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The H&K Mk 23 pistol was developed in the 1990s for the US Special Operations Command and US Navy. The goal was to produce an “offensive handgun” that could serve as a primary armament for a special forces operator as well as a backup arm. It was required to be no more than 12 inches long, fit a suppressor and aiming module with laser and illumination options in both visible and IR spectrum, have at least 10-round magazines, chamber .45 ACP (specifically a 185gr +P loading), and pass a 30,000 round endurance test.

Only two companies were able to supply acceptable initial pistols; H&K and Colt. The Colt pistol failed to pass the 1st phase testing. H&K presented a gun based on the recently-developed USP design, was ultimately chosen as the project winner; adopted as the Mk 23 pistol in 1996. The testing this pistol went through during development is really quite remarkable.

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45 thoughts on “H&K Mk23 SOCOM .45 Development

  1. I have just watched Bloke on The Range shoot a Welrod .32ACP, and compare it with a suppressed Glock 41 for noise volume. How loud is the suppressed H&K Mk 23? The Welrod was a specialist "silent" weapon, and even an old, worn example with poor rubber wipes was no louder than an air gun. The Glock with both subsonic and supersonic ammunition required the use of ear defenders.

  2. One of my favorite pistols. Kind of redundant to find out that they use a rubber o ring as a bushing. All around quality then bammmm!! Ghetto ass o ring. Only real reason I think its dumb is not because of functionality but because most lubes and cleaners are petroleum based and will fuck with the rubber. Advise anyone who has or wants one to take that off before cleaning or use a lube that isn't petrol based maybe silicone lube or what have you.

  3. really like this gun I think it'd be enjoyable work having to engineer and develop to a stringent set of criteria good bit of history to it. don't know why I was surprised by the amount of gamers in the comment section but I was lol

  4. does anyone else hear the certain theme of a PS1 game involving a stealth operations soldier being sent to a nuclear disposal site on a Island archipelago in the the Arctic. Just me? I guess the sound of hind d helicopter overhead must also be in my own mind. I'm feeling a little hungry, a bit cold and mildly stressed. Ya know, I could really go for a smoke after a cup of hot noodles.

  5. I have actually had the chance to shoot this pistol, long time ago. It was such a Beast to hold. Great to see the Mk 1 and 2 proto's and learn some history in the development…Thanks!

  6. My very first handgun…. oh how I miss it I was told recently that mine was a faked socom model since America didn't receive any of the socom versions. I will have another

  7. To the liberals, even a water pistol is offensive. In 20 years' time, every weapon will probably come with both trigger safeties and trigger warnings.

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