HK VP9sk Review: Worth that H&K Price Tag?

by Dave Chesson

March 25, 2024



After having the HK VP9 for a while now, and having put enough rounds at the range, I decided to finally write my HK VP9sk review. The fact is, it isn’t cheap. However, is it worth the extra price? Does it have enough benefits to it to justify the price?

Also, I originally wrote this review back in 2022, and have since updated it to reflect how it has operated over the years, and update it with new things I’ve discovered as further wear and tear.

HK VP9SK Specs

  • Caliber 9mm
  • Length 6.61 in
  • Width 1.32 in
  • Height 4.57 in
  • Barrel Length 3.39 in
  • Weight 23.07 oz
  • Capacity 10/13/15
  • Trigger Pull 5.1 pounds

HK VP9SK Background

Before I get into my thoughts on the VP9sk, I want to take a second to get into its history and why it was made. This will help with the context of the review.

In 1970 H&K created the first-ever striker-fired pistol, called the HK VP70 (yes, way before Glock did).  It was an 18+1 double stack, polymer frame striker-fired, compact pistol.  However, it didn’t do so hot and was plagued with problems like the 20-pound double-action trigger pull.  Then later, they tried again with the P7 and still, that failed.  

So, it wasn’t until 2014, that they finally got it right.  It was then that H&K came out with the VP9 and VP9-B models, thus entering the modern striker-fired handgun arena.  Due to its reliability, great capacity, and lighter weight than its predecessor, it has become very popular. 

However, in an attempt to create a subcompact version of the VP9, and thus be an effective CCW gun, H&K came out with the VP9sk.   For those that are curious, the SK in the name stands for “subkompakt” which is German for Subcompact.  

Creating a lighter, thinner, and shorter version of the VP9 surely made this a subcompact firearm.  However, this brings up the question:  With the reduction in weight and size, did the VP9 SK lose any of the capability that made the VP9 so popular?  Well, that’s something I look forward to dissecting in this VP9sk review.

HK VP9sk Features

1 Striker Fired

Important due to the inherent reliability of the pistol

2 Interchangeable Grip Panels

With three different grip sets, you’ll find the right one for you

3 Excellent Trigger

With a 5.1 pound pull, crisp break & short reset, this is an excellent trigger

4 Ambidextrous Slide Release

Flexibility to shoot your grip and control access

HK VP9 Gun Model Variations


Full Size


Button Mag Release

HK VP9sk

Paddle Mag Release

VP9 vs VP9sk Silhouette Comparison

HK VP9 vs HK VP9sk
SpecificationsH&K VP9H&K VP9sk
Length7.34 inches6.61 inches
Width1.32 inches1.31 inches
Height5.41 inches4.57 inches
Barrel Length4.09 inches3.39 inches
Weight25.56 oz23.07 oz
Trigger Pull5.41 lbs4.5 - 5.5 lbs

H&K VP9sk Review – My Thoughts

HK VPsk side profile

I’ll cut to the chase on this.  Since testing this firearm, it has become my favorite CCW pistol, replacing my Sig p365XL.  Some may argue with me on this, and I get it.  But hear me out. 

One of the things I love most about this firearm is that it comes with different sets of interchangeable grip panels.

HK VPsk in the case

Because of this, I was able to select the right grip style for my hand.  This means that I have a much better/tighter grip which I think is very important for these smaller compact guns. Therefore, I think this has some of the best ergonomics for a CCW pistol because anyone can dial in the perfect grip for their hand.  

Keeping on the subject of CCW guns, I’ll admit it’s a little thicker than the p365XL, or Glock 43x. However, it’s a bit like the Hellcat in size.  Therefore, it is not as small as you can get and doesn’t ride as comfortably as an appendix carry.  However, I still don’t feel as though the size of the VP9sk is that much of a deal-breaker and is still comfortable.  Therefore, I think the size is just right and coupled with the grips, I personally handle this model better than I do other smaller-sized CCW firearms. 

One thing I will strongly recommend though is that you get the extended floor plate for your magazine (if yours doesn’t come with it).  

Shows the extended magazine for the HK VPsk

It allows your pinky to wrap around the pistol so as to give you a more firm grip.  It doesn’t add much to the gun and gives you that much more control.   Without this, I probably wouldn’t give as high of a grade on the ergonomics since I’d only be able to wrap four fingers in total around the firearm.  When trying to fire without this, it was not nearly as reliable or controllable.

Also, as you can see in the pictures, I got the HK VP9sk version which has the paddle for the mag release.  

Special paddle for release

I personally like this, but Ryan Cleckner, one of our other writers, isn’t a fan.  The good news is that if you don’t like the paddle, you can always get the HK VP9sk-B which has the release button that we’re all used to in the US.  

As for reliability, I’ve fired at least 3000 rounds (updated this number over the years to keep the article up-to-date) and have had no issues.  I’ve used different types of 9mm and still no problem or any malfunctions.  I’ve also found that I have better accuracy with this firearm, although that could be because I have a better grip and don’t pull or yank.  

The slide of the VP9 SK was unique when it first came out in that it has front and rear cocking serrations.  To me, the serrations are just right.  They aren’t too rough, nor too smooth and allow me to get a good enough grip. 

