Us Special Operations Command
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In August, 1991 a request was made for the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for an
“offensive” handgun. Dianne Feinstein, Charles Schumer and President Clinton would probably tell you that
all handguns are offensive, but SOCOM had something different in mind. Termed the OHWS, for Offensive
Handgun Weapon System, it was a pistol designed within certain specified parameters that would be
sufficient for conducting “offensive” operations, as opposed to the more tradtional role for the handgun, for
“defensive” operations. HK and Colt were chosen to compete against each other for the new pistol. HK
eventually won out, and the contract was awarded to them. It has undergone many changes from its birth in
1991. Some are obvious, some are not. The official name for the pistol is Mark 23, Mod 0. Not very
catchy. That is why it is more popularly known as the SOCOM.
The SOCOM was designed by the great HK engineer, Helmut Weldle. The gun holds 12 cartridges of .45
ACP ammunition. In a move that the above folks would surely find offensive, HK offered a limited number of
SOCOM pistols to the citizenry of the United States, and left the threaded barrel intact. The suppressor
sold by HK with the gun is made by Knights Armament Company of Vero Beach, FL. It is usable wet or
dry, with wet knocking even more dB from the already quiet can.
Insight Technology Inc., the maker of the UTL series for the USP pistols, was chosen to provide the Laser
Aiming Module. It had a dual laser, one visible light, and one infrared, visible only with night vision. Wilcox
Industries Corp. has the LAM featured in the Ichiro Nagata photos that start this page.

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Insight Technology Inc. And Dianne Feinstein. (June 14, 2021). Retrieved from