The Heckler & Koch VP9 is a polymer-framed semi-automatic striker-fired handgun. The VP stands for Volkspistole which translates to "people's pistol". The 9 stands for the caliber designation of 9mm. The VP9 is the 3rd striker-fired pistol that HK has produced. It is known under the designation SFP9 in Europe and Canada.
According to the manufacturer, the pistol was under development for more than four years before its release in June 2014. Heckler & Koch has a long history with striker-fired pistols. As Hk was no stranger to making striker-fired pistols, they decided to update their current line-up with a newly designed striker system that gives their pistols a single stage like trigger feel with a clean break.
The VP designation in the name refers to Volkspistole which translates to "people's pistol".
The VP9 is a striker-fired pistol that features a Picatinny rail, ambidextrous controls, a hammer forged polygonal barrel, and changeable back and side straps to make the pistol grip customizable for any shooter's hand. It was in development for more than four years and is Heckler & Koch's first striker-fired handgun since the P7 series pistols were introduced in the 1980s. The pistols are made in Heckler & Koch's Oberndorf factory in southwest Germany.
Most striker-fired handguns have a pre-travel pull that increases in weight as the shooter squeezes it rearward. The VP9 trigger has a short, light take-up with a solid, single action type break followed by a short positive reset. The average weight of the stock trigger pull is 5.5 lbs. The VP9 trigger has a consistent pre-travel pull followed by a positive set with clean break. Disassembly does not involve releasing the striker by squeezing the trigger.
Both the VP9 and VP40 use Heckler & Koch's ergonomic handgun grip design that includes three changeable backstraps and six side panels that allow the pistol's to fit any and all hand sizes. Molded finger grooves in the front of the pistol's grip also instinctively position the shooters hand for optimal shooting.
Although influenced by other HK models, the VP9 has a few innovations of its own. The controls are completely ambidextrous. A slide release is present on both sides of the frame and the magazine release can be easily activated by left- or right-handed shooters.
A new feature is HK's patented charging supports. They are simple components that are mounted on each side of the rear of the slide and provide better gripping leverage for racking the slide rearward. The charging supports speed reloading and make operating the VP9 easier for shooters with reduced hand strength. The VP pistols use the same steel magazines as the Heckler & Koch P30 in both the 15 and 10-round capacity configurations.
The VP9 has an extended full size Picatinny MIL-STD-1913 rail molded into its polymer frame for mounting lights and accessories. The rail has been tested and certified to handle the heavier mounted accessories because of its full size which adds rigidity. This rigidity gives the VP9 superior capabilities compared to some of its polymer competitors whose frames flex under use and cannot handle the weight of some of the medium to larger mounted lights.
In 2016 HK introduced two 9mm variants: the Flat Dark Earth (FDE) model and Tactical model with a threaded barrel.The European version comes in four variants:
Due to its trigger characteristics, the SFP9-SF variant is marketed by Heckler & Koch as a Special Forces pistol and not as a police duty pistol. The SFP9-SF has a trigger travel of approximately 6 mm (0.2 in) with a relatively short trigger reset of 3 mm (0.1 in) and a trigger pull of approximately 24 N (5.4 lbf) with a maritime marine coating.
The Technical Specifications (TR) of the German Police (Technische Richtlinie Pistolen im Kaliber 9mm x 19, Revision January 2008) for obtaining a German Police duty pistol certification require a first shot trigger pull of ≥30 N (6.7 lbf), a trigger travel of ≥10 mm (0.4 in) and a trigger reset of ≥4 mm (0.2 in).
The SFP9-TR has a trigger travel of approximately 11 mm (0.4 in) with a trigger reset of 5 mm (0.2 in) and a trigger pull of approximately 30–35 N (6.7–7.9 lbf) to accommodate German legislation on police duty handguns.
Schalldämpfer sound-suppressed variant Germany
State Police of Saxony - More than 11,000 SFP9 pistols ordered in 2015. (Deliveries will take place from 2016 -2018)
State Police of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania - 5,700 pistols ordered
State Police of Lower Saxony - Approx. 22,000 pistols will consecutively replace the former P2000 pistols.
State Police of Brandenburg - Replacing the P228
Phenix City Police Department - 107 VP40 pistols will replace the department's Glock pistols.
City of Madison Police Department, Wisconsin - Officers can choose to carry an HK VP9, over other Glock offerings. 15
Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania Police Department