Friday, June 24, 2022

First Shots HK VP9SK & Glock 19

Got myself a new Glock 19 GEN3 recently (making it my third current one) and an HK VP9SK as well. The Glock came with two 10 round magazines (but I have many more 15 round mags) and the HK with two 10 round and two 13 round magazines.

As you can tell, I like Glocks, I also currently own a 26 and have owned a 17, 21 and two 30s in the past as well as two other Glock 19s but they were GEN5s (and I think avoiding them is the way to go with GEN5 model 19s, just my opinion). The first 20 shots with the Glock were a bit of a surprise because they were all at 15 yards and frankly I expected the group to be larger. 

What did not surprise me was that they grouped a bit to the left. Every Glock I have fired does that when I shoot it no matter how I hold it or position my trigger finger; well, that is everyone but for a single exception. That one was spot on center target as I recall and happily it is one of the Glock 19 GEN3 pistols that I still own.

As for the HK, allow me to quote the guys of Monty Python's Flying Circus: "And now for something completely different". Truth be told, no it's not really completely different but it is quite different in one mechanical regard than any other pistol I've ever fired and that is its safety levers. It also is somewhat different in another mechanical regard - the trigger pull and finally it was different than any other of the brands of guns I have ever owned. As for the brand, I don't recall ever owning an HK before now; so that is something completely new I guess. 

I was issued an HK MP5 when with the U.S. Customs Service Office Of Investigations. I also qualified with one when I was a Border Patrol Agent. I liked those MP5s so much that when given the opportunity to become an MP5 instructor, in addition to my other firearms instructor duties, I jumped at it. So maybe it should be no surprise that I at least kind of, sort of, almost completely liked the HK VP9SK or that I fired well with it. It really is a nice shooter in as much as how well it shoots. It is a fairly compact one too. There were though two things - one minor and one major - that I did not like about it. 

The minor issue was that the trigger had a surprising amount of travel followed by a bit of creep before it went bang. Nothing terrible not even really bad, just something I would have to adjust to if I would have decided to keep it as a carry gun. Yes I said if I would have! I decided I will not keep it - not as a carry gun nor as a safe queen (are we still allowed to use the word queen or does that offend the LGBTQIA world)! 

The reason for me not expecting to keep it is the location of the magazine releases & the movement needed to release either. The mag release is ambidextrous, a lever (not button) on the outside of each rear bottom of the trigger guard and more or less run parallel to the edge of the outside trigger guard on their respective side. It needed to be pushed down, not in (there is nowhere to go pushing in) to release the mag. I found it very difficult to hit the mag release and actually get it to release the mag with one hand (one handed is as I would do it on most other semi-automatic pistols I own - certainly on every primary self-defense semi-auto pistol I own). I found the most efficient way for me to release the mag was by using the thumb of my off hand to do so. The thing is, that means two hands on the gun while unloading instead of one on the gun and the other already grabbing a fresh mag with which to reload. That means time wasted and if in a gun fight a split second lost might make you the loser.

I know a few tricks to easily unload a pistol one handed when it's a model on which it is tricky to reach the mag release. None worked with this mag release. Sure, I mean could do it but not efficiently and timely AND I almost dropped the pistol two or three times when getting it done. I don't think I need to carry what I consider an unwieldy pistol with a design error (my opinion) like that. I know of one other shooter who has one and says he likes it. Then again, I know someone else who owned one and shot it and said he had to use his index finger to release it (not sure if he meant strong hand or weak hand). 

The gun fit well in my hand, most do, but it comes with grip panels for those who may think otherwise for themselves. The sights were great - a three dot system, big and white. I don't know about takedown and assembly as I have not taken it apart yet to clean it. No big hurry since I am not about to carry it but cleaning it will get one this weekend regardless.

 I've got to say, if not for mag release issue, I could live with the trigger creep. I loved the group I fired with it albeit at only 3 and 7 (Edited to add: that crossed out bit was wrong - one mag of 13 rounds was fired at 15 yards   that was why I marked off the shots from 3 & 7 yards so any outside that I'd know were shot from the 15, do not know what I was thinking saying only shots were at 3 & 7).  So, in the real world and not in the foggy world of my little gray  cells, I shot at 3, 7 & 15 yards but still 59 shots (three mags each with13 rounds & two mags each with 10 rounds). Not bad with all in the ten ring and only 7 or maybe 8 shots outside of the X ring (and all those at 15 yards). Sadly though there is the mag release issue and as I see it, this is not the gun for me even though it is one nice shooter.. 



I have been firing guns with the mag release in the more or less same spot for many years now, actually for decades. In the heat of a self-defense situation where I'd need to drop an empty mag and reload I don't need to do it with two hands, the thumb of my off hand and other hand on the grip (one hand might have been wounded then what result). I am so used to doing differently than the way it need be done (by me anyway) with the HK, yet doing it a different way than the HK with all my other self-defense pistols I have ever carried - I am pretty certain that could be seriously problematic. Almost sure - that when the pucker factor gives out and I am running on sweat, adrenaline and prior training - I am going to push for the mag release where it would have been on any of those other guns than the HK before I realize -  oh shit it’s on the bottom rear of the trigger guard and is a lever requiring a downward movement. I think that could get me killed, so no HK VP9SK as my self-defense pistol. That's too bad, it cost me a goodly amount and as I said is a nice shooter. I hope I can sell it for the same I paid but that is always iffy. In today's market though, my guess is I will get at least very close to what I shelled out on it.

Oh well, until they ban them all there will always be another one to try out. I for one will be voting for Trump in 2024 should he run again and I certainly hope he does so and continues his support of the 2nd Amendment, of all our other actual Constitutional rights, of our economy, of foreign affairs and of our great nation.

All the best, 
Glenn B


1chota said...

What BP class were you in?

Glenn B said...

231/131, October 10, 1979 - February 5, 1980

Glenn B said...

I have to ask: Were you in the BP Academy in TX before it went to FLETC?

1chota said...

No, I went through the Academy in Glynco.EOD 10/2/78-2/9/79.