Country of origin

West Germany


Heckler & Koch

Year(s) designed


Production began


Production ended


Weapon type

Machine pistol



Overall length


Barrel length


Weight empty

820 g

Magazine/Cylinder capacity

18-round detachable box magazine

Cyclic rate

2200 rounds/min (burst mode)

Maximum effective range

50 m

Used by

Paraguay (VP70Z)
Portugal (VP70M)

The VP70 is a double-action only, select-fire, polymer-framed pistol manufactured by German arms firm Heckler & Koch GmbH. VP stands for Volkspistole (literally "People's Pistol"), and the designation 70 was for the year of the first edition, which is 1970.

Design Edit

It was the first polymer-framed pistol and predates the Glock 17 by 12 years. The weapon weighed 820 g (28.9 oz) unloaded, lighter than most other metal framed pistols of the time. Although it was the first polymer pistol, the Remington Nylon 66 rifle introduced in 1959 was the first polymer-framed firearm in production.

One unique feature of this weapon involved the combination stock/holster unit for the military version of the VP70. The stock incorporates a selector switch that, when mounted, allows selective fire. Cyclic rate of fire for the three-round burst mode is 2200 rounds per minute. When not mounted, the stock acts as a holster. The VP70 uses a spring-loaded striker like a Glock, instead of a conventional firing pin. It is double-action only so the trigger pull is relatively heavy. In lieu of a blade front sight, the VP70 uses a polished ramp with a central notch in the middle to provide the illusion of a dark front post. Contrary to a common misconception about the weapon, the VP70 does indeed have a manual safety. It is the circular button located immediately behind the trigger and is a common crossblock safety.

Variants Edit

The handgun comes in two models. The "VP70Z" (Zivil, civilian) variant is a semi-automatic only version, and although many have no provision to mount a stock, some of them can have a stock fitted after minor alterations to the hand grip (however, they remain semiautomatic only); the "VP70M" (Militär, military) variant is burst capable. The VP70 was produced from 1970 to 1989. Four hundred VP70Z pistols were made chambered in 9×21mm IMI; these samples were made primarily for the civilian market of Italy, where the use of the 9×19mm Parabellum is a sole privilege of military and law enforcement agencies. All of the VP70Z pistols sold in Italy can mount the stock-holster but are not select-fire firearms.