Heckler and Koch VP9 Pistol Receives Gold Rating from NTOA By: Patti Miller


The prestigious gold commendation from the Members of the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) has been awarded to the HK VP9-OR pistol from Heckler and Koch after testing by the association. This rating is part of NTOA’s Member Tested and Recommended program.

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H&K VP9 in hand
H&K VP9-OR pistol received the Gold rating from the Members of the National Tactical Officers Association. To receive a recommendation from NTOA a pistol must receive at least an average score across the categories of at least 3.0. The VP9-OR pistol received a composite score of 4.7 giving it the Gold rating, the highest possible from the NTOA.

NTOA members tested and reviewed the VP9-OR, rating in 13 different categories including Design, Performance, Ease of Use, Size, Quality, Durability, Storage, Versatility, Convenience, Application, Comfort, Accuracy, and Cleaning & Maintenance. To be recommended, products must score at least above average (3.0) in all categories. The VP9-OR far exceeded this threshold with a composite score of 4.7, earning a gold recommendation – the highest level possible.

The NTOA is a respected leader in the law enforcement community and these recommendations showcase the potential of a product’s usability for all end users, law enforcement or otherwise.

“We are absolutely thrilled to receive this recommendation from the NTOA,” LE sales manager Jason Whitten said. “As a company, we’ve had tremendous success with the VP9, and this validation from such a respected organization is yet another great chapter in the story of the VP9.”

H&K VP-9 left
The NTOA members rated the H&K VP9-OR pistol in several categories, including Design, Performance, Ease of Use, Size, Quality, Durability, Storage, Versatility, Convenience, Application, Comfort, Accuracy, and Cleaning & Maintenance.

The VP9-OR, or optics-ready version of the VP9, has the same great features as the VP9 with the addition of optic plates to swap out options. According to H&K,

Every detail, including the grip angle, the contour of the front strap and the high rear saddle were chosen to fit the human hand. And the adaptable grip frame allows you to interchange both backstraps and grip panels in 27 unique configurations to fit your hand. All of these features help you get the same consistent grip, every time you pick up your VP.”

All control features on the VP9 are ambidextrous, including its patented charging supports which are the components on the back end of the slide to help in racking the slide towards the rear. This feature also aids in speed reloading and in shooters with reduced hand strength.

VP9-OR pistol right side
The VP9-OR is a striker fire pistol based on a modified Browning operating system but featuring HK proprietary steel for the barrel, slide, springs, pins, and internal components. The HK cold hammer forged barrel is made from cannon-grade steel, giving it strength for long service life.

The VP9 has an extended Picatinny MIL-STD-1913 rail molded into its polymer frame for mounting lights and accessories. The rail has been tested and certified to handle mounted accessories up to 5.6 ounces.

The VP9 family of striker-fired polymer pistols is HK’s most popular pistol in the United States and with Law Enforcement. The VP pistols are known for their class-leading ergonomics, reliability, durability, and shootability. HK upgraded the VP series in 2020 with the introduction of increased capacity magazines and optics-ready models. Combined, these features were critical to the NTOA’s Gold rating.

VP9 pistol in hand with mounted light
The upgraded features of the VP9 include increased magazine size (from 15 rounds to 17 rounds), updated sight configurations with a high-visible front and back serrated rear, and the option for optics-ready cuts on the slide with additional plates available. These upgrades were said to be critical in the pistol receiving the Gold rating from NTOA.

VP9 Specs

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Length: 7.34 in.
  • Height: 5.41 in.
  • Width: 1.32 in.
  • Barrel Length: 4.09 in.
  • Barrel Profile/Twist: Polygonal, 6 grooves, right-hand twist, 1:9.8 in.
  • Trigger pull: 5.4 lbs
  • Sight Radius: 6.38 in.
  • Weight: 25.56 oz (unloaded)