Looking for one handgun to serve well for home-defense and concealed carry? This might be the best one! Read all about it…
by Major Pandemic
Even despite the insanity of the gun market some manufacturers have stayed true to their roots. Walther has retained its long history of innovation while ushering in a completely new era of firearms. Sure they still faithfully produce those great symbols of 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 — one that became a favorite concealed -carry gun. The PPS was a gun ahead of its time delivering a feature -rich, accurate, and configurable single -stack that could behave like a compact-, mid- and full-sized gun. Based on the two years of carrying and shooting the PPS, I think it is one of the best subcompact concealed-carry single-stack guns on the market despite the introduction of many other competitors.
FIT, FINISH, FEEL & FEATURES
What many did not like about the first PPS was that it was a bit blocky and featured a European-style paddle magazine release which Americans are not terribly excited over. The PPS M2 resolved those complaints with a standard button magazine release and more rounded 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. But just a swap to the 7- or 8-round magazines deliver a full-sized grip and control plus extra rounds. In essence this allows the user to swap out a magazine and transform the PPS from a full-sized feel for home defense to a smaller magazine for concealed carry.
The original point of the PPS was not to be a high-capacity firearm, but to deliver an extremely thin and slim profile for concealed carry that is small enough that both men and woman can carry comfortably. It is a “lifestyle” gun that was designed so it would always be with you versus being left in the car or at home. From my perspective, this has to been the most comfortable sub-compact pistol I have handled, carried, and shot. I love my Glocks, but this fits my hand better and has a far better grip surface which adds 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 slide is well thought out with the front and rear serrations 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 will pick up ambient light or a quick flash from a flashlight and glow with usable illumination for about 15 minutes. A Tenifer-coated slide and barrel are provides corrosion resistance, and other features include a loaded chamber viewport and red cocking indicator at the rear to give both tactile and visible status, smooth beveled snag-free slide stop with a lock back on empty, and features one of the 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 unnecessary 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.
FUNCTION & ACCURACY
Functionally, the Walther PPS M2 is a striker-fired pistol with a mechinism similar to a Glock. There are some differences, but 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-in. 25-yd. groups with Federal Guard Dog ammo from a shooting rest. Functionally I have had 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.
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. Compared to Glock 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 it was designed by someone with an eye for design. 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 Glock 43 because they feel, carry, and shoot better for me. The PPS is flexible enough to accommodate a wide array of clothing, defense, and concealment needs. It is big enough not to feel under-gunned and small enough to conceal better than any double -stack . The PPS M2 is a top-grade pistol that can easily fulfill everything from home defense to concealed carry.
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[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]