The Top Of The Line

James Bond’s Skyfall found the world’s most well-known secret agent running about the abandoned MI6 building in search of the girl while wielding a captured HK VP9 pistol. Where strategic product placement in James Bond movies reliably sells cars, suits, and watches, it also moves more than a few firearms. After seeing Bond take down Mr. White with a sound-suppressed 9mm HK UMP in Casino Royale I moved heaven and earth to obtain one myself. As any experienced wife can attest, boys are silly about stuff like this.

HK technically precipitated the polymer pistol revolution in the first place. Their fatally flawed VP70 really should have shaken the world. The gun was cheap to make, sported a double-column 18-round magazine, and arrived in 1970 at the apogee of the space age. However, the massively leaden trigger was not designed for real humans, and the revolutionary people’s pistol died of natural causes as a result.

When HK finally arrived at the striker-fired, polymer-framed pistol party they did it up right. Their VP was everything a modern plastic combat pistol should have been. Sporting multiple redundant safety systems, both .40 S&W and 9mm Parabellum chamberings, and an unsurpassed capacity for customization, the VP raised the bar across the industry. The only thing anybody could find with which to fault the gun was its pivoting magazine release.