Hard to believe this was twenty years ago now



I still remember when the HS2000 was first hitting the scene. Hard to believe that was twenty years ago now.







The Croatian Sensation in its original packaging.











Originally Posted By Marko Kloos on The Firing Line in Feb 1, 2001:

I am getting kind of sick of the reviewers and rabid fans who proclaim the newest polymer wonder gun "the ultimate combat pistol", or boldly declare that their latest favorite toy "out-glocks the Glock". Before I start, let me state that you cannot out-Glock a Glock anymore than you can out-dive an anvil in free-fall. At some point, a handgun reaches standards in reliability and durability that cannot be surpassed by any rational and sensical method of testing. Glocks have achieved that status, as have SIG Sauer and Beretta pistols. Coincidentally, those are the only brands of autoloader which I would carry straight out of the box. All others have to go through a test circuit if they want to be trusted with the "alpha gun" position on my belt.

A few days ago, I picked up the latest addition to the pistol stable, the IM Metal HS2000. HS stands for "hrvatski samokres", which means "Croatian Pistol". Croatia is one of the former Yugoslav republics and a newcomer to democratic Europe, and this pistol is the first major import of any sort I have seen from Croatia. I got my HS2000 from Craig's Firearms in Knoxville for $299 NIB, which is a pretty attractive price point. The importer, Intrac, is located right here in Knoxville.

The HS2000 is a polymer-framed service-sized pistol in 9mm x 19. It's as high as a Glock 17, although slightly shorter, and sports a 4-inch tube with a Browning-style tilt lug. The comparison has been made before, but the gun looks like a cross-breed between a P-series SIG and a Glock. The slide has a very SIG-like shape, although the upper half of the slide is tapered slimmer than the lower half, so the serrations on the slide are two-stepped. The sights are of the three-dot variety, made of steel, and seated in dovetails that will accept standard SIG night sights. The slide is finished in Bruniral, which looks and feels much like Glock's Tenifer finish, although I can't make any longevity statements on the finish yet. All in all, th metal parts are well machined and finished: the HS2000 does not look any worse than any of the Glocks I've owned.

The polymer frame has a very generous trigger guard not unlike the one on the SIG P220 and P225; its front is not vertical like on the P225, but with a more shallow angle than on the P220. The most obvious Glock-like features on the HS2000 are the trigger safety and the thumb rests on the frame. The grip angle is not as sharp as the one on Glock frames, and the whole grip feels thinner and very ergonomic due to a very pronounced recess in its upper half. People with smaller hands sometimes dislike the Glock frames for their grip bulk, but the HS2000 does not suffer from excessive girth in this area. Part of it might have something to do with the magazine well: the HS2000 magazine is a "gelded" 10-round doublestack made out of chromed metal. It feels very slick and provides instant drop-free ejection when the mag button is depressed. More importantly, metal mags have much thinner side walls than polymer ones, which enables the mag well (and in turn the grip) to be smaller.

The backstrap of the grip area incorporates a grip safety which is made of metal. It is more narrow and sticks out a bit more than the grip safety on a 1911. The grip safety will prevent the trigger from being pulled when it is not depressed, and it will also keep the slide from cycling. This should be a useful feature for those folks who have tight-fitting leather...I know I have retracted the slide on my Glocks on occasion when squeezing them into a holster.

The frame of the HS2000 looks sturdy to the point of overengineering, especially the dust guard area. The frame rails are part of a metal block set into the frame, and they look sturdy enough to hold a Ford Excursion. The slide stop lever is bigger than that on a Glock, and surrounded by polymer molding to make it snag-free. The biggest difference between the HS2000 frame and the Glock frame is the takedown lever...the HS2000 has a SIG-like takedown lever, which rotates up instead of down.

The magazine release is fully ambidextrous and can be pushed from either side without modification. The mag catch is located in the center of the mag well. The HS2000 will hold Beretta 92 hi-caps, which is not illegal since the mag is not altered in capacity and will still work in a Beretta. The only work necessary on the Beretta mag is the duplication of the hole on the front of the HS2000 mag so the HS2000 mag catch has something to engage.

Disassembly is SIG/Glock simple: lock the slide to the rear, rotate the takedown lever upwards through a cutout in the side of the slide, let the slide go slowly and pull the trigger once it is all the way forward to decock the striker. The slide can then be pulled off, and the internals taken out. The recoil spring is of the telescoping, captured variant. The HS2000 has an internal striker and a "cocked" indicator, which sticks out of the rear of the slide when the striker is in the "back" position. There is also a firing pin safety and an out-of-battery safety, so this is not an unsecured striker like the one on a Jennings or a Lorcin. There's also a loaded chamber indicator on top of the slide which will pop out at an angle for visual and tactile feedback when a round is chambered.

All in all, the gun has a good, solid feel to it: there are no loose or shaky components, and just a few minor machining marks on the upper inside of the slide.

Shooting the HS2000:

I got some range time in on Saturday to test the new pistol for accuracy and function. I fired 110 rounds of mixed Magtech ball and Speer GoldDot 124gr. +P through the gun for a brief function test, and the HS2000 functioned without a flaw. The trigger on the gun is very nice for a striker-fired pistol, with less creep than a Glock trigger and about the same trigger weight. The HS2000 sits very low in the hand thanks to the excellent grip shape, and recoil was minimal and easy to control. I was able to shoot double taps and keep both rounds of the double tap in the nine and ten rings, even in rapid fire with about a second between them. The muzzle rise is negligible, and the gun is plenty accurate. I didn't shoot it from a rest, but I made a nice ragged hole at seven yards, and it put the hole right where I wanted it to. The sights are excellent, better than Glock factory plastic, and easily as good as SIG sights. Somehow I shoot better with three-dot sights than with the ball-and-cup sights on the Glocks, which is why I usually put Mepros on my carry Glocks.

