Perhaps my favorite pistol is Walther’s PPQ in 9mm. I will attempt to leave my personal bias at the door while reviewing this fine hand gun, but I’m sure it won’t be easy.
The PPQ is Walther’s evolutionary next step from their popular P99, a gun so popular that Bond, James Bond, used one in Casino Royale. The 9mm PPQ is a striker-fired semi-auto weighing in at 24.5 oz. It has a 15+1 capacity, a barrel length of 4.17 inches and an overall length of 7.24 inches. The finish is a black nitride, has molded polymer grips with two additional backstraps for smaller or larger hands, three-dot fixed sights, a trigger pull of 5 lbs and a .1 inch trigger reset. The MSRP is $729, but savvy buyers have picked them up for under $500.
The basic specs are nice, but what about the finer details? The primary things I really enjoyed about this firearm break down to the grip, trigger, balance, ambidextrous controls, and price. Wait, didn’t I just describe most of the important features of any firearm? Yes, yes I did.
First and foremost the ergonomic grip. This gun feels like it was meant to be held in a human hand, not a G.I. Joe kung-fu grip. I can’t overstate how comfortable this gun is in your hand, or at least mine. It also has a non-slip texturing that is comfortable in the hand (or against the body if concealed carrying) while at the same time being very effective in keeping the gun solidly in your hand. The medium sized default backstrap that it comes with works perfect for me, but I like that the people over at Walther are looking out for the small and large handed individuals as well.
The second aspect that I enjoyed is the crisp and smooth 1/10th inch trigger reset. Quickly find a ruler so you can see how truly short that distance is, we’ll wait… Back? Incredible isn’t it! What does this short trigger reset mean to someone like me, who isn’t an expert marksman? It means less trigger travel after the first shot, or in my case, less opportunity to mess up the trigger pull. What this also means is that if you want to shoot fast, you can shoot incredibly fast (but please do be safe about it,) and who hasn’t enjoyed burning through 15 rounds quickly just for the fun of it?
“Burning through 15 rounds quickly just for the fun of it?” I said, and now you might be thinking, “But what about the recoil?” this is where the PPQ’s balance comes into play. Between the ergonomic grip that keeps the gun firmly seated in your hand and the 24.5 oz weight, the PPQ does most of the work in soaking up the recoil and putting the sights back on target. The sooner my sights are back on target, the sooner I can fire the next shot; the PPQ allows me to shoot as quickly as I want to shoot.
I’m a right-handed person, so why would I really care about the ambidextrous features (slide stop and magazine release) that are a part of this gun? The answer is two-fold; I’m a giver, and I have an active imagination. When I get the opportunity to fire a gun as enjoyable as the PPQ, I want to share that experience with others. My brother and several friends are “Lefties,” and life is tough enough on them, so when I come across a firearm that I enjoy and has ambidextrous controls I feel warm inside. Imagine how you would feel if you could give someone a rainbow. The PPQ is a rainbow wrapped in metal and polymer. As you might have guessed from that last sentence, my imagination is very active. I sometimes think to myself, “Would I be able to operate a firearm if my right hand was X?” X being any number of highly unlikely scenarios in which my hand was unavailable. Although I would not be as proficient in operating the PPQ, I know I would be able to easily change out the magazine and load another round.
The final part of the equation, and at least for me one of the larger parts of that equation is the price, or the “Can I afford to take this home with me?” question. The MSRP of the PPQ falls somewhere between a Glock and a HK. However, as mentioned in the beginning of this review, I’ve read of savvy shoppers purchasing the PPQ for just under $500. This is certainly the exception and not the rule as the price seems to generally float between $550 and $650 in brick and mortar gun stores. As a firearm that will quickly become one of your favorites to shoot, the price is very reasonable to me. One of my local firing ranges has finally made available a PPQ for rent, so I would suggest heading to yours and seeing if they have one available. If they do, be prepared to leave a little lighter in the wallet.