Just a sample of Walther Arms has to offer when it comes to pistols is enough to leave this gun writer begging for more.
What Are The Walther Arms Worth Considering:
I just returned from a week-long project with Panteao Productions, with which we were filming a new handgun training DVD, “Defensive Pistol Fundamentals.” It’ll be available soon for streaming, digital download and direct purchase.
That video is the reason for this column, but it’s not the topic. You see, I used Walther handguns during all 30-plus chapters. Those pistols are worth talking about.
Walther was founded in Germany by Carl Walther in 1886, and this company is probably best known for its P38 and PP/PPK pistols. The P38 was created to replace the Luger as the service pistol for the Unified Armed Forces of Nazi Germany. It was a fantastic pistol and has become highly sought by collectors. “Bond, James Bond” made the PP/PPK one of the most iconic and recognized pistols in the world. It first appeared as his main gun in the 1958 novel and subsequent 1963 movie, Dr. No. (As a side note, Bond was briefly armed with a Walther P38 in the movie Goldfinger.)
In fact, Walthers have remained tethered to Agent 007, even in modern times. In the 1983 film Never Say Never Again, Bond carried a Walther P5, and in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), he holstered a Walther P99. Although the current Bond continues to use various Walthers, apparently, some fool was put in charge of weapon selection and began breaking the tradition, arming him with Glocks, SIGs and H&Ks. James Bond would never carry anything but a Walther!
During DVD production, I used a variety of Walthers and put a lot of rounds downrange. While running a wide selection of Doubletap Ammo .380 ACP and 9mm ammunition, there was not a single stoppage experienced with any of the guns.
In case you’re not familiar with Walther pistols, here’s a look at those I used over the course of that week.
Maybe better known as “Bond’s Gun,” the PPKs is chambered for the .380 ACP. This is a steel-framed gun; and, at 23.6 ounces, it’s heavy for its size by any modern standard. When I first became a police officer, I carried a PPKs as an off-duty gun. It never made me feel like a secret agent, but I knew it as a trustworthy sidearm.
The PPKs is a double-action pistol with a slide-mounted de-cocker/safety. During handgun presentation, the safety should be flipped up/forward with the thumb of the shooting hand. When it’s time to holster, you use the same thumb to press the lever down; the hammer is de-cocked, and the pistol is put on “safe.” These, now- made-in-America iconic works of art, retail for about $750.
I look at the PPS as a more modern, more powerful version of the PPKs. The PPS is a compact, polymer-framed, single-stacked pistol chambered for the 9mm Luger. It weighs less than the PPKs and, depending on the magazine it’s paired with (some have extended base pads ), it’s almost the same size. Easily concealable and comfortable to shoot, the PPS is a great option for concealed carry.
In addition to the standard version, which has a suggested retail price of $449.99, Walther offers a model with a miniature red-dot sight for $699. There’s another version that comes out of the box with a Crimson Trace LaserGuard. You should be able to purchase this one—which might be the best PPS of the bunch — for about $500.
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The surprise for me was the Walther CCP, because prior to filming the DVD, I had no experience with it. This gun felt the best in-hand of any of the Walther pistols; when you pick it up, it’s the same sensation you experience as when you grip a Browning Hi-Power. During filming, I handed it to each of the crew members, and they all echoed this sentiment.
Two features set the CCP apart: The first is the Softcoil gas-delayed blowback recoil system. This pistol has a fixed, non-tilting barrel, but it uses gas pressure from the ignited cartridge by directing it through a small port in the barrel to slow down and delay rearward motion of the slide. It’s a unique system that makes for a very comfortable-shooting pistol. The other feature is the frame-mounted thumb safety. Being a 1911/Hi-Power kind of guy, I liked it and found its manipulation intuitive. Street prices are only about $400.
Although not as comfortable in my hand as the CCP, the PPQ pistols interfaced well with me, much better than any Glock I’ve ever held. The PPQ 4 has a 4-inch barrel, and the PPQ 5 has a 5-inch barrel. Both weigh about 25 ounces and offer a 15-round capacity. A variety of colors and finishes is offered, and each pistol comes with three interchangeable backstraps. Walther even offers a version with XS Sights’ new F8 sights. Suggested retail starts at about $650.
Most of the shooting I did during preparation and filming was with the PPQs. The triggers were excellent for a striker-fired handgun; and, to be honest, I’ve pulled some 1911 triggers that were not as good.
The only issue I had was with the ambidextrous and extended slide stop. For those who like to release a slide with the slide stop, this is an excellent feature. For those who are accustomed to riding a thumb safety with their thumb, it might not be.
Because I instinctively placed my thumb on the slide lock (to me, it felt like a safety), the pistols would not lock open after the last round in the magazine was fired. Yes, this is a training issue on my part, but it’s something to consider.
This is, of course, just a cursory review of a few of Walther’s handguns. I offer it here because I think these excellent pistols often get overlooked. In addition, after working with them for a week, I was impressed.
One thing’s for sure: You’ll be seeing more about them here in the future.
For more information on Walther Arms pistols, please visit www.waltherarms.com.
The article originally appeared in the May2019 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.