The PPQ (Police Pistol Quick Defense) M2 (Model with American-style magazine release button) is touted as having a lot of interesting features and to be not your usual semi-automatic striker-fired pistol. The previous 9mm model introduced in 2011 with a mag paddle-release has developed a fine reputation and is very similar, but some changes were made in an attempt to improve it. The PPQ M2 is available in 4 inch and 5 inch models. When Walther Arms sent me the 5-inch M2, I was anxious to compare it to several other high-quality, contemporary-styled striker-fired guns I have reviewed recently. I was anxious to answer some questions. Are there any unique or special factors we should be aware of? What are the features that make this gun stand out from the other strikers? How accurate is it? Is the trigger press decent and crisp, along with the travel and reset? What about its price? Would it be good to use for International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) shooting competition, as well as home defense? How do I rate it relative to the others recently reviewed. OK, I rolled up my sleeves and was ready to delve deeper into this gun, so I can help you evaluate if this gun is for you.
To begin, I wanted to have all the M2 specifications in front of me. Of course, there are many recognizable handgun attributes that directly affect accuracy, performance, and certain factors to seek out (My recently published book “Concealed Carry & Handgun Essentials” gives my specific handgun attributes to look for and my main selection criteria and considerations in depth for ANY handgun.) This is my brief look and report on the PPQ M2 with just a few of my considerations.
Criteria and Considerations
Listed below are My 10 Criteria for evaluating the PPQ M2 and I will apply them for my home defense and competition sports shooting purposes. In addition to my criteria, there are other subjective features that may be appealing for some, like a certain style, mag release location, action, caliber, appearance, number of mags included, type of sights/modifications, bore axis, rail, included extras like a holster and pouch, customer service, etc. So, I combined these into my last Miscellaneous criterion. I assigned a total possible point score of 10 points for each of my 10 criteria for a total possible score of 100 points. You can certainly add your own additional criteria and preferences or subtract any of mine. Here are mine:
1. Accuracy and Reliability – Performs well without reoccurring malfunctions and stoppages and results in accurate target hits with a maximum of a 4″ inch hit group at 7-15 yards for competition & home defense, and do that consistently;
2. Trigger Press maximum of about 5.0-5.5 pounds – lessens force applied for less movement & better accuracy- and press that is crisp and identifiable;
3. Trigger with short travel distance (a short travel distance increases the speed the trigger can be fired) and easily identifiable and short reset point; Trigger with a smooth consistent press for every shot (less need to transition between presses & make adjustments);
4. Barrel length of 5.0″ (primarily for competition shooting) or 4.0″-5.0″ (primarily for home defense);
5. Sights that are basic & simple (easy to use & see–I like Fiber Optic fronts); fast target acquisition; for my purposes– adjustable for windage; Night Sights for low-light situations;
6. Proper Gun Weight to minimize recoil (I prefer about 25 oz. or less for personal defense);
7. Caliber match to my needs, characteristics & abilities (consider medical & physical limitations); 9mm is my preference;
8. Capacity – adequate for use & feature tradeoffs- usually want at least 10 in a 9mm magazine for competition;
9. Ergonomics – Hand Comfort and Grip Fit, controls easy to work and easily accessible; rounded, low-profile;
10. Miscellaneous – Overall Finish, fit, & quality appearance; mag release location; ambidextrous controls; accessory rail; excellent customer service with friendly & helpful representatives; ease of disassembly-assembly; Hard Case; Extras (like holster & pouch), etc.
Remember, there are a lot of attributes, pros and cons, and criteria to include and consider and you make your own tradeoffs according to your priorities, preferences, and defined needs and use.
PPQ M2 9mm FIELD TEST
After shooting the PPQ M2 in 9mm and carefully considering its specifications, below is what I discovered and my point evaluations. Recognize that I am not a top expert shooter by any means and I only shot about 175 rounds through the PPQ M2, so it is not fully broken in. I bought myself and shot a variety of ammo including: American Eagle 115 grain FMJ, Aquila 124 grain FMJ, Freedom Munitions 124 grain FMJ, and commercial 115 grain FMJ reloads. I did not have hollow points with me, so did not shoot them.
Out of all my many handguns, I must say honestly that this 9mm PPQ M2 felt very comfortable and was in the top 3 or 4 of my many guns for fit to my hand and easy shooting. The grip felt as if it was custom made for my hands. The texture on the grip was excellent for me. Not too aggressive and rough, but just enough for a solid grasp on the gun without irritation. Two other instructors and my wife tried the gun and commented that it fit their various-sized hands great and felt good to them. It proved on the range to be very reliable, with an excellent grip, and the recoil was very manageable.
The front of the barrel is ported and that seemed to help it perform a little better than some of my other similar guns. There are the age-old “ported” questions: Does a ported gun perform better than a non-ported gun? What are the pros and cons of ported barrels? Here are some things I experienced with shooting the ported PPQ M2:
1. The porting did seem to reduce the muzzle rise when I shot it, which allowed me faster follow-up shots;
2. Porting the top of just about any barrel redirects some of the hot, expanding gases in a different direction which affects the recoil force. And I did experience somewhat of less recoil (not significantly) with the M2;
3. Maybe it was psycosomatic or the Pygmalion Effect where my high expectations caused it to result, but the porting did seem to help me keep my sights on target better. Perhaps, due to the muzzle not rising as sharply. I did notice point of impact was a little low by 3 inches, but I switched to the cover-up sight picture and solved it. I recommend shooting some heavier 147 grain and +P loads with it to test this further.
