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By Matt S.

Walther’s PPS, or Police Pistol Slim, has been on the US market for quite a few years now. It was here long before the Smith & Wesson Shield and Springfield XDs was available to consumers. To be honest, as I did my research before purchasing one, I was a bit surprised at how little press the PPS has received despite the fact that it offers some unique features that even the current crop of great handguns have not yet matched.  My overall experience with the handgun has been very positive so far, and I believe anyone looking for a single-stack, easily concealable handgun should give the PPS some serious consideration. They can be a bit rare, but I believe it’s worth it . . .

The PPS is available in 9mm and .40 S&W, and I was able to pick up my example for $550.  For the purposes of this discussion, I’ll be referring to the 9mm model.  I’ve never been a fan of .40 S&W, having always found that cartridge to be a bit “snappy.”  Must..not…start…a caliber war!  Still, I can’t help but wonder if the .40 S&W cartridge would spoil the great handling characteristics that are present in the 9mm, however I can’t really speak to this seeing as how I’ve never actually shot one.  But I digress.

What do you get with the Walther PPS?  Pretty typical fare, I’d imagine.  The plastic case is nothing to write home about – you don’t buy a handgun for the case, so I suppose that’s no big deal.  Unless you get a Springfield XDm, anyway.  Nestled within nicely fitted foam pockets is the gun, obligatory safety cable, and two magazines.  Also included is the manual and a spent shell casing.

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Magazine capacities are 6, 7, and 8 rounds for the 9mm model, and 5, 6, and 7 rounds for the .40 S&W.  My particular example shipped with the 7 and 8 round magazines.  The little Walther’s magazines are made in Italy, and appear to be of high quality.  Capacity varies, depending on what floorplate is installed.  The smallest magazine will sit flush with the grip, and I find that my pinkie likes to hang off and rest against the bottom of the magazine.

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In my opinion it’s not the most comfortable grip, but by shortening the height of the gun you are definitely gaining even more concealability in an already impressively hide-able package.  The 7 round magazine has an integrated pinkie extension, and I daresay it fits my hand perfectly.  It enables me to get a full grip on the firearm, and is how the PPS rides in my holster 100% of the time.  The 8 rounder, surprise surprise, is bigger still.  The grip extension descends a fair amount beyond the palm of my hand, and I suspect it would enable even a large ape to comfortably hold the gun.  This is one of the guns that can supposedly fit anyone, what with its different magazines and interchangeable backstraps.

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Speaking of interchangeable backstraps, the PPS had them first among subcompacts, and up until the Springfield XDs came along, it was the only slim pistol to offer them.  The S&W Shield, as I’m sure many of you know, does not offer the interchangeable backstraps that the rest of the M&P line does.  You get two sizes with the PPS, and I find that the smallest backstrap fits me best.  The larger palmswell tended to push the grip forward in my hand, thus angling the entire gun up slightly in my grasp.  I found that when I swiftly brought the PPS up to my line-of-sight, the pistol was aiming slightly above where I was intending to hit.

Those backstraps also act as a kind of lock or safety for the gun – if you remove the backstrap, the gun will not fire.  This is advertised as a way to safely store the gun, and as a way to field strip it without having to pull the trigger.  It’s a neat and innovative feature, but…it’s also one of my biggest beefs with the gun.  To be honest, it seems to be the answer to a question that nobody asked.  And a quick perusal of other reviews will show that I’m not alone in holding this opinion.  What if you lose your backstrap?  What if the backstrap breaks?  The gun’s operation depends on that tiny little nubbin of plastic on the inside of the backstrap.  If that snaps off you are, to use the vernacular, “Screwed.”  FUBAR.  Up a creek without a paddle.  You get the idea.  My take on it?  Find whatever sized grip fits you best, and leave it the heck alone.

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Like it or hate it, another unique feature of the PPS is its euro-style paddle magazine release.  There are no buttons to be had here – instead you press down on a small paddle than spans the bottom of the trigger guard.  I hear that lefties (left-handed people, not Liberals) really appreciate the ambidextrous design.  At first I thought this feature would irritate me, but I had no trouble getting used to it.  It has become second nature for me to move the middle finger of my right hand up and tab the lever down to drop the magazine free.  Besides being accessible from both sides of the gun, there’s also the added benefit of now having zero risk for accidentally releasing the magazine because you managed to sit on the gun funny or something of that nature.

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Another unique feature, and one that I greatly appreciate and wish that other manufacturers would adopt, is a cocking indicator on the back of slide.  It’s quite simple – if you see the red tip of the indicator, the gun is ready to fire.  If not, you ain’t ready for action.  But wait, doesn’t Springfield have something similar, you say?  Walther’s design differs from Springfield’s on/off indicator in one very important way.  As you squeeze the trigger on the PPS, the cocking indicator begins to protrude very slightly from the rear of the gun.  I find it to be very reassuring to rest my thumb against the back of the slide as I’m reholstering.  If anything became trapped in the guard and began to pull the trigger, I would know it immediately because I could feel that tiny post as it moved rearward.

