When you’re talking about the Walther PPQ series, you have to go back to the original Walther P99. The Walther P99 was one of the first polymer striker-fired pistols to follow upon Glock’s success with the Glock 17 series. The Walther P99 was introduced in 1997. Since then it has been used by law enforcement agencies around the world. The Walther P99 is somewhat unique from other striker-fired pistols. This is because it offers multiple trigger systems. So they have double action only striker-fired handguns as well as double-action, single-action striker-fired handguns that also feature a decocker. This is our Walther PPQ Review.
You’ve likely seen the Walther P99 and a lot of your favorite action movies. It’s a very common movie gun. A variant of the Walther P99 is the Smith & Wesson 99 that was introduced in 1999. It was a collaboration between Smith & Wesson and Walther. Walther made most of the components in Europe while Smith & Wesson manufactured the slides and barrels in the United States. This gun gained some success in the US market. But never became as wide a stream as guns like the Glock. Due to some of the features of the Walther P99 not having success on the US market. Walther took a look at that gun and redesigned the Walther PPQ so it would be more inline with what US consumers were searching for.
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
- Features Walther PPQ Review
- Walther PPQ Review Grip/Ergonomics
- Sights Walther PPQ Review
- Walther PPQ Review Overall Ergonomics
- Trigger Walther PPQ M2 Review
The Walther PPQ has gained limited success in US law enforcement. Limited to only a couple of law enforcement contracts. But the previous Walther P99 was a very common duty gun. This gun is small enough that it can be concealed like a Glock 19. Yet still large enough to be used for duty use. The Walther PPQ is slightly smaller than most duty style handguns. But it’s still large enough to act in that role.
A nice thing about the Walther PPQ is that it’s still small enough to concealed carry while large enough to shoot well. So if you’re carrying the gun at IWB, meaning from the three to five o’clock position or nine to seven o’clock position, if you’re left-handed. The gun is large enough that you’ll want to look for a holster that has adjustable cant. This is so you can optimize the position of the grip against your body. Or the grip will stick out printing through your shirt. Even though it’s a double-stack gun, it does have a fairly thin profile compared to a lot of its competitors. So it may be slightly more comfortable for you to carry.
Appendix carry with the Walther PPQ is also easy. The slightly longer grip means you’ll need a claw to help you conceal the gun under your shirt. You’ll want to make sure that the grip of the gun is pressed close to your hip bone so it doesn’t print. A wedge will also make this process more comfortable and likely aiding concealment as well. The grip of the gun is long enough that it could print if you’re not wearing the right clothing. You have to make sure that your shirt grips over your shoulders enough to help conceal the firearm.
Carrying at the appendix, this gun has a very light trigger, so you’re going to want to make sure you have a proper Kydex holster, as well as maintain all your safety fundamentals.
If you’re concealed carrying using an OWB holster, then the Walther PPQ is not a bad option for a double stack handgun. The curves on the grip and the profile of the slide make this gun slightly more concealable than similar sized handguns. It’s little details like this that will help when concealing a firearm OWB. When you’re carrying OWB, you don’t have as much of a concealment level as carrying IWB. So every little detail on the gun matters more. The rounded and contoured edges on this gun really help disguise the profile of the firearm. Versus a square or block your model like a Glock 19.
Features Walther PPQ Review
The Walther PPQ features a 15 round capacity where they flush fit magazine and nine millimeter. Walther also sells 15 round magazines with plus two extensions. That gives you a total of 17 rounds and the gun plus one in the chamber. There aren’t really any other magazine options for this gun unless you buy extended base plates. Extended base plates will get you another four to five rounds depending on the brand of base plates you buy. This gun is approximately the same size as the Glock 19, but it’s just slightly longer in overall height. So, it will be a little more difficult to conceal in some situations. But as we mentioned above, the contour and shape of the grip will sometimes actually make it easier to conceal. Despite having a larger overall outline.
The magazine well on the Walther PPQ M2 is really deficient. And by deficient I mean it’s the same as every other polymer striker-fired handgun on the market. It doesn’t have that much of a bevel at the bottom of the magwell versus something like the Glock MOS Gen 5. Which is the gold standard of polymer striker-fired magazine wells. That said, as long as you have your fundamentals down, you won’t have any problem quickly reloading your Walther PPQ.
Walther PPQ Review Grip/Ergonomics
The Walther PPQ definitely gained its ergonomics from the Walther P99 series. If you look at the outline of the firearm, they appear very similar. However, there are some differences and many will say the Walther PPQ gets its ergonomics from the H&K VP9. The Walther P99 was around well before the HK VP9 or HK P30 series. When you place the firearm in your hand, the feel of the grip isn’t quite as comfortable as the VP9 or the HK P30 series.
