Walther Arms introduced the PPQ M2 pistol at SHOT Show this year. This pistol is striker-fired with a polymer frame that Walther has directed at keeping pace with similar competitor offerings. The PPQ M2 has similarities to the recent Walther P99 and PPX, but there are several key differences that make this pistol stand on its own. Where the P99 and PPX were marketed more towards military or law enforcement duty pistols, the PPQ M2 is being targeted towards the self-defense market.
One of the first features to jump out is the new “quick-defense trigger”. Where prior Walther pistols have had a single trigger, the PPQ M2 will have a trigger bar similar to a Glock, that will incorporate one of the drop safeties. In short, without the trigger bar being depressed, the trigger cannot engage.
Trigger pull is set at 5.6 pounds with 0.4 inches of travel. The PPQ M2 will have a trigger reset of only 0.1 inch allowing for incredibly quick follow-up shots. The quick-defense trigger is surrounded by a slightly elongated trigger guard that is squared off at the front with checkered texturing.
Another feature is the addition of interchangeable backstraps. Designed to fit a diversity of shooters grips, the PPQ M2 will have small, medium, and large backstraps. The inserts are not add-ons, but the actual backstrap of the pistol. The grip also swells and tapers with a natural shape the shooter’s hand assumes in gripping. The front strap has muted finger grooves that should provide grip assistance while not interfering with different hand sizes.
Holding the PPQ M2 on the Show floor, I was very impressed with the ergonomics and comfort of the grip. The rubberized and uniquely cross-directional textured grip provided a sure hold, and the grip angles brought my hand into a naturally strong position at the top of the grip. The PPQ M2 rates very high on the comfortable pistol grips I’ve tested.
The PPQ M2 is designed for right and left-handed shooters, having ambidextrous magazine release buttons and slide lock levers. Both the magazine release button and slide stop lever are slightly enlarged, yet remain close to the frame. This design makes manipulation easier and more sure for the shooter, while eliminating concerns for snagging. The frame has a 3-position 1913 Picatinny rail in front of the trigger guard for the addition of lights or lasers.
There are distinct serrations on the front and rear of the slide for easy gripping during slide manipulation. The front serrations have the Walther symbol engraved inside. Walther states the PPQ M2 slide and barrel are “Tenifer” coated for durability and corrosion protection. The slide is topped with low profile 3-dot polymer sights, with the rear sight screw adjustable for windage.
The top front of the slide also has three vents machined out. Although a nice visual feature, there may also be some benefit from additional heat dissipation.
Here are the Walther PPQ M2 features:
- Overall Length – 7.1 inches (9mm), 7.2 inches (.40 S&W)
- Barrel Length – 5 inches
- Caliber – 9mm and .40 S&W
- Finish – Matte black
- Trigger Pull – 5.6 pounds
- Capacity – 15 rounds (9mm), 11 rounds (.40 S&W)
- Height – 5.3 inches
- Width – 1.3 inches
- Weight (with empty magazine) – 1.5 pounds (9mm), 1.6 pounds (.40 S&W).
The PPQ M2 will also have mid-size offerings, and a threaded barrel version in 9mm called the “Navy SD”. The mid-size 9mm has a 4-inch barrel, while the .40 S&W has a 4.1-inch barrel, though Walther does not list a weight drop. Overall length will be an inch shorter than standard sizes. The “Navy SD” model has a 4.6” barrel with an optional 17-round magazine.
Walther Arms, the American-based arm of Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen, based out of Ft. Smith, Arkansas, will now handle all aspects of marketing, sales, distribution, and service for North America. This began last year with the separation of American distribution from Smith & Wesson. Production will continue in Germany for the time being, but with a very probable production capability expanding at their American facilities in the near future.
If some production does move to the U.S. Walther will likely have to change the “Tenifer” coating like Glock did when they made a similar move. The Tenifer process produces cyanide as a by-product, something the U.S. EPA resists. There are several similar hardening and protective coating processes to Ferritic Nitrocarburizing that do not involve the more toxic by-products, yet still produce the desired hardness and corrosion protection.
The Walther PPQ M2 has much to offer and could be a pistol that reintroduces the Walther name into the mainstream dialogue of handguns.