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HK VP9 vs VP9SK

The biggest difference between the HK VP9 vs HK VP9SK is going to be the size. We’ll cover all those details that relate to the change in size as well as the features that remain constant. 

HK VP9 vs HK VP9SK

Size

MetricsHK VP9HK VP9SK
Weight No Mag(Oz)22.621.7
Weight Empty Mag(Oz)25.624.4
Weight With A Full Mag(Oz)3328.7
Height(top of Slide to bottom of Magazine Baseplate)(Inches)5.344.41
Length (Inches)7.296.59
Width of Grip(Inches)1.261.35
Width of Slide(Inches)1.131.14
Width Across Controls(Inches)1.281.28

HK VP9 vs VP9SK Concealed Carry

Looking at the chart above you’re going to assume it’s easier to conceal the HK VP9SK vs VP9 and you’d be correct.

However, the difference between the two isn’t as drastic as you would think. The VP9 is almost an inch taller than the VP9SK and that does affect concealment but the width is also very important and they’re identical in that dimension.

This is going to vary from body type to body type but for myself the width of the gun is more important than the height when it comes to concealment. Based on the height you’d think the full-size VP9 was 20% harder to conceal than the shorter SK variant but it’s more like 5-7% harder to conceal.

The weight on these guns unloaded is almost identical but when you load 7 extra rounds in the VP9 it becomes a lot heavier than the HK VP9SK but you get a lot more capacity. For myself, the SK model isn’t small enough to conceal in circumstances where the VP9 wouldn’t conceal also.

That’s for a 6 foot 175-pound male with a narrow build. 

HK VP9SK

HK VP9SK’s
New and Pre Owned
In Stock

Concealing firearms with different types of clothing means for each situation you have a range of guns you can conceal.

Unfortunately for me the HK VP9 and VPsk fit in the same range so the VP9sk doesn’t offer a lot of advantage with its shorter grip.

Ergonomics Overall

HK VP9 vs VP9SK Frame

HK pistols are known for their ergonomics and the VP9 series is no exception.

A unique feature only found on the HK VP9 and HK P30 are the removable side panels on the grip of the pistol. Removeable backstraps are quite common now but the HK VP9 is the only striker-fired gun to bring that feature to the side of the grip.

You have a much longer grip on the HK VP9 vs VP9sk’s shorter grip that isn’t going to be as comfortable for most people. It’s hard if not impossible for most people to get their entire hand on the VP9sk which makes it substantially less ergonomic than the HK VP9.

HK VP9

New and Pre Owned
HK VP9s In Stock

Texture

You’ll find textures that look like little bananas on the grip of the HK VP9 series guns. This texturing surrounds the grip 360 degrees and it’s sufficient but it could be more aggressive. If you have sweat on your hands you will probably wish you had more aggressive texturing on the gun.

Slide

A nice feature you’ll find on the VP series slide is both forward and rear serrations. The serrations aren’t as aggressive as I’d like. Less aggressive serrations paired with the slick finish on the HK slide isn’t the best combo. The serrations work but they aren’t ideal.

HK VP9 vs VP9SKSights

Stock

Depending on the variation of the VP9 you purchase you’ll get one of three sight options while the VP9sk offers two factory sight options.

You can get the HK VP 9 and VP9sk with either 3 dot luminescent sights or 3 dot night sights. The sight picture is identical on the two sets of sights. Unfortunately, these sights are outdated considering the currently sights offered by companies like Ameriglo and Trijicon with high contrast front sights.

If you go with the VP9 2020 that is optics ready the iron sights in my opinion are better than the other option. You’ll get a white dot front sight and a blacked-out rear sight. It’s just a cleaner sight picture but in my opinion, the front sight is a little wider than it should be.

HK VP9 vs VP9SK Aftermarket

Trijicon, 10-8, Hiviz, XS, and Heinie all make sights for the HK VP9 series of handguns and those also fit the HK VP9SK.

HK VP9

New and Pre Owned
HK VP9s In Stock

Red Dot

An advantage of the HK VP9 vs HK VP9sk is the 2020 variant that comes with a red dot cut.

The downside of this gun is it doesn’t come with optics mounting plates and the sights aren’t high enough to co-witness with most red dot optics. You’ll have to purchase both a mounting plate and suppressor height sights run a dot on your VP9 2020.

Controls

HK VP9 vs VP9SK Trigger 

The VP9 trigger isn’t anything, especially if fits right in the mediocre category with almost all the other striker-fired handguns on the market.

Trigger pull

Initially, you feel light takeup before you feel a wall that sits fairly far forward when compared to most other striker-fired triggers. Once you’ve hit the wall and begin applying pressure the trigger will break cleanly. 

Reset

The reset on the trigger isn’t very positive and there is no spring to push your finger forward. It resets just in front of the wall.

HK VP9SK

HK VP9SK’s
New and Pre Owned
In Stock

Overall I’m not a huge fan of the HK VP9 style trigger. It’s a good clean trigger but it feels like plastic grinding together. Like something you’d find in a staple gun instead of a fine german firearm. 

Slide Stop

HK did a good job designing the slide releases on these guns if you’re left-handed.

They decided to recess the left-hand side slide release that a right-handed shooter would use. Due to this, it’s not as easy to use as the right side release. For a recessed slide release/stop the design is as good as it can get but it’s still recessed.

