Walther’s pistols are so renowned for their quality, that one variant is the gun of choice for a certain spy with a three-digit code name. The subject of this review is Walther’s striker-fired PPS M2, which is a compact gun with a surprising amount of oomph.
If you consider yourself a suave secret-agent type or just want to learn about a darn fine pocket pistol, keep reading this Walther PPS M2 review!
Table of Contents
Walther PPS M2 – Overview
The Walther PPS M2 is a German-made semi-automatic pistol that debuted in 2016. It is the spiritual successor of the Walter PPS, with the first PPS debuting at the 2007 IWA & Outdoor Classics show.
The PPS in its name is an abbreviation of Polizei-Pistol Schmal (Police Pistol Slim in English). Walther Arms imports the guns in the United States, while Carl Walther GmbH Sportswaffen manufactures the pistol in Ulm, Germany. A Polish manufacturer also makes Walther pistols under license, trading as Fabyrka Broni Radom.
As a fun fact, the Walther PPK, which predates the PPS and PPS M2, is commonly associated with fictional British spy James Bond.
You can buy the PPS M2 in four variants: two 9x19mm caliber versions and two .40 caliber versions. Mainly, this gun has a strong market in law enforcement and the military, and the demand from these government arms should tell you something about its reliability.
Use Case and Size
All four variants of the PPS pistols make excellent concealed carry weapons. This is a small gun with a 6.3-inch overall length, 3.2-inch barrel length, and a 19.4-ounce (unloaded) weight. With dimensions like those, the PPS M2 is easily concealed underneath clothing, in holsters worn inside the waistband, on ankles, etc.
As mentioned earlier, this gun is a law-enforcement darling, so you’ll be in good company carrying it concealed.
Frame and Ergonomics
Walther’s pistol sports a polymer frame with a Tenifer coating. As such, it’s lightweight yet durable in parts. I think this polymer pistol could’ve used a more aggressive texture, but it’s still one of the most comfortable handguns available, thanks to an ergonomically sound grip.
The first iteration of the PPS could be charitably described as “blocky”. However, the PPS M2’s design features a softer outline with rounder ergonomics that offer a more comfortable grip. For example, I really dig the finger grooves in the gun’s grip.
An extended beavertail on the grip makes holstering and reholstering the weapon a smooth action, while the non-slip texture of the grip keeps it moisture-free even in tense and high-stress situations. As such, you won’t have to worry about your gun slipping through your fingers due to sweatiness.
Unfortunately, the PPS M2 doesn’t have an accessory rail, which reduces the ways you can customize the gun. However, some might argue that it isn’t necessary and makes the gun more bulky and difficult to reholster. As such, the lack of accessory rail isn’t a huge dealbreaker.
Capacity, Magazine, and Magwell
This gun comes with two magazines: a six-round flush fit magazine and a seven-round magazine, both of which are single-stack.
Admittedly, that isn’t the largest magazine capacity you can get on a gun in its category. However, some variants ship with three magazines, and you can buy additional magazines, too, as seven and eight-round extended magazines. Both extended mags affect the gun’s grip length (good for bigger hands) and overall height (bad for concealability).The Walther PPS M2 sports a re-designed magazine release button, which, thankfully, does away with the paddle-style release on the original PPS. Look, I don’t mean to knock the paddle mag release of yore, but I can’t help but feel it was an unnecessary departure from traditional button releases.
Also, that paddle release took some getting used to, especially after forming shooting habits with a button-press mag release. While the new button isn’t ambidextrous, I’ll take it over the former design any day. As for how it ejects spent magazines from the magwell, you can expect the gun to spit them out quickly.
You’ll find some front and rear serrations on the PPS M2’s Tenifer-coated slide that make it a joy to rack. It’s usually difficult to rack the slide on small guns, and when you add sweaty fingers or moisture from the weapon to the equation, the difficulty shoots through the roof. However, the serrations on the M2’s slide prevent such issues.
It also has a loaded-chamber viewport, which makes checking for loaded rounds before cleaning easier to do. Right-handed shooters can easily engage the slide release on this firearm due to its convenient placement on the left side. However, it isn’t ambidextrous, so left-handed shooters will need to do some more exploring with their fingers.
The slide stop works as expected, locking back once the gun is empty. It’s also very smooth, meaning it won’t snag on your clothing or in the holster when drawn.
The PPS M2 has phosphoric three-dot sights: a fixed front sight and two windage-adjustable rear sights. These prominent white-dot sights are hard to miss and together provide a crystal-clear sight picture. I think they’re impressive given the handgun’s size, though if you disagree, you can always upgrade the rear ones.
Though self-illuminating, tritium types aren’t an upgrade option as of yet, you can get some red-dot sights mounted.
The PPS M2 features a wider trigger with a 6.1-pound trigger pull and a short reset nestled behind the gun’s trigger guard. In addition, it has some serrations on it, making it feel like the trigger on a full-sized gun.
You won’t feel any grittiness when you pull the trigger, and it has a short take up and clean break during its 0.2-inch travel distance. The short reset allows quicker follow-up shots should the need arise.
The trigger comes with a safety, which Walther includes in such a way that it doesn’t obstruct your finger. Said trigger safety does a fine job of preventing misfires that may occur if you were to drop the gun accidentally.
Shooting, Accuracy, and Reliability
You’re in for some smooth shooting when you fire the Walther PPS M2, thanks to its serviceable sights, which help it shoot accurately, and excellent trigger pull. I put varying ammunition types through the M2, and it fired without a hitch. Also, the pistol’s recoil is pretty manageable despite its size, and you can make follow-up shots quickly and easily.
This gun’s low bore axis reduces muzzle rise, which cuts the felt recoil down to a minimum. An additional advantage of the low bore axis is your shots are more accurate while lowering discomfort. You also get minimal muzzle flip, meaning you can shoot targets at longer distances.
The M2’s 9 x 19 mm caliber means this gun has excellent stopping power. Regarding the gun’s muzzle velocity, you’re looking at 1509 feet per second, which will drop an assailant without issue. As such, this is one compact gun that’s great for self-defense.
I think the M2 is a pretty reliable pistol. Whether shooting it at the range for fun or carrying it for protection, it’ll work as expected.
Walther gave its PPS M2 some handy safety features. First, you have the trigger safety, which prevents accidental discharges. Second, there’s a magazine disconnect safety, which keeps the gun from firing when there’s no magazine in it. Third and fourth, there’s the loaded-chamber indicator and firing pin safety. And finally, it comes with a manual safety. See? Safe as can be!
Taking down the Walther PPS M2 is pretty straightforward: start by unloading the gun by pressing the magazine release button to eject the magazine and remove the round in the gun’s chamber.
Once you’ve unloaded it and fired the empty gun, pull the takedown lever down. The slide should move forward a couple of inches. You can then remove the slide, wash it, and rinse it before re-inserting it. Finally, wrap things up by cleaning the gun’s barrel and frame before lubricating it.
Accessories for the PPS M2 are fewer than those of other pistols. Besides extra magazines, you can upgrade the sights or get new grips. I recommend picking up a holster if you plan to carry this gun around, and brands like Alien Gear and the like make some quality ones.
This Walther PPS M2 review should help you make an informed decision about this handgun. I think it’s a worthy successor to the PPS, as it does away with the older gun’s less desirable features (looking at you, paddled release) and makes some fantastic improvements.
Additionally, even though accuracy and stopping power aren’t usually synonymous with compact carry gun reviews, the Walther PPS M2 has both in spades, which is what makes it such a special little firecracker.