For those that followed me on my old website, you’ll know that I had a Walther PPQ M1 a long time ago that I reviewed, and subsequently removed the review of; it was terribly done. After trading it off for my first Heckler & Koch USP Compact, I finally cycled all the way back to the Walther PPQ which was once my very first striker fired handgun. This time around though it has a lame button style magazine release and a long slide. The question now is, do I still like the PPQ as much as I did way back then?
Or has that opinion changed?
This will be one of the only Walther PPQ reviews you’ll read that wasn’t paid for in some way by Walther.
In the box with the Walther PPQ M2 you’re going to receive: typical paperwork, non-simulated test target, obligatory gun lock, the firearm, a mag loader, 3 magazines (if you get an LE labeled model like I did), and some cleaning utensils (I think… I lost them since I bought the gun if I did).
Control wise the PPQ is entirely ambidextrous. It has an ambidextrous slide release and a reversible magazine release (which is how they should be); if you opt for the M1 variant it’s a fully ambidextrous paddle release.
You’re also able to modify the grip slightly with a total of 3 (S,M,L) backstraps that come in the box with the firearm (I believe medium is the factory default); my favorite is S as it lets me get a tighter purchase on the gun. The weird thing here is, the backstraps use a rubber material that’s completely different from the rest of the frame.
(Picture is from my PPQ M1 review from days gone by)
With a factory PPQ M2 you’re going to get plastic white 3-dot sights with an adjustable rear and a polymer recoil assembly with a single captured spring.
Frame Material: Polymer
Size Category: Compact Frame/Full Size Slide
Magazine Type: Double Stack
Flush Capacity: 15 rounds
Overall Length: 8.1 inches
Barrel Length: 5 inches
Width: 1.3 inches
Height: 5.3 inches
Weight: 26 ounces
Trigger Weight: ~5lbs
Debuting in 2011 the Walther PPQ has never really…taken off-off. Walther hit the marketing game hard I’m told at the beginning, then it died down, and then they started pushing the platform via paid sponsorships to highly revered instructors. Unfortunately the PPQ has suffered one major blight since it’s release; the ability for consumers to source parts independently.
My first PPQ was an M1 variant that I purchased back in 2016 for the outstanding price of $400 even during one of their major rebate programs. It was my very first striker fired pistol and I fell in love with it. The trigger was phenomenal, it felt fantastic in my hand, and I couldn’t find fault with it… until I tried shooting 147gr 9mm.
After experiencing the slide seizing multiple times on 147gr 9mm I contacted Walther; they had me send the gun in (free of charge) and had it back to me within the week with an upgraded Q5 extractor and ejector which solved the issue.
There’s a lot to cover with the ergonomics of this pistol, so let’s start off with the good. It feels absolutely fantastic in my dominant hand and it has a non-obtrusive magazine release which is great. Slide serrations were very well executed and provide easy slide manipulations. The trigger guard also allows for ample spacing for the thickest of winter gloves.
It’s also super easy to access the take down levers which I’ve had difficulties using on Glock pistols.
This is where we start getting into the complaints. While the texturing sufficiently covers the grip it only really works well if your hands are dryer than the Sahara Desert. On a rainy day of shooting, shooting the pistol is like having slicks on a Mustang in the middle of an ice storm…but less fun. If you run a high thumbs forward grip, the slide release is too long; if Walther shaved off about 1/4 of it, it’d be absolutely perfect.
The weirdest complaint is using the firearm in my offhand. In my strong hand, single or two handed grip, the pistol feels phenomenal in my hand. It has a very natural feeling to it that no other pistol has… but then I switch it to my off hand. With a single handed off hand grip the pistol feels as good as it did in my strong hand… adding my strong hand as the support hand makes it feel awkward, almost like it doesn’t belong there at all.
The reason this is so weird to me is, with several different pistols there’s that obvious feeling that it’s not your preferred grip, but it’s entirely useable. With the PPQ it’s awkward to use my dominant hand as a support hand; it’s like it doesn’t fit.
How It Shoots
The best part of shooting the Walther PPQ is the trigger; it’s the best factory striker fired trigger I’ve ever pulled. It has an extremely clean initial trigger pull with spring tensioned slack leading up to definite wall, at the wall you’re met with a nice 5lb break. The reset is relatively short, mildly audible, but very tactile.
The odd thing with the trigger is you can’t visually tell whether it’s cocked or not. After you pull the trigger to decock the pistol, it goes forward under minor spring tension (in the header image the striker isn’t cocked).
Recoil wise the PPQ isn’t as harsh or as wild as one might think when considering it has a single spring recoil assembly and a bore axis that rival’s the Sig P226’s. It’s a mild shooter and the extra 1″ on the barrel/slide compared to the 4″ model definitely makes a noticeable difference as far as I can remember (it’s been about 5 years since I shot a 4″ model).
Between the two models I had, the PPQ M1 I had in 2016 was problematic. With 147gr JHP and FMJ it did not want to chamber the ammunition or cycle through it. This resulted in a lot of seized slides and a damaged rear sight (they’re plastic) by forcing the slide open off the edge of a table. This led to me contacting Walther, them sending me a pre-paid shipping label, and getting the gun back to me within 7 days of me having sent it out.
The 5″ M2 PPQ I have currently has been completely reliable with 115gr & 124gr 9mm; unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any 147gr 9mm to use due to COVID causing an ammo shortage.
I love the Walther PPQ quite a bit; that’s why I had it milled by C&H Precision for the Holosun 507c V2… these days though I’m questioning my allegiance to the pistol. It’s been a decade since it’s release; the Mec-Gar made magazines are still $40/ea and spare parts…are laughably only available by contacting the manufacturer. To add insult to injury Walther just came out with the PDP which brings the longevity of the PPQ’s support into question.
If you’re someone that’s looking for a phenomenal shooting pistol from the factory that only really needs grip tape to be a “perfect shooter” almost…then the Walther PPQ is going to be great for you. If you’re someone who wants a pistol to grow with you as a shooter, I’d say look elsewhere.
Magazines are pricey and can be troublesome to find, you really can’t get it direct milled for an optic, and you can’t perform preventative maintenance without contacting the manufacturer.