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Heckler & Koch Mark 23 Offensive Handgun System with suppressor
The HK Mark 23 Offensive Handgun System was developed in response to the U.S. military's need for a robust and versatile pistol for special operations missions under a variety of environmental extremes. This .45 ACP pistol is capable of both single and double action operation, and may be carried "cocked and locked" or with the hammer lowered via a decocking lever. Equipped with tritium 3-dot iron sights, the Mark 23 can also be used with a detachable Laser Aiming System designed for this pistol. The Mark 23's threaded barrel accepts a removable stainless steel sound/flash suppressor.
The first new-issue .45 caliber handgun issued to U.S. military forces since the M1911, the HK Mark 23 pistol was designed and built by Heckler & Koch and delivered to units within the U.S. Special Operations Command beginning in May 1996. Intended to be used for offensive operations typical of Close Quarters Combat, this handgun system officially known in the U.S. military as the "MK23, MOD 0" is comprised of a 12-round .45 ACP semi-automatic single/double action pistol, a detachable laser aiming module and screw-on stainless steel sound/flash suppressor.
The first true handgun developed as a complete system, the Mark 23 is capable of firing 5 shots through a single hole of 0.5 inches in diameter at a distance of 25 yards with or without the suppressor. Three of these pistols were still able to meet this accuracy specification even after firing 30,000 rounds. U.S. military specifications also required a minimum of 2,000 rounds between stoppages, but the Mark 23 achieved a minimum of 6,027 rounds and a maximum of 15,122 rounds without a stoppage. Operational testing also required the Mark 23 to function reliably at temperatures ranging between 140 degrees to -25 degrees F, in sand, mud, dust, ice, salt water and salt fog conditions, and without lubrication.
A service life of 30,000 rounds with P ammunition on most parts, and 60,000 rounds on major components (slide, frame, and barrel) is assured by the pistol's robust design and construction. Although physically larger than previous military designs, the Mark 23's polymer frame reduces overall weight to 2.66 pounds with empty magazine, or 3.13 pounds with a full 10-round magazine. A mechanical recoil reduction system reduces recoil by as much as 30 percent. The Mark 23 Laser Aiming Module (LAM) was designed for the MK23, MOD 0 handgun by Insight Technology, Inc. of Londonderry, New Hampshire.
The Laser Aiming Module allows the firearm to be effectively employed under the cover of darkness and while wearing night vision goggles. Providing both visible and invisible laser aimers and illuminators that are selectable by the operator, the LAM provides performance under nighttime conditions nearly equal to that when used in daylight. Powered by two 3-volt lithium batteries, the LAM can be removed from the mounting grooves on the pistol within seconds and without tools allowing the operator to outfit the handgun with the necessary accessories required to meet ever-changing operational requirements.