Walther PPS 9mm: Thinning Out

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In the past six months I have dropped about 40 pounds and rediscovered the joy of carrying a gun without it poking me in the stomach when I sit down. I have been on the search for a small 9mm for concealed carry for some time and to celebrate my new svelte figure I recently picked up an equally svelte Walther PPS 9mm. It has quickly become my favorite carry piece.

The Walther PPS, which stands for Police Pistol Slim, is not a tiny gun by any means—it will cover up a GLOCK 26 nicely when you place them side by side—, however it is incredibly thin for a compact 9mm pistol at just 0.91 of an inch wide. It has a 3.19-inch barrel while running 6.34 inches overall, just a hair longer than the GLOCK 26. The 9mm PPS comes with a standard seven-round magazine with a small pinkie extension. A flush fit six-round magazine and an extended grip eight-round magazine are also available, albeit, at a  steep price. Other features include two interchangeable backstraps, loaded chamber and cocking indicators and a trigger safety.

Walther PPS 9mm Handgun

The styling of the PPS is best described as a Walther P99 that has been smashed many times with a sledge hammer until all the curves have been flattened out. It retains the dimpled grip and familiar outline of the P99, while coming in a full 0.19 of an inch thinner. The internals are pretty much a direct GLOCK copy making it a simple and reliable design. It field strips quickly and easily for cleaning and there are few moving parts to mess with.

One of the unique features of the PPS is the ambidextrous trigger guard magazine release lever. While I was not a fan of it initially because of its placement, I discovered it is a handy design that allows a thinner frame. The lever is right where you would expect a magazine release button to be and your thumb can work it in the same manner. The different sized magazines all drop free nicely.

While the frame remains thin, the grip fills my hand nicely. The standard seven-round magazine with the small pinkie extension provides enough room for a good grip when shooting while remaining small enough to carry inside the waistband comfortably. The PPS also features an accessory rail which fits a Streamlight TLR-3 Weapon Light or Laserlyte V3 Mini Laser perfectly.

At the range the PPS performed flawlessly. I shot 200 rounds of several different loads through it, including steel cased and hollow point ammunition, and it did not hiccup once. The PPS recoils lightly and the long grip promotes easy control and handling for a gun of this size. While not a competition gun by any means, the PPS was very accurate for a short barrel compact pistol. I was easily shooting sub 6-inch groups at 15 yards.

Despite its look, the PPS is not a pocket gun. It might fit in a cargo pocket, but the frame is just too big to pocket carry without being very noticeable. The winning feature of the PPS is the blend of an incredibly thin profile with a full-size grip. I find that barrel and grip length are largely irrelevant for me when carrying. Because I appendix carry, my main concerns are the width of the gun and any sharp points on the back . The PPS is just about as good as it gets for a concealable 9mm. It has no sharp edges and it conceals like a dream.

There are other, smaller 9mms on the market which are good options. Two of the best are the Kahr Arms PM9 and the Kel-Tec P11, however these really are pocket guns and I believe the PPS will outperform them as an IWB/OWB weapon any day of the week. Its blend of comfort, size, function and capacity edge it over the other mini nines available.

When it comes to accessories, good PPS holsters are a chore to find and spare magazines are expensive, but don’t let a few negatives keep you from looking at the Walther PPS as a a serious carry option.

Do you carry a Walther? If so, which model? Tell us in the comment section.

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Comments (11)

  1. Just purchased one of these as a replacement CCW for my Dad and I have to say… what a fantastic pistol this is! A crossbreed supertuck holster and it flat out (no pun intended) disappears. When I purchased this PPS I made sure it had night sights on it, and the Tru-Dot’s are exceptionally bright. I knew this was going to be more than just a CCW for my Dad, it would more or less serve as a all around home gun and as CCW as he only has one other handgun: a target model Browning Hi-power, so this one has many roles to fulfill and so far it really exceeded mine (and his) expectations. Recoil is minimal and it shoots POA/POI regardless of bullet weight and it is more accurate than it has any right to be for having a short barrel and being so small.

  2. Today I purchased the Walther PPS .40. It is perfect for me. I held a lot of guns and fired several too and this one won out in comfort on all levels. I loved how thin it was and was the perfect fit in my hand. I fired off a several rounds today after my purchase and it had very little kick and was easy to use. I love it and can’t wait to take it to the range next weekend. I intend for this to be my primary carry weapon when I get my CCW.

  3. I don”t understand the whole ” glocks grip angle is all wrong” maybe for you…that is why there are some many different pistols so you find one that feels made for your hand

  4. The price variance is because of options like night sights, magazine, and something else I forgot. Also, there is the normal store variances in price. Apparently, if you get one for around $500,you have done well.

  5. Thanks for your comments guys !!! After lots of research, I am considering the PPS to be my hands down choice. Will respond more after the price search is done. There is a large variance in prices from one dealer to another.
    $510.00 to $645.00. What’s up w/that? Any comments…

  6. I had both the g19 and pps 9mm….there is no comparison the g19 is a great 9mm made well and made to last. Having said that Walther took all the good things about glock and improved on the grip, trigger and internal parts. They packaged this in a slimmer profile, which makes it over all the best ccw on the market. Yes glock has the round capacity over the pps. If you dont get the bad guy with 8 rounds you wont get him with 16!!!!

  7. I like the Walther PPS much better gun than a Glock. The grip angle on a Glock is wrong and just bad ergonomics. Walther seems better built too. The great thing about a Glock is that if you run out of bullets, you can kill someone with the ugliness of the gun alone…lol.

  8. Walther is better than a glock- quality wise. Not its Step brother. Full slide rails. And 1/3 of an inch or so thinner. Not everyone wants a chunky glock on their hip. I like glocks/ but really? A G19 is huge. And where I am from mag capacity is 10 so a 15 roun capacity does not help me.

  9. To me, buying this Walther would be kinda like being too shy and asking out a Cheerleader’s ugly little sister.. instead of the Cheerleader that you really want to be with… which in this case would be a Glock. And if this Walther is so big that it has to be worn in a in-the-waist-band holster… then go with a Glock 19 and its 15 rd magazine. I’ve got a G19 which I carry in a DeDantis 101 IWB holster.. and sometimes I forget I’m even wearing it under a T-Shirt or vest.

    1. I think you’re missing the point. The PPS is significantly thinner than a G19. It’s not the size of the Walther that dictated where I carry. IWB is the position most comfortable and realistic for me. The Walther fits better than any other gun I’ve tried. Believe me, if I wanted to carry a GLOCK 19, I would. I do not. The width and extra weight of a GLOCK make IWB uncomfortable and difficult to conceal.

  10. This little gun quickly won me over. I liked the look and feel of it the first time I examined one at a gun show. I did my research and saw many complaints with the first production models. These seemed to be resolved within a year, and a loyal customer base was developing. I special ordered a PPS with night sights, and was pleased to find the case included the 6, 7, and 8 round magazines – I was expecting to pay extra for the 8 rounder. Once on the range, this little machine was a dream. I ran drills with both strong and weak hand, and was satisfied with the groupings for what I intended this to be, a close range concealed weapon. Getting used to tucking my pinky finger under on the 6 round magazine was interesting, but groupings didn’t change significantly. I ran a 500 round break in, 3 different ammo manufacturers and loads, with absolutely zero fail to fire or misfeeds. As for holsters, I’ve found three I like best, all DeSantis – the Sof-Tuck for IWB, the Apache ankle rig, and the Super Fly for pocket carry. The latter works best for cargo style pants. The PPS has become my absolute favorite for concealment.

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