The grip on the VP9 is beyond explanation. It feels like it was designed specifically to fit your hand when you hold it. It is probably to most comfortable striker fired pistol that I have ever shot. It is so natural and really feels like it was meant to be shot by you. If that isn't enough, there are back and side strap options that come with the pistol so that you can customize the pistol however you see fit. It is the only striker fired pistol that I know of that has a grip system like this. Definitely an excellent quality that people recognize right away.
The next big thing that the VP9 is bringing to the table is a single action striker system. This means that the striker is precocked, and all the sear has to do is get out of the way so the striker can go home. Very similar to what you have on the PPQ, or at least the idea is the same. It seems to consistently deliver a 5-6 pound trigger pull for me, which actually feels a pound or two lighter due to the width of the trigger face. There is alot of criticism because the VP9 has a wall before the break that is pretty firm. And there is also some slack before you get to the wall. This is easily explained when you break down the pistol, but it is criticized nonetheless. Perhaps people think that a hair trigger without a wall is a good thing and the only way they can hit anything. Who needs fundamentals of marksmanship, right? Okay, rant complete, now on to the next couple of subjects. These are just minute subjects but still have an impact.
The takedown for this pistol is very different for H&K, but familiar for many people who have shot Sig and S&W pistols. But one thing that is not familiar to them is the fact that the system has a safety mechanism where you can't disassemble the pistol with a magazine inserted. Not only that, but you can't reinsert a mag when the disassembly lever is pointed down. And on top of it all, you don't have to pull the trigger in order to disassemble the pistol. Two nice little features that are kinda 'meh' for alot of people.
The pistol drags the ambidextrous qualities of the P30 into the design as well. The slide stop and magazine release are both ambidextrous, but both of these have their own issues. The slide stop on the left seems to be too far back and protrude so much that you need to alter your grip so you don't interrupt the slide stop from doing its job on the last round fired. The lever on the right seems to just be there for show, and is very floppy, which makes this pistol seem cheap. The magazine release, although very easy to use, is hated by many because it is not a button. I suppose that people like having to turn their pistols in their hands just to release their magazines. I hear that people are afraid to lose the SKILL they have with their button release method. I have seen it time and time again, when people switch from a button to a paddle release system, they never want to go back to the button.
Now it is time to talk about something that makes this pistol almost completely unattractive to many people out there. The H&K VP9, like most H&K pistols does not have alot of options as far as aftermarket parts to "tune up" your trigger to a dangerous and unreliable amount, among other things. I will admit that this does have drawbacks, especially when you consider the fact that the internals on this pistol are very complicated. I still can't believe how many tiny parts there are in this gun, and how complicated it is to take the frame apart. For the most part, the VP9 is a "whatcha see is whatcha get" kind of gun.
This pistol admittedly came in the market way late. It is normal nowadays to be shunned for not being completely customizable. If this pistol were here 10 years ago, I think it would have done very well for itself. Unfortunately, alot of the concepts of the pistol were already being implemented by other pistols. This is all just how I see things, of course. But what do you think? Is the H&K VP9 still a good pistol, or was it a day late and a dollar short?