Walther PPS

Description

The Walther Police Pistol Slim is a medium-frame semi-automatic pistol chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W.

walther_pps_11

Specifications

9mm
Caliber:9mm
Capacity:5
6
Sights:Fixed
Features:Ambidextrous magazine release; two magazine sizes; loaded chamber and cocking indicators; small and large backstrap; trigger safety; internal striker safety; and Walther QuickSafe proprietary safety
Action:Semi-auto
Material/Finish:Polymer/black anthracite
Size:Medium
Trigger:Double action only
Frame Material:Polymer
Website:http://www.waltherpi…
Weight:1.212 pounds
Trigger Pull:6.1 pounds
Barrel Length:3.2"
Length:6.3"
.32 ACP
Caliber:.32 ACP
Capacity:5
6
Sights:3-dot low profile contoured
Features:Ambidextrous magazine release; two magazine sizes; loaded chamber and cocking indicators; small and large backstrap; trigger safety; internal striker safety; and Walther QuickSafe proprietary safety
Action:Semi-auto
Material/Finish:Polymer/black anthracite
Size:Medium
Trigger:Double action only
Frame Material:Polymer
Website:http://www.waltherpi…
Weight:1.3 pounds
Barrel Length:3.2"
Length:6.3"
MSRP$735.00

Editor Review

The Walther PPS is a high-tech reinvention of the classic line of police pistols—the iconic PPK.  Visually and technically high-tech, the gun is Walther’s most radical design.  It offers more firepower than the traditional PPKs and is a versatile weapon.

The PPS is minutely larger than the PPK, though it is slimmer.  The gun is available in both 9mm and .40 S&W in single stack magazines.  There are three magazine lengths available and each contains one additional round (6, 7, or 8, respectively).  With each, the grip is lengthened, making the gun easier to hold, aim, and shoot.

The pistol also has another unique feature—a backstrap.  This polymer strip on the back of the grip comes in variable sizes for different sized hands.  In addition to customizing the ergonomics, the backstrap is also a safety mechanism.  The pistol won’t fire without it.  And, in another innovative twist, removing the backstrap effectively disables the trigger and decocks the striker.

Striker fired pistols are considered to be less safe, as there is generally no way to release the striker without pulling the trigger.  The fear is that someone will, prior to field stripping a gun, will pull the trigger with a forgotten round still in the chamber.  But a common sense sequence of precautions—releasing the magazine, wracking the slide—prevents this problem.

And I guess this is where I begin to have my doubts about the design.  I’d find some way to lose the backstrap.  It isn’t easy to pop off, but I’d find a way.  Still, it is a safety feature.  The only other safety is built into the trigger. 

So when the gun is loaded and the backstrap is attached, the gun is simple and intuitive and not overly complicated—not until you want to release the magazine and you can’t find the little button to eject the mag.  The lever that performs this function is built into the trigger guard and it is easy to use, so long as you remember it is there.

If you can get over the new design elements, this is a nice little gun.  And that is its selling point.  It’s easily concealable and light, which makes it a fine concealed carry gun, or a backup gun for law enforcement.  The extra firepower gives the gun an edge over the traditional Walther PPK.  But how does it stand up against other polymer framed subcompact pistols?

The PPS’s main competition is going to come from Kel-Tec, Khar, and maybe Glock.  Each makes pistols with many of the same defining characteristics.  Some of these guns offer slightly wider magazines, which hold more rounds.  So it all comes down to price. The PPS is twice as much as the Kel-Tec PF-9 with an MSRP of $735.

I find myself asking if the brand name worth the price?  Are the additional safety measures that attractive?  Personally, I think Walther has taken a huge risk with this gun.  While I respect their innovative spirit, I want a backup that I know how to use intuitively.