Courtesy Joe Grine

(The Walther PPQ .45 for this review was provided by the Kentucky Gun Company.)

If you only carry a .45 because they don’t make a .46, then Walther pistols have probably never been on your radar. It would be the ultimate understatement to say that the venerable German gun manufacturer Walther GmbH Sportwaffen has been slow to embrace John Browning’s greatest cartridge. But all that changed with the release of the PPQ 45. Simply stated, the PPQ 45 is an upsized version of the excellent PPQ. Question is, can you upsize a 9mm PPQ and still maintain its excellent handling characteristics and ergonomics? . . .

Courtesy Joe Grine

Walther released its Police Pistol Quick (“PPQ”) in 9mm in 2011. It was essentially an improvement on the GLOCK family of striker-fired pistols, featuring better ergonomics, a better trigger, and improved aesthetics. I really sung the praises of the 5-inch slide version of 9mm PPQ, and I stand by those assessments a year and another 3000 rounds later. So I was thrilled when I got the call from TTAG HQ asking me to put the new “big brother” of the 9mm PPQ through its paces.

As is standard industry practice, Walther tested the waters by first only introducing the PPQ in 9×19 and .40 S&W. Despite the fact that gun shops often place the PPQ on their second shelf, the PPQ has proven itself to be a top-shelf contender that blows the GLOCK away in virtually every category; except perhaps availability of accessories. Despite not being pushed hard by many dealers, the reception has – apparently – been good enough to cause Walther to step up and offer the PPQ in the uber-manly and uber-American .45 ACP chambering.

With a list of features a mile long, Walther has hit another home run, on paper anyway:

  • 4.25 inch polygonal-rifled barrel.
  • 12+1 round magazine capacity.
  • 5.6 lb trigger with .4 inch travel and .1 inch reset.
  • Tenifer finish.
  • Ambidextrous slide stop; reversible mag release.
  • Front & rear slide serrations.
  • Picatinny rail on frame.
  • Removable backstraps.

Oh, and did I mention it has a polygonal hammer-forged barrel?

Of course, what’s good on paper only tells half the story. I’ll conduct this review in two parts; for Part I, I have put 500 rounds downrange and give you my initial impressions as part of this article. I’ll follow this review up with a more a rigorous 6-month field evaluation after which I’ll be able to provide more data points and a more definitive conclusions.

Trigger

Courtesy Joe Grine

You can’t begin to talk about the PPQ 45 without talking about the trigger. The PPQ trigger features a light and fairly smooth take-up that hits an obvious wall after a ¼ inch or so. Then another 4.5 pounds of pressure and a 1/10 of an inch is all it takes to release the striker. The trigger resets in 1/10 of an inch with an audible click. Double taps are super quick due to this reset. The trigger is remarkably crisp and lacks any annoying bumps or stacks.

If I had to criticize the trigger at all, it’s only because it’s light. The factory lists the trigger weight at 5.6 lbs, but as noted above, our sample broke more than a pound lighter than advertised.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love the light trigger…for range work. Light triggers are great for accuracy, but not so great for safety – unless you train a lot. If you train with your pistol on a regular basis, this isn’t so much of an issue. But if you only go to range a couple of times a year (and hence may have rusty gun handling skills) a light trigger combined with no manual safety could be a problematic combo.

Finish

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Walther applies a tough Tenifer finish to the PPQ’s slide and barrel. Tenifer is a brand name of a type of salt bath ferritic nitrocarburizing, which is also known as liquid ferritic nitrocarburizing or liquid nitrocarburizing. Based on my experience with other pistols I’ve owned that were finished in Tenifer, it’s as tough and durable as any of the modern finishes out there – with the possible exception of whatever is on my HK USP-T.

Pic 5

To test out the finish, I dunked the PPQ in the ocean surf and sand, then threw it in the melted ice water in the bottom of my Yeti cooler overnight, and then let it dry. The next day, there was some surface rust on the extractor and one of the roll pins, which came off easily with a brass brush. The Tenifer held up fairly well to this abuse, but there were some scratches from the sand and/or coral reef. These scratches were hard to capture on film, as they are only obvious when seen from certain angles. (See photo above).

