Range Report: Walther Q5 Match 9mm Long Slide

Walther Q5 Match 9mm handgun, left profile

Walther has a long and storied history of manufacturing quality firearms and occasionally producing something innovative. Like other makers, Walther entered the striker-fired, polymer-frame market some time ago. Its handguns are not the least expensive, usually costing more than the competition in comparable models. What you are getting is a superior product with good quality of manufacture and an excellent trigger.

Among the best examples of Walther’s modern 9mm handguns is the Q5 Match. This pistol provides a heft and balance that makes for easy shooting. While it may be used in quite a few types of competition, I find the pistol to be an ideal personal defense tool as well. A handgun that handles this quickly, is completely reliable, and more accurate than most, is clearly a good defensive handgun. Hand fit is extraordinary in most ways and recoil pleasant even for a 9mm handgun.

Walther Q5 Match 9mm semi-automatic handgun, left profile
An optics-ready slide, slick trigger, and adjustable sights are excellent features.

Walther Q5 Match Features

Walther’s Q5 Match polymer-frame 9mm pistol is my favorite 9mm for fun and target shooting. Walther also offers a more expensive steel frame version. I have handled the steel-frame version. While I am certain it would be sweet to fire 43 ounces, it is heavy for constant carry.

It is a great match gun — of that, I am certain. Recoil was very gentle. Just the same, I cannot imagine anyone having trouble with the polymer frame Q5’s push. The pistol is based on the Walther PPQ 9mm pistol. The PPQ is a proven reliable and with an excellent reputation. Like many newer handguns, the Q5 is an optics-ready handgun.

The pistol’s primogenitor is evident in design features. The Walther Q5 Match resembles the PPQ to a point. An extended slide stop and forward cocking serrations are PPQ like. The slide is extended and accommodates a five-inch barrel.

The frame is properly designed for excellent hand fit with special attention to trigger-finger reach. The balance of adhesion and abrasion in the grip frame is good. The pistol features a modern light rail. The magazine release is an ambidextrous paddle type, rather than the usual Browning-type plunger.

There are 16 weight-saving cuts in the slide. This prevents the pistol from being too heavy for carry and from becoming ‘slide heavy.’ The metal parts are finished in black Tenifer.

Walther Q5 Match 9mm pistol next to a red dot sight and three loose rounds of 9mm ammo
The Q5 is an affordable and useful 9mm.

The front sight is a high visibility red fiber optic sight properly pinned in place. The rear sight is an uncommon sight on a polymer frame striker fired pistol. The sight offers excellent adjustment but is also rugged and not likely to be easily knocked out of adjustment. The five-inch barrel features traditional rifling, so lead or plated bullets may be used (unlike polygonal-rifled barrels).

The Walther Quick Defense trigger is an advantage over most striker-fired pistols. The Walther design uses the usual blade-type safety lever set into the trigger. Take up is slight. The trigger travels a bit less than one-half inch before firing.

If you ride the trigger after firing, with the finger remaining on the trigger, fast reset is possible. The trigger features a short, crisp, reset (about .1 inch in duration). The Walther trigger breaks at a sharp 4.9 pounds and very clean. The trigger action makes for high hit probability.

Bob Campbell shooting the Walther Q5 Match steel semi-auto 9mm handgun demonstrating the long slide
While the slide is long, the pistol’s balance is excellent.

The pistol is supplied with three 15-round magazines and tools for changing the optic mounting plates, a lock, manual, and magazine loader. The Q5 is supplied with three interchangeable grip straps, making it a superb fit for most hand sizes with a little adaption.

The magazine release is a paddle type. The paddle is a very fast once you have mastered the movement. The paddle is less likely to be activated by a too-tight holster and is fully ambidextrous. The Walther was inspected before I engaged in considerable dry fire while preparing to head to the range.

Range Time

The pistol’s magazines were loaded with quality ammunition from Remington, Federal, and Winchester during the test program. Loads included the 115-grain Remington UMC FMJ, Federal 124-grain HST, Federal 138-grain Syntech hollow point, and Winchester’s 147-grain Silvertip. The pistol never failed to feed, chamber, fire, or eject.

Field stripped Walther Q5 Match 9mm handgun
Disassembly of the Walther Q5 Match is simple.

While it isn’t quite what I call a long slide 9mm, the pistol is longer than most but no heavier. The Walther trigger, sights, and balance add up to a handgun that compliments a trained shooter. Firing at man-sized targets at 7, 10, and 15 yards, it was no mean feat to destroy the X-ring on demand.

