Video Review: Heckler & Koch VP9 — The Secret Is in the Trigger

By Dave Dolbee published on in Concealed Carry, Firearms, Videos

When I was looking for my first self-defense pistol, I surveyed law enforcement. SIG Sauer ranked well among law enforcement as a personal choice. This was a couple decades ago and at the time, the SIG P226 or P228 topped many officers list. The only handgun I regularly heard LEOs state they would (or had) traded their SIG for was the HK USP—they were that good. Technology, trends, and attitudes have changed considerably in the last 20 or so years, but Heckler & Koch’s quality remains a top contender with the HK VP9.

The ergonomics alone make this pistol a true contender in the realm of striker fire pistols. With an MSRP of around $719.00, the VP9 is a reliable, accurate and high performing asset to add to any 2A enthusiasts collection. It also makes for a great EDC piece. (EDC=Every Day Carry)

In development for more than four years, the VP9 is Heckler & Koch’s latest handgun and the first striker fired HK since the renowned P7 series pistols were introduced in the 1980s.

Experience gained by HK engineers with the recent P30 pistol had a direct influence on the design of the VP9, but the VP9 breaks new ground with its integration of a unique striker firing system with an enhanced HK “light pull” trigger. The net result is trigger quality unequaled in any production striker fired handgun.

HK pioneered the first striker fired handguns, producing both the VP70 and P7 series, designs that impacted several models by HK competitors. But a superior trigger has eluded most striker fired pistol designs. The VP9 trigger surpasses those found on competitors. It has a short, light take-up with a solid, single action type break followed by a short positive reset.

The VP9 trigger has a consistent pre-travel pull with a positive wall/crisp break. Typically, striker fired guns have a pre-travel pull that increases in weight as you go through the trigger stroke. With the VP9, you have a less than noticeable pre-travel pull until the trigger reaches the engagement point of the fire control parts prior to trigger break.

The VP9 uses HK’s ergonomic handgun grip design that includes three changeable backstraps and six side panels—accommodating all hand sizes. Molded finger grooves in the front of the pistol’s grip also instinctively position an operator’s hand for optimal shooting. Only HK handguns have such a customized grip.

Heckler & Koch VP9 Striker Fire Pistol.

Caliber: 9mm x 19

Magazine: 15 round or 10 round capacity

Length: 7.34 inches / 186.5 mm

Width: 1.32 inches / 33.5 mm

Height: 5.41 inches / 137.5 mm

Barrel Length: 4.09 inches / 104 mm

Sight Radius (Sights): 6.38 inches / 162 mm (three dot , non-radioactive luminous)

Weight (with empty magazine): 26.56 ounces / 753 grams

Trigger Pull: 5.4 pounds / 24 Newtons

Trigger Travel: .24 inches / 6 mm

Return Travel: .12 inches / 3 mm

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Comments (5)

  • TJT

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    A year ago I was in the market for a 9mm striker fired pistol. I demoed 4 or 5 and eventually narrowed it down. It was tough to decide between the VP9 and the PPQ but Walther won out by small margin. Both great weapons!

    Reply

  • JRH

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    As an owner/shooter and general fan of HK and Walther pistols, I feel the need to point out that HK (and others) copied Walther’s design on a crisp trigger and removable side panel grips. The P99, now the P99-AS, has a fantastic trigger. And, if you wish, it can be switched from pre-loaded (SA weight) to DA weight for the first shot with the press of a button. Subsequent shots are all SA weight. As far as I am concerned, the P99 accomplished what Glock missed. But, to each his own.
    We are talking HK here. As someone that has carried a P7, and owns several, it is the world’s finest conceal carry piece. Too bad production costs killed it. The VP9 is an excellent gun. If I did not already use an HK P30SK for EDC, I might pick up the new VP9 SK to complement my VP9-T. Good article.

    Reply

    • Elena George

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      Amen. I love both my Walther pistols. Smooth firing, accurate, light-weight for carry. Since I have small hands, that changeable backstrap really seals the deal for me and Walther.

      Reply

  • Big Al

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    Being a 45acp fan, my vote goes to the HK USP in 45. What other gun was tested by DELIBERATELY putting a projectile mid-barrel and then firing a live round??? It STILL FUNCTIONED!!! VP9 may be a good pistol, but my vote still goes to the USP. As an aside, thank the powers that be – HK decided to discontinue their VP 70Z. Yep, the one with a double-action only 20lb trigger pull.

    Reply

  • 70's Ops

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    The trigger is the main thing I like about the Canik TP9SA. The pre-travel has no weight at all. You just snug up to the wall, and it snaps right off. Hey, that VP9 looks an awful lot like my Canik. So do a lot of new striker fired pistols. I know they didn’t invent the style, but it does seem to be very popular now. I do wish they offered a threaded barrel though. Maybe in the future. Have a good one guys n girls. Try the Canik out, you’ll be surprised what $300 gets ya.
    As always
    Carry on

    Reply

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