Operator Controls

Pic 6

I really like the PPQ’s stock dual oversized slide stops because they are very comfortable to operate and easy to find (even for folks with small hands). With most 1911s, I have to break my grip in order to reach the slide stop, but with the Walther PPQ its right where I can get to it.

Another useful feature for southpaws is the magazine release. It’s a traditional American “button” style release, which is more popular here in the states than the European paddle style release located in the trigger guard. While not truly ambidextrous like the paddle design, the button style release is reversible: the operator can switch the button from the left side to the right in a matter of a minute or two.

Handgrip & Backstraps

Courtesy Joe Grine

In reviewing the PPQ 5-inch slide 9mm, I noted that the PPQ may just be the finest example of Walther’s technology and research on the topic of ergonomics. Fortunately, the PPQ 45 continues in the tradition of the smaller pistol. The PPQ 45’s grip is slightly larger in girth, as the mag well is perhaps a millimeter or so wider (side to side) and longer (front to back). However, it’s remarkable how closely the PPQ 45 matches the feel of its smaller 9mm sibling.  Holding them side by side, you don’t feel much of a difference.

My understanding is that the PPQ 45 is supposed to ship with three backstraps, but my T&E sample shipped from Kentucky Gun Co. with only two. These can be swapped out in a matter of minutes by pushing out the small roll pin located on the bottom of the grip (see photo above). I did switch out the grips in the 9mm, and it was a relatively simple task if you have the right punch (not included).

Walther’s cross-directional textured tactical grip provides a good grip without being uncomfortable. Like many aspects of pistol design, this boils down to user preference. I’ve heard some complain that the PPQ’s grip texture isn’t aggressive enough, but I prefer it to the more aggressive texture of guns such as, say, the traditional Springfield XD style grips.  I recently had my Sig Sauer P229 modified to add the “E2 grips,” and I have to say I’m quite enamoured with the sandpaper-like feel of those grips.  But I’m not complaining about the texture of the Walther grips.

Sights

Courtesy Joe Grine

Courtesy Joe Grine

The sights on the PPQ 45 are a standard three-dot variety, and are made of polymer. The rear sight is adjustable for windage. These sights work well in daylight hours, and if this gun is used as a range toy or competition pistol, there is probably no need to change them out. Nonetheless, steel night sights are available, and I suspect I will upgrade these at some point in the future.

Rail

Courtesy Joe Grine

The PPQ 45 features the same type of integral picatinny rail as can be found on its smaller siblings. Rails are fairly standard these days, and folks either love them or hate them, so there isn’t much extra to say on this point.

 Magazines


Courtesy Joe Grine

The pistol comes with two 12-round steel mags, which are manufactured for Walther by the Italian firm Mec-Gar. Mec-Gar is undoubtedly one of the top manufacturers of high-quality OEM pistol magazines, and its client list boasts the likes of Smith & Wesson, Beretta, Ruger, Steyr, SIG SAUER, Colt, CZ, etc. Replacement mags should run around $31-42, depending on where you buy.

Disassembly

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Disassembly is very GLOCK-like, only slightly more simple. Like a GLOCK, the striker must be in a de-cocked position, which requires that you pull the trigger on an empty chamber. After that, you simply pull down on the takedown catch and the slide can be removed. The takedown catch is much easier to manipulate than the two small levers found on a GLOCK.

The following photo shows the “guts” of the frame, for those who are curious:

Courtesy Joe Grine

Accuracy

Courtesy Joe Grine

The PPQ .45 is undoubtedly the most accurate .45 ACP pistol in my (admittedly modest) collection of .45 ACP pistols. Well, stated more correctly, it may not be the most accurate in an absolute sense, but I do shoot this pistol more accurately than I do my other .45 ACPs.

The group shown above is three shots fired with cheap Federal aluminum case ammo from 21 yards. the group measures .91 inches center to center.  Candidly, I’m glad I had a witness, because I’m not sure I could do it again on command.

While not all my groups were this good, I could fire the Walther PPQ 45 much more accurately and quickly than my HK USP T or a typical 1911. In fact, sub 2-inch groups at 20 yards were typical / expected, and I think the gun could do even better in more capable hands.  More importantly, however, this is the first .45 ACP with which I can achieve fast accurate double taps (split times in the .2 to .3 range). I think it’s the ergonomics and light trigger that sets this gun apart in the accuracy department, although I’m sure the Walther barrel helps as well.

