Pistol-Training.com‘s 50,000 round endurance test of the HK45 is officially complete. “The test finally concluded at 50,000 rounds,” Larry Vickers of Vickers Tactical writes. “I was honored to fire the 50,000th round through the gun that I helped bring into existence.” The bottom line? “As expected, the gun passed the test with flying colors and amazingly experienced only a couple of minor problems… all while going 10,000 rounds between cleanings!” Dude, that “minor problems” aside is a serious red rag to any self-respecting firearms truth teller. So I headed over to the website in question and uncovered a well-spring of ballistic truthiness . . .
There’s almost no way the HK45 could have proven more reliable. Only twice in 50,000 rounds did the gun fail to go through its entire cycle of operation, ready to fire again with nothing more than a trigger pull. Once was a light primer hit, the other was a broken trigger return spring. That’s a Mean Rounds Between Stoppage of 25,000 rounds… ten times the industry standard.
So now we know. Or wait. There’s this too . . .
The only other incident the gun suffered, as described in great detail here, was a dislodged sear spring. With the spring no longer in place, the gun continued to fire but was stuck in true “double action only” mode with a substantially heavier trigger pull . . .
Durability: As mentioned above, the pistol had a trigger return spring break during Week Twenty Five, just shy of thirty five hundred rounds into the spring’s service life. It was just a random thing, and proof that no matter who you are and what you’re doing, sometimes springs break.
Fair enough? And just for fun, here are some of the site’s “nitpicks” about the gun. You know, what needs changing.
- Clean up the trigger a bit. Less creep, less overtravel. Noted polymersmith David Bowie does an outstanding piece of work called, conveniently, the “Vickers HK45 mods” which include an internal overtravel stop. I did not have this done to the test gun, but if the overtravel bothers you (or some of the other mods are to your liking), it’s a no brainer option.
- Compact floorplates. The current floorplates were designed to pass some grueling NATO durability tests. They’re the size of a Volkswagen and not quite as ergonomic. The longer a flootplate’s lip extends past the magazine body, the harder it is to reload well. A more flush-fitting 9rd magazine might not be a bad idea, either.
- Usable sights. Flat out, the stock sights are among the worst in the industry. They’re huge, the front sight is wide, the rear notch is narrow, and the “charge to glow” dots are distracting at best (and invisible in the dark unless your prognostication powers allow you to charge them up before trouble starts).
- Modular side panels. As well as the HK45 fit in my hand, it was nothing compared to the fully customizable P30. The HK45 would definitely benefit from the replaceable side grip panels found in its 9mm cousin.
- Easier assembly. This is a holdover from last year’s P30 experience. The HKs are incredible guns, but if you’re going to detail strip one it helps to have a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Certain components could be modified into multi-part assemblies that would be more easily dropped into the gun. For example, the two pieces of the LEM hammer and the elbow spring could easily be turned into a single “part” that didn’t rely on gravity and the Force to align properly for assembly.