A variant of Germany’s HK 45 Pistol – the HK 45C - has been used by the United States Naval Special Warfare command since September of 2010.  This semi-automatic weapon is a .45 ACP designed by Heckler & Koch, a manufacturer of German arms.


History of the HK 45

The HK 45 design emerged when a program known as the US Military Joint Combat Pistol (JCP) set new requirements to assist with arming the US military with a semi-automatic - .45 ACP – pistol,  This weapon would replace the 9mm Beretta M9.  This program, however, was suspended in 2006 and, as a result, the Beretta M9 remained the US Military’s standard issue handgun.  Despite the program ending, Heckler & Koch to continue with the HK 45 design and make it commercially available.  They also planned on selling their weapon to both law enforcement agencies and various military groups. 


The extensive Firearms and Ordnance Gallery at the Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL has a number of pistols on display from around the world.  As you step into witness the Gallery, you get a feel for the power that is housed within.  The oldest piece on display is a very rare bayonet from the Revolutionary War. 



The design of the HK 45 was based on Heckler & Koch’s Universal Self-Loading pistol.  The HK45 shared the same basic operating systems of the USP and, like the USP, is also available in ten different variants.  Some features on the HK 45 include:

  • Extended slide release which can be operated by a left or right-handed operator
  • Finger grooves on the textured grip
  • Interchangeable back-straps (provide a good fit for various sized hands)
  • Grip, combined with back-straps contribute to better control of the weapon and its recoil as the pistol sits lower in the web of the hand.
  • Magazine Capacity:  10 rounds


Specifications for the HK 45

  • Weight: 
    • 27.7 ounces (HK45)
    • 25 ounces (KH45C)
    • Length:
      • 7.5 inches (HK45)
      • 7.2 inches (HK45C)
    • Barrel Length:
      • 4.5 inches (HK45)
      • 3.9 inches (HK45C)
    • Caliber:  Both are a .45 ACP
    • Action: 
      • Short recoil
      • Tilting barrel
      • Locked breech
    • Feed System – Detachable box magazine
      • 10 rounds (HK45)
      • 8 rounds (HK45C)


Germany’s HK 45 Pistol was the first weapon produced at their United States facility located in Newington, NH.