By: Greg Chabot

Photos by author

The Heckler & Koch VP9 is my go-to when it comes to polymer-framed 9mm handguns. Being a “duty” sized weapon, some may have issues with concealment for everyday carry. To solve that problem, HK came out with the VP9 SK (Sub-Kompact) for concealed carry. Since the SK’s introduction, I tried to obtain one to test. This proved quite challenging with the political climate and the unprepared driving sales. Thankfully, with some horse trading, I was finally able to obtain a new, in-box sample to put through the paces.


Weight (Empty) 23.07 oz.

OAL 6.61” with a sight radius of 5.73”

Barrel 3.39”

Height 4.57”

Width 1.31”

First Impressions

The VP9 SK size-wise is between a Glock 26 and 19. It fit my hands well and was easy to conceal with a proper holster. Like its big brother, the SK is completely configurable for the end user’s hands with 28 possible configurations. Like the full-size, the SK is fully ambidextrous. The grip texture allows a firm grip with gloves without being overly aggressive to cause chaffing on the body while carrying. The VP9SK comes with a 1913 rail for attachment of lights or lasers.

The SK came with two 10-round magazines, one flush fitting the other with a pinkie extension. HK also offers 13- or 15- round magazines. For testing, I picked up some 13-round mags and added +2 extensions from HK Parts to the 10-round mags. The extensions are worth every penny in my opinion as they provide extra rounds and better grip than the factory extension. Three-dot luminescent sights come standard on the SK. HK also offers an optic-ready version for shooters who prefer red dots. And like the full-size VP9, charging supports come standard on the SK. The magazine release is a paddle style. HK also offers a button-style mag release for those who prefer them. The manual was well written and easy to understand. The trigger broke cleanly at 5lbs after a smooth take-up. Overall fit and finish was excellent as one would expect from HK.

Range Time

I ran my usual test of mixed ammunition shooting at steel targets in various weather conditions over the course of a year. The holster used was the Defender IWB/OWB by L.A.G. Tactical. Prior to testing, the weapon was cleaned and lubed with SEAL-1 CLP. The VP9SK is thicker than the Glock 26, but due to the excellent ergonomics, it fit my hand better. This resulted in excellent controllability while shooting defensive drills. The trigger, like its larger sibling, was perfect out of the box. As I have stated before, the HK VP series has the best striker trigger on the market today. The more I shot it, the better it got. For its size, recoil was very mild with the VP9 SK. I attribute this to the design of the recoil spring assembly. It is a dual spring all steel unit, which helps to mitigate muzzle flip.

I have no complaints about the accuracy of this weapon. I shoot slightly better with the SK than I do with the full size. The sights are easy to pick up, combined with the excellent trigger and practicing the fundamentals. I had no difficulty making double-taps on the move. The same was true when shooting Mozambique drills on multiple targets. Being honest, I felt like I was cheating. The paddle release and all steel magazines made for smooth reloads. I coated my hands in mineral oil to simulate blood to test the grip texture. I had no difficulty controlling the weapon with a one or two-handed grip rapid fire. The VP9SK conceals very easily if you dress accordingly. I had no issues concealing it under a loose t-shirt on a hot summer day in a NPE (non-permissive environment).

The VP9SK was 100% reliable out of the box no matter how hot or dirty it got. I attempted to induce a malfunction by limp-wristing and it kept right on shooting. Due to logistics, I was only able to put 1.5k through it for testing. Which is more than most writers put through test guns. And I can say with complete confidence that I trust my life to this weapon. In fact, it has now become my main everyday carry (EDC) gun replacing my HK P7 PSP. If you are looking for a reliable, accurate, easy-to-conceal handgun, look no further than the Heckler and Koch VP9SK.