H&K VP70z

Started by Krazong, May 09, 2024, 03:37 PM

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For those of you who love polymer made firearms and think that Glock was the first commercially available polymer framed gun, you are wrong.

The first polymer framed gun was actually the Remington Nylon 66 made in 1959 BUT this was in fact a rifle, not a handgun. 

The very first commercially available handgun made with a polymer frame, was in fact the Heckler & Koch VP70.
This was manufactured back in 1970 and therefore predates the first Glock 17 gen 1 by about 12 years.

It was manufactured primarily for the police or  military and it came in two variants.
VP70z was the "Zivil" or civilian version lacked the ability to add the shoulder stock extension to enable the three round automatic burst.
VP70m was the military variant and when mated with the shoulder stock, had the ability to fire a three round burst.

It was not widely accepted and one can argue that it was a commercial failure.  The firearm was very innovative for it's period though but had some minor niggles which made it not very popular.  The main drawback was the fact that it is a pure blowback type pistol, without any lockup mechanism used by most 9mmP chambered firearms.  This caused some design limitations which include:
Very heavy slide to absorb recoil
Very deep grooves in the barrel to reduce pressure.

It also came with a unique front sight which did not work very well.  It has two brightly polished posts and this caused a black "shadow" in between the posts which you need to align with the notched rear sight.  The sights were not replaceable.  It also does not have a slide lock on the last round fired.  This is a problem as you might find that your gun goes "click" instead of "bang" unless you counted the rounds fired.
Similar to Glock. it was striker fired with no external safety.  Unlike Glocks, the VP70 has a DAO trigger (Double Action Only) and the trigger is very heavy with every single shot fired, making accurate shots a challenge.  It was very reliable though.  Every shot fired had an "interesting" type of recoil due to the extremely heavy metal slide and the very stiff recoil spring.  It is also fairly big but does have an 18 round double stack, double feed magazine.  Loading the magazine can be done in a similar way to an Uzi where the rounds are simply pushed straight down into the magazine.

Overall, an interesting collectors gun with a very prominent place in history.


Got to fire one of these once as a young man and remember thinking that my CZ75 had a trigger so much better that I pittied the krauts who had to wield it. Fascinating thing though and incredibly far ahead of its time. The chamber fluting to aid extraction was one of its secret H&K sauces too.