Umarex/VFC HK VP9 Tactical (DX Version)
We receive the replica in a small, black box with the Heckler & Koch company logo and the "No compromise" phrase in the cover. Inside the box is the replicas, the magazine and a set of replacement grip side panels.
When we take the pistol into our hands we get the impression that the replica is very well made and has a robust design; it fits very comfortably in ones hands. After filling the magazine with gas and firing the replica for the first time, without any BBs, satisfaction from the product increases. Strong and fast blow-back give the impression that this is a solid piece of work.
The frame is made of polymer. A well made mold is noticeable: it has no flash of other defects. It fits ideally in ones hands: we do not get the impression we are holding a toy. The front part of the pistol has a Picatinny rail, which has 4 settings which will make problems with spacing a flashlight away from the trigger or the compatibility of different accessories available on the market. The lower part of the pistol grip is engraved with a VP marking, and another, Cal 6 mm BB Heckler & Koch GmbH is engraved at the height of the slide release lever.
The slide itself is made completely of metal and look very good. Thanks to the license given by Heckler & Koch to Umarex, the replica has original markings: HK VP9 on the side of the slide and HK 9mmx19 under the fake ejection port. The front and rear part of the slide have anti-slip groves that facilitate pulling the slide. Additionally, the rear part has enlarged HK Charging Supports, so called „wings” that prevent the slide from slipping from ones hand.
Out unit had iron sights made of steel. They are fully detachable which allows for replacing them for other types available on the market, such as fiber optic ones etc.
Staying with the topic of external parts, it has to be mentioned that the steel elements are no only the iron sights but also the counterclockwise cover of the external barrel's thread, both magazine latches, the slide latch and the fake casing ejector.
As for the ergonomics, the VP9 has many interesting features. The innovative grip's side and back panels exchange system allows one to customize the pistol to fit almost every hand, in accordance with individual preferences. It is enough to remove a single pin situated in the lower part of the pistol grip and we can test all kinds of panels which we get with the replica. Those are exactly the same as in the real firearm. The designers made sure that the magazine release lever is ambidextrous and included the groves and the „wings” on the slide, which we covered above.
The replica is powered with green gas, which is housed in the magazine, which is very gas tight, works flawlessly. We didn't experience any jams, gas siphoning or leaking. It sits firmly in the grip, without excessive slack and after pressing the release lever ejects without any problems, as it should. The latch has a frontal griping mechanism and can therefore be ambidextrous. The magazine is similar in size to the green gas magazines used in Glock replicas and its top valve is compatible with the magazines made by Army, a popular standard of green gas powered Glock replica. For ones that like to tinker with replicas it is worth mentioning that after a small modification using a file, a standard Army Glock magazine can be converted wi work with the VP9. Yet, we do not advise to do this experiment. I did it, as part of testing the replica, and although the magazine fit the pistol there were problems with proper feeding of the gas.
To get to the hop-up chamber one must detach the slide from the frame. To do that we must eject the magazine and switch the magazine release lever to the open position. Next we pull the slide to the back and the we remove it but moving it forward in a single move. To mount it back, we put the slide on the same rails we pulled it from. To turn the magazine latch lever, we must pull it back slightly simultaneously pushing the barrel with a finger until all clicks into place. Underneath the slide is the hop-up adjustment wheel.
The hop-up chamber is made of metal. To get to it one must pull out the return spring and its guide. Next the thread cover has to be unscrewed and the we can pull the chamber out together with the external barrel. After detaching the spring underneath the barrel, we can pull out the chamber with the inner barrel. After unscrewing two screws the chamber splits into two parts. Inside we will find the bucking pressure lever, similar to the one found in airsoft version of the Glock and a medium hard, black hop-up bucking, designed for gas powered replicas. Initially, the bucking we got with the set resembled the PDIW-hold model, which works best with the double nub lever. Thanks to our consulting with the manufacturer about the problems with the hop-up, the bucking supplied currently is different and has a flat spinning part. The inner barrel is brass, 110 mm long and has is bevelled at the exiting end.
The nozzle, together with the guide and the blow-back system are made in high quality plastic. To get to them one must unscrew two screwed situated underneath the slide.
The whole trigger system is made from metal parts. To disassemble the trigger we have to pull the slide latch lever, turning it as far to the open position as possible and then we pull the lever to the side. Next we disassemble the slide latching lever by grabbing the hole of its lock which is situated at the side of the slide guides. Then we push out the pin situated near the trigger. After this is done we can slide the whole trigger system out.
To fully disassemble the trigger system one must detach the hammer system in which the steel trigger rail is locked. We can do it by pushing out the real pin and then pushing the system slightly forward. Most parts are made of steel. Everything looks very robust so one does not have to fear that something will break. In case of jams one can suspect dirt in any of the systems which is easy to deal with. Everything can be disassembled into individual pieces, cleaned, lubed and put back together. A word of warning though, disassemble and reassembly of the pistol will require a lot of patience.
Thanks to the courtesy of a company named Cenrex we were able to compare the VP9 replica with its European counterpart, the SFP9. As seen in the photos below, the replica does not deviate much from the real firearm. The most noticeable differences are the lack of serial numbers on the slide and the ejection port and the height of the magazine latch lever.
Similarly to the real firearm, the back part of the slide has an active port indicating the position of the firing pin (specifically: in case of the replica it is a functioning imitation).
Safety mechanism integrated into the trigger, a design known from the Glock pistols, is also present in the replica.
The side panels are detachable in both cases. Their dimensions vary slightly, yet after some minor filing there should not be any problems mounting panels from the real firearm onto the replica.
The patented HKCharging Supports, the „wings” mentioned earlier, which facilitate in puling the slide and prevent it from slipping from ones hand, have a slightly different shape and are less massive than in the real firearm.
The airsoft version of the magazine, because of its design, does not have the Made in Germany marking on its front side.
As far as the dimensions go, the replica does deviate much from the real firearm, as seen in the photos below.
Initially there was a major problem with adjusting the hop-up or more precisely, a lack of one. After replacing the bucking to a new one by the manufacturer, everything was working properly but we observed that when the hop-up was set correctly the BBs were flying lower then they should, according to the iron sights. It is not a major inconvenience yet we cannot expect to see a BB flying over the level of the front sight. The replica fires very well: the gas blow-back works flawlessly and has a very pleasant recoil, which is probably the biggest advantage of this replica.
Umarex in cooperation with Vega Force Company made a robust and faithful copy of the HK VP9. The replica, as its real firearm counterpart, fits comfortably in ones hands. Attention to details, original markings, excellent blow-back system are unquestionable advantages of this replica. They only thing that prevented us from achieving complete satisfaction wee our initial problems with the hop-up bucking which were, fortunately, corrected by the manufacturer. Therefore it is safe to say that this year one of the most interesting pistol replica arrived on the market and it is bound to make an impression even on the most demanding airsofters.
The replica was tested thanks to the courtesy of Umarex
A replica made under license of
We were able to compare the replica with the real firearm thanks to the courtesy of Heckler & Koch representative in Poland: