Perfecting the already Perfect H&K VP9

All you need to finish off the VP9 is a better set of sights.

All you need to finish off the VP9 is a better set of sights.

Meprolight sights at Meprolight:

at OpticsPlanet:


Meprolight and The Mako Group–ML11545 Heckler & Koch Tru-Dot® Night Sight Set – HK VP9

When choosing a handgun for every day carry, we just can’t compromise. The weapon needs to be reliable. It needs to be easy to operate. One thing that even I tend to over look is that the weapon needs to be easily manipulated with one hand. It is rare to find a stock pistol that does all of these things well.

In the pursuit of the perfect carry gun, manufactures make judgments on what features the user needs. They deburr for a snag free experience, add serrations here, stipple there. They add ambidextrous controls and over sized buttons pretty much everywhere. These are all done in the name of optimization, but as they address one problem they expose another.

The VP9's sights are meant to be snag free, which makes them less-than-perfect for one handed manipulation.

The VP9’s sights are meant to be snag free, which makes them less-than-perfect for one handed manipulation.

The VP9 is a pistol with nearly every feature under the sun. It has forward and rear cocking serrations, a highly textured expandable frame, ambidextrous controls, and a snag free overall design. H&K nearly hit the ball out of the park with this design, but they missed one small feature that every real hand-gunner needs.

The one thing holding the VP9 back form perfection was its rear sight. Ramped and seamless to the slide, it presents a major problem when trying to preform any off-body manipulations of the pistol. Major problem might even be an understatement! The first time I attempted an off-body manipulation, I scratched my head for nearly a minute examining the pistol searching for the way I was going to make this work. Luckily for VP9 fans there is an easy fix offered from our friends at Meprolight.

The Meprolight Tru-Dot sights are designed with combat in mind. Made of steel and illuminated with tritium, these three dot fixed sights are robust. They cost right around $100, less if you search around for deals on the web. If you’re an H&K fan boy $100 is a reasonable price to pay for finalizing perfection. And remember this. You may not see the value until you absolutely have to have what the sights offer.

The old sights push out with a bit of leverage.

The old sights push out with a bit of leverage.

Installing the Tru-Dot night sights may seem challenging for some, but it can be done at home with minimal tools. Punch drifting the old sights out.  Push the new sights in. Yes there are tools to push the sights into place, and you could damage the tritium inserts if you get a little to crazy with the hammer, but a hammer and punch can work if you’re patient and careful. Once you get them centered, its time to hit the range and check your zero.

I want to add special emphasis to this next point. Accuracy was not significantly improved with the Meprolight sights. It wasn’t lost, either. These Tru-Dot sights don’t vastly improve the sight picture. They appear to be just a bit more precise; the rear notch is a bit tighter, and the front post seems to be just a bit slimmer. The sight picture can still be quickly acquired, or you can slow down and take more precise shots. Groups at 15 meters were consistent around 3 inches, just as they had been with the factory H&K sights. The sights bring bright Tritium insets into the equation and make the VP9 capable of working in light or dark conditions. That is one obvious benefit–but that even feels like a secondary consideration for me.

Even off of a snowy boot, one hand is all it takes.

Even off of a snowy boot, one hand is all it takes.

The added functionality of the Tru-Dot sight’s flat front shelf allows the user to manipulate the slide off of his/her belt, holster, boot–pretty much anything with a ledge!

This simple upgrade takes an already great platform and makes it perfect, in my opinion. If you’re serious about running your handgun, VP9 or not, take a look at the Meprolight Tru-Dot night sights, as they are one of the best options on the market.

The rear sight can catch on anything hard.

The rear sight can catch on anything hard.

It has a slight hook-like angle designed exactly for this purpose.

It has a slight hook-like angle designed exactly for this purpose.

The Meprolight sight has a slight hook shape made exactly for catching on things.

The Meprolight sight has a slight hook shape made exactly for catching on things.

I did the whole switch with an nylon hammer and a punch.

I did the whole switch with an nylon hammer and a punch.

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • James McGovern March 13, 2017, 2:28 pm

    Would like to know if there is a ghost ring for a H&k V9 pistol

    • James McGovern March 13, 2017, 2:32 pm

      want to change my rear sight with a ghost ring, I have one on my Sig 229 love it

  • Pops45 December 4, 2016, 9:17 pm

    NYPDs early problems with the Glock had nothing to do with having a manual safety or not. The problem was transitioning to a striker fired firearm, and the trigger didn’t have the same take up as their old pistols. If they had gone to another pistol, they would have had the same problem as they would have already disengaged the manual safety at the time of the AD. Most officers with the proper training never have a problem with a Glock. As for the HK VP 9, it’s a great gun, and when you draw down on a bad guy, it’s just as safe as any other pistol out there, as you would have already disengaged a manual safety..

  • Mike March 11, 2016, 7:43 pm

    Is it hard to change sights on the VP9?

    • James McGovern March 13, 2017, 2:37 pm

      I guess I not wording it right where or do you know who handles ghost ring sights

  • Russ March 4, 2015, 12:30 pm

    Nice! Almost as good as my Walther PPQ M1

  • Dan March 2, 2015, 12:35 pm

    Can the two projections at the rear of the slide be used for one hand work in an emergency?

