Friday, February 3, 2017

Walther PPS M2 9mm Pistol Review

Walther PPS M2 9mm Pistol Review

Even despite the insanity of the gun market some manufacturers have stayed true to their roots. Walther has retained the long history of innovation while ushering in a completely new era of firearms. Sure they still faithfully produce those great symbols of Bond 007 spycraft and have even expanded that line with new entries, but the new Walther pistol designs have rightly captured a lot of attention.  A few years ago I reviewed the original PPS in 9mm - a gun which has become one of my favorite concealed carry guns. The PPS was a gun ahead of its time delivering a feature rich, accurate, and configurable carrying single stack that could behave like a compact, mid and full sized gun.  Based on the two years of carrying and shooting the PPS, it is my perception that it is one of the best subcompact concealed carry single-stack guns on the market despite the introduction of many other competitor firearms.

FIT, FINISH, FEEL, & FEATURES
What many did not like about the first PPS was that it was a bit blocky looking and featured a European style guard paddle style magazine release which Americans are not terribly excited over. The PPS M2 resolved those complaints with a standard button magazine release and rounder ergonomics that mimic the amazingly comfortable PPQ and other Walther pistols.

The Walther PPS M2 retains the hybrid design which allows it to morph from a sub-compact sized pistol to a larger hand filling gun. Included with the gun are three magazines - one each in 6, 7, and 8 round capacities. With the flush fit 6-round magazine your pinky is left dangling like it would with any sub-compact or micro-compact format pistol. Just a swap to the 7 or 8-round magazines deliver a full-sized grip and control plus a few extra rounds of ammo. In essence this allows the user to just swap out a magazine to transform the PPS from a full sized feel for home defense to a smaller magazine for concealed carry.  The original point of the PPS is not to be a high capacity firearm, but to deliver an extremely thin and slim profile for concealed carry that is small enough both men and woman can carry comfortably. It is a lifestyle gun that was designed as a carry gun that would always be with you versus being left in the car or at home. The PPS M2 again carried through that design goal in a big way.


Walther did some serious ergonomics studies before moving the mouse pointer in the CAD software. From my perspective, this has to been the most comfortable sub-compact pistol I have handled, carried, and shot. I love my Glocks, however this fits the hand better and has a far better grip surface which all add up to a more confidently handled gun.  I used a few male and female friends as testers to shoot the PPS M2 and all loved it. In fact several loved it so much they may buy one.

The finish and fit are exceptional, the milling on the slides it well thought out with the front and rear serrated slide still providing enough bite to charge the PPS reliably.   The PPS M2 has Low profile snag-free three dot metal luminescent combat sights with the rear sight adjustable for windage (Tritium night sight options are available in the LE version). The luminescent sights which pick up ambient light or a quick flash from your flashlight and glow with usable illumination for about 15 minutes. A Tenifer coated slide and barrel are used for corrosion resistance, and other features include a loaded chamber viewport, red cocking indicator at the rear provides both tactile and visible status, smooth beveled snag-free slide stop with a lock back on empty, and features one of these most crisp, smoothest, and lightest 6.1 lb trigger pulls I have tested on a factory compact gun. The PPS M2 trigger feel is better than the PPS M1 though both tested to break right at the same 6.1 lb point. The short trigger reset is similar to a Glock reset window. Walther did drop the front picatinny mount from the PPS M2 model. Likely with the proliferation of weapon specific lights and lasers, they saw it as an unneeded feature that bulked up the gun.

Some of the other details to enhance functionality are minor but I notice them. Rarely you will end up with an especially non-acrobatic piece of spent brass that will almost make it out of the ejection port. The PPS design has an angled front cut on the port, a bevel on the ejector size, and a ramped area at the top rear of the port on the slide which all work in tandem to lift, turn and push out brass attempting to cause a jam.

The design is really similar to the Kahr PM series of pistols which I think are excellent, however the PPS is more ergonomic and has thinner feeling 1” concealed carry profile.

FUNCTION & ACCURACY
Functionally the Walther PPS M2 is a striker fired pistol which is very similar to a Glock. There are certainly some difference and probably some patent differences, however to my eyes they look the same which is a great thing because it is a proven design. In fact it even takes down identically to a Glock; clear the gun, pull the trigger, pull down on the two take down tabs, and move the slide off the frame.  Walther even has the double guide rod spring assembly we see in the newer Glocks.

Accuracy was excellent for a gun this size and delivered 3.5” 25-yard groups with the Federal Guard Dog ammo on a shooting rest. Functionally I have no issues from the first round to the last shot before writing this article. Excellent reliability all the way around. I have easily cleared a regulation police qualification test with the PPQ and do carry it as needed for some security work.

Holster options are already everywhere, but I choose a Klinger Stingray Flush Fit 0-cant holster which delivered everything I needed for testing of this pistol.

FINAL THOUGHTS
The trigger unit works like a Glock also with all those wonderful internal safeties and there is even the joyous absence of a safety or decocker. The fit and finish is better than a Glock, the trigger is leagues better as well, there is more steel rail contact between the frame and slide with equates to a smoother action, the grip actually offers “grip”. Most importantly the PPS M2  looks like someone with an eye for design actually had a crack at making a decent looking pistol and it is even comfortable to hold, shoot and carry.  The PPS M1 was the the single stack Glock 43 we were waiting for that Walther delivered many years earlier than Glock. Well at least that is how I would compare it to a Glock if I was working the gun counter. The bottom line is that I own a Glock 43 and carry the PPS M1 and M2 versions far more than I ever do the comparable Glock 43 because they feel, carry, and shoot better for me.

The PPS represents a “lifestyle” firearm which is flexible enough to accommodate a very wide array of clothing, defense, and concealment needs. It is big enough to not feel under-gunned and small enough to conceal better than any double stack firearm. They have designed a great PPS design that is realistically sized to offer compact sized power in a sub-compact size people will actually be able to carry. The PPS M2 is a top grade pistol that can easily fulfill everything from home defense to concealed carry and magazine swap options to extend the grip make it that much more versatile. With 6-8-rounds on tap and one in the chamber, this is hopefully a new legacy that Walther will continue with and maybe... just maybe Bond could start carrying one of these instead of that retro PPK with the electronic trigger lock.

SPECS
Standard Model
MODEL: 2805961
Caliber: 9mm
Finish Color: Tenifer™ Black
Barrel Length: 3.18"
Trigger Pull: 6.1 lbs
Trigger Travel: 0.2"
Capacity: 6/7/8 rds
Overall Length: 6.3"
Height: 4.4/4.9/5.3"
Width: 1"
Weight (mag empty): 21.1 oz

LE EDITION - Include Night Sights
MODEL: 2807696
Caliber: 9mm
Finish Color: Tenifer™ Black
Barrel Length: 3.18"
Trigger Pull: 6.1 lbs
Trigger Travel: 0.2"
Capacity: 6/7/8 rds
Overall Length: 6.3"
Height: 4.4/4.9/5.3"
Width: 1"
Weight (mag empty): 21.1 oz

MSRP $599  
Street $549

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