Courtesy Joe Grine

Walther provides a test target with each PPQ 45, showing four shots fired at fifteen meters (49.2 ft). The four-shot group measures 1.2 inches.  This type of accuracy is certainly consistent with my field evaluations to date.

Reliability

Courtesy Joe Grine

To test the reliability of the PPQ, I shot 500 rounds using 10 different loads. My selection of ammo including top shelf loads such as Remington Golden Saber, Hornady Critical Defense, Federal Hydra-Shok and SIG SAUER Elite Performance HPs. I also launched a number of different types of value-priced ammo, including Federal American Eagle brass cased, Federal red box aluminum cased, bulk pack UMC, and Wally World Winchester white box. The Walther PPQ ate everything I fed it, and even functioned well when totally wet. Like the PPQ 9mm, I have a very high degree of confidence in this pistol.

Carry Case and Accessories

Courtesy Joe Grine

The Walther PPQ 45 comes with a nice enough plastic case, and includes two magazines, a chamber flag, a small box containing the parts needed to reverse the mag release, and a lock. I believe the pistol is supposed to ship with a magazine loader, but my sample didn’t have one.

Conclusion

DSC07306

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not really a “.45 guy.”  Primarily, this is because the ammo is expensive when compared to 9mm.  Moreover, high quality 1911s tend to be expensive. One of my clients gave me a HK USP-T in .45 ACP, but I don’t shoot it worth a damn. I have a Beretta 8045 Cougar that I really love to shoot, but it features the old Walther P-38 decocker design which I don’t like, and it only has an 8+1 capacity. Thus, this is the first mid-priced .45 ACP I have come across that I would carry on a daily basis. My first impressions are that Walther has hit another home run. Stay tuned to TTAG for an update next spring.

Courtesy Joe Grine

Specifications:

Caliber: .45 ACP
Action: Semi auto, short recoil, locked breech
Capacity: 12+1
Magazines:   2ea 12 round steel by Mec-Gar, 10-round “commie state” mags are also available.
Barrel Length: 4.25 inches
Overall Length: 7.4 inches
Height: 5.8 inches
Width: 1.3 inches
Weight: 1 lb, 13 ounces empty (as tested)
Frame: Polymer
Finish: Tenifer
Sights: 3-dot low profile polymer; steel night sights available
Features: Short reset trigger, fully ambidextrous slide stop, reversible mag release
Cost: $699 MSRP (street price should be in the $660 range for now)

 

Ratings (Out of Five Stars):
All ratings are relative compared to the other weapons in the gun’s category. Overall rating is not mathematically derived from the previous component ratings and encompasses all aspects of the firearm including those not discussed.

Accuracy: * * * * *
Based on my initial shooting impressions, this pistol is top of its class.

Ergonomics: * * * * * 
Hard to say which is better as between the PPQ 45 or the HK 45. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Reliability * * * * *
Ran like a champ.

Customization: * * * 
Here is the one area where Walther doesn’t enjoy the same benefits of larger companies like GLOCK and Smith & Wesson. As of this writing, accessories and aftermarket parts are still a bit lacking for the 9mm version, when compared to some of the other brands. That means custom kydex holsters are your best bet…for now.

Overall Rating: * * * * *
Should be a GLOCK killer, but probably won’t be due to a lack of a push from gun dealers.

 

(The Walther PPQ .45 for this review was provided by the Kentucky Gun Company.)

 

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73 Responses to Gun Review: Walther PPQ .45 ACP

      • The SW99 was a close, but no cigar kind of deal.

        What killed it for me is the fact that the magazine was a 9 round single stack.

        I would absolutely love a .45 ACP PPQ with a P99 trigger and de-cocker.
        The magazine capacity is adequate.
        The egos are good.

        I just miss my SIG / P99 ability to double strike on a single round in case the primers get flaky.

        • Standard (flush-fit) P227 mags are 10-rounds. They make 14-rounders that stick out about as much as a 20-round P226 mag though.

        • I agree with the comment on the decocker! That’s a feature I really like on my P99 and P99c. Great safety feature. I don’t know what Walther was thinking when they left it off. Bad decision in my opinion, especially when the S&W SW99 has it. ????

  1. As a gun owner and a photographer, I have to comment on the very artistic but highly distracting backgrounds for the photographs. I want to see the gun displayed, free of visual distractions. Save those backgrounds for perfume ads.

    • The pastel pics are supposed to distract from the reviewers obvious hatred of everything Glock. If he reviewed a Glock it would probably be photographed lying in dirt, a garbage can, or the bottom of a PortoCan. Of which it could be plucked out and would still go bang everytime. “Reviewers” need to keep their biases out of the reviews. Bashing Glocks to prop up your latest joy toy is poor form.

      “PPQ has proven itself to be a top-shelf contender that blows the GLOCK away in virtually every category;” keep telling yourself that.

      • I own Glocks, and I will admit that they have gotten better over the years. But the Walther has better ergonomics, better grip angle, a bigger slide stop, better trigger with shorter reset, has a less blocky slide, front slide serrations, 3 dot sights, metal magazines, etc, etc. The Glock may in fact have a lower bore axis, but not by much.

        • Glocks have metal magazines, the polymer is covering metal. Amazing how many “gun experts” think Glock magazines are polymer.

          The rest of your commentary pertains to, wait for it: YOU and YOUR personal preferences. Trigger pulls, grip size, all of that is stuff that you determine for YOURSELF. If you prefer Walthers to Glocks, 1911s to revolvers, yadda yadda thats fine, but verbiage like “is this the Glock killer” etc etc…shows a distinct bias. Why target Glock for this ire? You could have said is this the “M&P” killer or “Sig killer.” Always Glock getting ripped, sigh. All they do is make near perfect pistols for an imperfect world. Its one thing to compare something to Glock, its another to relentlessly bash Glock.

          I love ALL guns, because they all offer something distinct and different. Everybody should choose what works best for THEM. I just think the bias taints your review and might make a noob think Glocks are no good without ever finding out for themselves what’s best for them.

        • I’m somewhat of a Glock guy, but the design is showing its age. Walter and Sig, among others, are making striker / polymer guns with better triggers. One could also argue better ergos. I certainly noticed no “hate” for the polymer sights, but I don’t really get worked up about such things.

          Glock needs a good Gen 5 or they’ll eventually start losing out to newer / better designs such as this.

        • Glock is the standard. Everybody is familiar with them. The point of these reviews is not just talking about the specific gun being reviewed but comparing aspects of it to the known quantities already on the market. That’s the entire reason why the comparative points rating system exists. You can’t rate a gun or any aspect of a gun as above or below average, or as average, without directly comparing it to other guns. Your request of a sanitized, don’t-name-names, happy-go-lucky, “just the facts,” review is what you’ll find in any of the ad-driven gun rags. Joe adds a bit of color and some Truth.

          IMHO, while everything on a Glock is perfectly passable and functional, there’s significant room for refinement and Joe’s comments that the PPQ blows away a Glock in ergonomics, trigger quality, and a couple other points is really not what I would call subjective. Put each of these pistols in the hands of 10,000 people and ask them which has a more ergonomic or more comfortable or nicer feeling or more ‘controllable feeling’ grip and all 10,000 of them will say the PPQ. This isn’t ragging on Glock. Its grip is fine. But the PPQ considerably improves on that early 80’s design. There is also nobody who will argue that trigger creep, grittiness, sponginess, etc are desirable traits. The PPQ’s trigger has significantly less of all of those things plus a shorter reset distance. It’s also more comfortable as the safety blade becomes flusher with the face of the trigger shoe. It is an objectively better trigger.

      • i own 2 glocks and a ppq and the walther does indeed blow it out of the water in every aspect except customization and accessories, just like the author noted. i have hundreds into each of my glocks and only dawson sights on my ppq and its still not much of a contest.
        if they made more models id replace my glocks.
        i only kept them because they didnt make ppq’s with longer slides or calibers besides 9/.40 …til now.

        give me a 5.25-6″ PPQ in .357sig or 10mm and ill be the happiest camper of them all. until then i need to hold onto my 6″ lone wolf glock 21 with multiple barrel conversions and my g31 .357sig w/9mm and .40 conversion.
        honestly the conversion barrels are what got me into glock. i have 6 calibers out of 2 pistols. thats where glock wins hands down.

