My Walther PPX Review.

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by Kiln, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    Two things are certain in the United States, gun ownership is on the rise and people are looking for affordable firearms that last. The Walther PPX is Walther's attempt at breaking into the budget handgun market. Someone at Walther finally wised up and came to the conclusion that they were missing out on large amounts of income by cutting themselves out of a rich market for gun buyers looking for a pistol in the $350 range. They then designed a gun from the ground up that could compete with guns like the S&W SD9VE series and various knockoffs of older designs from Europe being imported and sold dirt cheap.

    The PPX was the result of this effort and can be picked up in either 9mm or .40S&W at a price that is generally below $400, including taxes. Walther has been a big name in producing quality firearms for many years and despite Umarex produced guns causing damage to their reputation, the centerfire guns are still regarded as excellent by a large number of people in the shooting world. Lets get to it:

    What's in the box?

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    The PPX comes in a foam lined case with two mags, a gun lock, a chamber flag, and a manual. Nothing fancy here, although it is worth noting that several competitors' bare bones pistols such as the S&W SD9VE and Ruger 9E do not come with a case at all and the Ruger comes with a single magazine.

    The magazines hold 16 rounds of 9mm and 14 rounds of .40S&W. They are made in Italy, which means Mec Gar, a well respected magazine manufacturer that supplies stock magazines for many large firearm companies. The magazines are blued and feature even and odd witness holes on opposite sides of mag body. The base plates are polymer. The manual is also surprisingly detailed with plenty of color illustrations and even a step by step on where to apply oil for best results when cleaning.

    Okay so what about the gun?

    The pistol itself is bulky, wide, and a little top heavy. It weighs in at 1.7lbs according to Walther's website. The slide features standard and forward slide serrations as well as a cutout above the chamber that serves as a non-intrusive loaded chamber indicator. The sights are your standard three dot and are made of steel. The rear sight is drift adjustable and the front sight can be replaced by a factory post (sold separately) to tune it to your specific shooting habits and help dial it in. The sight radius is 6.3". For me, the stock sights shot dead on at twenty-five yards.

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    [​IMG]

    There are no sharp edges on the slide or the rest of the gun, they've all been slightly rounded which results in a very comfortable gun to operate. The grip is polymer and is aggressively textured to help you keep a good hold on it even when firing. The texturing is rough but not uncomfortable and allows you to keep a very good hold even when firing quickly. Up front is a standard rail so you can hang all of that tacticool stuff you've bought up there if you feel the need to do so. The grip is a solid piece however and does not allow for interchangeable backstraps, despite this minor critique the gun seemed to fit everyone that fired it very well.

    Controls, Comfort, Construction, and the Trigger:

    Despite looking a little uncomfortable, everything about it is on the other end of the spectrum. The slide stop lever is easy to reach and the mag release ejects the magazine forcefully enough that you won't have to pull them out with your off hand, which is preferred by a large number of shooting enthusiasts.

    The magazine release is on the left side of the gun but is easily reversible and the process is covered in detail within the manual. The slide stop, trigger, disassembly lever, and magazine release button are all steel. The trigger has some incredibly light serrations that are almost undetectable, which is fine. You can fire this gun all day without the trigger feeling uncomfortable and as far as I noticed, there is no trigger slap. The gun is hammer fired by a visible hammer that sits flush with the rear of the slide until toward the end of the trigger stroke. The hammer is partially cocked which means if you pull it and the gun does not fire, you'll have to manually rack the slide to get it back into action. The trigger is listed at 6.5lbs on the website but it feels much lighter in action. It is actually one of the best triggers I've ever felt in my life and I've fired a fairly large number of handguns over the years including Glocks and XDM's. It has a little travel which has almost no resistance and at the end of the stroke there is a very short block. The break is excellent and the reset is noticeable as well as short.

    [​IMG]

    The barrel is 4" which also lends to accuracy. The barrel design is an odd one for a handgun, it is an amalgamation of three pieces. The barrel hood, barrel, and feed ramp are actually separate pieces that have been combined into a your barrel assembly. The guide rod is polymer, which I don't really like but so far it hasn't been an issue.

    There is a plastic insert in the underside of the slide that appears to shield the firing pin channel from fouling but to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of plastic inside of the slide. Despite this, all of the contact points between the frame and slide are steel. The firing pin is inertia based and the trigger must be pulled all the way back in order for the block to be pushed aside so that the pistol can fire. There is no magazine disconnect. Disassembly does not require dry firing and is extremely simple. It requires you only to empty the pistol, lock the slide back, and rotate the takedown lever in order to field strip. As with most modern pistols, there are very few parts to keep track of and reassembly is just as easy.

    So...Does it Work?

    I only had a few hundred rounds on hand of various ammunition on hand. I fired a combination of Winchester White Box and Monarch FMJ as well as a few magazines of various defensive ammunition through it with zero malfunctions of any kind. The number of rounds fired was a little over 500 and the gun still looks excellent inside. Recoil was less than I'd expected from such a top heavy pistol, I expect that the extra weight along with the ergonomics and grip texturing allowed everyone to keep the gun on target even during rapid fire with relative ease.

