HK VP9 shooting USPSA Limited Minor

Matches and good classes are really the best place to test out your gun. Once you’ve established that a pistol is reliable enough for a match or a class, take it to an actual event and shoot it at speed. You’ll learn stuff about the gun that can’t be revealed in dry fire or single lane training. As an example, in this USPSA video featuring the VP9 is that at speed, even with a solid grip, the gun tends to have a lot of muzzle flip. It’s nothing that can’t be controlled, but at the same time it was a lot more bounce than I expected from a 9mm. It actually flips the muzzle more than my .45 ACP 1911, which is odd.

So take your guns to a class or a match. You might be surprised what it tells you.

Photo of the day: Sight radius comparison, HK VP9 vs 1911


The 5 inch barrel on the 1911 is often lauded for delivering a long sight radius to the gun, which according to its proponents helps make the gun more shootable. How come then its sight radius is basically the same as a 4 inch HK VP9 and a 4.5 inch Glock 17?

Photo of the day: Race ready VP9


Since the VP9 isn’t yet on the USPSA Production gun list, if I wanted to shoot it in a match, I’d have to shoot in Limited. So if I’m going to do it, might as well go all out, right? HK VP9 in Blade-Tech DOH Race holster. I have a Taylor freelance magazine extension on the way as well.

HK VP9 Holsters

One of the biggest concerns when a new gun hits the market is “what holsters will fit this gun?” To provide a valuable service for our readers, I’ve been testing the VP9 with various brands of holsters to see what fits and what doesn’t. Here is the complete list of holsters I’ve tested that fit the HK VP9:

1. Safariland 5197 for HK P30 – fits, no adjustment needed
2. Galco Concealable Belt Holster (leather) HK P30 – fits, no adjustment needed.


3. Ready Tactical Glock 21 Holster – fits, no adjustment needed
4. Comp-Tac Paddle Holster, Beretta Px4 Storm: fits, minor adjustments needed.
5. Galco Tac Slide Belt Holster for HK P30, fits no adjustments needed
6. Blade-Tech Race holster for HK P30L, fits, retention tightened to prevent dislodging the gun.

We’re still waiting on samples of the P30 ALS from Safariland to test, but based on my current testing I’d issue a cautious statement that it will probably work. What I’ve seen is that holsters for the P30 standard length appear to work just fine with the VP9, despite the extra 0.20 inches of barrel length on the VP9. I believe it’s because the added length of the VP9’s slide is mostly towards the rear of the trigger; if you look at the two pistols side by side you’ll see that the length of the barrel/slide in front of the trigger guard is fairly similar, but the VP9 is longer in the rear section (phrasing).

My cautious assumption from above is based on the fact that the holsters I’ve tried for the P30 work just fine, and holsters for the P30L have a little bit of extra room near the muzzle. So if you have P30 holsters and you get a VP9, you will PROBABLY be okay. But I can’t guarantee that, because individual holster manufacturers will have different specs.

On my part, I did switch my carry holster out from the Safariland 5197 to the Galco leather holster pictured, because it’s so sweet looking I couldn’t resist.

HK VP9 news

Heckler and Koch is sending us a VP9 for review. First off, that’s awesome, because this is the first HK pistol I’ve been genuinely excited about in a long time. I like the hammer fired guns, but they never really clicked with me. I guess if I’m getting a gun with a hammer on it, I feel like it should say “Beretta” on the slide.

hk vp9

However, the VP9 has me excited. The first reason is the price point. From HK’s website: “Suggested retail price of the VP9 is $719 with projected availability of July 2014.” That puts this at $200 cheaper than the P30, and makes it a direct swing at other guns in the market. HK has also confirmed that sights for the VP9 are the same as sights for the P30, so if you want to change the sights to a different type your existing P30 sights will definitely work on the VP9.


The trigger pull on the VP9 has been highly touted as well; with shooters who’ve fired it comparing it to the excellent trigger pulls on the Walther PPQ and Sig P320. The gun comes with the grip customization features of the P30, and also accepts the same magazines as the HK P30. Additionally, Taylor Freelance mag extensions will work on the VP9 according to web reports, meaning you can expand the capacity up to 19+1 if you’d like.


It’s not often that I get legitimately excited about a gun. Every now and then something comes along that really does seem like a game changer. No, polymer striker fired guns aren’t new; HK isn’t new, but a striker fired HK at a price point that makes it competitive with other guns in the market? That’s a game changer right there. If this gun holds up to the legendary HK rep for reliability and accuracy, it could really shake things up.