Last fall we got the chance to test the new PPQ M2 polymer-frame, striker-fired pistol from Walther Arms. Our evaluation pistol back then was the 9mm model with 5-inch barrel, and it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. In fact, it proved to be one of the most accurate auto pistols we’ve ever tested, and the PPQ M2’s excellent trigger and cutting-edge ergonomics sealed the deal for an Editors’ Choice Award.
Walther Arms—the Arkansas-based U. S. subsidiary of Carl Walther Sportwaffen GmbH—offers the PPQ M2 in 9mm and .40 S&W, with your choice of 4-inch ($649) or 5-inch ($749) barrels. A threaded-barrel Navy SD version in 9mm ($699) is also available. Extended magazines—17-round in 9mm and 13-round in .40 S&W—are offered optionally, as are 3-dot night sights.
Given the stellar performance of the 5-inch PPQ M2, we were dying to get our hands on the 4-inch, carry-friendly model in 9mm to see how it stacked up against its long-slide sibling. As the timing worked out, we still had the 5-inch PPQ M2 sitting on the shelf when the 4-incher arrived, so we were able to compare them side-by-side in real time.
Except for their overall lengths, the two PPQ M2s appear identical. The frames and magazines are literally interchangeable, and the only differences we could find were in the guns’ slide and barrel lengths and empty weights. With an overall length of 7-1/8”, the 4-inch model is exactly one inch shorter than the 5-incher. The 4-inch barrel and slide pare 1.7 oz. off the empty weight of the long-slide model—21.6 oz vs. 23.3 oz.—without magazines. Both models measure 1.25” wide at their widest points, and share a 5-1/8” overall height.
Historically, Smith & Wesson handled the importation and distribution of Walther firearms in the United States. That changed in 2013, when Walther Arms, Inc. opened for business in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Smith & Wesson will continue to build the PPK pistol for Walther Arms, Carl Walther Sportwaffen GmbH will continue to manufacture the M&P22 handgun for Smith & Wesson, and Umarex will continue to license the Smith & Wesson brand for some of their air gun products.