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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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At Forgotten Weapons I think the most interesting guns out there are the most obscure ones. I try to search out experimental and prototype weapons and show you how they work, in addition to more conventional guns that you may not have heard of before. You’re much more likely to find a video on the Cei Rigotti or Webley-Fosbery here than an AR or Glock. So, do you want to learn about something new today? Then stick around!