Gun Review: Walther PPS

Walther firearms has always stood for quality in many ways. The design, function and fitting of parts are typical for quality German guns. Even though materials have changed over the years the quality is still there using modern design as well as modern materials. The Walther PPS is a prime example of these qualities in the 21st century.

The PPS designation stands for “Police Pistol Slim” since this was initially a design made for the German police as well as other police agencies. I’ve never read anything to substantiate this but I believe S&W saw the commercial value of this pistol in the US civilian gun market and began importing the PPS for our use.

As far as size the PPS was the smallest design to fire the potent 9MM +P round. Since that time the Kimber “Solo” is the only other high quality 9MM in this size range. In fact the PPS is about the same overall size as the .380 Walther PPK. Not only is the size very close the weight is also very similar. The Walther PPK comes in at 20 Oz. with the PPS at 19.4 Oz. The big difference is in caliber with the PPK being a .380 acp and the PPS a 9MM capable of firing +P.

Ergonomics of the PPK are good but the PPS is far and away much more comfortable to grip and aim. One contributor is the interchangeable backstraps. The PPS comes with a small and a large backstrap. The shooters grip is also high and much closer to the barrel centerline mitigating recoil and providing a more comfortable grip when firing the pistol. In fact recoil is much less than I ever expected considering the size and light weight. I believe part of this has to do with ergonomics with another contributor being the dual recoil springs.


Model: PPS
Caliber: 9mm
Length: 6.3″
Height: 4.4″
Overall Width/Width without slidestop lever and takedown buttons: 1.04″/.91″
Barrel Length: 3.2″
Sight Radius: 5.4″
Weight (without Mag): 19.4 oz.
Standard Magazine Weight: 1.9 oz.
Action: Striker Fire Action, Pre-Cocked
Trigger Pull: 6.1 lbs.
Frame: Black Polymer

The magazines also tailor the grip in a fashion. The larger the capacity the longer the magazine allowing those with large hands to obtain a positive grip without having one finger curled under the shorter magazine. The flat surface magazine holds 6 rounds the next longer holds 7 with the final magazine holding 8 rounds in 9MM. Subtract one round from each magazine for the 40 caliber version. Also add one additional round for the chambered round regardless of caliber.

The magazine release is ambidextrous and unique in design. Both release levers are mounted even with the bottom of the trigger guard on both sides. The levers are hinged on the rear so that the shooter can use either finger to depress the selected lever and eject the magazine. They are very simple and easy to activate.

The PPS trigger pull is one of the best I’ve ever used. Now that may seem hard to believe considering it’s a polymer pistol that is striker fired. Never the less this trigger has a short takeup and reset. The pull is very crisp and breaks at a listed 6.1 pounds but feels more like 5 pounds. The trigger is also setup as most striker pistols with a small safety lever built into the center of the trigger as a safety feature.

Safety features are also very similar to other polymer pistols with a drop safety, loaded chamber indicator as well as a striker status pin at the rear center of the slide. Of course the trigger safety which has already been mentioned.

Disassembly is very much like a Glock with two small tabs on either side of the slide. These tabs are depressed and the slide removed. The magazine must be removed prior to takedown as is normal with all pistols of the type.

The frame also has a rail for attachment of a light or laser. The rear sight is adjustable for windage. The sights are common three dot white inserts. The top of the slide measures .9 inches across with the widest part of the slide at just over 1 inch. The PPS is very easy to conceal with a pocket holster or belt holster.

Range Time

During this session I fired a total of 300 rounds of ball and hollowpoint ammunition. The ball ammo was Remington 115 grain, S&B 124 grain. The hollowpoints were also from Remington at 124 grain. I also had some older Cor-Bon 115 grain +P rounds. Most shooting was done with ball ammo. Hollowpoints made up 100 rounds of the range session.

In the pictures below you can see for yourself just how accurate this little PPS really is. Frankly I was very pleased and more than a little surprised at the accuracy of this Walther!

Ten yard target standing unsupported. The center ring is 1 inch. Six rounds fired.

Fifteen yard target standing unsupported. Same target as above with an additional 6 rounds fired. Two rounds were a little off.


I’ve never fired a pistol of this size and short sight radius that has been capable of this kind of accuracy. This is one impressive Walther that has obviously had considerable thought behind the design. The design can be the best around but unless those who make the parts and assemble the pistol don’t do their job it makes no difference. It’s obvious everyone performed their job very well with the PPS!

Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


  • Chaz

    PPS also comes in .40 S&W which afik has the exact same external dimensions.

    • Phil White


      That it does and boy does it kick!

  • Too late. I’ve fallen for another.
    I’ve already held the Walther PPQ. Plan to pick up ‘mine’ this week.

    • Other Steve

      I have a first edition, you’ll love the PPQ. It’s the ergonomics of a P30, the trigger of an Apex M&P, the function and reliability of a glock. Really the best of everything IMO.

      • Woodroez

        You got one with the threaded barrel? Man, I was in a sour mood when those were released and I couldn’t afford to make a run at one at that time. Some day they need to make threaded barrels a standard option for every semi-auto pistol worth owning.

        • Phil White


          There seems to be more being released with threaded barrels. Sig come to mind for one.

    • Phil White


      Hey, I understand that:-)

      • Other Steve


        Yea, it’s a nice part. The threaded barrel alone is worth the cost of the FE, the night sights are a nice plus but not as bright as trijicons, 17rnd mag and case are also nice bonuses.

        But this gun shines suppressed. Great size, feel, and trigger. Cycles great ren with a 45 can. And thankfully they chose 1/2×28 threads over some metric silliness. I’ll get another PPQ some point, maybe a standard edition.

