Editorial H&K VP9 Tactical: VP9 Volkspistole Now Threaded Mike Searson September 5, 2016 It was two years ago almost to the day that we got to lay our grubby paws on an H&K VP9 Volkpistole. We were immediately very impressed with the trigger, ergonomics, and outstanding build quality. The only thing we felt lacking was about ½” to ¾” of barrel with metric threads — there weren't any. Oh how we longed for a “Tactical” version, which apparently is German for “Threaded”; much like “Deluxe” is Greek for “with fries”. Sure enough the Gun Delivery Gods were good. Last week FedEx dropped off a VP-9 Tactical on our doorstep like a Teutonic gun bearing stork. There won't be cigars — we spent all our money on ammunition. The VP part of H&K VP9 stands for Volkspistole. It means “the people’s pistol”. Rather than focusing on the men and women in blue, or assorted shades of green and tan and brown #383, HK decided to focus on the average shooter. Folks like you and me. Now, you may be wondering, “Why does a pistol built for the civilian market need barrel threads?” If you are, you may be reading the wrong articles or the wrong magazine. Maybe try out Modern Cat or Sheep Magazine. Silencers are completely legal to own in all but a handful of states. If they're still illegal in your state of residence, ask your elected officials why they want all shooters to go deaf. VP 9 Volkspistole components Barrel threads are metric, but that’s how the other companies seem to roll these days (at least with 9mm cans). In fact , 9 out of 10 of our 9mm pistols use metric 13.5 X 1 left handed threads. Yours may be different. We like threaded barrels — and none of us are even assassins, either (ETADIK, Salon). The VP9 Tactical is modular down to the grips. As much as we love our USP Tactical and USP Compact Tactical, they have the ergonomics of a 2X4. The VP9 comes with three interchangeable back straps and three sets of grip inserts allowing any shooter to customize it to their hand size. Taking its styling cues from the highly successful P30 series, the front strap has finger grooves, but they are subtle and unlike some of the competitors’ finger grooves these ones lined up perfectly for us. according to HK, the VP-9 will fit into P30 holsters as well. We are not a huge fan of forward slide serrations, but they seem well done on the VP9 Tactical. One thing we really liked were the tabs on the rear of the slide to aid in racking it open. These will definitely help a shooter wearing gloves and we would not be surprised to see other manufacturers follow this trend. Take-down is amazingly simple and does not require having to fire the pistol in order to accomplish this. Operation of the pistol is completely ambidextrous. The magazine release is HK’s paddle design which you will either love or hate with a passion. We personally like the ambidextrous slide release better on the S&W M&P, but this one works just as well. The VP9 Tactical ships with three 15-round magazines and a loader. Saving the best for last, we get to the trigger. Most striker fired pistols tend to have triggers like those found on Bullpup rifles: horrid, long, or mushy. HK’s first attempt at a striker fired pistol 46 years ago in the VP70 has to be the worst of the lot. They made up for it in spades in the 80s with their second attempt at a striker fired pistol when they released the P7 series. Three decades later the VP9 series has a beautiful factory trigger that has no creep, grit or mush. It breaks at 4.5 to 5 pounds and resets shorter and quicker than just about anything else we have seen in the polymer framed striker fired world. We put the trigger as a very close second to our Steyr pistols in this regard. Quiet time One of our most trusted advisors when it comes to all things quiet, Silencershop.com helped us out with a perfect can for the VP9 Tactical. The factory night sights are standard height which is fine for most of us who know how to shoot through the can. Yet, we recognize that this is a challenge for some so we wanted an eccentric silencer (not the crazy aunt you keep locked in the basement “eccentric” but rather where the bore line is off set from the center to allow the full use of standard height pistol sights) for this review. Silencershop.com got an AAC Illusion out to us with the proper thread pattern and Freedom Munitions got us some of their popular Hush subsonic ammunition. Instead of starting with the 147 grain Subsonic loads we bumped it up a few notches to the 165 grain loads. We have been more miss than hit with this type of ammunition in a variety of pistols; most handguns experience malfunctions when running it with a silencer but when it works it is very quiet. We see this as either a problem with recoil springs or weight of the can on the barrel despite the booster. The VP9 cycled 100 rounds without a hiccup through a dry can and then we moved on to the 147 grain loads. We have never gotten a straight answer as to why HK handguns shoot so well suppressed. Our theory is there are several microseconds between ignition of the primer and unlocking of the slide either by intent or design that contribute to the sound reduction. Final thoughts If you were one of those holding out for the Tactical (i.e. Threaded) model VP9 Volkspistole, then quit your grinnin' and drop your linen. The VP9 Tactical has landed. If you are waiting on OD or tan, you may have to wait a little longer because right now it's only available in black. If you already bought a standard model and do not want to buy a slightly different handgun to run a suppressor on it, as far as we can tell, the only change is the addition of the threaded barrel. Shooting 500 rounds suppressed and unsuppressed over a two day period gave us no problems at all. We hate to nitpick such a great piece but really feel this pistol would do well with an RMR plate milled into the slide at the factory. We see red dot sights on handguns as the future and hope to see HK get on board with this, too. For a perfect out of the box silencer host, it does not get much better than the VP-9 Tactical. 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