The Walther PPS – Is it the Best Micro-9mm?

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Click on the image here to download the coupon for the $50 rebate from Walther on the PPS. Like this gun wasn’t already a huge score now you can get $50 off! A direct link is https://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/Walther/upload/other/promos/Walther_PPS_Coupon_062011.pdf

The Walther PPS could potentially be the best Micro-9mm (and .40S&W) on the market.

These are some of my 10 yard targets with the PPS. The ammo boxes you see in the picture were only a few of the types I used to try to make the PPS fail, including some old grubby reloads. The gun did not fail, no matter what I tried.

The trigger on the PPS broke cleanly at between 6 and 7 lbs. It is a little scratchy, both forward and back, but this is my only complaint with the gun and it doesn’t impede operation or accurate fire.

Both the 7 and 8 round magazines are three fingers for my wide and thick hands.

The Walther website on Smith & Wesson says that the PPS only comes with one 7 round magazine, but mine came with both the 7 and 8 rounders. There is also a 6 round that is probably a 2 finger grip.

The PPS has a rear cocked indicator like the P99, as well as the side loaded round indicator.

The Walther Quicksafe(tm) is part of the interchangeable backstraps. The disabling safety system works as promissed, and you have to congratulate Walther on such a unique and innovative idea that actually works. This is far more effective and practical than a gun lock and for those of us living in states with gunlock statutes, it is the best system I have seen.

The extra backstrap that comes with the PPS also serves as a spare if you lose or break the one that fits your hand. There is a pin built into the backstraps that deactivates the disabling mechanism. Since Smith & Wesson handles all of the repair and parts issues for Walther, it should be easy to get a backstrap if you lose one, and at least you have a spare to keep the gun in service until it arrives.

This is the image from the Walther website PPS page explaining how Quicksafe(tm) works.

Walther Firearms

Find Walther on Smith & Wesson

This year saw the flood of extremely small 9mm pistols into the gun market. I call them as a group, “the Micro-9mm.” Just about any gun nut will get excited about the promise of 9mm firepower in a small package that will fit in your pocket. And with the wave of new concealed carry laws across the US, tens of thousands of new gun owners have come into the market, all looking for the best Micro-9mm. I can’t say I have tested in hand all of the different offerings out there, but after extensive testing, I have to vote that the Walther PPS, if you did go test them all side by side, would come up on top. I’ll try to explain why.

Reliability

When you have a lot of products that essentially do the same thing (think TVs), you have to figure out what the differences are, and which of the differences are important to you. Trigger action, a manual safety, not having a manual safety, thickness, price, capacity, etc. all factor in and will effect your buying decision.

The most important difference, however, is obviously reliability. Everyone will claim that they have great reliability, and you won’t find a real review of any of the guns either in print or online that says “I tried this gun and it didn’t work.” But not all guns work all the time in every instance, and understanding when and how a gun can be relied upon is extremely important, more important than all of those other factors combined. I want to be able to pick up my carry gun and expect it to fire every time with every ammunition if possible, and cycle correctly, chambering the next round to fire as reliably as the last.

With ultra-compact, or Micro-9mm pistols, reliability is particularly a huge factor. That size of pistol has traditionally been constructed to handle the .380ACP cartridge, and forcing it to handle the much more potent 9mm, or even .40S&W is a not a feat for the faint of heart. 9mm kicks much harder. The rounds are bigger and longer, and the barrel thicker. Yet “thin” is in when it comes to pocket pistols, so that means the parts have to be smaller. In many cases the Micro-9mm is smaller than any gun the company has ever made, even a .380. Add to this that many of the people making these Micro-9mm pistols have never made a small gun before at all, at least not that small, and you realize that the gun you buy to protect your life is actually just the realization of an engineer’s drawings that so far has worked, as far as you have heard. You may feel that this is true of most guns, but there is a huge difference between making a new model with variations on a gun you have been making for a while as opposed to a completely new gun with design challenges you have no experience dealing with at all.

I have been at the range on several occasions with someone who has purchased one of these Micro 9mm pistols as their first or sometimes second gun. Almost invariably they tell me that they have had serious problems with it, not chambering, not stripping the next round, failure to fire (because it didn’t come into battery), stovepipes (where the last round’s brass doesn’t make it out before the slide closes) and that kind of thing. This is common in several brands of Micro 9mm, not just one.

I generally first explain to them that those Micro-9mm guns can be very ammo dependent. Because of their small size, there is very little room for error with a Micro-9mm, so the springs are gauged for combat ammo, like Hornady Critical Defense. They don’t shoot cheap ammo very well. Some of the Micro-9mm guns even come with a list of recommended ammunition.

But what do people buy when they want to go take their significant other to go shooting for the afternoon? The cheapest stuff you can get, which is generally going to be either cheap surplus they bought online, some white box, or Wal-Mart steel-cased Tula ammo. When I ask them, “What are you shooting?”, they generally answer one of these things. I don’t know if they missed the memo on the suggested ammo, or they just forgot, or they never read the manual (always RTM), but they were on the verge of sending a gun in for service, completely ignorant that it was most likely working as promised.

GunsAmerica is of course a Hornady shop, and I nearly always have a 9mm pistol with me that I am testing, so I generally have plenty of Hornady Critical Defense with me. I offer them a handful of Hornady and they try it in their gun. Surprise, surprise, surprise! The gun works. And it usually works flawlessly. The Critical Defense makes a lot of smiling happy gun owners who now don’t need to send their gun in for service, but it always leaves me shaking my head. Not everyone can afford combat ammo, even to carry, and who knows if on the way to the range with your twelve bucks a box Tula you need your little 9mm to defend your life! You better get used to clearing jams and smacking the back of the slide before you try to fire every round if you don’t want to spend the money on real combat ammo. Your gun just isn’t going to shoot well without it.

I tried not only the 115 grain Critical Defense in the Walther PPS, but also Hornady TAP (124 gr. combat ammo), Hornady Steel Match (range/competition ammo), the white box Olin stuff, the Tula from Wal-mart, some old reloads I had, and some green box Remington, as well as a baggie of mixed leftovers from years past of all different manufacturers and bullet weights.

