This is our Walther PDP review. Which is also known as the Walther Personal Defense Pistol. The Walther PDP is an update of the Walther PPQ series. The PPQ has been around for a while and was an evolution of the Walther P99. So the lineage on these guns goes quite far back. The Walther PPQ was introduced at a time when Glocks and Smith and Wesson M&Ps were really the only super-popular handguns on the market.
The Springfield XD had a decent following, but there weren’t many other options. The Walther PPQ was one of the first guns to come and compete with those other brands. At that time, there weren’t a lot of good striker-fired triggers. The Walther PPQ came in with an excellent striker-fired trigger. That was the biggest selling point of the Walther PPQ at that time. It gained mediocre success but never gained an absolutely huge following on the US market. After many years of production, Walther decided to give the Walther PPQ a refresh. Modernize a lot of the features. That is when they introduced the Walther PDP or Personal Defense Pistol.
This is an opinion piece, but I always aim to eliminate bias. Look, we’ve all read them before. Gun reviews that claim to be helpful, but they’re really thinly veiled hit pieces trying to get you to buy something before you’ve even started your research. Or, even worse, a review put together by a content writer who has never even held a gun.
I’ve trained with some of the best in the business to learn various shooting styles and ideologies to better serve our customers. I’ve purchased guns of all price points, calibers, and action types to build the best products for the market. I want you to walk away knowing you have the information you need to make a sound purchasing decision.
Table of contents
- Concealed Carry Walther PDP Review
- Features Walther PDP Review
- Grip/Ergonomics Walther PDP Review
- Sights Walther PDP Review
- Controls Walther PDP Review
- Overall Ergonomics
- Maintenance Walther PDP Review
The role of the Walther PDP is somewhat broad. It is sized exactly like the Walther PPQ, which is just slightly larger than a Glock 19. Walther has also introduced 3 other variants of the pistol. One with the same length slide that includes an 18 round grip as well as an 18 round grip version that has a 4 1/2″ long barrel and a 5-inch version. So think of the larger variant as a Glock 17 size gun. While the Walther PDP with the 15 round magazine is a Glock 19 size gun. The Walther PDP with the 4″ barrel and an 18 round magazine is sized similarly to the Glock 45 or Glock 19X.
The larger two firearms are going to be more for duty or competition use. For concealed carry, you’re probably going to want to stick with the 15 round magazine variant. That said it’s still going to be concealable with a larger grip than the 18 round variant has. As long as you have a good holster and your frame is large enough to conceal the firearm. At the end of the day, it’s sized similarly to the Glock 19, Glock 17, and Glock 45. So any role those guns might be able to fill the Walther PDP will be able to fill as well.
Concealed Carry Walther PDP Review
For concealed carry, the Walther PDP can definitely work as we mentioned earlier. It’s going to be primarily suited for most people when carrying IWB or Inside The Waistband. The reason for this is a gun of this size is going to be more concealable inside the waistband than it will when carrying outside the waistband. But there’s a couple of things you may want to know depending on the position you plan to carry the gun.
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The Walther PDP or personal defense pistol has some very aggressive serrations on the rear. But they’re so deep I don’t see them causing issue or discomfort when you’re carrying IWB, unless you have a substantial amount of fat sitting against the slide itself. This gun can definitely be worn at three to five o’clock. But one thing you’re going to want to take into account when carrying inside the waistband is the optic cut. If you’re carrying this gun with an optic, you’re not going to be able to get as much cant out of the gun as you would, when you are carrying a pistol without an optic mounted.
The reason for this is just the position, the optics it’s the slide and your belt will block the gun from going any deeper. You could always increase the ride height on the gun, but you get to a certain point where the gun will want to tip out and away from the body. So for this reason I think this gun is going to be better suited for most people when they’re carrying appendix
This gun will work really well for appendix. Its sized pretty similarly to a Glock 19, despite having just a slightly longer grip. So it will be slightly less concealable than that gun. I don’t see that creating an issue. An issue I could see is the aggressive texturing on the gun itself. We’ll cover that more later. If you’re worried about aggressive texturing, you may need to wear an undershirt, or this may not be the pistol for you.
This gun will work pretty darn well for OWB concealed carry. The reason I say that is the grip itself is very well profiled. This means that it will conceal more like a revolver when worn OWB. It’s not going to conceal quite as well as most revolver grips. But it will conceal better for most people than something like a Glock grip that tends to be a little bit bulky. So if the gun prints a little, it’s not as big of a deal if it’s printing on the hump of the grip. Now, if it prints near the magazine base plate you’re going to have the same issues as any other semi-automatic handgun.
