About the Handgun:
The 'Universal Self-loading Pistol' was designed to incorporate many features that the military and law enforcement agencies deemed vital. It uses the Browning cam-breech-locking system. The USP has various safety options. The double-action (DA/SA) variants can have either a decocking lever or safety-only lever on either the left or right side of the frame, or no safety lever at all. The double-action only (DAO) variants can have a safety-only lever on either the left or right side of the frame, or no safety lever at all. DAO variants have a bobbed hammer.
About the Manufacturer:
In 1949 two ex-Mauser engineers, Edmond Heckler and Theodor Koch, started a company in Germany to make machine parts. In 1956 the company participated in the German Government's tender for a new infantry rifle. With its development of the G3 assault rifle Heckler & Koch won this tender, and in 1959 the G3 was officially declared as the new standard assault rifle of the German Bundeswehr. In 1970 they began the production of a new machine pistol, the MP5 which gained a great reputation worldwide. In 1990 however, a major contract for the revolutionary G-11 caseless-cartridge rifle failed to materialize and HK encountered financial difficulties. In 1991 the company was sold to become a part of the large British defense group British Aerospace/Royal Ordnance. During the 1990s HK had good success, producing the P8 pistol and the G36 assault rifle. In 2002
British Aerospace/Royal Ordnance restructured its business and sold HK to private investors. Since then the company has continued with good success in commercial, defense and law enforcement markets.
About the Cartridge:
This cartridge was introduced along with the Luger semi-automatic pistol. The pistol and cartridge was first adopted by the German Navy in 1904 and then by the German Army in 1908. This cartridge has since been adopted by the military of practically every non-Communist power. It has become the most popular and widely-used handgun cartridge in the world. Performance wise, the 9mm cartridge has somewhat more power than the .38 Special but falls well short of the .357 Magnum.