Review: Walther PPS M2 9mm Pistol

Walther PPS M2 pistol with boxes of Hornady Critical Defense and Civil Defense ammunition

Walther has retained the long history of innovation while ushering in a completely new era of firearms. Sure, it still faithfully produces those great symbols of Bond 007 spycraft and have even expanded that line with new entries, but the new Walther pistol designs have rightly captured a lot of attention. A few years ago, I reviewed the original PPS in 9mm—a gun that has become one of my favorite concealed carry guns. The PPS was a gun ahead of its time delivering a feature-rich, accurate and configurable, ready-to-carry single stack that could behave like a compact, mid- and full-sized gun. Based on two years of carrying and shooting the PPS, it is my perception that it is one of the best subcompact concealed carry single-stack guns on the market despite the introduction of many other competitor firearms.

Fit, Finish, Feel & Features

What many did not like about the first PPS was that it was a bit blocky looking. Another major point of contention was that the PPS featured a European guard, paddle-style magazine release, which Americans were not terribly excited over. The PPS M2 resolved those complaints with a standard, button magazine release and rounder ergonomics that mimic the amazingly comfortable PPQ and other Walther pistols.

The Walther PPS M2 retains the hybrid design that allows it to morph from a sub-compact-sized pistol to a larger hand-filling gun. Included with the gun are three magazines—one each in 6-, 7-, and 8-round capacities. With the flush fit 6-round magazine, your pinky is left dangling like it would with any sub-compact or micro-compact format pistol. Just a swap to the 7- or 8-round magazine will deliver a full-sized grip and control—plus a few extra rounds of ammo. In essence, this allows the user to just swap out a magazine to transform the PPS from a full-sized feel for home defense to a smaller magazine for concealed carry.

The original point of the PPS is not to be a high-capacity firearm, but to deliver an extremely thin and slim profile for concealed carry that is small enough both men and woman can carry comfortably. It is a lifestyle gun that was designed to be a carry gun that would always be with you versus being left in the car or at home. The PPS M2 carries through on that design goal in a big way.

Walther did some serious ergonomics studies before moving the mouse pointer in the CAD software. From my perspective, this has to been the most comfortable sub-compact pistol I have handled, carried and shot. I love my GLOCKs, however, this fits the hand better and has a far better grip surface, which all adds up to a more confidently handled gun. I used a few male and female friends as testers to shoot the PPS M2 and all loved it. In fact several loved it so much they may buy one.

The finish and fit were exceptional; the milling on the slide was well thought out with the front and rear serrated slide still providing enough bite to charge the PPS reliably. The PPS M2 features low-profile, snag-free, three-dot metal luminescent combat sights with the rear sight being adjustable for windage (Tritium night sight options are available in the LE version). The luminescent sights pick up ambient light or a quick flash from your flashlight and glow with usable illumination for about 15 minutes. A Tenifer-coated slide and barrel are used for corrosion resistance, and other features include a loaded chamber viewport. The red cocking indicator at the rear provides both tactile and visible status

The smooth, beveled snag-free slide stop locks back when empty and features one of these crispest, smoothest and lightest 6.1-pound trigger pulls I have tested on a factory compact gun. The PPS M2 trigger feel is better than the PPS M1 though both tested to break right at the same 6.1-pound point. The short trigger reset is similar to a GLOCK reset window. Walther did drop the front Picatinny mount from the PPS M2 model. Likely, with the proliferation of weapon-specific lights and lasers, they saw it as an unneeded feature that bulked up the gun.

Some of the other details to enhance functionality are minor, but I noticed them. Rarely, you will end up with an especially non-acrobatic piece of spent brass that will almost make it out of the ejection port. The PPS design has an angled front cut on the port, bevel on the ejector size, and ramped area at the top rear of the port on the slide which all work in tandem to lift, turn, and push out brass attempting to cause a jam.

The design is similar to the Kahr PM series of pistols, which I think are excellent. However, the PPS is more ergonomic and has a thinner feeling 1-inch concealed-carry profile.

Function & Accuracy

Functionally, the Walther PPS M2 is a striker-fired pistol that is very similar to a GLOCK. There are certainly some differences and probably some patent differences. However, to my eyes, they look the same, which is a great thing because it is a proven design. In fact, the PPS even takes down identically to a GLOCK—clear the gun, pull the trigger, pull down on the two takedown tabs, and remove the slide from the frame. Walther even has the double guide rod spring assembly we see in the newer GLOCKs.

Accuracy was excellent for a gun this size and delivered 3.5-inch 25-yard groups with Federal Guard Dog ammo from a shooting rest. Functionally, I had no issues from the first round to the last shot before writing this article—excellent reliability all the way around. I have easily cleared a regulation police qualification test with the PPQ and do carry it as needed for some security work.

Holster options are already everywhere, but I choose a Klinger Stingray Flush Fit 0-cant holster that delivered everything I needed for testing of this pistol.