Features Walther PDP Review
As we mentioned earlier, the capacity on this gun is either going to be 15 rounds or 18 rounds depending on the length of the grip, you decide to go with. The gun will also ship with 10 round magazines if you live in a capacity-restricted state. At this time there are no aftermarket magazines for the Walther PDP but any magazine that will work with the Walther PPQ will work. I’ve heard of some Walther P99 clones working with this gun with modification. You can find factory magazines for $30-$35. And at that price point, I don’t see any reason to go with an aftermarket magazine.
Unfortunately, there is no real bevel in the magazine well of this gun. Considering Walther’s updates that’s one I would have liked to see, but the magwell is almost identical to a Walther PPQ. When I feel like they could have gotten a little more of a bevel in there and made the insertion much smoother. Maybe there’s a way for them to add an aftermarket magwell but looking at how close the magazine-based plate fits the bottom they grip, I don’t know if that’s possible. Hopefully, we’ll find out in the near future.
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Grip/Ergonomics Walther PDP Review
The grip on this gun does include adjustable back straps just like the Walther PPQ. They come in three different sizes, a small, a medium, and a large. One unique feature about the large backstrap over many other guns is that it also increases the trigger reach distance from the beavertail. So if you have larger hands, this is quite a nice feature to have. The texturing on all these back straps mimics the texturing on the grip itself. They mold in very nicely. Unless you already knew that the Walther had removable back straps there is no way you would think this gun had them. It’s just a very clean molding job and I really have to give props to the engineers at Walther.
One complaint I do have about the gun is my example shipped without a roll pin in the back strap. At first, I thought they had done this to allow them usually easily switch out and try the back straps they wanted before installing. But I did not find a roll pin in the box itself.
There is no beavertail on the Walther PDP, but there is a deep tang. That tang itself is 100% just like the Walther PPQ. That’s a feature that I don’t really love. I would have liked to have seen them round off that area a little bit fatter. If I’d use a traditional pistol grip, it actually rubs into the inner portion of my thumb where it meets the web of my hand. It’s not that bad when feeling in at first. But when you actually start shooting some rounds through it. It becomes quite annoying.
Now, if I change up my grip to wrap my hand a little more forward around the grip. It becomes very comfortable and actually I get a better grip and index on the gun and it becomes extremely controllable when shooting. That said, that’s not a similar grip to what I would use on almost every other handgun that I owned. And for that reason, I’m going to have to knock some points off this gun. Just like the PPQ, you’ve got to switch up your grip to take the most advantage of the ergonomics of this firearm. And that’s a major downside if you’re somebody who shoots other guns fairly often.
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Overall, the ergonomics feel pretty darn good. I can’t say that I’m absolutely in love with them. One thing I do like over the normal Walther PPQ, is they remove the finger grooves at the front of the firearm. This is a really nice touch, but unfortunately, they kept a little lip and ledge at the bottom of the grip. So if you have larger hands, your pinkie may sit kind of oddly on that portion and it may be uncomfortable. This is somewhat important considering the pinky is a finger that will give you the most leverage. But for anybody with large to small size hands, that won’t be an issue. But for those guys with massive hands, that’s definitely something you want to take into account. At least with the 15 round version.
In my opinion, the most impressive thing Walther has done with his firearm is the texturing. Now this texturing isn’t perfect and it won’t work for everybody as texturing like the CZ P10c will. But they’ve made this grip feel like it is a G10 grip instead of polymer. The texturing on this grip is absolutely fantastically aggressive. It has a very high-quality feel. The side panels honestly do feel like G10 as well as the back strap. The front strap has just more standard plastic feeling checkering, but I am completely amazed at what they were able to do on the side panels.
The texturing I’m talking about has these small little hexagons that have a triangular point at the top. They really are a work of art. I can’t say how much I’m impressed with these. Now, when it comes to concealed carry, these may create an issue for some people as they are almost Glock RTF too aggressive. For duty use or any OWB carry, I don’t think you’re going to find better texturing out there. I am just really impressed with this if you can’t tell. Again, they look and feel like G10 when you look closely. That’s just really impressive. As I’ve never seen anybody accomplish that on a polymer grip.
Sights Walther PDP Review
The sights on this gun are nothing to brag about. They’re just basic plastic sights and the rear is adjustable using a small flat head screwdriver. I personally don’t love the sights and I think they’re somewhat like stock Glock sight. They should be replaced on the firearm immediately. But that’s where we get to the good part.