        Taking a couple classes in June with the PPQ, that’ll determine if I buy another one or sell an switch to M&P or something.

        • Phil White


          Good deal it’s a nice option to have. I believe there are a good number of people with a renewed interest in suppressors.It’s also good news they are using 1/2×28 threads. I hate the metric sizes since most of us have to get on the internet to get an idea of size!
          Sounds like you have a good plan:-)

  • Vhyrus

    Is ‘high quality’ a nice way to say ‘overpriced’? You can get an m&p shield for 100 dollars less. Hell, you can get a PF-9 for $300 less and it’s the same size.

    • Other Steve

      Right, I mean, it’s only a tool you may be trusting your life to, best to buy only new untested designs and cheapo mediocre products.

      • Vhyrus

        I somehow posted my reply to Steve onto Durray’s post. Now I do feel like an ass.

        • Phil White


          No big deal we all do things like that:-)

    • Duray

      Actually, the PF-9 is a half inch shorter, and almost 7 ounces lighter. I’ve seen them brand new on the shelf for $270, and the ones my friends have bought seem to work just fine, as do the .380’s. Steve, have you ever owned a Kel-tec?

      • Duray

        Not dissing the PPS, by the way, just responding to the sarcastic Kel-tec bashing. Not everyone needs a $300 helmet, or $100 life preserver, or $700 pistol. They’re nice, but inexpensive does not automatically equal ineffective.

        • Phil White


          No not everyone wants or can afford to spend that much. With that in mind and once again it’s all about personal choice and what you feel confident carrying.

      • Vhyrus

        I was waiting for a gun snob to get their panties in a wad over my comment. That didn’t take long at all.

      • Phil White


        I’ve never owned a Kel-Tec. Seven ounces lighter than the PPS! I don’t see how that’s possible but I’ll check. It’s my personal choice of course but I’d rather pay more for a pistol I trust and one that has the features I want. Each to his own and no there is nothing wrong with a Kel-Tec.

      • Other Steve

        Yea… That’s nice but it’s actually 4.8 difference between the Walther PPS and the Keltec PF9.

        I’ve shot a couple keltecs but they were so unremarkable that I have no ideas even what model they were. Cheap feel, poor triggers, really poor controls or me (slide and mag release), and that’s about all I remember.

        That said, I own a PPS and with the 8rnd mag, it’s feels very close to a full size grip for support. With any mag it runs circles around any keltec.

        My point to your post, was that if COST is even in your top 5 considerations for your concealed carry choices you are in a different mindset than I am. My life is far worth the difference of a PPS and some keltec.

      • Duray

        Steve, I noticed you say you “own” a PPS, not that you carry one. When you carry a gun all day every day you notice when one weighs a third less than another. PPS without mag = 19.4 oz , PF-9 without mag = 12.7 oz. Again, I’m sure the PPS is a wonderfully made gun, I’m just responding to what you said. You said Kel-tecs have a “cheap feel,” to which I say that there are plenty of solid, manly, “real guns” to choose from, but they don’t ride in your pocket all day like a “cheap feeling” gun does. I’ve carried my cheap feeling .380 in swim trunks, in a wedding, and everywhere in between, because it weighs less than 10 oz. Before that I carried a Kimber, but a kimber doesn’t fit in my pants pocket, and no, a $700 price tag didn’t make it 100% reliable either. When the AR-15 came out I’m sure it felt like a toy beside a garand, and a Glock sure looks like a toy beside a 1911, but a bullet doesn’t do it’s job based on how the gun it came from felt. As to the “poor trigger”, I think the kel-tec P3at/Pf9 have a perfectly satisfactory trigger, far better and about half the pull weight of preceding blowback designs like the NAA Guardian. If you like your PPS and can carry it wherever you go, excellent. That doesn’t mean a person is taking their life in their hands when they buy a Hyundai instead of an Audi.

      • Other Steve

        Carry it all the time, anything else you’d like to assume? Regardless, go ahead, try and convince anyone that has shot both that the Keltec isn’t cheap, it’s just as well made, just as shoot-able, just as reliable as the PPS.

        I’m in no danger of stopping you, good luck!

      • Duray

        Steve, I didn’t say you didn’t carry your PPS. In fact, I said “If you like your PPS and can carry it wherever you go, excellent.” Nor did I say that a Kel-tec is just as well made as a PPS. I will gladly concede that a PPS is overall higher quality than a PF-9. I was responding to your original derision of Kel-tecs as a “cheapo mediocre product.”

    • BigBeluga

      “High quality” is a nice way to say high quality. You get what you pay for. A PF-9 is a perfectly valid choice and serves the purpose. The PPS brings fit, finish, and performance that is just not going to happen at the Kel-Tec’s price point. That does not make it “better” or “more right”, it is just another option, and we are lucky to have so many at our disposal. Can’t we all just get along?

      • gunfighter 2012

        My black plastic pistol is SO much nicer than your black plastic pistol. ‘Cause mines got fit and finish. HA HA HA HAHA HAHA HA HA.

        • Phil White


          Now how is quality fit funny? Nobody wants a sloppy gun to defend themselves with. Bottom line there are plenty of choices for everyone.

      • CRB

        I chose the PF-9 because I couldn’t find a smaller, thinner, lighter pistol in 9mm for total concealment in business dress. I use a pager pal and it is undetectable even in light slacks with a tucked in shirt. You can’t just assume it will work out of the box though. Mine was unreliable until it made two return trips to the factory. Afterwards, I have fired 500+ rounds through it, including +p, without failure. Per the manual, “The PF-9 will accept +P ammunition, however not with continuous use.”

