Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!
mcracco

VP9 Experience

Recommended Posts

I am a huge M&P fan and have been shooting them in IDPA for a number of years. I bought the VP9 thinking that it might be a worthy platform for competitions. After a couple practice sessions and a match I am thinking maybe not. Here’s the good and the bad so far:

Sights: Very nice. I like the narrow profile of the rear blade as more of the target is visible compared to the TruGlo’s I normally run. Dots are very visible in low light but I have not shot in no light.

Grip: Dreamy. So good that the gun seems to point better and get sights aligned faster on the draw.

Accuracy: Very

Trigger: Everything you have heard is true; this is a very nice out of the box trigger. No need to do any gunsmithing. At 4-5lbs the trigger is a bit heavier than what I am used to but trigger is so clean I don’t notice it.

Magazines: My 10 round mags load very smoothly and I can load the 10th round with no struggles. The dopey thing about these mags are the ports for viewing loaded rounds. There are holes labeled 4, 6, 8, and 10. That means for rounds 1-3 I have no visual indication as to qty loaded. For uneven rounds I have to apply logic; if nothing is showing in 8 but there is part of a round showing in 6 there must be 7 rounds loaded. Seriously? How about a port for every round like an M&P or Glock? This is not just a pet peeve, a stage called for 6 rounds and although it sure looked like 6 I had 7 loaded.

Mag release: This is where it goes downhill. Out of the box I struggled a bit to reach the release. Not a problem, I replaced the medium backstrap with the small and it seemed much better. Went through a live fire session and the release seemed to work. Then came time for a serious dry fire session in preparation for my first match with the VP9. I could not drop a mag on the clock. Reason is with a ‘combat grip’ my strong hand (left) is very high and grip is tight. When I depress the paddle on the right side of the gun with my thumb it doesn’t move because the ring finger is under the trigger guard holding the paddle on the left side of the gun up. This didn’t happen in casual shooting because I would relax my grip for a reload. Not what I want to do in a match (or on the street).

Solution? I took the Dremel to the paddle on the left side of my $650 VP9 and cut it off (starting to feel like an M&P where I have to modify it to get it to work). I have to do a bit more trimming but this largely solved the problem. But it created a new one; thought I was shooing SSP in IDPA but because of this mod I am forced to shoot ESP.

With a modified paddle mag release I was able to drop mags but it was definitely slower. Moving my thumb back and in (M&P) is faster because it is a strong, normal gripping action. Sweeping the thumb down is not as natural and hence not as fast. Yes, you can train for anything, but why?

Overall the VP9 ran reasonable well in a match. If you ignore the round miscount on stage 3. And the failure to hold open on stage 4. And the slower reloads due to the paddle release.

So do I really want to do this to myself? The biggest advantage the VP9 has over the M&P is a better grip. After Apex parts M&P’s trigger is just as good, sights are fine, accuracy is fine. So it comes down to: is a better grip worth living with quirky mags and a not so hot mag release? Probably not.

The VP9 is a fine piece and I will enjoy owning it. For casual shooting and maybe even plate shooting (no mag changes) it’s great. I just don’t think it is worth the hassle to learn a new system for the completions I shoot when I already have something that works.

Edited by mcracco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had one and sold it for the reasons you describe. I couldn't get the hang of the mag release either and couldn't see shooting it in competition due to that. Bottom-line was it was a nice gun, but there's a lot better ways to go for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an HK P30L with a very similar mag release. While for all standard mag release guns I use my thumb to hit the release, on my HK, I use my trigger finger to actuate the mag release. That feels much more natural, and is much faster. (for me) I think I still have to shift the gun in my hand a bit but not enough to slow me down. If I recall I have the medium grip panels all around, and medium sized hands. I would suggest trying that and see if you are able to smooth out and speed up your reloads at all before throwing in the towel. Good Luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think HK intends for shooters to use their trigger finger. And I think you'll find many shooter who say releasing with their trigger finger is faster anyway. I would agree...then again I am left handed so until a few years ago (when ambi mag releases became the norm) I had no other option.

