[FIREARM REVIEW] Walther PPS 9mm
I will never understand why this pistol has not been more popular. Single stack 9mm. I constantly hear people bemoan the fact Glock has yet to produce a single stack 9 and want to pull my hair out. This is the single stack 9mm you all have been hoping for. This is a terrific pistol.
First, let’s start by saying the single most important feature in a carry gun is reliability. It must fire when needed. My PPS has been 100% reliable. Full disclosure here – when I first got my PPS in 2009 it had a couple of instances of the trigger not resetting after firing. Needless to say this was a major concern. I did some research online and discovered this had been a problem with a few of the PPS’s. I spoke to Walther, sent my gun back to them, and they replaced the trigger bar. Customer service was excellent and I had it back in my hands in two weeks time. Since then I’ve shot many many rounds and have had no issues. I would never carry – let alone suggest others carry – a pistol I am not totally confident will shoot. Since then, I’ve put various ammo through it and have never had so much as a hiccup. As far as I know this issue was cleared up years ago. Currently, I’m carrying 124gr +P Speer Gold Dots. At the range I shoot a variety of ammo to include Winchester, Remington, Hydra-Shok, Fiocchi, and others.
As far as performance goes, this gun is darn accurate. I am by no means a great shot and I don’t have a problem getting tight groups at 20-25 feet.
Look & Feel
Let’s talk a bit about the looks of the PPS. I understand the appearance of a gun is unimportant with respect to its function, but can we be real for a moment? Doesn’t it help when the gun you carry looks cool? We all find a sense of beauty in our firearms. The PPS has a sleekness you won’t find on a Glock, or other, similar, pistols. What makes the PPS stand out, and why I chose it for EDC, is it’s slenderness. This gun is thin. Very thin. I mean thin, thin. It’s width comes in at under 1 inch. When I wear it on my hip – outside the waist ban – I quite easily forget it is there. Now, I’ve read enough gun reviews to realize that last sentence is always included in the review. I’d be willing to bet someone, somewhere, claims to carry a Beretta 92fs inside the waist band and, with the proper holster, “the thing disappears”. Meanwhile, in all likelihood, it is digging 3 inches into their kidney and causing them to sweat profusely. I’ve carried various pistols both inside and outside the waist ban and have never had much luck with anything being comfortable IWD. Not my Glock 19 or my Kimber Pro CDP II. And, yes, I do have a nice holster and gun belt (Comp-Tac Minotaur holster, and Wilderness Instructor’s belt).
I will occasionally carry the PPS IWB, but, really, I just prefer outside. How anyone comfortably carries anything thicker than this gun IWB is beyond me. For the record I am 6’2 and weigh 185.
Another nice feature – Walther gives back strap options which can expand or shrink the grip to best fit your hand. Also a nice option is having the choice of three different magazines. 6, 7 or 8 round mags are available. With the 6 round magazine the grip is, obviously, the smallest, as the magazine is flush with the grip. It allows for two fingers on the grip similar to the way a baby Glock is held. The seven round mag has a finger extension and the 8 round has a two finger extension. I would think the 8 round mag would bring the grip to a full size. I prefer the 7 round mag as my grip feels most secure with three fingers making contact.
Magazines can be pricey, though I’ve noticed in the past year or so prices have come down considerably. When the PPS was first released mags were retailing for $60 a pop. In the past year I’ve managed to get a couple for $30 each. Not bad.
The PPS also has a rail for a flashlight to be mounted. I don’t mount a flashlight on my EDC so this has not been a concern either way. But, it is an option.
The trigger is much like a Glock though feels a bit crisper to me than my G19. The safety system is also identical to Glock. What was a bit surprising to me was finding out the PPS weighs just about exactly what the Glock 26/27 weighs. On appearance alone I would have thought the PPS would come in lighter. This also helps explain why it is so comfortable to shoot.
The magazine release is of the paddle variety. I think this may be the deal breaker for some as I’ve heard people complain about this style release and I’m not sure I understand what the big deal is. Practice enough (and who doesn’t enjoy practicing?) and it becomes second nature to release the magazine in this manner. I’d wager if this style had come first people would be throwing a fit about the push button release as with that system you have to adjust your grip to drop the mag. Not so with the paddle release. Simply use your trigger finger, or middle finger, swipe down and the mag will drop. Pretty simple, no?
Available in 9mm & .40S&W
The PPS is available in both 9mm and .40s&w. When someone convinces me the .40 is > then 9mm I’ll switch. With modern ammunition I in no way feel undergunned carrying 9mm. I’ll take the added capacity, less expensive ammo, and easier follow up shots any – and every – day.
One final note. The rail on the frame that the slide attaches to is one continuous piece on the PPS. This should insure a nice long life for the pistol. If you look at Glock it has two small pieces in front and back that hold the slide. I have heard – and seen – these come off which necessitates a trip back to the factory.
I’d love to hear from anyone who also carries this pistol. And, even, from those that don’t.