The sights on this gun are actually Glock sights, not the sights that come installed. But they cut themselves except any Glock factory sight. So that’s going to be awesome as far as aftermarket options go. You have all the benefits of Glock 19 sights on this gun. So any combination of sight your heart’s desires will work on the Walther PDP. This was an incredibly smart move on Walther’s part. I don’t see why every other handgun manufacturer out there doesn’t do so. Maybe the Glock sights aren’t the most secure or best option in the world. But they work very well. And it’s hard to beat having a gun that has almost limitless aftermarket options.
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Red Dot Options
The Walther PDP comes cut for a factory red dot and that cut is very low. The best feature about the low cut is you’ll be able to run standard height sights on this gun while still achieving some sort of co-witness. You’re going to have to dial that in depending on the dot you choose. A well as the iron sight height but it is achievable. Unfortunately, Walther does not ship the PDP with any mounting plates. There are plenty of aftermarket mounting plate options available. So you’re going to have plenty of options, but that mounting plate itself isn’t as secure as it could be. I would’ve liked to have seen Walther go with a more secure mounting system.
Controls Walther PDP Review
The controls on the Walther PDP are pretty standard. There’s not much different from the Walther PPQ or any other gun, but we’re going to go over them anyway.
The magazine release on the Walther PDP is reversible just like the Walther PPQ. It is a push-button style release. My understanding is there will not be any paddle-style releases for the Walther PDP. The magazine release itself has a nice texture on the front of it. It’s very well-positioned so people with small to large size hands should be able to reach it without having to break their grip. This is a nice feature and I think Walther did an excellent job with this execution.Even though it’s really just a copy with some slight improvements over the Walther PPQ magazine release.
The slide stops on the Walther PDP are also an exact copy of the Walther PPQ. They’re low-profile ambidextrous and perfectly matched. They’re easy to use for both a right or left-handed shooter with almost any sized hands. If you have problems with the slide locking back prematurely due to your grip on the Walther PPQ, you’re going to have the same issue on the Walther PDP. I don’t have that issue and I don’t think most people with larger, smaller-sized hands will, but it is something you need to be aware of if you have massive hands.
The overall ergonomics of the Walther PDP are pretty darn good. And they’re pretty much the exact same as the Walther PQQ with a few improvements. One complaint I do have is the medium and large backstraps can be a little bit uncomfortable in the rear of my hand. They have this slight point that you can’t really see, but you can feel in the grip and that point can drive in fairly hard unless you wrap your hand around the other way. And as I stated earlier, I would like to see somewhat more traditional ergonomics. Most users will not just be shooting just the Walther PPQ and PDP, but many other guns as well. And you have to develop a certain technique around the Walther PDP.
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Now the slide on the Walther PDP is very different than the Walther PPQ. These slides are actually completely interchangeable when it comes to fitting the slides on the frames. I haven’t tested out other parts like the barrel, striker, or RSA, but I imagine there is also some compatibility there as well. The slide is very different from outward appearances. It is much wider and it has much deeper serrations. It’s almost like throwing a body kit on a truck or a Jeep with wider fender flares.
This gun is just a lot wider in the slide. And while I liked that fact from manipulation as these very deep and fairly aggressive slide serrations work incredibly well. The slide just seems big and bulky. And frankly, it seems a little bit unnecessary and almost like a high point slide.
Now I know I’ve made some of you guys mad when I said this gun had a slide almost like a high point. Look, it’s not exactly like a high point, but it’s definitely big and bulky. And I would have liked to have seen them slim it down a little bit. As it would have improved the overall profile of the gun. That said from a practical standpoint, the slide does work very well and the serrations are excellent. These might actually be some of my favorite serrations I’ve ever handled.
Trigger Walther PDP Review
The trigger on this gun is definitely very good. It’s very similar to the Walther PPQ although it does feel just slightly different. There is some fairly heavy take-up, but it’s clean. And once you get through that take-up, you’ll feel just the slightest bit of harder, take up, I’m not going to call it creep, but it’s just a little more resistance than before. Then you get to the wall and the break is very clean. It feels somewhat heavier than the Walther PPQ trigger. But that is also a sample of one. When talking about both of these guns, it’s similar.
When I have swapped out the slides and frames on the Walther PDP and Walther PPQ, the triggers on the guns remained identical based on the slide. So when I put the PPQ slide on the PDP frame, the trigger felt like a PPQ. But when I took the slide from the PDP and put it on a PPQ frame, the slide felt like a Walther PDP trigger. I’m not sure whether it’s the geometry of the firing pin block or just my PPQ having been shot more. But the trigger is definitely a little bit better on the PPQ, but I suspect the Walther PDP trigger will break-in. It’s a good trigger. But it’s not 100% better than anything else on the market either.