The PPS has standard 3-dot sights that are fairly large and nicely painted.  Still, I ended up purchasing some nail polish in a pretty orange color (THAT got me some funny looks) and colored the front sight.  That extra bit of color is just what I need to help everything line up quickly.  Aftermarket sights are a bit rare for the PPS.  Supposedly sights for the Walther P99 will fit the PPS, but overall it’s slim pickings out there.

So, how does it shoot?  In a word, “wonderfully!”  Recoil is very manageable in my 9mm example, and accuracy is outstanding.  It was very easy to chew out the center of the target at 5 yards –  I wish I had pictures to show you, but please take my word for it that this is an accurate and a very sweet handling little gun.  The PPS is certainly more accurate than I am, let’s just say, and for a defensive handgun it’s definitely more than adequate.  Honestly, I wish I had more trigger time with the PPS, but thanks to the ammo drought, I’ve only put around 350 rounds down range.  All of those rounds were sent on their way without any issues or malfunctions, which is reassuring.

Initially the trigger’s takeup felt a little, well, stiff and gritty.  I have read that the trigger smooths out over time, and even with my relatively green example I can feel some improvement with use.  I don’t have a trigger scale, but all reports say that the pull is right around 6 pounds.  After that initial bit of gritty takeup you hit a distinct wall, and the PPS fires immediately afterwards with no over travel.  The trigger resets with an authoritative “click” a short distance forward, and you’re ready to rock and roll again.

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Another important question for a gun like this is, “How does it carry?”  Now we’re getting into the good stuff!  To be honest, I’ve always scoffed a bit when I read that such-and-such a pistol can disappear under a t-shirt.  Yeah, right.  Maybe I’m just being bitter – at about 5 feet 7 inches tall and 145 pounds with a 30 inch waist, I’m not the biggest guy out there, and hiding a handgun on my person is difficult for me.

My previous EDC gun was a 9mm Springfield XDm Compact worn OWB, and with some work I could indeed hide that.  But I always felt the darn thing when I sat down, especially in the car.  And let’s face it – double stackers like an XDM or a Glock 19 are chunky buggers.  Then I tried on the Walther PPS with a Cleveland’s Holsters IWB holster, and boy oh boy, what a difference!  I, even I, could make a pistol disappear!  With a t-shirt!  Hey look, what do you see?  That’s right, nothing!  Worn at 3:30-4, the PPS tucks right up against my side and is just plain gone.  Other than the slide stop, the PPS is a fraction less than an inch thick all around.  Finally, I had found a setup of handgun and holster where I could honestly say I’ve forgot I was even wearing a gun.

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After gun shooting comes gun cleaning, as we all know.  Fortunately, the PPS is a simple thing to break down – if you know how to field strip a Glock, you know how to field strip a Walther PPS.  Drop the magazine and verify that the chamber is empty.  There is a small opening on the back of the barrel hood where you can check the status of the chamber, but, you know, make sure you clear it the way you were taught.  Now you can either remove the backstrap or pull the trigger.  Trust me – just pull the trigger.  There are two tabs on the side of the frame that you pull down on to release the slide.  And…voila, you know have the slide, barrel, recoil spring, and frame.  Now start scrubbing.

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Well, now time for some final thoughts.  While the PPS is a bit more expensive than competitors like the Smith & Wesson Shield and Springfield XDs, I believe the price is worth it.  At least, it certainly was for me.  I DO NOT like the manual safety on the Shield, and XDs did not interest me because, at the time, it was only available in .45 ACP.  I prefer the greater capacity of the PPS, though the introduction of the 9mm XDs may change that calculus for you.  Also, I’ve come to greatly appreciate the paddle magazine release of the PPS.  But again, Your mileage may vary, as they say.

Some might argue that the PPS and its brethren are too small.  It’s just a little too big to be a pocket pistol, and if you’re going to carry it in a holster you might as well man up and get something bigger.  I won’t lie, I switched to a 7+1 capacity PPS from a 13+1 capacity Springfield XDm.  But what I have on me will be the most useful when I need it, God forbid.  I carry the Walther PPS a lot more because it is so much more comfortable than a double stacked handgun.  For me, it’s the perfect fit.  And while it may not be James Bond’s gun, it’s still a Walther.  And that’s plenty cool.

