Concealed Carry

Review: Walther PDP 9mm Semi-Auto Handgun

Walther PDP

After a race to produce the smallest and most compact pistols, sometimes the makers and end-users realize that larger handguns shoot much better.

They also tend to last longer, stand more abuse and present an ideal balance.

The Walther PDP, or Personal Defense Pistol, is a new development from this storied maker.

The PDP, according to Walther, is a special design for the American market.

The pistol isn’t that large by my standards. It is about the same length as a Government Model 1911 and much lighter.

Walther has given us several variants on the excellent PPQ, but the PDP differs considerably from the PPQ.

Fieldstripped Walther PDP
Disassembly is simple and modern.

Features and Specs

The Walther PDP is available with four and 4.5-inch barrels. Each features modern polymer frame construction and a polygonal-rifled barrel.

A Performance Duty Texture has been added to make the pistol feel better and to improve adhesion and abrasion. It succeeds very well.

The full-size pistol features a 15-round magazine. I did not change the backstraps, but optional backstraps are included.

For the author, the default as-issued grip is just fine. This is probably because my hands are neither large nor small.

I have trouble with the GLOCK 21, but little else. With an undercut triggerguard and flared grip, the PDP will fit most of us well.

A lot of design work went into the grip. The push-button magazine release is positive in operation.

The slide lock/slide release is long, serrated and very easy to use well. It isn’t likely to be actuated inadvertently, but is fast in action.

The pistol features redesigned cocking serrations. With the length of the slide, this makes for plenty of leverage in racking the slide.

It is an easy gun to use well. The pistol features a light rail. I mounted the TRUGLO combat light with good results.

The pistol is optics ready, an important consideration these days. I did not mount an optic, but it is good to have this capability.

The factory rear sight is fully adjustable.

This is a good choice, as some folks will be handloading a wide range of bullet weights and sighting the pistol in like a target gun.

The big advantage of the Walther is the trigger action. This is a very clean, crisp action. It feels lighter than the measured pull weight.

The action broke at almost exactly five pounds, just a little lighter.

If desired, aftermarket triggers designed for the Walther PPQ fit the PDP — though I cannot imagine changing this trigger for service or personal defense use.

The PDP trigger isn’t exactly the same, and improves on the already excellent PPQ trigger as far as the action goes.

As for fit, interchangeability is solid. In short, the PDP trigger is an improvement over the PPQ, while all aftermarket triggers intended for the PPQ drop in.

Walther PDP 9mm Specifications

Type:Recoil-Operated, Striker-Fired, Semi-Automatic
Cartridge:9mm Luger
Capacity:15+1 Rounds
Barrel:4.5-Inch, Polygonal Rifling
Overall Length:8 Inches
Width:1.34 Inches
Height:5.4 Inches
Weight:26 Ounces
Sights:Three White Dots, Adjustable, Optic Ready
Trigger Weight:5 Pounds
Safety:Trigger Safety, Striker Safety, Disconnect Safety
Front handgun sight
The Walther PDP features highly visible white-outline sights.

How It Fires

A good number of the rounds fired were from a dwindling supply of handloads using the Hornady 115-grain XTP over enough Titegroup powder for 1,100 fps.

The pistol is controllable in off-hand fire and easy to handle. Moving between targets quickly, the pistol provides excellent balance.

I cannot fault the pistol on any count in handling and combat shooting.

For testing for accuracy, I fired two five-shot groups at 20 yards, one with the Hornady 115-grain XTP and the other with the Hornady 124-grain American Gunner +P.

Each went into less than two inches.

This is a great choice for experienced handgunners looking for the best performance but also a handgun well-suited to beginning shooters.

pistol on blue target
The Walther PDP 9mm is a joy to fire and quite accurate.

What do you think of the Walther PDP? Let us know in the comments section below!

About the Author:

Wilburn Roberts

When Wilburn Roberts was a young peace officer, he adopted his present pen name at the suggestion of his chief, as some of the brass was leery of what he might write. This was also adopted out of respect for families of both victims and criminals. The pen name is the same and the man remains an outspoken proponent of using enough gun for the job.

He has been on the hit list of a well-known hate group, traveled in a dozen countries and written on many subjects, including investigating hate crimes and adopting the patrol carbine. He graduated second in his class with a degree in Police Science. It took him 20 years to work himself from Lieutenant to Sergeant and he calls it as he sees it.
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 (2)

  1. “The full-size pistol features a 15-round magazine.” Full-size =18+1 rds. Compact-size=15+1 rds.

    “The Walther PDP is available with four and 4.5-inch barrels.”. 4”, 4.5” & 5”

  2. I own three handguns…yes only three. Rifles…well that’s another topic. But back to the point…Sig P230 LDC w/Romeo1, w/Tyrant Design Comp, TLR8…Sig P365 with TruGlo TFX Pro Tritium/Fiber Optic and extended mags….then there is my trusty duty tool…Glock 19 gen4 with Glock tritium sights. Basis covered.

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