As 2017 approaches, I find myself re-thinking my pistol options for concealed carry. While working on this Walther PPS M2 review, I found myself considering that it might be my go-to gun for the new year.
I’ve had a chance to spend a lot of time with one in the past few months, and the more I shoot it, the more I am convinced that it is the best compact, single-stack 9mm handgun on the market. The gun is accurate, reliable and a soft shooter.
The Walther PPS M2 is an update to the original PPS pistol. It is a single-stack, 9mm handgun similar to the Glock 43 and Smith & Wesson Shield. It is very reliable, accurate and easy to shoot. For the money, I think it is one of the best concealed carry pistols you could choose.
– improved ergonomics over the original
– zero problems after inital testing and 5 years of follow up
– easy shooter, good trigger and flat profile
– available through our affiliate links at Guns and Palmetto State Armory
I previously reviewed the original PPS and liked it, but not enough to replace any of my current gun choices. Ditto for my wife. In this size category, she kept her Shield and I kept my Glock 43. However, my wife dropped her Shield in favor of the PPS M2, and I am considering doing the same.
Let me explain why in this Walther PPS M2 review…
The PPS M2 is the recently updated single-stack, compact 9mm pistol from Walther. The gun is designed for concealed carry and is also suitable as a back up gun for uniformed law enforcement officers.
Obviously, there are differences between the original PPS and the M2 version. The major one that many people, including myself, are interested in is the new magazine release. The original gun had an ambidextrous lever that you would push down to release the magazine. This one has a more common push-button style release.
As I noted in my original PPS review, I did not like the lever-style release. For me, it did not work. It seems that it did not work well for a lot of other people either, as Walther redesigned the gun and changed the release.
Another significant change in the design was the deletion of the accessory rail. Normally, I would say that deleting features from a gun is a negative, but for this pistol, I think it is a wash. Frankly, I don’t think I would ever use a light designed for an accessory rail on a gun this size. Something smaller like one of the Crimson Trace Lightguard lights, yes. But, not a Picatinny mount light.
Walther’s design change also brought the overall grip shape and texture in line with the company’s larger pistols like the PPX. Your opinion may be different, but I like the look of the new guns a lot.
PPS M2 Specifications
Here are the Walther PPS M2 specifications:
|Magazine Capacity||6 rounds (7 & 8 rd available)|
|Weight (unloaded)||19.4 oz|
|Frame Material||black polymer|
PPS M2 LE
A factory variation on the PPS M2 is the LE edition. As the LE initials suggest, this is a version of the gun offered to law enforcement officers and government egencies. (Special note: You can pick up this edition through my affiliate link to Guns.com and Palmetto State Armory.)
Functionally, there is no difference. However, this gun ships with three magazines instead of two. Further, the LE gun is equipped with 3-dot phosphoric sights.
Phosphoric sights are not the same as tritium which glow due to the decay of a radioactive element. Instead, phosphoric sights absorb ambient light in bright conditions and glow in the dark.
Since the guns are otherwise identical, there is no need for a separate Walther PPS M2 LE review.
I liked shooting the original gun, and the PPS M2 was even better than the first. Accuracy was superb and reliability was flawless. I shot more than 10 different loads through this gun during my initial testing (see the performance table below,) and have since put many more rounds through the pistol.
The gun has shown no abnormal wear or any signs of problem whatsoever. This gun simply performed as well as any pistol I’ve shot, and I could find no faults in it.
For a small gun, the sights are exceptionally easy to find and align. Recoil is mild with even +P ammunition.
Here is a close look at how the different ammo performed in the PPS M2. All measurements were made by me.
|American Eagle 124 gr FMJ||1,010 fps||281 ft-lbs|
|Blazer Brass 115 gr FMJ||1,053 fps||283 ft-lbs|
|Blazer Brass 124 gr FMJ||1,052 fps||305 ft-lbs|
|Federal HST 124 gr +P||1,087 fps||325 ft-lbs|
|Hornady American Gunner 124 gr XTP +P||1,047 fps||302 ft-lbs|
|Hornady Critical Defense 115 gr FTX||1,058 fps||286 ft-lbs|
|HPR Ammunition 115 gr JHP||1,044 fps||278 ft-lbs|
|Liberty Ammunition 50 gr JHP||1,805 fps||362 ft-lbs|
|SIG SAUER Elite Performance V-Crown 124 gr JHP||1,009 fps||280 ft-lbs|
|SIG SAUER Elite Performance V-Crown 147 gr JHP||901 fps||265 ft-lbs|
|Speer Gold Dot 124 gr JHP||1,039 fps||297 ft-lbs|
Problems: Walther PPS M2 Recall
More than a year after I originally wrote this review, my PPS M2 was still running strong. I had not run into any PPS M2 problems. That’s when I found out Walther announced a recall on these pistols.
According to Walther, there was a possibility the guns could fire “under certain conditions” if they were dropped. So, the company issued a voluntary recall of all M2 pistols that could have the problem.
I initiated a return online and promptly receivced a return shipping label. From the time I dropped the gun off with FedEx until I had it back in my hands was less than two weeks. That’s exceptionally fast service.
Prior to carrying the pistol, I got it back out on the range for an extended session. It continued to run 100% reliably. My PPS M2 simply doesn’t hand any problems.
Other companies such as Taurus and SIG SAUER have come under scrutiny regarding questions about the safety of their pistols when it comes to accidental discharges if dropped. I don’t know if there are any actual problems with the pistols, but I do know that both companies seemed (to me) to avoid addressing the issue head-on.
Kudos to Walther for finding the problem and handling it with a minimum of fuss.
In a way, I wish I had something negative to say about the gun. Fortunately for Walther, I do not. The gun simply performed better than its closest competition from Glock, Smith & Wesson, Kahr and others.
Since I originally wrote this review in 2016, more than 5 years have passed. In that time, I’ve had the chance to shoot this gun a lot more. I’m happy to say it continues to run without a hitch.
As I mentioned earlier, my wife doesn’t carry her Shield anymore as the Walther PPS M2 has won her heart on the range. I’m also considering following her down the Walther road.
I have no hesitation in recommending the PPS M2 as a defensive firearm.
Last Update: August 23, 2021
All reviewers should provide a detailed accounting of potential biases and influences to you. Unfortunately, few do.
I received this gun as a loaner from Walther for the specific intent of conducting a review of it. I first wrote a review of this gun for Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement magazine. This review is an original work, though the conclusions are the same.
No monies or other considerations were offered, promised or given by Walther for me to conduct this review or to provide a “positive” review. Walther did not ask for any links or anything else.
I do not hold any financial interest in Walther Arms or any other manufacturer in the shooting or outdoors industry.
At the conclusion of the test period, I was so impressed by the gun, I elected to purchase the pistol instead of return it.
GunsHolstersAndGear.com is an independent, for-profit website. I do not charge readers a dime to access the information I provide.
Some of the links on this page and site are affiliate links to companies like Amazon and Palmetto State Armory. These links take you to the products mentioned in the article. Should you decide to purchase something from one of those companies, I make a small commission.
The links do not change your purchase price. I do not get to see what any individual purchases.