Gun test: Heckler & Koch VP9
PUBLISHED: 16:14 10 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:14 10 August 2018
The editor looks at the latest high-tech pistol from Heckler & Koch
H&K is a big player in the service arm world and it appears to be getting in on the Glock market with its new VP9 pistol. Like the Glock, it has a polymer frame and is striker fired, so there’s no exposed hammer. The VP9 also features a trigger safety which appears to function like the Glock system, so it seems like a pretty direct challenge to Glock’s dominance. Umarex has a licence from H&K ,so the CO2-powered replica on test looks very realistic when compared to the photos of the 9mm centrefires I’ve seen.
It carries 18 steel BBs in the magazine alongside the 12 gramme CO2 capsule, which is great because with a spare magazine you get a fresh supply of pressure every time you reload, and this makes fast reload drills fun and effective. The handling is typical of modern polymer frames with excellent ergonomics, and although I’m usually not a fan of finger grooves, I found the ones used here very comfortable.
Being double-action, the trigger’s pull is long, but light and smooth, and as it’s a blow-back action, the hammer spring is cocked for all subsequent shots, so the trigger becomes single-action.
A little different
The controls are just that little bit different to most. For example, look at the magazine release; instead of a press button, there are levers inset in the trigger guard that you press downward to release. They’re no harder or easier to use, just different. They also make the gun better for lefties. Just like the firearm, the slide locks back when the magazine is empty of BBs, and there a slide release lever perfectly positioned for the thumb of a right-handed shooter, which is accurate in its function and a cool thing to use.
This is a noticeably loud pistol with a strong blow-back action, making for an exciting firearm-like experience. The sights are low profile, combat-style jobs, with the popular ‘three white dot’ enhancement that works so well. With steel BBs, it shot slightly low and left from my two-handed combat hold, and grouped as well as any pistol in its class at 6 yards. I was disappointed to find out that it won’t use my preferred Smart Shot lead BBs, though. It feeds them through the magazine with no problems, but they simply roll out of the smooth-bore barrel and drop to the floor. Some CO2 guns designed for steel BBs use a magnet to hold them until the gas blasts them down the barrel, but clearly, a magnet won’t hold lead. All in all this is another fine replica of a modern service arm from Umarex, the masters of officially licensed CO2 pistols, at a very attractive price.
Model: Heckler & Koch VP9
Trigger: Double- and single-action
Power supply: 12 gramme capsule
Barrel: Smooth bore
Pellet type: 4.5mm BB
Capacity: 18 rounds
Safety: Trigger safety and manual disengagement
Sights: Fixed combat type