one of the most abused areas of the magazine. During reloads the floor plate can impact the ground and over time the impact not only abuses the finish, but also effects how the floor plate is locked into the magazine body. For multiple Heckler & Koch handgun models there are both ‘standard’ and ‘extended’ floor plates that can easily be swapped depending on purpose. Magazines used with some of the HK45 and P2000 models have floor plates have a rubberized texture that increases lifecycle and shields other magazine components from sharp impact when dropped.
The Heckler & Koch Jet Funnel exists for the 9x19mm and .40 S&W USP models, Heckler & Koch offers an enhanced magazine well extension called the “Jet Funnel”. This option simply allows for the use of increased capacity magazines without losing functionality or allowing for gaps between the bottom of the grip and the floor plate.
Heckler & Koch currently makes several series of handguns for the market, the Mark 23, USP series, HK45 series, P30 series, P2000 series, and VP series. Within these series there are approximately three dozen or so models based on caliber and type and there are further defined by configurations (color or hammer/safety set-up) otherwise known as variants. Limited or enduring production runs make the availability of certain handguns unpredictable, particularly those models such as the (now-defunct) .357 Sig chambered P2000, P2000SK, and USP357 ‘Compact’ handguns as well as the Custom Combat (defunct), Elite, and Expert models of the USP series.
Nonetheless, for the purpose of our explanation for the interoperability of magazines we’ll leave these among the mix. Heckler & Koch produces about as many different magazines as they do handgun models, however it’s magazines are not exclusive to a particular model as most models have numerous magazine options. To best understand Heckler & Koch’s magazine fit logic, its necessary to understand that there are two critical points of the handgun that determine if and how the magazine will fit.
First, it comes down to dimensions. There are particular tolerances between the magazine body and the magazine well of the handgun. Pending these are aligned, the option for interoperability exists. This can be seen with the link between the USP compact, P2000, and P30 models in particular. Lastly, the bottom of the handgun grip and where it meets the base plate of the magazine is critical as there is stepping and lips that prevent universal fit of handguns apart from magazine well tolerances. Okay, that’s probably more than you ever thought about handgun magazine fitting.
Comprehensive Fit Guide - Developed by Serpent Tactical LLC
XGrip Magazine Adaptors
Owners of Heckler and Koch handguns have the privilege of using the ingenious X-Grip spacer adaptors that allow various magazines to be used on sever handgun models by simply extending the grip lower where the gapped length of the magazine exposes the chassis. The slip-over polymer piece adds versatility by correcting the ergonomic void and makes the entire ‘situation’ more appealing. The following X-Grips are available;
(Magazine - for - Handgun)
P30 for USP9C
P30 for P2000
P30 for P2000SK
P2000 for P2000SK
Up front it’s worth stating that Heckler & Koch’s magazines are outstanding, not simply because they are the only option, but because they perform reliably, operate efficiently, and deliver when needed.
Heckler & Koch quality control is outstanding. Because their lifeblood is focused on fulfilling and competing for contracts that support elite military and law enforcement entities, it becomes absolutely critical to assure the products being fielded are not deficient in any way, either design, materials, or craftsmanship. That being said, those who are unfamiliar with Heckler & Koch may notice that the price of their magazines approaches the upper-end of the market. Importation from Germany, the highest quality materials, assurances via quality control standards, and a lifetime warranty actually add up, but it makes sense if you rely on your handgun for your life.