Read more at Watlher: http://www.waltherarms.com/handguns/pps/pps-m2/
Buy a PPS on GunsAmerica.com: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=pps
Much More than a Line Extension
‘Tis the season for new guns, and Walther has definitely brought us some nice new introductions in 2015 already. They are kicking off 2016 with a new gun that is sure to please. Walther is aiming to prove that it listens to the American market once again, with the introduction of the PPS M2. This great new pistol incorporates both the styling foundations of the tremendously popular PPQ and the requests of their customers. Some of the changes are obvious at first glance, while others only become apparent when you take a closer look, but all of them make sense.
You know what I’m excited about? This new gun is shipping to distributors right now, literally as you are reading this article. The first models will be in 9mm. Walther will be following up with a model in .40 S&W in the late Spring/early Summer. Everett Deger, Director of Marketing at Walther America, said “We will listen to the customers and bring out the calibers that they want, just as we brought out the PPQ in .45 ACP.” I’m sure that many of you have found yourselves saying, “I love the new gun but they just won’t make it in the caliber I want” before. I don’t think you’re going to have to worry about that with this one. Deger confirmed that the MSRP would be $469 for the base M2 and $499 for the M2 LE addition. The key difference between the two will be that the LE addition will feature phosphoric sights. The gun will have six, seven and eight round magazines available. All of the Walther purists will be happy to know that the Classic model will remain available in Walther’s line.
Walther introduced the PPS in 2007. This model will now be referred to as the PPS Classic–not the M1. The PPS Classic was designed for concealed carry civilians and plainclothes law enforcement personnel. It features a short recoil locking breach, and uses a modified Browning cam lock system, much like that of the Hi Power.
If you will recall, this release was well before the introduction of Smith and Wesson’s Shield, or Springfield Armory’s XDS Compact. As such, the PPS Classic really represented the first introduction of a single stack compact 9mm pistol to the marketplace. Over the last nine years, we have seen introductions from those manufacturers listed above, as well as GLOCK. Everyone has skin in the single stack 9mm. game now.
The sights on the new Walther PPS M2 are all metal, and have a traditional 3 dot system. The slide appears to have been completely redesigned, with cocking serrations on the front and rear of the pistol. The PPS logo is featured much more prominently on the side opposite of the ejection port.
The polymer frame has been given a complete makeover as well. The accessory rail has been removed, and the dust cover has been reshaped and smoothed to eliminate sharp edges. The grip of the pistol has been restyled, and now very much resembles its big brother, the PPQ. Deger refers to this as “the Carl Walther ergonomics” in effect. The finger grooves are much more pronounced and rounded, with a grit texture added. This texture carries on to the extended magazine, to allow a full grip on the gun.
The back strap on the classic model was removable and interchangeable, and came with a rather unique feature- when the back strap was removed, the striker was decocked to render the gun inoperable. This feature could be quite annoying if the back strap was damaged. Some will be excited to learn that Walther has removed this feature from the M2. As an added bonus, the back strap now includes a swell that contours nicely to the palm of the hand.
The magazine release on the classic model was along the trigger guard, and could be activated using your thumb or index finger. Although this touch does well in Europe, the American market simply prefers the thumb magazine release. The new magazine release is tucked and shaped in such a way as to make it very easy to activate deliberately, but difficult to inadvertently dump your magazine with.
The trigger has also been completely redesigned, with a reshaped trigger and trigger guard. The new trigger guard and grip work together to provide a very ergonomic positioning for the index finger. Inside the gun, the transfer bar mechanism is completely different as well. Although the trigger is not a PPQ trigger, it represents a vast improvement over the Classic’s trigger. Its pull is listed at just over 6 pounds, which is about right for a defensive firearm without an external safety. Anecdotally speaking, I found the trigger to have a smooth, predictable pull; this is much more important to me than the actual weight.
|Weight Empty||1lb 2oz||1lb 2oz|
|Height W/ 6 round Magazine||4.3||4.3|
|Height w/ 7 round Magazine||4.91||4.91|
On the Range
My first opportunity to take the new gun to the range it was on a crisp January morning. I am a firm believer in the idea that gunfights are a “come as you are” affair, and you should train appropriately. In the spirit of that mentality, I did my first shooting of the winter with gloves on. The new trigger and trigger guard allowed me to retain my control of the gun, and the improved grip design provided a secure purchase with gloves. Once I had established a feel for the gun, I wanted to try some reloads with the new magazine release. I was well-acquainted with the trigger guard-mounted release of the PPS Classic, which I had brought with me. After reloading both pistols back to back, I was amazed by how much faster I was able to operate the button release on the M2.
The sights were familiar and precise, delivering accuracy that was second to none. The gun was very controllable- at 10 yards, I was able to place a head or multiple body shots with equal ease. I ran through a variety of range ammunition and defensive rounds, and the gun performed well firing each and every one of them. My sample M2 came with a six round magazine and a seven round magazine. I was able to perform slide lock reloads with both magazines in the primary and secondary positions without any incident. Throughout all of my testing, the gun experienced no malfunctions of any kind.
Due to the deadline for this article, I was not able to truly settle on which ammunition delivered the best accuracy. Out of all the groups that I shot, I did not have any issues with accuracy, but I enjoy testing different ammunition types and finding the sweet spot for each gun. I will be taking this gun to the range again soon for a more extended test-firing session, and I will certainly provide information on ammunition performance when I have it available.
The Bottom Line
I have owned a PPS since 2011. Since I acquired my first PPS, I have carried it as a backup gun, and occasionally as my primary. I own or have owned a Glock 43, Springfield XDS, Walther CCP, Smith & Wesson Shield and several compact 1911s. Throughout all of these acquisitions, I have continued to carry the PPS because of its small size, absolute reliability and exceptional accuracy. I’m sad to say that my Classic will now be relegated to safe duty while I carry the M2. Walther has done something amazing: reducing the price of the gun while simultaneously adding features that enhance it.
I’ve been trying to think of something I would have done differently, had I been a part of the design team. I did come up with one thing: I would really like to see tritium sights available from the factory. I’ll be looking out for lasers and lights for this gun that do not require the accessory rail, as none are currently available. However, I do have it on good authority that holsters for the PPS M2 will be available this week from Bravo Concealment and Galco, and I suspect that other manufacturers will be following suit quickly. I can definitely deal with a slight accessory shortage in exchange for having the gun available this week, versus six months or a year. Sorry, Classic, it’s time for you to retire- the PPS M2 is a line extension done exceptionally well.