2019 Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 9
Potential not realized – Umarex HK VP9
By Dennis Adler
The then new Heckler & Koch VP9 earned instant hero gun status by becoming 007’s primary pistol in 2015’s Spectre. Daniel Craig as Bond took the VP9 from a Spectre assassin early in the film and while he still had the Walther, Bond used the HK throughout the rest of the film along with the PPK. It was as auspicious a launch for the HK VP9 in Spectre as Tomorrow Never Dies was for the Walther P99 in 1997 when Pierce Brosnan’s Bond traded in his PPK for the new 9mm Walther. The new Umarex HK VP9 CO2 model is a very close copy.
I think the title says it all, this is the gun that, had it been built a little differently, was already frontloaded with potential, but once again marketing and price point took the lead and a gun of great potential became a very good blowback action CO2 pistol that could have been one of the very best of 2019. Why, because the 9mm HK model was immediately catapulted to iconic status by being the latest pistol to fall into the hands of Bond, James Bond.
Very close indeed, from the left side, which has excellent detail. The blowback action CO2 model does not fieldstrip so the disassembly lever is a non-functional molded-in piece. The VP9 does, however, exhibit all the centerfire pistol’s markings, including 9mm x 19 on the slide.
A Bonded Gun
While Heckler & Koch rifles have had a recurring role for decades in Bond films, in Spectre, there was a clear combination of two handguns being used by in 007 throughout the film, his Walther PPK and the new HK VP9 that Bond “acquires” from a Spectre operative during a spectacular shootout at the Hofner Clinic in the Austrian Alps. From that point on, 007 has both the PPK and VP9 right up to the film’s climatic ending. It was a stunning debut for the new H&K pistol, introduced in mid 2014, so it was a new gun when Spectre came out in 2015. The Heckler & Koch has held on to its Bond mystique ever since.