Gun Review: Heckler & Koch VP9

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HK is no stranger to striker-fired pistols, but it’s been a while since they’ve designed a new one — close to four decades. With the VP9 hot off the presses, the wait is over and Heckler & Koch has reentered the striker-fired handgun market. This bad boy is sort of like a cross between HK’s own P30 and Walther’s PPQ, with a trick or two of its own thrown in for good measure . . .

First, a plug for Sharp Shooting Indoor Range & Gun Shop, as they loaned me this VP9 from their rental case. They have ’em in stock at the time of this writing, along with all sorts of other hard-to-find pistols and rifles, and they do ship. With well over another 100 range rental pistols — everything from micro .380’s to top-of-the-line STIs — I’m sure I’ll be visiting them even more in the future.

In The Box

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CLICK ANY PHOTO TO OPEN IN FULL SIZE

HK’s VP9 effectively puts a newly-designed slide on top of a P30 frame. It uses the 15-round magazines from the P30, and it comes with two of those in the black plastic case along with small, medium, and large backstraps and side panels, a magazine loader, owner’s manual, fired case, decal, and HK gun lock. Laser cut foam ensures that everything has its place.

Like the rest of the HK pistol line, the VP9 sports a cold hammer forged barrel with polygonal rifling. GLOCK might be known for being definitively un-groovy, but H&K did it first with the P7 (edit: first pistol w/ polygonal rifling may have been HK’s P9, actually)

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As you’d expect, that barrel drops into the steel slide and locks up Browning short-recoil style with a linkless cam. A flat-wire recoil spring is captured by a steel guide rod. The rotating striker block is pretty interesting — I think the HK P7 works similarly.

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I dig the beefy steel inserts in the reinforced polymer frame and the thick metal parts in general. There’s decent rail real estate and some stout lugs, including the disassembly lever lug that you can see rotated 90* clockwise in the photo above, which allows the slide to slide off the front. Heckler & Koch certainly has a reputation for reliability, and this pistol looks tough.

Ergos

More or less identical to the HK P30 frame, the VP9 feels amazing in the hand. I love this grip texture. There’s a ton of similarity between this pistol and the Walther PPQ, and my thoughts about the PPQ being one of the nicest-to-grip guns out there carries right over to the VP9 here. I mean they are really, really similar.

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Actually, the VP9 is more similar to the first generation of PPQ since they both employ trigger guard-located, paddle magazine release levers. These are great because they are fully ambidextrous and can be easily activated by your strong or support hand, while likely being less likely to get activated accidently. We aren’t really used to this in the U.S. though, and it takes some training to become proficient and to choose your lever press method of choice, as options include strong hand thumb, index finger, or middle finger as well as support hand digits.

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HK takes grip customization a step further than the norm by offering not only interchangeable backstraps, but side panels as well. S, M, and L for both mean you can alter the front-to-rear size and shape (backstrap ‘hump’) as well as the palm swell width. Swapping any of these requires driving out a pin in the butt of the grip. This allows the backstrap to slide down and unlock, which, once removed from the frame, allows the side panels to slide rearwards off of their grooves and off the frame as well. Any size backstrap can be mated with any size side panels, and you can even run a thicker side panel on one side vs. the other — dream big, don’t limit yourself.

The slide catch lever is extended towards the rear of the pistol as on many of HK’s other offerings (and on the PPQ), but on the VP9 that extension happens inside of the frame. Well, at least on the left side. This leaves a more or less standard-sized lever on that side of the gun, while on the right side the lever runs outside of the frame. That one’s nice and flush with the frame, though, so it shouldn’t get in your way while still offering ambidextrous operation of the only shooting control other than the mag release. That is to say there’s no manual safety like you’ll find on most other HK pistols.

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One feature by which the VP9 really does differentiate itself is what HK calls “charging supports.” These polymer ears on the rear of the slide give you a little something extra to grab onto when racking or otherwise manipulating it. The interwebs chatter makes these seem a little controversial, but I gotta tell you, they do work. Whether you’re a fan of pinching the slide between thumb and forefinger or grabbing over the top, these little tabs give you extra purchase and make accidently slipping off the back really hard to do. They also provide a solid, tactile reference point. I’m sure they’ll be a big help to anyone with limited hand/grip strength.

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Although they barely add thickness to the pistol — considering they don’t stick out farther than some of the controls — if they aren’t your cup of tea they can be removed. Drift the rear sight off, lift the polymer piece out the top, and put the sight back on.

Sights

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THE RED STRIKER TIP IS VISIBLE THROUGH A HOLE IN THE SLIDE PLATE WHEN THE STRIKER IS COCKED

Glow-in-the-dark (must be charged by a light source), 3-dot sights are standard and Tritium sights are optional or sold separately. I found the bright green-ish dots to be crisp, clean and easy to see. The shape and sharp edges of the sights made alignment easy, and the width of the rear notch vs. the width of the front blade struck a pretty good balance between tactical/defensive (lots of light on either side of the front blade for quicker acquisition) and target (less light for ease of more precise alignment).

Trigger

While much better than the vast majority of the striker-fired market, this is the one category in which the VP9 can’t match the PPQ. The trigger stroke is a bit longer, there’s a bit more creep, and the reset is longer while also being a bit softer.

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To be clear, it’s a very good trigger for a striker-fired pistol. Like the PPQ, the VP9 is single action in the true sense of the term. Pulling the trigger serves only to release the striker, which is already fully cocked by the cycling of the slide. This is in contrast to the majority of striker-fired pistols on the market where the trigger pull must first cock or finish cocking the striker before releasing it. In theory this could leave the VP9 with a 1911-like, super short, light, and crisp trigger, but in practice that isn’t the case (“In theory, practice is the same as theory”). Clearing the striker block safety requires extra trigger travel, and there’s plenty of sear engagement here that adds just a touch of creep.

The trigger on my VP9 rental loaner measured very consistently at 5.4 to 5.5 lbs every time, which is right in-line with HK’s published weight of 5.4 lbs. I have absolutely no issue with this weight at all, but must say that I shot the 4.75 lb PPQ trigger better. Some (or even most) of that was probably also due to the crisper, shorter nature of the PPQ’s bang switch.

Magazines

High-quality, made in Germany. Interesting construction with the ‘zipper’ assembly down the back (see 2nd photo in “Ergos” section). The mags accept all 15 rounds without complaint; the last one inserting with no problem. Wide base pads combined with indentations at the bottom of the grip allow you to get a solid purchase to strip out the magazine if needed, but under normal conditions they spring right out of there.

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I do have two magazine-related gripes, though:

Corners. The business end of these mags is covered in 90* corners. The feed lips poke your dang thumb. Regardless of the crap I’m going to get in the comments for whining about it, it would be a mistake not to point it out. I don’t think I’ve loaded up a pistol magazine before that was so tough on the thumbs. At least not a new one that hasn’t been worn sharp somewhere.

Magazine well. One more trip up to that 2nd photo in the “Ergos” section again. There’s no bevel. The edges all around the magwell are more 90* corners. Despite the taper at the top of the magazine I still found myself getting caught up on an edge of the magwell sometimes. I’m sure I’d figure it out with more time spent behind the VP9, but, you know, it’s no Jet Funnel. A few years ago I wouldn’t have thought much of this, but I’m coming to expect some degree of taper/bevel on new pistols.

Disassembly

Lock the slide back, rotate the takedown lever, then remove the slide off the front of the frame. No trigger pull is required.

Accuracy

From a sandbag rest at 15 yards, the VP9 turned in some pretty darn solid, 5-shot groups:

VP9_Target

On The Range

The VP9 feels good in the hand, points naturally, and shoots pretty softly. The sights are quick to pick up and align on target. Balance is good and slide manipulation is easy — especially with those charging supports in addition to front and rear serrations.

With a slightly slimmer and smaller slide catch, I didn’t find myself blocking its ability to move upwards as often as I did on the PPQ. However, it still happened. I just love to ride my thumb on that area of the frame — muscle memory from riding the safety on my competition pistol — and it only takes a tiny amount of pressure to prevent it from locking the slide back. As in the PPQ, this really wouldn’t be a problem if it was your go-to pistol since you’d learn around it, but for my purposes these extra-rearward slide catches are in the wrong place. Of course, they’re easy to reach so I understand the design intention.

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Despite excellent mechanical accuracy, when fooling around on the range I didn’t shoot this gun as accurately as the PPQ. The difference there is the trigger. I think I was anticipating the VP9’s break a little, whereas the PPQ’s trigger is so short and crisp that I couldn’t screw up. Again though, the VP9 still has a great trigger and I still shot it very well.

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Reliability is there. This rental gun already had 600-700 flawless rounds through it, according to the range, and I put another 250 through it on two outings. The vast majority of what I shot were minimum power factor reloads, but it also ate some factory ammo in varying weights and a mag’s worth of assorted hollow points. Nary a hitch, and the thing still looks brand new as it approaches the 1k rounds mark.

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Conclusions

People will buy this HK for tactical/defensive purposes and the PPQ for target shooting purposes. It’s just the image of the companies, I suppose. After all, HK has those spec ops contracts. While I think the VP9 is a freakin’ sweet gun that will last a lifetime, is an awesome shooter, and is well-priced (at least for Heckler & Koch), I like the PPQ more and I’d lament anyone’s choice to purchase this pistol without also trying a PPQ. Either pistol is just as well-suited for hard use, but the PPQ’s trigger helps it excel on the range.

Of course, aesthetics are different and I did find the PPQ to have just a tad more muzzle flip. And the VP9 has wings.

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Specifications: Heckler & Koch VP9

Caliber: 9×19
Capacity: 15+1
Barrel Length: 4.09″
Overall Length: 7.34″
Height: 5.41″
Width: 1.32″
Weight w/ Empty Magazine: 25.56 oz (mag weighs 3.28 oz)
MSRP: $719 (I’ve already seen them on sale for as low as $589.99)

Ratings (Out of Five Stars): 

Accuracy: * * * * *
Highly accurate for a compact (errr, “duty-sized”) pistol.