  2. I just got PPQm2 with the 5 inch barrel and when I get my .45 it will be this. The idea of having two guns so closely matched in performance and operation is a good one.

  3. Pffftt,, “improvement on the Glock” how so? By making a bore axis higher than Snoop Dogg? By making a 600.00 gun that looks like a 150.00 Hi Point? Walther’s are OK but in no way improve or surpass Glock. And Glock has been making an excellent high cap .45 since 1991. There is nothing new in this Walther.

    • Except, you know,

      A trigger that doesn’t suck.
      A grip angle designed for human hands.
      A takedown procedure that doesn’t cause you to cut your fingers open.
      A slide release a human can operate.

      I have a G21. It’s not a bad gun, but it’s hardly competitive with this Walther. Same way I own a G17 and a G19, but my go to 9mm will always be my P99.

      • Glocks fit MY hands perfectly. Triggers are excellent. Never ever cut my finger taking Glocks apart.

        Fact is, Glock set the pistol world on a whole new course in the 1980s, and everybody else is still playing catch up.

        I will not bash Walthers, having shot one and not liking it FOR ME. But this knee jerk bashing of Glock is pretty lame. Why not just review the gun and describe its function without the built in bias?

        • I have yet to see a range toy Glock with a factory trigger or slide release. The fact that everybody who can switches those out should tell you a great deal. The Glocks were great pistols, in 1981. The rest of the industry has moved on and is now beating Glock at its own game. The plethora of quality striker fired pistols on the market should tell you how much ground Glock has lost since the height of their popularity in the late 80s and early 90s.

          As for the takedown… You do remember that to remove a Glock slide requires you to jab your fingers into a takedown bar with minimal surface area and fairly sharp corners? I wish more people would use a SIG or Beretta style takedown lever rather than the Glock spring and bar system.

        • I can generally fix the trigger on the Glock, but as for the frame, it is not very ergonomic. Too big even with SF. They could take the polymer off of the magazines and make the Grip smaller. Almost all other 45’s have better grip ergonomics. If the XD can fit the same amount of rounds in something that is comfortable to hold and control, Glock should also. Robar has made a lot of money on me with grip alterations. The PPQ 45 feels much better in your hand and although I have not shot it, at least my middle finger and thumb touch.

          Glock is way behind on the 45 and 10mm, but at least they make a 10mm. My 9mm PPQ M1 blows my G19 away, as does my 40 M1 PPQ to the G23. I just wish someone would make a 357 sig barrel for the PPQ. I own 9 Glocks, so I am not just a basher, but you have to face it that the Gen 4 was a disappointment. They would sell more large frame guns if the frames were not so large.

        • I am in agreement with you. I love my PPQ .40 because it fits my hand well. Glock is not right for me. Point is we all have different size hands that each gun fits differently . I care more that you are a fellow gun owner than what gun you shoot. I always tell folk who ask me to go to a big gun shop and hold every gun possible . Which ever feels best is the one you will shoot best.

      • I disagree with the slide stop. It does exactly what it is supposed to (holds the slide open) without getting in the way or risking being pressed open on accident by sloppy grips.

        You shouldn’t be using it as a slide release so the fact that you can’t get to it with a normal grip is ok for me.

        • I’m not a fan of unnecessary motion during my reloads. I can drop a slide release any get back to a proper two handed grip much faster than the rack reload silliness. By that logic, you should never use the bolt release on the AR.

      • I just bought a PPQ Navy, after I fired a friends PPQ. As a indivigual, I like shooting the PPQ far better than my Glock 22 4th gen. It dosn’t matter If I’m firing 40cal or with the drop in 357sig barrel in my Glock, the PPQ fits my hand better and the trigger isn’t scrachy like the Glock. I am so impressed with the way I can shoot the 9mm PPQ I am now looking to buy another PPQ in 45acp. I would like to know however, is there a aftermarket threaded barrel and taller front sight? I can’t wait to try my new PPQ 45acp and compair it to my H&K USPT 45acp.

    • Are you upset ? Glock is not the end all be all handgun. I own several, and they’re nice pistols, but there are better designs …. You sound like those JMB fans that say only a 1911 is worthy ….

  4. I love it! Too bad they also felt they had to offer it with the “uber-American” button mag release that looks like a kid in high school shop cut a hole in the frame and made a button out of odds and ends laying around the shop. It feels like an afterthought, a blight on what is otherwise the perfection that glock wishes it was.