The PPS had not one failure to feed or fire.

Limp-wristing didn’t make it fail. My fire with two fingers test didn’t make it fail. I couldn’t make the gun fail no matter what I did. Short of putting 20,000 rounds through the PPS and seeing at what point if ever it breaks down, I have to say that the Walther PPS is the best Micro-9mm on the market, no exceptions.

Features

Beyond that, the PPS is a high quality striker fired polymer pistol with an MSRP of $735. The street price is less, but this isn’t a $300 gun in any way, shape or form. It has a last round hold-open, interchangeable backstraps for different size hands, a nifty Walther ambidextrous magazine release that is part of the trigger guard (same as the PPQ and P99), loaded chamber and cocked indicators, three dot sights and a front rail. These are all features you would expect on a full size pistol, all standard in Walther’s Micro-9mm, the PPS.

My test gun came in 9mm with both 7 round and 8 round magazines, but the website says it only comes with the 7 round. For me, with short fat fingers, both of these mags made the PPS a three finger gun. They do make a 6 round as well, and that may be 2 fingers. The .40S&W version comes standard with a 6 round mag, and they make a 5 and 7 round.

The trigger pull on our test gun broke cleanly at a consistent 6 lb., with a bit of a scratchy take-up. If I have a complaint about the gun it is that the trigger could be a little smoother, both before the break and on the return for a reset, but it isn’t a huge complaint. The reset isn’t the .10 inch that the full size Walthers have, but it isn’t unreasonable either.

Safety

Unique to the PPS from what I can see is a unique new safety system from Walther called Quicksafe(tm). Instead of using a key or locking tool to make the gun unable to fire, you simply remove the backstrap and it can’t be fired. Both the normal and the extra large backstrap that come with the PPS have a pin in them that is used to activate this safety device. When you clip them back on, they disable the defeat switch, and the gun can again be fired. It is novel for sure, and a lot better than a little Allen wrench key you can lose. I don’t know if I would want it on a gun I rely upon. The magazine does protect the button that removes the backstrap, and the button is up and in the rear of the grip, not something you could or would bump by accident. But without carrying the gun for a long time I can’t say whether the safety mechanism would ever leave you unintentionally stranded with a disabled firearm. I wouldn’t suggest planning to fumble in the middle of the night with the backstrap however. That’s a bad plan right out of the gate.

A History of Engineering Expertise

Apparently the .40S&W model is the same 1.04″ thickness as the 9mm, which I think is amazing. Of all the manufacturers of these Micro-9mm pistols, (this would be a Micro-.40 even), Walther is one of the few with any history at all making small pistols. The PPK/S is somewhat ubiquitous as a pocket pistol and is thought of as the equivalent of the Smith & Wesson J-Frame for auto-pistols when it comes to small guns. Walther not only knows how to make small guns, they know how to make the next generation of small guns, and we have yet to see the limits of their ability to engineer a nearly flawless pistol.

If you are in the market for a Micro-9mm, or a Micro-.40 for that matter, and if you can afford it, buy the Walther. You will not regret it, and you may even make up the cost difference at the range, because you will have one of the few Micro pistols that can shoot the cheap stuff and go bang every time. The PPS from Walther is not just a winner, it’s actually the kind of gun you go home with, and once you have fiddled with it for a couple hours, you find yourself saying over and over to yourself, “Score!”

Walther Firearms

Find Walther on Smith & Wesson

{ 76 comments }

{ 75 comments… add one }

  • Mark Norcross, Redding, CA September 29, 2011, 12:51 am

    Doesn’t look like it will make the California roster as it has no external safety. Interesting gun. Couple of things about the review: You didn’t list the specs except thickness, didn’t say if it was DA/SA or SA trigger, weight, the things a lot of us like to know without going to the manufacturer’s web site.

    • George September 15, 2014, 4:25 pm

      Screw Mexifornia anyway !!

  • Craig_PHX September 29, 2011, 1:32 am

    I’ve shot the PPS and it is a nice gun, however it is not pocket size. I have a Kahr CM9 that is equally reliable and it lives in my pants pocket loaded with 124gr +P Gold Dots. When I CCW an IWB gun it is a Glock 19 with 124gr Gold Dots and the Kahr stays in my pocket.

  • Lavern Newsom September 29, 2011, 2:47 am

    I have two 380′s consecutive serial numbers and they look like that they are a lot larger that my 380′s

  • Carl Moss September 29, 2011, 5:42 am

    It’s a lot like a Glock only thinner. I own both and they are very reliable. I find this article to be spot on to the facts. The PPS is easier to carry then the Glock 19. I use custom TT leather OWB holsters for both pistols. I liitle pricey but well worth the money. The glock does have just a little better trigger but barely noticeable. The glock of course of course does hold more ammo in the magazine. I had a glock 26 but didn’t like the short 2 finger grip. This PPS is perfect fit for the larger hands with the 7 rd. magazine and bigger back strap.

    • Robert Gatewood November 3, 2011, 1:47 pm

      Carl, Did you try the magazine extension for the Glock 26? I think it was a $10.00 item and allows the pinky to fit on the gun.
      I have 2 Glock 26 and all 4 mags I have added the extension. Great guns. I wish they had a different safety system. I would like to find a smaller gun to carry in my pocket.

      • Administrator November 3, 2011, 5:09 pm

        No we have never tried it.

  • meester September 29, 2011, 8:30 am

    sounds very interesting. Sure would have liked to see a a photo of it sitting on top of a ruler or Kahr or Kel-tec 9 mm.

  • Richard September 29, 2011, 8:44 am

    I’d echo Mark with what about recoil on the mini? Anyone firing a 9mm mini needs to know recoil effect.