Specifications:

Model: Walther PPS
Price:  Approx. $550
Caliber:  9mm or .40 S&W
Magazine Capacity: 6-8 rounds in 9mm, 5-7 ronds in .40 S&W
Empty Weight:  20.8 oz.
Barrel Length:  3.2 inches
Overall Length:  6.3 inches
Overall Hight (With Magazine):  4.4, 4.9, or 5.3 inches
Action:  Striker fired
Finish: Tenifer coated slide and barrel

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style:  * * * *
This is subjective, of course.  I definitely like the way the Walther PPS looks.  It’s blocky and purposeful…maybe a little too blocky, in all honesty.  I think it looks cool, but I probably wouldn’t call it sexy.  The German proof marks on the right side do add a touch of flare and speak to the quality of handgun.  I won’t lie, I hold a certain amount of respect for the Walther name, and thankfully the PPS doesn’t disappoint.

Ergonomics (Carry):  * * * * *
A solid five stars for carry.  in an IWB holster, even on a skinny guy like me, this thin gun conceals very well.  This is a perfect example of a tool that excels at what it was designed for, and in this case the Walther PPS was made to be a perfect conceal and carry gun.  I think Walther succeeded.

Ergonomics (Firing):  * * * *
Let me say that I personally do not mind the trigger on the PPS at all.  But that initial grit may be offending to some, as well as the distinctive wall before the trigger breaks.  Then again, I personally abhor the long-but-buttery-smooth Kahr triggers, for example.  It’s all a matter of preference.  And though I have never experienced it, there have been some reports that the gap between the frame and magazine can nip at a shooter’s fingers.  I don’t mind giving four stars here because, again for me, the shooting experience has been very pleasant.  The PPS is on the heavier side of the subcompact spectrum, and no doubt the added weight helps soak up some of the recoil.  Some people might take offense to the paddle magazine release.  I don’t – now that I’ve experienced it, I actually prefer it.

Reliability:  * * * * *
Not a single failure thus far.  Again, I admit that my example is a little green, but so far so good.  It’s comforting to know that a gun will work reliably out of the box.

Customize This:  * *
Oofta. The PPS takes a blow here. Sure, there’s a rail on the front, but on a pistol this small I personally don’t see the point of mounting any accessories.  There are holsters available for the PPS, but usually they aren’t on the company’s “Quick Ship” menu.  Two areas here concern me:  the availability of aftermarket sights and being able to acquire additional magazines.  I’ve seen Big Dot tritium night sights for the PPS, but not much else.  And magazines can be a bit difficult to come by, and spendy when you do find them.  I picked up a $55 6 rounder at my LGS, and I snagged another 7 rounder off of Ebay for around the same price.  To me, that seems a bit steep for something that doesn’t even hold 10 bullets.  I’m hoping that once Walther gets its feet under them here in the US, magazines will be more available.

Overall:  * * * *
Can you tell I really like this gun?  The issues I have with the obtuse backstrap safety thing are overruled by how well the gun performs its intended duties.  I needed a slim gun that I would feel comfortable carrying, and that by being easily concealable would thus enable me to carry more.  The Walther PPS perfectly slid into this role, and thus into my holster.  Even with the slightly higher price point compared to its competitors, I still feel completely satisfied with my purchase.  It’s definitely a case of, “You get what you pay for,” and this time it’s in a good way.  Plus, it’s also a bit fun to have something that not every other guy at the range has, and it’s a Walther to boot.  Would I recommend it to others who are considering purchasing at CCW handgun?  I would, and I have.  And that I think is the highest praise you could give any firearm.

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64 Responses to FNS-9 Contest Entry: Walther PPS Review

  1. I have handled them at shops/gun shows and love the way the feel but I haven’t shot one yet. The mag release is a bit awkward but nothing a little practice wouldn’t take care of. It’s definitely at the top of my list for my next concealed carry gun since I’m a skinny guy and could benefit from a slimmer profile than my CZ P01.

      • I have a P01 and the same build as the author although an inch taller and a few pounds lighter. I am not a big guy, but the P01 is still very easy to conceal and the weight is not an issue provided you have a good carry belt.

  2. I found the mag release was very easy to get used to. I’ve shot a friend’s gun a few times, and by the 2nd or third mag swap it seemed second nature. I’ve been trying to buy one of these things for a year and I can’t seem to find one anywhere 🙁

  3. yea, I got to fondle one those little beauties at an LGS, and if I had the six Benjamins to spend I would have. She’s real purty, slim, and I’m sure she’s a fine shooter. My primary concern (and the reason I didn’t go back to pull the proverbial trigger) is that I was concerned about any issues I might have and spare magazines. Those babies are expensive!

  4. I was really interested in this gun until I fondled it at my FLGS. The magazines have a “foot” piece that sticks out the back of the bottom and arches up after a (very) short distance, sliding inside the back strap. The second or third time I inserted a magazine, that damn tooth bit me, catching the meat of my hand. I could definitely see me losing flesh and blood to that thing. Completely turned me off to the PPS. Sad, since it looks like an awesome single stack, otherwise.

  5. Great review! Also, thanks for including your height, weight, and waist. More handgun reviewers should be including this info as is greatly influences the ease of use on the controls of the gun, trigger reach(accuracy), and conceal-ability.

  6. Just to have it on record: f**king finally! A PPS review!

    The PPS (in .40) is still arguably my favorite carry pistol. (Matt S., it is quite snappy, but still very manageable to shoot. A Limbsaver sleeve solves the snap quite nicely.) Really, the only caveat for me telling anyone to check it out is the price on mags and night sights. The night sights when I bought and had mine installed, even shopping around, was about $140.

    The magazines? Depending on where you get them, their prices make SIG look over and say “DAAAAAYUM!”

  7. I very nearly wrote one of these up myself, and it’s pretty much exactly what I’d say. There’s a niche that only this gun seems to fill; single stack 9mm with room for all fingers on the grip. It’s just perfect.

    I never worry much over the price differential against comparable guns; in the long run, you spend far more on ammo, so you might as well sink some money into getting something that feels right. Besides, it saves you from later horse trading when you keep wishing you hadn’t bought a compromise gun, and end up buying the better gun anyway.

    Regarding the magazines: Walther just split with S&W as their distributor, and has only recently set up their own facility in Kansas. Prices and supply should get back to normal once they start moving product again.

  8. That was a very well-thought out and written piece! Just a regular guy, no agenda, telling us what he thinks. I don’t suspect he’s on any gun maker’s payroll; and as much as I enjoy some of the other contributors humor(and puns), this sounded like talking to my brother. Excellent conversational style. As far as the gun – I think highly of the Walther PPS – I own two. Great price point for the performance and quality. Reliable, pleasure to shoot, and the trigger works fine for me. The gun feels like driving a spiffy little roadster!

  9. I have a PPS 9 and it is a joy to shoot – it is the most naturally pointing pistol I own. I did add a gel grip sleeve to cushion the snappy recoil.

    I consider the removable backstrap to be a fatal flaw for concealed carry. While I have never heard of it occurring, the gun _could_ be rendered unusable if dropped to a hard surface that causes the backstrap to break or pop loose.

    I drilled through the backstrap (at the lower dimple) and frame, and installed a small steel pin that both secures the strap and also prevents the trigger disconnect thing from dropping down by physically blocking its path. I now have to pull the trigger to field strip, a small price to pay for a secure gun. That backstrap is NOT going to come off, unless I make it do so by drifting out the pin.

    http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=5&f=27&t=114928

    John Davies
    Spokane WA USA

    • I installed a limbsaver pro grip on mine which keeps the back strap on and adds protection. IMHO it would take a serious impact to cause the backstrap to fail with any slip on grip. The pin is a great idea if you don’t want or need the additional bulk of a slip on.

  10. I considered it but i just cant get pass that mag release – that was the reason i sold my other Walther

  11. I was torn between this and the Shield. I ended up with the shield because of price, availability and familiarity (my goto gun is a full size m&p) Also, I knew someone who had a PPS and it would only eat top quality ammo reliably.

    The manual safety on the shield was off-putting, but it is extremely stiff to engage. You have to really want it. As such, I’ve never accidentally engaged it.

  12. Nice review and easy to read.

    Love my PPS but I do hate the cost and lack of magazine availability. Mag cost and availability has stopped me from purchasing another Walther.

  13. Good review, your writing style is really smooth, I think you got a future in this gig! I have shot a couple of these and really like them. That said, I ain’t got the ducats to get one at this moment.

    I do have a question for the crowd here, talking of Walthers, I have a Walther P1/38 that I carry in alternation with my Beretta Bearcat and I need some advice/tips on finding a better holster for it. Tried it in a couple different rigid type holsters for Beretta/S&W mid size frames and no joy. Right now I have it in an old style soft nylon holster(had to do some stitching to tighten it up) that rides kinda low in sob. Anyone know of a kydex or rigid leather that would work with a P1?

    And yes! I know. Cut me some slack, I joined the 20th century in 2002 when I replaced my .38 Webley with this Walther. I like old designs, they work. And it is damned hard to beat a P1 for safety when carrying hot&locked.

  14. Thanks for the right-up! I carry the 40 after having owned the same 9mm version. I agree with you that generally speaking the 40 is snappy…but in this case…with this gun, the difference shooting them side by side is negligible. What I found amazing is the accuracy of the weapon. I always do my shooting at 25 feet and I shoot a lot…by a lot I mean over 200 rounds a week. With both the 9mm and the 40 I can put all 50 rounds in the 10 ring at 25 feet. I have not seen that type of accuracy in many other weapons with barrels that short. This is my daily carry gun, and after you carry it, you really have trouble going to any other gun…the only other carry gun that competes with this one (for me) is the Walther P5.

  15. Thanks for the good review. Basically it does nothing a Kahr CM9 or CW9 won’t do for $150 less money and 5 ounces less weight. Also Kahrs are almost made in America– (Massachusetts)

  16. Excellent review!

    I myself have been carrying this gun for about 1.5 years (9mm version as well).

