Heckler & Koch VP9

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Heckler & Koch VP9
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin Germany
Production history
Designer Frank Henninger
Manufacturer Heckler & Koch
Produced 2014—present
Variants VP40
Weight 710 g (25 oz) (with empty magazine)
723 g (25.5 oz) (with loaded 15-round magazine)
Length 186.5 mm (7.34 in)
Barrel length 104 mm (4.1 in)
Width 33.5 mm (1.32 in)
Height 137.5 mm (5.41 in)[1]

Cartridge 9×19mm, .40 S&W
Action Short recoil operated, Browning-type tilting barrel, locked breech
Feed system
Sights Iron sights , tritium sights

The Heckler & Koch VP9 (known as SFP9 in Europe and Canada) is a polymer-framed semi-automatic striker-fired handgun. The VP designation in the name refers to Volkspistole which translates to "people's pistol".[2] The 9 stands for the caliber designation of 9 mm. The VP9 is the 3rd striker-fired pistol that HK has produced.


A disassembled HK-SFP9 LSH

According to the manufacturer, the pistol was under development for more than four years before its release in June 2014.[3] 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.[4]

Design details

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 with 27 options of grip configuration. 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.[5] Guns for the American market are assembled in their Columbus, GA factory because of import restrictions into the US.[citation needed]

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 5.2 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.[6]

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.[5] Molded finger grooves in the front of the pistol's grip also instinctively position the shooters hand for optimal shooting.[4][2]

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.[4]

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.[4][2]

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.[7]

In United States, VP9 is available from retailers as a standard package (standard three dot sights and two magazines included) or as "LE" (Law Enforcement) package (factory-equipped tritium night sights and three magazines included). The night sights are Meprolight Tru-Dot.[citation needed]

Variants-European versions

In 2016 HK introduced in US four 9mm variants: the Flat Dark Earth (FDE) model, Grey, OD Green and Tactical model with a threaded barrel:


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.[8]


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).[9]

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.[10]


Maritime variant with saltwater resistant special coating (weapon fully useable according to the NATO salt spray test and NATO long-term saltwater test as per AC225 requirements[11]) and OTB (Over The Beach) capability.[12]


OR stands for 'optical ready', the variant usies the same trigger as SFP9-SF.


sound-suppressed variant (SD = Schalldämpfer)


variant with 86 mm barrel (SK = Subkompakt)


variant with 127 mm barrel (L = Lang)

Variants-American versions

The American market VP9 can come in a variety of colors including Black, FDE, Grey, OD Green, And Midnight Bronze.


Standard version for the American market. Ships with 2 mags and standard 3 dot sights


Sub compact variant ships with 2 10rd mags


Law enforcement variant that includes an additional magazine and tritium night sights.

VP Tactical

Tactical variant that consists of a threaded barrel and night sights. Ships with 3 mags.


American-style button magazine release version of the original VP9.[13]



  1. ^ "VP9 - Heckler & Koch". Hk-usa.com. 2014-07-11. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  2. ^ a b c Beckstrand, Tom (22 October 2016). "People's Pistol: HK VP9 Review". Guns & Ammo.
  3. ^ "HK launches new striker-fired VP9 pistol - Heckler & Koch" (Press release). Hk-usa.com. 2014-06-10. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  4. ^ a b c d Kuo, Steven (11 June 2014). "HK VP9 Striker Fired Pistol — Back to the Future". RECOIL.
  5. ^ a b Muramatsu, Kevin (6 January 2016). Gun Digest Book of Automatic Pistols Assembly/Disassembly. Iola, Wisconsin: "F+W Media, Inc.". p. 342. ISBN 978-1-4402-4500-8.
  6. ^ Wright, Ben (14 July 2016). "Heckler & Koch to supply .40-caliber pistols for Phenix City police". Ledger-Enquirer.
  7. ^ http://www.streamlight.com/static/document/product_specific_issues/glockissues.pdf
  8. ^ "Heckler & Koch :: Product Overview | SFP9-SF". Heckler-koch.com. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  9. ^ "TR \"Pistolen im Kaliber 9 mm x 19\", Stand: Januar 2008". Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Heckler & Koch :: Product Overview | SFP9-TR". Heckler-koch.com. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  11. ^ "OPERATOR'S MANUAL, SFP9 | SFP40". Heckler-koch.com. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
  12. ^ "Sport, Security & Hunting Product Catalogue". Heckler-koch.com. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  13. ^ url=https://www.range365.com/hk-releases-vp9-b-with-push-button-magazine-release
  14. ^ "SFP 9: Das ist die neue Feuerwaffe der bayerischen Polizei". 12 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Heckler & Koch SFP9 wird neue Dienstpistole der Bayerischen Polizei". all4shooters.com (DE).
  16. ^ http://www.augsburger-allgemeine.de/bayern/Bayerische-Polizei-bekommt-ab-2018-neue-Dienstwaffe-id43809516.html
  17. ^ Jpw (12 December 2017). "STRATEGIE & TECHNIK: Berliner Polizei wählt HK SFP9 TR als neue Dienstwaffe".
  18. ^ "Niedersachsens Polizei bekommt für 7,5 Millionen Euro neue Pistolen". 1 February 2016.
  19. ^ https://mopo24.de/nachrichten/sachsens-polizei-kriegt-neue-waffen-26332
  20. ^ "Neue Pistolen für Brandenburgs Polizisten". MAZ - Märkische Allgemeine.
  21. ^ thvo. "Mecklenburg-Vorpommern: Polizei bekommt 5700 neue Pistolen - svz.de".
  22. ^ L'essentiel. "So sieht die neue Pistole der Police Grand-Ducale aus".
  23. ^ Terrill, Daniel (2016-08-06). "Phenix City police replace aging Glocks with HK". Guns.com. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  24. ^ https://www.cityofmadison.com/police/documents/sop/Weaponry.pdf
  25. ^ de:Diskussion:HK SFP9
  26. ^ "Basler Polizeiwaffe fällt durch".

External links

  • VP9 Operator's Manual
  • Modern Firearms page on the VP9
  • Review in American Rifleman

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