Known for its iconic appearance in Aliens and several Resident Evil games, the VP70 holds a unique historical distinction; being the first polymer framed mass production pistol. Although a technical marvel back when it was introduced, the VP70 is largely a collector’s item in today’s market. (GRH)

Since the price of any rifle that I might want soared well past what I could hope to afford in the past few weeks, I decided to take advantage of the drop in prices for oddball handguns and finally bought a pistol I’ve always wanted. According to the H und K stamping code, this one was manufactured in 1984. It even came in the original box with an extra 18 round magazine.

So I decided that since I had a new pistole, now was as good a time as ever to try out the new range in town (and so far the only one that doesn’t require membership in some hoity-toity club). I found that many of the things that people hold against the VP70 didn’t really hold up; the optical-illusion front sight was actually very effective, the European mag catch didn’t bother me, the push-button safety worked fine, and it was exceptionally reliable - even the cheapo bargain bin ammo that gave my CZ 85B a few FTEs worked flawlessly in the VP70. When it comes to ammo, it’s a freaking billy goat. The trigger pull is rather long and heavy (and cleary shows that the VP70 was designed for a machine pistol with stock format first with the civvy version being an afterthought), but the problem is more in the length than the actual weight of the pull; it doesn’t break until the absolute end of it’s travel, well past where most semi-autos would. It does effect accuracy and isn’t very intuitive, but could be easily overcome with enough practice. The real flaw with the thing is that every shot makes you feel like you’re getting kicked in the palm by a pissed off kangaroo with ‘roid rage. The recoil on this thing is absurd. I’m gonna’ need a lot of range time and some padded fingerless gloves to tame this fell beast.