Firearm: Heckler & Koch VP9 (MSRP: $799)
Heckler & Koch’s VP9 brought a modern striker-fired design to the HK lineup in 2014, and the company has been making a great pistol even better over the years. We’ve covered the VP9-SK—a more concealed-carry friendly version—as well as the VP9-B, which has a familiar pushbutton magazine release. This was added to appeal to those who didn’t care for the HK trademark ambidextrous, trigger guard-mounted lever. Recently, HK updated the VP9 to include an optics-ready version, and to accept 17-round magazines.
There are quite a few reasons to opt for the VP9, even in full-size form. One of the most apparent is the multitude of options when it comes to fitting the VP9 to the shooter’s hand. Multiple backstrap and grip panel sizes are available, yielding 27 different configurations possible on the pistol. When it comes to making sure your pistol fits your hand, the VP9 is probably second only to the Smith & Wesson revolver for options.
Another reason to choose the VP9 is the trigger, which is superlative for any trigger, not just those found on striker-fired handguns. A short reset, light take-up and clean break make the VP9 an easy pistol to shoot, especially after fitting it to the shooter’s hand. Need another reason? The flat, captive recoil spring is designed to make the VP9 easier to charge and works in conjunction with the raised “ears” at the back of the slide. These design elements make it more accessible to a wider range of shooters.
Adaptability, shootability and modularity are excellent points in favor of the VP9. It can be custom fit, have an electro-optic mounted, is easy to manipulate and has an accessory rail for lights and/or lasers. While the VP9 is considered full-size, it’s about the same size overall as a Glock G19, with an extra 2 ounces in weight and a slightly larger grip. While it might set you back a little more than some other polymer-frame, striker-fired handguns, the tradeoffs you gain are certainly worth consideration.
Holster: Tulster Oath (MSRP: $79.99; $94.99 as shown)
To carry the VP9, we’ve chosen the Tulster OATH holster. OATH stands for Optics-ready, Ambidextrous Tuckable Holster, and the acronym sums up the reasons we picked it. Since the VP9 is optics-compatible, there’s no reason not to have a holster that can accommodate a firearm with a dot. The VP9 is supremely capable for both right- and left-handed shooters, so the holster should be as well. And, should concealability be paramount, it can be tucked in.
Single-sheet Kydex construction molded to the individual pistol gives a precise fit that holds the gun securely. The ambidextrous sweat guards keep the pistol away from your skin, while the Modwing helps keep everything tucked in tight to the body. DCC’s tuckable Discreet Carry clip offers a streamlined designed with a small footprint, regardless of whether it’s tucked in or not. The OATH we have here is shown in the Black Multicam pattern, which does incur a slight upcharge.
Accessory: Gatorz Marauder Photochromic ballistic eyewear (MSRP: $300)
While eye protection isn’t exactly EDC gear, what about sunglasses that double as eye protection? Gatorz Marauder eye protection is ballistic rated to ANSI Z87+ MilSpec standard, has scratch-resistant lenses, anti-fog coating and a Cerakote finish on the frame. The pair we have today is photochromatic, which means the lenses darken in sunlight and transition back to clear once inside and out of the sun’s UV rays. This is super convenient when you decide to head to the range, as your daily sunglasses turn into range wear simply by walking indoors.
Comfort and style are important in your choice of daily gear, and the Marauders have that in spades. Rather than a polymer frame, the Marauder’s is aluminum. The nosepiece has a metal core with a silicone cover and adjusts to fit. There’s even a prescription-lens version available for those who need corrective lenses. With the Gatorz Marauder series of protective eyewear, there’s just no reason not to look good while protecting your eyes on and off the range.