  • Brooks Pace September 29, 2011, 9:21 am

    If you did see it sit a top a Kel-tec 9mm (the smaller PF-9), you would see it about the same length and height…only the PPS is thinner (I have both). The PPS shoots much better and is a much better gun in terms of quality and manufacturing (of course it costs a lot more). I can shoot tons of +P ammo in my PPS…I wouldn’t do that in my Kel-tec. Also, the ergonomics and feel are huge differences between the two. The Kel-tec isn’t “comfortable” in the hand and has a few corners (and inside the trigger guard) that feel like they’re cutting into me.
    The PPS is smooth and comfortable everywhere. The three varied magazines sizes is very nice too for ultra-concealment (6 round), and then for putting bigger hands on the grip (7 and 8 round mags). Even though this is a small concealed gun, I’ve said for a while now that if I had to get rid of all my 43 handguns and choose to keep only one…it would probably be the PPS. Very accurate, great to shoot (can shoot a ton comfortably), concealable, descent caliber, etc. It’s really the perfect compromise across the spectrum of why everyone likes different guns.
    To compare it to other Walther’s, I have a walther ppk/s. The PPS is about the same height and length, but thinner, lighter, and requires less maintenance…PLUS, it’s 9mm instead of .380!!! Bottom-line, this is an awesome gun!

    Specs:
    Model: PPS
    Caliber: 9mm
    Length: 6.3″
    Height: 4.4″
    Overall Width/Width without slidestop lever and takedown buttons: 1.04″/.91″
    Barrel Length: 3.2″
    Sight Radius: 5.4″
    Weight (without Mag): 19.4 oz.
    Standard Magazine Weight: 1.9 oz.
    Action: Striker Fire Action, Pre-Cocked
    Trigger Pull: 6.1 lbs.
    Frame: Black Polymer

  • SiliconSorcerer September 29, 2011, 9:27 am

    Said you didn’t test them all in hand, in fact you didn’t tell what you tested or compared it to at all. How can use this article to help me make a decision if I have no idea if you even compared it other pistols I have also considered? Without a more detailed comparison including what pistols you have compared this to its basically just an advertising flyer and actually includes a coupon link. Yes it’s interesting, but clearly lets call this what it is, an advertisement.
    With respect, I know it’s hard to write these things…. But it’s my honest comment.

    • CAwkerling September 29, 2011, 10:28 am

      I think the point of this article was to tell people about the Rebate offer and explain the gun a little bit. So yes, it is in fact, an advertisement.

      I think it’s pretty clear what this gun is competing with – think Kahr, LC9, Kimber Solo, Sig 290, Beretta Nano, Glock G26 ( I think), etc.

      Honestly, I have shot the PPS, the Solo, the P290, the Kahr, and the Glock and by far I think the Walther PPS is the superior gun (for me anyway). The Kahr was also very nice but I’m not a huge fan of having to shoot 500 rounds through the gun before it worked properly. Once I did, it was flawless, but a quality $700 gun should not have to have that kind of break in period.

  • Dewey Harper September 29, 2011, 10:08 am

    Maybe a little XD mixed with a little XDM but, overall a nice package.

    “Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery”

  • Kris September 29, 2011, 10:08 am

    I carry the .40 version of this with a Crossbreed Supertuck IWB holster, and it literally is the most comfortable set up I have found. The thinness of the PPS makes it feel like you are carrying nothing at all. It is a pricey gun, but I am glad I ponied up and got it.

    (as for the backstrap coming loose in an every day carry situation, I have had 0 issues with that. You would really have to do something out of the ordinary to get that backstrap to come loose, it is not in an area that gets hot, bumped or even touched for that matter.)

    @meester – if you would like I can get you a pic of it next to a Kahr CW9. I have that pistol as well.

  • petru sova September 29, 2011, 10:54 am

    I wish the author of the article had bothered to tell us if the new micro Walther is double/single action or just double action. I do own an older model P99 but Walther has now made at least 4 variations of its plasticky pistol.

    Here are my thoughts: Outside finish is “modern crude” but that’s the way they make most guns these days. “Make em fast, make em cheap”..

    The gun is striker fired which makes it less reliable than a hammer fired gun. In my tested the gun failed to fire if one used handloads and had a high primer. This is true of every brand striker fired gun I have tested. Hammer fired guns drove the primer down into the shell and fired the gun with ease.

    The P99 must be fired double action on the first shot which is not acceptable to most folks although in all honesty I tried shooting man size targets with my weak hand at 7 yards and I had no trouble hitting the target double action and I very rarely fire with my weak hand. The trigger pull in double action was very smooth and light. The single action pull was light and crisp. The best plasticky pistol trigger pull I have every tested. Its top notch.

    Accuracy was top notch. This is the most accurate plasticky pistol I have ever fired but the sights are cheap fragile plastic.

    Reliablity with all ammo was top notch but be aware that in cold weather or if the gun gets dirty, striker fired weapons do not have the same bone crushing primer smashing power as the hammer fired weapons. Keep the striker fired gun clean and use sparingly a low temperature “gun oil” not some junk oil you picked up cheap at the local hardware store. Break free is one of the best oils out there. Use the break free clp natural oil not the break free industrial synthetic oil.

    • Dan_in_CA October 6, 2011, 3:55 am

      It is neither a double/single, nor a double action only. It is a striker fired, much like the Glock and XD style pistols, and if it is as unreliable, due to this feature, as an XD, M&P or Glock, I suppose I could deal with that level of unreliability. My Gen 1 Glock 17, was my first duty pistol, after we switched from wheelguns, in 1988, and it was my last (until retirement). While it shows some wear, after 25,000+ rounds through it, with not a single mechanical malfunction, I think I could deal with having another gun, with that kind of unreliability.
      I have never had a Walther, that gave me any unacceptable level of problems. ONE Interarms PPK/S, once stovepiped on me, is my best recollection, of a Walther mech problem.
      Being in the market for a sub-compact .40, I might look at one of these, to add to my CCW.

      • Administrator October 6, 2011, 9:41 am

        Yes, decisions decisions. None of those guns you mentioned are unreliable this is a little confusing, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out.