      • Duray

        On the contrary, Beluga, you don’t always get what you pay for. Sometimes you pay $500 for a PPK and the ejector/slide stop snaps in half (seen it), while your buddy pays $250 for a Bersa that runs like a champ, doesn’t bite his hand, and weighs less. Sometimes you spring over a grand for a Kimber CDP only to have the safety lever snap off (seen it). Sometimes you spend $600 for a Sig 238 only to have it jam and get recalled to fix defects. And sometimes you get a bargain like a $250 plastic pistol that shoots whatever you feed it and keeps on chugging year after year. There are bargains to be had, and there are guns, computers, motorcycles, and clothes that are priced higher than they’re worth. You aren’t better protected simply for buying an $800 gun rather than a $400 gun. You have to actually know what makes one product preferable to another. Sometimes it costs more for quality, and sometimes you find a great product priced less than the competition.

    • Komrad

      Hell, you can get a Polish P64 in 9mm Mak for as low as $150 sometimes.
      Obviously not as light or quite as powerful (although Buffalo Bore loads get up there), but probably just as effective as polymer subcompacts.

      I personally have trouble understanding why people spend more than $250 on a carry pistol.

      P64 9mm mak – $200 tops
      P83 9mm mak – $250
      Makarov 9mm mak – $250
      CZ vz. 82 9mm mak – $250

      Then again, it’s their money and you should shoot what you are comfortable with. For me, I’ll stick with cheap ass com-bloc pistols.

      • Mike

        P64? Are you serious? Polish cops (who had to carry this thing as their duty weapon until only a few years ago, and switched to P99s and Glocks) hate this thing with a passion as it’s unreliable and inaccurate. I know, my parents are retired cops and my cousin’s still on the force. He got P64 as his first service gun and I have to say that the sights are a joke (he let me handle it).

      • Komrad

        I’d hate to have a P64 for open carry too. It’s too small and under-powered for that, but it is just right for cc.

        As for the sights, there are subcompact 1911s that simply have a groove down the top for sights and many other sub-compact pistols have small, hard to see and use sights.

        If given the choice, I’d choose any of the other guns I listed over a P64, but I’d rather spend $200 on a P64 that I know will go bang every time (contrary to your assertion) than spend $700 on this Walther.

        I have no doubt that the Walther and other similar guns are just as or more reliable than a P64, but not $500 more reliable and certainly not $450 more reliable than a CZ vz. 82. If the Walther or any other gun fits your hand better or you are more comfortable with it, then it is worth $500 more, but going off of purely quantitative and non-subjective measures, I don’t see this Walther being worth $500 more.
        All it adds over a P64 is lighter weight and probably trigger, 1 extra round capacity, and a slightly more powerful cartridge. Over a CZ vz 82, all it adds is the light weight and slightly more powerful cartridge while losing 6 rounds capacity.

        If a gun works for you, then it’s worth anything, but I wouldn’t recommend for a friend any other guns over the cheap com-blocs unless they added some criteria that ruled them out (chambering, weight, or manual of arms).

        • Phil White


          They are retailing for at most $600 now. If you shop around you can find them for around $550.

    • Phil White


      True the M&P is less money but this PPS is so slim and works as well as any compact without the bulk. I know the M&P is wider and generally larger. I can’t address the size of the PF-9. It all depends on what you want to pay for. Mine was right at $600.

  • Lance

    Will they make a .45 AUTO version??

    • Phil White


      No, it’s just to small to handle that round and maintain the size.

  • ThomasD

    A couple months ago my wife and I had the chance to fire a 9mm PPS, a compact Kahr 9mm, and a Taurus 9mm slim side by side.

    The Walther was head and shoulders above the others in every aspect. It was clearly designed and further refined by people who understand how a compact pistol should perform. I second the observation that the trigger is silly good for a striker fire mechanism, and found the weapon comfortable to handle, very compact, and very easy to control.

    Worst of the bunch was the Taurus, with an absurdly long, stacking trigger pull and a too high bore axis that made for heavy and excessively flippy recoil. The Kahr had a decent trigger pull, but was boxy, with rough fit and finish (it is the least expensive of the three) and the magazine release button was small and difficult to actuate. The magazine well is also not conducive to rapid reloads.

    I was not a big fan of the PPS magazine release, but given how nice everything else was about it, it is something I would consider adapting myself to. I had planned on buying one in 9mm for my wife and one in .40 for myself, but am now hesitating pending an examination of the new compact M&Ps.

    • Phil White


      I certainly agree with everything you said. Before I bought mine they had a Kahr which was used. I took that out back where the shop had a range and fired the Kahr. The trigger was not as good as the Walther and yes it was blocky where they could have slimmed it down.
      The M&P may be a great choice also. I understand the slide is still full size with a smaller grip and of course overall smaller.

  • Richard

    I don’t really understand your statement that there is no other high quality pistol of the same size except Kimber Solo. Lots of people don’t like Taurus and Kel-Tec. Some people don’t like Kahr. I have not seen anyone dis either the Ruger or S&W offerings. And take a look at the specs on a Glock 26. Dimensions are within .1″ plus or minus and the weight is the same. And the Glock is a proven design and holds more rounds.

    • Phil White


      I’m very fond of the Solo but making a choice between it and the PPS would be very difficult for me. I’ve never been a Glock fan even though many people love them. The grip angle just doesn’t agree with my grip. If I bought one I’d send it to one of the companies who reduce the grip and lessen the grip angle from the current 17 degrees.