    • Go back to the paddle mag release & I’ll get the .45 before the second .40
      2 lefty kids and an ambidextrous one keep taking my originals. Even my SW99 in .45. If I could find another of those reasonably priced I’d buy it face to face.

    • That mag release button does look like an unsightly pimple compared to the rest of the carefully-designed lines of the pistol.

  5. The only problem I have with this, like all Walthers is capacity. If the PPQ 9MM was a 17 shot gun, I would be all over it like white on rice. If this was a 13, or 14, or 15 shot handgun, I would be all over it like white on rice. I love my PPQ , I love the trigger, I love the ergos, but those extra 2 rounds keep me from giving it a true 5 stars.

    • Meh, only holds 1 less than the Block21. I will have trouble parting with my FNX45 over this, but not because of capacity.

    • Well I don’t know about you, but if I want a 17 round magazine I just buy one….

      I only have the one 15 round mag the gun came with, the rest are the 17 round verdion.

  6. My 1911 is a wonderful pistol, and I love shooting it, but it’s all steel and rather heavy for the 7+1 capacity in .45. And I loves the .45, because you know, big holes are better than small holes. I’ve been tossing around the idea of getting a Glock in .45 for over a year now, and this has changed my mind. The Walther looks to be more what I would want in a big bore carry gun.

      • My old Commander weighs 33.8 ounces with nine Gold Dots in it.
        It’s much flatter and easier to carry than any Glock I’ve tried.
        It has a better trigger than any Glock I’ve ever fired, and my missus owns both stock and competition modified Glocks from which I’ve been able to sample.
        It has never, ever failed to operate in the fifteen years I’ve had it. (Just like a Glock!)
        Carrying a spare magazine is far easier than any double stack. Same for carrying two; it hardly makes a difference.
        I’m not sure what the simpler takedown means as an advantage. A seven-second difference once a month or two doesn’t add up to much.
        Finally, the Commander has a manual safety lock, which is an important safeguard in the event of loss of control of the gun- few untrained people will be able to unlock and fire the gun, especially in a short period of time. Probably my second biggest reason not to carry a revolver, which I own many of besides the low capacity, is the simplicity of operation- anybody can take it and fire it without any knowledge of its use.
        All of these can apply to the PPQ as well
        Speaking of the PPQ, we’ve had the 9mm version in some of our classes and I will say that the ergos are among the best out there and fit more hands well than just about every other handgun.

  7. Owning both Glocks and a PPQ 9, I can absolutely tell anyone reading this that the PPQ is better on all fronts. There is no discussion unless you are one of the people that only own Glocks and have no hands on experience with the PPQ.

    • “There is no discussion.” LOL you must write the press releases for the global warming crowd. Having shot a Walther I was put off by the top heavy bulky slide. But, I forget, there should be “no discussion.” The greatness of Walther’s version of a Hi Point is “settled science.”

      • I think your unapologetic Glock fan boyishness is getting in the way of rational thought again. The Glock was never intended as the perfect handgun. It was designed as a cost effective compromise that delivers reliable performance at a market affordable price. The fact that it was shaped like an overweight brick should have been a hint.

        There are many ways in which the Glock design can be improved. The Walther hits most of them. If they do this at a comparable cost and without affecting reliability, then yes, the gun is undeniably and objectively better.

    • Would it even be possible to make a .50 BMG autoload handgun (Desert Eagle,.50 BMG, yeah!) that wouldn’t break your wrist?

      • Short answer: No.
        Longer answer: Hell, no! Even if you have by some miracle of modern engineering overcome the recoil, the magazine inside handle is out of question for all us – normal handed folks. The C. O. L. is 5.45″. So, no .50 BMG Desert Eagle. Sorry. ..:-)

        • Then modify a Mauser C96 version with a drum 15 round mag under the bolt. And a shoulder mounted stock cum holster. That would make the fur fly! As well as the shooter, backwards with every shot.

  8. Probably I’m a voice crying in the wilderness here but my God that is an ugly, black plastic pistol. Think I’ll stick with real guns, ya know, those made of metal and wood and leave the polymer stuff to,,,.

