HK Gets Its FDE On


Heckler & Koch (aka HK) is now offering VP9 and VP40 pistols with a flat dark earth (FDE) frame. The new colored frames are not simply finished in FDE, rather the plastic is properly tinted during the manufacturing process. This means the color will not flake, chip or peel off during hard use.

The slide and other hardware, including the trigger and magazine release, are black. This gives the gun a nice two tone look.


The VP9 and VP40 are striker fired pistols that have been introduced by HK in recent years. The VP9 is a 9mm handgun, while the VP40 is predictably chambered for the .40 S&W cartridge. I had a chance to shoot the VP9 extensively and found the gun to be an excellent performer.

HK states the FDE guns will ship with three dot night sights standard. It appears that those are the photoluminescent sights, and not tritium powered sights.

Both caliber models will have 10 round low capacity magazine options for jurisdictions that have enacted laws that prohibit its citizens from the possession of standard capacity feeding devices. Standard capacity magazines in 9mm hold 15 rounds while 13 rounds are kept in the .40 S&W mags. All versions of the FDE guns carry the same suggested retail price: $819.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • TJbrena

    Glad it’s not the disgusting sand color they’ve used prior to this.

    • Joe Goins

      Wish it was more brown.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      I kind of like the sand. But I would prefer I browner color. I feel like this is the worst of both worlds.

  • Austin

    I still prefer the fifty shades of FDE approach that FN uses

  • Gregory

    The pistol will not work if it gets water in it, will the color also wash off?

    • rennsport4.4TV8

      If you are basing that off MAC’s video check out “Glock 19 vs Shield vs VP9 Water Test” by Freedome first.

    • Some Guy

      That’s a flaw in any pistol that doesn’t somehow account for potential hydrostatic pressure against the firing pin / striker. My primary concern regarding the VP9 is the over-complicated trigger mechanism (see: trigger return spring)

      • Joe Goins

        A lot of people, including myself, have fired the gun underwater and caked in mud. The gun works well.

    • Qba

      They have improved VP9-M and VP40-M versions designed to work in water.

  • Joe Goins

    I like the fact that they incorporated the color into the manufacturing, but I wish it was more brown.

  • TheUnspoken

    Most currently available FDE VP9 and VP40 models have been the LE package with tritium night sights included, either Meprolights or TruGlo TFX Pros, and an extra mag so three total. I have only seen one dealer so far with standard models with 2 mags and the photo luminescent sights. Make sure to get the LE package if you want pre-installed night sights, model number will look like 700009FDELEA5 with LE in it.

  • rennsport4.4TV8

    Looks good. I’d probably stick with black for this gun though for some reason.

  • I’m not expressing an opinion on any gun unless I’ve personally shot it a fair amount.

    • Joe Goins

      I wasn’t referencing you at all. I was referencing @disqus_QlRsbIFBfT:disqus.

      That being said, I have fired more than 6000 rounds out of two VP9s (3421 and 2709). I have fired it in water, in mud, lubricated to the extreme, dry as dust. I can attest that my two VP9s work flawlessly.

      Moreover, I never said that MAC was lying, merely someone hanging on every word he says. As @disqus_m3Pm8CIi74:disqus stated: “I believe MAC is 100% right…for his sample size of 1.” I concur entirely.

  • Bill

    Hey, everybody knows Wolf Grey is the new FDE is the new Foliage Green is the new Coyote is the new Black. FDE is so 2 months ago.

  • Dave

    FDE? No pusilanimous political correctness here at TFB! Please! Bitte! As a German Heckler u. Koch Kampf durch Freude pistole, please use the Nazi-era terms gelbbraun or sandgelb! Otherwise the resident klukkers and faschos will get their dicke feldgrau unterhosen all bunchy in ze crotch area…. ,

  • Tim U

    I believe MAC is 100% right…for his sample size of 1.

    Whether the issue was a one off, a fluke of the particulates in his water, or an actual issue who knows? Not without more repeated tests.

    I have a vp40. I don’t plan on replacing it after seeing the MAC vid.

  • J-

    I’ll consider it an improvement when they fix the trigger guard and take out that channel that rubs a hole in my trigger finger.