Walther PPQ: Doing What Glock Does Better in 9mm?
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Standing out from the crowd, the Walther PPQ has been designed with elevated details that place this recoil-operated semi-auto pistol above its top-selling compatriots.
Designed for competition shooting and defense, the PPQ can also be considered as a good carry weapon. Better aesthetics may impress from first-look, but there’s more to discover with improvements in this class that elevate this Luger to a higher set.
The PPQ is very accurate thanks to a combination of the incredible trigger and excellent ergonomics.
The sights are low profile and easily visible. The standard white dot sights, that are windage adjustable, are set with a wide rear sight that allows for faster target acquisition. In my short-range drill shoots and my home interior-defense course, getting on target quickly was a breeze.
The lower rail will allow for a light being affixed to improve night accuracy. If you are looking for upgraded optics for night visibility, then there are easily installed night sights available to swap out.
Excellent ergonomics in the textured grip, with flares at the trigger guard and well-molded handgrip give a solid foundation to maintain control in high-speed firing.
Five shot groups at fifteen yards were regularly under two inches, at ten yards the groupings were stacked on top of each other perfectly. Even at the longest of my steel target drills, I was plinking away without fail.
My nine-millimeter M2 is a reliable workhorse that will function without fail in any condition, including when I’m shooting with it totally wet.
This weapon is my go-to for regular shooting on the course, and any of the infrequent and far-between malfunctions are generally due to my operational error. The trigger pull is brilliantly consistent for every single shot. The shelf on the beavertail of the frame allows for a high tight grip, allowing for excellent stability and muscle memory that keeps me moving without hiccup day in and day out.
To protect the PPQ from rust and wear, Walther treats the slide and barrel with a Tenifer finish. Given the regular beatings that this pistol takes at my hands, that extra protection comes in handy.
A mid-size weapon, slightly bigger than a Glock 19, the PPQ is well made for easy handling.
On purchase, the new models come with swappable palm swells to make sure you have a grip that fits your hand well. I was happy with the medium-size back strap but having worked with shooters who have very small or very large hands, this ability to fit-to-palm properly without having to buy more is great.
The grip is attractive and functional with Walther’s ergonomic features, slight finger groove bumps and cross-directional stippling have a good feel without being too rough.
I’m happy with the PPQ’s less aggressive curve in the handgrip than some other Walthers, such as the PPX.
The Ambi controls include a slide release and a magazine release button that isn’t accessible from both sides, but it can be swapped for left-handed shooters or for when I’m shooting with my off-hand.
Three passive safety devices take the place of manual safety control, so vigilance with trigger avoidance and common sense are required to handle this weapon. Something for you to think about if you’re considering the PPQ for a daily carry piece.
The trigger on the Walther PPQ is where this semi-auto 9 really shines.
The light and crisp “quick defense” trigger is the star of the show. A 5-pound trigger break has .4 inch travel with a scant .1 inch reset.
The smooth lightning speed of this trigger, with the barely-there reset, allows for impeccable control and accuracy.
Such an impressive quality of design in this mechanism, to a much higher point than the many competitors in this game.
Magazine & Reloading
A typical double-column magazine carries a 15 + 1 9mm cache.
The ambidextrous controls for the magazine release come in handy in a variety of situations.
Clean, straightforward, and everything you’d expect from a defense weapon. The predictable nature of the reloading capability makes work with the PPQ effortless.
Length & Weight
The 4-inch barrel was originally the standard, and the newer models available (including my own) sport the adjustment to a 5-inch length. The shorter barrelled versions of the 9mm are just as consistent and accurate as the updated models. The changes to the design improve the feel and balance, as well as improve the overall look of the weapon.
The overall weight comes in at just over 26 ounces, and places this weapon on the higher end of what I’d prefer for an everyday carry weapon. It isn’t my first choice for carrying concealed, but on the range and in competition, she’s my girl.
The Walther PPQ has a very manageable recoil.
Performing as expected, the recoil on M2 makes for easy shooting and handling. Reacquiring targets in rapid shoot courses is quick and easy and those wider rear sights help me with the management under pressure.
There are .40 and .45 caliber options for the PPQ, which will not only increase your weapon cost, but the accessory and ammo costs should be factored into that decision as well. Additional or replacement mags will set you back about $40 for the 9-millimeter M2, with bucket loads of affordable ammo options.
If you are wanting to shoot frequently, especially for competition shooting that keeps you on the course mag after mag, the 9-millimeter is by far and away more affordable in the ammo category against the .45 caliber.
The excellent trigger sets the stage for accuracy in this well-balanced semi-automatic winner. With the Glock changing the game so many years ago, Walther has taken the ball and run with it. With my PPQ in the holster, there’s never any question that I have one of the most reliable and accurate sidearms on the market.
Richard Douglas is a firearms expert and educator. His work has appeared in large publications like The Armory Life, Daily Caller, American Shooting Journal, and more. In his free time, he reviews optics on his Scopes Field blog.