Ergonomics: * * * * *
Hard to improve on this. Grip shape, texture, and configuration options are top of the game.

Reliability: * * * * *
Although a pretty new design, all indications point to this pistol continuing HK’s solid reputation for reliability and quality.

Trigger: * * * * 
Really good for a striker-fired gun. Well above average. Not as good as the PPQ.

Customization: * * * 1/2
Grip customization is great. Full Pic rail opens up accessory options. The VP9 is new to the market, though, so things like sights, holsters, trigger mods, etc will have to catch up and it falls well short in aftermarket options compared to the GLOCKs of the world.

Overall: * * * * 
The VP9 rocks. I just like the PPQ one star better.

 

comments

  1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    I have owned a couple of HK pistols. One PS9 that was simply huge, it was the most accurate 9mm I ever owned but too big for me to want to carry. The other was a P7 which i just didn’t like, it was bigger and heaver than I thought it should be and when you released the squeeze cock front strap it made this huge CLACK noise. Never bought another HK pistol after that. This one looks better, but the paddle release is short compared to the PPQ and you found the trigger was not as good…..bet it is more expensive too.

    Edit: Those lumps on the side of the slide….those will dig in to your side if you CC this with IWB holster, but at least they are removable

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      If the paddle release were longer it would be easier to engage with my index finger or middle finger. I did find it a little awkward to bend my finger that tightly to get it all the way back to the inside corner of the trigger guard.

      I like my P7 though. I think it’s very compact, although it is heavy for its size. I’m excited to test out the Walther CCP, as it’s the only other pistol I know of that apparently uses the exact same method of gas delayed blowback. The Steyr GB is gas delayed also but does it in a different manner. The CCP, based on the technical description, appears to have a piston underneath the barrel along with a gas port in front of the chamber and sounds identical to the P7’s mechanism. I’m interested to have them here side-by-side.

      1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        Yep, I will want to check out CCP when it shows up too. In part because my daughter will have her 21st early next year and wants to get her CCW. I am thinking this would make a great option for her if it lives up to expectation.

        1. avatar Steve says:

          Don’t be too impressionable on her,,let her choose what is comfortable for her. Range time knows best, and she can always swap out later.

      2. avatar Steve says:

        I thought the same thing about the paddles, BUT,,then after heavy use I easily adjusted to them and came to the conclusion that if they were any longer, in an aggressive tactical situation, you run the risk of unintentionally ejecting the clip,,which is a game ender,,,for you.

      3. avatar John W Bletsch says:

        If you try the CCP Walter, do so with a range gun. I bought one and returned it next day unfired. The trigger is atrocious and judging from the CCP blog there are far too many issues with this model. It’s too bad, but Walter needs to pull this one from the market before their reputation is further damaged.

    2. avatar DJ says:

      You could just remove the one on the left side.

      1. avatar Jeremy S says:

        Actually it’s one piece. The whole thing is sort of like a U (slide it open-U-side down over the slide and then put the sight on over the top). But it’s polymer and you could pretty easily file down and profile one of them if you wanted it more flush.

        However, it really doesn’t stick out farther than the takedown lever, and most hybrid holsters cover the entirety of the slide anyway so you’d have leather between you and that charging support. They’re flat on the front, but the top and back are decently rounded. I’d say probably not that big of a deal, especially with the right holster, but they’re removable and would also be easy to modify if you don’t like them. Take them off and now it’s just like every other pistol out there so it’s not like you’re left with something less effective than normal… just no longer more effective.

        1. avatar I1uluz says:

          Currently using a Blade-Tech Nano IWB for my P2000 SK to carry the VP9, it comes up enough to cover the “wings”. Have a P2000 holster on order that I think will fit it better. I have jogged to hang targets at the outdoor range without an issue. I like it better than my USP compact and seem to shoot it better than my P30L. Yes I like HK’s even my redheaded SL8-6.

        2. avatar John W Bletsch says:

          I like those little bumps since they do exactly what they’re designed to do, enhance grip and actually simplify operation. HK does appear to have inserts that are flush if you just can’t live with a pistol with ears. I gravitated away from Glock since putting a P2000 in my hand and actually shooting it. My P30 SK is an excellent EDC in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck IWB & the VP 9 SK fits in it as well. Actually I now have both VP 9 pistols offered and like them both. Still trying to find XGrip sleeves though for that 15 round reload of a P30 magazine.

    3. avatar Gene says:

      Actually, I have never liked the whole paddle mag release design, but after carrying the VP9 I find it very easy to operate. I just use my trigger finger and it has become just as natural as the thumb design. Also, WRT the slide notches, they are hardly noticeable, and they do not dig into your side. I mainly carry appendix, but I don’t feel them either way. Despite the reviewers comments on the trigger, I can tell you this trigger is superior to any other striker fire pistol I’ve shot, and although I have not shot a PPQ, every review I have seen where the PPQ was compared head to head with the VP9, all chose the VP9. Some gave props to the PPQ trigger, but they all said all things being equal, each had it’s advantages. ALL of them said the take up is much shorter on the VP9, and the break is crisp and the reset is quick. I’ve found this to be true in my own shooting.

    4. avatar Dustin N. says:

      Frankly I consider the Vp9 series to be just as disappointing as every other H&K striker fire in a LONG line of failures. Though Heckler and Koch fans seem to be this amalgamate of extremely delusional people who will never sell their “collectible” failures and/or admit the flaws in the ones they own…I’m still surprised how many clunkers they get away with selling.

      The VP9 has a lot of good features but, frankly, the magazine and mag-well are enough to make this pistol completely obsolete in it’s own field. Any gun in the 350$+ market should have a good magazine and mag-well design, not a bunch of sharp 90 degree angles and with it’s beveled “lips” right in the middle of thegrip…what is the polar opposite of a flared mag well. This firmly takes it out of the field of the Glock, M&P, FNS 9, PPQ, and virtually any other decent MILITARY GRADE firearm that has a far better magazine layout.

      I won’t even go into the irony that H&K Felt the need to give the VP9 plastic ears and a hideous, gigantic loaded-chamber indicator but didn’t even take the time to smooth the rough edges off of it’s magazine top.

      1. avatar Brian says:

        The VP9 isn’t a MILITARY GRADE firearm. Volkspistole means People’s Pistol, designed for civilian carry.

  2. avatar SWAMP DADDY says:

    I’ll be keeping my Walthers………

    1. avatar Steve Lo Vullo says:

      Swamp Daddy, I too will be keeping my Walthers. The author of this article says, “People will buy this HK for tactical/defensive purposes and the PPQ for target shooting purposes.” I hope not. Why would they? He himself says that the PPQ trigger is superior, and if you compare the specs, the PPQ is a bit smaller, which would make it slightly better for carrying. He says the PPQ has more muzzle flip, yet he can shoot the PPQ better. And the PPQ is significantly less expensive. To me it’s a no-brainer.

      1. avatar Jeremy S says:

        Maybe I wasn’t clear enough, but the point of that was to disagree with the sentiment. I went on to say, “Either pistol is just as well-suited for hard use.” The market perception is such that the VP9 is going to be purchased more than the PPQ for self-defense/home-defense/duty/tactical use as a lot of people simply view HK as being “that” gun while they view Walther as not being suitable for it and instead being a gun for target shooting, competition, etc. It’s something Walther needs to work on, IMHO, because there’s no reason the PPQ shouldn’t be considered for the same “serious” use as an HK.

        1. avatar Wes says:

          This is your opinion, not the market’s.

        2. avatar Jeremy S says:

          It’s my opinion of the market.

        3. avatar Dustin N. says:

          Although I’m not fond of the PPQ at all and believe it to be overpriced compared to all of it’s contemporaries; I do consider it a far superior gun to the VP9. I would be more surprised at all of the “Heckler-and-Koch-Sucking” fanboys *(yes I know it’s pronounced Coke but you get the drift) spouting drivel about how your opinion on their favorite gun i baseless…but H&K’s fans are completely and utterly delusional. I have NEVER seen a manufacturer, other than H&K, produce so many failed/dangerously gimmicky designs and still get this overwhelmingly undeserved status. It should not have taken H&K over 50 years to produce a striker-fire design with a good trigger…especially when they were the progenitor of such designs.

          That being said; I’m a little disappointed in your overall rating of this gun compared to the FNS-9 review. While I do understand that the FNS-9 didn’t come with the option to delete the safety when it first came out; the other argument for why it was only a “four star” gun is that the author argued it did not hit “point of aim”.It clearly states in the MANUAL that the gun is sighted in for 20 yards, not the distance I recall it being tested at in the article. In it’ defense it did say “This would be a 5 star pistol if it didn’t have the manual safety and hit point of aim (it does if one reads the manual)” but, frankly, I cannot see how a Heckler and Koch with a 719$ retail price with a disturbingly bad magazine/mag well design could even compare to the FNS 9 in terms of being a SERVICE grade pistol. For those who take the “People’s Pistol” moniker more seriously it may be less of a point…but I’ve yet to see any decent LEO/Milspec gun that didn’t have a flared mag-well, and that had so many sharp and unpolished angles on top of it’s magazine that could easily cause problems.

          I’m sure some addle-brained H&K fanatics are going to whine in response to this and go on about how “My pistol can survive a volcano after 100,000 rounds of ammunition and after 10 years of practice I can get the mags in without any problems” but I could frankly care less about anybody dumb enough to purchase “collectible” failures from their favorite company. The VZ series, the “Lemon squeezer” all down to the original striker-fire made by H&K have been subsequent failures but, unlike the Sigma or the Sig P250, they’re not garbage to the H&K people they’re “collectibles”.

