Supporter Tubbylardo (obviously a pen name ;)) has kindly prepared an article for us on his first impressions of the Walter PPQ.
A couple of weeks ago Firearms UK asked for subscribers to submit content/articles. I felt like having a go at being a journalist but at the time had nothing to write about. That all changed after my visit to the British Shooting Show and my purchase of a new firearm.
I like shooting what passes for section 1 handguns and up until recently had two Taurus long barrel revolvers, one chambered in .22lr and another chambered in .38/.357. Unfortunately due to a motorcycle accident many years ago I have a weak wrist and was unable to shoot more than a couple of strings of .357 before I was in agony. The .22lr revolver had much less recoil and was very accurate … it was also incredibly heavy. I persevered with both but wasn’t really enjoying them so they had to go.
The challenge was to find a lighter easily manageable replacement. Due to the ridiculous firearms laws here the selection of contenders is rather limited. The field of options was reduced to 3: GSG1911, Grand Power K22 and the new Walther PPQ.
This presented the first of the issues facing anyone wanting a long barrel semi-auto pistol – distribution/availability. The GSG1911 is widely available but the Grand Power K22 is less widely distributed whilst the Walther PPQ is currently only available from the Distributor direct. This is why the British Shooting Show is good – Caledonian Arms and Oceania Defence both in the same place at the same time.
I’d ruled out the GSG1911. There is nothing wrong with it but I just don’t like the grip safety, it is uncomfortable for me. I also wasn’t keen on having to spend more money on it to bring it up to the same quality as the other options. It was a choice between the Grand Power and the Walther.
All the pictures of the Walther PPQ you may have seen in the press are of the prototype. This was made using the 4″ slide and basic sights. The actual production versions are the 5″ slide with a milled top vent and a fibre optic front sight post. It looks much better than the prototype. The only thing that looks wrong is the extension bar – this may be improved on later productions or owners may opt to have their gunsmith alter it.
I chose the Walther PPQ. Why you ask? Well the Grand Power K22 is a good piece of kit but I didn’t like it when I tried one, the way it felt in my hand, the balance just seemed off. There was the added issue of not really knowing which of the versions to go for. The Walther PPQ, however, felt right when I picked it up, the grip fitted my hand and the balance and heft was comfortable. I also liked the fact that it was new to the market which gave it a degree of mystic. The downside being that a lot of modifications and enhancements are either still in development or haven’t hit the UK yet.
When you pick one up it immediately feels more solid than the GSG1911 and gives you the feeling you’re getting quality. It is chunky and physically quite large, which having come from the Taurus, was a nice feeling. Despite the size, it is very light due to the polymer construction. Anyway, the deal was done – a basic model with faux suppressor and an extra 12 round magazine, paperwork sorted and I was on my way home with new firearm. Once home I wasted no time registering the transfer on my issuing forces online firearms portal, less than 5 minutes and all done.
Now here is the crux – I’ve used a GSG1911 and a Grand Power K22 but the first time I will use the Walther PPQ is at the range on Sunday ….. fingers crossed.
So Sunday arrives and I head off to Hemswell Shooting Club to try out the new firearm. It seemed to me that the extension arm was too long so I measured the Walther PPQ – just shy of 27″ including the barrel nut, so in theory, the hook end of the extension arm can be chopped off without any issue. The magazines are easy to load, the fit in the mag well is positive and they spring out nicely when the mag eject button is depressed. The slide is a bit stiff but it is brand new so I expect it will loosen up with use. The trigger is good and breaks nicely.
What I don’t like, having come from using revolvers, is the blowback action. The Walther is very light and the slide comes back with a thump, which made getting follow up shots on target difficult. I know that I need to adapt my stance and position to allow for the difference in action. This meant that I didn’t really get to see how accurate it could be – however over the next few range visits I’ll be working on stance and group consistency.
I fired 250 rounds and only had 1 cartridge fail to fire, which worked the second time. There were, however, a couple of teething issues. The first was that the faux suppressor kept working loose, no matter how much I tightened it …. until I over tightened it and damaged the faux suppressor sleeve. This was annoying as all it needed was the inner thread on the sleeve extending and the swarf clearing properly.
The second issue was the small windage adjust grub screw. I tried adjusting the sight and secured it finger tight …. which didn’t work as the sight came loose and fell out. So I tightened it up properly and the screw rounded out. It really needs a decent stainless screw not one of those cheap soft black screws. So rather disappointingly the first outing with the Walther PPQ ended with an email to Oceania Defence requesting a new faux suppressor sleeve and a replacement grub screw.
I’ll write an update article in a few weeks, once the Walther PPQ has bedded in and I’ve jelled with it. Initial impressions though are that it will be fun once the niggles are sorted.