A Review of The Heckler & Koch VP9sk
July 18, 2018 By Dave Young (YoungBuckDave)
There is no denying, and I have no shame, that I am not the biggest Glock guy. Even though they are extremely dependable, they have just never felt the best in my hand when I shoot them. Since that is the case, I have always been on the search for my own perfect polymer framed handgun that has the same amazing qualities as a Glock. My answer to that solution was Heckler & Koch's VP9. The VP9 is extremely reliable, accurate, and affordable and comes straight from the factory ready to rock and roll. You don't need to change the trigger or sights or whatever as most people find themselves doing with Glock handguns which, in my opinion, is a big downfall. When I buy a gun, I don't want to have to spend more money to buy aftermarket parts to make it a perfect gun. The only aftermarket part I have added to my VP9 is a Silencerco Threaded Barrel, so I can use it with a suppressor and with the amount of rounds I was putting through my VP9 I was going to eventually need another barrel. Besides that, it's a perfect handgun in my opinion. So, when I found out that they were coming out with a sub-compact version of the VP9, called the VP9sk, I knew I would have to get my hands on one.
Let me start out by saying I'm not the biggest fan of smaller handguns because I have big hands. But I was very curious about the VP9sk because of my love for the full-size version. I saw that the VP9sk has magazines with pinky extensions that gives you a nice full grip without having that pinky dangling off the end. HK has two versions of the VP9sk. One comes with 2 magazines: 1 flush 10rd mag and 1 10rd mag with a pinky extension. The other version is the LE version (no, you do not have to be law enforcement to purchase this model). It comes with 3 mags: 2 10rd mags with pinky extensions, and 1 10rd mag that sits flush with the grip. Along with the 3 magazines, it also comes with night sights which are an awesome bonus. This feature, combined with the 3 magazines, made spending a little extra money to get the LE version worth it, in my opinion. The VP9sk has changeable side and rear panels that you can adjust depending on the size of your hand with small, medium, and large grip panels just like it's bigger version. Also, just like the full-size version, the VP9sk is fully ambidextrous with a slide release and mag release that accommodates both left and right-handed shooters. Another great feature is that the VP9sk can function with the full size 15rd magazines with just a gap in the grip that can be easily fixed with a grip spacer which is available for purchase. This feature is like the Glock series of handguns. For example, if you have a Glock 26, which is the sub-compact 9MM version, it can also function with the 15rd mags from the Glock 19, and the 17rd mags from the Glock 17. This is an awesome feature, in my opinion, and was very happy HK did the same with their VP9 series.
When talking to people, I like to compare the VP9sk to the Glock 26 because they are very similar in size. The VP9sk is equipped with a barrel length of 3.38in and an overall length of just 6.61in, which is just 0.19in longer than the Glock 26. Laying the two on top of each other, one can barely tell the difference in length between the two. The VP9sk has a width of 1.31in, which is 0.01in more than the Glock 26, and a height of 4.57in, which is 0.4in taller than the Glock 26. The VP9sk weighs 23.07oz unloaded, which is 1.38oz more than a Glock 26. All these specs are barely even recognizable to the naked eye. One feature that the VP9sk and all VP series have are little polymer wings mounted at the very rear of the slide, which can give the user a little extra grip when pulling the slide back. Breaking down the VP9sk for cleaning and basic maintenance is extremely simple. All you have to do is lock the slide to the rear, swing the takedown lever down, and then slowly release the slide forward and pull the trigger separating the slide from the frame. Then just take the recoil spring out, then the barrel, and you are all ready to do some cleaning after a day at the range.
So far, I have put over a thousand rounds through my VP9sk with zero cleaning and it has yet to malfunction. When I first buy a gun the very first thing that I do is break down the firearm and give it a good cleaning. You may ask "But the gun hasn't been shot yet. Why would you clean it?". Well, when all firearms are assembled, packaged, and shipped to dealers, the manufacturers cover them in a preservative lubricant to prevent rusting because they don't know how long their product may sit on a shelf. What I like to do is strip the gun of all that oil and lubricate it very nicely with some good quality gun oil. Then, after it gets thoroughly cleaned, it is ready to be taken to the range for some drills. Right off the bat, I was pleased that I experienced none of the "snappiness" that sub-compact handguns tend to produce. I fired both 10rd magazines through it (with and without the pinky extension), the factory 15rd magazine that comes with the full size VP9, and a 20rd magazine with an aftermarket +5 magazine extension and it functioned flawlessly through all the different capacities. Since I do not have the grip spacer yet for the 15rd magazines, I found myself being drawn to the 10rd magazines with the pinky extensions and was amazed how perfectly it fit into my hand. Because of the way the VP9sk grip is made, it honestly felt like this gun was specifically made for me. So far, after all the rounds I have fired through the VP9sk and all the dry fire practice I've done, I have only been able to find one downfall, which isn't even anything major. The biggest issue with the VP9sk I have found is that the picatinny rail on the frame is EXTREMELY small and, so far, the only light that will be able to fit the small rail is the Streamlight TLR7. If you are someone that always must have a light on their carry gun, this could be an issue. The fact of the matter is that Streamlight makes some amazing lights and, if you must have a light on the VP9sk, this brand of light would be an excellent choice.
I'm really excited to keep using the VP9sk and to see how it holds up in the long run. If it is anything like the full size VP9, I have no doubt that it will withstand hard use while staying reliable the entire time. For me personally, the VP9sk is the perfect gun for when you don't want to carry a larger gun. I specifically bought this gun to carry during the summer months down here in the South because of the hot and humid weather. One of the nice things I found out about the VP9sk is that it fits safely in all my full size VP9 holsters, with just a small gap at the bottom due to the shorter barrel. I do not know if this is the case for every holster. All I know is that with the holsters I have (one of them being a G-Code INCOG) it can safely carry the VP9sk and still cover the parts that need to be covered, like the trigger. If you're a person that has a full size VP9 I highly recommend the VP9sk as a smaller option for you. The full-size mags work with the sub-compact frame and the trigger, along with all the other parts, are exactly the same as the full size so there is literally ZERO learning curve.