    I concur with pretty much everything the author stated. My favorite aspect is the concealability/slimness of the gun (~0.9 inches minus the slide stop). I am 5′ 11″ and 130 lbs and I can likewise conceal in the summer with just a t shirt (IWB) using the 6 round magazine. Speaking of the slide stop, after an extended day at the range, it certainly tends to ‘bite’ your thumb as it is small, although I like this feature because any larger of a slide stop would inhibit its slim profile.

    I started out with my first pistol being a Walther (PK380), so I am accustomed to the paddle magazine release (I use my trigger finger, drops right down from its ‘safe’ location against the slide to release the mag, then back up to the slide). To be honest I won’t ever buy a pistol with a ‘standard’ magazine release if I can help it. Absolutely no chance to accidentally drop the magazine with the paddle release.

    I think this gun works best IWB, I use the Comp-tac Minotaur, right at 4 o’clock. I carry 6+1 or 7+1 depending on the season (7 round mag is certainly more ergonomic for the pinky), but I carry the 8 round magazine as a spare (I use a Comp-tac spare mag holster but do not recommend it. It is unnecessarily long and doesn’t hold the mag in tight like their holsters do. Recommendations anyone?)

    As for sights, I upgraded to night sights when I purchased mine, I found the Meprolights online without a problem. They work exactly as advertised.

    In addition to disliking the backstrap ‘safety’ the author described (do what they said, just leave it on), my main two gripes are the trigger and the lack of grip. The trigger remains gritty on mine (600+ rounds through it), but it does have a distinct break to it. Not the biggest issue for an EDC gun. I think I have been spoiled by the PPQ trigger 🙂

    The pebbling on the sides of the grip don’t seem to do much for me, so I used Traction Grips and they worked very well. They are wearing down after 1.5 years of use. I’m about to order Talon grips as they are now available for the PPS, and have read good things about them.

    No reliability issues on my end either. Zero FTE, FTF to date. Recoil totally manageable. And very accurate, easy to shoot!

    I highly recommend as an EDC gun.

  17. I have a PPS in .40. Love it. Amazing accurate for it’s size. Yes a bit snappy in .40, but it is not a range gun, it is a carry piece. Reliability and German quality in a small package. I have a couple of Walther P99s, also a great platform!

  18. Great review! I was definitely interested in this gun, but ended up choosing a 9mm Shield because of both price and availability.

    Good to know it’s out there, though…

  19. I’ve been waffling on buying one of these for a long time now. If not for that weird backstrap safety and reports of it breaking and the oddly shaped and rather pointy magazine base plates I would have bought one quite some time ago.

  20. I think James Bond does use the gun, once. Not in a movie, of course. But in the 2011 novel Carte Blanche.

    I’ve owned the 9mm variant of the PPS for about a year, and carry it more than any other gun I own. Love it!

  21. Looky to buy one of these, but on the fence about caliber. Someone please tell me what “snappy” means. I keep seeing the .40 referred to as this, but have no idea why. This will be a CCW and action shooter class gun, so not 100s of rounds at the range. Any help will be appreciated.

    • By “snappy,” I mean that in my experience (shooting a Glock 27) I felt like the muzzle would jump up noticeably more than if I was shooting a 9mm. The recoil impulse was a sharp jolt that would tilt the gun up in my grip. For me, at the time, I didn’t have faith in my abilities shooting .40 to get off any fast follow-up shots that might be necessary.

  22. I’ve carried several semi-automatic pistols in my 40+ years kicking around, and have been a Concealed Pistol License holder for over 20 years. Over those years I have carried a Norinco 1911, Star M45, Beretta SB compact in 9mm, Steyr M9, SW99 in 40 S&W, Browning BDM 9mm and now a Walther PPS in 9mm.
    The only reason I switched from the BDM, of which I am still very fond, possibly beyond reason, is because the upper backstrap radius is double-curved and flattens out on the back of the upper grip. This puts recoil pressure at the two corners of the upper grip. As I lose the fat in my hands as I age, it causes more discomfort every time I practice.
    By contrast, the Walther PPS frame, among others, has a single-curve radius on the upper backstrap and causes no discomfort when used.
    My Walther PPS is flat black with stock sights and a pure joy to shoot. I usually practice with double taps and the Mozambique Drill (a double tap to center of mass with a follow-up third round to the head) as I have been made well-aware, repeatedly and with no small fervor, that my 9mm does not have the stopping power of the 40 S&W or the 45 ACP. My second and third shots are quick and close to on-target, well within a ‘minute-of-paper’ I consider adequate for defense.
    My SO also is able to deliver ordnance downrange with respectable results, but prefers the arched backstrap. I like the fact the backstrap is another method to drop the striker, and have no concerns that it will break if dropped.
    It carries as adequately and inconspicuously, if not more so, than my BDM. They both disappear into either IWB or OWB holsters and neither pistol appears to print.
    For the 8-round magazines I have for the PPS, I believe I paid between $40 and $50 dollars apiece.
    I would most certainly encourage anyone who my be considering a 9mm pistol for concealed carry to include the Walther PPS in their list of candidates. I am of the firm opinion that it will serve to provide a sure and certain tool that will, hopefully, never be needed but always ready.

