The Walther PPS has been around a bit more than a decade. I continue to be surprised that the PPS 9mm is often overlooked by those looking for a first-class concealed carry handgun. The single most popular concealed carry handgun in America seems to be the slimline 9mm, and the PPS is among the most desirable, in my opinion.
The Polizie Pistole Schmal, Police Pistol Slim, is a double-action-only, polymer-frame, striker-fired handgun. I obtained one long before the Glock 43 9mm came along and find the PPS an excellent shooter. The pistol is easily concealed, light, and reliable.
The Walther PPS is 6.3 inches long, 4.4 inches high, and the weight is only 21 ounces. While the width is 1 inch max, it is actually measured at the widest point of the slide, and the frame is slightly thinner.
The pistol uses the proven Browning-type tilting-barrel, locked-breech lockup. Lockup is tight. There is very little loose motion in the slide and frame interface.
The fixed sights feature a three-dot outline. The pistol is fieldstripped easily. There are two pins in the frame that are pressed out to remove the slide. The barrel and recoil spring are easily pressed out of the slide.
In common with the Glock, the pistol is partially cocked or prepped by the slide’s rearward motion. The striker spring is compressed, and the striker is partially pressed to the rear. Pressing the trigger to the rear moves the striker, and the striker breaks forward and fires the pistol.
There is no manual safety. There are other safety features. The trigger features the blade-type safety common on modern striker-fired handguns. There is also a firing-pin block and a disconnect. A cocking indicator at the rear of the slide gives instant confirmation of the pistol’s readiness.
The original pistol used a paddle-type magazine release. The PPS M2 features the Browning-type magazine release. The grip frame offers excellent adhesion and abrasion. The fit is good for most hands. Walther calls the treatment dots, while traditionally it is called pebble grain. While the grip is excellent, with both good abrasion and adhesion, it isn’t uncomfortable when firing.
The pistol illustrated is what is now known as the M1 version. The later version, the M2, features an even better grip frame. The light rail is eliminated in the M2. Crimson Trace offers a Laserguard-type option for the Walther PPS M2.
The M2 pistol is identical as far as the trigger action. The pistol is supplied with one six-round and one seven-round magazine. The Walther PPS illustrated is well proven, with several thousand rounds fired in the piece.
For this review, I broke out the Walther and loaded a few magazines with Winchester’s USA Forged 9mm ammunition. This is an affordable but clean-burning and accurate loading. I fired over 100 rounds at man-size targets at 5, 7, and 10 yards. The results were good to excellent.
This is a small handgun, and it has more recoil than a service-size handgun, but it never was uncomfortable and there are no sharp edges to pinch the hand. I also fired a number of the Winchester USA FMJ loads.
The sights are well regulated for 115-grain loads. The trigger is well designed for all-around use. The trigger features about 1/8 inch of takeup before breaking at 6 pounds even. This is a smooth break that makes for good control.
Firing off of a solid benchrest, I used three personal defense loads that I feel are good choices. The Winchester 115-grain Silvertip, 124-grain PDX +P, and the 147-grain PDX were fired for accuracy. I prefer the 124-grain PDX +P, and recoil, while greater than the other loads, isn’t unpleasant.
At 15 yards, I fired two five-shot groups with each load. The Silvertip exhibited a 2-inch group, the PDX +P went into just under 2 inches, and the 147-grain PDX, 1.5 inches. This is plenty accurate for personal defense. Carried in the Galco Sto and Go holster, the Walther is a flat package that is easily concealed.
There are a number of good slimline 9mm handguns. The Walther PPS is as good as any and better than most. It isn’t the only choice but may be the best choice for some shooters. Don’t overlook this high point of Walther production.