Heckler And Koch VP9

If you read my previous post on the VP9, you can probably guess how much I disliked the gun to some extent. After spending part of my late spring and early summer running and testing the VP9, I wasn’t sure if this would be my new gun to run in competition or if the PPQ outright beats it. Lets not to say that I also had an ATEi M&P9 in the running as well, but the price point for that gun pretty much got itself marked off the list, narrowing it down to just the PPQ and VP9.


Getting To Second Base

Ever since my last rental testing of the VP9, I have to say that I couldn’t stop thinking of her. I must have logged in close to 500 rounds by now and I’ve noticed that I’m starting to like her more and more each time.

The way the VP9 sits in my hands is beginning to have that familiar sensation of holding my HK45. In fact, it felt really nice. The trigger was becoming more and more pleasant. And I have to say that the trigger on the VP9 definitely beat that XD-S that I once owned.

But for shits and giggles, I compared it to my other DA/SA HK. And there was a big difference; a much more noticeable break on the VP9.

Ironically, when I compared my stock DA/SA HK to the stock M&P9, you would think that any and all striker fired pistol would beat the DA/SA right? Not during this comparison. The standard M&P9 had a decent trigger, but wasn’t as smooth as my concealed carry HK. So when compared to the VP9, I was expecting that same result but the VP9 definitely has the better trigger.

Right now, my little infatuation for the VP9 is becoming more of a lust.

Should I just take the plunge and throw down the cash and get it now? Let’s face it, all the reason not to get this gun was outweighing my reason to buy it. Since all of my HK’s are currently operational, I really didn’t need a replacement at all. But the thought of running my 45 in its limited ammo capacity in any 3 Gun match where 30-45 rounds might be required per stage can be a real pain in the ass. But still… I’m just nervous that if I get the VP9, I might actually hate that damn thing.

So what is the best way for me to test this gun? Run it in IDPA; as much as it disgusts me, I think running this gun in their classifier would be a “great” test to do. Or maybe just run it hard at the local USPSA matches and eventually take it to 3 Guns. But I can’t help to wonder, have I changed my mind on the VP9?


Hard Cold Steel

Lucky for me, I was able to secure the VP9 and take it out to a local Steel Challenge match. While I was trying to get use to the gun, I wasn’t sure what my expectations would be like once I start to run this gun. After all, shooting on a paper target indoors is a lot different than outdoors and on steel. But yeah, I was really looking forward to it.

During a couple of my runs, I was having a hard time with my follow ups. But knowing me, I’m saying that it’s my fundamentals and not the gun. However, as expected, I hardly noticed that trigger reset the majority of the time. This was due to running the gun at a higher speed.

I will say this though; the VP9 really sat comfortably in my hands throughout the match. I mean it was a hot and muggy match, I was really surprised that with all the sweaty palms I have, that gun never once complained to me. The recoil was definitely “forgotten”; as in I don’t remember ever feeling the recoil. There were also quite a few people that complained about the height of the bore, but to me, it seems really decent by my lack of standards.

One thing that I noticed was that it tend shoots a little up and a little to the right (for a lefty southpaw) whenever I engaged targets to my right. Left and center targets, I seem to hit it dead on. But once again, I’m going to say that’s a fundamentals issue. Still, I’m just going to throw that tidbit out there for anyone who may have that same issue.


The Good

I was really quite surprise at the price point of the VP9. I bought a few HK hardware and let me say, they are not cheap. But for the VP9, it’s pleasantly priced for a “general” market. But that doesn’t mean it’s comparable to other quality manufacturer’s pricing.

What sold me mostly on the VP9 was it’s interchangeable magazine. While the VP9 fits the P30 magazines (which they are both the same), that same magazine can fit my other HK pistols as well. Sadly though, my small 9mm won’t fit the VP9.

The trigger is definitely lighter and better than the standard “stock” HK DA/SA pistols. It came to a point that I had to stop using the VP9 for a couple of weeks and go back to training with standard DA/SA HK, just in case my trigger finger forgot how much of a pain in the ass that long double action trigger pull was!


The Bad

When you compare the trigger to that of the PPQ, the trigger seems “average” to the typical standard striker fire pistol. However, this is a comparison between stock guns with no modifications done to the trigger.

For example, as I stated earlier, the PPQ beats the VP9 with it’s trigger break. The M&P9 with the APEX Trigger beats the VP9 hands down. The Glock 17 with a modified trigger, sucked ass when compared to the VP9. (Ok, that part I was only kidding. They both seem very close, but I would give the edge to the Glock 17). But when compared to stock guns, I still believed that the VP9 gave them all a run for their money.

So far, the only real suck part that I see for the VP9 is that there are no aftermarket triggers that will fine-tune the VP9 trigger break and reset; unless you send it out to Bruce Gray to tweak the trigger – which I heard is really bad ass. As of now, maybe one day I can hope to see that the market will have some improved VP9 trigger sets to replace the stock trigger.

The standard sights that came on the VP9 sucked. I wasn’t a big fan of that style on the HK45C and I definitely wasn’t one here. I also used the LE version which had Tritium Night Sights. While that style was a much better choice for the gun, I think they could have used a different set of “night sights”. To be honest, I’ve used better sites than the Mepro Tru Dot that came installed here. But it was still better than that dove tailed angled sights I barked at.

Either way, I’d definitely recommend upgrading the sights, especially for the older folks with aging vision. (Speaking of which, I heard rumors that Larry Vickers and Wilson Combat is working a set of improved sights for the VP9.)

Also as a note, the LE model will cost more than the standard VP9, but you’re paying for an add third magazines instead of the two, with night sights installed.


The Takeaways

While I personally don’t see this gun as my daily personal carry, I secretly do want to carry it daily. I think the full size of the VP9 makes it a little difficult for me. However, I’m hoping, really hoping, that HK will put out a VP9sk model that I can truly carry daily.

Right now, the gun runs great for 3 Gun matches as well as IDPA, USPSA, Steel Challenge and other various pistol competition. While I wish I could have also acquire the Walther PPQ M1 as part of my collection, it made more sense for me to stick with a brand that I already invested my money into. Still, either of these two pistols are excellent choices for anyone looking to upgrade, add or buy as a first gun.

You definitely won’t regret it.

— # —

HK VP9 Review…The Perfect People’s Pistol?
My experience after 3000+ rounds through my VP9
H&K VP9: First Impressions (Oh, no he didn’t!)
Heckler & Koch HK VP9 Pistol Review

  • Karim Manassa

    Have you considered the FNS-9? Great ergonomics. It has a full size grip with 17 round magazine with a compact size slide, and full time ambidextrous controls. Softer shooting than the Glock 17, comes with 3 magazines, and FNH has a program for NRA instructors where the cost is $420. Just add Trijicon HD sights and you’re done. I sold my ATEi Glock 17 and 19, bought two FNS-9’s and haven’t looked back. This is my EDC gun.

    • Beyond The Trigger

      Thanks for the suggestion. I don’t know much about FNS in general, but it’s on my radar now. I will check them out later in the year.

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  • Brody Kolbeck

    You sir just sold me on the vp9. Great video. I’ve been concidering this and the ppq for a while now and I believe with your background I am going with the vp9. Thank you for that because I secretly wanted to but couldn’t convince my self to do it.

    • Beyond The Trigger

      That’s fantastic to hear! Let me know how you like it. I think you will enjoy it for sure.