H&K VP9 Review: Initial Impressions

| Product Review | September 20, 2014

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Initial impressions of H&K’s new striker fired pistol, the VP9: (Purchased and tested at The Gun Vault in South Jordan, UT. Stop by, say hi.)
First things first, THE TRIGGER! It is pleasantly wide, has a short uptake, but then the break is moderately heavy, straight to the rear and crisp! In contrast to the comparable Walther PPQ trigger which has a longer uptake, but lighter break. The reset is short, and has a little “pop” to it–this gun practically begs you to send a second round down range immediately after the first. It shoots very fast–it feels like it wants to race.

Sights are hi-vis, glow in the dark three dot–they are big and clunky. There is very little empty space on either side of the front sight, so they need to be replaced ASAP for competition shooting, but for just plinking, they are bright and work great when time is not a factor.

The European style mag release buttons (previously found on the Walther PPS, but not on the new PPQ unless you get the M1 version) on both sides of the trigger guard take some getting used to, but now I love it. I could use my trigger finger on the right side of the trigger guard or my strong hand thumb on the left side to drop the mag, and I found that pushing downward on the release, as opposed to pushing a button into the grip, felt much more natural and very intuitive.

I didn’t have a single malfunction, it ran beautifully, and is very accurate–I only ran personal reloads (200+ rounds of 124gr. round nose Xtreme Bullets, 5.2gn of Unique with OAL of 1.135) through it, but I can only imagine what factory, performance ammo would be able to do! Several times I was able to put hole in hole, standing at 10 yards with a two handed grip.
The barrel length is more akin to the Glock 19 than the 17, and when shooting the 19 and the VP9 side-by-side, the recoil of the 19 felt initially less but lasted longer?, the VP9 was snappy and quick but felt smoother overall.  (Sorry, best I can do to describe it)

Size comparison to the Glock 17

Size comparison to the Glock 17–image courtesy of kammeret.no

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VP9 spare mags and replacement sights are sold out everywhere online so I borrowed an H&K P30 (the VP9′s double/single action predecessor) there at the shop, put those mags in the gun to see if they fit, and they are identical. The sights also looked identical, but don’t quote me on that just yet. So if you buy this gun, and can’t find spare mags, just Google search “P30 mags”, they are the same.  (Note: the manager of the Gun Vault later told me that he too had learned this and therefore had ordered a bunch of P30 mags for new VP9 owners–they had a healthy supply of them there on Saturday, 09/20)

Swapping the grip panels is a dream compared to the Glock! There is no requirement of tension on the backstrap to slide the pin in and out. Not only that, but it comes with three different sizes of side panels as well. One pin at the bottom of the grip removes the back strap, then the side panels can then be slid to the rear and swapped.  It’s really nice to be able to mix & match and TEST THE SIZES BEFORE being forced to put the pin in to make it permanent, only to find out you don’t want that size and have to pound it back out. At the range, I had the medium backstrap and side panels on, but once I got home I found that the most comfortable arrangement was to use the large backstrap, the smallest side panel on the left, and the large side panel on the right. Using the large backstrap forces my hand higher on the grip and my natural point of aim feels really good with the imbalanced side straps. (Maybe this will help prevent my shots from always leaning to the left!) The factory “stippling” while visually only looks moderately aggressive, does a great job of letting your skin sink into the polymer, allowing you to maintain a “crush grip” even as your hands gets sweaty.

Only complaint is how ergonomically friendly it is, at the expense of not being able to get a higher grip on the bore axis, but again, the large backstrap does help my hands remedy that. Will I be shooting this in the State IDPA match this weekend? I’ll probably stick with my Glock 17 that I’ve shot all season, but this could end up replacing it next year. It’s a great gun so far and I’m a fan.
(While I bought the last one in stock at The Gun Vault, (more on the way) one of our other site sponsors currently has two of these in stock for a great price. Check ‘em out at Tooele Shooting Supply)

Nick Moyes
UGE Co-Founder
NRA Basic Pistol Instructor & RSO
Utah CFP Instructor
MAG40 Graduate

277 total views, 21 today

The Gun Box Review — A Utah Original

| Product Review | February 12, 2014

The Gun Box RFID and Fingerprint safe

We got our hands on one of the first “The Gun Box” handgun safes–the “Biometric” model. Watch the video below and listen to our interview of the inventor, via our podcast Gun Dudes Radio Podcast Episode #285

It weighs less than 7 lbs and its dimensions are approximately 11″ x 10″ x 3″. We were able to fit an FN-S 9mm, a legit PPK, and a North American Arms .22 mag all soundly inside of it.

