It seems that everyone at TTAG loves the PPQ line. Multiple writers have now completed multiple reviews on several different models. They are all highly positive. That’s because the PPQ is an outstanding firearm in its class. The new Walther PPQ Q4 TAC continues the trend.
“Tactical” didn’t always have a real meaning with firearms, but now it does. Just like “carry” or “target,” the use of the word “tactical” in any handgun‘s model description denotes a few specific characteristics. Or at least it should.
Usually, it means it’s a full framed pistol with a large or increased magazine capacity, an accessory rail, low light sights, and a matte finish. In the last couple of years, it has also come to mean the barrel is threaded, includes tall sights, and more and more, that the slide is cut for a red-dot optic.
The new Walther PPQ Q4 TAC includes almost all of those features. There are no big changes to the Q4 TAC. If you hate the PPQ (does anybody?) you’ll hate the Q4 TAC. If you loved the PPQ, well now you can love it a little more quietly.
The Q4 TAC includes a full length grip. Like the other PPQ models, it also comes with multiple backstrap inserts that slightly alter the shape of the grip, as well as adjust the length of pull. It also includes three magazines standard, two of which have extended base pads.
The high performance Tenifer coating is the same as on the other PPQs, as are the ambidextrous controls, the accessory rail…really it’s all of the same basics that make this entire line a great performer. Like all of the other PPQs, I still hit the slide release with my support hand every time, so it won’t lock back on an empty magazine. If this were my go-to pistol, I could train myself out of that pretty quickly.
The trigger on the Q4 TAC is no different than the other models. That means it’s exceptional. The PPQ is still the gold standard for a striker fired pistol. It has the same great feel, and the same super short reset.
Do note, however, that although this pistol is billed as “double action” I’m not really sure that’s the case. After all, unlike the GLOCK, you aren’t cocking the striker further when you pull the trigger on the PPQ, you are releasing it. That sounds more like single action to me.
The trigger weight on this model measured an average of 5.4lbs on my Lyman scale, which follows the trend of every single one of these guns measuring lower than advertised. Because of the exceptional trigger of the PPQ line, a rigid holster that completely covers the trigger is a must, as it is with any pistol.
Unlike other models, the PPQ Q4 TAC’s slide is pre-cut for different mounting plates for red dot optics. Included standard are the mounts for a Trijicon RMR, Leupold Delta Point Pro and Docter optics. I’m still getting used to the optic mounted handgun, and so far I’m no faster or more accurate with optics than I am with irons.
There’s a pretty big exception to that. Even with firearms that include tritium night sights, I’m much faster with a red-dot optic in low light or at night. I enjoy wild hog hunting with a handgun and most of those hunts happen at night. The red dot really shines when it’s hard to see since there’s no time looking for my irons.
The iron sights themselves are the same ones as on other PPQ models. This includes a bright, easy to see fiber optic front sight and a fully adjustable rear.
Whereas the red-dot mounts are appreciated, the PPQ standard irons on this Q4 TAC are a misstep. First, the rear sight is great for competition, but not for a combat handgun. The long ramp of the rear sight slips right off a pocket or belt, meaning that it can’t be used to rack the slide single-handed.
The other issue is that great front sight. It’s small and bright, ideal on any gun without a suppressor. But it’s low. It’s just barely too low to clear even my fairly narrow first generation Advanced Armament Corp silencer.
Of course, if you run it with an optic, both of those issue go away. Since the red dot is typically zeroed on the target, not below it, you’ll certainly clear the silencer. You’ll also have that big fin sticking off the top of the gun to easily manipulate the slide.
This model also includes a 4.6″ 1/2″ x 28 threaded barrel to quickly and easily attach a 9mm suppressor. Shooting the Q4 TAC suppressed was giggly fun. Using the Freedom Munitions 165gr Hush round, the pistol is almost “movie quiet.” The round striking the steel target is louder than the report of the gun. It really seems like what you’re hearing from the gun is the slide reciprocating, more than the report itself.
