Walther PPS M2

By Frank Melloni

An Americanized version of Walther’s deep-concealment carry gun

The debate will always rage on between concealed carry vs. open carry. Concealed carry allows you to maintain the element of surprise and not receive a strange look when eating dinner out with your family. Open carry gives you the fastest access in an emergency.

The slide stop and magazine catch butt on both remain low profile and snag-free, yet well-placed and easy to work.

While I am not about to debate open vs. concealed carry, one stark problem can’t be ignored with the former and that simply is finding a pistol small enough to conceal, yet comfortable enough to fire accurately. Most attempts at this either turned out a tiny pistol that was chambered in an anemic caliber such as .380, .32 or .25, or delivered a larger pistol in 9mm or better that just wasn’t effectively accurate under stress.

In 2007 Walther addressed this with their first PPS. It was certainly a step in the right direction. However, Americans never warmed up to the magazine release on the trigger guard, and the grip, although flat, left a lot of airspace in the hand, making controllability less than ideal.

Front and rear side serrations provide good traction for chambering and presschecks. If you’re transitioning from a Glock. The built-in trigger safety and takedown lever will be familiar sights.

Enter the PPS M2. Walther’s new PPS M2 (short for Police Pistol Slim) addresses these issues and more to deliver an amazing little carry gun that became an instant favorite around our range.

Let’s start with the ergonomics. If you have had the pleasure of shooting a PPQ it will feel very familiar. The grip has a very form fitting palm swell and aggressive texturing that helps it stay put during firing. Previous to this design, comfort never held a premium, as a carry pistol “would most likely never be fired”. This is true as long as you ignore the most important aspect of carrying a pistol to defend your life—PRACTICE! Carry guns often are plagued with issues that revolve around the idea that they aren’t going to get much use. Next to ergonomics, caliber is the worst offender. Finding ammunition for many of these pocket pistol calibers can be harrowing, especially if you are limited to the big box stores. Once found, there is usually a considerable premium payable to purchase said rounds. All of this inconvenience to have a mouse round to stake your life on. Coming in 9mm, and later .40 S&W the PPS M2, fires very readily available, affordable rounds that will be much more effective in a fight than the mouse rounds.

At an overall length of just 6.3 inches, this gun can be concealed in a variety of locations in many different styles of dress. Weighing in at just 21.1 oz. empty, the PPQ M2 delivers compact firepower in a very easy to manage weight. This is another key characteristic of a carry gun. A firearm that is bulky and cumbersome is more likely to be left home. This new piece from Walther is also very slim, coming in at only 1.04 inches at its widest point. I had no trouble concealing mine in a TUFF Products iTuck holster (www.tuffproducts.com $42), among many other holsters.

The PPS M2 field strips in seconds for routine cleaning. The corrosion-resistant matte-tenifer coating on the slide and barrel have proven extremely durable to date.

The trigger houses a traditional integral safety, leaving no steps between the draw and the round on target. I simply won’t carry a pistol with any other type of safety; the inability to disengage an external safety—or the oversight in failing to do so—during presentation could cost you your life. The trigger broke at an average of 6 lbs. 6 oz. per my Lyman Digital trigger pull scale (www.lymanproducts.com $74.99). There was very little creep before the release, and an amazing reset of just 1/8 inch. Much of the design is transferred from the PPQ, making this a wise choice if you already compete with or open carry a PPQ.

The new push button magazine release ejected the magazine with little effort and reloads were very intuitive. Out of the box my test sample came with both 6- and 7-round. Even with my large hands, the 7-round magazine gave me more than enough room for my pinky. The 6-round magazine gave a very concealable flush fit to the mag well and still was comfortable to shoot. Recoil was very manageable, giving me a hammered pair time on average of 1.13 seconds with both shots in the alpha on a standard USPSA target at seven yards.

 

The PPS M2 shown in the new Blackhawk! Tecgrip Ambi IWB holster.

Some other features that I enjoyed were the omission of a magazine drop safety. I have always found this to be a hindrance. Should my finger slip or my magazine get released in a struggle I want to have at least one round to fire, not a paper weight. In my humble opinion, if you need a magazine drop safety to not have an accidental discharge, you may want to consider training, or at the very least a rigid practice schedule to ensure that removing that last round in the chamber becomes habit. The slick slide was also very comfortable against bare skin and left very little to snag against during the draw.

The PPS M2 is offered with three separate magazines: a flush-fit 6-round, a “mid” 7-round and “large” 8-round (flush and mid shown).

The PPS also has a loaded chamber view port. This is the simplest solution to ensuring a round is in the chamber. Call me crazy, but being able to actually SEE the cartridge provides me more comfort than an external indictor. This also allows for one handed chamber checks, should you be carrying a flashlight in the middle of the night.

Other notable features include fixed, low-profile, 3-dot sights with the rear sight being drift adjustable for windage, front and rear slide serrations, and a Tenifer coating on the barrel and slide that resists scratching and corrosion. The 9mm LE edition comes with phosphoric sights and three magazines (6-, 7- and 8-rounders). The .40 S&W version is identical in weight and dimensions, but gives you one less round in each size magazine.

The PPS M2 ran flawlessly with both premium carry rounds and inexpensive steel-cased practice ammo. Downrange Precision also left nothing to complain about.

Range time was very impressive. For our test we fired both Hornady’s 124-gr. XTP American Gunner and 115-gr. FTX Critical Defense rounds. In addition, I fired some steel-cased 115-gr. FMJ Wolf Military Classic rounds, my preferred practice round. Accuracy was excellent with all brands and bullet weights, printing 5-shot groups at seven yards of less than two inches. The Hornady Critical Defense performed exceptionally well, giving our smallest group of just 1.25 inches—far more than accurate enough for its intended use. The PPS also digested magazine after magazine of the steel-cased Wolf fodder with flawless function and ejection, even when the barrel was too hot to touch.

Overall I was very impressed by the new PPS M2. It met and exceeded my expectations. As mentioned above it has a very similar feel to my full size PPQ that I compete with. I have always found that to be paramount, because when the chips are down all you are left with is muscle memory. Suggested retail for the PPS M2 is $426, and it comes with Walther’s Legendary Lifetime Warranty. See it at your gun shop, or contact Walther Arms, Inc., Dept OT; Tel.: (479) 242-8500; Web: www.waltherarms.com

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