The Walther PDP is great out of the box. But here are a few after-market upgrades some shooters might like.
While the stock pistol is incredible right out of the box, there are a few Walther PDP upgrades that can make it even better to shoot and carry. The purpose of how you will be using the pistol will help determine what upgrades are important to you. These are 8 Walther PDP upgrades you should consider making.
Aftermarket Iron Sights
There are a few Walther PDP upgrades that will be helpful, but the most customizable and important to do is upgrade the iron sights for your line of sight and use. If you’ll be using this as a carry gun, night sights will be a great option to have in low light conditions and daytime use. If you’ll be shooting the PDP in competition, you may prefer fiber optic sights instead.
The Walther PDP model comes with optional backstrap options, however, there are two companies that specialize in making backstraps designed to add texture to the backstrap and even add weight to help balance the gun and manage recoil. Taylor Freelance manufacturers an aluminum model backstrap with high traction checkering to help you grip the gun better. They also make a brass backstrap that adds over three ounces to the gun’s weight, which helps with felt recoil. Lok Grips solely manufacture custom gun grips for shooters. Their PDP brass backstrap adds about 3.5 ounces to the full-size model and 3.1 ounces to the compact model. The texture on their backstrap is unlike any others that have been designed.
The Walther Performance Duty Pistol is intended to be used for concealed carry. A good upgrade to make on any carry gun is a quality light. The PDP features a Picatinny rail that allows a few different lights to attach to it. The TLR-8 Streamlight also features a red laser and has ambidextrous side switches. Surefire also makes multiple light models that will fit the PDP gun. These include the X300 U-B, XCI-B, X300U-A, XSC, and X400U Weaponlights just to name a few compact light options.
Recoil Management System
Recoil management is one of the most important aspects of shooting a firearm. If you cannot hold onto a gun when you shoot it, that gun may not be the right fit for you or you may need to find a gun that you can hold onto. Decreasing the felt recoil can help you hold onto the gun when shooting and allow for faster follow-up shots. There are a few Walther PDP upgrades you can make to adjust the felt recoil.
A tungsten-weighted guide rod adds more weight than the factor polymer rod. Walther designed this specific spring assembly for quicker target re-alignment and making faster, more accurate follow-up shots. Sprinco USA is a company that only makes recoil management solutions for firearms. The PDP guide rod and spring help slow down the slide movement as it recoils. This lessens the amount of energy transfer that shooters receive in their wrist and grip. BT Guide Rod is another option for the PDP and is a drop-in assembly. Lastly, ZR Tactical manufactures an uncaptured stainless guide rod that pairs with the use of any Glock spring to adjust the recoil impulse of the Walther pistol.
Magazine Base Pads/Extensions
Magazine base pads increase the capacity of a pistol. The extra rounds can come in handy for shooting competitions to decrease the amount of reloads needed. The goal of carrying a gun is to carry the most amount of ammunition your belt, holster, and body can carry, including a backup magazine with more ammunition. There are several brands that make aftermarket magazine base pad extensions to increase capacity and some that don’t add capacity but make it easier to reload.
Taylor Freelance currently supports just the PDP Compact pistol magazines. Springer Precision has designed both the increased capacity magazine extension and the base pad that makes it easier to reload. Consider carrying the increased capacity magazine in the gun and use the other magazine as a backup mag. Taran Tactical Innovations makes both a +3 and +5 base pad. Leapers, Inc. base pads add zero extra rounds of capacity but extend the magazine just slightly for an easier grip.
When you need to reload under pressure, it can be easy to struggle to find the magazine release button. The release that comes stock with the gun does not stick out very far off the grip so you have to push hard with your thumb in the exact location it’s at. Walther has designed two extended buttons that make it easier to reload quickly. The oval shape design extends the button a little closer toward your thumb so you don’t have to reach as far forward to find it. The round button extends out further from the gun and adds a bit more texture as well.
Red Dot/Optic Plate
If you plan to shoot the Carry Optics division, or prefer carrying with a red dot, one of the best Walther PDP upgrades you can make is mounting your favorite red dot to the gun. Walther Arms designed the PDP models to all come optics ready so all you have to do is install the dot plate compatible with your choice of red dot optic. Walther includes a plate with the pistol, but if your dot is not compatible with it, you can visit their website to request one for free that works.
The PDP trigger out of the box is comfortable, easy to pull, and works great for a concealed carry pistol. If your purpose for this gun is to use it in competition, any one of the three available aftermarket triggers would be a good investment to improve the functionality of the gun. The Walther Dynamic Performance Trigger decreases the pull weight to about 3.8 pounds. They also decreased the take-up and reset to make it a quick-firing trigger. Overwatch Precision designed a trigger when the Walther Q5 was designed, and they’ve also designed a PDP trigger. Overwatch decreased the pre-travel, total travel, and decreased the trigger weight to your option of 3.8lbs or 4.4lbs. Apex Tactical has been making trigger upgrades for guns for years, and their forward set trigger for the PDP reduces travel and shortens the reset.
Always function test the firearm after making any Walther PDP upgrades, re-sight in any optics or sights you install and continue to train as often as possible with any gun you carry.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kenzie Fitzpatrick is a professional competitive shooter and an active blogger for many firearm websites. As an NRA-certified instructor and National Range Officer Institute Chief Range Officer, Kenzie trains new shooters on basic firearm safety, brings new shooters to competitive shooting, and works major matches across the country. She has a passion for teaching people how to concealed carry and is a positive ambassador for the Second Amendment.
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