    • Ryan

      Richard, I’m not sure if you’ve held both guns in your hand (G26 & PPS), but the PPS feels a lot slimmer. It is actually .91″ in width (they quote 1.04″ including the slide stop lever which you wouldn’t notice with IWB carry) compared to the Glock’s quoted width of 1.18″. A quarter of an inch is a big deal for a lot of people who carry IWB. Glock makes a great gun but they are a bit bricky.

  • Nice post. I link to you on my blog and this review is one reason why. It’s the first comprehensive review I’ve read, and I’ve read pretty much all of them in the gun mags. Good job!

    • Phil White


      Thank you sir and we sure appreciate it! It’s always nice to hear what I write is helpful and informative.

  • Jon

    Nice review! I really like the feel of the PPS and own one in .40 cal. The only problem I have is finding a good IWB holster for it. If you look, major manufacturers do not advertise that they make a holster for this pistol. It generally fits holsters designed for the Glock 36. However, “generally fits” is not good enough for a CCW pistol that you may have to draw to save your life.

    • Phil White


      There are some custom makers who have them. Erik at can sure make you one. I have several of his holsters and have been very pleased with them.

    • Kdawg

      Check out I bought a left-side IWB PPS holster from them last year. They have a lot of different options, and there products are high quality.

      • Phil White


        I’ll second that–Comp-Tac has some very good Kydex holsters.

    • Mike

      I have a PPS and a Crossbreed Supertuck that works great. I don’t even think it took that long to arrive. As mentioned, Comp-Tac makes a good one, as does Raven Concealment (who even can make you one for a PPS with an attached weaponlight like a TLR-1).

      • Phil White


        I have a Raven Concealment for my carry 1911. I also bought the IWB kit so it’s a dual purpose holster. The Super Tuck also hides a gun very well.

  • Dan

    As a former PPS owner I can give everyone my two cents. I agree about the accuracy of the weapon, and even using 124 +p loads it was manageable recoil.

    I sold mine because of the backstrap(s). The contact point for them to the frame is plastic on plastic (the backstrap has a thin little tab), and over time it begins to wear (at least on my gun it did). As a result of this I actually had to get a replacement backstrap because it had worn so much it would no longer lock in place. In fairness this first time may have been fault for changing backstraps too often, but even once I put the new replacement on and never changed it I still observed backstrap begin to wobble. A design feature of the PPS renders it inoperable without the backstrap locked in place. I could never fully trust it as a carry gun knowing that if for some reason the backstrap came loose I would have an inoperable gun. Other people may have a higher level of comfort with it.

    • Phil White


      That’s interesting. I’ve never heard of that happening before. I set my grip panel up when I bought mine and never changed it.

    • John E Davies

      I too have serious concerns about the back strap design for a daily carry weapon, but I added a Limbsaver rubber grip sleeve and this really helps to keep the strap from moving. I am still wondering about some sort of mod to defeat the hateful safety feature of the back strap, but for now the grip sleeve is helping. And the sleeve makes a great shooting pistol even better.

      BTW, I do NOT regularly carry this gun, simply because of the risk of malfunction if the back strap should get damaged or pop loose. This gun is a backup in case I can’t carry my XDm for some reason.

      John Davies
      Spokane WA

      • Tomaso

        Yes back straps can be an issue for the PPS……I know because mine poped off 3 times…and the gun is useless when this happens!!!!!!!
        Thank god for the little red dot to tell you every things a go to fire…because mine poped off just enough to uncock the firing pin but wasn’t visually off. But no red dot….
        Any ways it’s an issue…and one that I permently fixed with a removable pin inserted threw the back strap…a lot like the XDms backstraps.
        I have pictures of the procedure on under handguns in the Walther section….

        They are great guns…I carry mine almost all the time it’s so damm thin….and I have over 600 rounds threw mine now… hiccups.

        • Phil White


          Great way to solve that issue!

      • Tomaso

        My post on is archived …so here is a quick link

  • Mike Knox

    Good review but you might need a better camera. Passed over getting a PPS and stuck with my P99..

    • Other Steve

      I was thinking his camera was ok, but he has some serious work to do with the lawn. I don’t see a single blade of grass in there 🙂

    • Phil White


      My Nikon DSLR battery died and I had to order another one. I had to use my old camera. Sorry about the less than stellar picture quality on this review.

  • David

    I’m glad you are happy with the Walther PPS. My wife and I had one of the first ones that came out, and did not have good results. On ours, it had to be kept meticulously, spotlessly clean, or it would encounter jams, often stove-pipes. I thought limp-wristing was an issue with the stove-pipe jams, and also thought some of the empty cartridge cases on ejection might have hit the wall of the range and bounced back to get snagged by the slide, so operator error may well have been a factor in those stoppages. I thought it might be a pistol that had to be “broken in” so it went back repeatedly to the range. Of far greater concern was the trigger would not reliably reset. Sometimes the trigger would simply remain all the way back on firing, and not return at all. Personally, I think that the magazine release was a somewhat neat idea, but if an inexperienced user uses a fore-finger/trigger finger instead of a thumb, the trigger is at risk of being depressed. The mass of the slide was squeezed into a vertical plane to the barrel, and this seemed to my subjective judgment as making the muzzle flip a bit during recoil. The Walther PPS went back to the factory to remedy the trigger reset issue, and came back with the same problems and issues unresolved. To be frank, I felt like it was a handgun that needed the bugs worked out, or possibly even a product recall, but Walther chose not to. I don’t dislike Walther, and I have had other factory “lemons” from other companies that have had to go back to the factory. It just didn’t seem like the glitches of early production or whatever had been worked out.