Of course, like any weight hung off the end of the muzzle, the already light recoil becomes almost nonexistent. Even a loose, single-handed grip will keep the muzzle down, as well as cycle the gun. The Mozambique drill with this gun makes Hollywood fantasy shooting a reality. It’s super fast, and so quiet I could carry on a conversation during shot strings without shouting. Neat!
As with the other PPQs that TTAG has reviewed, accuracy with the Q4 TAC ranged from better than average to outstanding. Although not particularly consistent, the cheap Remington 115gr FMJ UMC round averaged 1.5″ five-round groups for four shot strings off bags at 25 yards. (As an aside, every other round I shot had more vertical dispersion than horizontal. The Remington’s dispersion was almost entirely horizontal, and the photo included is indicative of the groups shot by this round. Weird.)
No round I shot averaged greater than 2.1″ at the same distance, and that was the 165gr Hush round. Every other round I tried shot under 2″ at 25 yards. All groups were shot without the use of an optic or the suppressor attached.
Like the other PPQ pistols we’ve reviewed, the Q4 TAC was extremely reliable. Like most of my handgun reviews, I put 500 rounds through this gun without issue. Two hundred of those rounds were with the silencer attached.
I ran everything from 90gr frangible bullets to the Freedom Munitions 165gr Hush FMJ through the gun, both with and without the silencer attached. I also ran a box of the IMI 115gr Die Cut rounds through the gun, which had two failures to feed on the PPQ sub-compact I reviewed.
I had no issues with reliability, in any way, with any round on this gun, including the IWI round. I lubed it with Rogue American Apparel’s Gun Oil prior to shooting, and never again during the entire process.
I also made a mistake. Shocking, I know, but it happens
every damn day. I forgot to use the silencer-specific spring Walther includes with the gun. The manual says to use this spring whenever using a silencer, but to remove it in order to ensure proper function without the suppressor.
I totally forgot, and never even took it out of the case during the shoot. Despite that, the gun ran great without it. Perhaps with long-term use, shooting the gun with the silencer but without the added spring would lead to increase wear and tear on the gun, but I didn’t notice any.
Like every other PPQ I’ve shot, or apparently any writer at TTAG has shot, the PPQ Q4 TAC is a great pistol. It’s small and light enough to OWB carry all day with ease. It’s perfectly reliable with any round, and more accurate than its peers. It’s that great trigger and instinctive ergonomics that put this gun well ahead of its competition.
Of the PPQ line, this is certainly my favorite. The Q4 TAC gives me all the options I want in how to set up and use the gun, and at a very reasonable price. Walther did good with the PPQ. They did even better with the Q4 TAC.
Specifications: Walther PPQ Q4 TAC
Barrel Length: 4.6″ – – Threaded: 1/2″ x 28TPI
Trigger Pull: 5.6lbs (advertised)
Trigger Travel: .4″
Overall Length: 7.8″
Safety: 3 AUTO (advertised) no external safety
Weight Empty: 25oz
Stock: Black Polymer With Mil-Std 1913 Picatinny Rail
Sights: Front: Fiber Optic Rear: Adjustable For Wind & Elevation
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style and Appearance * * * *
The full frame with the extended magazine base pad and suppressor somehow turn what was an OK looking firearm into an even better one. The finish is the same good quality as on the other PPQs. There are ALL the proof marks on the gun, but no tool marks or chattering, either inside or out.
Customization * * * * *
Unlike some of the other PPQ models, this one gives you lots of options right out of the box.
Reliability * * * * *
Zero issues with any round tested, silenced or not, and even without even using the proper (included) spring.
Accuracy * * * *
No round made it to the 1″ mark on a full framed gun, so no five stars. Still, every round shot well, almost all shooting under the 2″ mark, and a few inexpensive rounds shot better than that.
Overall * * * *
The PPQ Q4 Tac is at the absolute top of its product class. When it comes to the polymer, striker fired pistols, this is what I judge all others against. The lack of tall sights on a firearm billed as “suppressor ready” and not hitting the 1″ mark for precision kept this gun just out of the 5 star category. I’m still surprised it ran so reliably silenced with so many different rounds, even though I didn’t use the “suppressor” spring. With the exception of tall sights, this gun has all of the options I’d want, and still maintains all of the fundamentals I liked about the PPQ line.