    • I run Remington 167gr JHP subsonic rounds in my Walther P1. They got knockdown dripping out their a$$ out to around 75 feet. Though, got to admit in the last few years I can only find that round in 147gr so I been hoarding my last 200 of the heavier. People are all heated up and excited about light and fast rds. That just don’t make a lot of sense in a pistol. Hell, don’t make much sense in a rifle. I’ll trade speed for knockdown any day.

  23. Nicely done. Somehow this pistol never made it on to my radar screen. This review sent me out to Cabelas to try one on for size. It feel fabulous in my hand, way better than the new Springfield Armory XD-S. I’m not a huge fan of really small pistols, but there’s no getting around the fact that if you want to carry concealed with minimal clothing, it’s the only way to go. This one’s now on the list for the go-to small gun.

  24. Hi there-
    Seems like most folks here use this as a carry weapon, but has anyone who owns the PPS attempted to add a light/laser on it? Is there one that works best/fits best?

    Thanks for any help-

    • Speaking to the question of which is the best light or laser, my choice is to use neither for CCW. However, when it comes time to bring the gun home for nite-stand duty, I have found that a StreamLight TLR-4 works very well for this wonderful pistol.

  25. Considering trading my CZ P2075 RAMI for a PPS in 9,

    Thanks all for relating your experiences. It helps to get another perspective!

  26. Ive owned my walther PPS 9mm for two years now. I absolutely love this gun and cannot say enough about it. I am a small girl. 5’6 111lbs and I wear a size 2 in pants. So concealing any weapon on my person is extremely tough. I just got these nifty spandex holster shorts and they work great under clothes. This gun is bigger than the glock 26 but still way thinner. Springfield just came out with the XDs 9mm and they are marketing it “thin is in”… news flash.. the PPS is still thinner! 🙂 I have a Walther fetish, and while this is my first, it wont be my last and I plan to expand my collection. The PPS is what I carry every day. Great review! I wish they would push this gun in the market more.

  27. Just a quick thought about purchasing a gun specifically for carry. Research the manufacturer and importer before purchase.

    I purchased a Walther PPS 40 last year while they were still affiliated with Smith&Wesson. During the first year of ownership, the servicing switched to UmarexUSA in Fort Smith.

    While training with the new firearm in preparation for the intended carry usage, I experienced a problem that was increasing with each use. I sent the firearm to Umarex for warranty repair. I was informed by their rep that I needed to use procedures not mentioned in the manual or just treat it roughly to aid in reassembly after cleaning. I had to file a claim with the BBB in Fort Smith to get my firearm returned. They were holding it for ransom, and would not let me talk to their gunsmith concerning my issues.

    With the contact from the BBB, Umarex decided to ship my firearm back to me with no repairs. Upon my receiving my property back, I took it to my local Walther supplier for their gunsmith to look at the problem. The gunsmith was able to replicate the problem and showed me what was happening.

    There is a lug that extends form the striker assembly down into the area where the ejector is located. There is enough slop in the striker/firing pin assembly to let this lug move side to side in its channel. If the lug is too far in one direction, it will hit the ejector when attempting to reinstall the slide. The Umarex gunsmith or manager simply slammed my slide back enough times to knock the edge off of the ejector to allow reassembly.

    I called the manager back and told him exactly what we had found. He went and pulled another new PPS 40 off the shelf and admitted that there was some slop in that design. I asked for a replacement part that I could have for future use if my firearm proved to be unreliable in the future. He refused. I pressed my point. He said it was a warranty issue. I said my warranty is running out. He said he could not do anything for me,but I could take my firearm someplace and have a video made of what condition I had issues with. REALLY. This was after he had acknowledged the existence of the slop in the design.

    THe current USCCA magazine has an article praising the PPS. Be careful or you too will have a $600.00 paperweight.

    Howard Hardison
    Louisville Ky
    t

    • I do not acquire any firearm I can not maintain myself. Perhaps “people” should re-evaluate what, precisely, they are doing.

    • Howard Hardison, thank you for sharing the information (and of course, THANK YOU for the excellent original review Mr. Zimmerman!!!).

      I’m th><is close to buying a PPS in 9mm. I've been keeping an eye out for one for over a year now, but your post (and Chuck's) certainty has forced me to seriously reconsider pulling the trigger on the pistol (npi).