      2. avatar Dan says:

        exactly. the vp9 is not compelling over the competition in any way.

        it’s all about the label, not the contents. the only people who will buy this will buy it based on the brand, not because it’s a better gun than any other.

      3. avatar Gene says:

        No other review I’ve seen said the PPQ trigger is superior. If anything, they said the triggers are of equal caliber, but all said they prefer the VP9 over the PPQ for their own personal preferences. I don’t dislike the PPQ, but I can tell you my own personal experience with the VP9 trigger is that it is better than anything else I’ve shot by far. I just can’t see another being “better”.

        The size difference on the two is miniscule, but it will be a personal preference. Why do all Walther owners seem to take the VP9 as a personal insult? Why can’t both be great pistols? That’s the way I look at it.

        1. avatar Dustin N. says:

          It’s pretty funny that you’ve never handled a gun “better” than the VP9. I would assume you probably haven’t handled many as most of the decent designs on the market, even those 200-300$ less, have significantly superior magazine designs, mag wells that don’t lead to snagging or failure to load. The M&P, the PPQ, the Smith and Wesson XD, the Glock series, the FNX/FNS, the FNP, the Sigma, etc…all of them have better magazine/mag-well fit and are designed to be military/LEO grade…not an overpriced “people’s gun”.

          To be absolutely frank; even the Hi-Point has smoother magazine tops and feeds better into the frame in my experience. I would own a VP9 if it was given to me…but I’d never purchase one for more than 300$ in a market full of better guns.

    2. avatar Gene says:

      Nothing wrong with that. Walther makes a fine pistol. But you’re missing out on some great work to discount the HK VP9.

  3. avatar larry says:

    Is this the same HK that does not like civilians? If so count me out no matter how good the thing is.

    1. avatar Quinn says:

      The only people who still use the “HK hates us” crap are people who are either ill informed or have never owned an HK

      1. avatar Jeremy S says:

        Michael Holley, HK-USA Vice President for Commercial and Law Enforcement Sales, added: “We are truly excited to bring such a superior quality and innovative product to civilian shooters and law enforcement agencies alike – and to do it in the USA first. It highlights our commitment to the U.S. market and with a truly groundbreaking product like the VP9.”

      2. avatar Anonymous says:

        Or maybe have read this article and laughed their faces off because they feel it is true:
        http://monsterhunternation.com/2007/10/09/hk-because-you-suck-and-we-hate-you/

        1. avatar Noishkel says:

          Heh! Classic Larry Correia.

    2. avatar lolinski says:

      The company that was one of the only companies wanting to sell assault rifles and scary semi-autos to people who weren’t LEOs or millitary is the company that hates us?

      I would hate to find out who your friends are.

  4. avatar AZRon says:

    “but H&K did it first with the P7”

    Actually they did it much earlier with their P9s. (polygonal bore)

    “close to four decades”

    44 years. VP70z (striker fired and polymer)

    And yes, sometimes I’m anal like that.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      P7 was striker-fired and designed in 1976. So it has been ~38 yrs since HK designed a new striker-fired pistol (assuming you don’t count variations like the P7M13 as a “new” pistol). I stand by my “close to four decades” 😉

      Didn’t know that about the P9. Thanks for pointing it out! I guess discussing where polygonal rifling first came from is a weird place to go, as it dates back to cannons, then muskets, then WWI rifles, then various other rifles (including HK G3 and others in the 50’s)… Was the P9 the very firsts pistol to have it? I had it in my head that it was the P7, but clearly not.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Jeremy, polygonal rifling in one form or another has been around about as long as barrels have been around. H&K kinda revived the “lost” species, and Glock made it a standard.

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Yes, and so has forging a barrel down onto a mandrel.

          People for whom gun technology began in the Glock era really need to visit some firearms museums with good collections. The NRA collection in Virginia or the Buffalo Bill Museum of the West in Cody, WY both have collections where people can see quite plainly that this “polygonal rifling” schtick ain’t exactly new.

        2. avatar Jeremy S says:

          Well neither of us blamed it on GLOCK. Regardless of when it was first thought up (for cannons, IIRC, as I mentioned above), it’s still my understanding that HK was the first to employ it on a pistol. I thought it was the P7, but the P9 definitely predated it.

  5. avatar Nathanredbeard says:

    I must have missed the memo, but when did an 7.3″ long, 5.4″ tall pistol get defined as a compact? Only difference between it and a G17 is half an inch in barrel length. I think Glock is pushing it calling a G19 a compact and a G26 a sub-compact, and this is bigger than both of them.

    If you were comparing it to a true compact pistol, like a G26, Shield, XD-S, Kahr CW9, LC9, then yes the accuracy would be commendable. This is a duty size pistol, and the accuracy is what should be expected from the same. Nothing special in that regard.

    Overall though, if I were buying my first modern polymer pistol, this would be damn near the top of the list. Excellent review.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      I suppose you’re right. I’ve been a bit irritated myself at manufacturers putting pistols into “full size,” “compact,” and “sub-compact” categories when the truth is there’s really a pretty significant “duty” size category that’s between full and compact and then I think a “micro” or “pocket” category is under sub-compact. And then here I go calling the VP9 “compact” when, you’re right, it really isn’t. I think many manufacturers agree that once the barrel length exceeds 3.8″ you’re out of compact territory (like you mentioned, don’t tell that to the GLOCK 19). But most would argue you aren’t into full-size territory either so I think that 3.8″ to 4.5″-ish barrel area is where you find most “duty” guns, including the VP9 here. It’s just… you know… that really isn’t an official size category so the question is whether the VP9 is “full-size” or “compact” and it’s kind of a coin toss since I honestly don’t think it’s a fit for either. HK doesn’t say, by the way. They don’t really categorize their pistols like that except for putting “compact” in the name of a couple because they were specifically created as smaller versions of existing pistols. Of course, the HK45 Compact is only 2.5mm shorter but is 2.5mm taller than the VP9. http://hk-usa.com/product/pistols/

      1. avatar Nathanredbeard says:

        Let’s propose a new size name, and then get a law passed that all the gun companies have to use it. I vote for “medium-ish”.

        1. avatar Jeremy S says:

          Extra Medium?

    1. avatar dubleaux7. says:

      Ernst Mauch is no longer with H&K. That mentality is largely gone. I really wish people would stop bringing that up

      1. avatar Matt in Idaho says:

        It’s an easier explanation for not owning it than, “I can’t afford it”

        1. avatar lolinski says:

          Or “not my cup of tea”.

        2. avatar Anonymous says:

          I could afford it, but why buy it when I could have two or three very good reliable pistols for the same price – which I have already done. Haha.

          “The most annoying thing about the HK pistols is how they cost almost twice as much as every other polymer handgun on the market. Somehow being made in Germany means the USP series is worth $800-$1000, when all of the polymer guns made within a thousand miles are $400-$600. Only most of those guns tend to have better triggers, are just as reliable, and are usually more accurate.” – Classic Larry Correia.

        3. avatar Matt in Idaho says:

          This more accurately describes what I mean. It’s not that people can’t afford them but the sour attitude towards hk from people absolutely comes down to price.

          Most of the feelings that hk hates you is misguided, like thinking soda companies hate new yorkers.

        4. avatar Jeremy S says:

          @Anonymous: “why buy it when I could have two or three very good reliable pistols for the same price?”

          Because that simply is not the case here. The VP9 has been selling for as low as $589.99 and it’s in stock at a few online vendors this weekend at $599. This makes it very competitive with Gen4 GLOCK, Springfield XD series, M&P, definitely Walther, and others. The quality of this gun is nicer than some of those, too. I’m not a big HK fan myself, honestly, but there’s no denying the quality of the machining, finish, and metallurgy in this pistol. It’s a dang nice gun and $590 to $649 is a fair price in this market.

          …I’d call all of the guns mentioned above overpriced when compared to the stellar CZ P-07 and P-09, though. They’re a dang steal for the quality. Of course, if you’re stuck on striker-fired then they aren’t an option…

      2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        People aren’t going to stop bringing it up. Want to know why?

        For the same reason why anti-gun political hacks learn to fear gun people.

        Gun people never, ever forget.

        And they rarely forgive.

        HK is learning this, the hard way.

  6. avatar dubleaux7. says:

    We had H&K come to our shooting range/store a few weeks ago and demo their newer polymer pistols and MR rifle series. Out of the 3 VP9s they brought, two of them suffered catastrophic failures. The recoil spring guide cracked nearly in half on one, and the striker block snapped on the other. I’ll wait for the second generation ones to come out before taking this over my P30. The trigger is decent but I would quite honestly take a stock Glock trigger over the VP9 trigger purely for the crisper break and reset.

    1. avatar DJ says:

      WTF is up with all the plastic recoil spring guides? Even Sig is using them, and they are CR@P…. I guess they save a couple of bucks…

      1. avatar Jeremy S says:

        It’s steel on the VP9 (mentioned in the review).

        BTW I find this trigger to be crisper than a GLOCK. Reset isn’t quite as pronounced but it has less creep than any factory GLOCK trigger I’ve fired and the break isn’t as ‘springy’ feeling.

      2. avatar Russell Grayson says:

        My Sig SP2022 was properly re-equipped and all dressed up with a stainless steel spring guide rod the very second I had it stripped in my lap–I ordered the guide rod (a $17 item) while waiting for my 5-day FL waiting period to expire and had it in hand in two days. It crisped up the slide action a bit and seems to me to have reduced muzzle flip ever so slightly. Ordered a second one for backup, pushing the OEM polymer guide rod to the far back of the line–in the rear pocket of a range bag that I never use much anymore.

  7. avatar Michael B. says:

    I might be interested in a compact version of this gun for CCW purposes but as it is now, it’s a little big.

  8. avatar Noishkel says:

    Hell… I thought that was an Taurus 24/7 when I first glanced at it… both internally and externally. Not identical mind you. But similar. Of course I DID like my 24/7 .45. She was DAO, but the trigger was pretty good.

