How to Clean Your H&K VP9 9MM

cleaning vp9 header

Field Strip & Clean the H&K VP9

Welcome to our “How to Clean Your H&K VP9 9MM” blog post. Whether you’re a new H&K VP9 owner or a bit rusty and looking to care for your prized handgun. We’ll cover proper maintenance to ensure its longevity and top-notch function. In this blog, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide, complete with step-by-step instructions and expert tips on effectively cleaning and maintaining your H&K VP9 9mm. We’ll cover the necessary equipment, disassembly and cleaning techniques, and reassembly procedures, all designed to keep your firearm pristine. So, let’s get started, gather your cleaning supplies, and embark on a journey to master the art of preserving the H&K VP9 9mm.

Safe Gun Handling

Before you start learning “How to Clean Your H&K VP9 9MM”, you should always be mindful of safety. When handling your firearm, you should always practice muzzle control, and before starting to clean any gun, you should remove the magazine and visually inspect the chamber.

Cleaning Considerations

When cleaning any firearm, the condition of the firearm will be an important factor in how you clean it. Different firearm conditions that will dictate how you clean your gun would be the following.

  • Regular cleaning
    • Cleaning after a day at the range. This type of cleaning and lubricating is regularly done and consists of a barrel, slide, and frame.
  • Sporadic Cleaning
    • If you tend to clean your gun less frequently, maybe shoot it several times before cleaning it. It is likely a good idea to soak parts like the barrel and spring to help loosen buildup. Further, utilize your brushes to a higher degree to ensure all surfaces are free of any build-up.
  • Cleaning for long storage
    • Cleaning for long-term storage can be more involved and depends on some variables. We will do an additional blog post covering the specifics and variables determining how best to clean and prepare your gun for long-term storage.

For the sake of this blog post, and because my H&K is cleaned every time I use it, I will cover a “regular cleaning”. If you do not have your cleaning supplies and are looking for assistance with that, please ss our post on “Handgun Cleaning” for recommendations. The regular cleaning covers all the same areas of the handgun that a deeper cleaning would, although when doing a deeper cleaning, you may need to soak parts and use your brushes more.

Cleaning H&K VP9 Video

Field Strip the VP9

Once you’ve cleared your firearm and know it’s safe to begin. The next step is to clean each component properly. For the sake of this cleaning, that will include the magazine, slide, barrel, spring, and frame.

Removing the VP9 Slide

Step 1 to field stripping your H&K VP9 is to remove the slide. To remove the slide,

  • Pull slide back
  • With the slide back, push the slide stop up to lock the slide in place.
  • Once held in place, turn the slide disassembly lever down.
    • If the lever won’t go down, the likely culprit is that you may have failed to clear your firearm correctly and forgot to remove the magazine. Or perhaps you cleared your firearm, put the magazine back out of habit, and then started to clean your gun. It happens.

Barrel and Spring removal

When the slide is removed, you will focus on removing the barrel and spring from the slide. Pushing the spring forward towards the front of the barrel, then raising it (slowly releasing tension) to remove it. After the spring is removed, lift the back end of the barrel and pull it toward the rear of the gun to remove it.

Cleaning the VP9

Before starting the cleaning process, it’s always a good idea to visually inspect all the components of your VP9 9mm. Look for any build-up. If you find buildup on the barrel or spring, you can soak those in bore cleaner; for the frame and slide, if you find buildup, you’ll spray or apply bore cleaner and make a note to brush these areas once the cleaner has loosened things have up.

Prepping the Barrel

spraying bore cleaner in barrel

Some people like to soak their barrel in a bowl with bore cleaner; if it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your gun, it’s a good idea. Because my handguns are cleaned after each use, I spray a foam bore cleaner in the barrel and stand it up so it runs down inside the barrel. Then, I’ll leave it to sit and clean it last to ensure it breaks up as much powder residue as possible.

Like the barrel, spray down the dirtiest parts of your gun first and let them sit for a few minutes before cleaning. Then, for heavy deposits, you’ll follow up with brushes. When finished cleaning your gun, there should be no visible signs of buildup.

Cleaning H&K VP9 Frame, Slide, and Spring

When cleaning my VP9’s parts, I typically start with the cleanest parts first, allowing the dirtier parts more time to soak. That order generally is 1. Spring, 2, Outside of barrel 3. Slide 4. Frame 5. Inside of barrel

Cleaning your VP9 9mm’s Spring

Cleaning spring with CLP wipe

When I start cleaning each part of the gun, I typically use CLP wipes, but you can use a bore cleaner on a patch or something similar.

