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Old August 21, 2011, 09:47 PM   #1
JerryHN
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Your opinions on the H&K Mark 23

I'm thinking of my next handgun purchase. I'm looking for an pistol that will withstand extremely harsh conditions (drops, dirt, water, mud, hot/cold, etc.). So durability, reliability, and accuracy is what I am looking for. What is your personal opinion on the HK Mark 23 handgun? (assume price is not a factor)

Many Thanks,

Jerry
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Old August 21, 2011, 09:54 PM   #2
C0untZer0
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I'm not sure that it's not the largest .45 made. If not THE largest it has to be in the top 3.

By all accounts it's one of the most accurate OOB 45s on the market.
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Old August 21, 2011, 09:58 PM   #3
JerryHN
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Yep, I know the Mark 23 is a very large gun. I've handled it at the dealer. But since I do not plan to conceal carry the gun, the size is not an issue.

After doing my research, it just seems that the Mark 23 is the most durable and accurate .45 on the market. Am I mistaken?

Thanks
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Old August 21, 2011, 10:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
After doing my research, it just seems that the Mark 23 is the most durable and accurate .45 on the market. Am I mistaken?
Durability? Oh, I'm sure it's up there, along with most anything H&K. Accurate? How big are your hands? The gun is mechanically accurate all day and then some, but unless you have large hands, you may have an issue getting that accuracy out of the gun. I'm not trying to steer you away from it, but if possible, see if you can at least dry fire it while carefully watching the sights, just to make sure it's a good fit before you plunk down that kind of change.

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Old August 21, 2011, 11:37 PM   #5
ClydeFrog
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CAG: Killing Bin Laden, Heckler & Koch HK45, HK45c LEM...

To my limited knowledge, the milspec version of the HK Mark 23 .45acp pistol was ended for US sales to the general public about 12-18mo ago.
The .45acp USSOCOM pistol had a lot of T&E before the military selection but from what I know of US spec ops in SW Asia, it was not as popular or common as the Glock 21/21SF, the single action 1911a1 .45acp or the SIG Sauer P226R/P228 9x19mm.
I read a non fiction book by a former member of the US Army Delta(Combat Applications Group) who said the Mk23 or model 0 .45acp was bulky and unyieldy in OEF(Afganistan).
The big HK Mark 23 service pistol was also part of a novel I read but I don't recall the title. The author explained the weapon & it's features in detail.
A well made sidearm in .45acp to me would be HK's HK45 or for compact/concealed use; the smaller HK45 compact(LEM system). The Glock 21SF can do well too but many Glock shooters have complained about a few 21SF ambi controls not working correctly.
The SIG Sauer Classic P220R DAK, the M&P .45acp(with ambi safety), the XDm .45acp and the Beretta PX4 in .45acp can be worth reviewing too.

CF
ps; I like HK's older Expert series but I think it was discontinued.
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Old August 22, 2011, 01:48 AM   #6
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I've had one since '01. Generally it's either loved or hated. As a rule, those who have hands large enough to properly manipulate it, love the weapon. Those with T-rex hands are typically unimpressed.

Some want one because it was issued to various special forces. I wanted one because of what went into it and what it could do...at the time. Back when it came out, it was the only production pistol with a threaded barrel, match grade accuracy, an accessory rail (proprietary since no standardized rail existed) and kit components specifically designed to integrate and function with the gun. It has been rated for 24 hours submerged in sea water without any corrosion. It has/had a maritime finish that penetrated the metal such that even worn off the metal was still protected. It has a relatively silent decocker, can be carried cocked and locked and has an ambi safety.

It's no delicate daisy. It's designed for extremely adverse conditions...same goes for it's kit components. It has one specific purpose and it satisfies it well. For everything else it's a misfit; but I don't care. I like mine and have for 10 years.



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Old August 22, 2011, 01:54 AM   #7
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I have to second trying to dry fire it with good follow-through.

Trying to fire my Glock 17L accurately it's really been driven home to me how trigger and trigger control are so important to being able to fire a pistol accurately.

The HK may be be able to punch quarter sized shot groups at 50 meters from a ransom rest, but if you have to contort your trigger finger or rotate your grip in some odd way, and that throws off the optimal position for squeezing the trigger or causes your grip to be pushing one way or the other on the pistol - all that "inherent" accuracy is not going to be worth much.

