Heckler & Koch VP70
The VP70 is a 9 mm, 18-round, double action only, semi-automatic
Semi-automatic firearm
A semi-automatic, or self-loading firearm is a weapon which performs all steps necessary to prepare the weapon to fire again after firing—assuming cartridges remain in the weapon's feed device or magazine...

/three-round burst capable polymer
A polymer is a large molecule composed of repeating structural units. These subunits are typically connected by covalent chemical bonds...

 frame pistol
When distinguished as a subset of handguns, a pistol is a handgun with a chamber that is integral with the barrel, as opposed to a revolver, wherein the chamber is separate from the barrel as a revolving cylinder. Typically, pistols have an effective range of about 100 feet.-History:The pistol...

 manufactured by German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 arms firm Heckler & Koch
Heckler & Koch
Heckler & Koch GmbH is a German defense manufacturing company that produces various small arms. Some of their products include the SA80, MP5 submachine gun, G3 automatic rifle, the G36 assault rifle, the HK 416, the MP7 personal defense weapon, the USP series of handguns, and the high-precision...

 GmbH. VP stands for Vollautomatische Pistole (literally "Fully Automatic Pistol"), and the designation 70 was for the year of the first edition: 1970.

It was the first polymer-framed pistol and predates the Glock 17
Glock pistol
The Glock pistol, sometimes referred to by the manufacturer as Glock "Safe Action" Pistol, is a series of semi-automatic pistols designed and produced by Glock Ges.m.b.H., located in Deutsch-Wagram, Austria. The company's founder, engineer Gaston Glock, had no experience with firearm design or...

 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
Remington Arms
Remington Arms Company, Inc. was founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, as E. Remington and Sons. It is the oldest company in the United States which still makes its original product, and is the oldest continuously operating manufacturer in North America. It is the only U.S....

 Nylon 66 rifle was the first polymer-framed firearm in production.

One unique feature of this weapon involved the combination stock/holster for the martial 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 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, the VP70 does indeed have a manual safety. It is the circular button located immediately behind the trigger and is a common crossblock safety.

The handgun comes in two varieties. The "Z" (Zivil, civilian) variant is a semiautomatic 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 handgrip (however they remain semiautomatic only); the "M" (Militär, military) variant is burst capable. The VP70 was produced from 1970 until 1989. Four hundred VP70-Z pistols were made chambered in 9x21mm IMI
9x21mm IMI
The 9×21mm pistol cartridge was designed by Israel Military Industries for those markets where military service cartridges, like the 9×19mm Parabellum, are banned by law for civilian use, such as Italy and Mexico.-History:Based on the 9×19mm Parabellum cartridge, the casing was lengthened from...

; these samples were made primarily for the civilian market of Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, where the use of the 9x19mm Parabellum is a sole privilege of military and law enforcement agencies. All of the VP70-Z pistols sold in Italy can mount the stock-holster but are not selective-fire capable.
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