  • Tleedom September 29, 2011, 11:10 am

    This review gives you the appearance that the PPS is a newer pistol from Walther, even though is hit the market in 2007. I have had a PPS 40 since 2008 and agree with the article, but this is really an advertisement for the rebate.

  • G.Gat Jr. September 29, 2011, 11:35 am

    Looks interesting ,I may purchase one as a con.carry as it looks small enough to be very useable and concealable.

  • Jay Johnson September 29, 2011, 12:18 pm

    To bad it isn’t double/single action I would have been interested.

  • steven September 29, 2011, 1:57 pm

    i really don’t understand what the new “micro” term means ?(“62″ an a little old skool with M/S) i do know what “compact & sub compact” is, but why do we need to come out with new “word” terms for guns ? in my opinion only….. it’s either a sub or a compact, or full size ! not “micro” !! where do we come up with these new terms ? also, as OP have stated a 6.1 trigger pull, is a very healthy pull, and not something my wife would enjoy shooting ! at the moment she shoots a t-213 9 mm,(believe it or not) and you can’t pry this gun out of her hands for nothing ! i did break it down, and smothed out some of the rough edges, plus the gun…. in over 1000 rnds. has never FTF, no matter what ammo i put in it ! i also have a glk.19 9mm that she enjoys shooting, but it has no hammer she can watch, so it’s a “natta” in her book. my P-220 sig , even with trigger work , and 19# spring it gets hard for her to pull on 2nd mag(it’s about 5.5). i find that any gun that has a heavy trigger pull tends to lead me off target . hopfully my range will get one of these guns in so i can rent one to check it out, we’ll see then, if i can really sum it up .

    my opinion only….steven

    • Ed October 1, 2011, 10:48 pm

      I agree, Steve, we don’t need more terms just for the heck of it; but “compact” and “sub-compact” were marketing terms suited for the early days of CCW, when manufacturers were frantically taking a full-size 1911, chopping a half inch or an inch off the slide & barrel, and calling it a “compact”; and cutting two inches off the slide/barrel, and the grip, and calling it a “sub-compact”. “Compact” my foot. They were still big pistols. If marketing weren’t a fact of life, they’d have been called “chopped” from the get-go. So now we have a new generation of pistols that really are “compact”, but that name has been polluted by its former usage, hence the “micro” designation. That does accurately describe my Kahr, and the Walter PPS, of which I have one each. The Glock is fine, but it’s too thick for me to fool with IWB, and OWB requires, month in & month out, too long a jacket/vest/whatever, to cover the pistol. So there’s definitely a place for the new micros.

      • Mark Wynn January 19, 2012, 10:47 pm

        Thanks for the respectful and useful reply to previous post. Would like to see more of that on this blog.

    • HK_USP_45 March 26, 2014, 1:21 pm

      I think you make new terms when new things come out. 9mm’s have never been as small as they are now, with the LC9, PM9, Solo, etc. Hence, a new term was created for them. Take for example, the Ruger line-up. You have the SR9 (full size), the SR9c (compact size), and the LC9. If you compare the size of the LC9 to the compact, you can’t really put them in the same boat. And pistols like the PM9 are even smaller.

  • Joseph September 29, 2011, 2:15 pm

    After much research and deliberation [I believe] I have finally made up my mind on buying the PPS for my first CCW. (I actually came to this conclusion a few days before reading this article, but it did help solidify that position.) Unfortunately I am new to the whole striker-fire thing – that will be a bit of adjustment. Being new to using (or tinkering with) that design, I had a question that I was hoping someone could help me out with: The one real knock this fine pistol had against it was the “scratchy” trigger pull. I have heard something like this regarding most striker-fired pistols I’ve read about. Is this something that a good gunsmith could clean up, or is it just a factor of the design? Thanks in advance to anyone who can shed some light on this for me!

    • Phil Lesh September 29, 2011, 2:55 pm

      The “Scratchy” trigger pull is only a minor issue in my opinion. Scratchy meaning gritty, I think. GLOCK pistols that I have shot seem to have that same issue. Heck, I’ve even shot my buddy’s XD and it was like that. The one thing I noticed that those pistols all had in common was that silly trigger dongle that acts as a safety. This is not enough of an issue to deter me from buying one of these. Now that I know about the Rebate, I think I’m gonna get one of these as my birthday gift to myself next month! Thanks for writing this article Gunsamerica

    • Richard Harris September 29, 2011, 7:23 pm

      This is my CCW gun Fobus makes a great ankle and paddle holster for it.

    • Wayne October 8, 2011, 10:51 pm

      The “scratchy” or “gritty” trigger smooths out after a couple of hundred rounds to the point where you don’t notice the “scratchyness” any more. And yes, it does seem to be something most striker-fired pistols have in common.

      • Administrator October 9, 2011, 4:27 pm

        Not the other Walthers we tested, or an XD, or an M&P. They are all fantastic. Must just be a quirk of this gun. Nice to hear it smooths out.

    • Dan October 20, 2011, 12:52 pm

      I hope im not to late on this issue. I just bought a Kahr CM9 and couldnt be happier. The weapon is excellent for carry and also functions perfect. The trigger pull is smooth as butter and fired 200 rounds without a single hic-up. I also have a Kahr PM45 and it also has had no issues. Check them out before you buy.

      • Administrator October 22, 2011, 8:48 pm

        We did a review on the CM-9 before anyone else even hand it. It is a great gun by requires a break in. No flies on a Kahr no matter what other guns in the market.

  • Herman E Young Jr September 29, 2011, 2:54 pm

    I would to find a barrel in .357 Sig, to try in the .4o caliber PPS. I am a big fan of this round. I think if you have to depend on it for life saving, self defense. Isee that it is a matter of principal. I do own some of the hard to get 2nd Gen Glocks, and one Berretta Cougar, and the H&K USP Compact. THANKS!!

  • Richard Harris September 29, 2011, 7:22 pm

    This is my conceal carry gun and I love everything about it. I have both an ankle holster and a paddle holster for it. And both are great. I do recommend using the smaller clip if you use the ankle holster. I found the weight to be great.