Its main goals are: 1) to HELP prevent gun accidents by keeping little hands (kids) away from your gun in that old shoe box in the top of your closet, 2) it looks like a giant router from “Flight of the Navigator” so visually it doesn’t scream, “I’m a gun safe!” as it sits on your nightstand, AND 3) it still allows for quick access to a firearm should the need arise in the middle of the day or night. Check out our first impressions of The Gun Box in the video below and leave some comments if you feel so inclined–Yes, The Gun Box can be broken open–so can any other safe, please refer back to goal #1.

For a Limited time–FREE SHIPPING for Utah Gun Exchange users!
USE COUPON CODE: utgx

89 total views, 4 today

Pumpkin Puncher Installation Video

| Product Review | February 6, 2014

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We install a custom Pumpkin Puncher onto a Mossberg 500 courtesy of  www.HFD2.com out of Orem, UT

30 total views, 1 today

Stainless Tumbling Media Review

| Product Review | February 6, 2014

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A short video review of the Stainless Tumbling Media Tumbler
SCROLL DOWN as well, to see how clean OUR brass actually got.

Once Fired .308 Brass vs. Clean .308 Brass Stainless Tumbling Media & Utah Gun Exchange

Once fired 9mm Brass & Nickel

Clean 9mm Brass & Nickel via Stainless Tumbling Media.

24 total views, 0 today

Utah Gun Exchange to launch partner site–Washington Gun Exchange

| Press Release | January 27, 2014

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 27, 2014
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Nick Moyes
info@utahgunexchange.com

Utah-based group aims to make it easier to buy and sell guns in Washington.

Olympia, Washington – A Utah group is making it easier for residents of Washington State to buy and sell guns. The group behind UtahGunExchange.com, an online classifieds site for private firearm sales, has launched an identical site for Washington residents. According to the site’s founders, Nick Moyes and Kenny Barlow, the goal of the classified site is to bring the Washington gun community together to help protect their 2nd Amendment rights.

“WashingtonGunExchange.com is about building community,” co-founder Nick Moyes said. “We saw what happened when outlets in Utah that were friendly to the gun community bowed to political pressure and we want to preempt this from happening in another gun friendly state.” Moyes is referring to anti-gun former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg who has set his sites firmly on Washington State gun control efforts. Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” contributed $30,000 to a recent Washington gun control initiative.

“We wanted to provide a cooperative marketplace for Washington residents to find and offer firearms for sale.” Kenny Barlow said. “The more communication, coordination, and interaction the gun community has with each other, the harder it will be for adversaries to take away these rights.” In 2012, UtahGunExchange.com was launched within hours of the announcement that the local NBC affiliate had suspended private firearms sales through its classifieds service. UtahGunExchange.com received over 35 million page views in 2013.

Washington’s laws governing the private sales of firearms are identical to Utah. Washington residents can buy or sell firearms privately, as long as both the buyer and the seller are already legally allowed to own a firearm and both are residents of the State of Washington. However, the private sale of firearms across state lines requires that the firearm be transferred through a licensed dealer in the buyer’s state of residence.

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22 total views, 1 today

A Walk-through of SHOT SHOW 2014

| Product Review | January 19, 2014

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Last week, we had the opportunity to attend SHOT Show 2014 and “Buyer’s Day” out at the Boulder City Range.

Check out this video of a walk-through down a SINGLE aisle (and around a corner) to get an idea of the scope of this show.

To hear more about the show download Episode 281 from Gun Dudes Radio Podcast via the web, or iTunes. (It will be available after Jan. 19th, 2014)

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Streamlight Stylus Pro C4 Pen Light Review

| Product Review | January 3, 2014

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Streamlight Stylus Pro C4 Pen Light Review

I love flashlights, second only to firearms, and lately I’ve been looking for a new EDC (Every Day Carry) light. In the past I’ve carried the Surefire™ E2D Defender, and even bought the LED version (it is a tad longer than the original). Both are very bright and are great if you wear cargo pants with extra pockets due to their size or if you want your flashlight to double as a backup weapon with their strike face bezels. However, I wanted something smaller, that didn’t heat up, that runs on everyday accessible batteries, and is still relatively bright.

