Iconic German gunmaker Heckler & Koch (HK) invented the striker-fired platform with their unique squeeze-cocked P7 in the 1980s. Then they company tossed the striker concept to the wayside for 30-plus years while the handgun world slowly evolved, and then firmly established their own, modern versions of the platform.
Finally, in 2014, H&K released a modern interpretation of a striker-fired pistol, accompanied by much hype in the industry. Would the very creator of the striker-fired design release something so different, people would lay down their Glocks, M&Ps, and XDs to have one?
The initial suggested retail price of well over $700 reflected the company’s confidence.
Not unlike Glock, H&K had opened a plant in Georgia to make the VP9 and other models, bolstering somewhat the shop-at-home argument. The VP9 is also made in Germany, where it is designated as the SFP9, but guns for the American market are assembled in their Columbus, GA factory because of import restrictions into the U.S.
Design and Construction
A collective “hmph!” was heard from some Walther aficionados when the VP9 was unveiled. Its overall appearance, especially the angle and cut of the grip, is strikingly similar to Walther’s PPQ. And the VP9’s trigger is near the top of the striker-fired stack, a trait most agree its Walther siblings share. The other seemingly copycat trait was the European, or paddle-style magazine release. However, all these features appeared on the hammer-fired DA/SA H&K P30 pistol, released in 2006. The PPQ wasn't released until 2011, so who borrowed from who?