  • Holeshot 308 September 29, 2011, 7:53 pm

    With all the “new” sub-compact 9 mm offerings out there I wouldn’t trade my Glock-26 for a bucket full of the others. I have Crimson Trace Laser Grips and Tru-Glo TFO sights on it. Great optics combination for any lighting conditions. I also have the advantage of magazine selection from the stock 10 round or my prefered Glock-17, 17 rounders with mag sleeves and if it really gets crappy the 32 round Factory Glock mags I use in my Kel-Tec Sub-2000 9mm have never skipped a beat using them in the G-26. The C/T Laser works great for concealed carry WITHOUT a holster, the laser sticks out just far enough on the right side of the pistol to catch the top of your belt but still leaves plenty of the grip above the belt line to make drawing a breeze. This really cuts down on profiling too since there’s no holster involved, works great for”slender”(read “skinny assed”) people who couldn’t hide a cuff key without everyone knowing exactly which pocket it was in. For those out there that consider carrying without a holster unsafe remember it’s a Glock I’m talking about, they don’t go BANG until you squeeze the trigger A.K.A. Glock Safe Action. I don’t have anything against Walther/Smith and Wesson, matter of fact I’ve got a S/S .22 TPH and a P-22 with the short and long barrels that are a blast to shoot but anything more involved that just a basic field strip for cleaning can get pretty friggin involved (plus I’ve managed to strip out the little set screw on the long barrels stabalizer twice and at $60.00 with S/H I’ve learned how to tap out the “pot metal” stabalizer. Also not to impressed with the “pop in” plastic front sights and the original magazines were notorious for F.T.F. and on several occasions winding up with a round standing straight up pointing at the sky. The new S/S Walther mags solved this but they weren’t free and the mags should have never been an issue to begin with! Everyone knows that simplicity (and if you’ve seen the Glock “torture test” durability) is and will always be Glocks strongest selling points. How many other semi-auto pistols can you name have fewer parts and can be almost totally taken apart with a Glock armory tool the size of a ballpoint pen? The TPH and P-22 will continue to be “fun guns” for killing the occasional cans and popper targets because you can shoot .22s all day long without breaking the bank and any shooting is good practice. I know everyone’s probably thinking that I’m trying to compare .22s to 9 mms but what I’m really trying to say is that the quality of a manufacturer should cover the entire spectrum of their products and if this is the case with Walther/Smith and Wesson if I can’t depend on my lowly .22s to shoot every time I squeeze off a round at a can then I can not justify carrying any caliber they make when mine or someone else’s life depends on what happens when the trigger is squeezed.

  • John H September 29, 2011, 8:17 pm

    Springfield Armory Enhanced Micro Pistol.

    I don’t think there is a better micro out there, and I’m not particularly a raving Springfield fan. I do know, however, that the only way I will get rid of this pistol is if I wear it out.

    MODEL: 1911|EMP
    TYPE: Semi-Automatic Pistol
    SIGHTS: 3-Dot Tritium
    CAL: 9MM
    BARREL LGTH: 3″
    FINISH: Blue|Stainless Steel
    ACTION: Single Action
    WEIGHT: 25 oz

  • jimmyjet September 29, 2011, 10:38 pm

    Walther PPS>>>STONE UGLY! The Germans just don’t get it any more.

  • Greg Hodnett September 30, 2011, 12:15 pm

    PPS sounds like a great gun, if you can afford it. I bought my PF-9 for $219 plus tax. It took two weeks to make it work flawlessly, but I wouldn’t carry it until I had several hundred rounds through it. I love the PF-9 now, and it never fails with any of the ammo I use (Win white box, reloads, +P Hornady (not Critical Defense), Golden Saber, and Federal +P. If I could afford it, I would probably buy the PPS. I guess I’m satisfied with what I have because, after all, I do entrust my life to it. However, if I am ever unable to count on my PF-9, I think I would sell several guns and buy a PF-9 for my full-time primary carry piece.

  • John M October 1, 2011, 9:07 am

    I have had a PPS in S&W .40 for 3 years. It is my primary carry gun in a CrossBreed Supertuck holster. I’ve fired over 1500 rounds through the PPS including several courses requiring hard usage and high round-count without cleaning. The PPS has been extremely reliable, firing everything including my hand-loads, factory reloads, cheap ammo, white-box, and full-power defensive loads. I also have a S&W M&P .40 Compact. Great gun, but the PPS is significantly more comfortable and easier to conceal. When you hold both in your hands you don’t realize the difference that the PPS thinness and lighter weight make, but after carrying all day you really do. I also like the accessory rail on the PPS. I have an Insight X2 compact light/laser combo that fits perfectly with the ergonomics of the PPS.

  • petru sova October 4, 2011, 1:25 am

    For the above poster who bragged about not carrying a Glock in a holster, he is an accident waiting to happen and it will happen to him very soon, he just does not understand that the Glock has no manual safety, none. The trigger is very easily and accidentally set off when carrying one without a holster. The black athlete in the restaurant last year was just another of many, many examples of people shooting themselves with Glocks because they did not use a holster. Its the same as carrying a revolver at full cock with no holster. Either gun will fire when the trigger is snagged. Glocks trigger safety does not work period. It does not prevent the gun from firing when the trigger is snagged.