      • Walther lists the weight of the PPQ with an empty magazine at 1.75lbs: 28oz. Nine rounds of .45 ACP weigh 6.7oz on our commercial scale.
        Put nine .45 ACP rounds in the gun and it will weigh exactly the same as a vintage Commander.
        Handgun empty weights are sort of irrelevant. If you have an M&P and put 18 rounds of 9mm in it, it’s pretty heavy. Not saying that’s wrong, but it’s heavy.

    • I was thinking the same thing — the ugly part, anyway. Those Walthers are painful to look at.

      But I do like me some polymer-framed pistols, and I like the looks of my Springfield XDm. To each his own, I guess.

    • Beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder, Spencer. I think the new Corvette is the ugliest thing on 4 wheels since neon pink Rollerblades, but it’s apparently got a lot of fans.

      What Walther and HK have been aiming for is adding some euro automotive-styled elegance and improved mechanics to Gaston’s iconic “Plastic Doberman” design. And even if you think it’s uglier than sin, run a few magazines first. You might start liking the design more once you see what these suckers are capable of. Maybe you won’t. Just saying, try running it some before dismissing it on looks alone.

  9. I used to think I’d never own a polymer gun, especially a striker fired one, and those Glock style triggers sucked. Until I handled a Walther PPQ. So I bought one, but certainly it wouldn’t hold a candle to my HK P7, Sig 226 or 1911s. Then I found out it was THE most accurate gun I own. It’s easier to shoot accurately than my Buckmark. Sigh.

    The only downside was the plastic front sight came off, but I replaced it with a steel fiber optic sight.

    If the PPQ 45ACP came with the lever mag releases I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

  10. Just got back from my local range on my PPQ 45’s maiden voyage. Put about 300 round through, a mix of some Winchester White Box 230gr, Speer 230gr and Freedom Munitions 200gr.

    Since I was a kid on Christmas morning, I ran a few magazines right out of the box. Had a few hangups on the 200gr – a FTL and two FTE’s. Broke the gun down and added just a few drops of FrogLube in the right places and things ran smoothly from there on out.

    I will say as an enthusiastic owner of many Walthers (PPX 9mm, PPQ M1 9mm, PPQ M2 .40, PPS 9mm and P99AS 9mm) that they are notoriously omnivorous eaters and handle different types of ammo without a shrug (or a noticeable difference). And though I’m willing to chalk it up to it being the first 300 rounds out of the gun, one thing that really jumped out is just how much differently it fires depending on the type of ammo. The Speer had it jumping like a frog in hot water, but you could feel the gun struggling to cycle the 200gr Freedom Munitions loads.

    Took a little tweaking out of the box to get the standard 3-dot sights to where I liked them and maybe 100 rounds to just get used to this particular gun. Of all my Walthers, I run my PPQ M1 a ton and can put holes inside holes all day long – which was working against me here. The purchase, ergos and weight are so close that my muscle memory defaulted to the 9mm that I’ve easily run 15k rounds through. But .45ACP is such a different beast – bigger bang, slower bullet and a recoil that pushes back more than it flips up. Not in a bad way here, just different and taking some getting used to. After the first hundo, I was steadily grouping 3″ at 50ft and inside 2″ at 25.

    Fit, finish, quality and that are-you-seriously-telling-me-this-is-stock Walther trigger are exactly what you’d expect. I own a lot of handguns and love trying as many as I can, but I am hard-pressed to tell you of one that’s this nice out of the box at any price. (Yes, that’s polarizing – one man’s HK is another man’s Sig, etc)

    Simply put, if you’re familiar with the PPQ/P99 line, this is a grab-and-go. My go-to .45 has been an FNX-45 for a while – and while the 15 round magazines are nice, the PPQ is way more my speed. I assume that a few more hundred rounds from now I’ll have it as dialed in as I do the rest. Kudos to Walther to hearing their customers – we’ve been asking for a .45 for years.

  11. All I can say is I pulled away from polymer firearms until the PPQ! And this gun frikkin rocks! Sig, CZ, Walther! The best!

  12. Walther still does not offer a 10 rd magazine for the .45. I live in Ct where anything over 10 rounds is considered “high capacity” and is a felony to have. I ordered the Mecgar P14 10 round magazines and they work perfectly in my PPQ .45.