One thing I will say is the reset on the Walther PDP is extremely short. So if you’re a fan of short resetting striker fire triggers, then you’re going to love the trigger on the Walther. PDP. That reset is also extremely positive.
As we stated earlier, the aftermarket for this gun is primarily going to be based on the Glock 19 with having a ton of aftermarket site options. That’s going to be a big advantage almost over any other gun out there. Now the downside of this gun is it doesn’t have much to offer aftermarket otherwise. Walther did do a great job at the launch of working with aftermarket companies to get options available.
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There are a ton of holsters out there for this gun, as well as aftermarket accessories. Like the comp from Parker mountain machine. The downside is I don’t see this gun being incredibly high in production numbers. It’s not going to rival a lot of the mass market guns. It’s likely going to be slow to see aftermarket options. There are a variety of triggers available for it as well as a lot of PPQ compatible parts that will fit this gun.
Again, I don’t see this gun gaining a lot of aftermarket parts outside of a few manufacturers. So if you’re somebody who wants a ton of aftermarket options, this probably isn’t a gun for you. If you’re happy having a couple of aftermarket items options for each part, then the PDP will serve you well.
Maintenance Walther PDP Review
Maintaining the Walther PDP is exactly like maintaining the Walther PPQ or a Glock 19. It has two little take-down tabs. So it’s easy to take the firearm down. To field strip the firearm, you’ll need to release the magazine. Then pull the slide back to ensure the chamber is unloaded and there’s no ammo in the gun. Once you’ve done that, let the slide ride forward and then pull the trigger on the empty chamber to release the striker.
After doing so, you’ll want to pull the slide back around an eighth of an inch and then use your other hand to release the two pull-downs tabs so the slide will come right off the firearm. From there, you can take out the recall spring assembly and the barrel for cleaning. Once you finished cleaning and lubricating the firearm, you can then put it back together in reverse order.
Aesthetically, I kind of like the gun. It’s not one of my favorite guns, but they made it look cleaner than the Walther PPQ. The only place you see PDP is on the bottom of the grip itself, which I personally like. But I think from a branding standpoint, it would be good for Walther to have PDP written somewhere on the slide. But, the slide is very non-obnoxious. The serrations are definitely quite large. But Walther is just nicely tucked in on the left-hand side of the gun. And then there are some other markings and serial numbers on the right-hand side of the slide. The frame itself, as I mentioned before is pretty darn cool. I really love the texturing.
The texture reminds me so much of G10 and that gives this gun an unfair advantage in my opinion. If that texturing didn’t feel like G10, I would probably be calling this gun a little ugly right now. It’s not ugly. It’s just trendy. I don’t think this is a gun we’re going to look back on in 10 years and say, “Well, that’s a very elegant firearm or that’s a timeless-looking gun.” This gun is trendy. It looks great in 2021. And it’ll probably look great in 2023. That doesn’t mean it will look great in 2027 or 2035.
Shooting, the Walther PDP is much like shooting the Walther PPQ. The slide is slightly heavier and it has a decent bit of muzzle flip depending on how you grip the gun. The slide is not tracking quite as fast as a firearm, like a Glock 19. It’s still a great gun to shoot. Again, I don’t think this gun is necessary for everybody, but there are no real downsides to it either. When it comes to shooting. I think some people with smaller hands will likely really enjoy this gun and people with larger hands, can shoot it well also. But if you’re really used to shooting other firearms, then you may want to check one of those out instead of this Walther PDP.
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But if you’re looking for one gun that can fill all the roles you want, this gun does that. If you don’t have the desire to shoot other guns, then you’ll be able to get a lot of very good performance out of the Walther PDP. If you’re willing to put in the time to develop a specific technique around its ergonomics.
Walther PDP comes in right now around $650. The street price on it is probably going to end up around $575. That’s not a bad price considering what this gun comes with. You will likely need to replace the sights on this gun and you’ll need to install an optic. Which is going to require buying an aftermarket optics play.
This gun comes in at a fair price. It’s not a spectacular deal, but it’s priced fairly. If they release this gun with optics plates at $550 street price or $575. I don’t think anybody could beat it. But with plastic sights and the optics plate, it’s not the best deal on the market. There iron sights on there that are actually made of steel. And I think they’d really have something.