I already own two Streamlight™ weapon lights that are attached to my bedside pistols. (The 630 lumen monster–the Streamlight TLR-1 HL) I have been VERY pleased with them thus far, so when I saw an Amazon “Lightning Deal” for the Streamlight™ Stylus Pro Penlight with 4 ½ out of 5 stars reviews— I rolled the dice and bought two.  If you plan to purchase one for yourself after reading this review, please support this site by doing so here:  Black Silver Blue Red Green Orange   IMG_1650 Initial Impressions: They arrived promptly and I was glad to see that they came with two, AAA Energizer batteries, a belt loop nylon holster, and a spare button cap for the on/off switch. So far so good, as far as the price was concerned. Not sure what the spare button cap is for, because is identical to the installed cap, and I can’t say that I’ve ever worn through the tail cap of any of my other lights, so it’ll get thrown into that “random parts” drawer (black hole abyss), never to be found again in the event that I DO need it someday. I also like that there is no dirt or water access to the C4 “bulb” itself. You can’t open the housing around the bulb, which is a non-issue because the “bulb” will outlive me—in fact Streamlight™ guarantees it.

Streamlight™ stands behind these lights with a Limited Lifetime Warranty, promising that it will “be free from defects, including LED, for a lifetime of use.”  What they won’t guarantee is the abuse I was about to put my silver version through though, heh heh.  So minus abuse and batteries, the switches and electronics are warrantied for 2 years as long as I keep the proof of purchase—my online Amazon receipt should suffice. Now for the abuse…inspired by their list of Features: IMG_1660 What does “IPX4 water-resistant” really mean? It means, that my silver Stylus Pro needed to go swimming. I’ll refer you to the video below so you can see its capabilities in the water for yourself, but the light held up fine.  There were no water bubbles escaping from it when submerged, however when I opened up the tail cap, small beads of water did make it in there, likely due to my attempts to shake water OFF of the flashlight once I pulled it out of the water bucket. The instructions recommend keeping the o-rings and threads “lubricated with silicone grease”. I should probably reapply some now since it went swimming… Conclusion, it is “water resistant”, but clearly not “water proof” and Streamlight™ is wise to make this distinction clear in their list of features.

The next feature to test was the “unbreakable polycarbonate lens”. I didn’t feel like taking a tack hammer to the lens, but I did turn it on, throw it up in the air 9 feet or so, and let it drop onto my carpeted Man Cave floor MULTIPLE times and there was not hiccup at all. The light never shorted out and there is no dis-figuration to the housing or the lens. (The silver housing is ‘too purdy’ to purposely drop it onto pavement where it would obviously end up with scars.)

Lastly, I tested the “6.25 hour run time”.  One of my biggest gripes with my Surefire lights, besides their bulk, was their limited run time on expensive CR123 batteries. Granted, they are putting out significantly more lumens (500), whereas this light only puts out “48 lumens” at its peak and it is certainly not a secondary weapon. Different purposes, different lights, I digress… IMG_1675IMG_1676The diminished light output followed the data in the graph above precisely, but then proceeded to beat the 6 hour 15 minute run-time mark by nearly a full hour! The light ran until 7hours 14 minutes!  My Surefire™ E2D LED has a “low” setting that also puts out 5 lumens, so it’s not a terrible amount of light, but it’s not great. At the 6 hour mark I would say it was as bright as those handheld lights doctors use to test your pupils’ response, but for this light to last another hour at 5 lumens, isn’t too shabby. Now I need new batteries…

Final notes and conclusion: The tail cap is relatively difficult to compress to turn the light off/on. IMG_1652 I think this by design so that as you’re carrying it in a pocket it doesn’t turn off/on accidentally (Surefire™ G2 issue) and you end up with a dead light when you actually need it. The pocket clip is very strong, and rotates smoothly around the tail cap. It strikes a perfect balance between being able to rotate the clip and not come off the tail cap, without some serious effort. At 5 ¼” long and a max diameter of .58”, it doesn’t bother me to keep it in my front pants pocket or in my Brad Thor Alpha Jacket “tactical pen pocket”. It even fits in that jacket pocket WITH the supplied holster. IMG_1648 All in all, I’m happy with it and it will be a welcome addition to my rotation of EDC gear. IMG_1658Edit: I just bought a Red version one too—darn Amazon and their “Lightning Deals”! I’ll give the silver one to my wife to carry in her purse, next to her holstered Sig P238.

If you plan to purchase one of your own after reading this review, please use the following links to support this site & this product review: Black Silver