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Walther PDP Compact 9mm – A Big Powerhouse To The Carry World

By: Jared Noble

If you know me, you know I’m a Walther simp. I’ll buy pretty much whatever they’re selling, sight unseen. New pocket pistol? Sold. New race gun? You had me at gun. The new addition to the German firearms manufacturer’s stable is no exception.

Released in February of 2021, Walther’s PPQ replacement, the PDP – Performance Duty Pistol – comes in 3 different variants: the Compact, Full Size 4″, and Full Size 4.5″, with the measurements on the full size models referring to the barrel length options. the Compact is, I believe, more of a comparative naming convention that it is a designation of its actual size. Pictured here next to its predecessor, a PPQ M@, the PDP has a notably wider slide profile and near identical grip length. After handling both the Full Size 4″ and the Compact I opted for the smaller of the two as the extra length of the Full Sized module didn’t feel quite as good in hand. The lip on the magazine well aides in creating a tight grip, somewhat forcing the users hand further up into the trigger guard and the absence of that “push” in the full size models was noticeable. The only downside of the compact in comparison to the fulls is a 3 round loss in the magazine. but…Floyd’s makes a +6 extension that mitigates that quite well.

Since the release of the PPQs in 2011, they have been widely regarded as having one of the better, if not best, semi automatic triggers on the market. The PDP has an “upgraded” trigger system in is Performance Duty Trigger which they state has a shortest uptake before the “wall” and a crisp break wen you get to it. It’s true…all of it. It’s a unique feeling honestly that I really enjoy. The pull is around 5lbs but feels lighter to me. The wall is well defined but breaks easily when squeezed through, allowing the shooter to get through minimal take up and have a tactile “stopping point” to prep up to.

In addition to the overall great design of the system, the PDP’s “Supperterrain Serrations” on the slide are nothing shot of gnarly. I cannot imagine any substance that could coat that slide and make it difficult to rack. Belt, shoes, pants…I tried every “oh shit my hand doesn’t work” slide racking that I could and had zero issues with it catching. On the grip, Walther has improved the texture previously found on the PPQs with what they are calling “Performance Duty Texture”. It’s aggressive. It’s not smooth in any way and reminds me of the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 texture but less pointy and more comfortable. Wearing it in an AIWB holster on active days is still comfortable but I have had fishing trips where excessive bending and twisting caused a little rub. This is likely due to the holster position and is hardly worth talking about.

I’ve been carrying one for just shy of a month, and until Walther releases something to compete with the 365s and Hellcats of today’s options, I don’t see me going to anything else. I’ve outfitted mine with a Holosun 507c Red Dot optic, and a Floyd’s Magwell to aid in funneling reloads a little easier. After zeroing the pistol, I – without any further rounds downrange – took it to a local indoor match and was able to pull off a top ten finish not having shot in competition in nearly two and a half years. Walther has redesigned the grip angle slightly to allow for easier presentation for those transitioning to a red dot for the first time and it really showed in the match. After only a handful of practice draws, acquiring the dot was considerably easier than it had been on my PPQ Q5 or my P320 RXP.

Overall – just go buy one. You’re obviously interested, you read this whole damn article. This thing is awesome.

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