Final Thoughts

The trigger unit works like a GLOCK—with all those wonderful internal safeties—there is even the joyous absence of a safety or decocker. The fit and finish is better than a GLOCK; the trigger is leagues better as well; there is more steel rail contact between the frame and slide. This equates to a smoother action. The grip actually offers, “Grip.” Most importantly, the PPS M2 looks like someone with an eye for design actually had a crack at making a decent-looking pistol, and it is even comfortable to hold, shoot, and carry. The PPS M1 was the single stack GLOCK 43 we were waiting for that Walther delivered many years earlier than GLOCK. Well, at least that is how I would compare it to a GLOCK if I were working the gun counter. The bottom line is that I own a GLOCK 43 and carry the PPS M1 and M2 versions far more than I ever do the comparable GLOCK 43 because they feel, carry, and shoot better for me.

The PPS represents a lifestyle firearm that is flexible enough to accommodate a wide array of clothing, defense, and concealment needs. It is big enough to not feel under-gunned, and small enough to conceal better than any double-stack firearm. Walther has a great design with the PPS that is realistically proportioned to offer compact-sized power in a sub-compact-size pistol that people will actually be able to carry. The PPS M2 is a top-grade pistol that can easily fulfill everything from home defense to concealed carry and magazine swap options to extend the grip make it that much more versatile. With 6-8 rounds on tap, and one in the chamber, this is hopefully a new legacy that Walther will continue with and maybe… just maybe Bond could start carrying one of these instead of that retro PPK with the electronic trigger lock.

Walther PPS M2 – Standard Model
 Caliber  9mm
 Finish Color  Tenifer Black
 Model  2805961 (Standard); 2807696 (LE Edition)
 Barrel Length  3.18 inches
 Trigger Pull  6.1 pounds
 Trigger Travel  0.2 inch
 Capacity  6/7/8 rounds
 Overall Length  6.3 inches
 Height  4.4/4.9/5.3 inches
 Width  1 inch
 Weight (mag empty)  21.1 ounces
 Sights  LE EDITION includes Night Sights
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Which would you choose, 6, 7, or 8 rounds? Have you carries the Walther PPS M2 or test fired it? Share your answers in the comment section.

Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly.

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 (9)

  1. I have just completed firin 2,200 jacketed rounds of various manufacture thru my PPS-M2. Ifound the grip to be outstanding with 7 round magazine. My son is 6′ 6″ and with his larger hand, preferred the 8 round magazine. The 6 rounder was comfortable for me to shoot, not him. My son preferred the 7 round mag for concealed carry. The 8 round gave my hand too much slop. I prefer 6 for concealed or 7 if wearing concealment 24/7 shirt, which I love. Thaks Walther for a great weapon.

  2. I was looking for a smaller carry piece than my XDMc. Checked out the PPS M2 at a manufacturers day at a big gun shop. Must have shot 12 different guns, kept coming back to the Walther.
    I love the ergonomics. Fantastic trigger. I’ve run 200 do nds in a single session at the range and my hand or fingers don’t hurt- like they do with several other smaller single stacks.
    Now it’s my EDC. I keep the 6 round flush mag while in my IWB holster and an 8 round on my belt. Very comfortable to wear all day. Even in the car.
    And I have 2 each -6,7& 8 round mags. Never had any problems with the 8 rounders at all.

  3. I picked up the PPS M2 after noticing the changes that they made to it that came from the PPQ M2 which is also a home run for Walther in my eyes. I carry the PPS M2 as my daily carry and find that it fits with any style carry I need it too as well as has a very low profile when just wearing a tshirt when you use a IWB holster such as alienware or similar.

  4. This article was supposed to address the mag issue. I have the same mag issue as everyone else with the eight rounder. It releases on the 2nd shot everytime. 1st i thought i was doing the typical press the mag release while firing. (which is commonly done on smaller pistols. But then i shot it single hand with that in mind and it happen 2 times after. My other 2 mags are flawless so i know the problem is the 3rd mag(8rd)

  5. I bought the PPS M2 9mm for my wife as a concealed carry pistol and she absolutely loves it. It’s perfect size fits her hand incredibly well. Recoil isn’t as bad as you might think. The fit and finish is excellent. I’m thinking of picking up one for myself also as a carry pistol. Home run Walther!

  6. I own the PPS M1 and love it. It is my to carry firearm and I own 7 concealable pistols. I prefer the the interchangeable back strap, paddle mag release and accessory rail over the M2. The texture on the grip is a lot better on the M2 though, nothing a pachmayr can’t fix. The triggers on these guns aw amazing. I am a true Glock fan but for CCW the PPS M1 is my ride or die.

  7. I have M1 versions of the PPQ and PPS. Just made sense to have my two main pistols using the same mag release system (the PPS was only lever release at the time of purchase). Love them both, with the PPS as my daily carry. When I handled the PPS M2 at my LGS a few weeks ago, I was a little jealous. Much more comfortable and ergonomic than the M1. If the M2 had the paddle lever as an option, I’d be upgrading.

    1. I agree I love the paddle release ! I have these in PPQ and PPS MI still love my P-99 with a paddle release ! I would love to have a P 88 !

  8. Great article! I’ve been looking for a few months and finally decided on the M2. One minor correction, though: the night sights on the LE are phosphorescent (charged by light), not tritium which is a glowing gas.

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