Took a bit longer than I thought it would to reach the 2000 round count with the VP9 than I would have liked thanks to the ammo market conditions over the past year and change, but alas here we are. In case some readers haven’t kept up, my initial impressions of the Heckler & Koch (H&K) VP9 were outstanding and it wasn’t long before I put 500 rounds through it. In fact, I was so impressed that a couple of months later I picked up an optics ready VP9 as soon as it hit the market in early 2020 and slapped a Trijicon RMR on it. Again due to the ammunition market conditions, it took a little bit to put 500 rounds through the RMR equipped VP9 and I remained ecstatic about the setup. I think it’s fair to say that given over a year of daily carry, a singular match, half a dozen courses, and an additional 1500 rounds the honeymoon period is over and it’s time for an updated review.
So what do I think about it now? In all honesty, it continues to be the bar that I use to compare all other modern striker fired pistols against and I don’t see that changing any time soon. While I reserve the right to change my opinion, let me explain why I feel so strongly about this pistol (and red dot sight).
Right up front is reliability. I have experienced zero malfunctions with the VP9 – 2000 trigger pulls, 2000 bangs, zero issues. This is a pretty big deal for me given the VP9 was the pistol I moved on to after breaking up with the Sig Sauer P229 Legion. Granted the vast majority of the ammunition has been factory new brass cased 9mm FMJ practice ammo of the 124 grain variety with a pinch of 147 grain pills and a dash of 115 grain pills.
The Trijicon RMR has also lived up to its reliable reputation. The dot has been powered on the entire time and it has held zero with no problem even after removing it to replace the battery one time. I have also been everything but gentle with the optic. Sitting atop the slide it’s a large practical grab handle that I constantly use to manipulate the slide when loading, reloading, and running malfunction drills.
While I understand that my reliability experience is anecdotal, it’s aligned with the vast majority of reviews and hearsay I’ve run across in regards to the VP9 and RMR.
Aside from reliability, another feature that makes the VP9 stand out in the market it competes in is the customizable grip. While there are other pistols in the same space that offer a customizable grip, the customization is limited to the back strap which can increase or decrease the length of the grip. To the best of my knowledge, H&K is the only manufacturer that makes pistols that allow the owner to customize the width of the grip with interchangeable side panels. The VP9 is one such pistol. This degree of customization allows the majority of folks to achieve exceptional gun fitment.
Take all of that with excellent ergonomics and a very good factory trigger and I find myself having a hard time asking for more from this type of pistol.
So, yes. I suppose one could say I’m still a very big fan of this pistol.
Even so, there are still some drawbacks to be aware of. For example, the VP9 still lacks a little bit when it comes to aftermarket support. This is even more so for the optics ready version of the VP9. The aftermarket support exists but there isn’t as much selection when compared to Glock or M&P pistols. The most notable example to date is the lack of vendors manufacturing suppressor height sights. To date, the only option for suppressor height sights is from XS Sights – who were kind enough to send me a set to review and I’ve yet to get around to doing.
Another drawback to the VP9 is the cost associated with additional magazines which run $50 each.
The last thing to mention is the magazine release paddle. I’ve met plenty of folks who tell me they just haven’t been able to adapt to it and prefer a magazine release button. I personally can’t wrap my head around that claim because it didn’t take much effort on my part to get in the habit of using my trigger finger to release the magazine. In fact, I prefer this style of magazine release now because I’m able to release a magazine without breaking my firing grip on the pistol.
In terms of wear, there isn’t anything substantial to report. There is the typical finish wear on the barrel and the inside of the slide, but nothing out of the ordinary. Frankly, I expect the next several thousand rounds to be fairly uneventful.
At this point in time, I’m confident this VP9 (along with the mounted RMR) is a pistol I can rely on for defensive purposes. I will continue competing and training with it for the foreseeable future and plan on providing an update once the round count surpasses 5000 rounds or something noteworthy occurs with it.