Range Report – Walther PPQ M2

Took a Walther PPQ for a test drive today. I’d fired one of these in 9mm before, and was stunned by it’s accuracy. It just pointed well.

Walther PPQ with 4.1″ barrel and 11rnd mag

This time, I got to try one out in .40S&W. Now, previously, my weapon of choice was a Glock 23, also in .40S&W. It was a serviceable weapon, and a workhorse.

Still, let’s start with the skinny on the new Walther PPQ M2 that I took for a spin today.

For one thing, let’s start with some GURPS stats and I’ll get to actual range report later.

Ultimately, this line is pretty much a stand-in for any modern, TL8 pistol with a 4″ barrel in .40S&W, to good estimation. Note that the 1/2D range is my estimation, not GURPS’ – for that use 160yds.

What sets this gun apart is the trigger and ergonomics, which remain about the best I’ve used, though if you go back to my test of the Springfield XD(M) in .40, you’ll see I shot better with it.

Show me the pix already

First 10 shots at 5 yds
Second 10 at 5 yds

First some caveats. The last two days were hard physically. I had about a 2.5 hour workout on Saturday morning, including calisthenics and 90 minutes of sword drills. Then a night of drinking and little sleep. Sunday after playtesting some stuff with +Peter V. Dell’Orto I spent two hours or so clearing out about 1,200 cubic feet of snow from my backyard. I was also very hungry due to calorie restriction because I need to lose weight.

OK, with all that, I headed off to the pistol range to put 150 rounds through the gun or so. I knew my accuracy would suffer due to my physiological state, so consider this preliminary. Excuses out of the way, my overall opinion is that the trigger is still awesome, the gun kicks hard if you’re not expecting it, and that I love the sight picture.

At 7 yards

I wasn’t as good with it as the Springfield, though. I’m going to take a look at these head-to-head at another time, comparing the rather small differences between them.


Honestly, most of the TL8 polymer frame pistols are functionally identical within GURPS resolution model. The coarse resolution of GURPS Acc model means that the threshold for Acc 2 is a 25 yard group from a bench rest that is as low as 4.5″ and as good as about 1.9″. That is to say – virtually every pistol made these days with a decent barrel and tolerances.

10 yards, faster firing

Now, it would not surprise me if both of these (the XDM and the PPQ) both were effectively Acc 2.5 – they could deliver about a 2.7″ group at 25 yards from a bench rest.

None of my groups were even close to that, of course, even my 10 yard string was pretty open – but I was also shooting faster this time.

That, actually, was where the PPQ really shone. It snapped back into position for follow-up shots quickly, the front sight was very narrow (easy to position between the rear sights) and quite visible. The crisp trigger rewarded decisiveness, and the gun has a 0.1″ trigger reset – it simply lusted to fire fast double-taps.

Stranger’s First Try

Just for fun, I offered up the pistol to my lane neighbors, who were shooting at 7 yards at 6″ diameter high visibility targets with some sort of Glock – might have been a Glock 22 or Glock 23, because the second guy loaded his own bullets (nice of him not to use mine, though I offered). Both of them were much more accurate with the PPQ than the guns they brought themselves.

In short, I suspect that the gun is pretty easy to qualify for Weapon Bond, giving that +1 to skill. I’m not sure how to properly reward the crispness of rapid fire; if anything, it might be a marginal drop in Rcl, but going from 2 to 1 just isn’t right, and going from 2 to 1.5 is sort of cruel, but at least it’s doable (0 is one hit, 2 is two hits, 3 is three hits).

Parting Shot

The only real moral to this story is that you have to practice – gain familiarity – with any weapon you use. It might not take that long – I only shot for less than an hour – but you are going to want to do it.

PPQ with 5″ Barrel

The difference between the 9mm and .40 was striking. The 9mm ate recoil for breakfast and was incredibly pointable – especially relative to the Glock 23 I was shooting (the 9mm is my friend’s gun). The .40 S&W didn’t quite go exactly where I wanted on the first shot, though I could repeat it reasonably well. I’ll need to practice.

In GURPS terms, a 5″ barrel (which would kick up damage to 2d+2) would not change much of the stats, and you’d need a much smaller piece to lower Bulk – more like the Springfield XDS or Kahr K40 or its smaller cousins.

Extended “13-round” magazine
that only comfortably seats 12

Finally – the magazines for the PPQ come in 11-round standard or 13-round extended when shooting .40S&W. The 9mm flush-fit magazine is 15 rounds, inexplicably picking up four more instead of the usual two. Not sure what’s up with that – perhaps to keep the ergonomics, the configuration of the .40 magazines is different. The 13 round mags don’t release well if loaded fully, so you’ll want to think about loading 12. That isn’t really a gain over 11, and it comes at the cost of a bulkier grip . . . though some might like it since it lets you get more of your off hand on the gun.

Still, it’s a nice shooter, and for those with smaller hands, like me, a great choice.

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