  • GKJ October 5, 2011, 1:07 am

    I like the review and I have a number of compacts and all of them are just a little too thick with the exception of the SIG P238, but the capacity is limited and it is only chambered in 380 ACP. I wish these companies would figure out that night sights are a requirement for a carry gun, and any gun to be used for defenseive purposes. During the dark hours is when I would have the highest probability of using it and without night sights, all I can do is point it like a shotgun and hope I am close enough to hit what I am aiming for. I would buy the PPS in a second if it had night sights. Yes, I know I can put them on, but they are relativley expensive (1/5 of the purchase price) and it is never the same as factory. I have an HK P30L and it has luminous sights – they absorb light and are bright for a little while then go dark. Not sure what they were smoking when they engineered that concept. Just make them standard – why would you want anything other than night sights ? I do not get it. Personally, that is the very first spec I look at when I buy a new handgun nowadays and I buy a lot of them. I just purchased a pair of CZ SP-01s, one with the manual safety and one with the decocker (Tactical) and one of the reasons was because they came with excellent night sights. They have two other models touted as concealed carry (P07 Duty and SP01 Phantom) I would have liked to purchase, but neither came with night sights. Even so, I am still considering the PPS and may just have to put night sights on it. I have had both lazers and tactial lights fail on pistols that shoot the 40 S&W, so I am not thrilled about either of those options. The lazer has shot loose while shooting different systems and different pistols and two different tactical lights have fallen of 40 cal pistols. Move the same lights to .357 Sig or 9mm and no problem. I finally used the Streamlight tactial lights on my 40 cal Glocks because it screws on rather than “clips” and it works fine, although it is not as bright as others.

    • LR October 9, 2011, 1:59 am

      I totally agree with your view on night sights. There is a PPS that comes with factory night sights and three mags. I have one in 9 and one in 40. The manufacturers number for the 9mm gun is WAP10008

    • Dragonheart October 21, 2011, 5:53 pm

      I totally agree about the night sights on any carry or pistol intended for self defense. It is the one missing component on my PPS, but soon to be corrected now that they are available.

  • walter filleman October 7, 2011, 5:40 am

    I would like to find out how to purchase the 9mm

    • Wayne October 8, 2011, 10:55 pm

      Ummm… ask your Mommy or Daddy to check at their local gun store?

      (Sorry – couldn’t resist) Seriously, Walther pistols are available throughout the world – check at your local gun store or any of the online stores.

  • Laurence Daley Garcia-I~niguez October 7, 2011, 6:35 pm

    To all:

    Looking for some image of Samuel Cummings, for a book. My kind interlibrary loan lady has tried everywhere with no success… Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that publication of such an image would not be expected to cause problems to anybody at this late date

    I am a retired academic, but about nine months of my youth was spent in the mountains with Castro, that and when I finally smarted up a little Castro jailed me at the time of the Bay of Pigs (no I was not in the Invasion, but loosely tied to the resistant to Castro).

    Anyway I am writing a book of memories “Love and War in Cuba” and have been able to establish a tentative link between Sam Cummings and Castro via a .55 Boys Rifle, I saw at headquarters at La Plata, in early fall 1959. It probably was brought in by one of the Pedro Diaz Lanz night flights, that were coming frequently at that time..

    thank you

    Laurence Daley (Garcia-I~niguez Ramirez)

  • James Clements October 10, 2011, 7:07 pm

    I recenty got off probation. I am 63yr old vietnam veteran, When can I purchase a Walther PPS 9mm. I have a honable dischare , 1970. I have been dianosted with 100% disability with PTSD.

    • Administrator October 10, 2011, 9:20 pm

      Er, probably not, both because of the felony and the PTSD. Archery maybe?

      • Sandspur6 October 11, 2011, 10:09 am

        Er, could have been misdemeanor probation. In our state (FL), PTSD isn’t a disqualification unless you’ve been adjudicated mentally ill by a judge.

        • Administrator October 11, 2011, 10:16 am

          Well lets all just wish him luck then.

    • Arthur December 28, 2011, 10:07 am

      First, thank you for your service.
      Second, you have been determined to have significant mental health issues. Since this was classified by the VA we must assume an administrative judge and psychiatrist were involved. The Federal government has classified you as having mental health issues. This will preclude from buying a firearm. PTSD associated with combat involving firearms and a firearm are probably not a good combination.

      Please reconsider obtaining a firearm. Discuss this with your counseling team (I’m sure it’s a requirement of your package).
      And good luck to you.

  • John J. October 11, 2011, 1:13 am

    I had recently begun looking for a pocket 9mm, and also initially thought the PPS too large. However, as luck would have it, two days after reading this article, I ran across a PPS and was able to test fire the gun; flawless functioning with both 115 gr and 124 gr FMJs and JHPs. Fit beautifully in my pocket in a Desantis Nemesis holster. Gun came home with me. 250+ rounds later, I am still very pleased with the product, and I am a self-described 1911 guy. Love it!

  • Dragonheart October 16, 2011, 8:29 pm

    The Walther PPS in 9mm is my choice of a concealed carry handgun and has been for three years. Before that I carried a Walther PPK/S. I carry in my pocket because I carry all the time not just “when I think I may need it”. If I knew when I was going to “need” a handgun I wouldn’t be there in the first place, and I sure wouldn’t plan on going to a gunfight carrying a handgun. With that said, I carry the PPS for the same reasons the author stated, the PPS is the best all around handgun available for concealed carry. Because the PPS is the same overall size as the PPK it easily conceals in my pocket. When you strip the firearm you would think you are looking at the inside of a Glock. Just as a side note, the Glock holds the worlds record for the most number of continuously fired rounds, which was well over 100,000 rounds. So these striker pistols are indeed far more reliable than any hammer fired pistol. As far as the trigger, it doesn’t compair to my target pistols, but it wasn’t designed to be a target pistol. However, the trigger and accuracy is good enough to cut one ragged hole at 25 feet, which is all you need in a carry gun. Before someone gets their panties in a twist about whose gun is better, I own 7 Glocks including a model 19 and 26, numerous other automatics, 1911′s, and revolvers. I am and have been a pistol instructor for 40 years as well a competition shooter and re-loader, so I have numerous choices for a carry pistol and have chosen the PPS.

  • LEANNA MATTHEWES October 19, 2011, 1:10 pm

    LOOKS REAL GOOD AN REAL HANDY, I WISH I COULD GET ONE

  • Kris October 23, 2011, 10:49 pm

    I bought one of these for my fiance in January of this year and she uses it for her cary gun. She carries it in her purse or leaves it in the center column of our yukon and you can’t tell that she has it at all! Pairing the ease of operation, compact size, and ambi mag release (she’s left handed) with this system makes it a perfect defense platform for literally anyone. She shoots about 250 rounds every three months just to keep farmiliar with the platform but the recoil is minimal and she enjoys shooting it. We cary the Winchester Lawman +P+ with 420 ft lbs of energy at the muzzel so it is basically packing the same punch as a 45 ACP. Hopefully she never has to use this system but if she does it makes me a lot more comfortable knowing that she has this system available (and I know that she has it because it’s one of the few systems that we have found that is light and small enough for her to take anywhere). I’d reccomend it to anyone.