  9. avatar g says:

    Nice review… and good job with the pictures!

  10. avatar Tim U says:

    H&K haters just can’t afford them, so they would rather trash them to make themselves feel better.

    My excuse used to be “because I don’t like DA/SA”, and now H&K has put this out. And it’s affordable too. About the only issue is getting magazines for it. Makes me want to get one and finally join the “cool kids table”.

    1. avatar Noishkel says:

      Well you go right on then and throw your money at all the HK shiny you want. Personally I’ll give them a pass. There’s more than enough companies that can perform just as well for less money.

      1. avatar Jeremy S says:

        These have been selling for $589. That’s pretty competitive.

        1. avatar Noishkel says:

          Oh $600 isn’t a BAD price. Probably one of the most competitively priced HKs I’ve ever seen… I’m just not really seeing anything that screams ‘buy me NOW’ with this firearm.

          Of course that price also assumes you can GET it for that. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see a significant number of dealers out there that will charge that full price. Simply because it’s HK. :/

        2. avatar Dan says:

          It’s competetive… for an HK.

          Compared to the competition, it’s more expensive and doesn’t offer any more value.

        3. avatar John W Bletsch says:

          Bought my VP 9 for $549.00 & VP 9 SK for $609.00. GLOCK Gen 4s sell in the same price point.

      2. avatar Anonymous says:

        Exactly. If brand matters to you so you can look cool – because that’s the only “extra” you’re getting. Why buy it when other companies deliver the same for less.

    2. avatar Steve Lo Vullo says:

      I have the money to get it, but why on earth would I do such a thing when I have a Walther PPQ? Why pay more for an inferior gun?

      1. avatar Dan says:

        It’s all about the branding. People who are obsessed with projecting an image at others will buy the HK.

        People who actually care about getting the best gun for the money will go elsewhere.

    3. avatar Mark McCammon says:

      F@$k it. I’m going to respectfully hate on the haters regarding the “price issue”. I mean really? If the Glock felt more comfortable in my hand, I’d have no problem paying an additional $90 for that element alone. The VP9 just fits my hand better. If you’re really shooting to improve or to compete In some local IDPA and/or 2-/3-gun matches, then I’d suggest investing the $90 in an “Intro to Algebra” class offered at your local junior college, cuz someone’s focused on the wrong side of the decimal place. Heck, $90 is about 425 rounds of ammo based on what I pay, and frankly I don’t know one Glock fan that hasn’t tried improving a Glock trigger, and I’d say half of the Glock fans I know have monkeyed around with factory sites. Uh, what $90 difference? H&K, Walther, Glock, whatever. They’re all very decent weapons, each having their own pros and all having a con here and there. BFD! That’s the awesome thing about firearms in most states — you can choose whatever fits you, your need, your whatever. That’s called competition, and whether you’re a brand snob or not, it benefits us all because make no mistake, there’s not one direct competitor that wouldn’t love to have Glock’s market share and penetration, and to be better, you gotta do better. It’s that simple. But please stop it with the misinformation. It’s an opinion, informed or not, biased or not, and reeks of high school. I mean, do you drive your Dodge Ram around (for example) and verbally trash Chevys, Fords, GMC, etc? If you do and you’re that serious about it, then I can assure you of one thing — EVERYONE within earshot is rolling their eyes and trying vehemently NOT to shake their heads. Btw, I’m a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan because they are Americas team, and every other team sucks in comparison and all wish they could be America’s Team. In fact, the Cowboys are so awesome that the playoffs and Super Bowl title are beneath them. See what I mean? The foregoing is ONLY my opinion. Thanks for reading.

    4. avatar Wolfram says:

      Bought a VP9 and its so accurate that three of my friends bought one after trying it out. For me its all about accuracy and dependability and this is where H and K products shine. With 20 + grip variations and perfect sights, I’m damn hard pressed to find fault with it. It won handgun of the year for a reason. Look at the internal machining and you will begin to see why H and K products are held in high esteem worldwide. They are the world’s largest arms dealer for a reason. Glock has earned its niche many times over, but the 17s grips and grip angle simply do not fit my hand. The only other 9mm that I find as accurate as the VP9 is the CZ 75. I’ve become an unapologetic H and K fanboy through use of their products since they introduced the H and K 91 battle rifle to American shooters decades ago. As for FN pistols, there have been complaints of fragile internal parts breaking down. If Dustin hates H and K so much, he simply doesn’t have to buy their products.

      1. avatar Russell Grayson says:

        I love the PPQ, and my 12+1 in .45 is a massively effective home defense sidearm. The VP9 just does what every daily carry pistol that I ever coveted does–near-instinctively comes up to perfect point on sight when I bring it up to firing position. I have been very forgiving of any shortcomings in HK weapons because every one that I’ve owned or fired has just become a part of my body the second I pointed it on target. While not for everyone, I find that, while I truly love my Kimbers, Sigs and Walthers, the HK is just a part of my body.

        My “daily driver” is a 30-year old P7M8, and it just shoots like nothing else for me–the best reason to use it as my constant companion, in keeping with my Cooperized thinking about weapons. I have two of them, though one is a safe queen that gets to eat a box or three of CorBon 115 +P every year on my birthday.

        The only P7 that I ever HATED was a P7PSP, because it fried my fingers after two mags due to the lack of heat shield under the frame and above the trigger. I sold it two weeks after taking delivery, with not 50 rounds run through. Wasn’t crazy about the P7K3 either, but I don’t care for any .380 calibre piece that I can conjure–hate the round.

  11. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    I wish I could find one of these around town to fondle. It looks like a nice gun. Since guns supposedly talk to people, according to the grabbers, my CZs might protest having to sit next to an H&K product in the safe.

  12. avatar Adam says:

    I would like to see a comparison between this and the Sig P320 given that the time of release and price points are pretty similar.

  13. avatar Ralph says:

    How good is H&K’s customer service? Service is really important all the time, but especially with a new gun because the early adopters are actually the beta testers. They just don’t know it.

    1. avatar Publius Syrus says:

      +1. With the negatives of the past, they are going to have to do this at 110% for awhile before I buy a new model from them, especially.

      Really nice review Jeremy. Def will keep PPQ in mind.

  14. avatar Renegade Dave says:

    Co-worker bought the VP9 with night sights last night, was about $75 more expensive, but they all had 3 magazines in the case. For what H&K wants for magazines, that’s downright reasonable for NS and an extra mag. We thought it was an error, but the clerk checked another box and the NS model had 3 mags too.

  15. avatar Tom says:

    Nice review.

    I have thought of picking one of these up but I just cant bring myself to do it quite yet. I already have a P30 so the “HK slot” is nicely filled…. well only because I can’t reasonably afford a Mk23.

    I tend to prefer the paddle style mag release. Oh sure to start with I was like everyone else and found it to be odd but I got used to it and now find it to be easier. Of course it is a design that is made to work while the shooter is wearing heavy gloves. Try that with a “normal” mag release. Keep in mind that HK supplies a lot of military groups including special forces contracts the world over. A little consideration like gloved hands tends to go a long way in such circles.

  16. avatar Kingwindom says:

    600 rounds through my VP9 so far ($580 out the door), including 100 Speer Gold Dot 124 gr (my preferred defense round) without a single issue. This pistol is simply a joy to shoot, and staggeringly accurate. Using the “Small” grip set, it feels as if it was custom made for my hand. Noticed some subtle “grit” with the trigger as it hit the wall, but that seemed to work itself out with dry & live fire.

    I did have to send the VP9 back to Columbus (GA) when one of the Charging Supports came off while manipulating the slide. The HK Service Department was fantastic. They received the slide on a Monday and three days later it was back on my door step. Some other VP9 owners have experienced a similar issue, and although I like the Charging Supports in theory, I think when a 10-8 Performance rear comes back in stock, I’m going to send the pistol to HK for installation and ask them to remove the CS’s.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      I expect to see aftermarket charging support replacements in the near future… different shapes, sizes, materials, configurations, etc.

  17. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    OK, without slagging on the HK product, here’s a question I have:

    Everyone and their cousin out of Europe has come out with a polymer, “safe-action,” wonder-nine now.

    They’re increasingly in the $500 to $600 street price range, regardless of the MSRP released.

    If the firearms market follows the other markets I’ve seen, this sort of development predicts a vicious cycle of price slashing and channel-stuffing. The top-level dealer catalogs I receive are showing more and more polymer pistols on “specials,” if you (the retailing FFL) are willing to buy five or 10 of the listed pistol.

  18. avatar JoshinNC says:

    Thank you for the review. The VP9 is a good looking handgun. Of course it looks a lot like my PPQ. I enjoy my Walther to no end. I can’t see myself running out to pick up this HK, already having the Walther. With the easy to adjust rear sight and superior trigger on the PPQ, I’m pleased with my choice.

  19. avatar Rico says:

    I am confused were you writing a review of the VP9, or a comparison between it and the PPQ? The comparison would have been more meaningful if I had a PPQ as a point of reference. I thought, incorrectly apparently, that a review detailed the firearm in the title. Not compare it to some pistol I have never seen. A Glock is far more popular and would have made for a better comparison. But alas, this was supposed to be a review, not a comparison.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      Sorry. In my opinion they’re near-identical guns from two manufacturers and the similarities run so deep that the VP9, just hitting gun stores now, simply has to be compared to the PPQ, which has been around for years. I still tried to fully review and describe the VP9 objectively on its own as well, and then just compared certain aspects to the PPQ as an additional note, not a replacement.

      BTW normally GLOCK does end up being the “known” example, and I totally understand what you’re saying. In this case though I feel like it would be akin to comparing a Subaru BRZ to a Toyota Camry, because the Camry is more popular and everyone can relate, instead of comparing it to the Scion FR-S.

