Glock 19 vs H&K VP9: Does H&K Make A Better Workhorse?
A lot of people insist there's no comparison between the H&K VP9 vs Glock 19; the H&K is just better. It's like comparing a Ferrari with a Ford, they say; the former is a really good gun and the latter, while certainly not bad, is just a workhorse.
Is it really that much better? Or are gun hipsters at it again and the Glock 19 is actually the near-perfect pistol people say?
Let's square the two off and talk about it.
VP9 vs Glock 19: Dimensions
Let us begin a VP9 vs Glock 19 comparison with sheer dimensions. They're pretty close in many regards...though not as close in some.
The Glock 19 has 4.01-inch barrel. It stands 5 inches tall, 7.36 inches long and is either 1.26 inches or 1.34 inches wide, depending on the model generation you purchase. Glock Gen 5 models are wider, with the addition of the Glock Marksman Barrel and beefed up internals. Unloaded weight is just over 21 ounces unloaded. The G19 holds 15+1 of 9mm.
The VP9 is similar, though it is slightly beefier. The H&K VP9 has a 4-inch barrel, with dimensions of 7.34 inches long by 5.41 inches tall by 1.32 inches wide. It also carrie 15+1 of 9mm, and weighs 25.56 ounces unloaded.
Glock no longer publishes MSRP, but you can expect to snag a G19 for about $500. A VP9 will run you a bit more, but not too terribly much; $550 to $600 is to be expected. The lowest price I could find for a VP9 was $499, and the lowest price I could find for a new Glock 19 was $429.
Features: Extra Bits Of The VP9 vs Glock 19
Size alone might not sell you on the VP9 vs Glock 19, but where a lot of people start to lean towards the former is the features list.
Both pistols are ambidextrous. The Glock 19 and VP9 both have ambidextrous slide release levers. Lefties can also swap the magazine release button on the Glock 19 to the left side if they prefer.
The VP9, however, has ambidextrous magazine release paddles on the back of the trigger guard. Some people don't like them, which is why Heckler and Koch also makes a version with a button release, the VP9-B, which has a swappable button for left-handed operators. The takedown lever, however, is not ambidextrous.
Gen 4 and Gen 5 Glock pistols have swappable backstraps, and the gun comes with three sizes. The VP9 also comes with three swappable backstrap panels but also six (three sizes) side panels as well.
Gen 4 and previous Glock pistols have finger grooves on the front of the grip housing. The VP9 does as well, though they are lower-profile than Glock's. The trigger guard of the VP9 has a more generous undercut and the rear shelf of the frame is a little longer, which gives more shooters the ability to get a high, tight grip.
The Glock 19 comes standard with Glock's polymer sights though steel sights and night sights can be had as optional upgrades, as can the MOS slide with an RMR plate for mounting an optic. The VP9 comes standard with tritium three-dot night sights, both drift-adjustable with a front blade and rear ramp.
Both pistols feature an accessory rail.
The party piece of the VP9 is forward cocking serrations in addition to rear cocking serrations, but also the charging handles at the rear of the slide. This makes racking the slide ridiculously easy, as well as tactical reloads.
H&K VP9 vs. Glock 19: What Sets Each Apart From The Other
Comparing the H&K VP9 vs Glock 19 is not quite comparing chalk and cheese. Both are compact-ish striker-fired pistols that work as service pistols and carry pistols. Both are used by police in the line of duty, both are used by competitive shooters. You could bet your life on either gun and have no worries.
What's going to set them apart? There are a few different things that could tilt the table in one or the other gun's favor.
The VP9 has the better trigger, and at that by miles. It's the best striker trigger there is, full-stop. Only the Walther PPQ rivals it.
The VP9 is considered to be more comfortable, though there are some people that prefer Glocks to other pistols on the basis of ergonomics.
In favor of the Glock 19 is the aftermarket support. No pistol besides the 1911 enjoys as much aftermarket support as Glock pistols and the 19 in particular. It is the standard by which most guns are judged, and as a result you can do almost anything you want with one in terms of upgrades. The VP9? Well, there is aftermarket stuff out there...but not nearly as much.
Another potential point in favor of the Glock 19 is the magazines. Not so much the magazine design, but more the fact that Glock 19 magazines are easily found and are generally affordable. Factory units go for less than $30 online; some aftermarket models for less than $20. H&K, however, wants you to shell out $50 per.
Granted, you can actually keep magazines running perfectly if you change springs every now and again. Springs for H&K magazines will run you more like $5, but still.
What about for daily carry? The selling point of the Glock 19 has always been that it's compact enough to carry every day, but big enough to be a service pistol. The VP9 is about the same size, just a bit taller and a bit wider and at that barely, but enough for some people to consider it too large to be a daily carry gun. Gen 3 and Gen 4 G19s are definitely a bit slimmer, no doubt, and the Glock is also a few ounces lighter.
Both are easy to shoot. In fact, the Glock is one of the easiest pistols to pick up and hit the range with. They are accurate, they do not recoil harshly and they run forever. The VP9 is equally (if not more so) accurate, reliable and easy on the shooter.
If you asked me? I'd buy the VP9. It's more comfortable. It has more and better features. It's better made. Frankly, the VP9's reputation as the best factory striker pistol is, I think, richly deserved. I've shot a few Glock 19s in my day, and they don't really do anything for me. I don't feel a connection to them; they feel like a tool that I used and put back. The VP9 has that X factor, the je ne sais quoi that just makes you like something and that makes it worth the hassle, in my opinion.
But if you really were weighing whether or not the extra cash was worth it, get out there and handle both. Shoot both, if you can. The one that feels better, that you run better, is the one to get. Both are excellent pistols.