The spring is an easy place to start because it isn’t typically that dirty. I’ll take the CLP wipe and work it all around the spring and between the coils. If the wipe collects very little powder debris, I’ll leave it at that and move on to the barrel.

Cleaning outside of the barrel

The front of the outside of the barrel and ramp are typically the dirtiest part, so I’ll start with my wipes there. Wiping down the barrel and ramp thoroughly and ensuring no build-up anywhere. Sometimes if you’ve shot a couple hundred or more rounds, there may be some stubborn residue; if so, you’ll want to take a bronze brush and remove it.

Cleaning the Slide

Start with the VP9’s slide, again with the CLP wipes, and do your best to wipe down the slide completely. The best indicator of effective cleaning is when your wipes start coming back clean. Once you’re comfortable that your slide is clean, you’ll want to get a Q-Tip or pick to push your wipes into the rails. Rails can be stubborn, and you must ensure they are cleaned thoroughly.

Cleaning the Frame

The frame of your VP9 9MM is part of the gun with the hardest-to-reach areas to clean. I recommend starting with the CLP wipes again. It’s had time to soak in the CLP spray from earlier; the powder residue comes up reasonably quickly after wipes, Q-Tips, and or picks with a patch soaked in cleaner. The frame has many little pockets that can hold residue. When you feel like the frame is clean, give it once over again. It usually hits a couple of spots that produce gunpowder residue.

Cleaning the Barrel

The final part of the H&K I clean is the inside of the barrel. The bore cleaner has had plenty of time to soak in and should have gunpowder residue broken down. I’ll run a bore brush through the barrel a few times to ensure I break everything up. First, start the rod through the ramp side of the barrel. Run it through the same way a bullet would travel. Then, guide it through pulling it out the front.

After brushing the barrel, switch the rod tip to the slotted end. Run patches through the barrel to remove powder residue. Dip the patch in bore cleaner and run it through the barrel. Repeat this process (typically 4 to 6 patchers) until the patch comes out clean of gunpowder residue.

Lubricating your VP9

Now that cleaning your VP9 9MM is completed, it’s time to lubricate my firearm. When lubricating, so you don’t forget steps,

The parts you cleaned will need lube, but you should be mindful of over-lubricating. I recommend using a patch with a light layer of lubrication to avoid over-lubricating. Also, as you’re wiping down the parts you cleaned, look for shiny spots that are getting extra friction. You will want to lubricate slightly heavier on these areas and the rail.

One dot of oil in each rail will suffice, and for the shiny spots, use the same patch technique but with slightly heavier gun oil.

Reassembly of your H&K VP9

Now that your H&K VP9 9MM is cleaned and lubed, you’ll reassemble it. The order for reassembly is as follows.

  • Place barrel in slide.
  • Replace spring in slide
  • Guide slide onto rails (making sure your disassembly lever is still pointing downward.
  • Push the slide back which will typically pop the slide lever back up. If it doesn’t, simply lock the slide in the back and flip the disassembly lever up.
  • Release the slide lock and guide the slide forward.
  • With the magazine out move the slide back and forth to ensure proper function, replace the magazine and again ensure proper functionality.

VP9 Cleaning Conclusion

I hope this helps answer questions on how to clean your H&K VP9 9MM. If you have additional questions, please leave them in the comments below. All questions will get a prompt reply.


How often should I clean my HK VP9?

It is recommended to clean your HK VP9 after every use. However, if you don’t use your gun frequently, then you should clean it at least once a month.

What tools do I need to clean my HK VP9?

You will need a cleaning kit with a cleaning rod, brushes, patches, and cleaning solvent. You may also need a gun lubricant and a soft cloth to wipe down the exterior of the gun.

Can I use any type of cleaning solvent on my HK VP9?

No, you should use a cleaning solvent that is specifically designed for use with firearms. Avoid using household cleaning products, as they may damage the finish of your gun or leave behind residue that can cause malfunctions.


  • Michael Hodgdon

    A firearm, shooting, outdoor, and hunting enthusiast for over 35 years. Thank you all for the suggestions on topics you would like to see; we'll keep posting as you keep sending them in. Please comment; we will try to answer all comments quickly.

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