  • Dan Norton March 2, 2015, 10:46 am

    I have two VP9’s, one with stock sights and one with these. The one with these on it shoot s HIGH now!

    • Randy B. March 2, 2015, 2:06 pm

      Get a taller front sight from Meprolight.

  • Browncoat March 2, 2015, 9:10 am

    The gun will not fire if your finger is NOT on the trigger. And this drill is for an emergency scenario where you’re either wounded or some other factor prevents the normal two-handed reload. If your non-firing arm is useless, you have bad guys and need to reload… how else do you chamber/rack the slide with one hand?

    • Chris W March 2, 2015, 10:31 am

      Amen! Apparently, some folks need some modern pistol training.

    • petru sova March 2, 2015, 3:45 pm

      You missed my point entirely. If you want to carry a gun carry one with a manual safety that you can keep in the on position, then you can rack a slide with safety using this method.

      • Steve M March 3, 2015, 12:01 am

        Really- try and rack the slide with the manual safety on a 1911 engaged and tell me how far you get. You are clearly painfully ignorant of weapon manipulation techniques and referencing Massad Ayoob does nothing to hide that fact. The NYPD had a high accident rate because their training sucks and too many of their officers know about as much about pistols as you do. Any modern firearm is extremely safe as long as the person operating it isn’t an idiot. Why don’t you go get some competent training and come back here when you actually know what you’re talking about?

    • petru sova March 2, 2015, 3:53 pm

      Your statement about the gun being safe without a manual safety because you just have to keep your finger off the trigger is pure ignorance. Guns like the Glock are known for an extremely high accident rate. Its just too easy to snag the trigger on just about anything, even a fold in your cloths will catch the trigger and set it off. This type of weapon is as dangerous as carrying around a Colt Single Action Peace Maker with the hammer cocked back. The only difference is that people do not understand how a Glock or HK VP even works. Since they cannot see the danger (like a hammer back at full cock) they assume the gun is safe with a round in the chamber. Nothing could be further from the truth. The New York police department had so many accidents with Glocks they demanded a heavier trigger and got it. But since the Glock mimics a short stroke single action pull the heavier trigger did not stop the discharges either. Many Police Departments have totally given up on guns like the Glock and gone over to heavy traditional long stroke double action only modified automatics and the accident rate dropped dramatically. This is historical fact and well documented by famous gun writers like Massad Ayoob.

      • Anton March 2, 2015, 7:54 pm

        News flash: More law enforcement in the US use Glocks than any other pistol type, notwithstanding the lack of a manual safety.

      • Aaron January 3, 2017, 12:29 am

        I find the safety comments above to be stupid. I carry a semi-auto pistol in my pocket, and have for a long time, with NO safety, other than my trigger finger, and with one in the chamber. I also am pulling out, and putting back in, pens and other items from the same pocket, and have yet to have an “accident”. If you “accidentally” shoot yourself or someone, it is due to being a moron, idiot, stupid, etc.

  • petrusova March 2, 2015, 7:32 am

    The rear sight may be functional but the rear sight has to be the ugliest rear sight I have ever seen. Seeing that this gun has no manual safety I would not try to manipulate the slide that way at all as there is just too much danger the gun would fire off.

    • Richard March 2, 2015, 10:02 am

      Excellent observation.

    • Sponge Bob March 2, 2015, 4:08 pm

      Hmm, so keeping my booger hook straight and off the boom switch isn’t safe? So the gun could go boom all by itself? WTF was I thinking! SMH… :Facepalm:

      • Gfjh October 15, 2016, 6:20 am

        “Booger hook, WTF, SMH…Facepalm”. You’re so hip.

    • Rightway1208 March 2, 2015, 10:16 pm

      It is common in a gun battle for one or both hands to get shot and become useless in the manipulation of the slide. If that were to happen and one happened to need to do a magazine reload, and you need to charge a round into the chamber, you need a way to do that quickly. It is not uncommon to hook the rear sight on a belt or pants pocket to rack the slide. If one keeps their finger off the trigger, there is no reason to believe the gun would discharge by racking the slide. And it may become a NEED to do so in a gun battle to save your life.

      • Jesse December 18, 2016, 2:45 pm

        I agree completely. If anyone doesn’t have the confidence in themselves or their weapon system they shouldn’t be carrying a handgun. We carry these weapons to protect ourselves in (worst case scenario) close quarters gun fights. Should that happen the shooter needs to be prepared for every contingency because let’s be honest in gun fights Murphys law is the only law that exists. If the shooter doeant have the muscle memory required to fire the weapon from both hands dual or single handed along with the ability to manipulate the slide accordingly he’s already doomed himself. Last point. Almost every negligent discharge is result of the trigger finger not a “piece of clothing”. When people are fired on for the first time many people reactively put their finger on the trigger and draw the weapon at the same time. This results in discharge of the weapon. In 99% of the cases the weapons are never to blame, rather it’s a panicking human.

    • Firearm Education March 4, 2015, 12:28 pm
  • Jay February 25, 2015, 2:28 pm the perfect VP9 is the VP9 one AND got the extra mag!

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