By: Greg Chabot
Photos By: Sasha Steadman
The Heckler and Koch VP9 is my go-to for combat Tupperware. I like its ease of use and the outstanding ergonomics and trigger. One thing lacking was a long slide version, for those who prefer a longer sight radius.
Earlier this year, HK released the VP9L conversion kits. This is a complete upper that slides right onto your existing VP9 frame. The barrel is 5” long with an O-ring enhancement for a very tight lock-up. OAL is 8.23,” sight radius is 7.25.” The kit uses a red fiber optic front sight with fully adjustable black rear sight.
The slide has lightening cuts on the muzzle end that can be used as cocking serrations. The kit weighs slightly less than the standard VP9 slide. The kit will not work with the VP9SK due to the shorter frame.
I was slightly disappointed that the kit was not milled for red dot sights. I theorize that HK wanted to keep cost down and see how well the kits would sell. Or in reliably Teutonic fashion, HK would have to overengineer the cutout first. I predict HK will offer a factory optic cut in the future, if they want to stay competitive, as optics on handguns are here to stay and not just a fad.
The kit performed flawlessly during testing with various weights and makes of ammo. At combat ranges I noticed no difference in accuracy. At 25 yards-plus is where the long slide really shined compared to the stock set-up. The fiber optic front sight made target acquisition very easy. Heckler and Koch handguns are renowned for their accuracy, and the long slide kit did not disappoint.
Where I put the front sight was where the bullet hit steel. Any misses were my fault, not the weapon. To test for reliability, the kit was not cleaned or lubed out of the box. After 300 rounds fired, I dropped the weapon into sand. It continued to function until testing was complete without any malfunctions for a total of 700 rounds of mixed ammo. For holster compatibility, end users will have to try the long slide kit with what they use. Some of my holsters worked without issue; others did not.
MSRP is $449 direct from HK USA, but “on the street” they can be found for under $400, which in my opinion is a great bargain for a complete upper with a factory warranty (whereas stripped slides for Glocks cost much more and you get much less).
Would I recommend the kit to a fellow VP9 user? Yes, it was boringly accurate and 100% reliable. With a long slide kit, the VP9 is now a true competitor to the Glock 34 or SIG P320 X-five without breaking the bank.
Greg Chabot is an Iraq Combat Veteran freelancer, writing from New Hampshire.