And here is why.
B&T’s Veterinärpistole 9 (VP9) is one of the most niche products made by Swiss firearms manufacturer B&T AG. A bolt action pistol with a magazine grip designed to quietly kill wounded animals, it outwardly resembles the suppressed Welrod pistol used by the Allied Special Operations Executive (SOE) to assassinate targets during World War II. This, along with the stylish leather case the gun comes in, has led some to suggest that the VP9 is a modern stealth assassination pistol. But a closer look at the design and contemporary technology suggests that B&T was being honest with the name of the pistol.
In mechanical design, it’s amazing how much the modern VP9 resembles its predecessor, the Welrod. It wouldn’t be surprising if the VP9 project started as a way to see if the company could modernize the Welrod. The design of the trigger bar and grip safety are practically the same as the original Welrod, albeit made with better materials and manufacturing. The design of the bolt is also similar, with two locking lugs operated by a rotating knob on the rear of the pistol.
The suppressor itself is where the differences begin to be seen. B&T’s VP9 has a detachable suppressor that screws onto a very short barrel. The detachable suppressor makes it easier to interchange the wipes and perform maintenance on the suppressor. The detachable suppressor also means that the sights are moved onto the front of the upper “receiver,” rather than being on the tip of the suppressor as they are on the Welrod.
So why is the VP9 a true “veterinary” pistol? Part of it is the target market. Police in Germany are often called out to perform mercy kills on wounded animals, an action called a “Gnadenschuss” (directly translated, a mercy shot). These are usually carried out with hunting rifles or Bundeswehr surplus G3s. However, these usually end up bothering citizens due to the loud noise of a rifle shot.
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