    My wife and I just got a S&W M&P 9 Shield pistol for just five bucks over 400 dollars. It has a 7 round and 8 round magazine included, no removable back-strap to disable the pistol, is just under an inch wide [.95″/2.413cm, three-inch barrel for an overall length of 6.1″/15.5cm, 4.6″/11.684cm and weighs 19 oz. unloaded. We are looking forward to trying it at the range and seeing how it does. Hopefully it is close to the levels of accuracy you obtained from your Walther PPS! Good shooting!


    • Phil White


      Unfortunately for us all every gun company has it’s share of bad guns getting through QC. If this does happen they certainly should repair or replace it. I’ve rarely seen any company that will replace a pistol or revolver which is something the industry needs to re-consider. I know it cost a company money but how much do all firearm companies lose in sales through word of mouth?
      The M&P is a great pistol with excellent handling and reliability. I’m very sure you’ll enjoy it!

  • John Doe

    It isn’t the cheapest compact pistol, but Walthers are generally great quality. When your life depends on a gun, price shouldn’t be a consideration.

    • Phil White


      Agreed—- The only time a price comes into play for me is when we start talking about custom guns costing over $2000. At that point you’re really paying for the low production numbers of the maker regardless of quality.
      As for myself I’ll just wait and save until I can purchase a pistol or revolver I have faith in and shoot well.

  • Cozmo

    I had a Kel Tec PF9 and it was unreliable for me. I couldn’t aim it worth a damn either. It was terrible and not fun to shoot AT ALL. My dad bought the Kahr PM9 and was mad he spent that much after he shot it back to back with the PF9. I also shot the Kahr on that same day, and it was only slightly better than the Kel Tec.

    I sold the Kel Tec and got a PPS after renting one at an indoor range. I can actually aim it and it is much more fun to shoot, similar to my 9mm XD. Of course it is bigger than the Kel Tec, but I trust it a helluva lot more.

    • Phil White


      Sorry you guys had to go through that trial to get what works well for you. Trust is a very important and really essential part of the decision to buy a particular gun. That you can’t put a price on!

      The accuracy of the PPS is very surprising considering the size. I have full size pistols that aren’t even close to being as accurate.

  • Ryan

    I did some research a couple of years ago when looking for a new daily ccw. The only complaints I heard on the pps were related to the blackstrap disconnect (not the wear issue mentioned above) and that it could slide off easily while the magazine was out (I never verified this) rendering it useless. The other issue I heard mentioned was that the magazine had a odd shape and could be difficult to insert if you were used to other more common styles. I can say it stood alone in form factor and how it feels in your hand until recently.

    • Phil White


      The base of the mags have a different shape than most but I’ve never had any difficulty with any capacity/shape of these mags. I place my left index finger on the front of the mag to guide it. This has always helped me without having to “watch” the mag into the magwell.
      One thing that several have mentioned which is the backstrap disconnect. I personally don’t care for the feature and never use it. In fact as I said earlier when I decided on the backstrap I wanted to use it’s never been off the gun.

      • Ryan


        Thanks for the feed back. So there isn’t any way for the back strap to slide off once the mag has been ejected? I just don’t see a pin holding it in place, and I can just see myself fumbling in the grass for the back strap while reloading.


        • Phil White


          No it can come off I suppose but as I mentioned I’ve never had a backstrap problem. I believe it’s because I haven’t changed them out several times. I think that tends to wear the part down a bit.
          Tomaso has a very good permanent fix for those who do encounter a problem. He has a link on his comment showing how he fixed the problem. That fix is very sturdy I’m sure so there’s really no reason for concern.

      • Ryan

        Never mind Phil i just saw the post you were referring to. Thanks

        • Phil White



        • Phil White


          You bet:-)

  • Nicks87

    I too purchased the Walther PPS in .40 when it was first released and I was very disappointed. Accuracy was great but I had many feeding issues with various types of ammo and I felt the the grip surface was too slippery and maybe a bit too “slim”. I called walther america customer service about the feeding issues and they just told me to clean the magazines because they might have excessive lubricant (cozmoline?) that’s causing the malfunctions. So I did as I was told and still had issues. Mainly the last round would always fail to feed or stove pipe after being fired. Sometimes it would be the 2nd, or 3rd round.

    I purchased this firearm with the intention of using it as my sole CCW but after putting about 300 rnds down range with it I decided that it could not be trusted as a carry weapon so I traded it in for another glock.

    I think the price really kills this weapon as well as lack of ammo capacity especially when you could buy a glock or M&P for less and have a more reliable firearm.

  • Tomaso

    I’m going to post this one more time here…because I think it’s so important.
    Iv had issues with the backstrap…but because I loved the performance and conceal ability of this design I took the time to fix rather than find a new gun.

    I permanatly fix the issue by taking an idea from my XDm that I was CC everyday till I got the PPS.

    If you have a PPS or are thinking of getting one check this information out…it’s a post about my problem and how I fixed it…also a link to pictures and detailed tools to do the job.

    • Phil White


      Very good I appreciate your pitching in and sharing this with everyone. This should take care of any anticipated or current problem with the backstrap.

      • Tomaso

        Thanks Phil,
        My adjustment is so straight foward, I don’t know why Walther isn’t doing it on thier pistols ….and the way I did it it’s easy to change out straps…push a pin out remove old strap..insert new and repin.