Firing from a solid, benchrest firing position, I enjoyed good accuracy results. Several five-shot groups at 25 yards were in the 2-inch range, none ranged over 2.5 inches. Another advantage of the 9mm Luger in a five-inch barrel is velocity. The Federal 124-grain HST averaged 1,205 fps in velocity. That is a useful increase in velocity over standard 4-inch barrel handguns.


Caliber: 9mm
Slide finish: Matte black Tenifer
Barrel: 5 inches, match-grade, Tenifer finish
Frame: Textured black polymer with interchangeable backstraps
Accessory rail: 3-Slot MIL-STD-14.9 913 Picatinny
Front sight: Red fiber optic
Rear sight: Fully adjustable
Trigger: Quick Defense with integrated safety
Trigger pull: 4.9 pounds
Barrel length: 5 inches
Overall length: 8.7 inches
Height: 5.3 inches
Slide width: 1.1 inches
Grip width: 1.3 inches
Weight: 27.2 ounces
Capacity: 15+1
Twist: 1:10” RH
Accessories: Three optic mounting plates with tools and hardware, three grip inserts, three magazines, magazine loader, hard case, lock, owner’s manual
MSRP: $849

I could not be more pleased with the Walther Q5 9mm. The pistol could win a match but then you may take it home and defend the homestead- or carry the pistol concealed in comfort.

In a world of compacts, what do you think of the Walther Q5 Match long slide? How would you use it target shooting or self-defense? Share your answers in the Comment section.

  • Walther Q5 Match 9mm semi-automatic handgun on the ground with several spent shell casings
  • Field stripped Walther Q5 Match 9mm handgun
  • Walther Q5 Match 9mm semi-automatic handgun, left profile
  • Walther Q5 Match 9mm pistol, rear view
  • Bob Campbell shooting the Walther Q5 Match steel semi-auto 9mm handgun demonstrating the long slide
  • Bob Campbell shooting the Walther Q5 Match steel semi-auto 9mm handgun with a two-handed grip
  • Walther Q5 Match 9mm pistol next to a red dot sight and three loose rounds of 9mm ammo
  • Walther Q5 Match 9mm semi-automatic handgun, right profile
  • Walther Q5 Match 9mm handgun, left profile
  • Bob Campbell shooting the Walther Q5 Match steel semi-auto 9mm handgun
  • Walther Q5 Match 9mm semi-automatic handgun with the slide locked open
  • Walther Q5 9mm pistol with Buffalo Bore ammunition box
  • changeable backstraps for a Walther 9mm pistol
  • handgun backstraps

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (6)

  1. Any Walther based on the P/Q platform is an excellent firearm. The Q4SF is a beast of a gun and very enjoyable to shoot.

    For any of these, I *highly* recommend getting Walther drop-in Dynamic Performance Trigger. The P/Q series trigger is excellent out of the box, but the DPT takes it to a completely new level: little take-up, firm wall, super crisp break. Expensive, but never looked back. The Walther tungsten guide-rod is another great accessory for any polymer-framed P/Q and makes a measurable difference in reducing muzzle flip and decreasing follow-up times. The guide rod is compatible w/ the SF variants, but brings only a marginal improvement over the already well-balanced and weighty steel frame.

    Stay in condition yellow.

  2. I considered a Walther PDP Full Size, but couldn’t get a hold of one to see how it felt. I wound up getting a Canik Mete SFx (5.2″ barrel). Feels good and shoots great, no regrets and saved some money.

  3. I’ve owned the PPQ M2 4″ and PPQ M2 5″ since they were released. The 4″ for concealed carry and 5″ for open carry (common in this area). I’ve also owned the PPQ M2 Match for several years. Thousands of commercial and hand loads have been run through them with zero malfunctions. And I’m still using the original magazines. Walther will always be my first choice due to the quality and reliability.

  4. You reported on the M1 version and neglected to mention the M2. The only difference being the mag release. The M2 has a traditional mag release. Walther also offers 17 round extended mags. I’ve been shooting one for a couple of years and short of maybe going steel frame it is hard to beat for a striker fired, out of the box match pistol.

  5. Good article. I have the Walther Q5 PRO. Everything stated above is also true with my all steel model.
    The gun is deadly accurate right out of the box. I am comparing it against SIG X5 and X6 and Wilson
    Combat 1911. I prefer the all steel frame weight to handle recoil. Extremely reliable and easy to
    maintain. After three years of ownership, I can’t ever remember a jam.

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