Service Striker Shootout: VP9 vs. P320
Thinking of a big 'ol striker gun but think Glocks are totally lame? You might end up torn between the VP9 vs. P320 and both would be solid choices.
But which, however to choose?
Well, there are a few things that might tip you in one direction or another. One of the big ones is hashing out which Sig P320 you're actually talking about. There are about a dozen different configurations of it since it's a modular pistol, so you better have a specific configuration in mind.
Unless you happen to like the modularity, which is understandable. If, for instance, someone were to create a truly modular holster that would be something else. That said, let's get into the VP9 vs. Sig P320.
VP9 Is A People's Pistol For The 21st Century
The VP9 by Heckler and Koch - VP stands for "Volkspistole" or "People's Pistol" - is one of the better-regarded striker pistols, widely regarded for a good trigger, outstanding accuracy and easy shooting dynamics.
It's close to a Goldilocks gun in dimensions, being big enough to use as a service gun but streamlined enough for some people to concealed carry. Granted, it isn't as easy to carry on the daily as, say, an S&W Shield, but certainly easier than a Glock 17 or Beretta M9.
It stands 7.34 inches long, 5.41 inches tall and 1.32 inches wide. Barrel length is 4 inches. With an empty magazine, it weighs 25.56 ounces. Again, a bit big but small enough to be carried. When the magazine is not empty, it carries 15+1 of 9mm. You can get it in .40 S&W too, though that model is the VP40.
All the usual striker gun stuff is on it. Ambi controls, rail, and some choice of finish. However, the party piece is the charging handles; two wedges on the slide act as an assist in racking the pistol, which is a very nice touch.
The selling point is that you get a better gun out of the box than with other companies. The trigger is thought to be one of the better units on striker guns and since it costs about as much as a Glock and other competing models (under $600 in most cases) it's actually a solid value too.
Which Sig P320 To Compare It To?
Thing about comparing the P320 vs. VP9 is which P320 are we talking about? There are four (count 'em) frame sizes of P320.
The Full Size...is the size of a battleship and doesn't compare to the VP9. It's 8 inches long by 5.5 inches tall by 1.3 inches wide, weighing almost 30 ounces unloaded. It's enormous.
The Compact (don't fool yourself; it's still huge in the hand) reduces barrel length to 3.9 inches, length to 7.2 inches, height to 5.3 inches and weight to 25.8 ounces. Capacity is 15+1 of 9mm. 13+1 of Diet 10mm (all the taste and none of the calories) or 9+1 of .45 ACP. The Carry model is the same; it's just 0.2 inches taller because it uses a full size magazine, adding 2 rounds of 9mm and 1 of .40, .357 Sig (Sig purports to not offer .357 Sig in the Compact) or .45 ACP.
The Compact and Carry models are the closest comparisons, so we'll stick to those.
It's darn near the same gun dimensionally. It even costs about the same. The features are about the same, too; it's a railed black pistol that's tactical as all get out. 3 dots are standard, but you can get night sights if desired. However, you can get a few more goodies with the Sig, as you can get a reflex optic cut (or installed by the factory) among other appointments.
With purchase of additional grip modules and upper assemblies, you can have your choice of calibers and gun sizes, too, in case you wanted to size up (or down - there's a subcompact model as well) on occasion.
Deciding Between The VP9 vs. P320
Let's get real: not everyone is going to be into the modular aspect of the P320. While that is naturally going to attract a few people torn between the VP9 vs. P320 to the Sig's side, most people aren't going to be buying the additional grip modules and so on.
Granted, some people will, so the P320 is surely the winner for such people. However, most people are looking to just buy one gun and leave it at that. For that sort of person, the VP9 may be better out of the box.
The VP9 comes with swappable backstraps in small, medium and large. The P320, on the other hand, has swappable FRAMES. For small-handed shooters, an additional frame may have to be purchased for the P320 to be a good fit. That's actually one of the reasons the Army liked the gun; The M9 and the 1911 before it have BIG grips, which was an issue for some shooters.
Here's why that matters in practical terms.
You see, most people buy guns through a gun store. Granted, some people order online (or through the gun store) and have it shipped to a store to pick up. Your gun store isn't necessarily going to have the P320 grip module that you need, and a new one will run you about $50. So unless you order the P320 in the grip size you need, prepare to shell out a bit more.
The VP9, however, comes with the grip panels in the case. You can change them at will. So, unless the modular design of the Sig appeals to you so much that you have to have it, the H&K is going to be the better pick out of the box if you have difficulty with the fit of most guns.
As to shooting, both are known performers...but Sig and H&K are known for a sky-scraping bore axis in their guns (the CZ guys will make fun of you) so get ready for muzzle flip. It won't be bad, but you'll have to do some shooting to get used to it.
Speaking of which, make sure you get to a gun store to settle whether the VP9 vs. P320 is right for you. Handle and shoot both. That's going to tell you which feels better for you, which is the gun to get.
Have you shot these firearms? What did you like, and what didn't you?
Let us know in the comments below!