        But any gun smith can do this upgrade in about 20 min with the right tools. Heck I did it free hand…but I would suggest a drill press…lol

        It just happens that we’re the alignment dimple is on the strap is a perfect spot to pin it…it’s like the original designer thought about it but didn’t make it to production.

        • Phil White


          Heck I’d contact S&W and tell them what the fix is and see if they will pickup on it. They certainly should! I use a Dremel drill press which would work great for something like this.

      • Tomaso

        Just don’t try and drill threw all at once….the drill will walk off its alignment when it interacts with the metal catch bar, because it catches it on the edge..will break the drill if not ruining the polymer frame…my design makes a notch to keep the safety bar up…not drilled threw…this makes sure that their is play for the bar to flex while shooting just like how the back straps interact with the bar, but with metal.

        • Phil White


          Thanks for that clarification!

    • John E Davies

      Thank you SO much for posting that back strap pin mod link and the pics! I have been wanting to do something like this for years and did not have the nerve to start carving blindly on my gun. I just completed your mod on my PPS9 and it is great!

      I used a number 53 drill bit to drill the back strap and frame, then I disassembled the gun completely (removed the inner steel sub-thing) and clamped the back strap safety “blade” in a bench vise padded with aluminum. I then used a fine diamond round file to shape the notch, filing back until I met the marks of the drill bit tip.

      I made a pin 0.90″ long from the next larger drill bit, which is a 1/16″. It’s about .003″ oversized and a nice snug fit in the plastic holes. I put a tiny bevel on each end so the pin would self-align as I drove it in. It required light taps with a mallet, so it isn’t going to drift loose on its own. I reassembled and checked the operation – yahoo!

      I took the back strap off once more and I painted some cold blue on the new notch and oiled lightly before final assembly. Taking the gun completely down makes this task a lot harder and it took me a couple of hours total, what with slow filing and trying to remember how that durn disassembly spring goes in….

      Did you post this at ? I searched there not a month ago and didn’t see anything. Please post your mod there – I am sure they will thank you!


      • Phil White


        Fantastic John! We all learned something from Tomaso on this one. I second the posting of this mod on the Walther forum!!

      • Tomaso

        Im glad it worked for you…I’m also sure that your way was a lot cleaner then my quick way…. As for the Walther boards I posted my thoughts and links but got little positive response….most were ” never had a problem..or I’ll just use limb saver.”. But I’ll give it one more try…too many times the ” pros don’t like to hear anything from low post counters….

        No body likes to hear theirs a problem with their ” love”. As evident here also from the negative marking on these post….o well.

        • Phil White


          I wouldn’t worry about any negatives you see here. Starting on the last review we have someone who is marking a lot of comments with a negative just to stir the pot so too speak.
          If some don’t want to take advantage of what has obviously worked for you it’s a loss for them—–let it slide!

  • Phil White


    You could add the Nano. The two I’ve had the most experience with are the Walther and Kimber. No doubt Beretta makes a quality product. I don’t know about other areas of the country but in the mid-west the Nano hasn’t sold very well for some reason?

    • Merc

      Maybe the Nano didn’t sell well because parents were finding it difficult to connect it to iTunes…

      Gosh that was lame.

      • Phil White


        Yea but kinda funny:-)

  • Phil White


    Just curious as to where the figures you mention came from? I can get the actual sales figures I believe if you would like for me to. One thing though if the figures are low or low in the estimation of S&W they won’t supply the numbers too me.
    I’m sure they aren’t running a 24 hour production line for one pistol.

  • Phil White

    Thanks Tommy,

    Here is a link to the Facebook page.

    This is the posted message from Berretta’s Facebook page:

    Give our manufacturing folks a LIKE – They’re literally working around the clock for you!
    To keep up with demand, we have more than tripled the production schedule of the Nano, with shifts running 24-hours a day!

  • Phil White


    No doubt Beretta makes quality guns. Again it’s a personal opinion or choice if you will.

  • Phil White


    I appreciate the information you posted. That does verify they are running long shifts to increase production.

    I was in Columbia, Mo. and happened to check comments on the post while I was there. I decided to go to the five gun shops in town to check the stock on Nano’s as well as orders for the Nano from these shops. What I found after talking with the owners and/or managers was two have them on order (each had one in stock) while two others are giving it a pass and putting the emphasis on stocking the new S&W Shield. They both had similar ideas on which polymer guns to stock based on request from customers. They keep a stock of M&P’s, Glock, Walther, Ruger. These two shops vary a bit but they have these brands in common. The last shop hasn’t ordered any because of lack of customer demand.
    Just some general information on Columbia. The population is roughly 120,000. When the students are in residence from the University of Missouri the population rises a good deal. This gives you an idea of the market these shops service.

    • Phil White


      Yes, actually I did in order to pass along information to you the reader. I’ll go out of my way to present any information that is requested or needs to be presented in an objective manner. I usually check-in and visit with people in these gun shops from time to time in order to keep in touch with local prices and trends.

      I did say that Beretta makes quality guns as does S&W and many others. As always it comes down to a personal choice based on quality, performance, reliability and how well the owner shoots the gun.

      Also, I was not trying to prove a point rather present information for you all to evaluate and draw your own conclusion.

      By the way I was in Columbia again today and dropped in to Bass Pro. I spoke with the manager of the gun section of the store and asked about Nano sales, stock etc. His response was they sometimes get a couple sent to them from corporate. He advised me it’s rare that they have any request for the Nano. He further stated that customer request for Beretta’s is normally between the model 92 and the sub-compact PX4 as well as the compact PX4. They stock several of both and they are always in stock.