This is one of my least favorite designs on the gun.

Magazine Release

One thing I really like about the HK pistols is their paddle-style magazine release.

It’s just classier than a button style magazine release. Some people complain about it being slower but I haven’t found it to be any slower in my testing and you don’t have to worry about inadvertently releasing your magazine.

In the full-size HK VP9, you can buy a variant called HK VP9b which has the button magazine release but I prefer the paddle.

HK VP9 vs VP9SK Quality

Obviously, there is no quality difference between HK VP9SK vs VP9 so both are quality firearms. HK is known for quality and when you compare the HK VP9 series to most of the other striker-fired handguns on the market it is higher quality. But it’s still not as well made as other HK pistols such as the HK P30 and the USP series. The polymer in the frame and the components on the VP9 and VP9SK just feel cheaper than other HK handguns.

Aftermarket

There is a decent aftermarket for the VP9 series as we’ve partially covered in the sights section. It’s not as good as it could be but you’ll be able to find every component you absolutely need.

HK VP9

New and Pre Owned
HK VP9s In Stock

HK VP9 vs VP9SK Aesthetics 

In my opinion, the VP9 is a much better-looking gun. It’s more proportional and almost sleek while the VP9SK looks fat and stumpy.

Shooting

My VP9sk shooting experience is ruined by the small grip since my pinky hangs below the grip. Your pinky is the strongest finger in your hand and it does a lot to improve your leverage on a gun under recoil.

If you have small enough hands to get your entire hand on the gun I’m sure the VP9SK will have slightly more recoil and muzzle flip than the VP9 but without that picky, it has a fair amount of recoil.

HK VP9SK

HK VP9SK’s
New and Pre Owned
In Stock

The VP9 on the other hand is an excellent shooter and it tracks very well under recoil. It has a recoil impulse similar to a CZ 75 which is impressive considering the weight of the gun. So hands down the better shooter is the HK VP9 vs VP9SK.

HK VP9 vs VP9SK Price/Value

The price point is identical on these guns unless you’re looking at the HK VP9 2020 which will cost around $100 more but offers you’re getting the capability to mount an optic which would cost $200 plus to have the gun custom milled. 

So there isn’t a real difference in value. 

Related Articles

Pros/Cons

HK VP9 Pros

  • Shootability 
  • Grip 
  • Capacity
  • Optics Version

HK VP9sk Pros

  • Concealment

VP9 Cons

  • Concealment

VP9sk Cons

  • Grip
  • Capacity
  • Shootability

This is an opinion piece, but I always aim to eliminate bias. Look, we’ve all read them before. Gun reviews that claim to be helpful, but they’re really thinly veiled hit pieces trying to get you to buy something before you’ve even started your research. Or, even worse, a review put together by a content writer who has never even held a gun. 

I’ve trained with some of the best in the business to learn various shooting styles and ideologies to better serve our customers. I’ve purchased guns of all price points, calibers, and action types to build the best products for the market. I want you to walk away knowing you have the information you need to make a sound purchasing decision.

11 Replies to “HK VP9 vs VP9SK”

  1. DustyR says:

    I’ve often wondered if the side panels of the grip are just a gimmick or if they can actually make a difference. To date, I have not had the opportunity to try them out.

    1. Harrison says:

      Some people absolutely love them. For myself, I don’t need them or switch them out. If you want the entire grip to fill your hand you’ll like them. If that’s not an issue then there is no downside to having them.

    2. Jason says:

      I have the P30SK which has identical modular grip panels and it is more than just a gimmick. I was able to pick and choose between the small, medium and large panels on the rear and both sides to get the perfect fit for my hands.

    3. Christopher D Moore says:

      I recently purchased a vp9 and I did change the side grips to the smaller of the three. It is no gimmick. The grips actually made my hand fit the gun much better.

  2. Trin Kitisoontornpong says:

    It’s odd to me that HK charges relatively premium prices for the VP9 series yet it is mediocre in every department. I just feel like they at least make a good trigger to fit the price. Walther PPQ, for example, has a stunning trigger (a bit light for EDC in my opinion).

    1. Harrison says:

      I agree it’s likely overpriced by $100 on the MSRP but the street price varies a lot. I’ve seen them new as low as $479. It should cost $500-$600 but the gun is normally closer to the $700 price point which is too much.

  3. Michael Krager says:

    In order to get around the “Pinky Hang”, i’ve taken advantage of grip tape, specifically Talon Grips. I have the VP9, and the Talon Grips really make it more controllable, even under less than ideal conditions (high humidity, sweat, etc.). I also have several smaller firearms where the grip tape helps, such as the Kahr PM9 and Kahr P380. Not a shill for the product, just find that it works very well for my needs.

  4. Nathan Shepherd says:

    I love HK started making optics ready models and upped the capacity.

  5. Crabby John says:

    The VP9SK is the smaller concealed carry version, but it is larger in one critical carry measurement: grip width. This makes the pistol more likely to print when you carry it. And it makes the gun harder to grip and control for people with smaller hands.

  6. Kais Khoury says:

    Love HK but surprised by their pricing on this

  7. Joe Groff says:

    The VP9 is my favorite pistol but i couldn’t bring myself to the SK for a carry. I prefer a thinner shaved down carry gun.

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