The VP40 is the .40 S&W model of the acclaimed VP pistol line first introduced in 2014 with the VP9 (9 mm).
In development for more than four years, the VP Series is Heckler & Koch’s latest handgun and the first striker fired HK since the renowned P7 series pistols were introduced in the 1980s.
Experience gained by HK engineers with the P30 pistol had a direct influence on the design of the VP, but the VP Series breaks new ground with its integration of a unique striker firing system with an enhanced HK “light pull” trigger. The net result is trigger quality unequaled in any production striker fired handgun.
Heckler & Koch pioneered the first striker fired handguns, producing both the VP70 and P7 series, designs that impacted several models by HK competitors. But a superior trigger has eluded most striker fired pistol designs.
The VP trigger surpasses those found on competitors. It has a short, light take-up with a solid, single action type break followed by a short positive reset.
The VP trigger has a consistent pre-travel pull with a positive wall/crisp break. Typically, striker fired guns have a pre-travel pull that increases in weight as you go through the trigger stroke. With the VP, you have a less than noticeable pre-travel pull until the trigger reaches the engagement point of the fire control parts prior to trigger break.
The VP40 uses HK’s ergonomic handgun grip design that includes three changeable backstraps and six grip side panels— accommodating all hand sizes. Molded finger grooves in the front of the pistol’s grip also instinctively position an operator’s hand for optimal shooting. Only HK handguns have such a customized grip.
Although influenced by other HK models, the VP Series has all the hallmarks of the latest, state-of-the-art handgun. All controls are completely ambidextrous. Slide releases are present on both sides of the frame and the paddle style magazine release can be easily activated by left- or right-handed shooters.
A new feature found on VP pistols is HK’s patented charging supports — simple components that are mounted on each side of the rear of the slide and provide better gripping leverage for racking the slide rearward. The charging supports speed reloading and make operating the VP easier for shooters with reduced hand strength.
VP40 pistols use proven HK P30 steel magazines; either 13-round or reduced, 10-round capacity magazines.
VP Series pistols have an extended Picatinny MIL-STD-1913 rail molded into their polymer frame for mounting lights and accessories. The rail has been tested and certified to handle mounted accessories up to 5.6 ounces (160 grams).
VP pistols use a proprietary captive flat recoil spring that helps reduce the recoil forces effecting the operator and the handgun, improving shooter control during rapid firing and prolonging component service life.
HK’s famous cold hammer forged barrel — made from cannon grade steel — ensures long service life. Similar HK barrels on 9 mm P30 models have fired more than 90,000 rounds in endurance tests in 2010. The polygonal bore profile, with no traditional lands-and-grooves rifling, contributes to longer service life as well as a slight increase in muzzle velocity.
The VP40’s machined steel slide is protected from corrosion and wear by HK’s hostile environment finish and all metal components, including springs and pins have superior metallurgy.
The VP40 is essentially the same dimensions as the 9 mm VP9 model. The overall height of the VP40 is one millimeter (.04 inch) taller. The VP40 also weighs 2.37 ounces (67 grams) more, 28.93 ounces for the VP40 versus 26.56 ounces for the VP9.
VP pistols are made in Heckler & Koch’s Oberndorf factory in southwest Germany and are well-suited for civilian sport shooting, security, military, and law enforcement use. Covered by Heckler & Koch’s limited lifetime warranty, the VP Series is a solid design engineered with the famous long-term durability that make HK products especially cost-effective when subjected to total life cycle cost analysis.
The VP40 has a suggested retail cost of $719. A law enforcement configuration VP40 with tritium night sights and three magazines is also available for $819. VP40 pistols are available now (June 2015).