Walther PPS M2 Review
Today we’re putting Walther’s newest subcompact, the Walther PPS M2, through it’s paces. Here’s what we’ve found.
Looks and Ergonomics
While a lot of positive adjectives could be used to describe the original PPS, sexy wasn’t one of them. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but beautiful just wasn’t a word many associated with the original PPS. The pistol had a blocky appearance; very angular. We’ve compared it to two pieces of wood nailed together. It almost looked like they built the prototype from an old lego set and just went straight into production with the result. All function and no form, James Bond wasn’t giving up his sleek (but maybe a little dated) PPK to drop bad guys at 100 yards while fire-hose-bungee-jumping off a building.
The PPS M2 has made some significant advancements in this department. Doing away with the interchangeable backstraps that allowed one to customize the original, Walther instead opted to give a it sculpted grip. Anyone familiar with the ultra-comfortable PPQ grip will notice immediate similarities. It molds much more comfortably into most users’ hands than the M1 ever could. Magazines with various extension lengths allow for shooters with larger hands to still get good purchase.
Those smooth contours continue throughout, with much sleeker curves and lines making up the shape of the frame. This is the gun James Bond would trade in his PPK for.
Specs and Features
The Walther PPS M2 sports a barrel length of 3.18 inches, with an overall length of just over 6″ and width of 1″. It’s a striker-fired, double action only pistol.
The M2 version has some significant departures from the original. One big change is the switch from the European paddle-style mag release. This is replaced by the more traditional button release favored by Western shooters.
Some of the other improvements boil down to addition by subtraction. The new model does away with the under-barrel accessory rail. Given the short barrel length, only a few lights or laser attachments really worked well with it anyway. Bulking up a concealed carry subcompact with add-ons never made a lot of sense, but it may be important factor to consider. Also gone are the interchangeable grip backstraps. These inserts were just as squarish and blocky as the rest of the pistol, and in our opinion didn’t help much in the way of ergonomics or comfort regardless of hand size.
The slide is largely unchanged except for an extra set of serrations towards the muzzle to provide texture to those who prefer to rack from the front.
A good, smooth trigger will greatly aid in keeping your sights on target through the trigger pull. Its bigger sibling, the PPQ, has arguably one of the best stock triggers in the industry. If the PPS M1 fell short, it was in not carrying through with that pedigree. It certainly wasn’t terrible, but we found the original PPS trigger to have a fair amount of “grit” in the take-up. It smoothed out slightly over time with use, but never completely went away.
The M2’s trigger is much improved. Right out of the box I noticed a much smoother take up with a crisp break. Any grit is almost completely gone. The pull measures in at right around 6 lbs, which is just about perfect for this type of weapon. Not so light as to accidentally pull, yet easy enough to allow anyone to smoothly manipulate when needed.
The M2 retains it’s predecessor’s ultra slim profile. The PPS was one of the thinnest single stack pistols available in 9mm or .40 when it was originally released, and the M2 carries on that tradition. While there aren’t quite as many holster options available compared to a Glock G43 or S&W Shield, there are still more than enough out there to suit anyone’s tastes for OWB or IWB carry.
While some could complain about a few of the ergonomic design aspects of the M1, no one could take issue with it’s functionality. When it came time to get down to business, the German quality and craftsmanship shone through. The M1 shot lights-out for a subcompact and was not fussy about ammo in the least. The PPS M2 is no different. It just works, which is exactly what you want out of an everyday concealed carry handgun.
Recoil can be a concern for smaller carry guns, but the Walther PPS M2 shoots smoothly and manages recoil as well as any single stack on the market at this time.
Given the shortcomings of the M1 I’ve mentioned here, in a vacuum it may almost seem like it that pistol was a failure in its own right. That’s definitely not the case. While it had some minimal issues, the PPS M1 was a fantastic carry pistol, and one of the best-reviewed. It’s to Walther’s credit that they’ve been able to make this new design even better, improving on what worked and addressing most of the minor complaints. Most impressively, this pistol is relatively cheap, considering other manufacturers’ offerings in the same category. As such we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the PPS M2 to anyone looking for a concealed carry gun.
At Next Level Armory, we give informal reviews of the products we sell. We try to provide our audience with unbiased opinions (as well anecdotal feedback from our customers) of our initial and ongoing impressions of these products while using them in the way that the majority of our customers would. Unless otherwise noted, these products are NOT provided to us for the purposes of review.