      – confused…

  28. I just read the glowing review and saw there was only one negative comment. So here goes #2 negative comments.

    I bought my PPS .40S&W when it was first introduced and S&W was partnered. The PPS had good reviews and I liked the way it handled and everything else about it. This was my carry arm for over 2 years. I shot about 50-100 rounds of .40 through it almost every week. I loved everything about the PPS.

    Then it happened. The slide locked up after a shot with a 180g FMJ round. Nothing I could do would release the slide. Called S&W and they had me send it in for repairs. About 10 days later I received a brand new PPS 40. No explanation, but I was once again a happy camper, or shooter.

    About 2 months later the mag release failed. Sent the PPS back to S&W for repairs. They promptly repaired it and returned it. Now I am not so happy but satisified with the service.

    Another month passed when a spring failed on the slide lock. Now I am really concerned for my safety. I will not carry a firearm that continues to break and is becoming unreliable. Would you? So I called S&W and requested a full refund. S&W never even questioned or argued. Sent the PPS in for the refund and had a check within a week. Just for information, S&W was the repair and warrenty depot for the Walther PPS at that time.

    Been with XD’s ever since. Just love them.

  29. I’m not a fan of smaller pistols, sub-compacts and such, but this gun is, telling from the review (never shot one of these in my life), that it’s actually a great gun. Then again I’m more of a recreational shoot it for fun guy, so.

  30. I have owned one of these for quite a few years now and am extremely happy with it. The magazine release is a bit strange at first but you quickly get used to it and, as I pull the paddle with my left hand, the magazine pops off down into the palm of that hand. It works well. I am also very impressed by its accuracy. I am ex-infantry and own a number of pistols of various calibers and this one has become my top choice when I want to concealed carry or just have fun on the range. I am amazed that it is not wildly popular and, at least where I live, have not come across anyone else with one.

  31. I too love these little things. Glad to hear I’ve not been the only one who’s had trouble finding holsters.

    For those of you who balk at the cost, I snagged a like-new model with all the factory trimmings described by the author for $320 out the door. They’re out there, folks, you just have to look for them. And I agree with the author wholeheartedly – if this is what you’re looking for, track one down, because I’ve yet to find a pistol that fulfills this niche better.

  32. I’m surprised that the stiffness of the slide due to its heavy recoil spring was not mentioned. Maybe I got one made on Friday afternoon but it was a bear to rack when I first got mine. It did loosen up after 200 rounds, but still not what I would consider giving a lady friend.

    I’m not a fan of a CCW with no way to decock it if it doesn’t have any external safeties and is not a DAO where the long trigger pull IS the safety. Why is it that nobody ever bitches about the backstrap safeties on 1911’s, but they do on all of Springfield’s models? Personally, I’m not a big fan of lawsuits involving guns since I know from experience that TRUTH is whatever a lawyer can prove IN COURT. The first thing the lawyer looks at is how safely your gun can be carried concealed. For example, any gun that cannot be rendered safe while loaded is unsuitable for CCW. Glock gets away with it by virtue of its trigger safety. But, there are still AD’s occurring with cops who wear them open in protective belt holsters. Except that some of them happen to slip out of these holsters, hit the ground, and shoot an officer in the leg. I know one whose Glock shot him in the calf when it hit the floor.

    Wonder why the Gen 4’s have the new “Safe Action Trigger” which is actually the same, three internal safeties (including two that block the trigger and firing pin) that Walther puts in their PPX.

    I’m a big Walther fan, except when they do dumb things like screw up the trigger in their CCP or make an excellent trigger in the PPX but no way to decock it. Being left-handed, I love the trigger guard mag releases on the P99 and P99c. I also like the long slide locks like they put on the PPQ. Of course the frame part of PPQ M1 was the frame from the P99 which had the other p99 feature IU love – the takedown tabs.

    Now, like the PPS, they are using the irritating Glock system of two little protrusions on either side that must be held down with your fingers while pushing the slide forward. One of the other things I like about the PPX is the rotating takedown lever that allows you to remove the slide without the need to pull back on it – you can release the slide from a lock-back position.

    Despite its larger size, I’d rather carry a compact P99 because of its trigger setup AND its convenient decocker that lets you safely keep one in the pipe. Decocked and unlocked. The DA half of the DA/SA trigger is a stout 11lbs on the first shot, but not with that typical long uptake, and then it’s a 5lb pulling SA on every succeeding shot, with both its uptake and reset distances really, really short.

    That’s why the AS stands for “Anti Stress.” The adrenaline rush that typically accompanies the first shot you take at an attacker (who may also be armed) is kept in check by the initial DA pull so that you don’t accidentally wind up shooting a teen with a toy gun. When it’a thugs with a real gun, then having the ability to lay down up to 9 follow-up shots in short order is just what the doctor ordered.

