First Look: Walther’s New Flagship PDP 9mm Pistol

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Replacing the PPQ , the new Walther PDP offers a number of enhancements on the cornerstone concealed carry line.

Had the SHOT Show gone off, certainly, this would have made top billing. There would have been a banner with the visage of Walther PDP pistol hoisted above the gunmaker’s booth and endless gallons of digital and actual ink would have been spilled over the 9mm. Here we are in February, with no streamers or on-the-spot announcement over the German-American heater. But that doesn’t make the moment any less impactful.

Wait, one second …. How exactly is yet another polymer-framed, striker-fired impactful in any way, shape or form. True enough, the world is awash in black plastic. But the Walther PDP (Personal Defense Pistol) marks not only an entirely new line for the manufacturer, one that puts another favorite to bed. PPQ fans take a moment to brace yourselves. Yes, after 11 years Walther is discontinuing its cornerstone concealed carry line (outside the steel-frame Q4 and Q5) in favor of a new flagship. Take heart, because if you appreciated the PPQ, the PDP has as much to offer … if not more.

Walther PDP Full-Size, 4.5-inch Barrel
Walther PDP Full-Size, 4.5-inch Barrel

The PPQ forms the base of the Walther PDP, quite apparent at first blush. The pistols share a similar profile, particularly in the curvaceous ergonomic grip. But the PDP incorporates and several upgrades shooters have encouraged the company to pursue for some time now. This is particularly seen in the manipulation enhancements.

That hexagonal pattern on the grip, rightly jumps out. As does a very un-Walther-like slide. To the former first. The texturing is what Walther calls Performance Duty Texture, pyramidal structures that are supposed to offer the best of both worlds. On the one hand, the PDP’s grip isn’t so aggressive as to score the skin of your palm, but the texturing is designed such that there’s no fear of the pistol slipping out of hand. As to the latter, Walther has gotten much more assertive with the gun’s cocking serrations. Protruding above the surface of the slide, the wide-spaced ridges pick up the pace of manipulation, making reloads and clearing failures much quicker. Furthermore, the controls—mag and slide release—are reversible, thus ambidextrous.

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Also, take a gander at the top of the slide. Yup, optics ready. Not surprising, given nearly every new heater sports a slide cut or other mounting system. Walther opts for mounting-plates with the PDP, accommodating a wide swath of footprints and attaching easily via two screws. As for those who scorn red dots, the gun comes with traditional white-dot irons, the rear adjustable.

Walther PDP Compact, 4-inch Barrel
Walther PDP Compact, 4-inch Barrel

Size-wise, well it depends on what PDP you’re talking about. Walther serves up three models, a 4- and 4.5-inch barreled version on a compact frame and three full-sized frame models with the choice of 4-, 4.5- and 5-inch barrels. Across the board, the gun doesn’t leave the shooter wanting in capacity. Go compact, you’ll have 15+1 onboard. Full-sized, 18+1. More than enough to handle nearly any situation, at the range or in a dark alley.

Other notables of the Walther PDP include polygonal rifling, stepped chamber, undercut trigger guard, Performance Duty Trigger (around 5-pound break) and accessory rail. As to price, all models have an MSRP of $649, which should translate to around the $600 mark when they hit store shelves.

Walther PDP Specs
Caliber: 9mm
Capacity: 15+1 rds. (Compact); 18+1 rds. (Full Size)
Barrel: 4 and 4.5 inch (Compact); 4, 4.5 and 5 inch (Full Size)
Overall Length: 7.5, 8 inch (Compact); 7.5, 8 and 8.5 inch (Full Size)
Width: 1.34 inch
Height: 5.4 inch (Compact); 5.7 inch (Full Size)
Weight: 21.4, 23.1 ounces (Compact); 21.5, 22.3 and 23.8 ounces (Full Sized)
Sights: 3 white dots, adj.; optic ready
Trigger: 5 pounds, 6 ounces
Safety: Trigger safety; striker safety, disconnect safety
MSRP: $649

For more information on the Walther PDP, please visit waltherarms.com.


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