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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.