  20. avatar DavER says:

    Thank you for such a comprehensive and objective review.

    I love the HK ergos but damn:
    “However, it still happened. I just love to ride my thumb on that area of the frame …for my purposes these extra-rearward slide catches are in the wrong place. Of course, they’re easy to reach so I understand the design intention”
    I too have this problem and I find it to be a deal killer for me (it’s the only reason I sold my P30).

  21. avatar Dogman says:

    Just one question. Does anyone know why German pistols all look like sloppy advertising billboards?

      1. avatar Jeremy S says:

        He’s saying there’s a ton of text and logos. Compared to THIS, it’s hard to argue with the sentiment. The PPQ was the same, and they even leave a whole swath of slide serrations milled smooth just so they can have a logo on the front haha

  22. avatar Boots says:

    I just bought the P30 V3 9mm a few months ago…. checked it out on a Friday at the store and could not get out of my head, bought it Saturday.

    They have yet to have the new VP9 in stock…. there is more room in my safe 😉

  23. avatar Gene says:

    I’ve seen reviews by several respected peole, all of whom said and demonstrated that the trigger stroke is actually shorter than on the PPQ, and that there is no “creepage” at all. I have experienced no creeping myself. I have nothing against the PPQ. I’m told it has a really clean trigger, but your review on this point is totally inconsistent with everything else I’ve seen, and from my own experience as well.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      You can literally see the creep in the video. You can also compare it to my PPQ video. There is no question that the VP9 I tested has a longer and lighter (less sound, less ‘snick’ feel on your finger) reset and more creep than the PPQ I tested.

      It’s possible from a resting point that the PPQ has a longer stroke until you’re up against the sear (more slack/pretravel), but once you’re firing and riding the reset the PPQ is shorter and it’s crisper. It’s farther towards the back of the trigger guard while the VP9 is farther towards the middle, so personal preference comes into play there — one may feel better than the other depending on hand size and what you’re used to.

      That said, the fact is that the PPQ from “against the sear” to firing, back to reset and firing again, is definitely shorter. At least on my samples. …and my VP9 did not come from HK so they didn’t have the chance to “tweak” it. It was a retail gun. I’m not saying HK has, does, or would “tweak” a writer sample, but I know some companies have done it and they have obvious incentive to do so. I think it’s in everyone’s best interest to review an “off the shelf,” retail gun whenever possible… it’s just much easier to borrow them direct from the manufacturer, although it does present some opportunity for cynicism.

      EDIT: for simplicity’s sake, HERE is a link to the PPQ video starting at the point where I do the close-up trigger pulls, and HERE is the same for the VP9.

      Also, the PPQ’s trigger came in at 3/4 lb lighter than the VP9’s trigger. It not only had less creep, but the creep was smoother and more difficult to detect because the trigger was lighter.

      1. avatar Gene says:

        In the videos I watched, there was no creep in the VP9 or the PPQ. The main difference distinguised was that the location of the break was longer on the PPQ from the resting position, but that both triggers have a very clean and crisp break with no creepage.

        In the reviews I’ve seen, everyone has said that although the triggers are a bit different, both have excellent triggers with clean and crisp breaks with a very short reset, so for the reviewer here to say that the VP9 just doesn’t stack up to the PPQ, that’s a bit, well it’s just not true. He may prefer the trigger on the PPQ, but that does not mean the VP9s trigger doesn’t measure up.

        I’ve tested both to the dry fire, and I have experienced the same that I stated above. I have not yet shot the PPQ, but I can tell you shooting the VP9 is very clean. Much cleaner than my Glocks or the M&P factory triggers. As you said, one may prefer one over the other, but that does not mean one is better than the other. All reviews I’ve seen state clearly that both are fine pistols with excellent trigger systems. That was the point of my comment.

        1. avatar Jeremy S says:

          I am the reviewer. You’re right, they’re both worlds better than basically any other striker-fired pistol on the market. As mentioned, it’s primarily due to the fact that they are true single action and the trigger pull doesn’t cock the striker, it only releases it. They are both exceptional. But the PPQ is objectively, fundamentally better. At least on the samples I tested. The difference is small, not large.

          I’m TRULY not meaning to sound like a prick but I’m just going to be blunt here: I’m not sure that you fully understand the definition of what trigger “creep” is. There are a lot of misconceptions about that. Creep is ANY rearward movement of the trigger after it has stopped against the sear and before it actually trips. In both videos I linked above you can clearly see — and more in the HK than the Walther — that the trigger does creep. Not only does the PPQ creep less, but it’s smoother in that part of the trigger pull. Additionally, as you can also see in the videos, the reset travel on the PPQ is shorter. You can’t see how tactile and can’t really judge how audible the resets are, but on my samples the PPQ reset with more authority. This is something I appreciate because I like to ride the reset as closely as possible when shooting. The PPQ made this easier, which allowed me to shoot quicker and more accurately.

          If you really want to see a trigger with no creep, I’ll shoot a 20-second video of the Timney trigger in my Mosin Nagant, which is perfect. You’ll see my finger squishing up against the trigger as though I’m pulling on the corner of a 600-lb metal object (i.e. it does NOT move) and then it will suddenly break. NO hint of any movement at all, whatsoever during that process. That is zero creep. The VP9, PPQ, and almost every other production pistol will exhibit some degree of creep, and you can clearly see it happen in the videos I previously linked.

      2. avatar Gene says:

        I went back and watched these videos again and compared to one of the other videos, and aside front he disposition of the break, I don’t see much different in the break or reset in these two pistols. They look pretty close to equal from my perspective. Nevertheless, good review Jeremy. Flip-flops and all. Take care bro!

  24. avatar Gene says:

    I realized you’re the reviewer after I posted this. Thanks for the correspondence. I’m aware of what creep is. I guess I’m just as sensitive to it as you. I’m really not a trigger freak, as I like to call them, although I do appreciate the differences when I sense them. I’ve only compared the dry fire trigger on both the PPQ and VP9, and although I did feel the differences in the location of the break, I didn’t feel the creep as I do in Glock/M&P factory triggers. I prefer the trigger on the VP9 b/c it breaks sooner than the PPQ, but I don’t see that as the VP9 being better. I think it is more of a personal preference one over the other. When you go to using instruments to determine the differences, well I think that completely removes the human element, and we humans are what determines what is better. Better for us. Not better for something that is completely without mind or thought. So I see your review in this category as more subjective than objective. Thorough, but perhaps not completely unbiased.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      The creep is so short in both pistols that you have to pull the trigger very slowly to feel or see it, unless you’re a trigger freak 😉 . How it affects one person versus the next person is subjective. Whether you like a short or long trigger, light or heavy trigger, lots of creep or zero creep, etc, is subjective. Whether or not trigger creep exists and to what degree is objective. Does the VP9 have more creep than the PPQ? Yes. Is the reset longer? Yes. Do you care and does it affect you? That’s up to you. So I must agree with you, calling the PPQ trigger “better” because it has less creep and shorter reset is subjective. However, that it has less creep and a shorter reset is an objective fact.

      1. avatar Gene says:

        I can agree with that. As to the differences, you provide in your explanation here with me a completely objective review. As minute as they may be, the differences are what they are. Your technical review and mechanical testing has proven this. As to whether one trigger is better than the other, like you said, is up to the respective shooter. I had the PPQ on my list to buy for a while b/c I really like the feel, fit/finish. I just like it. The reason I bought the HK first was simply b/c I preferred the the shorter uptake. I feel both pistols are great choices for anyone looking for a professional grade tool for duty service or personal defense. Thanks again for the dialog.

        1. avatar Jeremy S says:

          Agreed. FWIW, I like the looks of the VP9 better — mainly due to the slide design.

  25. avatar Josh says:

    What’s the deal with the right side slide release leaving a wear mark on the handgun? Is that normal?

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      The frame is polymer and the slide release is steel, so it probably will scratch it eventually. However, in the case of these photos I think it’s almost entirely my fault. There was lube underneath the slide release and every time it moved it smeared lube on the frame. I wiped it away with my finger and it looked good in person but the camera caught reflection from shiny lube vs more matte frame and it really looks like big scratches in that first photo. Even the ~vertical mark on the back that looks like a wear line is 99.8% lube streak.

      1. avatar Josh says:

        The vertical mark on the back is the one I’m referring to. I have looked at hundreds of photos of the VP9 and that mark is on all of them. Mine is not lube, but also not a scratch. It’s more if a rub mark made shiny by the slide release movement. I’ll just rub some dirt on it and you’ll never see it.

  26. avatar Shane W. says:

    I own this gun. I’ve also shot the PPQ a good bit. However, this gun just fits me. The only thing I would like is a little lighter break without sacrificing the crispness and more tactical night sights as I didn’t buy the LE version. Aside from that, I don’t know that I would change anything about this pistol. I love it. If you would have told me that I would like a striker fired pistol more than the XD line I would have told you that you were crazy. Already considering buying at least one more of these.

  27. avatar ajd says:

    I have a vp9 as well as a bunch of p30s (all light lem) as well as ppq. The p30 is a closer comp to PPQ as they are the same size. In that regard, I would pick PPQ hands down, similar fit and finish, better trigger and more accurate, 40% cheaper. The vp9 is a bit harder, it is not apples to apples given the size. Personally I like the size of vp9, it is not to big but not to small. That said most will find it to big to carry. The trigger is nice, definately better than glock although not as good as an apex m&p. I shoot mine accurately and would definately buy another. I am looking forward to release of vp40.

  28. avatar tom says:

    So much hk hate in these comments. Too many armchair generals chiming in here. If you hate hk so much why even waste your time reading this article? Sure hks are a bit more expensive up front. But for a product you will be spending a lot more money on in ammo and accessories (a LOT more) the up front cost becomes a big ol I don’t care because it’s not that much for a superior pistol.