The gun functioned fine with either of its magazines, and reloads were fast and snag-free. It's a joy to shoot, and I can't recall a recent purchase of mine with which I've shot as well during the first range session.

Summary:

This is one nice pistol, and if it proves itself in the longevity department, it can give its competition a real run for the money. It's a little more than half the price of a Glock, and still $150-200 cheaper than a SIGPro, while performing as well as either of them. The HS2000 does not incorporate any groundbreaking features, but rather combines a bunch of proven and mature technologies into a very decent package. The gun is well-made, visually appealing (at least IMHO), and a superb and flawless shooter. It would be a good buy for $500, but its current sticker price makes it one of the best buys out there. I'd have no problem toting an HS2000, and that's usually as much of an endorsement as I give a handgun. This gun has my vote for "Potential Best Buy of the Year". As soon as they make a compact and a .40 and .45 version, I'll own three more.

Originally Posted By FALARAK on Arfcom in June 16, 2001:

A lot of people are talking about this inexpensive pistol right now, so I thought I'd post some actual results.

A bud of mine picked one up at the gunshow today, and we took it to the range. 9mm, 3rd generation.

Examining it's design, it is very similar to the Glock 19. Breakdown is very similar as well.

Trigger pull is much shorter than the glock, and I found the takeup was much lighter, and the break was similar. I didn't always find the trigger break to be consistent. Every once in a while, the trigger break seemed to get very light, like 2 pounds or so, and then the next shot would be back to 5 or 6 pounds. Could have been me.... so dont take the above too much to heart.

We put about 200 rounds through it, and it ate everything we threw at it, Win. White box, CCI blazer, Winclean, and Greek Nato 124 gr.

Zero malfunctions.

It has a "firing pin indicator" on the back to let you know when the pistol is ready to fire. Not too worthwile.

Mags are shiny chrome-or-nickel plated metal, came with 2. They drop free very easily.

From a benchrest at 20 yds, I was able to empty a mag into a 2" hole. That was pretty impressive.... not too awful shabby since I am not all the great a shooter, and this is exactly the kind of results I get from my glock.

Overall, for a pistol that is $302 tax and all, I think it was a pretty nice gun.

I'd probably take a CZ75 over it from it's reputation, but the HS2000 is definitely not a pistol to be written off in the value range.

Originally Posted By GrowingGrass on Arfcom in June 17, 2001:

I just competed in an iformal match with mine yesterday...
About 15 guys or so...
Against HK's, SIGS, Rugers, 1911's, Glocks, blah blah blah.

1 Stage was a Hostage stage, where the shooter had to make 2 seperate head-shots on small targets hidden behind 2 steel torso sized Shil at about 20. Hit the hostage, and your score was "0"...
1 1911, 2 HK's, and my HS were the only ones to completley clear the stage.

On the bullseye phase at 20 yards, the only gun to keep all 6 rounds on the target was my HS...


http://wsphotofews.excite.com/025/ox/zP/8H/tP74216.jpg
I own a Glock 17, and a Glock 20. If $$$ weren't a concern, I wouldn't trade my HS for any Glock. People thing that they have to pay big $$$ to get a superior gun. If HS were smart, they would double thier prices, just so guys would compare it against the pricier Glock.

My favorite 9MM, period.
Matter of fact, if HS made a 15 shot 10MM, I wouldn't hesitate to swap my G20 for one.

No, they aren't "Glock Clones"...
They use a Seecamp guide rod, Glock type trigger and frame, Sig takedown lever, Sights with Sig Dovetails, Grip safety ala 1911, and a bunch of other features....

All the HS mag is, is a Beretta/Taurus 92 mag with the catch-hole in a different place. Get a 15 Round pre-ban Beretta or Taurus mag, drill a 3/8 hole in the right spot, and VIOLA!
100% functionial 15 Rounders for your HS...
I have thousnads and thousands and thousands of rounds through mine, and not 1 hiccup....

The best polymer gun out there IMO....and the fact that they so inexpensive is a HUGE bonus.
Remember....Glocks were fairly FFL inexpensive when they first came out...
The only reason they are $500.00 now is because they are so popular, and Glock knows they can charge it, and get away with it.
HS's will be more expensive soon. They are just too good a gun.

GrowingGrass


Here's mine that I got long after Springfield Armory got the import rights.





It still seems like yesterday to me that I walked into Lou's Police Supply when they were located on West 41st St and Palm Ave in Hialeah, FL and seeing them under the glass priced at $299 while GLOCKs were next to them going for $398 (Blue Label). At the time I never jumped on one because I was deep in the GLOCK Kool-Aid (and I still am for the most part.)

I thought back then that they'd never catch on, especially since the Clinton AWB was in full swing and pre-ban mags didn't exist unless you modified Beretta 92 mags for the gun. Hell, after Springfield Armory bought the import rights I recall them outright selling modified Beretta 92 mags for the gun. But the Beretta mags had an issue of breaking the ejector on the gun if you slammed the mag in hard because the floor plates weren't the same thickness so the mag went a little further into the gun.

Anyways, I thought that the HS2000 would never catch on and it would be like other GLOCK wannabes and just either fade away into the ether of forgetfulness or be laughed at like the S&W Sigma. Well, I was wrong and it appears that a decade and a half later I even bought myself a 1999 made HS2000 and then a 2006 made XD-45 and just a few weeks ago a 2019 made XDM-45. I even learned to like them for what they are.



Amazing how time has gone by.

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