|Heckler & Koch Mark 23|
|Name||Heckler & Koch Mark 23|
|Weapon type||Semi-automatic pistol|
|Appearances||MGS, MGS2, MGS4, MPO|
|Weight||1.21 kg (2.7 lb), empty
1.47 kg (3.2 lb), loaded 2.29 kg (5.0 lb), loaded, with suppressor and LAM
|Length||245 mm (9.5 in), without suppressor
421 mm (16.5 in), with suppressor
|Barrel length||149 mm (6 in)|
|Cartridge||.45 ACP (AA18, A475)|
|Action||Short recoil, DA/SA|
|Feed system||12-round detachable box magazine|
The Mark 23 was the predecessor to Heckler & Koch's USP series of handguns. It is chambered for the popular .45 ACP cartridge and has a 12+1 round capacity. The SOCOM variant is a "weapon system" rather than just a pistol; the system includes the weapon itself, the AN/PEQ-6 Laser Aiming Module (LAM) manufactured by Insight Technology, and the large suppressor produced by Knight's Armament Company. Weapons manufactured for military use have "MK23 USSOCOM" engraved on the slide; total production of the SOCOM version was a little under 2,000 units. Heckler & Koch officially discontinued production of the Mark 23 in July 2010.
The Mk 23 was built to conform to very stringent accuracy and reliability requirements set by the US SOCOM (Special Operations COMmand). While it met the accuracy and reliability goals, operators in the field despised the Mark 23 for its poor ergonomics, enormous size and heavy weight (the weapon is a foot and a half long with the suppressor fitted and the full system weighs five pounds, as much as an unloaded MP5 or three loaded 9mm Glocks); they tended to never be checked out, and most in SOCOM service spent peaceful careers sitting in armory gun racks, ultimately being replaced by the smaller and lighter USP Tactical. American troops have nicknamed the Mk 23 "The World's Only Crew-Served Pistol." A conversation between Nastasha Romanenko and Solid Snake during the Shadow Moses Incident, has Nastasha comment on this, saying that "some find it a little heavy and hard to use."
Use by Solid Snake and Raiden Edit
The Mk 23 SOCOM was procured by ex-FOXHOUND operative Solid Snake during the 2005 Shadow Moses Incident. He later used the pistol to perform the mercy-killing of the heavily wounded Sniper Wolf. SOCOM pistols also saw use with the Next-Generation Special Forces, during the time of FOXHOUND's revolt.
During the Big Shell Incident of 2009, a SOCOM pistol was given to Raiden by Snake. Raiden was also in possession of a SOCOM in 2014, during the events of Liquid Ocelot's Insurrection. In addition, a PMC advertisement for the US PMC Raven Sword had a soldier shooting the target in the dark with a SOCOM. He continued to have possession of his SOCOM up to 2018, although after sustaining grievous injuries during a mission in Africa that Desperado ruined, he retired it.
Behind the scenes Edit
The SOCOM presented in the Metal Gear series is in fact the Phase II model handgun submitted for trials in the USSOCOM Offensive Handgun Weapon System (OHWS) competition around the later part of 1991, and not the actual production model of the Mk 23 Mod 0 (or Mark 23 - civilian version). The sound suppressor used, however, was the actual Knight's Armament Company model that was adopted for the weapon system. A picture of both the SOCOM and USP can be found in this old advertisement from Heckler & Koch.
The Mk 23 Mod 0 kit as issued by the U.S. Navy included the Heckler & Koch Mk 23 handgun, two .45 ACP caliber twelve-round magazines, an AN/PEQ-6 (the Insight Technologies LAM-400—this LE Only model includes an IR illuminator and laser alongside a visible laser and light), and a Knight's Armament Corp. Mk 23 .45 Cal. Sound Suppressor. Other accessories like holsters, magazine pouches, suppressor pouches, left handed LAM models, etc. were also available.
In the novelization of Metal Gear Solid by Raymond Benson, Snake had the SOCOM upon his infiltration of Shadow Moses Island. He also had the sound suppressor as soon as he went in.
The SOCOM is extremely accurate for a handgun, and reliable for taking out lone targets in short to middle range though is not very ideal to use against attack team units during a long-term engagement since it takes half a magazine to kill an enemy soldier in a body armor. Single guards are easier to pick out though shots in the torso will not be as punishing. In earlier times of the game, the player will be forced to avoid using the SOCOM against lone or distant targets due to the loud noise it gives away unless a suppressor is found.
The first gun found in Metal Gear Solid, it is often considered Snake's trademark gun, despite the fact that he does not once use it during Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. It can be completely missed fairly easily, though is available several times. If the player does not collect it, Snake automatically acquires it during a scripted sequence. A suppressor can be found in the Tank Hangar. In addition, his acquiring the gun also affects his actions slightly when meeting Meryl, where he would either aim his gun back at her or simply move the barrel aside, depending on if he got the gun or if he didn't get the gun, respectively.
- "An assault pistol developed at the request of U.S. Special Operations Command. It packs high knockdown power with its 45 caliber ammo, and its laser-aiming module and detachable suppressor give it the flexibility to excel in a wide variety of combat situations. The trigger mechanism is double action, but it can be carried around with the hammer in cocked and locked position, enabling the user to fire with precision on the very first shot. Holds 12 rounds."
- — Mk 23 description in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus
Snake finds another SOCOM pistol when revisiting Shadow Moses Island in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Highlighting the nostalgia of the act, it is sitting under the same truck on the helipad from Metal Gear Solid that the SOCOM was originally in. If Snake points the gun, he remarks "just like old times," gaining one of the "nostalgia" Drebin Point bonuses. The SOCOM's suppressor is also found in the same room in the Tank Hangar.
Although Raiden does not utilize his holstered SOCOM pistol in the story itself, he does use it in Metal Gear Online. The same holstered SOCOM can be seen in the prologue of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and on the DLC MGS4 Raiden model.
- Metal Gear Solid
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
- Metal Gear Acid
- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl (cannot be used, only seen in its holster)
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (as above)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
In the scene where Snake discovers the corpses of an NGSF unit tasked with guarding Hal Emmerich, one of the bodies can be seen with a SOCOM.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
The SOCOM suppressor stored in the Big Shell implies that the gun itself may have been procured on-site by Snake.
- ^