Take Charge Carry With Confidence


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. 



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’s In Stock

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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 VP9s In Stock

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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.


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


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 VP9s In Stock

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Red Dot

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

Shoot Better With Mini Red Dots

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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.


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. 


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’s In Stock

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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.


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.


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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.


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’s In Stock

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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


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.

14 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.

      1. Larry Pasquariello says:

        I absolutely agree.
        I own The VP9. I was VERY delighted to be able to have the choose with the Modular grips, small, medium and large.
        I may have taken this a bit to far but I brought all those grips to the range. I started firing downrange with the small grips, then swapped them for medium then large.
        Before I even went to the range, I had installed the small grip thinking this is the right feel. Felt real nice.
        When I actually began firing, the small grips were absolutely the wrong size. Come to find out, the medium size grip panels were the perfect ones, large size to big.
        Knowing what I know now, I believe the VP9 would have never felt right without those included grips.
        In ending, having those options is great welcome, but I guess everyone has a personal preference.

    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.

  8. Manuel says:

    I am totally biased in this opinion because the only 2 pistols I own are a VP9 and a VP9SK . The VP9 came first ( home defense )then the VP9SK ( conceal carry ) . Both my wife and I love shooting both . She has small hands and I have large . We both like the med grips . We have both tried smaller carry guns but the grips are always too small for me and I definitely have pinky overhang . The obvious solution is to use extended mags . For both of us the smaller guns always seem way snappier . We find that the SK version is a bit more concealable than the full size but it shoots very similar and much easier to control than others we’ve tried . I was surprised at how similarly accurate the SK version is compared to the full size . I found the SK on line new for around $ 650 . It came optic ready with a high vis front sight and a blacked out rear , 12 & 15 rd mags . The front sight is easy to pick up , so am currently waiting on looking for a red dot sight . While it is true H&K is always higher priced , we both learned to handle both H&K pistols faster than others . The difference in price is a wash for me because it took very little time and most importantly ammo $ to get proficient . Quality is awesome and you can tell when you first pick one up . As always your mileage may vary but we became instant fans . My wife decided to take possession of the SK so I am currently surfing the net looking for another for me !

  9. Floyd says:

    I ‘d say until recently the VP9 trigger was the best striker trigger available other than the Walther PPQ. Having shot and carried dozens of strikers, calling it mediocre is “Less than accurate”. Maybe the author got a lemon, but all of my VP9s have a tactile, audible and very short reset. Stock pull weight on all of them was about 4.5 lbs. Changing the spring brought them down to 3.75-4 lbs which is fine for a striker fired carry gun.

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