    So Should I Buy One?

    If you're looking for a great gun to shoot that won't break the bank, the Walther PPX is an excellent choice. It would best serve as a home defense or vehicle carried weapon because of it's size. At 7.3" long and 5.6" high, it is far from compact and while I'm sure that some will undoubtedly carry the PPX, it is far from the ideal gun to carry on your person. Walther products (not Umarex) have long had good reputations for being solid performers and from my brief experience thus far, the PPX is definitely worth considering for a range or home defense gun. It may not be winning any beauty contests but the Walther PPX has impressed me and one of my relatives so much that he bought one himself, which marks the first firearm he's purchased in decades.

    Also, in case you have yet to be informed, Walther now warranties all of their pistols for life starting in 2015. It was in their 2015 catalogue and I confirmed with Walther's customer service department that this applies to all Walther models and applies retroactively to guns bought even before the lifetime warranty policy was created.

    Happy shooting guys,
    Kiln
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  2. HiPointArmorer

    HiPointArmorer Member

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    A dealer let my dry fire one a few times. Its like a hammer fired Glock trigger but its smooth as silk. Have fun rapid firing that bad boy, is the barrel free floating?
     

  3. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    Yeah, it's locked breech.

    One thing that floored me is that the instruction manual is so detailed. It has illustrated areas on where to place oil, how much oil to place, and goes over bullet weight/velocity and perceived recoil. For most guys here it'll be common knowledge but if it had been my first gun and I knew next to nothing about it, the manual would be a useful tool for safety and basic knowledge.
     
  4. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    Nice review Kiln!.....
     
  5. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Nice review.

    Well written and descriptive.

    I'm not sure that the lack of an interchangeable backstrap is cause for even minor criticism. While more guns than ever have an interchangeable backstrap, most still do not.

    I'm putting a link to this thread in the Consumer Reviews sub-forum.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  6. Not2ManyGuns

    Not2ManyGuns Member

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    Excellent review.

    You're right, I haven't ever hear about the the lifetime warranty policy, beginning in 2015, being applied, "to all Walther models and applies retroactively to guns bought even before the lifetime warranty policy was created."

    Good information for people that own older Walthers. Thanks.
     
  7. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

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    That was a well-written and detailed review, Kiln. The PPX is an interesting concept. Most of the half-cocked DAO models out there use striker systems. Walther's use of a hammer with the concept is pretty unique. I also have to say that I am surprised that they didn't go with their traditional paddle-type magazine release. It is unusual but functional, and it readily lends itself to ambidextrous use.

    My only complaint about Walther is that they haven't yet fielded a .45ACP model.
     
  8. Hermitt

    Hermitt Hey! Get Off My Lawn! Member

    I've always liked Walther pistols. Nice review on another affordable pistol!
     
  9. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    You're right of course, the only reason I mentioned it was because the "hump" on the Walther's grip being as prominent as it is will probably be considered a negative by some people. Without the option for a different backstrap, your only option will be to get over it or buy something else.
     
  10. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    "In my days, kids, we didn't have adjustable backstraps on our pistols! We got what we got and we were thankful! <mumble mumble> uphill, both ways, against the wind, both ways, through 12 feet of snow, both ways, carrying my brother on my back! <grumble> Kids these days! Don't know how good they got it!"

    ;)

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  11. Good review I seen them when I got my PPQ / I may give the ppx another look
     
  12. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

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    Loadin'em through the muzzle *mumble, grumble*
     
  13. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    It's funny because out of the handguns I have, only the XDM's have interchangeable backstraps, none of the others look like a Walther P99 mated with the hunchback of Notre Dame though.

    Personally, I think the grip fits my hand perfectly as is.
     
  14. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    Very nice review brother. Always like that companies products. May have to get one.
     
  15. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    Thanks for the comments guys, it took me a few to write the article and snap the pictures so I'm glad the time was appreciated. I'm pretty impressed with it...the gun that is, not the review.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  16. MaryB

    MaryB Supporting Member

    Looks like a bigger version of my PK380... same grip hump that happens to fit my hand perfectly(why I fell in love with it first time I handled it, so many have 2x4 grips like Glocks!). I do like the mag release on your better, mine has the tab on the trigger guard that is in a clumsy spot.

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  17. bscar

    bscar Supporting Member

    I love my Walther clone, the TP9
     
  18. tone

    tone Member

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    I just ordered the threaded barrel version from cdnn for $284. Hickok45's review sold me on it.
     
  19. I grabbed one from CDNN last year and I love it. Glad to see another Walther fan.
     
  20. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    Ask and ye shall receive. Walther announced they're building a .45 ACP pistol for the first time in the company's history recently. It's built on their already existing PPQ frame.

    The other thing I was going to mention but haven't gotten to until now is that it seems like Walther is moving away from the paddle type mag release on all of their newer guns, probably for cheaper manufacturing and because so many people complain that the mag release on the paddle style guns is "in the wrong spot" for a combat gun. Personally I always liked the paddle release.