I’ll attribute that to two features on the Walther. One is the backstrap. There is a pointed hump at the very bottom of the backstrap that will dig into the back of the palm of your hand. Unless you use a slightly non-traditional grip on the firearm. Another slightly uncomfortable area is the tang of the grip. If you like to get a very high grip on the gun, the Walther PPQ will likely dig into your right and left side web of your hand. Again, this discomfort can be fixed if you train your grip to a more non-traditional grip.
To do that, you’ll want to move your index fingers further forward. And your grip is going to feel like it’s almost sticking off the side of the Walther PPQ. This is going to feel odd at first. Once you get used to it, you realize this method is actually really effective at controlling recoil. It fixes all the ergonomic issues. If you’re not dedicated enough to changing the grip on the firearm, then you may want to consider other options.
The Walther PPQ comes with a small, medium, and large backstrap that is held in place by a roll pin. The large backstrap also has an extension that goes up into the tang of the pistol increasing the trigger reach of the firearm. So this is a great feature for shooters with larger hands who want to be able to adjust their trigger reach.
There’s no beavertail on the Walther PPQ M2. As we stated before, the tang of the grip isn’t as comfortable as I would like. If you’re willing to change to a different shooting style from what will work with almost all other handguns, the gun will be sufficiently comfortable in the hand.
Texturing Walther PPQ Review
Texturing on the Walther PPQ is surprisingly good. The grip almost has a rubberish feel and it’s much tackier than you would expect. The texturing extends 360 degrees around the grip and is consistent. A nice feature of this texturing is that it’s not so aggressive that it will rub your skin if you’re carrying this gun concealed up against your body. Without an undershirt or some protective garment between your skin and the gun.
Overall, this is some of the better texturing I felt on a gun. It’s not quite as aggressive,as the texturing on the CZ P10C. But I think the market as a whole will really enjoy it. I personally would like to see slightly more aggressive texturing on the gun. With an emphasis on aggressive texture on the front straps and the backdrop of the firearm. But if you have to have the same texturing all the way around the gun, the Walther PPQ does it about as well as it can be done.
The Walther PPQ doesn’t have the best ergonomics in the world. If you’re willing to change your grip up a little bit, they’ll work for you quite well. It’s not something you can pick up and shoot as you would a Glock. That said, if you’re willing to change your grip, the texturing does a great job. This gun will serve you quite well from an ergonomic standpoint.
Sights Walther PPQ Review
You can get the Walther PPQ with either standard plastic, three-dot sights that have an adjustable rear. Or you can get them with factory night sights. There are some competition models that include a fiber optic option as well. The plastic three-dot sights included with the Walther PPQ are on par with the Glock factory sights. I will say the sight picture is a little bit better on the Walther PPQ sights, but the durability is even worse than Glock sights. So I would automatically suggest switching your sights out to something aftermarket. Unless you get the factory night sights.
Red Dot Options Walther PPQ Review
The Walther PPQ is available in a red dot-compatible configuration. That will allow you to multiple different popular red dot options on the gun. Now, one thing that this red dot option will do is it will remove the rear sight from the firearm. So if you’re a fan of having backup iron sights, then the Walther PPQ may not be the firearm for you.
The original Walther PPQ came with a paddle-style magazine release. Similar to what you’re probably used to on HK pistols. Paddle style magazine release is something that the European market really likes while the US market seems to hate it. Personally, I really like the paddle-style mag release on handguns. I feel it’s a classier option standard push-button release. But the American market didn’t take to it. So Walther smartly decided to add a push-button style release to the firearm.
The push-button style release they offer is reversible. It’s easy to reach and all the edges are well-rounded so it’s comfortable to use. It’s a very positive magazine release. So you don’t have any worry about the magazine sticking in the gun. It’s very quick to actuate. Even people with small hands should be able to reach it without having to break their grip that much. As a person with medium to larger size hands, I have no issues reaching it without having to break my grip.
The slide stop on the Walther PPQ is a mirror ambidextrous style slide release. It’s huge and easy to reach with your primary thumb or your support hand thumb. I have no complaints with this design. I think it’s one of the better designs on a polymer striker fired handgun. It’s far enough out of the way that it doesn’t seem to affect the grip of my support hand. But it’s also huge and just really easy to use. Walther did a fantastic job on this feature.
Walther PPQ Review Overall Ergonomics
Considering all the controls, the texturing, and the ergonomics of the grip, I think Walther did an excellent job. Another thing I’ll mention is the slide. The slide itself has a very slick texture to the finish, and that’s not necessarily a downside considering the serrations on the Walther PPQ are fairly aggressively sharp. It has the forward and rear serrations. So you have lots of options when it comes to manipulating the slide.
