Heckler & Koch VP70
The VP70 was the first polymer-framed pistol ever made.

When the Heckler & Koch VP70 was introduced in 1970, it was very innovative—probably too innovative for the market. Incorporating a polymer frame, a double-action-only (DAO) trigger system and an impressive magazine capacity of 18 rounds, the VP70’s features are now common on many contemporary pistols. However, the revolutionary design was considered a curiosity in its time because it was the first polymer-framed pistol ever made, 12 years before the Glock.


Lesser known was Heckler & Koch’s burst-fire VP70M, or “military,” version, which functions as a standard semi-automatic pistol unless its holster/stock is attached at the rear, allowing it to function in three-shot burst mode using a selector switch on the stock.

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Because I’ve worked with close-protection teams that use machine pistols, such as the VP70, I’ve tried to become familiar with this type of weapon. With the stock attached, the VP70 is controllable in burst-fire mode; however, the holster does not work well for concealed carry. HK also offered a special sling that allowed the VP70 to be carried across the chest.

Today, the VP70M is rarely encountered in use, though some VP70Zs are still used or reside in autopistol collections. Mostly, though, it is an interesting link in the chain of modern pistol development.

To learn more about the VP70 and other Heckler and Koch pistils, visit hk-usa.com.


Specifications: HK VP70 
Caliber: 9mm  Barrel: 4.6 inches  OA Length: 8 inches
Weight: 28.9 ounces (empty)   Grips: Polymer
Sights: Fixed   Action: Semi-auto (VP70Z); select-fire (VP70M)
Finish: Matte black   Capacity: 18+1

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