In 2011 Walther debuted the PPQ series. The PPQ went to be claimed by many to have the best striker fired factory trigger around; something I agree with. Despite having the best striker fired factory trigger, it was an uphill battle to get the PPQ traction in terms of popularity. Fast forward a decade and several sponsorships and the Walther PPQ has really begun to gain popularity. Now there’s a handful of different models that exist; the PPQ M1 (paddle release) & M2 (button release), the PPQ Navy, the Q5 Polymer, the Q5 Steel Frame, and the Q4 Steel frame. With the popularity of the latter models, Walther has come out with the PDP or Performance Duty Pistol.
You can look at the PDP as… Gen 2 PPQ of sorts. There’s a 4″ compact version that can use the current PPQ M2 magazines and and a 4.5″ full size variant that has a standard capacity of 18rds; there are plans for a 5″ model. The cool part is the PDP will also be modular. Every slide right now can be paired with every frame; so you can run a compact slide + compensator on a full-size frame. The Compact sized model also has some part compatibility with the PPQ beyond magazines. So far it’s looking like the following parts will be interchangeable between the PDP Compact and PPQ: Barrels, Recoil Assemblies, Slide Releases, & Magazine Release.
There are other parts supposedly that are backward compatible but I’ve been unable to verify what they are.
On the list of things that stand out on the PDP is the honeycomb grip texturing taken off of the factory grip panels on the Q4 & Q5 Steel Frame pistols; this is a gigantic improvement over the PPQ’s less than ideal grip texturing. It’s also coming to the market optics ready (you have to order your free plate after purchasing the firearm) and with what Walther is calling their PDT or Performance Duty Trigger which offers a clean 4.5lbs trigger pull. Meaning, yes, Walther has supposedly improved upon their already impeccable striker fired trigger.
As far as the optics ready portion goes, Walther did things right. Instead of using a proprietary dovetail that leaves you searching for sights, the PDP is using a Glock front & rear dovetail meaning you can use your favorite sites. Their optics cut, which appears to sit lower than the MOS system Glock uses, will be using plates that they source from C&H Precision. As of right now Walther has plates that accomodate the Trijicon RMR & SRO, the Holosun 507/508, and the Vortext Venom (ew). They’re currently working on getting plates that will work with the Aimpoint ACRO, Holosun 509T, and the Trijicon RMRcc (why would you want that on this size of gun?).
As a PPQ lover, I both like and hate Walther’s new pistol. I think the new grip texturing looks fantastic and I think that the new optics system they’re using is going to top the one that FN used on the 509. The slide serrations (Walther’s calling them Superterrain Serrations) aren’t aesthetic at all, but their logo’s appearance is a subtle shoutout to the P99. My biggest issue is in the fact that spare parts were not made available for the Walther PPQ at all through the decade that it was their flagship model.
Since it debuted you’ve had to contact Walther to get replacement parts sent to you or you had to send the entire pistol in. If this is something they persist on doing I don’t think it’s a fantastic solution for civilian defenders; especially ones that can only afford to have one firearm.
At the end of the day though, Walther has brought to market a pistol with an MSRP of $650 that offers a lot of things that their competition doesn’t offer for the same price. An apparently great optics plate system, a superb trigger from the factory, superior ergonomics, and ambidextrous controls.