Walther PPQ Subcompact

Federal’s 115-grain JHP from their Classic line, product code 9BP, bettered that with a 2.70” group for all five shots, and 1.00” even for the best three. Back in the day, when 115-grain loads at standard pressure were the most popular in U.S. police service, this was the one round in that category of which I never heard complaints about “stopping power” from cops in the field.

Controls are fully ambidextrous, including the elongated/serrated slide stop and large-serrated magazine release button that can be swapped to either side. Interchangeable backstraps tailor the grip size to the hand size; overall ergonomics are excellent. The SC also features the famously-light Quick-Defense striker-fired trigger of its larger PPQ counterparts. As is the case with the other PPQ’s, a Tenifer coating on the slide and barrel creates a durable, corrosion-resistant surface finish.

The triumphant load, though was SIG brand 124-grain V-Crown jacketed hollow point. The five hits nested in exactly one inch center to center, with the best three 0.40” apart! A single .40 caliber bullet hole in the right place would have touched the edges of all three holes, which included a tight “double.” That, my friends, is nothing less than phenomenal for a pistol of this size.

Trigger Pull

It is the famously easy trigger pull of the PPQ that seems be the top selling point of these pistols. “Glock-ish,” it has a trigger blade safety feature, with a long, light take-up before it “hits the wall” of firm resistance.

From there, you feel a very short roll to the break of the shot. Our test sample had no real “creep,” that is, no drag or “glitch-iness.” The release felt crisp. Re-set of the trigger was reasonably short and very palpable, at least in conditions of calmness. In reality, when you are shooting as fast as you can, you’ll rarely even feel the re-set on any trigger.

Pull weight, on a Lyman digital gauge from Brownell’s, averaged 4.87 pounds at the toe, or bottom edge, of the trigger. This is the point at which such measurements are usually taken. However, in the real world the shooter’s firing finger is usually at the center of the pivoting trigger, where there is less leverage, and measured there average pull weight went up to 6.01 pounds. That’s still not a lot.

Other Handling and Shooting Characteristics

Trigger reach is roughly the same as on a Glock. I for one was very fond of the HK-like ambidextrous paddle release at the bottom of the trigger guard of the original Walther PPQ, but most of the American market disagreed so Walther went with a conventional push-button mag release for the PPQ M2, and that carries into this new little subcompact. I found it hard to get the mag to actually release with a thumb press, particularly when the longer mag was in place and its grip-girth-size sleeve was making contact with the heel of the hand. I had to almost open my whole hand to get the empty to drop cleanly away. (The good news here: the magazine damn sure isn’t going to release unintentionally when you need it to stay in!)

Shown at the height of recoil, Mas found the PPQ SC extremely controllable—especially for a pistol of sub-compact dimensions. Through several shooters and several-hundred round of assorted ammunition the Walther proved 100-percent reliable.

The Walther people apparently saw this coming and allowed for it. The pistol comes with an additional “left handed” magazine release that goes on the right side of the frame, and the owner’s manual explains in detail how to install it yourself. (You’ll need a 1/16th inch punch and a small screwdriver. The part will be marked “R” for right-handed side of frame.) This allows even a “righty” to switch the button to the starboard side to allow the index finger, which will probably have more leverage, to dump a spent magazine. It will also keep the right-handed shooter’s trigger finger out of the trigger guard during that process, which is always A Good Thing.

One more complaint: for me, this pistol shot about 3” high from point of aim at 25 yards. It could benefit from a slightly taller front sight.

The PPQ SC In Concealed Carry

A one-inch, five-shot hole the PPQ SC drilled at 25 yards using SIG’s V-Crown 124-grain JHP load—awesome accuracy from a pistol of any size, let alone this size!

You can’t test a pistol designed for concealed carry without, well, carrying it concealed. I did so with this one for about a week. New pistols always seem to come before new holsters, but the height between the bottom edge of the trigger guard and the top of the PPQ SC’s slide was such that it fit just fine in an Aker Flatsider leather outside-the-waistband scabbard for a Glock 30. In those days of concealed carry, it felt and concealed about like a slimmer Glock .45 auto, which means everything went just fine. (Big surprise, huh?)

Bottom Line

At $649, the Walther PPQ SC is a tad toward the high side of the subcompact polymer pistol price range, but it also gave me a one-inch group for five shots from 25 yards, and in this reviewer’s eye that adds a lot to its value for the dollar. Several shooters put several hundred rounds of assorted ammo through it and couldn’t make it jam. Put together, that earns a big thumbs-up for the Walther PPQ SC 9mm pistol. Contact Walther Arms, Dept. OT; Tel.: (479) 242-8500; Web: www.waltherarms.com