TFBTV Review: Walther’s New PPS M2 9mm Single Stack and Hands-On Glock 43 Comparison

In this episode of TFBTV, James reviews Walther’s brand new PPS M2, a single stack 9mm (.40S&W is on the way) that is set up to compete with other single stack 9mm handguns. James compares the PPS M2 to the original PPS, and also does a hands-on comparison against the Glock 43. At an inch thick and packing 6 or 7 rounds of 9mm, the PPS M2 looks like a contender. But how does it stack up against it’s biggest competition from Glock?

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Transcript …

– Hey guys, James again for TFB TV.

When I did my top five concealed carry pistol picks, I’ll put the link below right here.

You guys would not stop bitching about the PPS not being on the list.

I do not apologize for that, and here’s why.

I had a PPS.

I loved it.

I though it was an awesome concealed carry gun, slim, great trigger, great ergos, but it had this frickin, the rear grip panel, if it became dislodged, the gun was totally out of commission.

So, in my opinion, I could see something happening.

That grip becoming dislodged because you forgot to put it in correctly.

You dropping the gun on the concrete and it fails to work after that.

And one of the most important laws for carrying concealed is Murphy’s.

If you have something that’s going to screw up on your gun, chances are it probably will.

So, that’s why I don’t even consider the PPS, the first PPS to be a good carry gun.

Fast-forward to today when I pick up the Walther PPS M2.

This, gun manufacturers, this is what it looks like when a company listens to it’s customers.

As you can see, the PPS M2 has omitted the removable grip panel.

Thank God.

That is one of the biggest issues, but there are also some really good ergo upgrades.

The PPS M2 also has a lot more aggressive texturing on the grip.

Looks a little bit like fingernails, but feels pretty darn good.

As I’ve told you guys before, I don’t mind dangling a pinky to get a little bit more concealed ability out of a gun, but Walther gives you that choice right out of the box.

You can either go with the flush-fit mag or you can get an extended mag that has a finger groove and the same texturing as the grip.

So, it isn’t just a hunk of plastic stuck to the bottom of a magazine.

This actually integrates with the gun with an additional finger groove and that same aggressive texturing as on the grip.

Got a, what looks like a reversible mag release.

Very aggressive slide serrations on the front and the rear of the gun.

Good low-profile three dot sights.

Very easy take down process, nearly identical to the Glock.

For a polymer gun, it’s got quite a large slide rail on the right hand side, and the typical fore and aft slide rails on the left hand side.

So, this looks to be pretty robustly built.

There’s a little indicator on the rear of the slide that shows you if your striker is cocked.

Another thing I really like about this gun, look how wide and beveled the ejection port is on the right hand side.

With a concealed carry gun, one of the prime concerns is a failure, a failure to eject.

It could cost you your life.

So, to see Walther do a well thought out feature like this that’s surely going to reduce your chances of a failure to eject, that’s a nice touch.

I could do without the branding, the PPS branding on here.

It’s a little soft.

In fact, I’m kind of tempted to use two dots and a line to make it say ??$ instead of PPS, but maybe that’s just me.

Triple serial number, frame, slide and barrel plus proof marks, plus date code.

This one’s date code is BF.

B, being one.

A is zero, B one, C two, three D, E four, F five.

Did I get that right? This one’s got a date code of BF which means it was build in 2015.

So, let’s take it to the range and see if this BF is my best friend or if I’m going to get b…

Never mind, let’s go shoot it.

All right, this is going to be my first shot at the PPS M2.

And I’m really hoping that this turns out well.

I loved the concept of the PPS One, but again, the thing’s I said in the introduction, really prevented me from loving the gun.

So, let’s see if this is an improvement.

(gun shots) I mean, this is pretty nice.

It really handles recoil well.

That’s one thing that I’ve noticed especially when you have that plus one grip on there.

You guys didn’t just notice me put that mag in backwards.

The, when it’s got that plus one grip on there, and that’s a nice feature by the way.

The plus one, you actually get another round at capacity.

With the Glock, and I think there are some other pistols, single stack nines out there where they’ve got an extension.

They come with an extended magazine, but you don’t get an extra round at capacity.

So, you get a bigger magazine, but not a bigger magazine.

This magazine, you get, the pinky extension, an extra groove and an extra round which is a nice feature.

And of course, the PPS’s biggest competition’s probably going to be the Glock 43.

Fortunately, I have both right here.

You can kind of check them out.

They are almost identical in terms of width and length, as well as height.

Even where the trigger guards are and the triggers.

I mean, these guns are almost identical in size.

Now that I look at it, it looks like the PPS might about a tenth of an inch longer, but I mean, these guns are almost identical.