      What is wrong with S&W guns by the way—– just curious?

  • James

    I like my PPS 40 a lot. For carry practice I shot it in idpa last weekend and managed even with limited mag capacity, but had more mag changes than anyone. A few months ago I shot it in a BUG match and came in 3rd out of 20 or so shooters.

    I’ve experience few malfunctions in its 3k+ round history. I’ve never changed/removed the backstrap since I put on the large when I bought it. It’s more accurate than I am. Recoil is manageable at least but I shoot major/CDP normally.

    • Phil White


      It’s good to hear the experiences you’ve had with yours. Coming in third is very good of course and those BUG matches are fun!

  • Ian

    “Dual” recoil springs are a cost cutting measure. They don’t reduce recoil.

    • Phil White


      It would seem at first glance that making a recoil system with two springs would be more expensive than a single spring. The purpose is not only to reduce felt recoil but mitigate frame wear. The general idea is making recoil of the slide a two step process reducing the recoil impulse near the end of the slide stroke.

      Arizona Gun Runners explains it very well.

      • Ian

        Except that springs don’t work that way. Since both springs are loaded (because they are in-line with each other) they both compress at the same time. What you effectively achieve is a higher rate than the smaller spring, but a shorter length than what the larger spring would allow at full compression.

        It’s cheaper because simple coil springs can be made anywhere and cost pennies. The proper solutions (stranded wire or flat wire coils) are much more expensive and specialized. In fact, those methods were developed due to the shortcomings with using two coil springs on the same shaft.

        • Phil White


          Oh well we’ll agree to disagree on that point:-) I looked at discussions on some of the forums and it seems this issue is as hotly discussed as the old 9MM vs 45 debate!

    • Nicks87


      Dont argue with Phil.

      Like all gun writers he’s always right.

      • Phil White


        Now Nicks you’re being testy again:-) I’m not always right anymore than anyone else. I’ve had a lot of experience and he may have as well. I said we disagree not that he’s wrong and I’m right. I’m not an engineer and I doubt he is either. It’s two people with a difference of opinion which is fine by me. I sure don’t get bent out of shape if someone has another opinion from mine. Never have never will.

        If you disagree with either of us do some searching. There are two kinds of dual springs. There are those which are connected to each other and those that aren’t connected.

        Those who read our post can decide for themselves.

  • David Kuge

    I’ve had problems with the trigger reset. The faster I pull the slide, it will load a live round but not reset the trigger. It has happened on the range as well during qualifying. If I pull on the slide slower, the trigger resets every time. Do you know what the problem is and how I can fix this?

  • Andy McLain

    I own a PPS in .40S&W. It is my second. Before I ever shot my first I sent it to Mag-Na-Port for their Auto-Porting process in an effort to tame the .40S&W recoil snap a little. When I got it back I was impressed with their usual quality work. I took it to the range and put 100 rounds of Winchester 165gr. FMJ through it. When I took it apart at home to clean I was amazed to find the frame had split along its molding seam from in front of the trigger guard all the way to the front end. I sent it back to Walther who blamed this on the Auto-Porting, and sold me another .40S&W PPS at wholesale. Since that time my local dealer/gunsmith told me she had heard of another PPS frame splitting that Walther blamed on the use of range ammo. Anyone else hear of this happening???

  • strongarm

    Walther PPS is simply, an intended to upgrade time tested, relible and
    rugged Glock Design. It was produced just after the expiration of Glock
    Patents and its base USPTO patent relating to the decocker backstap has
    published on second mounth of this year after a six year pending period.
    There were five designer in design team that one of which Peter Dalhammer
    who was the head responsible of P99 Design.

    As opposite of common belief, trigger mechanism of PPS is not derived from
    P99 QA, it is one by one copy of Glock’s. Any experienced eye can notice
    that similarity.

    Walther had choosed the Glock Trigger to copy because with a automatic
    trigger safety, it is as safe as “Cocked and Locked Colt 1911” since direct
    blockage on the sear. Their own P99 Trigger safety does only block the
    trigger movement and not block the sear as being on the Glock’s. It is
    simply inferior.

    There were shortcuts on the Glock Lay Out and PPS Design Team started
    to wipe off those so called flaws. According to the Teamers, most noticed
    lacks to be developed should be;

    – One side only Magazine Release,

    – Trigger pull necessity before Take Down,

    – Foolish application of taking the trigger forwards manually when the
    pistol is uncocked. This will destroy the Plastic Safety Ramp and lead
    malfunctions. Glock Manual clearly indicates that such an application
    would spoil the warranty terms.

    Teamers remedies for these points are at the following;

    – Two side standart Walther Magazine Lever for one side only release.

    – Detachable Handle Backstap to decock the Striker. This is achieved
    as changing Safety Ramp from fixed plastic to one side steel plate
    hinged at rear and fastened to a vertical spring feed Decocker Bolt
    being in connection with detachable Backstrap. When the Backstap is
    taken out, Decocker Bolt runs down and disconnects the sear from the
    Striker Underlug and as opposite of the common belief, the half cocked
    Striker does not violently strikes against to the Striker Safety Bolt, but
    is coushioned by the upper bumper of the Decocker Bolt and softly
    props against to the same. This remedy adds a lot of parts onto
    the known Glock Trigger Construction.