If you can get a new mag release, I'd suggest giving it another try, this time with the trigger finger release. See what a days session worth of dryfire reload gets you on the timer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear you on the trigger finger mag release and I appreciate the suggestion but I'm not going to do that. I'm a little old school and I think my trigger finger should only have one job. :)

I do have a fleet of M&P's and after shooting one in competition I have no recollection of dropping a mag. That means the action is burned in and it is totally controlled by the subconscious. It's one of my few training victories and the VP9 is not important enough for me to want to screw with it. Just no sense to go back and forth between two techniques.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using the trigger finger to drop the mag is the way to go. It's very fast and easy to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty much agreeing with what everyone else has said. I shoot a HK USP Elite quite a bit in Limited 10. Until I realized that the HK's are designed to have the mag dropped with the trigger finger I too struggled. Another thing however that helped with mine was I added the mag release that comes on the HK 45. It was longer than the ones on the USP platforms and it a drop in part. I am not sure what mag release the VP9 has on it. But to be honest as much as I love HK and it’s not going anywhere, they do not make the best competition platforms simply for the lack of aftermarket support. I will fully argue that comparing it to a M&P is a travesty. I have already owned and sold a M&P Pro 9mm, apex parts etc... Tried so hard to like the pistol, but the quality of it is nowhere near an HK. Just my two cents..... I either way shoot what you like and have fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using the trigger finger to drop the mag is the way to go. It's very fast and easy to do.

Yep, I'm a lefty and have been doing it that way for years. It's hard to have an AD during a mag change if your trigger finger isn't near the trigger!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People who prefer the finger release usually have smaller hands. I have to rotate the gun to do that because my fingers are too long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

....... I will fully argue that comparing it to a M&P is a travesty. I have already owned and sold a M&P Pro 9mm, apex parts etc... Tried so hard to like the pistol, but the quality of it is nowhere near an HK. Just my two cents..... I either way shoot what you like and have fun!

Absolutely comparable. Same price point, same overall design, constructed of same materials, etc. The strict definition of quality is conformance to specifications so I could can never get behind blanket statements like 'HK makes better quality guns than Brand X.' HK makes well designed, well built guns. So does S&W and Glock and Springfield Armory.

I am more than a casual shooter and in my world the M&P's run fast and flawless where I cannot say the same about the VP9. Hence I am planning the purchase of yet another M&P and not an HK. But that's me coming from the competition shooting side and the next person may have different needs so I agree there. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even with a butchered magazine release and 10 round magazines I will give you $400 for the VP9 you do not like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it was a great shooting gun, nice trigger. Dont understand the mag release idea, but still a nice pistol overall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The trigger finger magazine release is something that I've done as a left hander for decades. HK's release is optimized for that method and the biggest benefit is that it gets a trigger finger out of play during manipulations that have a decent potential for a negligent (not accidental) discharge. Also consider that the HK pistols are SERVICE pistols, not game guns and that style of magazine release is extremely resistant to unintended magazine "un-lockings" when carried in a service pistol role. The Browning style button is well known for being activated by seat belts, door frames, steering wheels, corners of walls, etc. and turning the affected pistol into a "one shot wonder".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are holes labeled 4, 6, 8, and 10.

Odd, as the 15rd versions are labeled 4-15.

I was going to use mine for its first match last weekend but the holster I ordered didnt make it on time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Odd, as the 15rd versions are labeled 4-15.

Yep. The .40 caliber mags (for the P30) are the ones labeled 4,6,8, and 13.