  • Mark November 1, 2011, 2:11 pm

    I love the PPS. It’s flat and I have no trouble concealing it. It is very accurate, consistently. It, and the ruger SR9c are my favorite CCW.

  • texgriffin November 1, 2011, 6:41 pm

    The Walther PPS is the single stack subcompact 9mm/.40 Glock should have made. About as good a combination of shootability, light weight/small size, simple take down, and durability as you can get to be reliable for you. Recommend DeSantis Nemesis for front pocket carry. Buy your pants to fit it, or wear “Thunderwear.” My EDC for the past 3 yrs.

  • davewave3283 November 4, 2011, 9:00 pm

    I tried this pistol and couldn’t use the lever type magazine release without shifting my grip significantly. Did anyone else have trouble using it?

  • Larry C. November 26, 2011, 8:33 am

    I have a Walther PPK/S .380 that is my CCW at times and a Kal-tec .380 at other times (depending where I go and how I am dressed). I found these guns are extremely reliable. For me, “Ain’t broke – Don’t fix it!” My wife has MS and with her weak hands cannot handle a 6# trigger. She also uses my CCW guns (trigger weight < 4#). We both practice regularly and have not had a mmalfunction with either of these. When it comes to pistols we both prefer the "decock" feature of the Walther PPK/S. The Walther PPS will not be in my "stable!"

  • Jason J. December 4, 2011, 10:55 pm

    I’ve been carrying Taurus 709 Slim for about 1.5 years. Initially had bad ejector (FTE). Sent back to Taurus and since I got it back, I have not had any failures. I have a range in my back yard, so I shot it at least once per month just to make sure it still works (and practice). It always does. I have shot all the Walmart-variety of plinking ammo, Win, Rem, Fed, even Tulammo (but no more steel cases for me), again, no problems. I am sure the PPS is a great pistol, but I am very satisfied with my Taurus 709 and I’ll use the $$$’s saved to buy more ammo.

  • Arthur December 28, 2011, 10:12 am

    Internet research has brought me to this site, a lot of good info here. I have narrowed my selection down to an HK USPc 9mm and the Walther PPS, same caliber. My current carry is an HK P7M8, so the their will be a learning curve, but the P7 is heavy, and unbalanced to carry. It’s hard to fore go a manual safety (I know the P7 doesn’t have one per se, but the squeeze cocker is a very fail safe alternative) for just a trigger safety, hence the HK version 1 being considered.

  • LarryC213 January 1, 2012, 2:54 am

    I just purchased a new Walther PPS in 9mm at a gun show earlier today. I love my Glocks, but I wanted something thinner for concealed carry. I look forward to trying it out this week. I’m going to try the pocket holster method of carry. One more thing. I have looked at these for the last on to two years and the price has really come down. They used to run ~$650.00 and come with one magazine. The one I bought today sold for $501.00 plus tax and it came with two magazines.

  • GEORGE REVES January 9, 2012, 8:34 am

    Finally someone who recognizes the virtues of this wonderfully engineered pistol. I have owned my PPS for well over a year and have carried it extensively under my CCW in the state of NV. As a concealed carry piece the thin dimensions make it easy to carry all day long (sitting, standing, walking). Accuracy is more than adequate for my ability, the extended magazines work well for my big paws, safety trigger (no overly redundant safety mechanisms necessary) and chamber indicator are well thought out, and it has been 100% reliable with all ammo, including some Israeli frag bullets that many pistols will not feed due to their truncated shape. As to the issue you raise of the deactivation button being inadvertently activated with carry, I have had no incidences whatsoever, and that is with extensive carry and mag changes. For anyone looking for a well crafted, easy to carry, easy to shoot, concealable 9mm pistol, this gun deserves your consideration, you won’t be disappointed.

  • GKJ January 17, 2012, 10:32 pm

    LR and Dragonheart, thank’s for the input and the update on the NS and the model number. I will be purchasing a Walther PPS. I should have stuck with the review. I recently bought a Kahr PM9 and I have had some problems with it. I would like to review it !!!. The firearm jams and I can see why based on the angle of the rounds in the magazine and the way they are pushed forward slighty as each new round is readied – the rounds get caught in the throat and clearing it is not something you would want to do in a fire fight – it takes a while. I will continue to work with it, but for me, one strike and you are out with a CCW. I would suspect I am one of the few that have had any problems with it, yet there it is. You put the rounds in the magazine and push them back, the first round is angled upward – put the magazine in – snap, retract the slide – shoot and jam – caught in the throat.

  • Wagner January 27, 2012, 5:22 pm

    Great review. I own a PPS in .40 and it is unequivocally my favorite pistol. I just love the thing to death. I’m planning to buy another in 9mm so that I can visit the range with it as often as possible while saving a bit of $ on ammo. I would agree with the previous poster(s) who suggested that this gun is not quite a pocket pistol, unless we’re talking pockets in a coat. However, I recently purchased a Comp-Tac Minotaur holster for my PPS, and at first glance I thought they must have messed up the fit – the thing is practically paper-slim. And it fits the gun perfectly. I also own a Glock 27, and compared with the PPS the G27 rides my hip like a concealed watermelon. Walther got everything right on this one, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Bill April 16, 2012, 12:43 pm

    Nice gun if you want to continue wearing shirt over undershirt during the Summer. In the South, the issue is to have a pistol that is wearable with shorts and a t shirt. The 380s are ok for this purpose but a 9 is better. The Kimber solo is expensive and requires premium ammunition due to its short barrel and functioning time. But if your life is worth $900 then I suggest you try one. It literally disappeasr in your shorts pocket with a stickey holster and is how I have decided to go in the summer instead of my Nighthawk custom or Kimber CDP Ultra II. The Walther is not close to a micro pistol. My wife’s EMP 9 is not easy to conceal in summer either and she also now has a solo.

