When I first saw the press coming from Walther for their new Performance Duty Pistol (PDP), I was instantly excited to get it in my hands and take it to the range. There are a handful of reasons why this pistol has got me pumped. For starters, we haven’t been seeing a ton of new releases so far in 2021. Well, at least not when you compare it to a normal year that has an in-person SHOT Show

It also seems that due to the record-setting volume of guns sold in 2020, many manufacturers are still trying to play catch-up instead of releasing something new during the typical media hype of the early year. To see something new and innovative was a refresher. 

Now, this is just an unboxing video and article on my first impressions. If you’re looking for a full review of the pistol, I suggest checking out the story by Sean Curtis. Since he is LEO and a firearms trainer, who put over 3,000 rounds through the gun, he is more qualified to talk about its longevity than I am right now. 

Anyways, on to my initial thoughts.

The Innovation in the Grip From Walther

There are three places where the innovation from Walther is apparent almost immediately. Let’s start with the grip. It’s tough to say that a grip and grip texture can be innovative, but I think Walther has absolutely done something different here, and it needs to be called out. Walther is well known for their ergonomics, so it’s no surprise that they are making their new pistol the most ergonomically friendly yet.

The grip texture on the Walther PDP is truly unique. (Photo: Seth Rodgers/Guns.com)

The grip texture, which Walther has dubbed Performance Duty Texture, is both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional. I’ve never felt a grip texture quite like this before. The only way I can describe it is like all the “grippiness” of grip tape but without the gritty sandpaper feel. If that doesn’t make a lot of sense, that’s probably because you almost have to feel it to believe it. The aggressive grip texture really helps get a secure grip on the gun, and I can tell it will help the gun weld to the hand in nearly any weather condition. While I’m slightly nervous about how the grip will rub when carrying IWB, Walther assures that its design won’t rub the wrong way. I’ll be sure to circle back on this on the full review. 

Moving on from the grip texture, the actual ergonomics of the grip are also designed to make red dot acquisition easier for new RDS shooters and faster for vets. Seeing as I’m new to red dots, I’ve only shot a handful of guns with these sights. I wasn’t a huge fan, so this should be a good test. The bump at the bottom of the grip, which curves back toward the barrel, naturally lowers the point of aim of the gun ever so slightly. Walther claims that this makes it easier to acquisition the red dot faster. Again, this is something I will circle back on in the future for a full review.

The Trigger

Aside from being known for ergonomics, Walther is also widely known for having excellent triggers. So I was excited to see what the PDP had to offer. Even before I got to the range, I could tell the trigger was going to be really nice to shoot. There is very little take-up to get to the wall, and then the break is clean and crisp. This is followed by an incredibly short reset with a nice tactile feel. 

Walther calls it their PDP Performance Duty Trigger. This is a brand-new trigger system for Walther and is a two-stage, pre-cocked, striker-fired trigger similar to the PPQ. If you’ve been following my reviews, you know I love the PPQ M2 that I got in for review. But this trigger is better. Don’t get me wrong, the PPQ M2 is still a fantastic pistol, but Walther has really done something special here with this trigger. 

Even after the first 100 rounds, I can tell that this is going to be a gun I’m going to want to keep around.

The Slide Serrations

The last area of innovation we’ll talk about is the slide and what Walther is calling the PDP SuperTerrain Serrations. I know what you may be thinking, “Really? Innovative slide serrations? How innovative can cuts in metal be?” But hang with me here. These are some of the most aggressive-feeling slide serrations I have ever felt. The reason they are so aggressive is because Walther has actually designed the serrations to raise above the slide ever so slightly.

These slide serrations are no joke. (Photo: Seth Rodgers/Guns.com)

This results in a chunky, thick slide. But the ability to do slide manipulations is unquestionably easier as a result. In any weather and any condition, even when wearing large gloves, slide manipulations should be easy. We’ll test it out with some different gloves for the full review. 

First 100 Rounds of Range Time

I chewed through the first 100 rounds rather quickly. This pistol makes it enjoyable to shoot because it’s a little heavier due to the slide, so recoil is very manageable. The grip feels great when shooting on the range, and the trigger lived up to the hype. It was a dream to shoot, and it ate up all the ammo without the slightest hiccup. The controls were also easy to use.

It was a dream shooting the new Walther PDP on the range. (Photo: Seth Rodgers/Guns.com)

I’m looking forward to continuing to run this gun. So far, it’s been an enjoyable pistol to shoot, and I’m looking forward to putting it through its paces. Opening it up at a range where I can do some rapid-fire shooting should be fun. I have zero complaints after the first 100 rounds.


The Walther PDP pistol set out to buck some trends and offer something innovative to the market in 2021. The German gun manufacturer has lived up to the hype by delivering a superior product. This is a pistol you’re going to want to shoot. I’m really looking forward to mounting an optic on mine, learning to shoot better with an optic, and carrying the gun. If this gun holds up as well as I think it can, it could become my regular everyday carry. Keep it tuned to Guns.com as I continue to shoot and review this Walther PDP.

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