Heckler & Koch Expands Striker Fired Line with VP40

Heckler & Koch Expands Striker Fired Line with VP40
Heckler & Koch has decked out its VP line with a number of features to make the pistols easier to manipulate.
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.
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

Gum Creek

Traveler's Insurance

Simplify the process of storing and drawing a handgun in your car with Gum Creek’s Vehicle Handgun Mount. This innovative design fits snugly under your steering wheel column while providing quick and easy access to your handgun. The convenience of this mount allows you to avoid placing your handgun between or underneath seats, in a door or console, or any other location that is uncomfortable, unsafe, non-secure or — most importantly — out of reach. Stay safe wherever you go with Gum Creek. Get Yours now

Previous article Video: The Basics of the Infamous AK-47
Next article Springfield Introduces Suppressor-Ready XD(M)
Elwood Shelton is the Digital Editor for Gun Digest. He lives in Colorado and has provided coverage on a vast spectrum of topics for GD for more than a decade. Before that, he was an award-winning sports and outdoors reporter for a number of newspapers across the Rocky Mountains. His experience has consisted of covering the spread of chronic wasting disease into the Western Slope of Colorado to the state’s ranching for wildlife programs. His passion for shooting began at a young age, fostered on pheasant hunts with his father. Since then, he has become an accomplished handloader, long-range shooter and avid hunter—particularly mule deer and any low-down, dirty varmint that comes into his crosshairs. He is a regular contributor to Gun Digest Magazine and has contributed to various books on guns and shooting, most recently Lever-Actions: A Tribute to the All-American Rifle.


  1. The good news is that this is not a pre-loaded striker fired gun but the gun is at full cock when ready to fire which results in a much stronger ignition system unlike guns like the Glock that are pre-loaded but have a much weaker ignition system.

    The bad news is that this gun has no manual safety. Its about like walking around with a single action revolver with the hammer cocked back but since people do not understand how striker fired guns work they are not aware of the danger and of course accidentally set the gun off not realizing the trigger safety is a joke that does not work.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.