This is another feature that Walther did a very good job on. Although I will say it would be nice to have a slightly more aggressive texture on the slide. Because the serrations themselves can be almost too sharp if you have very soft hands. So slightly duller serrations would probably be the ultimate setup. But I’m really nit-picking at this point.
Trigger Walther PPQ M2 Review
The trigger on the Walther PPQ it’s something that most people seem to really like. The pre-travel on the trigger it’s fairly heavy and you definitely feel it over other options. Whereas once you get to the wall, it’s an extremely light, but crisp break. And in fact, if you’re not careful, it’s very easy to pull through the wall completely because the pre-travel is so much heavier than normal guns.
Normally it feels like you have very light pre-travel with a heavy wall while on the Walther PPQ. It feels like your pre-travel is actually much heavier than the wall of the trigger itself. It’s my opinion. That’s how Walther gets away with the gun being safe. By having that heavy pre-travel to prevent the lightness of the trigger causing issues.
The Walther PPQ doesn’t have any ton of aftermarket options. There are magazine extensions, a couple of aftermarket trigger issues, as well as aftermarket iron sights. That’s really the extent of the aftermarket parts for this firearm.
The Walther PPQ breaks down just like a Glock handgun. You need to lock the slide back, make sure the firearm is completely unloaded. Check again to make sure the firearm is unloaded, remove the magazine and then let your slide drop forward. Pull the trigger to deactivate the striker, pull the tape down tabs down and then release the slide forward. Once the slide is off, you can separate the barrel and recall assembly spring from the gun itself.
The Walther PPQ is a fairly good looking firearm. One thing I will say is the slick finish on the slide and the texturing on the majority of the frame make the gun look a little bit cheaper. This is a gun that comes in around $550. From the surface it looks like a $450 gun in my opinion.
The badging on the side of the slide where Walther and PPQ is prominently displayed also looks cheap. That said from a keen aesthetic standpoint, this gun does not feel cheap. It feels very high quality. Looks can always be deceiving.
Shooting the Walther PPQ really all comes down to what grip you use. If you use a traditional grip like you would use like a Glock, Sig P320, or any other striker-fired handgun, you’ll likely be disappointed. The recoil is going to seem a little bit much, and it just doesn’t shoot as well.
If you’re willing to change your grip up and move your hand a little bit farther forward on the grip than you’re used to, then the gun will likely shoot quite well for you if you get a nice locked in grip. I find the Walther PPQ to have a lot more muzzle flip than most other firearms. It doesn’t seem to handle plus P ammo as well either. This gun just seems to have a lot more recoil. But that recoil is going up and down in the muzzle flip.
So newer shooters might actually find this more manageable to shoot than say something like a Glock. Glocks absorb this recoil straight back into the shooter versus having that muzzle flip that allows some of the recoil to dissipate before reaching the shooter. If you’re willing to put the time with the wall for PPQ you can definitely get really good with this gun. Straight out of the box, I think it just shoots differently than a lot of other firearms. That’s probably my biggest gripe. It’s somewhat unique.
Now, if this is the only gun you plan to purchase or you’re willing to really train around it, I think you’ll be very surprised in a pleasant way how well it will work for you. There are a lot of features to like and out of the box. The only thing I can see replacing this gun is the sights. Pretty much anybody is going to be happy with the standard set of features minus the iron sights.
Bottom line, the Walther PPQ is not a gun that I see making into my carrier rotation. But I certainly wouldn’t snub anybody who chose it. I own a lot of firearms and I have to remain somewhat proficient with all of them. And because of that, the Walther PPQ doesn’t make my defensive gun of choice. But if I were to only pick only one gun to run with, I wouldn’t have any trouble. I actually quite enjoy the gun.
If you’re looking for a firearm that has aftermarket style features such as a slightly extended magazine release, fantastic slide blocks, as well as great texturing and aggressive slide serrations, you don’t have to look any further. Again, all this gun needs is a good set of iron sights out of the box. Or to buy one of the red dot compatible versions, and you’ll likely be quite happy with a stock system. You’ll come out much cheaper than buying something like a Glock and upgrading all those parts.
Magazines tend to be right around $30. So the magazines don’t break the bank, which is nice to see on German made handguns. The Walther PPQ really is a somewhat affordable firearm when you take all the features into account. And I think it’s a really hard option to beat as long as you’re willing to adopt your technique to it.
Walther PPQ M1 and M2 slides are compatible.
The grip cannot be lengthened on Walther PPQ M2.
You can mount reflex sight on Walther PPQ.
You can compete with a Walther PPQ M2.