There is a MK 23 at my LGD - are they really that hard to find?
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Old August 22, 2011, 05:10 AM   #8
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The only thing that prevents me from owning a MK23 is the price, otherwise I'd love to add one to the collection. I like and own the USP line and the grandaddy MK23 should be even better in certain ways. Truely it's a unique pistol. If the MK23 is near as accurate as the Elite, then it is a spectacular shooter. If I could... I would.
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Old August 22, 2011, 09:15 AM   #9
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I own a Mark 23. I purchased it a couple of years ago, it was a second hand one and it showed it had been widely used but I did not care, I had to have it! Well, after about 10000 rounds the original H&K "Cernit 50" treatment almost disappeared from the external of the barrel but in these two years the Mark 23 never missed a single shot. It's incredible, it fires every kind of 45 ACP (and 45 HP) that you chamber in it.
I admit it is not the perfect pistol for the concealed carry but if that is not your need consider of getting one while they are still available.
I think it will become an item for collectors in a few years. When it'll happen my Mark 23 will have surely fired about one million of cartridges without a hitch, I can bet on it!
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Old August 22, 2011, 09:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
The Glock 21SF can do well too but many Glock shooters have complained about a few 21SF ambi controls not working correctly.
This is quite true for the initial runs of the SF that did have that ambi mag release.

The newer and current runs have a standard style magazine catch that works just like the others.
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Old August 22, 2011, 11:54 AM   #11
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You may want to consider the HK USP Tactical .45 which also has a match trigger, O-ring barrel, adjustable, taller target sights, and threaded barrel to accept a suppressor. The pistol is designed for suppressor use. Its a good alternative to the MK 23 as its smaller, lighter, and less expensive but still a high quality, accurate HK.

Just a thought. You can't go wrong with the MK 23, however. It is a very interesting pistol.
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Old August 22, 2011, 01:09 PM   #12
reticle
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Yup, the USP Tactical is an awesome pistol too. I thought I might be disappointed with mine after shooting the Mark 23, but I was wrong. It is a different feel than the Mark 23; has a more felt recoil, the grip shape is a bit different and it is a little louder suppressed than the socom. Regardless, it is worth the price of admission.

Here are mine together...

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Old August 22, 2011, 09:50 PM   #13
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I have had both and still have the Tactical because it fit my hands better and that makes it work better for me.
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Old August 22, 2011, 10:20 PM   #14
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The gun is sooooo outdated, in my opinion. It's absolutely gargantuan, the safety and decocker are practically useless in any real-life scenario, especially compared with more ergonomic designs.

It's an accurate gun, sure, but it has a loooong sight radius. It is forced to be accurate because of that.

here are some of my H&K handguns. Look at the size of the MK23. Waaaay too big and clunky to even be considered for me. Give me a Glock 21 any day of the week over it. Yep, seriously.

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Old August 23, 2011, 08:12 AM   #15
Amin Parker
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The MK 23 is an excellent, strong pistol. Concealment would be the only challenge but if you not planning on carrying it, i cannot see how you can go wrong with the HK.

I dont think comparing the G21 to the HK in this case as far as size is concerned is fair as the HK23 is a special model, not a run of the mil service sized pistol. HK does have a serviced sized 45acp pistol which anyone can compare the G21 against.
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Old August 23, 2011, 08:52 AM   #16
bac1023
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I think its a great pistol, personally.

I use mine strictly as a range toy and its as accurate as all but my best 1911s and target pistols.





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Old August 23, 2011, 04:50 PM   #17
Pilot
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reticle,

Nice photo. Thanks. What suppressors are on the MK 23 and Tac? I still haven't put anything but a flash suppressor on my Tac, but itching to put on the real deal at some point.
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Old August 23, 2011, 06:54 PM   #18
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They are both KAC suppressors. The Tactical and the Mark 23 have different booster requirements so they have different thread rotations. The Tactical threads are 16x1 LH and the Mark threads are 16x1 RH. Below you can see the different spring sizes. The left suppressor is for the Tactical.



The castle nut configuration on the suppressor bodies are for indexing the booster to adjust for point of impact shift which sometimes happens when a suppressor is installed. By trial and error, the shooter rotates the bootser inside the suppressor body to find the zero POI.
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Old August 23, 2011, 08:53 PM   #19
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Interesting. Thanks reticle. I knew the threads were different but not how to set POI. The KAC looks like a really nice can. I have read good things about them.

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Old August 23, 2011, 09:14 PM   #20
reticle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilot
Interesting. Thanks reticle. I knew the threads were different but not how to set POI. The KAC looks like a really nice can. I have read good things about them.


When they were designed back in the day, they were the quietest production suppressors available. Now they are about 3-4 Db less efficient than the AAC TiRant. Of course the KAC OHG suppressor is all stainless steel with spot welded baffles (those are the dimples you see on the suppressor body) while most of it's competitors are aluminum. The KAC suppressor is almost twice what the alternative costs, but having owned and used them, I can see why they cost what they do. I still want a TiRant though

Last edited by reticle; August 23, 2011 at 09:35 PM.
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