I own an H&K USP .45 ACP and I have been wondering for a long time now... Why do people prefer the 1911 over all other .45 ACP.I own two HK USPs, and quite a few 1911s. I chose to carry the 1911s and relegate the USPs to the safe and range gun status.
The USP is a good reliable gun with a trigger that pretty much ruins the package. I shoot the USP OK, it fits my hand OK, but even the USP compact carries like a clock radio strapped under your jacket. It seems these pistols were not designed for CCW but many owners try to press them into that role. Fully loaded, they are heavy and they print like a bobcat in your britches. That's been my experience, even using good leather, trying to carry a HK USPc unobtrusively. I'm a 6'1" 250 pound male with years of experience concealing handguns. If I can't keep the thing hidden, it's fair to say there is a problem.
Remember that a 1911 is a style of pistol, not a specific gun. A more valid comparison would be between a specific 1911 and a HK product of equal market value. Saying "1911" is lumping Ed Brown's product in with stuff from tropical islands in the west Pacific. It's like putting HK's in the same category as S&W Sigmas and KelTec pistols.
Let's compare the HK USP (either compact or full size) to a Colt 1911 such as the Colt Series 70, the Colt New Agent, or even the Colt NRM Series 80 1911. That's a fair comparison. The Colt product is reliable, accurate, and has a great trigger that can easily be altered to fit the shooter's desires if needed. The entire Colt pistol can be tailored to the shooter, in fact. If done properly, the pistol will remain reliable. If done on some gun hack's kitchen table, the pistol will be turned into an unreliable lump whether Colt or HK. But I digress.......The Colt product carries extremely well. With the right leather, it's about as obtrusive as an iPod. In fact, even with mediocre leather it conceals and carries very well. The only HK pistol that carries as well is the P7 series.
The Colt 1911 is accurate. It puts holes exactly where I want them to go, consistently hitting paper plates while I am on the move. The HK product, again with the exception of the P7 series, does not do that for me. I suppose you could say that I just have to learn to manage the HK USP trigger. Well, I shoot double action revolvers very well, in double action. Between the ergonomics and the trigger of the HK USP and it's more recent sibling, the P whatever it is called, I do not have the same accuracy under the same conditions. I'm just not willing to devote any more range time learning to accurately manage a trigger that is poor to mediocre from the start just so I can defend myself with the latest flavor of Kool-Aid. I would rather pick a pistol I shoot better with from the start and concentrate on training and tactics. Training and tactics keep you alive in a shooting. The latest Kool-Aid gives you bragging rights at the gun counter. I'd rather live through a shooting, assuming I can't avoid it from the start. That's why I carry a gun. When you think about it, that is the entire purpose of a handgun, to give it's owner a portable life saving device. If he can not carry it concealed and use it effectively, it fails in that role for him. Period.
I carry a gun and train to employ tactics with effective shooting to help me survive a threat to my life. Everything else is secondary to that. Rather than devote myself to learning a weapon that fails to meet my other criteria for an effective defensive pistol, namely the ability to carry it concealed and have it in my hands when I need it, because I could easily carry it, I simply relegated the USP to my pile of pistols that did not make the cut. That doesn't mean it's a bad pistol, it just means I found a pistol that serves me better for my intended use. No offense intended to the guys who prefer the Universelle Selbstladepistole.
Over time, that happens to every shooter. We find our personal favorite. Some would point out that the HK USP has greater capacity. I say my spare magazines help balance my entire carry package on my body. Some folks figure they need those extra bullets in the coming zombie apocalypse. I figure seven rounds +1 will get me out of a mugging or a liquor store robbery if I apply training and tactics well. If I need more ammunition, I have a spare magazine to cram into the gun while I am hunkering behind cover. I will be hunkering and exiting Dodge because I concentrated on learning tactics, not trends.
So that's why I prefer a 1911. After years of packing something else, after going through the wondernine revolution and considering the old GI gun to be an old man's gun, I realized that the 1911 and proper training and tactics was what I was looking for. That's why I carry a 1911. It works for me.