HK USP .45 Pistol Safety Warning

A serious safety issue may develop if you are carrying an HK USP .45 ACP pistol using the Surefire DG-19 grip switch according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

In a safety warning bulletin issued by the LASD, the Weapon Training Unit described a situation where older versions of the DG-19 switch can cause the magazine to drop from the gun by activating the magazine release lever.  It appears that the problem only develops when then gun is being fired, which would be the time the officer most likely needs the magazine!

LASD now forbids the use of the older Surefire DG-19 on the HK pistols.  According to the LASD memo, Surefire will replace the old DG-19 with an updated grip switch if you are a member of their department.  It is unknown if Surefire will extend the replacements to other agencies.

HK USP Safety Warning

HK USP Safety Warning

HK USP Safety Warning


From the LASD bulletin:

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

Weapons Training Unit


H&K USP .45 Pistol

This issue is a serious officer safety issues for those personnel carrying the H&K USP .45.

Department personnel who are carrying the Heckler and Koch USP .45 should take note ofproblems recently identified while using the Surefire DG-19 grip switch assembly for theirweapon mounted light system.

The older version of the DG-19 switch has the potential of coming into contact with themagazine release lever.  If the grip switch comes into contact with the magazine release leverwhile firing the pistol, it will cause the magazine to be released from the gun.  This does notoccur unless the gun is being fired.

During testing the Weapons Training Staff was only able to fire one to three rounds before themagazine would fall to the ground, causing the gun to go empty, and requiring a speed reload. This could be disastrous if this occurs during an officer involved shooting.

Department members are not permitted to use the Surefire DG-19 grip switch assembly, orany other pressure pad type light activation switch that comes into contact with the H&KUSP .45 magazine release.

Below are pictures of the unauthorized version and corrected version of the DG-19 grip switchassembly.

Surefire has agreed to replace any unauthorized  DG-19 assembly with the revised version. Please call Surefire Technical Support at (800) 828-8809.  Inform them that you are withthe Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, they will provide further instructions.  Youcan also email Surefire at the following –, again inform them thatyou are with the LASD, and provide your contact information.

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Richard Johnson is a gun writer, police trainer and really bad joke teller. Check out his other writing on sites like Human Events, The Firearm Blog and Police & Security News.

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