  29. avatar Paul Mills says:

    I think lot of you are missing an important point: HK, SIG, GLOCK, WALTHER, STEYR, SPHINX, S&W and and others are ALL very good firearms. We are lucky to live in a time when guns of such quality can be had for a reasonable price. I am an old gusmith, I remember well when material science advanced in polymer technology vis a vis firearms development into an economically viable proposition. I hated them! We all resist change. But, in a few months I was a devotee. Today I carry a SIG 228 9mm. I intend to buy a second Sig – this one in .357Sig – and and maybe a HK.

  30. avatar fishydude says:

    My wife just picked this for her pistol. She has arthritis in her wrists and very long fingers. She can’t rack my FNS9 and the smaller 9mm pistols have even stiffer springs than my FNS.
    She also love the easy thumb mag release. She found the button mag release on the Glock 19 to be difficult.
    I think I may have chosen this over the FNS had I tried it before buying it. But I do like the larger 17 round mag on my FNS. Still, if I were buying a second, I’d add on if these too.
    This will be my wife’s CCH. With a Chief Jason OWB she will be all good. At 5’10” with very long hands, this is not a big pistol. Just a quarter inch longer than my “compact” FNS.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      Reading this review about the wife with arthritis in her wrist really yelped inch me closer to the VP9. I have some nerve issues and recently they have crept into my hands and wrists. I took a basic handgun course and I had some trouble racking the (full sized 9mm) Glock’s slide at times when wet and my hands were cold from freezing drizzle. I am looking for a carry gun and I live in Colorado so I gotta have something I can more easily rack with my limitations if it gets wet and/or when my hands are cold. Not saying I’m sold just yet but it’s a small thing for most but a big thing for me. I’m 5’10 215 and am decently strong overall by my hands and wrists are sometimes weak (comes and goes).

  31. avatar Roscoe Hackenfacker says:

    Wow!!! -Yet another hugely overpriced plastic frame handgun to compete with all the other plastic frame guns out there! – It’s getting so hard to keep count with all the here-today-gone-tomorrow plastic products that just keep on coming ! Question: Should I save my money & just wait for the next, even newer model that is certain to come ?
    Also, just check the slo-mo footage on Youtube -see those plastic frames flex – ideal for the precision laser mountings !

    1. avatar Gene says:

      What’s the knock on “plastic” frame guns? Are you saying that Glock is here today, gone tomorrow? The fact that Sig Sauer, HK, CZ, Springfield and Beretta now produce a “plastic” gun is indicative of the fact that these guns are not here today, gone tomorrow. If you don’t want one, fine. No problem! But please spare us the ignorant utterance.

  32. avatar Adam says:

    *sigh* Why buy an H&K when you can buy XYZ for less? Why buy a Rolex when a Seiko does the exact same job? Why buy a Lexus Is300 when a Toyota Camry will get you from point A to point B? Why put BBS wheels on your auto when the stock wheels are just as round? Why buy a push rod Harley when you can get a DOHC Ducati? Why buy a Milt Sparks holster when a DeSantis will fit? Because what someone does with their money is no one else’s business. Don’t like H&K? Don’t buy one. Let people enjoy what they enjoy.

    I own a VP9. I paid $599, plus tax. So far, no hiccups after about 200 rounds; time will tell. The VP9 looks like it may overtake my FNH FNS (which supplanted my XD, which overtook the Glock) as my preferred striker pistol. I certainly won’t say you’ll have the same conclusion. Isn’t the free market great?

    As for H&K customer service… just got my 18 year-old USP 45 back from H&K in Columbus Georgia. I had them rebuild the gun after thousands upon thousands of rounds. All new shiny springs and moving bits and pieces. Excellent communication, quick turn around, no complaints.

    ….and after all that, my 1974 Browning Hi Power is still my favorite gun. Why? Does it really matter?

    To quote the late Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”

  33. avatar Scott says:

    Thank you, all. Good review and photos, great (and reasonably mannered) dialogue. I own many different brands, primarily Sigs and Generation 3 Smiths. Only a few poly-frames, including Glock and Beretta. Both this AND the PPQ are on my ‘short list’.
    Although I appreciate the differences noted by the OP and other reviewers, long-term ownership will be based solely on my personal experiences.
    Again, thank you al.

  34. avatar Steve says:

    I just bought the HK vp9. I was going to buy a .45 in the 1911 version, but after firing, and operating the vp9, I was convinced. My pattern was way tighter due to the recoil for a 3yr old, 15 in the mag to 8, and it has interchangeable grips. It’s a true ambidextrous for us lefties, and easy to clean. This gun is bad @ss, and I bought a form fitted holster for it that fits perfectly for $30. I paid $600 new for it, and will never look back!

  35. I like the VP9 a lot
    The only faults I have found are the sights (replaced with Dawson’s) the right side slide release which is too long and interferes with my grip (i shortened it .4 “) and the finish on the mags that was worn off in a month of shooting (had them Cerakoted)
    All in all it is a great service pistol

  36. avatar Ryan says:

    Did you try doing the HK trigger job first (dry fire it 1000 times in a row), lol? Smoothed up my p30 a good deal. Having said that I sold the P30 last year mostly due to the trigger. Still the gun never once failed in the 8k rounds I put through it.

    HK has the most well machined, most flawlessly finished polymer handguns I’ve ever seen or owned. Anyone who says their glock, xd, et ectera is of equal build quality is crazy. Yes they cost a bundle but you get what you pay for. The gun is the cheap part; any serious shooter knows that ammo costs will far exceed the cost of the weapon in the long run. If you are only planning on shooting 2k rounds or less then price might be a significant factor, otherwise you should buy the best equipment that you can afford. $600 seems like a deal to me, I paid almost $1000 for the p30 and even more for my 1911 (that’s a market where guns routinely exceed $3000).

    I held/fondled this gun at the local GS and was very impressed by all aspects (even the trigger). I don’t even like striker fired guns or guns without manual safties and I was close to throwing down the cash there on the spot. The only criticism I have is that it’s still a big gun. I carried the p30 for a year IWB (crossbreed) and it always dug into my kidneys. Kind of sad when I would rather bear the burden of a gov’t model 1911 over one of these. I still am considering buying one, but I won’t be carrying it if I do.

    1. avatar Gene says:

      I have had mine since September, and let me tell you. This is the best gun I can recall having ever owned. I have never been a big HK fan. Didn’t hate them, but just didn’t get that warm/fuzzy with them like other guns. It is my EDC gun now, and I just spent time at the range today shooting it, my new Beretta PX4 Storm compact, Sig P226 MK25 and my Springfield 1911 (which I love), and while I do really like all these guns, the VP9 is honestly like an extension of my hand. It just fits all the way around, and I can’t say enough good about it. Truly a remarkable gun.

      1. avatar Ryan says:

        I’m glad its been working for you, I was really impressed when I finally got my hands on one for the first time. I’ve always had a hard time warming up to polymer guns and have always ended up trading them off eventually for something else. I never even considered owning an HK until the day I actually held one side-by-side with it’s competitors. Went in for an FN and walked out with the HK.

        I was ribbed occasionally by other shooters (friends and acquaintances) at the range for owning an HK but nobody turned down the opportunity to fire one. Funny thing is they all were surprised at how much they liked it once they actually gave it a chance. I don’t own any HKs currently but they really are nice guns and I miss having one.

        BTW my 1911 is also a springfield–it’s the only gun I will never sell. 🙂

        1. avatar Gene says:

          Yeah, the VP9 actually caused a reshuffling of my inventory. I took two of my Glocks and traded them for the Sig P226 MK25, and then the next week I traded my CZ-75B and a shotgun for the 1911. It is Springfield’s Mil Spec, and I love it. I doubt I will ever trade it either. My focus now is to stock the inventory with my favorite classics. I have the 1911, and I’ll get a couple more of those as I go (like a Colt Rail Gun/tactical version), and I will get the Browning Hi Power (also one of my all time favorites along with the Sig P226 and 1911), but yesterday I just got the Beretta PX4 Storm compact b/c my LGS had it for $399 + $75 manufacturers rebate (no brainer), so I had to pick it up. I’m actually impressed with it! Never been a Storm fan, but this little gun is a gem.

          That said, the VP9 truly did change the way I think about striker fire guns. I was a Glock man, and I doubt I will ever get away from a striker fire for EDC now, but the VP9 truly is an exceptional shooter.

  37. avatar Ryan says:

    You have good taste in guns. The BHP is a masterpiece and will compliment your collection nicely.

  38. avatar Steven says:

    Overall nice review. I’m sure if any HK company representative saw you shooting in your stars & stripes sunglasses, cargo shorts and “tactical Flip Flops” they’d say “You aren’t an operator, you suck & we hate you”

  39. avatar Brianna says:

    Great review, I am new to this entirely and am looking for a home & personal protection weapon that I can handle easily. This is the one they showed me in store & seemed to fit my hand well & was easy to maneuver-however I did not attempt to load a magazine. (I have a Glock 26 now that I can easily load with my hands) As a female with nails, I wonder if this will post a problem? In store they tried selling it to me for almost 700 which is what brought me to your review site, I know I can find better offerings. Would you recommend that I purchase this or the PPQ that you were saying you liked a star better? I really like that the sites are brighter on this as I am still really working on my aim & I like the wing on the side letting you know there’s one in the chamber. Any advice is appreciated! Thanks!

    1. avatar Ryan says:

      Its apples to apples between this and the ppq, buy the one that you like better. Both will serve you equally well so it really comes down to personal preference. The vp9 appears to have some extra features you like so that might be the deciding factor. I personally have owned an HK prior and was very satisfied–so I would favor that brand. The writer has his reasons for liking the ppq as well. $100-200 isn’t enough to tip the scales seeing as you will spend a lot more on ammo in the long run. Seriously just buy the one YOU like more or you will never really be satisfied.