    – For foolish application on trigger is intended to limit with an additional
    part called “Retainer”. This piece, working in connection with the
    Disconnection Ramp under the Slide, restricts the forward movement of
    trigger when the Trigger Bar at its rearmost location, and permits its
    travel to foremost position when the slide retracted as cocking the
    pistol. But there are various friction surfaces and, on very rapid slide
    movements, Retainer piece may fail on its function in the due course and
    Striker may stop at the rear as cocked but not properly located on its
    place over the Safety Ramp. And, besides, this precaution is restricted
    for pistol being at one piece on assambled mode, and in disassambled
    form, that is, the slide is out of the receiver, there is still the same
    danger of manually retract the trigger on its foremost position for
    Trigger Safety to lock the same at that location, and if the slide is
    assambled and trackted bacwards, a possible danger of ruining the
    plastic Decocker Bolt sitting lug at handle for future drop downs of the
    removable Decocker Backstap. There is no warning at the Manual to
    warn the owner not to do this.

    Most of PPS Issues come from the those crowded and confused parts
    over the reliable Glock configuration and some may think, ” It would be
    made a second Glock with the parts and costs added”.

    • strongarm


      It should be corrected that, awardness of Walther PPS Design Team
      for a design flaw of “taking the trigger to foremost position when the
      pistol is on uncocked form” is not present.

      Further investigation over the pistol indicates that, the part called
      “Retainer” has a one motion center instead of two and its vertical
      location is offset from the disconnector ramp under the slide. It seems
      that it has a longitidunal channel cut under the slide for its tiny upward
      tip to enter in and permitted freely inside as letting the slide to go out
      through there when dismounted. This part, then, is simply a lever to work
      as a magazine disconnector with small changes where required, and left in
      place for others solely “To retain the trigger bar in connection with
      disconnector blade with small moving tolerances”. The upright tip on its
      top is guided by slide underside channel on its intended orbit to prevent
      malfunctions if that longitidunal cut were not present.

      In this case, it may be the cause for decocker handle backstap fall outs
      should the trigger is taken foremost position manually when the pistol is
      on uncocked mode, since the downward exertion of striker underlug over
      the trigger bar integrated sear being transmitted directly over the plastic
      seat where the backstrap rides upon.

  • Thomas Clay

    I own three of them, all in 9mm. I’ve shot somewhere between 8500-9000 rounds between the three guns.

    My first PPS , purchased in December of 2008, has about 4000 rounds through it. The second one, purchased in 2010, has about 2800 rounds. I purchased a third one about six months ago and that one has around 2000. I have 9 mags: 2 six-rounders, three seven-rounders and four eight-rounders. I usually shoot 124gr FMJ of whatever I can find locally.

    I’ve had very few problems with the PPS. There were a few stovepipes on the first gun. The other two had some feeding issues also, but were gone within a couple hundred rounds. I clean the guns every 250 rounds.

    I’ve had the backstraps off literally hundreds of times with no issues. They can be a little fiddly until you get used to it. I’ve never had one fall off spontaneously. I like the feature — I use it two or three times a week when I have to leave my pistol in my car to enter a “gun-free” building such as the Post Office. I click it off and put the gun in a little lock-box and insert if when I return to my car. They haven’t broken and there is no wear.

    The mag release was a revelation to me. I have small hands and the PPS is the first gun I’ve owned in thirty years that allows me to do a mag change without taking my eyes off of the target. You use your trigger finger and slap down after you’re finished firing. I find normal thumb releases to be exasperating now that I’m used to the Walther.

    The PPS is refined, soft-shooting and I get a predictable level of accuracy and performance from it.. I carry it every day in either a Smartcarry or a shoulder holster.

    • Hyok Kim

      “The mag release was a revelation to me. I have small hands and the PPS is the first gun I’ve owned in thirty years that allows me to do a mag change without taking my eyes off of the target. You use your trigger finger and slap down after you’re finished firing. I find normal thumb releases to be exasperating now that I’m used to the Walther.”

      Well said.

  • Greg Wgnr

    I couldn’t love this gun more. I have had it for 2 years or so, fired many rounds, not a problem.

    Then I just recently took it to the range again. I was practicing some moving and dropped the flush magazine on the ground. It broke. Called Walther. It took two months till they had the part in stock which is fine, then they said “that will be $9.” For one we are talking a fairly new gun, not a 30 year old gun, for two if only the second time it ever dropped on the ground it broke, not saying a lot for the magazine ruggedness. Kind of killed my feeling of the gun and company. I may be switching the the M&P shield. S&W has stood behind their weapons in my past experiences.

    • Truth

      Let me get this clear. YOU drop & break something carelessly and then think $9 is unreasonable?

      We don’t want you as a customer!!!!

      • Ned

        At what point does this guy take ownership?
        And responsibility?
        Wake up America!!’

        • Greg Colin

          Be my guest in owning a gun that the magazine falls apart the 2nd time it drops on the ground from a magazine change. I hold higher standards when a firearm and it’s parts are defending my life.

      • Greg Colin

        Let me clear it up for you. When shooting a gun and changing magazines as they are supposed to be able to drop free, and the end result is a magazine that just falls apart, I would say is a pretty poorly made product.
        And yes, when a little metal tab about the size of a paper clip costs a quarter of the cost of a whole magazine that is ridiculous. Especially since i’m sure the poorly made magazine will continue to break.

        Thank you though for showing how you back your products and treat your customers better than I ever could have.

    • ogdenlane

      You’re leaving Walther for S&W; does not the latter own/distribute the former?

      • Greg

        Two different departments when it comes to service and claims.

  • Bobbyg

    I have carried the PPS for a few years now and love it…with one exception. That damn blade trigger safety. It’s too thin and it hurts if you are going to put a lot of rounds thru it. My index finger is raw when I finish shooting.