The latest from Walther Arms is the all-new Walther PDP (Performance Duty Pistol). This comes after many new innovations from the Walther Arms manufacturer. Each year it seems like they are getting better and better at releasing a new gun to the market. Their Q5 steel frame improved upon the polymer frame as they continued to innovate and listen to customers. This year, they’ve packed a whole lot of features into a gun with a moderately low price point.
The Walther PDP comes in three versions: compact size with a 4-inch barrel and full size with either a 4½ inch barrel or 5-inch barrel. While the difference between the two includes differing grip length and magazine capacity, this defensive pistol has set the bar even higher for a reliable, high-capacity concealed carry pistol. Both are chambered in 9mm and at a minimum hold 15 +1 rounds of ammunition.
So what’s so special about this pistol?
For starters, the trigger is one of the best I’ve shot in years on a stock gun, I think even better than their Q5 pistol trigger, which held its own against many aftermarket triggers. Walther shortened the length of travel and made a smooth break for a more accurate shot in defensive situations.
Like many of the new pistols hitting the market, the Walther PDP is red dot ready and includes an optic plate of your choice. Just tell them what dot you have and they will include the plate. The one feature where this pistol fell short is its stock iron sights. The advantage to their sight system is the ability to adjust for windage and elevation, but the sights themselves are three white dots that may not be easily picked up by the average concealed carrier. I know I’ll be purchasing aftermarket glow-in-the-dark sights or a front fiber to pick up the front sight faster.
Cleaning this pistol just got a whole lot easier. Similar to a Glock, but a whole lot easier, the takedown bar is easy for any sized hand and strength to push down and release the slide from the frame. The Walther PDP is also designed to switch slides from one frame to another as they designed all their pistols to use the same recoil spring assembly. Any slide length can fit on any frame, even if it is not a factory offering. The pistol makes it easy to customize the gun to the shooter.
Walther is known for its ergonomic grips, especially in the early days with its CCP (concealed carry pistol) model. The stock grip is not only comfortable, but Walther also includes two interchangeable backstraps for smaller or larger-sized hands. The texture is a more aggressive texture than most carry pistols but is still comfortable to the skin and hands.
As with most semi-automatic pistols, the Walther PDP does require some grip strength to lock the slide to the rear. However, they’ve made it easier with their SuperTerrain serrations on the front and rear of the slide, allowing for better purchase on the gun to make functioning it easy.
The Walther PDP also includes an extended slide lock for easier manipulation, a texturized, large magazine release for faster reloads, and a rail for weapon-mounted lights and lasers.
Now for the fun part. This gun runs. Shooting this pistol was everything I had hoped it would be and then some. Running different bullet grains (115-147s) had no impact on its functionality. The pistol’s return to zero is fast even with faster projectiles. The accuracy on the PDP is unbelievable as I was drilling the bullseye from 7 feet to 21 feet.
Normally with compact guns, it’s easy to lose your grip due to the recoil, and your hand starts to fatigue after a few rounds. But I wanted to continue to shoot this gun for hours. The ergonomics of the grip with the balanced weight of the pistol make this firearm one of my top choices for personal defense.
At $649 MSRP, the Walther PDP is versatile and customizable making this a solid platform for concealed carry. With their lifetime limited warranty and track record of reliable firearms, this just may be the pistol you’ve been looking for.
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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