4. Without a doubt, it was easier on my weak carpal-tunnel wrist condition.
5. I knew to be careful when shooting a ported barrel from a retention position near your body or from a close combat stance, since the hot gases, powder, and particulate under pressure might cause injuries.
For the rounds I shot with it as soon as I unpacked it right out of the box, the PPQ M2 impressed me as a quality, very accurate, very reliable, good-looking, and above everything else a very comfortable handgun to hold.
My first two mags of 14 rounds each on each target really surprised me. Below are hits on each of the targets from my range field testing of the PPQ M2. Top target hits show first 14 rounds from standing position, two-hands, drawing from holster and slow firing at 15 yards on 8-inch splatter target. Bottom target hits show first 14 rounds from fast firing at 10 yards. This old codger with aging eyesight is not a great shot, but the gun made be look very good. I was sincerely amazed at the inherent accuracy of this gun.
Field Test Results for Each of my 10 Criteria:
1. The Accuracy of the PPQ M2 was very good for me at distances of 7, 10, and 15 yards, given my aging eyesight. The gun did most of the work. My groups at each of the distances were about 3.0-3.5 inches or so for the first time I ever fired the gun “out of the box” drawing from the holster. I used my Modified-Isosceles Stance, a two-handed grip, and shot various 115 grain FMJ and 124 grain FMJ ammo. I did not shoot hollow points… 10.
2. The Trigger Press out of the box averaged about 5.4 pounds, with 3 readings with my Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge. This was within my press criterion and I was very pleased with the short and soft press. Maybe I can change out the sights and use it as an IDPA competition gun. Some of my fellow instructors and a few students who shot the gun commented that the press was very accurate for them, with a crisp trigger, and had a great grip. I believe after it is broken in with more range time, the press will get even better… 10.
3. The M2 Trigger had a short travel distance and identifiable reset, was smooth, and felt very nice. The pre-cocked trigger made the shots consistent each time and I liked the short travel distance. This is an excellent striker-fired pistol with shot-to-shot consistency. It was a smooth shooter and I really enjoyed shooting it… 10.
4. The 5-inch Barrel and the long sight radius helped the handling of the gun and my accuracy. The ported barrel lightened the front of the slide and helped control muzzle flip and the recoil. The recoil was very manageable and while I did feel the recoil, it was very controllable. I was also surprised by my accuracy with it at 15 yards… 10.
5. The 3-dot sights were nice, just a little small for my preference, and I would have preferred fiber optic front sights to help my aging eyes get a quicker sight picture. I liked that the rear sight was adjustable for windage… 8.
6. The polymer frame with the ported slide made the overall weight less and at about 24.5 ounce for a full-size gun with an empty mag. It was just right and I could handle it well… 9.
7. The 9mm Caliber in the PPQ M2 was pleasant to shoot and made recoil very manageable. It handled all the brands and weights of ammo and reloads that I shot without any problems… 10.
8. The 15-round Capacity of the M2 9mm mags was perfect and gave me peace of mind for extra rounds… 10.
9. The Ergonomics of the PPQ M2 were very good for me. My medium-sized hands fit just right and the grip texture helped me have a firm and solid purchase. It felt very good in my hands. I could easily reach all the controls like the magazine release and slide lock lever, without turning the gun or adjusting my grip. The over-sized slide lock lever and large mag release really helped me and were not too big… 9.
10. Miscellaneous. I easily disassembled and re-assembled and cleaned the PPQ M2 before I shot it. However, I did have to press the trigger to disassemble. This is a safety concern, but recognizing this up front helps, along with practice. It would be nice to have a holster included, fiber optic or night sights, and especially 3 mags… 8.
Total Points = 94 out of 100 Possible. I definitely RECOMMEND this handgun for sports shooting competition and home defense, especially with a fiber optic front sight added. Its reliability, great grip, excellent trigger, reduced muzzle flip with the ported barrel, and accuracy were very impressive to me. This is just my personal opinion, so try it for yourself. This gun is nice for home defense and for IDPA shooting.
I hope this review of the PPQ M2 full-size, striker-fired 9mm has helped you gain some information you did not previously have. Consider that this is just my point of view with limited live-range fire and using only 175 rounds of available ammo. Like always, I recommend that you shoot any handgun yourself before you purchase it. Decide on your criteria, how you will primarily use the gun, and what features are important to you ahead of your range time. Then critically evaluate the gun YOURSELF per your criteria and purpose, with standard drills (several mentioned in my book), with various ammo types and brands, over an extended break-in period of about 500 rounds. Remember, safety first always.
Photos by Author and Walther Arms.
Contact: Walther Arms, Inc., Fort Smith, AR; (479) 242-8500.
* This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense and concealed carry. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever.
© 2016 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at [email protected].