The P9S The Mainstay of the Series Cal. 9mm x 19/7.65mm x 21.5/.45ACP/.22LR
One of the most common misconceptions about the proper names of Heckler & Koch firearms is a lack of understanding about the origins of the names. I was under the impression that the "S" in P9S stood for 'Sport,' until I did further research. It does not stand for Sport, and there is a completely different lineage of the P9S that is further called the "Sport" model; those with the barrel weights and target grips.
The 'S' as added to the P9 pistol stands for 'Spannabzug.' (Schponn-Obtsoog) Translated into English, Spannabzug means 'double action trigger.' This is the fundamental design difference between the P9 and the P9S..
P9S Serial number 057, with lanyard ring
Herbert Meidel, as with the P9, was the technical designer for the P9S series. Fundamentally amazing in recoil abatement, the roller locking system was working so well in the rifles, that inclusion into a pistol had to be inevitable.
Removed from the slide, the roller locking bolt appears below.
As stated on the P9 page, further development of the early versions of the P9 pistol led to StK 0004, a P9 with select fire capability! In the photograph below is StK 0004 with a shoulder stock behind it, which like the VP70 doubled as a holster for the pistol when not in use.
P9, serial number StK 0004, the first select fire version
Further experimentation with select fire P9S pistols involved the use of wooden prototype foregrips in the vertical and 90 degree horizontal positions. This pistol is described as the last protoype. No fire selector is visible on this side of the gun. This gun is serial number 100 319. It is also still marked P9.
As stated above, the select fire version of the P9 had an optional shoulder stock. Because of this one could surmise a very close lineage with the VP70M. The three photos below show the concept of a shoulder stock for stability of the pistol in full automatic, and further utility by using the stock as a storage device. The Russian Stechkin series mirrors this concept as well.
Development of the P9S series continued with sound suppressed versions as well. The heavy suppressor in the below photos is undoubtedly obsolete technology now, but nonetheless, the HK designers were experimenting with this in the late 60s and early 70s. The suppressor shown below has its own sights mounted on it due to its huge size. There are reportedly many suppressed P9S pistols in service with the U.S. Navy, albeit probably now in storage.
P9S So engraved and presented to Egyptian President Anwar el Sadat.
As was stated on the P9 page, the P9 was made in a quantity of 24 units in 7.65 x 21.5 caliber before being produced in greater quantities as the P9S for the Italian civilian shooting community. Approximately 600 units of the P9S in this caliber were produced between June of 1973 and April, 1976.
P9S Pistol in 7.65 x 21.5 caliber, production serial number 200002
No description of the P9S would be complete without mentioning that at least in prototype models, (Versuchsmodelle) (fair-sooks mow delleh) the pistol was produced in .22 LR.
Throughout their entire product line, HK has produced either firearms chambered for the .22LR or manufactured conversion kits for them.
Prototype model of P9S Sport model, with "backpack" rear sight. Note slide still marked P9.
Highly desirable collector's package. P9S Sport with target grips and barrel weight, standard grips and standard slide. This package is very valuable, with premium prices being commanded for them.