Walther PPS M2 Review: Popular, Proficient, & Sexy

Once I started my trial with Walther Arms’ collection of semi-auto handguns I couldn’t get enough. After an initial hiccup with the PPK, I got to experience some of the most impressive sub-$700 polymer-framed pistols on the market. While I thought I had found my new favorite CCW with the remarkable PPQ 45, I had to really put things into perspective once I got my hands on the PPS M2. As someone with big hands, I’ve generally tried to steer clear from single-stack 9mm guns, but I figured I had to give it a try after hearing so many positive reviews.  

Walther PPS M2 Specs

  • Model: PPS M2 
    pps

    Walther PPS M2

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 6+1 (Compact); 7+1 (Standard); 8+1 (Extended)
  • Barrel Length: 3.18”
  • Overall Length: 6.3”
  • Height: 4.4” (Compact); 4.9” (Standard); 5.3” (Extended)
  • Width: 1.0”
  • Weight: 21 oz. (Unloaded)
  • MSRP: $479.00

Walther PPS

paddle mag

Walther PPS with Paddle Mag Release

After nearly ten years of production, Walther Arms decided it was time to update the PPS, so in 2016, they finally released the PPS M2. Besides for switching from .40 S&W to the more manageable 9mm, the M2 features several other key upgrades including front slide serrations, an improved grip system, and an American-style magazine release. One of the biggest complaints of the original model was about those pesky, European-style paddle mag releases, so I was glad to see Walther ditched them for the more ergonomic American-style release. One of the more puzzling changes Walther made with the M2 was removing the integrated Picatinny rail from the original PPS. Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem like anyone misses it, especially considering it was designed to be a compact CCW.

Walther PPS M2 Build

TFX sights

TruGlo TFX Tritium/Fiber-Optic Day/ Night Sights

Built very similarly to the PPQ and comparable to the Glock 43, the Walther PPS M2 is unpredictably ergonomic for a compact single-stack pistol. While this is nothing new for Walther, it is still unexpected coming from such a small firearm. Truth be told, the surprisingly natural feel and intuitive controls make the PPS feel like a full-length pistol. In their attempt at keeping their CCW as affordable as possible without sacrificing any quality, the German arms developer ingeniously blended simplicity and innovation to create one of the best weapons in its class.

Starting with PPS’s 3-dot metal sight system, the fixed front and windage-adjustable rear sights are nothing fancy but still manage to do wonders for accuracy – plus they are low-profile so conceal carriers need not worry. Although the model I used was outfitted with the standard Walther sights, I’ve heard great things about the optional phosphorous sights on the Law Enforcement model.  

Moving downwards, we arrive at the often-overlooked Walther slide. I’m going to ignore the useful front and rear serrations and chamber viewport because these are standard for Walther. What you really want to look for is the convenient red cocking indicator that works even better in poorly-lit environments. As an added durability bonus, Walther gave the PPS M2 a resilient Tenifer coating that does magic in fighting corrosion. One of my favorite features on many Walther firearms is the slide stop; I love that the slide locks back after emptying a magazine, but I was a little disappointed that the PPS M2 doesn’t have the extended slide release like on the PPQ.

All in all, the PPS M2 is loaded with features which keep its operations simple and easy while still boosting performance. Between its easy takedown, American-style push-button mag release, and solid grip system, this is one CCW you can’t let slip away.   

Walther PPS Performance and Operation

All too often shooters are stuck picking between performance, concealability, and control when looking for a CCW; fortunately, Walther seems to have figured it all out. The PPS M2’s manageable recoil and crisp, lightweight trigger shocked me when I first tried out the new German compact semi-auto. While the 9mm shooter offers decent accuracy, it’s nothing to write home about, which is to be expected from a gun this size. Nevertheless, the average shooter should have no problem getting tight groups at 15 yards thanks to its solid control and polygonal rifling.

Unlike some other Walther handguns, the M2 can handle all kinds of ammo, including handloads, hollow points, and FMJs. Just ask any PPS owner and they’ll confirm that it just doesn’t fail. This means that in addition to its class-leading accuracy, the PPS M2 also has arguably the best endurance in its class. Be it slow and steady shooting or rapid-fire, the compact Walther can handle it all while providing a comfortable and fun shooting experience.    

FMJ

Full Metal Jacket Rounds

Although the reasonably light trigger may need some breaking in to achieve your ideal feel, it’ll eventually be smooth as silk, just be patient. That being said, I found that while the PPS’s trigger was fine, it was just a little bit of a step down from the PPQ’s with its slightly crisper break and reset. Overall, considering that the PPS offers the confidence and feel of a full-length firearm with the weight and size of a compact, what’s not to love?

Think this is impressive? Just check out the new Glock 19X, Sig P320, & KRISS Vector!

Walther Magazines

If you are one of the many people who shy away from single-stacks because of their low-capacity, I urge you to reconsider the PPS M2. Besides for an extended mag option, each M2 ships from Walther with three magazines, which mitigates some of the capacity issues. Besides for upgrading your capacity, Walther also gives you three size options for your PPS magazines. Whether you opt for the 6-round flat, 7-round standard, or 8-round extended, it’s easier than ever to get that custom-feel that is so crucial on a single-stack firearm.    

Accessories for the Walther PPS

Vedder finishes

Just Some of the Creative Vedder Holster Finishes

Without a Picatinny rail, Walther didn’t leave PPS M2 owners with many aftermarket options. Nevertheless, as a premium CCW, it’s essential to invest in a comfortable and convenient holster. That being said, I highly recommend any AlienGear holster or a Vedder OWB LightDraw. These holsters may be costly ($70) but they’re definitely worth it. After choosing your gun, Vedder offers tons of additional options including hand orientation, color, cant angle, and clip style. Although most shooters will stick with the classic black, the LightDraw has a nearly endless collection of styles including Brown Raptor, Hot Pink, Navy Digital, RealTree AP Snow, and Mossy Oak Shadow Grass.

Walther PPS Vs. CCP

I’ve received a lot of questions recently regarding how the PPS M2 compares to the CCP, and I can see why. Considering the fact that these two Walther CCWs were released within two years of each other, cost roughly the same, and possess many of the same features, how do you know which is right for you? In short, while the CCP offers an accessory rail, better grip, and manual thumb safety, the PPS M2 is simply more compact and reliable. However, I’ve had more and more Walther fans tell me that the P99c AS is even better than the PPS M2. At the end of the day, you can be sure you’ve chosen well.   

Don’t forget to check out our picks for the Top shooting records, Most influential firearms, & Top new revolvers!

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