Gun Digest

Heckler & Koch Expands Striker Fired Line with VP40

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Heckler & Koch is set to offer more caliber choices when it comes to striker fired pistols with the introduction of the VP40.
Heckler & Koch is set to offer more caliber choices when it comes to striker fired pistols with the introduction of the VP40.

Apparently Heckler & Koch has struck a cord with striker fired pistols fans.

After decades away from the design the German manufacturer jumped back into this style of pistol around a year ago with the VP9. And it has not taken long for the company to follow up on the success of the 9mm.

Earlier this month, Heckler & Koch expanded the VP line, introducing the pistol in a new caliber. As its name implies the VP40 is chambered .40 S&W. And while the new pistol isn't an exact carbon copy of the 9mm, it does have all the features that have built the line's popularity.

The main changes H&K has made to its new pistol are to accommodate the larger round. In particular, the slide is slightly thicker to handle the higher pressures generated by the .40-caliber cartridge. This has made the VP40 a hair heavier and a bit taller, but not so much so as to make it unwieldily.

And perhaps one of the most important measurements to concealed carry practitioners has remained identical to the VP9 — width. At 1.32 inches wide, the double-stack pistol should be simple and comfortable to keep clandestine — in or outside the waistband.

The other difference H&K's new VP has from the earlier iteration is capacity. This is to be expected, given the .40 S&W is a larger round. But able to hold 13+1, few shooters are going to find the VP40 lacking on this front.

From those differences, the tale of the tape on the VP40 is pretty similar to the flagship of the line.

What should be one of the more popular aspects carried over is the trigger, which has a good share of the attributes shooters look for in a striker fired pistol. The pull weight on the trigger is a manageable 5.4 pounds. And it has a short, thus a fast, reset after firing. Heckler & Koch puts it at .12 of travel before the pistol is ready to fire again.

Similar to the 9mm, the VP40 comes with interchangeable side panels and back straps. These features give shooters the ability to tailor the pistol to their hand size.

Heckler & Koch has set out to make the VP line extremely manipulatable, cutting cocking serration both on the front and rear of the slide. But the company hasn't stopped there, also outfitting the gun with its patented charging supports.

Basically these are struts that stick out wider at the rear of the gun allowing for a firmer grip when the slide is racked. The feature also has the potential to be dynamite if a shooter is in a fix, say having to rack the slide one handed.

The VP40 was designed with righties and lefties in mind. Both the slide and magazine releases are ambidextrous.

Heckler & Koch has decked out its VP40 with all the features that made the VP9 popular.

Following trends in the self-defense firearms, Heckler & Koch has made its new pistol ready to accept accessories by including a Picatinny rail. The feature allows shooters to deck out the handgun with a flashlight or laser sight in a flash.

Like many striker fired pistols on the market today, the trigger is outfitted with a blade safety. This restricts firing of the gun, unless depressed completely.

The pistol also comes with a firing pin safety that helps guard against a discharge if the gun is dropped. And it features a frame-mounted disconnector that ensures the VP40 is completely in battery before it can be fired.

Presently, the MSRP on the Heckler & Koch VP40 is $719. The pistol is also available with a law enforcement configuration tritium night sights and three magazines for $819.


Heckler & Koch VP40 Specs
Caliber: .40 Smith & Wesson
Capacity: 13+1
Length: 7.34 inches
Width: 1.32 inches
Height: 5.45 inches
Barrel Length: 4.09 inches
Weight (Unloaded): 28.93 ounces

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