Let’s give the ??$ another shot.

(gun shots) Not bad.

What I have kind of noticed is the slide release, when you’re focusing on it, it’s really easy to manipulate, but once you’re actually under stress, and you’re trying to do a quick mag change and keep your eyes up and manipulate in your work space, it becomes a little bit harder to, it’s nice, I like having the low profile, and there’s nothing preventing you from, in lieu of, pressing the slide release, just, oh well.

It would help if I had the mag out.

In lieu of hitting the mag release, just racking the slide, but in my opinion, I generally don’t like doing that because I feel like it adds a little bit of time.

(gun shots) So, in conclusion, I would say that the PPS M2 or as I like to call it, the ??$ M2…

This is what the PPS should have been to begin with.

Same dimensions, same trigger, more aggressive texture on the grip.

It’s got the nice American-style mag release, a flared and beveled ejection port, and most importantly, it doesn’t have that damned safety for the rear grip panel.

So, I want to say congratulations to Walther, and thank you for listening to your customers.

I just absolutely love it when you get a reboot of a fairly popular gun, when you get a reboot and they just fix everything that was wrong with it.

That all said, this is a brand new gun, so it really hasn’t been on the market for a while.

We don’t know about the reliability.

I mean, I put around 150 rounds through it today, and no failures.

So, the jury’s still out in terms of reliability, but if it proves to be as reliable as the original PPS, and as well-built, this could give any single stack nine a run for it’s money.

It’s got good sights.

It’s got an excellent finish.

The front and rear slide serrations are nice.

Just very easy to get a grip on this gun.

The flared and beveled ejection port, I know I’ve said it like five times.

That’s probably my favorite feature about this gun.

I think the grip’s great.

I like the option to either use the extended mag that integrates beautifully with the grip by the way, and getting an extra round at capacity or going flush fit and getting a little bit deeper concealment.

Great job, Walther.

So, if I did another top five, would the PPS be on there, the PPS M2? I don’t know.

I don’t know what these are going to be selling for in a year.

I don’t know how reliable they’re going to prove to be.

So, there are a lot of things out there that are still unknowns that would prevent me from saying, hey, this is one of the five best concealed carry pistols on the market.

However, on paper, in terms of design, this is one of the most well-designed single stack nine millimeters on the market now.

Thanks for watching the review guys.

Thanks to the subscribers.

Thank you to Ventura Munitions, our sponsor.

I will see you next week.


James Reeves is a licensed and practicing concealed weapons instructor, the winner of Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior 2011 civilian challenge, a graduate of Front Sight and Tier 1 Group, and is an Appleseed Rifleman. James previously owned and operated a gun shop in Tallahassee, FL and worked as a regional sales representative for Interstate Arms Company, a distributor, before he began practicing law, his present career. James likes traveling with his wife, boating, America, photography, guns, gear he doesn’t really need, cold beer, and a little exercise here and there (James is also GORUCK Tough). Above all, James enjoys performing product evaluations for The Firearm Blog and posting his reviews for TFB readers. Follow James on Twitter @jjreeves.


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  • Great review of the ??$.

    • mechamaster

      Someone who designed the gun must have the sense of humor. ^_^

  • Jack Morris

    Dawww, it’s a little baby PPQ.
    I am a little curious as to why they didn’t include a small accessory rail. Seems pretty standard nowadays, even for the micro 9’s.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      It’s not. It’s got the PPS trigger which I’d say is just as bad if not worse than any factory Glock trigger. As to rail, meh, I like handheld lights for low light.

      They dolled the gun up to look like a PPQ, but did not improve the trigger.

      • iksnilol

        I never liked the look of the PPQ, now the PPK is cool.

        • Dragonheart

          The PPK is one classic design, but don’t short change the PPQ its a real shooter. Out of the box the PPQ beats any of my 8 Glocks.

          • iksnilol

            Well, Glocks aren’t that hard to beat. If you’ve got a reliable pistol with 15 round mags it most likely beats a Glock.

            I don’t doubt the PPQ shoots well, it just looks ugly as sin whilst doing it 😛

          • Dragonheart

            Ah yes, your statement takes me back to the mid 80’s when I first saw a Glock at a gun show. I said, “That has got to be the ugliest pistol I have ever seen in my life, who would ever buy one?” Then at the urging of a friend I shot his Glock and answered my own question; I wouid. Glock the most reliable pistol ever made, say what you will, but that is a proven fact!

          • iksnilol

            I wouldn’t call it the most reliable, top ten? Sure. But most reliable? Nah. Though at that point you’re so high in the leagues it’s about decimals.

            Personally I won’t use a Glock if anything else is available (well, I’d take a Glock over a Jimenez or something).

