Synonymous with 007, elegant and streamlined. When I think of Walther, I think of an Aston Martin zooming through the Alpine mountains while in a rally-style pursuit. It conjures scenes of high stakes gambling, smoky settings with copious amounts of martinis, and of course, a little danger. I grew up watching all the Bond films with my Dad, and always wanted a Walther of my own.
Walther’s heritage and connection to the most famous (and arguably worst) spy of all time, gives these firearms an air of refinement and sexiness. Yet, Walther aims for more than nostalgia. They’re striving for everyday usability and functionality.
A Brief History
In 1929, Walther engineered the original PP-series with the goal of creating the ideal concealed carry pistol. The PPK’s reliable straight blowback action and streamlined profile achieved instant popularity with plain clothes police across the globe. It quickly became the seminal carry pistol of the twentieth century. Today, Walther remains at the frontline of the pistol category they pioneered.
In 2007, Walther broke new ground with the tremendously popular single-stack carry market with the introduction of the PPS. In the original PP-series tradition, the PPS aims for ease of concealment and reliability. Its design, however, reflects the changing tastes of the concealed carry market. This short recoil operated pistol utilizes a polymer frame and pre-loaded striker system.
Walther further revised the PPS in 2016 to better accommodate the American market. The redesigned PPSM2 eliminated the European-style paddle magazine release. Moreover, Walther redesigned the grip and slide to improve ergonomics. The PPSM2 is only chambered in 9×19, and is the subject of this review.
The PPSM2 has a six round capacity with the flush-fitting magazine. Walther also offers seven and eight round capacity extended magazines. The slim design makes it only 1inch thick. The trigger pull weighs about 6lbs. The barrel length is 3.2 inches. For more details, visit https://waltherarms.com/pps/
Manipulation and usage
The slim design of the PPSM2 makes it easy (even for petite frames like myself) to conceal. Ergonomics were the name of the game of the M2 redesign. The rounded corners of the grip also make it comfortable for appendix carry, or even Flashbang carry. In fact, it’s one of the most comfortable carry guns I own. The slide is definitely stiff due to the heavy recoil spring. There is a perceived difficulty of slide manipulation that often dissuades many women from purchasing small pistols. However, with the proper technique it is easy to manage. Slides are easy to manipulate if you understand how to push the frame forward while pulling the slide back. Mystery solved. You’re welcome. I recommend upgrading the stock sights upon purchase, as the non-tritium glowing inserts tend to fall out rather easily. The trigger has a definitive wall, but seems a little (I’m being VERY particular here) gritty before the break. Side note: If you own the original PPS, be aware that due to the redesigned magazine release, your magazines are not interchangeable and will not work in the M2.
The PPSM2 functions flawlessly with any type of ammunition I feed her, from 60 grain defensive rounds, to 124 grain ball ammo. However, the Walther warns the Plus-P (+P) ammunition may increase the wear on the pistol. Plus-P-Plus (+P+) ammunition is never to be used with any Walther pistol. So, just remember this little caveat before you load up and head out the door.
When it comes to an everyday carry gun, reliability is crucially important. I like knowing that the rounds I put into my firearm will cycle without hindrance. I currently run Norma Monolithic Hollow Point (MHP) defensive rounds in 108 grain through my PPSM2 and they work flawlessly. The recoil profile is very much akin to that of the M&P Shield, and like most small firearms, recoil management is going to be a skillset you’re going to have to master. My biggest gripe is the round count. Yet, with one in the chamber you’re sitting at 9 rounds on your person. The PPS is not a firearm you’re going to want to spend hours shooting during a class, but it’s accurate and conceals well. Which frankly is the whole point. It’s not your range gun, or your class gun. The Walther PPSM2 was engineered for the purpose of everyday carry, and it set the standard in this application.