HK VP9 Gets MIL Contract

Image from Soldier Systems

Alright boys and girls, something happened in early December 2019 that kind of flew under everyone’s radar. The Heckler & Koch HK VP9 (or SFP9 as it’s know everywhere else in the world) got it’s first ever military contract. Who got it? Well, we’ll get to that. Prior to this new contract that HK picked up, the VP9 had only been adopted by a limited number of law enforcement agencies (predominantly German ones), and was being passed over for the M&P line or the Glock line.

Alright, so who adopted the SFP9? The Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF). Prior to picking the SFP9, the JSDF were carrying licensed copies of the Sig Sauer P220 called the Minebea P9 (no, not the Minebea PM-9). The competing pistols in their recent “competition”? The Beretta APX and the Glock 17.

The reasons to why the JSDF went with the Heckler & Koch VP9 are a mystery, but there’s some speculation going around. Supposedly the Japanese Self-Defense Forces were training individuals to carry with an empty chamber (presumably) so their first shot was in single action, resulting in more accurate shots at distances. The “superior” out of the box trigger of the VP9/SFP9 may have played a role in it’s beating the Glock 17 and Beretta APX.

The last bit of speculation I was able to find was for risk management. The Japanese didn’t want a pistol that required the trigger to be pulled for take down to mitigate the risks because we all know that soldiers can be pretty brain dead.


So, to make things clear. As far as we’re aware, the SFP9 wasn’t chosen due to superior reliability or durability that we know of right now, but I’m sure that information will eventually come out. What we do know is, is that the Japanese Self-Defense Forces were using Heckler & Koch USP’s in the past as well, so they’re familiar with how Heckler & Koch goes about handling training and maintenance. The rest is all speculation.

Will this open the door to future contracts for the VP9 or SFP9 by other MIL groups around the world? Or, do you think this is a one time thing for what was once the “New Hotness”?
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