Walther Arms is one of the most popular firearms manufacturers in the world. While the Walther PPK you see that James Bond uses probably boosts its popularity, Walther has made a reputation for themselves long before that.
It all started on a fateful day in early August 1909. One Carl Walther submitted a patent request for a blowback weapon with a fixed barrel, which eventually went on to become the Model 1. It was Walther’s first pistol. It soon began production in the summer of 1911. As per the patent’s description, it was a blowback actuated handgun, chambered in .25 ACP. It held 6 rounds in the magazine and the push-button safety was located behind the left grip panel.
In the following years, Walther continued to make improvements on the Model 1. Those included buffing up the size and caliber, but Walther ensured that the Model 1 was diminutive and powerful. Eventually, they came out with the Police Pistol Kriminal, or PPK. It was launched into the spotlight when it was featured in the original James Bond films from the 60s.
Since then, Walther underwent many changes, but the most significant of all was in 2012 when Walther Arms Inc. moved its headquarters to Fort Smith. Both Walther Arms and Umarex USA were owned by Arnsberg, a Germany-based PW group. They shared space in the Chaffee Crossing development and they had about 80 workers between them.
They have produced many firearms that became an instant hit and those are what we will be looking at today. Since there are so many, I have condensed everything down to five handguns that should have something for everyone.
The Walther PPQ SC gives you the performance of a full-sized gun in a subcompact frame. It made its debut at SHOT Show in 2018 and I still recommend this piece for those who care about size. But why should you? You see, depending on where you live, size does matter. If you live in hot climates, you do not want to get sweat on your gun. It will be an experience you only want to put up with once. The problem is that if you wear light clothing, the gun’s silhouette will show through, defeating the purpose of a concealed carry weapon. For this reason, having a very small gun is ideal as it minimizes the chance of people noticing that you are carrying.
That said, most subcompacts have to sacrifice something to achieve their small form factor. Most, but not all of them, and the PPQ SC is one of the exceptions. Sitting at only 6.6 inches long and 1.3 inches wide at its widest point, this fine piece is a powerful platform. That means, quicker mag dumps, accurate shooting, comfort, and reliability. All of that for only 18 ounces of heft, as well.
The gun comes with 10 rounds in the magazine but if you want some extra lead, there is a 15-round extended mag. It also features ambidextrous controls such as a reversible button-style mag release and slide stop, meaning that both left- and right-handed shooters can use this with no issues.
The PPQ Subcompact features the quick-defense trigger that got everyone talking. It is perhaps the best striker-fired trigger money can buy. The gun is incredibly versatile and, as Walther puts it, defines both efficiency and performance.
The PPQ Q4 TAC also became incredibly popular soon after its debut. It features a threaded barrel and alternative recoil spring so that you can slap on a suppressor and start shooting quieter shots without any further tinkering on your end.
Considering how optic-equipped handguns are becoming increasingly popular nowadays, it makes sense for Walther to cater to the market’s demands. After all, the right optic can make all the difference, allowing you to become a faster and more efficient shooter. Therefore, the Q4 Tac is designed with that demand in mind. It gives you the flexibility you need to go from iron sights to optics with ease.
One good thing about the PPQ Q4 TAC is that Walther threw in a very lovely carrying case, which comes with three magazines, interchangeable backstraps, and optic plates that have their own space in the foam-padded case. Similar to other Walther pistols, the controls are ambidextrous, meaning that both left- and right-handed shooters can use it with ease.
Walther also gives you a lifetime warranty for the PPQ Q4 Tac. That, coupled with unparalleled ergonomics and an excellent quick-defense trigger, and you got yourself a superbly versatile pistol that money can buy.
The Walther PPS M2 is a great concealed carry gun. If you want the taste of Walther’s smooth trigger mechanism and lightweight feel, this is a good starting point as it has both of them. What you get from your purchase is the PPS M2 in a foam-lined hard case, an instruction manual, and a Department of Justice approved gun lock with two keys.
The PPS M2 is chambered in 9 mm and you get 6, 7, or 8 rounds depending on which magazine you use. The overall length is 6.3 inches and the barrel is about half that length. At its widest point, the gun is only an inch thick and weighs 19.4 ounces, making it a very compact and versatile self-defense weapon.
In terms of performance, you get about as much of it compared to other guns twice its size or even price. Of course, as a solid concealed-carry firearm, the PPS M2 is compatible with many holsters, although I recommend getting a Walther-specific model. It comes up quickly in the hand and acquires targets as fast as your marksmanship allows.
The Walther PK380 is chambered in .380 ACP, as the name suggests. It is perfect for shooters who want a concealed carry gun that is on the smaller side. The slim grip of the PK380 coupled with the small slide is easy to work with for female shooters as well since it is easier to rack. What makes it friendly for all users is how small it is, meaning how easy it is to work with. The gun is 6.1 inches long and the barrel is 3.6 inches. Empty, the gun weighs only 17 ounces. The .380 ACP chambering is also a good option as the ammo is both widely available and its recoil is soft and manageable, meaning that you can get a lot of practice with this thing without breaking the bank.
Other features of the PK380 include manual safety blocks, an ambidextrous paddle-style mag release, and 3-dot polymer sights. The gun is also available with a double- or single-action trigger. The gun is just about big enough to give you a firm grip as you let loose a couple of rounds. The grip itself, as per usual from Walther pistols, is very comfortable. Both the trigger and internal slide stop are inspired by the iconic PPK that we all used to know and love.
If you want to have a bit more flair added to your self-defense firearm, the PK380 can be had with various color schemes including purple and nickel, pink and nickel, pink and black, muddy girl, cheetah, purple and black, and angle blue patterns. To sweeten the deal, Walther went ahead and threw in a lifetime warranty in case it ever breaks, but given the build quality, it will not happen any time soon.
The CCP, no not the Chinese Communist Party, but the Concealed Carry Pistol, sits at 1.18 inches wide, making it a very compact piece for your concealed-carry needs. On top of this, Walther displayed their brilliance in their ergonomic design including a thumb safety, and a reversible mag release button that is compatible with both left- and right-handed shooters.
Chambered in 9 mm, you get 8 rounds to work with. At its widest point, the gun is 1.18 inches wide. Its overall length is 6.41 inches and the barrel is 3.54 inches long. Empty, the gun weighs 20 ounces.
You get 3-dot sights and Picatinny rail on the underside for lights or lasers, a trigger with 5.5 pounds of pull, the serrations on the slide allow for quick and easy manipulation, a tool-less takedown system, and reduced recoil. All of this makes the CCP M2 the next-level 9 mm pistol for anyone.
And there you have it, folks. These are my top 5 picks for Walther handguns. Considering how Walther pistols are now being manufactured in the United States, their fine firearms have found their way into gun safes of many people. After all, there is always a market demand for striker-fired, polymer-framed pistols. What made Walther pistols stand out lies in the ergonomics, ambidextrous controls, accessories for lights, lasers, or optics, and quick-defense triggers. All of these things together in a compact package turned them into firearms that everybody can love. The best part?