Another thing that is unique about the slide is that the HK VP9 has a set of plastic wings at the back of the slide that fit underneath the rear sights.  This allows you to get a better grip on the slide when racking it.  I personally like this feature, however, I can see how some might not like this.  But the good news is that if you’re one of those that don’t like them, then you can remove them. 

What I don’t like about the HK VP9sk

While the gun feels good and seems reliable, it must be noted that this isn’t exactly a cheap option.  The VP9sk can range between $700-900 which isn’t exactly cheap for a handgun.  But then again, it’s an HK – you sort of need to expect a higher price with them. But with all that being said, it doesn’t feel like a cheap gun and they really didn’t cut any corners.  It’s got a solid 5.1-pound pull with a crisp break and a short reset making it one of the better triggers right out of the box. So, all in all, the features are there and so the price isn’t too far off from the value of the pistol.  

Final Verdict

In the end, it has an impressive list of features, backed by the HK reputation, and through multiple uses in many conditions, it has not let me down.  Is it worth the ~$800 price tag?  To me, absolutely.  To you, that depends on where you’re at.  But I will have no problem recommending this and I don’t think you’d regret having it as well.  

I’m very happy with my HK VP9sk and thanks it is being my daily carry, I think it is well worth the price.

Also, of note, I and my co-writers liked this CCW gun so much that it not only was listed in our best 9mm pistol, but it was also listed as one of the top CCW guns.

Firing of the HK VPsk

VP9sk Pros and Cons

  • Multiple grip options
  • Excellent crisp trigger
  • Nice serrations in the slide
  • Rear Slide wings
  • Price is on the high end

Report Card


Excellent for a CCW pistol


No problem in over 1000 rounds


Best fit for my hand


Very accurate and no issues


A little pricey, but it’s an HK


Our Grade


Reviewed by Dave Chesson

Reader’s Grade


Based on 80 Reviews

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HK VP9sk Ammo

Range Rounds


MagTech 9mm 115 GR FMJ Ammo

Cost Per Round
Natchez Shooter’s Supply $0.24
Brownells $0.23
Palmetto State Armory $0.34

Best Defense Rounds

Box of Hornady 9mm pistol ammunition

Hornady Critical Defense 115 GR

Cost Per Round
Cabela’s $1.24
Midway USA $1.24

HK VP9sk Upgrades and Accessories

There are a bunch of different options available to accessorize the HK VP9sk. However, if we had to choose only a few options… Here are our picks.

HK VP9sk Accessories

Streamlight TLR-7 Weapon Light
  • White LED produces 500 lumens
  • IPX7 Waterproof
  • Low Profile
Check Amazon
HK VP9SK Holster IWB
  • Lightweight, sturdy, durable
  • Customize the CANT
  • Adjustable Retention Pressure
Check Amazon
HK Extended Floor Plate
  • Quality Machined Polymer Construction
  • Provides comfortable rest for pinky finger
  • Direct OEM Swap for Standard Flush Floor plate
Check Price
Pineworld Biometric Gun Safe
  • Reliable Biometric Scanner
  • Sturdy and Well Built
  • Cheaper Than Most Biometrics
Check Amazon
Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs
  • Great In-Ear option
  • Custom molded – super easy and comfortable
  • NRR: 31
Check Amazon


Not only do you need to keep your firearms safe and secure, but you’re also going to need to know how to take care of them. While scouring the internet, we came across this excellent video;.

For more info regarding the HK VP9sk, check out the following resources:


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About Dave Chesson

Dave Chesson is prior Navy with a specialty in international arms dealing for the US government across multiple countries. Having traveled the world and abided by ATF and ITAR, Roy has a unique background in legal as well as practical capabilities of weapons deployment and use.

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  1. I’ve had two VP9-s. Both came with paddle mag releases. Neither pistol has paddle releases now. Even after buying HK’s extended release for my 5″ L-Optics Ready VP-9, I couldn’t comfortably operate it. My hands are the issue,(they’re wrecked) not the pistols. I have the 5″ VP-9 sold but still have my 4″ model. I expect to use the funds from selling the 5 incher, to help buy a VP-9 ‘B’ SK. It’ll be my CC pistol here in the people’s republik’ of MD! First thing I’ll order is HK’s Extended Mag Release Button Kit; $20.00 and well worth it to me!

  2. I added aftermarket baseplates to my magazines which not only gave it the pinky rest but added 2 rounds per mag. The trigger also smooths out even more after 500 rounds or so.

  3. The HK, VP 9 SK is a great pistol if you are trying to find the ideal grip. The grip panels are interchangeable as the initial review stated. It points naturally for me. I prefer the gun with the flat 10 rd magazine base plate but I have magazines to 15 rds. Some may find the gun a little heavy for its size because it’s built like a tank. The sights on mine are easy to see, and with a quick shine of a light you have night sights. I will advise you that they appear much brighter than most tritium sights once they are charged. The trigger is extremely smooth and appears to feel less than the 5 lbs indicated. If you get the VP9 with the side paddle release on the trigger guard I recommend that you familiarize yourself with its use. This is especially true if you are carrying it for duty use or for self protection. If your looking for an accurate, adjustable pistol, you can’t go wrong. It’s true they are a bit more pricy than most of the competition. I’ve owned a few HK pistols, and yes you get what you pay for. I’ve run all sorts of ammo thru it including +P’s in various weights and never had a cycling problem. Read the safety manual, familiarize yourself with the magazine release if necessary, stay safe and practice and enjoy.

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