          • Dragonheart

            Exactly what do you call reliable? The military considers a firearm reliable by the number of rounds it can fire without maintenance or malfunction. When the Glock was first introduced for military contract the Glock 17 fired over 150,000 rounds without malfunction. The closest competitor was a Sig that gave it up after 47,0000 rounds. That record still stands, so until a contender steps up and can do better Glock is number one in reliability that’s a proven fact so opinions are just that. Now does that mean I personally prefer a Glock over my PPQ or a 1911, no way, but if you want a gun that shoots and will continue to shoot there is no denying the facts.

          • iksnilol

            I think a Hi-Point would be more reliable.

            Less parts, simpler mechanism.

        • Jack Morris

          I would have to agree with you. I find the PPQ ugly as sin, but my “Navy” edition shoots so damn well, it doesn’t bother me much.

          • iksnilol

            Can’t argue with that.

            Function>form anytime.

  • Nashvone

    Is this another step away from the ¢¢?

    • JumpIf NotZero

      They couldn’t have dropped that POS fast enough. When Walther’s booth at SHOT was missing PPQs for the entire first day but all the videos were of the CCP, and the reps kept talking about “how easy it is to rack – you know – for girls!”…

      I knew then Walther doesn’t even want to be a serious firearm mfg like Glock, S&W, etc.

  • ostiariusalpha

    It’s not a “No Compromise” HK pistol, James, you can’t load it backwards.

  • Treyh007

    I luv me some Walther! This guy does great reviews, funny and to the point.

  • MrEllis

    I’m looking at a smaller nine for summer. Can’t decide between a double stack or a single. This may sway me.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I carry a 17 chopped to a 19 grip, so I’d say whatever you can shoot well. But do long for an alternate reality where Glock didn’t completely drop the ball by making a PPS/Shield clone – and instead made a single stack 19.

      Would have changed the entire market and you wouldn’t even be debating. Because your question it’s actually single vs double, it’s more easy vs tiny.

      • MrEllis

        My friends rave about their Glock 43/42’s. I’m partial to Springfield or S&W when it comes to the smaller single stacks. I’m going to borrow a Storm Sub-Compact next week and then see if I want to go double stack or single stack.

    • Dragonheart

      I own a PPS, PPK, G-26, G-19, PPQ and others, but I carry a Sig 938. 9 mm, 8 rounds, smaller, reliable, accurate, has a safety, and much easier to conceal, even in shorts and tee shirt.

      • MrEllis

        I have a few options, but no single stack 9mm’s. Considering one. I have a single stack .45 XDs that is pretty much the smallest .45 I’d be willing to carry at that weight.

    • USMC03Vet

      Really depends on where/how you carry. The size difference isn’t that much but capacity certainly is. Unless you wear James Reeves tight shirts you will probably be fine with a sub compact double stack. I find concealing the extra magazine more difficult than the gun.

      • MrEllis

        His shirts would look like a tube top on me. Most of the time we’ve got light jacket weather where I live, so even my compact CZ and a magazine in a pocket is viable. When not it’s an XDs .45. 6 in gun, 7 in pocket, of +P Ranger XTP goodness.

    • A Fascist Corgi

      Smaller guns are obviously easier to carry, but what puts me firmly in the double stack camp was the murder of my best friend (a pack of 15 illegal immigrant gang members stomped on his head and stabbed him in the back several times with knives) and looking at tons of real life crime stories.

      Violent criminals very often attack in packs. And the human body is surprisingly resilient to being shot with handguns. So, even if you are dealing with a lone threat, you’ll very possibly have to shoot them several times before they collapse. And police shooting statistics reveal that a very small percentage of shots fired actually hit someone.

      So, what does that mean to me? That round capacity is extremely important. I strongly disagree with the people that advocate that 1911s, revolvers, and single stack 9mms have more than enough rounds for self-defense.

      And if you have to deal with more than 1 threat, then round capacity becomes even more important.

      Another factor to consider is the mindset of the threat(s). Any gun will scare off even a large group of cowardly criminals. But some criminals are much more hardcore or even mentally deranged. For that type of threat, I don’t want to rely on scaring them off, and so I want my gun to be able to take them out if necessary.

      Having said that, I personally find Glock 19 sized handguns and above to be too large for me to carry on a daily basis. That’s why I settled on the middle ground of double stacked subcompact 9mms like the M&P9c and the FNS-9c (I personally prefer to have thumb safeties on all of my firearms).

      But if double stacked subcompact 9mms are too big for you, then go with the single stack 9mms. Be honest with yourself on what you’re actually willing to carry.

