One good Walther striker-fired semiauto pistol review deserves another. (Hey, gotta be “Fair and Balanced” and show some spirit of “Equal Time” after all those Glock and Beretta articles this journalist has written, eh?
Having already covered the Walther PDP, now we’re going to travel back in time a bit and cover its immediate ancestor, the Walther PPQ.
Walther PDP Early History and Specifications
For those of us who are old-school shooting buffs, when one thinks of good ol’ Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen –which has been around since 1886 and headquartered in Ulm, Germany – we tend to think first and foremost of Walther P38/P1 of the WWII Wehrmacht and the Cold War Bundeswehr, and/or the Walther PPK that James Bond made famous…and perhaps the Walther P88 for good measure (by some accounts the most accurate 9mm pistol ever made).
Speaking of James Bond, he also used a Walther P99 in a few of the films (namely some of the ones starring Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig as Agent 007) before reverting to the PPK and PPK/S. The P99 series started out life as a traditional double-action (TDA) autopistol, but eventually spawned a striker-fired variant called the P99QA, which in turn spawned the PPQ in 2011, thus predating the PDP by 10 years.
One change that helps differentiate the PPQ from the P99QA is that whilst the earlier pistol employs a partially-cocked striker like the Glocks do, the PPQ utilizes a full-cocked striker.
Interestingly, though the PPQ was officially discontinued in 2021, it still appears on the official website for Walther’s U.S.-based subsidiary, Walther Arms Inc. of Fort Smith, Arkansas, specifically the PPQ M2 version:
“Extraordinarily comfortable and genuinely elegant, advancing both efficiency and ergonomics for self-defense handguns in ways never thought possible before. The PPQ is the ultimate definition of effectiveness…The PPQ is the handgun that has the entire industry talking. The quick-defense trigger is known as the best striker-fired trigger by nearly every critic. The ergonomically designed grips fit the hand like a familiar pair of gloves, providing a uniquely accurate natural point of aim…You’ll have to feel it for yourself to believe it…The interchangeable backstraps allow you to tune your grip, giving you a perfect, straight-back trigger pull. This adjustability also provides access to the magazine and slide releases without shifting your hand. Designed for right and left-handed shooters, the PPQ M2 features an ambidextrous slide stop and reversible button-style magazine release.”
Specifications include a barrel length of 4 inches, overall length of 7.1”, a height of 5.3”, a width of 1.3”, and an empty weight of 24.5 ounces. Standard magazine capacity of 15+1 rounds.
Shooting Buddies’ Impressions and Observations
Once again we turn to my shooting buddy “Misfit,” who has 30 years of shooting experience under his belt (I’ve known him since high school, and he was one of my earliest range pupils), who, when interviewed for my recent article “‘Fire!’: Meet The 5 Best Guns For Southpaws,” extolled the virtue of the Walther PPQ very enthusiastically
“Walther PPQ – The legendary southpaw pistol. It was one of the few pistols on the market which had left side ejection port options as well as an ambi magazine release along with the quality that Walther always puts into its pistols. Sadly, it’s no longer in production, but it’s well worth hunting for in the aftermarket.”
Personal Shooting Impressions/Range Report
After having fired the PDP whilst visiting Texas over Father’s Day weekend, it was back to one of my local ranges “inside the Beltway,” namely the excellent Silver Eagle Group (SEG) indoor pistol shooting range in Ashburn, Virginia, to try out a rental 9mm PDQ. It was one of three pistols I test-fired that day, along with the Ruger SR1911 and Beretta APX.
I was very impressed with the trigger – I found it didn’t dig into the pad of my index finger the way the PDP did. Ergonomics were very nice, in terms of grip comfort, trigger reach, slide stop reach, and magazine release reach, as well as ease of racking the slide. Sight picture was excellent/ And unlike, say, the SIG Sauer P365, the magazine was no “thumb-buster,” as I was able to load the mag to full capacity with ease and comfort.
Aesthetically speaking, the look of the slide and the ambidextrous slide stop lever alike reminded me quite a bit of the HK P2000 that I carried as a CBP Officer back in 2006-2009, although the PPQ’s trigger felt way different (and better) than the LEM double-action-only (DAO) trigger of that duty-issue HK. I’d rate the trigger on a par with the Beretta APX and Canik and just slightly below that of the SIG P365.
Target used was the IPSC Practice Target, as my preferred ICE-QT target was out of stock. Ammo used was 50 rounds of CCI-Blazer Brass Crass 115-grain full metal jacket (FMJ), divvied into 25 rounds of heads shots at 7 yards and 25 yards of center-torso shots at 25 yards, all delivered from the Classic Weaver Stance.
As for practical accuracy performance? Well, how’s this for irony: at the 7-yard line, the PPQ gave me far & away the BEST accuracy of the three guns I tried out that day, with 24 out of 25 rounds going into the A-zone of the target’s head and absolutely obliterating it (with the lone damn exception being the very first shot, straying low-left into the B-zone); at 25 yards, it gave me the poorest accuracy, with 7 rounds taking the C-zone and two shots straying into the D-zone.
Those gripes aside, I’d rate my overall impression of the PPQ as a positive one.
Christian D. Orr has 34 years of shooting experience, starting at the tender age of 14. His marksmanship accomplishments include: the Air Force Small Arms Ribbon w/one device (for M16A2 rifle and M9 pistol); Pistol Expert Ratings from U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP); multiple medals and trophies via the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) and the Nevada Police & Fires Games (NPAF). Chris has been an NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructor since 2011.