  • CABLECAR May 5, 2012, 8:32 pm

    I HAVE A 9MM PPS. WISH S&W HAD CAME OUT WITH THE SHIELD EARLIER.

  • Fred Derf August 6, 2012, 10:27 am

    “micro”? gimme a break; inexcusable use of that word

  • Taylor August 10, 2012, 10:31 am

    This gun is great!! First range time with it was yesterday. Flawless with both 115 grain and 147 grain FMJ. My only FTF was from the stupid Hornady zombie max ammo. Other than that no problems at all. Extremely accurate from 20′ 30′ and 40′ for a micro 9mm. Very impressed with the overall handle and feel of the gun. 7 and 8 round mags are great, have not had the chance the fire it witht the 6 round mag(no need really, 7 rounder conceals well enough). IMHO I give this gun a 9 out 0f 10 for a carry 9mm pistol.

  • Tom Perkins November 8, 2012, 2:48 pm

    I have to say that this is one of the best “legitimate” gun reviews I’ve read. I am super suspect of magazine reviews that just happen to sell half their adds to the gun they are reviewing. I’m also suspect of the reviews done by “joe-bag-o-donuts” who, as the author said, failed to read the manual. My questions and suspicions were answered. I’m picking one up today. Thanks!

  • Bowshot December 1, 2012, 10:15 pm

    I’ve had the Walther PPS 9mm for 2 years and have put over 3000 rounds through it. I had 2 rounds fail to fire from a wally world white box which I’ve only purchased twice. I have bought and tested a few boxes of just about all 9mm ammo I run across locally and it eats everything perfectly. I buy Sellier & Bellot 9mm 115gr ammo by the 1000 round case and this stuff fires in all my 9mm handguns with zero issues and is my primary range and stockpile ammo. I keep my PPS loaded with Speer LE Gold-Dot Duty ammo when not at the range. I’ll usually fire 2×8-round mags of this stuff per range trip and have never had any issues with it in my PPS. The PPS is small, light, high quality, dependable and very comfortable to wear, handle and fire.

    I only WISH they’d put the same trigger from the PPQ in the PPS! It’s my only PPS complaint.. the trigger. I found that it took about 500 rounds to smooth out the scratchiness from the trigger.

    While I love the PPS (primary carry) the PPQ is without a doubt the handgun that fits my hand best. I’ve fired and held dozens and the PPQ simply feels like it was made for my hand. I have the fastest target acquisition times from the PPQ and the trigger is, well.. just awesome! The 1/8th” reset and smoothness of the trigger gets a big WOW factor. First night at the range with it I pumped 2 full mags at the killer paper target in 28 seconds at 15 yards and all but 1 shot was within a nice 2.5″ grouping.

    I own 2 of both and while I have others these are the ones that are with me the most. The PPS mostly but the PPQ is there when I have a coat or if I’m someplace where I don’t care about its concealment.

    Neither are my favorite shooters as I prefer shooting the big bore hand canons but I’m not gonna carry a Ruger Alaskan .454 Casull in my swim shirts at the beach :)

  • Kelly March 2, 2013, 9:49 pm

    Thanks for the review. I just got a PPS 9mm for my wife. This will be her first handgun. I didn’t know much about the gun, only that it fit her hand better than the M&P that I got for myself. I trusted the name, and now that I have read your review I feel even better about it.

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  • duwadiddy February 24, 2014, 9:05 am

    Just a quick thought about purchasing a gun specifically for carry. Research the manufacturer and importer before purchase.

    I purchased a Walther PPS 40 last year while they were still affiliated with Smith&Wesson. During the first year of ownership, the servicing switched to UmarexUSA in Fort Smith.

    While training with the new firearm in preparation for the intended carry usage, I experienced a problem that was increasing with each use. I sent the firearm to Umarex for warranty repair. I was informed by their rep that I needed to use procedures not mentioned in the manual or just treat it roughly to aid in reassembly after cleaning. I had to file a claim with the BBB in Fort Smith to get my firearm returned. They were holding it for ransom, and would not let me talk to their gunsmith concerning my issues.

    With the contact from the BBB, Umarex decided to ship my firearm back to me with no repairs. Upon my receiving my property back, I took it to my local Walther supplier for their gunsmith to look at the problem. The gunsmith was able to replicate the problem and showed me what was happening.

    There is a lug that extends form the striker assembly down into the area where the ejector is located. There is enough slop in the striker/firing pin assembly to let this lug move side to side in its channel. If the lug is too far in one direction, it will hit the ejector when attempting to reinstall the slide. The Umarex gunsmith or manager simply slammed my slide back enough times to knock the edge off of the ejector to allow reassembly.

    I called the manager back and told him exactly what we had found. He went and pulled another new PPS 40 off the shelf and admitted that there was some slop in that design. I asked for a replacement part that I could have for future use if my firearm proved to be unreliable in the future. He refused. I pressed my point. He said it was a warranty issue. I said my warranty is running out. He said he could not do anything for me,but I could take my firearm someplace and have a video made of what condition I had issues with. REALLY. This was after he had acknowledged the existence of the slop in the design.

    Be careful or you too will have a $600.00 paperweight.

  • Joe May 29, 2014, 2:32 pm

    I have recently purchased a Walther PPS which I like very much. I have a IWH which I wear at the appendix, or 2:00 position.
    I load 7+ 1 in the pipe. I aware of the trigger safety on the weapon. My question or thought was is there even the slightest possibility that the weapon can discharge when I carry. Has anyone ever heard of this happening. I suspect if there were a problem Walther would have a recall. Stranger things have happened. Any thoughts gang ?

  • Michael September 22, 2014, 1:55 pm

    Been my everyday carry for several years now i love this gun well over 5000 rounds through it.

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