Heckler & Koch VP9

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Heckler & Koch VP9
TypeSemi-automatic pistol
Place of originGermany
Production history
DesignerFrank Henninger
ManufacturerHeckler & Koch
Mass710 g (25 oz) (with empty magazine)
723 g (25.5 oz) (with loaded 15-round magazine)
Length186.5 mm (7.34 in)
Barrel length104 mm (4.1 in)
Width33.5 mm (1.32 in)
Height137.5 mm (5.41 in)[1]

Cartridge9×19mm, .40 S&W
ActionShort recoil operated, Browning-type tilting barrel, locked breech
Feed system
SightsIron 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] while SFP stands for “striker-fired pistol”.[3] The 9 stands for the caliber designation of 9 mm. The VP9 is the third striker-fired pistol that HK has produced. A variant of the VP9, the VP40, is chambered for .40 S&W; the VP40 is known as SFP40 in Europe and Canada.[3]


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.[4] 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.[5]

Design details[edit]

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.[6] Guns for the American market are assembled in their Columbus, Georgia, 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.[7]

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

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.[5][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.[8]

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[edit]

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.[9]


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).[10]

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.[11]


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[12]) and OTB (Over The Beach) capability.[13]


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[edit]

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


Subcompact variant, ships with two 10-round magazines.


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

VP Tactical[edit]

Tactical variant that includes a threaded barrel and night sights; ships with three magazines.


American-style button magazine release version of the original VP9.[14]



  1. ^ "VP9 - Heckler & Koch". Hk-usa.com. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Beckstrand, Tom (22 October 2016). "People's Pistol: HK VP9 Review". Guns & Ammo.
  3. ^ a b Nathaniel F (14 November 2015). "Gun Review: A Tale of Two Volkspistoles: The H&K VP9 & VP40". thefirearmblog.com. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  4. ^ "HK launches new striker-fired VP9 pistol - Heckler & Koch" (Press release). Hk-usa.com. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Kuo, Steven (11 June 2014). "HK VP9 Striker Fired Pistol — Back to the Future". RECOIL.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Wright, Ben (14 July 2016). "Heckler & Koch to supply .40-caliber pistols for Phenix City police". Ledger-Enquirer.
  8. ^ http://www.streamlight.com/static/document/product_specific_issues/glockissues.pdf
  9. ^ "Heckler & Koch :: Product Overview | SFP9-SF". Heckler-koch.com. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  10. ^ "TR \"Pistolen im Kaliber 9 mm x 19\", Stand: Januar 2008". Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Heckler & Koch :: Product Overview | SFP9-TR". Heckler-koch.com. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  12. ^ "OPERATOR'S MANUAL, SFP9 | SFP40". Heckler-koch.com. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Sport, Security & Hunting Product Catalogue". Heckler-koch.com. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  14. ^ url=https://www.range365.com/hk-releases-vp9-b-with-push-button-magazine-release
  15. ^ "SFP 9: Das ist die neue Feuerwaffe der bayerischen Polizei". 12 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Heckler & Koch SFP9 wird neue Dienstpistole der Bayerischen Polizei". all4shooters.com (DE).
  17. ^ http://www.augsburger-allgemeine.de/bayern/Bayerische-Polizei-bekommt-ab-2018-neue-Dienstwaffe-id43809516.html
  18. ^ Jpw (12 December 2017). "STRATEGIE & TECHNIK: Berliner Polizei wählt HK SFP9 TR als neue Dienstwaffe".
  19. ^ "Niedersachsens Polizei bekommt für 7,5 Millionen Euro neue Pistolen". 1 February 2016.
  20. ^ https://mopo24.de/nachrichten/sachsens-polizei-kriegt-neue-waffen-26332
  21. ^ "Neue Pistolen für Brandenburgs Polizisten". MAZ - Märkische Allgemeine.
  22. ^ thvo. "Mecklenburg-Vorpommern: Polizei bekommt 5700 neue Pistolen - svz.de".
  23. ^ L'essentiel. "So sieht die neue Pistole der Police Grand-Ducale aus".
  24. ^ Terrill, Daniel (6 August 2016). "Phenix City police replace aging Glocks with HK". Guns.com. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  25. ^ https://www.cityofmadison.com/police/documents/sop/Weaponry.pdf
  26. ^ de:Diskussion:HK SFP9
  27. ^ "Basler Polizeiwaffe fällt durch".

External links[edit]