  40. avatar pjcolorado says:

    I bought a VP9 last October at my local gun show for $614 after tax and back round check. It came with two 15 round mags and I bought a couple new extras for $35 each. I have several other HK’S, Glocks, FN’s, etc. My wife and I went to the range shortly after I got it and my wife took it over because of the tabs (wings) she could rack the slide so much easier than any other gun. I then bought her an M&P Shield in 9mm for her CCW hoping she wouldn’t want to shoot the VP9 anymore but she still likes it for the range and camping better so I’m going to get her one for herself so I can have mine back. BTW. This VP9 fits perfectly into my USP holsters with no issues. The only issue I have with it is I don’t like the charging sites. I’m going to the gun store this weekend as they have some Trijicon night sites for it in stock.

  41. avatar John Hope says:

    I consider myself lucky. Lucky in the fact that I have got to fire literally almost every striker fired pistol out there at some point. I have owned or do own around a dozen or so now or in the past. And the ones I havent owned Ive gotten to fire with some lengthy range time to get a feel of the gun. Im not saying Im an expert by any means but Ive kind of come up with a A-F grading scale on my thoughts on each one. I think its pretty spot on too if i may say so. Anything missing on the list means I havent shot it yet. Like i said, i think if you talk to anyone who has really shot them all, they will almost all agree this is pretty spot on. This is based on not only my personal experience, but also many many reviews and online chatter and feedback, but also feedback ive heard from others out and about at gun stores and at the range. Here is how they break down, plain and simple of the grades on the majority of the striker fired pistols on the market today.

    A+: Walther PPQ (if you have shot it, you know. Its the best. I have never ever been a big fan of Walther but this gun is hard to deny as being GREAT. Best smooth and crisp trigger, best reset, best ergos, yes better than VP9’s poor fitting side and rear grip changeouts and deadly accurate. All controls on gun are placed perfectly. Only knock on gun is polymer sights and guide rod, which is just a preference for me, but change the sights and go with a steel aftermarket guide rod and its almost perfect, or as close as you can get. )
    A: Sig P320 (very close to the PPQ! Trigger and reset almost as good as Walther. Shorter take up than PPQ. Modular design makes this gun a future icon. Sig quality is legend. Points and shoots like a 228. Slide being out in front of hand changes feel of recoil and makes it “flip” less than other slides that are set further back in hand and grip. Not as ergonomic as PPQ in hand, but still feels great. No real knock on the gun other than grip and slide are a little on the thick side for some. Right behind PPQ. I got talked into buying this gun at a gun store and glad i did. I have the 40 Compact and its great!!!)
    A: FNS (Hard to call anything from FN underrated, but this one may be. Fantastic pistol. Needs to be mentioned more as far as top dogs in striker fired guns. High quality parts and feel. Trigger feels is a tad bit heavier than some others, which i personally dont mind, but breaks clean and in perfect spot. Very good ergos. FN also a name that ranks right up there with some of the finest of all time. Great pedigree to back it up. Only knock is grip texture is a little too overdone and can be a bit rough after extended use)
    B+: XDM series (a great, proven striker fired gun. Has some years of use to back it up. Everything on this gun is really really good good. Almost great, but not quite great. Really good trigger, nice short take up, good reset. Match grade barrel. Accurate, durable and fits well in hand. Like 1911 almost with full grip. No real weakness. Just does everything really well, just not great. Wife has a XDM 3.8 compact and it has made her a pretty damn good shooter which is saying something. never a glitch. High capacity mags give it points also. My knock on the gun thou is it is just not a sexy gun. Its pretty ugly. Not Glock ugly, but ugly none the less. Slide is a brick, square and boring)
    B+: Kahr series (Next to PPQ and P320 has the next best trigger. Steel trigger with no trigger safety really makes it feel great to squeeze. Thats what they are known for. Simple and pure design. No frills. Good looking pistol. Accurate. Even on lower end budget models you still get that great trigger. Parts seem of high quality. Great pistols to conceal carry. They seem to lead the pack when it comes to getting CC right. Like the FNS thou, grip texture is overdone and can be a pain in the ass on the hands. Other knock on Kahr thou is they are overpriced and really for no real reason that i can see. P models are fantastic pistols, but priced too high compared to peers)
    B+: HK VP9 (Before everyone blasts me here let me state for the record. I OWN A VP9. Of course I saw it and was like many others thinking it would be or was a must own. And its a good gun. Really good ergos, its an HK so im gonna go ahead and say its going to be durable and the trigger while not as good or crisp as the PPQ is pretty darn close. I would say its about what the P320 trigger is. Almost as good, but just quite doesnt feel as clean and crisp. Great, but not out of this world like the Walther trigger. Dead on accuracy. Really quality barrel. With that being said there are a few things about this gun that bump it down. The changeable side and rear panels are just sloppy and leave large gaps in frame. Even with the option of 6 different grips the Walther is more svelte in hand. I Feel they tried to do too much with this pistol on grips. The 3 dots are too large (enormous) on stock sight and the phosphorus night sights are just plain el cheapo, especially for an HK for god sakes, but can be changed easily. Some of the parts such as slide stop and trigger itself just feel “cheap” and flimsy when compared to other HK guns or even some other striker fired guns. Slide stop itself is set to far back on frame. Gun also has a bulkier feel to it than others. I agree with TTAG here. Not a single thing about the VP9 blew me away. Its not the end all be all of guns. Its a really good gun dont get me wrong and I like mine. I just didnt love it. HK’s are like Michael Bay movies. Everyone hypes them up to the point where you think you are going to see or get the most amazing thing you have ever seen in your life and it ends up being just really really good, but not great, and because so many people hyped it up or got so excited about it that it has no where to go but down unless its something made by Jesus Christ himself. So you walk away a little disappointed because you were expecting the best thing ever because so many people told you that what you were getting. But its still a really really good pistol that to me is a B+ gun)
    B: Glock series (guys look. If you think a Glock is an A+ gun, its because youve only shot Glocks. 10-15 years ago, yea they were great, cause they were pretty much it. They had no real competition. Now, no. With todays line up of outstanding striker fired guns, amazing triggers and advancement on performance and durability of guns on the market Glocks have slipped behind quite a few others. But Glocks are still Glocks. Glocks are icons that are known for reliability, durability and low bore axis which makes them pretty smooth shooters. Thats it. But on the flip side you have several flaws with the platform. They have spongy, gritty and clunky triggers compared to todays striker fired triggers, a grip angle and grip in general that only fit certain hands and make you hold gun with a grip that shoots high for most standard shooter. This is why with newer guns on the market police sales for Glocks have dropped off almost 70% in past 5 years and many PD’s are moving to other platforms. They are also not real well known for being super accurate guns that are going to put together extremely tight groups. And they are pretty much universally agreed to be some of the UGLIEST guns ever made. With that said they work and work and work. Thats what they are and always have been. The gun that you would depend on to save your life. Which to me they have served their purpose excellent! They are the Honda of guns. Reliable, dependable, run forever and never break down. And once you wear it out you just get another one. But nothing, ever has ever stood out about them besides this. Again, simply too many little things on the gun have always held it back for many. You either love them or hate them. I on the other hand see them for what they are. A tool that never fails. They are B guns, which is a damn good grade IMO)
    B: Styer M9A1 (really solid gun. I was shocked. AWESOME trigger. Just dont know enough about them to give it higher than a B. Kind of weird grip angle. Also not really well known with most shooters in USA. Kind of an enigma of a pistol. I shot one for about 200 rounds. Liked it. But didnt walk away overly impressed, except for trigger which was magic)
    B-: M&P series (Great guns. like glocks durable and reliable. Many PD are going with M&P over Glock now because of better ergos that fit more hands and a little cheaper on price tag. Very soft shooter due to low bore axis. Points perfect. As close to 1911 as any gun is in striker fired category on feel in hand. The trigger sucks. Big time. Stock trigger is well behind peers. Even with APEX trigger upgrade it just doesnt have the same crisp feel as some of the better striker fired guns out. Hard to really “feel” the “wall”. SO much so it really hurts this gun on me wanting one. Has a lot of upside and really does feel great. The trigger really dings it big time)
    C+: XD series (a C gun. Thats about all i can say. Like the XDM, ugly. But they are good for price. Nothing spectacular. Just a downgraded XDM, or is the XDM an upgraded XD??? Regardless its a lesser gun than the XDM, price included )
    C: Canik TP9SA (Prob the most surprised ive ever been shooting a $300 gun. trigger is amazing. Gun feels good in hand. Points great. Pretty darn good ergos. But my gut instinct tells me that even with all of the positives this gun has the gun itself prob wont hold up in the long run. Simply too cheaply of a made gun to put it more than a C. If you think it will outlast a Glock, HK or Sig, your fooling yourself. There is a reason it is $319. Cheaper parts and manufacturing methods which usually equates to the gun breaking down faster down the road. Cold forged barrel or not, the other parts of the gun are cheap or it wouldnt be $319. Anyone with common sense and who is familiar with profit margins would understand this. You simply cant stay in business as a company if your selling your guns at cost. Which means that if the gun costs $319, then just think of how cheaply it was made for Canik/Century arms to turn an sort of profit. Makes you think. Prob the best buy out there thou in striker fired market if your looking to only spend under $400. You simply dont expect super high quality in a $300-350 gun. Common sense will tell you your getting a gun that will most likely have some durability issues in the future. Lets see the 5-7 year feedback on this gun before we start comparing it to higher priced, higher quality guns.)
    C: Beretta Nano (only shot it, never owned. Seems solid. Decent trigger for small carry gun which you dont expect to be super light. Trigger is long thou. But my god the recoil spring is so tight anyone who isnt a bodybuilder or an arm wrestler cant rack the slide all the way to the rear. Its tighter than Tom Thumbs ass. I know early models were plagued by failure to eject issues. NOt sure if recoil spring had something to do with this. Tough little nice gun. But for striker fired its average)
    C: SD9VE or SD40VE (like the Canick you are blown away at how great the gun is. But simply too cheaply made to last for the long haul. A steal thou for sometimes under $300 bucks. Great cheap gun)
    C-: Ruger SR series (everyone of them shoots different. Everyone of them the trigger has different feel. The Sr9, Sr9c, Sr40, Sr40c, Sr45 all shoot and act different. Too much inconsistency. I have shot all of these extensively and even owned a SR9. Needless to say I sold it and at a loss. Resell value of this gun is very low also. Far far too many stories of issues. FTF, FTE jams, mag problems, ect. You name it the SR series has pretty much had them. They seem to have gotten better of late. Decent trigger on some, while others trigger feels worse. Nice looking gun. Just lags behind most everyone else on almost everything. But at $100-$300 less than some others this is to be expected also. You can get a SR for around $399 in a lot of places. But sometimes you get what you pay for. QC on these are not the best. I love Rugers. My EDC is a Ruger SP101 that ive added sights and trigger job too and love it! Shes my little hand cannon!!! I think for the money they make some of the best Revolvers and Rifles and have always been priced real well while still getting really good quality with some sacrifices in refinement. And the SR1911 is an absolute GEM and big time winner in the 1911 market. But the standard striker fired semi autos, not so much. They may get the job done, and they may not. Ill gladly pay another 200 bucks for something else. Not a fan at all of the SR series)
    C-: Taurus G2 series (like anything Taurus makes its a C- gun. Taurus is simply too inconsistent on everything they make to be above a C-. For everyone that is good, 2 are poor and have problems. IF you get a good Taurus thou, they generally are decent guns.
    F: Remington R51 ( a giant piece of shit. So bad in fact that only after a couple of months Remington basically took all of them back and now the gun has literally been erased by Remington like it never happened. Like a bad nightmare. Remington in general has fallen so far down the crapper on quality that im not real sure how they are still in business. newer 870’s and 700’s are a joke on quality compared to older ones. But thats another conversation all together. F—-)

