A couple of years ago, some of you may recall that I made a proclamation that I was prioritizing skills training over gear. Well, if I’m being honest, I didn’t follow through. Life got in the way. Somebody somewhere probably released another batch of great gear. And that was that. Well, that won’t happen this year. I finally registered for the Gunsite 250 Pistol Course – otherwise known as the “Gunsite Experience”. I’m attending in May and I couldn’t be more stoked!
As I took stock of the equipment I owned, I realized gear might not take as much of a back seat in 2017 as I thought. My CCW is a M&P Shield. I liked the idea of bringing my carry gun to the class, but something larger and higher capacity would make the week much more enjoyable. Plus, I’ve been thinking about getting into IDPA. And I don’t own a service size pistol. Yes, this is how we talk ourselves into a gun purchase folks.
I started out looking at the M&P Pro. It’s a popular gun in the IDPA Stock Service Pistol (SSP) Division and it was familiar due to my trigger time on the Shield. The other gun I wanted to rent and shoot was the Walther PPQ M2. I almost purchased the PPS when I was looking for a carry gun and I had read great things about the PPQ’s stock trigger. I went to a local range and rented both guns. The M&P proved to be very good and I shot fine with it. Then I tried the Walther. The experience left me wondering why anyone who gave the PPQ a solid run would buy the M&P Pro.
Two weeks later I was the proud owner of the Walther PPQ M2 Navy. The Navy model features a threaded barrel and is designed for “maritime operations”. I came across this video while doing some more research.
The underwater part is cool and all, but I really just wanted a threaded barrel for when the People’s Republic of Illinois decides to pass the Suppressor Bill that’s now before the state legislature. A guy can dream, right? The 4.6″ barrel length would limit holster availability but to me it was worth it.
Why the PPQ? Two characteristics of the gun stood out. First, the trigger was as advertised. I wanted this gun to be a winter carry option and I like to keep the triggers on all my carry guns stock. Either way, after shooting the PPQ, I had no desire to replace the trigger. It has a smooth take-up with a well-defined break and insanely short .1″ reset. Hands down, the best stock trigger I’ve ever experienced on a polymer, striker fired pistol. Not 1911 smooth, but definitely on another plateau of performance when compared to anything from Glock, M&P or Springfield.
The other was the ergonomics. The designers at Walther evidently know what it takes to run a gun under duress. I have stupid small hands for a guy my size but I have no problem reaching any of the controls on the PPQ’s frame. I can work the slide and eject a magazine without shifting my grip at all. Which no doubt will improve my gun handling.
Walther even got the stippling right. Unlike the Shield, I wouldn’t consider a custom stippling job on this gun. It gives me adequate grip right out of the box.
The only thing I didn’t like about the gun were the factory sights. I adhere to the doctrine “when in a fight, front sight”. Therefore, I’m not a fan of a three dot sight picture. Also, when the sights were aligned, there was too much space between the front sight and the back posts.
I ultimately went with a .100 wide Dawson Precision Fiber Optic front…
And a fixed Dawson Charger .210 Tall x .125 rear sight. The resulting sight picture is crisp and draws the eye to the front sight, which is what I wanted. The fiber optic is bright and small enough to pick up quickly without covering up targets at longer distances.
The Walther PPQ M2 Navy comes with a 15-round flush and 17-round extended 9mm magazine, multiple inter-changeable back straps, and a cable lock. Also included is a Walther magazine loader and a heavier suppressor specific recoil spring (both not pictured).
Of all the guns I’ve owned to-date, this might be my favorite. With the crisp trigger, I’m shooting tighter groups than I have in the past with any polymer pistol out of the box. The gun is stupid easy to manipulate. And I didn’t have to sacrifice round capacity because it’s right up there with the competition. I couldn’t be happier and the greatest compliment I can pay Walther is that this gun has me considering the PPS M2 (referred to by some as the “mini PPQ”) as a replacement for my Shield. It’s that good.
Now off to find a holster that will accommodate the PPQ Navy’s threaded barrel…