The Heckler & Koch USP Compact in 9mm is a workhorse that refuses to jam, break, or in any way malfunction.
To be sure, the USP Compact is quite chunky when compared to more recently introduced compact 9mm handguns, as the UPC Compact was introduced in the mid-1990s. But there is simply not a substitute for dependability under almost any condition imaginable.
I have owned a USP Compact in 9mm since 1998. The gun has been buried in mud and snow, thrown in water, dropped from high elevations and fired thousands of times. I cannot remember one malfunction.
The USP Compact has a hammer that can either be pulled back via the trigger in double action or can be cocked with the thumb for a shorter trigger pull that remains short throughout the rest of the magazine. The gun is accurate and feels good in the hand. It came with ten-round magazines in 1998, as there was a “high-capacity” magazine ban in place, but 13-round magazines can be readily acquired.
The USP Compact’s magazine release is ambidextrous.
The USP Compact is the kind of gun you buy to use for concealed carry, for target shooting, and for the campsite. It will fire every time it is called upon, and with today’s ammunition technology, 9mm loads come in numerous self-defense options. The USP Compact comes in .40 caliber or .45 auto as well, for those who prefer to shoot something other than a 9mm.
The USP Compact in 9mm weighs 1.6 pounds when unloaded (remember, I said it was chunky). However, this weight helps manage recoil and makes second shot acquisition quite simple.
A brand new USP Compact will cost around $750-$800. A used one can be found for around $550-600 dollars.