    1. avatar Dustin N. says:

      John Hope…you sir are brilliant. Your reply (albeit extremely long-winded even to my standards) is the most comprehensive and intelligent response to any of these articles I have ever seen. Your overall grading for all of the pistols listed is very hard to argue with (F’rinstance; I find the XDm to be a little off-putting due to the ridiculously archaic and antiquated beaver-tail safety, and I HATE Rugers) and after having done an extensive amount of research ended up choosing the FNS-9 series pistol even over the ridiculously revered CZ-P07 series. Though I have always had a soft-spot for FN due to the FAL, I hadn’t taken a serious look at them until the FNS…and that single gun completely quashed my former “CZ obsession”.

      Too many people bash on the Glock; and while I do have my qualms with it…few people realize that it’s tolerances were designed to be so on purpose. The reason a Glock can fire a round even when it could potentially cause a case-failure is that, in the eyes of it’s Progenitor, being fragged with brass shrapnel is still less dangerous than being shot by the person firing back at you. This lead to becoming the ultimate physical manifestation of the “Self-defense paradox” IE; Tolerances are a trade-off, and no button, trigger, or switch that exists on a gun is impervious to being actuated negligently/accidentally. Since then a lot of people have realized the potential psychological danger (Pavlovian Reinforcement) which brings us back to a never-ending loop proving that “perfect” tolerances, like anything else, are relative.

      1. avatar Dustin N. says:

        (wouldn’t let me edit my last comment) the only argument have at all with your list is suggesting the FNS may be overrated as, in my experience, it’s highly underrated compared to the M&P, XDM, and other more common pistols I see around. Mainly I blame the quality of the FNX and the hesitance for those who prefer sa/da guns to look at striker-fires but I find the FNS to be even better than the PPQ or Sig IMO.

        I can see where one might find the trigger a little off-putting at first (it can be a little grainy during the break-in period as well as a hair heavy, some over 7lbs but almost all go around 5ish when properly broken in. I got lucky, however) but, overall, the stainless parts and extremely great build quality make the FNS hard to beat even when comparing it to the Sig or the PPQ. My only real qualm with the PPQ is it’s HORRIBLE magazine release…even as a lefty I find it disturbing and I’m use to using my index or middle-fingers to actuate right-handed guns. The plastic guide-rod and sights aren’t very up-to-snuff either with Walther’s PPQ…but overall it is a far sight better than the PPK series and has made up for all of the years that the Bersa Thunder copies completely embarassed the fixed-sight PPK’s (especially in .380, all fixed-sight PPK slides were designed for the .32 ACP trajectory).

        IMO though the A+, A, and even a couple of the B class guns you listed are all plenty good enough, hence why I stll think your comment was brilliant overall.

        1. avatar John Hope says:

          I said the FNS was “underrated”. To me its one of the very best striker fired pistols on the market. Even almost 2 years after I typed that comment. Ive owned a couple. Great guns

        2. avatar John Hope says:

          And thank you

  42. avatar Robert M says:

    Jeremy S. was supposed to be reviewing the VP9, but he just couldn’t focus on the assignment. He was constantly trying to sell us on the Walther PPQ. His bias for the PPQ was over-done! He reminds me of politicians bad- mouthing his opponents.

  43. avatar Mike Adams says:

    I went to my local shop the other day, looking for a striker-fired 9mm. Handled/compared the Glock 17 and 19, the SIG P320, the Ruger American, the Springfield XD MOD .2 4.0, and the HK VP9. I personally did not like the grip angle on the Glocks and felt I was constantly pointing at the ceiling on draws. The SIG feels very ‘beefy’ and top-heavy to me. The Ruger wasn’t bad, though I felt it too overall on the heavy side at (30oz).

    Right now, I think it’s between the Springfield and the HK. I’m not as concerned about the up-front cost, though the SF MOD 2 is considerably less expensive. I loved the way they both felt in my hand, and I liked the sights on both (the fiber optic sight on the SF is really nice). The whole ‘Grip Zone’ thing on the SF doesn’t bother me, and the safety system is interesting. The VP9 maybe feels a bit less safe, since when you load the clip it auto-loads a round?

    Anyone with experience with both have any advice? This is primarily a light-carry, self-defense/protection gun. I’ll likely also carry it while hunting (no bears in Indiana).

    1. avatar Dustin N. says:

      If your looking between the Vp9 and the Springfield XDm, the Springfield is your best choice. the Vp9 in my experience is an extremely disappiinting gun for the price, and the magazine and well are both badly designed for what could have otherwise been a real military/leo grade handgun. Between the sharp edges on the top of the magazine and what I consider to be the polar opposite of a flared magazine well; the Springfield would ALWAYS be my choice between the two.

      That being said I’d personally also suggest you look at the FN FNS 9 and the Walther PPQ. You’ll probably hate the Walther’s goofy magazine release as much as I do (if not moreso since most people aren’t left-handed and use to actuating things with their middle and ring fingers) but it’s a much better gun than the VP9, and the FNS is frankly my number one choice for a personal handgun.

  44. avatar Drake says:

    I wait some time add my comment here because want see how Hk Vp9 hold up sent been out now for some time. It seem me done wrath well in strike firearms market as reliable shooting handgun. I have seen real issue with Hk Vp9 other than what passed off as one on Youtube buy Military Arms Channel. Any body welcome go over there draw your own conclusions if there H&K VP9 Torture Test was real test or just act of man pissed off because he did get results he want just try abuse that firearm until broker. I have my own thoughts on that there not nice so keep my self here you can draw your own conclusion on matter, Review here well done kind had compare PPQ m2 at time was only handgun like H&K VP9 at that time being made from German firearms company . Now he could compare Ruger American pistol now because there very close being same style of pistol . Yes I know Ruger American not refine as H&K VP9 in look and trigger pull. But than again Ruger American does cost as much as H&K VP9. Not here get in WWE style cage match between those like Ruger Amercian and those like H&K VP9 to witch one better firearm some day I like own both of them. For own my personal needs H&K VP9 made me fan of it. You well never see me toss it at steel plates that not attacking me or tree not being aggrieve toward me how ever I would shoot at steel plates after all handgun not baseball.

    1. avatar John Hope says:

      Why you speak in “caveman”????

  45. avatar Straycat says:

    HK = Lifetime Warranty (for original owner)

    Walther = 1 Year Warranty

    That’s why I chose the HK. The warranty makes it worth the extra $60 over the PPQ, even if both guns were completely identical in performance, and ergonomics.

    1. avatar Dustin N. says:

      By that logic I’m even better off for having bought the FNS 9 with an implied lifetime warranty, stainless steel parts (instead of gimmicky “cannon” steel which is just a good grade of regular steel), a much better magazine design, much better mag-well, lower bore axis, another magazine, higher capacity, smaller overall length, and cost a lot less to boot. Why does it cost less you may ask? Simple; not overpaying for lazy, sloven European manufacturing when FN has a perfectly good armory right here in America.

  46. avatar Mike says:

    So you give the VP9 four stars just because there is ONE gun that you like a little bit more than this one even though the VP9 is superior to 95% of the striker fired pistols in this class and price range ? You need to rate a gun on it’s own merits compared to ALL comparable guns, not just one that you pick out. This wasn’t a real review. It was, ” why I like the PPQ more than the VP9 ” article. That’s fine but call it what it is.

  47. avatar Wilko says:

    Just read the comments and learned I’m a delusional H&K fanboy…thanks Dustin. Had my VP9 for about 5 months now and can say I love it….nothing but good things to say about it. I’ve got significant scars and disfigurement on my hands, and the VP9 is the first pistol I’ve found that I can hold and shoot with one hand- safely and accurately. Great ergonomics, very accurate, and well-constructed. Even with my delicate, mangled hands I haven’t hand any problem with the sharp edges of the magazine or the magazine well….maybe Dustins fingers or more sensitive. Try one- it’s a great gun, and you won’t be disappointed.

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