And yes, trigger finger on the mag release - piece of cake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a lefty and have a P30 V1 (light LEM), so I am used to the mag release and right side controls on the VP9. The lack of symmetry on the slide release throws me off visually (i.e. looks like a P30 on the right side and a different gun on the left) but doesn't have any impact on my shooting. I too use my trigger finger to work the mag release (big hands, stubby fingers). It is great to have a gun that allows me to release the slide without shifting my grip or using the weak had to slingshot. The trigger on the VP9 is excellent out of the box. Better than my G34, and not quite as good as the Walther PPQ, but not as scary-light either. I had a few accidental doubletaps with the PPQ and sold it afterwards. Considering I shoot other continuous trigger pull guns (P30 LEM and Glock34), having one that had such a lighter trigger pull and much shorter reset than the others seemed like a bad idea. Maybe if it was my one and only. The VP9 has a lower bore than my P30 and a nice sight picture. I can shot it pretty quickly and accurately too when I tried the steel plate rack. I think it points more naturally than my P30. If the VP9 were included in the HK $200 rebate, I would have bought one by now. And it it weren't for the fact that my Glock only has 34 parts, all of which (except the frame) I can order inexpensively and easily replace/assemble, I would have gotten rid of it and bought the VP9.

Edited by Lunker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought one this last week. Hope to get a chance to shoot it for a while on Christmas morning, while the wife is getting dinner ready. I will try it in an IDPA classifier on the 28th.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Odd, as the 15rd versions are labeled 4-15.

Yep. The .40 caliber mags (for the P30) are the ones labeled 4,6,8, and 13.

And yes, trigger finger on the mag release - piece of cake.

I don't see a way to edit my post, but I found out recently that there may be an exception. There are indeed first gen HK P30 (now compatible with the VP9) mags that were labeled 4,6,8, and so forth. Mags since then enumerate rounds 4-15 very clearly.

Also, I wanted to share for anyone interested a review I did (not much of a YouTuber) between two of my VP9's, one receiving GrayGuns Action Cleanup Perfection package, and one stock with ~3500 rounds fired. Obviously, originally posted on HKPro.

http://youtu.be/VI9REW0Xnjg

Edited by jt15550

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know it's not the same gun but the mag release is. I carry a P2000 daily for work and found that using both the thumb and forefinger is quickest for me (right handed with big hands). So pinching so to speak, try it.

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved the HK P30 grip and thought this gun was going to be perfect......but I was mistaken. I purchased the gun and shot several hundreds rounds through it but something was not feeling right. Then I realized the trigger sits so far forward that it was a longer reach then my Gen 4 Glock 17. I think HK really missed the boat by placing the trigger so far forward. The grip is amazing and the trigger is good but all that is lost on the long trigger reach. I actually shot it worst then any of my other guns. If HK would move the trigger back further I would jump and buy another one.....but I guess it was just not meant to be for me and the new HK.

Adam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Handled it today and couldn't stand the mag release. Too far tomreach with my thumb too close for my trigger finger. I didn't change back straps though so I may have had better luck with one of the others but it was so much beyond comfort I passed on it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved the HK P30 grip and thought this gun was going to be perfect......but I was mistaken. I purchased the gun and shot several hundreds rounds through it but something was not feeling right. Then I realized the trigger sits so far forward that it was a longer reach then my Gen 4 Glock 17. I think HK really missed the boat by placing the trigger so far forward. The grip is amazing and the trigger is good but all that is lost on the long trigger reach. I actually shot it worst then any of my other guns. If HK would move the trigger back further I would jump and buy another one.....but I guess it was just not meant to be for me and the new HK.

Adam

Theb you will probably love the P30 Light LEM (V1). That trigger has a ton of pre-travel, but the break and reset are at the very rear. I was actually the opposite of you and didn't like the trigger action being so close to the grip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been shooting HK's primarily for years. Carry a P2000; have carried a USP, P30, also have a P30 L.

VP wasn't for me. I guess I got used to the hammer. I do like the LEM. I think if you're an HK fan you'll want it because HK.. But if you like HK because you like what they are known for, this may not be the pistol for you. If you have a hard time deciding between all the other poly striker pistol out there...this may be for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First HK I ever purchased NIB because all my pistols are now striker fired and the VP9 has the best OEM HK trigger available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...