    But, there is a case to be made for having more than one EDC given that you may need a single-stacker that’s small like the PPS, doesn’t print regardless of what you wear, fits nicely inside a waistband or even the pocket of cargo pants or shorts, and is comfortable to wear regardless of how much of a spare tire you may happen to bring along.

    But, in addition to all that, your single stack EDC also has the ability to take a variety of double-stack high-cap magazines if needed.

    What seemed like a highly unlikely event happening here is becoming more of a potential reality: namely, an assault on a mall, school, or other NO GUN ZONE with lots of soft targets for terrorists where you may be called upon to do more than just protect yourself, now that President “Come on in” is filling up the country with “refugees” having rap sheets as their “Documentation.”

  33. Just here to give my 2 cents on the Walther PPS. I bought mine (40 S&W) in 2012. I’ve shot well over 500 rounds through it; all different kinds of ammo from TulAmmo to Corbon. I haven’t had any failures. This is my concealed carry gun; I’ve shot it clean, I’ve shot it dirty (thankfully never at anyone so far), this thing goes right on target every time. The mag release takes a little getting used to. I was able to get used to it in one Friday night, taking it through all the actions while watching movies. After that, it became second nature. I carry it in all the pants/shorts that I wear in the front pocket with a Blackhawk Size 3 in the pocket holster. It’s not intrusive in anything that I do, doesn’t stand out and draws very easily. It shoots VERY comfortably.. The dual recoil spring makes it feel like I’m shooting 9mm rounds. The only thing I’d change about it is the sights. They’re good -white dot- but tritium would be better. I bought some glow-in-the-dark sight paint online (for like $10), and painted the dots, finished it with some of the wife’s clear-coat nail polish about a year ago. It gets the job done just fine.

  34. I have had my PPS for about 7 weeks now. In my humble opinion it is a high quality piece. The paddle mag release is not an issue at all unless the user wants to make it an issue. The gun is a great shooter and very comfortable to handle and carry. This is a gun which will stay in my collection probably forever.

  35. I love the PPS. I’ve got Sigs, Glocks, CZ-75s, Ruger LCP, NA Arms 22 Mag, S&W Model 66 in 357 and I prefer the single stack PPS for EDC. I paid $369. at Cabelas this past Christmas. That’s about the same price as the LCP. At that price, you can’t afford not to own this fantastic pistol. I also prefer the 9mm, since most handgun stops are all about shot placement, anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I own several .40’s, but have decided the 9mm is a better choice for me, based on cost and number of rounds that I can stack.

  36. I have owned a PPS 9mm for about three years. It is my primary carry piece. Just a nice, comfortable and dependable firearm in my book. Trying to recall the last time I had a malfunction and can’t. It’s not a range piece by any means but not terrible for some plinking, at least in the 9mm version. I will say I am interested in obtaining Walther’s M2 version of this firearm – no paddle release, just a right handed button, no adjustable backstrap. Might offer the paddle release model to my left-handed son.

  37. Im glad i did my research. Everyone is about 3 main carry guns. A shield xds or 43. Little do they know theyre over paying for the xds and 43 and s&w is to controlling over their parts. I think i have around 500 rds through the pps now and if you dont use the cheapest of cheap ammo you will never have a problem. I compare this to my xd subcomp and even though same length barrel the pps is far tighter grouping. Another thing if you have big hands and accidentally hit the mag release on smaller guns thats where the walther wins in my book. Dont know what it is about this gun but its the only thing i want to carry. I have it matched with alien gear 3.0 holster and where it for hours a day and it completely disappears.

  38. I recently purchase a Walther PPS in 9mm. I have taken it out to fire it twice so far. This gun isn’t what everyone
    says it is for reliability. Both time I fired a magazine full of 9mm through it I was disappointed with the results. I had problems where it caught ejecting shells in the port and where it didn’t chamber shells. It even didn’t fire on a couple of tries. I at first thought it might be the ammo. I fired two full magazines through it but had to rack it a couple of times to get it to chamber the next round. I took the pistol home and inspected it and cleaned it thoroughly. Other than needing a cleaning I didn’t find any obvious problem with the mechanism. The second time I took the pistol out I used different 9mm ammo. I had the same results that time as I did the first time. I decided to go back to my Taurus 9 mm revolver as my concealed carry until I can find our why the Walther PPS 9mm is malfunctioning. If anyone has an answer to why this is happening let me know please. When the pistol actually fires it is fairly accurate.

  39. I’ve run well over 8,000 rounds through my PPS and a lot of it was cheap full jacket crap. (I use Hornaday Critical Defense for personal protection). Not one failure to feed or stove-pipe ejection jam. Not one comment here mentioned the superb design of the ejection port. LOOK AT IT and compare to a Glock. If you want a personal defense gun that will fire and rack wet, muddy, in below zero or 100-degree weather, the Walther PPS is the gun you want in your hand when the feces hits the whirling blades.

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