  13. Fred Friendly obviously hates anything non Glock. If Glock made a “an excellent high cap .45 since 1991”, the Pennsylvania State Police wouldn’t have DX’d it as soon as they did.
    The Glock 9’s and 40’s are great guns and I’m not bashing them but they just don’t stand up to the PPQ.

  14. I’ve been a fan of .45 since, for a long time. Used to think that the only .45 worth owning was the original. Colt. That’s changed obviously. My first polymer was a G21. Now, I like the capacity but it’s like carrying a brick around. Factory trigger, sucks. But, I stuck with it until Sig came along with the P227. That is one sweet weapon and my go to at home weapon. XDS in .45 is the EDC. Now Walther has come into the 21st century with a .45. I like Walthers as a PPK/S was my backup weapon as an LEO. I have to say that Walther hit it good, hmm great, with the PPQ M1 and now the M2 in. .45. It may (maybe) replace the P227 as the home weapon. Nice trigger, capacity, looks, ergo, etc. What’s not to like about it.

    BTW, the G21 is a safe queen. Doesn’t go to the range anymore even with the upgrades including laser.

    Just saying.

  15. We live in a wonderful time of unprecedented choice of firearms at every price level. I remember for semi-auto pistol it was either high end or Raven Arms type, not much in between. Then Glock comes along and makes a mid price point weapon that is well made and dependable. So they sold like hot cakes and were a good value, and have proven to be durable over the long term. Glocks are good guns, and the most popular, so they are used as the standard to compare others to, which is a position most companies would like their products to be. But in this time we live there are numerous options that equal Glock in quality and value, it takes nothing away from your Glock if you own one, just be proud you own the standard the others compare themselves too.

  16. So, the fans are really saying that they are comfortable carrying the PPQ 45 cocked and…. unlocked? I just don’t get it no matter how well trained you are. At very least the XDM gives you a grip safety and a trigger with some travel and poundage before it goes bang! A single action 45 with no safety equipment except from being dropped? Not for me. Walther, just add an option of one form of safety and it’s a big seller. Safety is too important an issue on any caliber for most of the population. I’m sure this model was not only intended for those that make their living carrying a gun.

    • I’ve owned many Walthers over the years and have never experienced a ”surprise fire.” None, including the PPQ, are capable of firing without the trigger being pulled.

      Despite not being ”top shelf” guns, compared to higher margin Glocks, Walthers are growing in popularity. I still have people approach me to ask about my P5, a poly/steel beauty capable of minuscule groups while cycling flawlessly on all but the most stubby of JHP.

      The ”option” you seek is DA only. There, your safety problem is solved. I don’t know the stats but would suspect the ratio of DA pistols to SA models sold is over 20-1. If that’s close, the safety you desire would make the PPQ no more popular.

      Truly, the proof is in this gun’s pudding. Aim-and-fire is outstanding (full disclosure: my experience is with the 9mm) and fit and finish put Glock to shame. That’s not to say the Glock isn’t a perfectly capable weapon (and you can, I think, obtain one in most any safety configuration)…it’s personal preference.

  17. I am wondering if I can fit the slide and magazine of the 45 on and into the 40 as the author only mentioned the magazine a little bigger than the 9 mm

  18. I traded a Glock 23 for a PPQ 40 M1 because of the grip angle. After 50 rounds my wrist hurt bearing down so much. Did a lot of homework before buying. There is no going back, the grip and trigger are super, is my go to house gun. Use an XDs 45 or Kahr MK9 for concealed. My wife appropriated the Airweight. So, I see no reason to revert back to a Glock, although it was a dependable, quality weapon. The PPQ is head and shoulders above IMO. I debate going to a M2 9 or the new 45, but with multiple mags, holsters and night sights installed, I don’t see the benefit. I have other 9s and 45s to choose from. Thanks to Walther for the excellent upgrade to our choices. I too wish for some options such as 9mm or 357 Sig conversions.

  19. I own the 9MM M2. without a doubt the best handgun I own. Fits good shoots better, damn outstanding weapon for the young and old. Wanted a larger caliber and found one in the same frame, sweet.

  20. “Stay tuned to TTAG for an update next spring.”

    I’ve tried to be patient … but next week is June and spring will be behind us. Do we get an update on this marvelous gun?

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