Without any doubt in my mind, the HK VP9 is one of the best new guns introduced in the past several years. When I reviewed the gun, I was very impressed with its reliability, accuracy and how it just fit my hand.
The standard sights on the VP9 are not bad, but many people will definitely want to upgrade them to more traditional night sights. Others will want a bright fiber optic or a plain black rear. Well, this page is an assembly of all of the sights currently available for the HK pistol.
I’ve got a complete write up about what makes good pistol sights here. If you are not sure what you may need in a handgun sight system, you might want to read through that article.
In a nutshell, I believe the best combat sights include a big, bright front with a wide notch rear that will not distract the eye from the front sight. Different people have different views. Mine have developed after years of training, research and actual experience in the use of firearms in violent encounters as a police officer. As they say, your mileage may vary.
A quick note about sight compatibility. Not all HK sights will fit the VP9. So, make sure you get sights that are specifically made for the VP9, P30 or HK45 series only. The USP and P2000 series guns have different sight bases and will not fit properly.
Tritium and Night Sights
HK VP9 night sights are typified by the use of tritium vials set in the metal sights. These sealed vials contain radioactive tritium that is self illuminating. This allows for sights with tritium to glow in the dark for 10 years or longer.
Some night sights – like the ones included on the VP9 from the factory in the US – are photoluminescent. This means that when exposed to a light source, the material absorbs some of the light energy. Then the material gives off the energy, which results in a soft glow that is used for aiming. Different materials have different levels of efficiency when it comes to how long they will glow.
Many of the modern sights offer a combination of materials to enhance the visibility of the sights. For example, one company pairs a tritium vial with a fiber optic rod. Another company uses photoluminescent paint around a tritium vial.
Florida based 10-8 Performance offers a number of sight options for the HK VP9 pistol. It looks like the company currently offers front and rear sights that are sold separately for the handgun. The front sights can be had with a brass bead, tritium vial or a fiber optic rod. Pricing starts at about $37 and goes up depending on what you want.
Rear sights have a wide U-notch and a serrated rear face. The sights do not have any tritium, white dots or other visual references. These rear sights run about $50.
I’ve not used the company’s products before, so I cannot vouch for their quality. However, I have seen some positive comments about them online. The respected Modern Service Weapons blog is associated with the 10-8 Performance company.
For the VP9, Dawson Precision offers a number of competition-style sight sets. The most basic is a plain black front sight with a rear black sight. The next step uses the same rear sight but with a fiber optic front sight. The third choice uses a fiber optic front and a pair of fiber optic rods in the rear sight to create a three-dot type set.
The Dawson Precision rear sights are ramped on the front edge which would seemingly prevent a shooter to manipulate the slide one-handed in an emergency.
Heinie Specialty Products offers a single sight set for the VP9. The Straight Eight set includes a front sight with a tritium vial insert and a rear sight with a single tritium vial insert. Neither the front nor the rear tritium vials have any paint outline.
Unlike many night sight sets that have two rear dots or vials, the Heinie sights use only one. The theory is that a shooter would more easily align the two dots on top of each other like the number 8.
The rear sight has a wide notch. Additionally, the rear has a hard front edge that allows for emergency manipulation of the slide. These sight sets run about $160.
If you are looking for fiber optic sights, HIVIZ has a good reputation for providing bright sights that are easy to install. Up front, HIVIZ offers a front sight with a clear protective overmold. Fiber optic pipes are relatively fragile, so having a protective sleeve is a good addition.
For a rear sight, HIVIZ offers a notch-type setup with a pair of fiber optic pipes.
Meprolight Tru-Dot night sights are considered by many to be the brightest standard night sights on the market. Considering they are significantly less than some of the other options is just a bonus for the HK owner.
The rear sight has a flat, hard edge for emergency slide manipulation. It is my understanding that these are the exact sights that HK uses on its law enforcement and military versions of the VP9 pistol.
Trijicon is one of the best known names in handgun night sights. Its pretty obvious they would make sets for the VP9. Currently, the company offers two sight set options: the Bright & Tough and the HD Night Sights.
Bright & Tough sights are standard equipment on a variety of handguns on the market. They use three tritium vials for aiming in low light conditions: one up front and two in the back. Each vial has a thin white circle outlining it. This allows for easier aiming in bright conditions where the glowing dots are overwhelmed.
The better option from Trijicon is the HD Night Sights. These are specially designed to address the needs of combat shooting. The front sight has a bright tritium insert for low light shooting. It is surrounded by a wide and bright green or orange (you can buy them either way) circle. That paint is photoluminescent to boot. In both bright and low light conditions, this large circle helps you get on target fast.
For the rear portion of the HD set, Trijicon uses a wide U-notch that allows the shooter to find the front sight very fast. Combined with the bright front sight, these sights are quick to get on target. A pair of tritium vials give you reference points on the rear sight at night. There are no outlines around the tritium to distract the eye from the front sight.
The rear sight has a hard edge with a slight hook on the front for one-hand slide manipulation. Additionally, the face of the rear sight is serrated to reduce glare in bright light. All things considered, the HD sights are some of the best on the market for the VP9.
The TFX line of sights from TRUGLO combine tritium with fiber optics in a rugged container to provide very bright sights that can put up with the abuse of daily carry.
TruGlo states the sights are “virtually indestructible” and are impervious to cleaning solvents, oils and even the ultra-sonic cleaning process.
XS Sight Systems
The express-style sights from XS Sight Systems are highly regarded combat sights for their ability to be used quickly under stress. The shooter has a choice of a standard dot or a Big Dot front sight with a shallow V rear sight.
Both versions of the front sight have a tritium insert and are surrounded by a wide white outline. The Big Dot is larger than the standard and is often used by shooters with eyes that have begun to weaken. A shallow V rear sight allows the eye to focus more easily on the front sight. These sets sell for about $120 each.