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FOG HORN May 2019

Twobirds Flying Publications

Heckler & Koch “Volkspistole” VP9-B

Copyright 2019, Towbirds Flying Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Heckler & Koch “Volkspistole” VP9-B 2019

Heckler & Koch “Volkspistole” VP9-B

By: Sal Palma

Figure 1VP9-B Figure 2 VP

I want to describe the

VP9 and VP9-B as a
Walther and Heckler &
Koch hybrid. The telltale
sign is the VP9’s grip
angle and geometry. The HK VP9 and VP9-B grip
is identical, in size shape and angle, to Walther’s
PPQ M2, at least to my eyes. However, it would
be wrong to assume that its ergonomics is
I’ve wanted to review Heckler & Koch’s
“Volkspistole” VP9 for quite some time. It’s the
iconic company’s second striker fired pistol
offering introduce in 2014. The HK VP7 was
Heckler & Koch’s first striker fired pistol
introduced in 1980. So, when I had the
opportunity to review the “B” variant of the VP9
pistol, I seized the moment.

If you’re familiar with the German language,

you know that Germans combine discreat
words to create new ones; hence, volks pistole
HK went a step further and designed a grip with
or volks wagen becomes Volkspistole or
interchangeable side panels and backstraps.
Volkswagen respectively. Ergo., the VP in VP9
The company ships the pistol with the medium
stands for Volkspistole.
size side panels and backstrap installed, but HK
HK introduced the VP9-B in response to the U.S. provides an additional two sizes, small and
market’s lukewarm reception of the original large. Even more interesting is that fact that you
VP9. The only difference between the VP9 and can arrange the panels and backstraps in any
VP9-B is very simply the magazine release combination desired. So let’s do the math.
mechanism. The VP9 uses the European paddle
n! / r! * (n - r)!, where n represents the total
style magazine release; whereas, the VP9-B
number of items, and r represents the number
uses the American style pushbutton.
of items being chosen at a time.

Copyright 2019, Towbirds Flying Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Heckler & Koch “Volkspistole” VP9-B 2019
The HK V9-B ships with 2 side panels and 1 length of 7.34 inches contributing to accuracy
backstrap already installed. They include 4 and rapid target acquisition.
additional side panels and 2 backstraps;
therefore, n=9. To configure the grip we need
to use 3 items at a time. So, the question we are
trying to answer is how many different grip
combinations are possible given 9 items taken 3
at a time. The answer is 84. In other words, you
can configure the grip in 84 different ways to
find something that fits your hand. How can you
beat that?

HK has also done a superb job machining the

VP9 slide serrations; so many pistols have
attractive but nonfunctional slide serrations,
not on the VP9. Its slide serrations dig into the
hand making any weapon manipulation secure
and relatively effortless.

The sights are phospholuminescent and yes

they’re easy to see in daylight but worthless
under lowlight conditions, unless you first
illuminate them. I honestly don’t know why
manufacturers use these sights; they are as
useful as a screen door on a submarine. Guys,
use tritium and price your pistol accordingly! I
Unique to HK’s VP9 is their patented charging wish more reviewers would get on
support. This is a port and starboard “wing-like” manufacturers about this issue.
protrusion at the rear of the slide to facilitate
racking the slide to charge the weapon. If you The VP9-B is configured with an ambidextrous
don’t like them, they’re detachable by removing slide lock and a magazine release button that is
the rear sight so they can be slid off. Although relocatable to accommodate our left-handed
this is a nice idea, and particularly useful for shooters.
shooters with reduced hand strength and The VP9-B trigger is excellent. Take-up is
women, the real reason maybe HK’s decision to smoother than the Walther PPQ with a very
use a hefty 20 lb. recoil spring assembly. I’ll clean break and a short reset of .12 inches. I
have more to say on this further into my review. measured the trigger pull at 5.5 lbs. consistently
The VP9-B ships with a three dot sight zeroed over ten measurements.
for 25 meters or 27.3 yards. Its 6.38 inch sight
radius is spot on for a pistol with an overall

Copyright 2019, Twobirds Flying Publications, All Rights Reserved

Heckler & Koch “Volkspistole” VP9-B 2019
Taking down the VP9-B for maintenance is slide forward to ensure no failures to feed. All
extremely simple, and the pistol breaks down to my theories.
only a few subassemblies.
The trigger was extremely smooth breaking
crisply with an equally satisfying very short
trigger reset.

I tested the pistol using a variety of 9mm

ammunition all of which performed extremely
well. On a new and uncleaned firearm, I
experience only two failures to eject with ZQI
9mm NATO. All other manufacturer and types
performed without incident.

One thing that you’ll immediately notice when

you break down the VP9-B is its massive locking

The target picture below requires some


The locking block’s function is to lock the barrel

to the slide producing a very stable chamber
increasing accuracy.

At the range, the VP9-B performed flawlessly.

The pistol was very easy to control even under
rapid fire. I think this is a function of the rather
heavy recoil spring. The approach serves two
masters: recoil mitigation and slamming the

Copyright 2019, Twobirds Flying Publications, All Rights Reserved

Heckler & Koch “Volkspistole” VP9-B 2019
The VP9-B is sighted at 25 meters or 27.3 yards.
If you are shooting at a target in the 7 to 15
yard range you will need to cover the target
with your sights; something I did not do
throughout my shooting session. I held to
desired point of impact hence the low grouping.
The four single shoots above the primary group
was my experimentation to confirm the proper
sight picture. Not a big deal, but if you find it
annoying you can always install a shorter front
sight post; however, I don’t recommend it
because at 25 yards this pistol is right on the
mark. The picture above is the product of two
15 round magazines, and here my takeaway is
that the VP9-B is possibly the most accurate
striker fired pistol I’ve ever shot.

HK has done an amazing job producing the VP9-

B. This is an exceptional striker fired pistol that
is as reliable as any Glock, as ergonomic as any
Walther with possibly one of the best triggers
available on any polymer striker fired platform.
My only complaint – get rid of the
phosphorescent sights please!



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