      One last factor to consider is how fun they are to shoot at the
      range. I’m one of the few gun nuts that actually doesn’t enjoy shooting
      that much. I only go to the range to train. I view it more as a chore
      than as a hobby. But I still want to make sure that my range time isn’t
      overly annoying. And not only do single stack 9mm magazines go empty
      very quickly, but reloading them is a pain in the butt. With double
      stack magazines, you can usually use full sized magazines that have 17
      round capacities. Likewise, your double stack backup magazine while
      carrying will also have a lot more rounds than a backup single stack
      magazine. If you’re carrying a single stack 9mm pistol, you’ll probably
      be carrying about 16 rounds on you in total (8 in the gun + 8 in the
      backup magazine). With my M&P9c, I’m carrying 13 rounds in the gun
      and 17 rounds in the backup magazine for a total of 30 rounds.

      • MrEllis

        I’ve worked in LE for over 20 years now, desk bound now but I’m aware. Statistically preparing for every even cripples you on many fronts. I’m comfortable with smaller carry and lower munition caps. When I started I carried a revolver with two speed loaders on my duty belt. So anything beyond that is gravy.

      • Justin

        Wow. You’re such an expert. Please tell me more.

  • John McKee

    Bloggers: Begin baseless criticism of all Walthers now…

  • Core

    I like the original. I can see him fumbling with the mag release button. I like the flappy paddle mag release. I’m wondering if the slide release is also different, I can’t remember. No rail to attach a light if need be, and the M2 is slightly thicker. I also don’t like the grip texture on the M2, it feels slippery to me. The original is slippery too but it’s a harder polymer and can be stippled easily. The new PPS branding looks uber ugly also. JMHO

    • milesfortis

      I liked the paddle mag release for pocket carry. I had previously carried a Kel-Tec and found that, occasionally, just the squeeze of the pocket holster inside the pocket would put enough pressure on the mag release button to unlatch the mag.

  • Dragonheart

    My wife both have a PPS, purchased shortly after they were introduced, which is now years ago. Our guns have literally had thousands of rounds fired through them. I have used my PPS in numerous IDPA matches and not once in all these years, after all the rounds fired has either of our PPS’s ever had the rear grip panel come off. This issue was first mentioned by some self-proclaimed maven as a problem when the PPS was first introduced and has proven to be a non-event.

    I have to say the new PPS looks interesting, but what was not addressed is the same poor trigger on the PPS; hard, uneven pull and long reset. If Walther was going to redesign the gun then the trigger should have been the priority. Their customers have complained about the triggers on the PPS as well as the CCP carry guns since they came out.

    The Walther PPQ has an excellent out of the box trigger with a very short reset, why wasn’t the features of this trigger incorporated into the new design? The IDPA is all about defensive shooting, and defensive shooting is a combination of accuracy and speed. My years of shooting in the IDPA has taught me a lot, and one thing I have learned is you can learn to shoot accurately with a poor trigger, but you will never be able to shoot accurately and fast with a poor trigger.

    • milesfortis

      I have two myself (one in 9mm, the other in .40S&W), bought, like you, shortly after they came out.
      I’ve also never had any indication of the grip panel coming loose and I think we’ve would’ve heard about it if it was a problem that occurred with any regularity.
      Certainly while anything is possible, I think this one is on the extremely low end of the probability scale

      • JumpIf NotZero

        I’ve also never had any indication of the grip panel coming loose and I
        think we’ve would’ve heard about it if it was a problem that occurred
        with any regularity.

        I’m fairly certain this never happened to anyone anywhere. Lots of anonymous jokers bring it up regularly however.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    So, realizes the reloads should be up, mocks the old Costa workspace thing, and then proceeds every single one of the reloads head down. I’d probably save the mocking until I was doing it right. Just joking, mostly.

    I wonder why every single reload was a struggle, inserted the mag backwards, head down, wobbled the old mags out, etc. Maybe this was just not indexing the mags correctly when grabbing them, but I wonder if there was some factor of the gun that makes this more difficult than other guns?

  • JumpIf NotZero

    So while S&W has the Shield, Glock has the 43, both have excellent aftermarket support.

    The PPS M2 comes along and is the same unsupported gun as before but now looks like the PPQ. Doesn’t function like one, only looks. Drops the paddle mag release that people seem like.

    This is the Walther I came to know during my P99/PPQ years.

  • VF77

    I’ve been trying to find one of these at a LGS ever since Shot. I’m almost about to give up and just have one special ordered and pay MSRP. Thanks for the review. I can’t wait to get my hands on one.

  • While I like my PPS M2, you can just forget about accessories. I’d really like to have a couple each of the 6, 7, and 8-round capacity mags, but I haven’t found them anywhere, and it’s been two months since I bought the thing.