SHOT Show 2013: Shooting the Walther PPX and PPQ pistols

During Media Day at SHOT Show 2013, I had the distinct pleasure of shooting a couple of handguns from Walther — the new M2 version of the ‘top-of-the-line’ striker-fired PPQ, and the hammer-fired PPX ‘entry-level’ pistol. 

The Walther PPQ M2 — a new version of the PPQ M1, which came out about three years ago — was a pleasure to shoot. The biggest difference between the earlier version of the PPQ and the one released at SHOT is a magazine release button. 

The PPQ M1 had European-style magazine release paddles near the trigger guard, whereas the M2 meets the demand the company had been seeing in the American marketplace for the more traditional, changeable, ambidextrous push-button design at the front of the ergonomic grip. 

The trigger pull on the PPQ was smooth as silk, and although listed at about six pounds of pressure, felt more like four. (PoliceOne Image)
The trigger pull on the PPQ was smooth as silk, and although listed at about six pounds of pressure, felt more like four. (PoliceOne Image)

Speaking of ergonomic grips... as everyone knows, Walther is known for them, and these two pistols are marvelous evidence for their tremendous reputation. They just fit.

In the event you don’t immediately fall in love with the feel of the PPQ in your hand, these guns come with three different sizes of back straps which are easily installed. The PPX does not come with this option. 

The trigger pull on the PPQ was smooth as silk, and although listed at about six pounds of pressure, felt more like four.

This is due to what the company calls its Quick Defense Trigger, which, when coupled with the excellent grip, and high-visibility three-dot sites, makes for easy follow-up shots. 

Both guns have a Mil-spec 1913 picatinny rail beneath the barrel for lights and lasers. Both guns are tough as nails with high-quality polymer grip/frames and Tenifer corrosion protection coating on the slide.

Both the PPX and the PPQ are available in 9mm and .40 S&W. The PPQ has magazine capacity for 15 (in 9mm) and 11 (in .40 S&W), whereas the PPX has a higher capacity (9mm mags for PPX carry 16 rounds, and .40 S&W for PPX carry 17 rounds). 

The day after shooting these guns out at Boulder Pistol and Rifle Range out in Boulder City, I sat down briefly with Mark Thomas, Director of Marketing for Walther, to get a few more details, particularly pricing and availability. 

“We know law enforcement has to be on a budget like most of us,” Thomas said as he held the PPQ, “so this retails for $699.” 

The so-called ‘entry level’ PPX sells for less than $500, according to Thomas.

It may carry the label ‘entry-level’ but in my opinion, absolutely nothing about the PPX feels ‘cheap’ or ‘entry level’ at all. The PPX is a solid handgun which should not be hidden in the shadow if its more-expensive cousin, the PPQ.

Two great guns, in two great pricing options, with tremendous quality no matter which way you choose to go. I might choose both. 

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor at Large for PoliceOne, responsible for providing police training content and expert analysis on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 900 feature articles and tactical tips. Doug is also responsible for planning and recording the PoliceOne Podcast, Policing Matters, as well as being the on-air host for PoliceOne Video interviews. Doug also works closely with the PoliceOne Academy to develop training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Doug regularly represents PoliceOne as a public speaker in a variety of forums and is available for media interviews — he has appeared on numerous local and national radio and television news programs, and has been quoted in a host of print publications. 

Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

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