Walther PPS M2 Review [2021]: A Modern Update on a Classic Platform

by Graham Baates

January 10, 2021

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(31)

The Walther PPS M2 is an update of a classic. We’ll take a look at how it performs on the range and what sets it apart.

Walther PPS M2 Specs

  • Caliber 9 mm 
  • Barrel Length  3.2″
  • Trigger Pull 6.1 lbs
  • Trigger Travel 0.2″
  • Capacity 6/7/8 rds
  • Overall Length 6.3″
  • Weight 19.4 oz

Walther PPS M2 Background

The Polizeipistole Schmall (Police Pistol Thin, or “small”) was intended as a discreet carry or backup gun but finds itself right at home for civilian use as a defensive tool.

The single-stack 9mm field is a crowded one with most major manufacturers offering something in this category.

Quite often reducing the firearm size makes for harsher recoil as the grip shrinks and recoil assembly gets shorter and stiffer.

Walther wanted to do better than that and also integrate from of the grip and trigger feel they’re famous for.

Walther PPS M2 Features

Walther-PPS-M2-features
1 Awesome Grip

While small enough to be a single stack, it feels more like a regularly sized handgun.

2 Loaded Chamber Indicator

Allows you to always know when you’re ready to fire.

3 Trigger Weight

Set to a carry-appropriate 6.1lbs.

4 1″ Width

Although only 1″ wide, it’s a comfortable shoot especially with the 8 Rd magazine. And it makes the gun super easy for carry.

Walther PPS M2 Color Variants

Walther PPS M2 – Our Take

This review has the added bonus of me having personally carried the gun for a couple of years before personal tastes changed.  During that time and since I’ve had the Walther PPS M2 tucked neatly at my side in a variety of holsters and out to the range several times while helping others select a carry gun.  Of the nine single-stack 9mm pistols in my collection the PPS M2 has often shone as a favorite among those who have tried it for a variety of reasons.

As eluded to in the introduction, the PPS M2 is physically small like a carry gun should be but handles itself more like a compact or full size.  The grip’s ergonomics fit most hands comfortably and the option of three magazine lengths furthers that.  Short-barreled pistols like the PPS M2 require shorter recoil assemblies which means the manufacturer must chose between a stiffer spring that might impact reliability and be harder to rack but offer greater shooter comfort or go the opposite direction.

The spring of the PPS M2 is on the stiffer side and yet with more than a dozen loads tested I have yet to experience any reliability issues. What has been experienced is a recoil impulse unusually pleasant for such a small gun.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Walther PPS M2 behaves more like a comfortable bigger gun than a single-stack 9mm.

This attribute is especially valuable for those wise enough to spend time training with their gun.  Most any pistol can be shot for a magazine or two, but a full afternoon or weekend training class is when you really get to know a pistol.  Having spent several iterations at training courses around the country I’ve seen and experienced more than a few examples of guns that might be fine for a light range session but lead to regrets after a couple hours of continuous training.

The Walther PPS M2 is not one of those guns.

If reaching to find a flaw with the PPS M2 I’d say that same excellent shootability might be it.  Instead of thinking of it like a single-stack with full-size handling it’s caught me once or twice wondering why this excellent pistols doesn’t have higher capacity or more muzzle energy.  I say that in jest of course in that the PPS M2 will leave you wanting another gun from Walther.

One place that the PPS M2 does differ from other Walthers is however the trigger.  At 6.1 lbs of pull the trigger is slightly heavier and also feels a little longer than what most folks envision with the name “Walther”.

Most experienced shooters will tell you that unless absurdly high or low trigger pull weight is irrelevant and feel more important.  I’m one of those shooters and actually prefer a slightly heavier pull on a carry gun as added protection from accidental discharge.  6 lbs is hardly a safety precaution in the way that a double-action trigger is, but it’s safer than a hair trigger waiting for someone to merely think about the trigger so it can go off.

I see this added resistance as something to provide margin of error should one be startled or off balance in a defensive shooting environment.

During the 2020 panic buying the Walther PPS M2’s retail price ranges between $349 and $399.  This is slightly higher than other pistols in the same category but not unreasonably so considering the shooting dynamics of the gun.

I would not hesitate to recommend those able to afford a little more or wait until they’ve saved more do so for the Walther PPS M2.  I have in fact done this very thing when my father was looking for a carry gun.

We went to the range with nine different single-stack 9mms and the PPS M2 was his choice.  That was two years ago and the only negative report from him is that the luminescent dot in the front sight of his LE model disappeared after a few hundred rounds.  A valid complaint and reason to be upset on a higher-priced model, but not an unheard of issue regardless of who made the sights

Video Review of the Walther PPS M2

Walther PPS M2 Pros and Cons

  • Incredibly soft and smooth shooting for a gun of this size
  • Very thin, easy to conceal
  • Backed by a 134-year old company
  • Slightly higher MSRP than competition
  • Like many guns of this category, the slide requires more energy to rack
  • Additional magazines start at $35

Report Card

Reliability

No issues experienced as long as the shooter does their part.

B+
Accuracy

Challenge your friends and show off on the range!

A
Shootability

One of the most comfortable single-stack 9 mms to shoot.

A
Ergonomics

With three magazine sizes to choose from the PPS M2 is comfortable for large hands and small.

A
Value

Expect to pay a little more for Walther excellence.

B+

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by Graham Baates

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So if you’re ready to go out and pick up a new Walther PPS M2, understand that you may want to pick up a few more essentials.  Let’s go over a few.

Best Accessories for the Walther PPS M2

As a CCW gun, there’s a couple of things you might want to pick up in order to maximize the potential of your Walther PPS M2–such as a an appropriate pistol light and comfortable holster.

Laser sighting solution that integrates beautifully with the PPS M2’s lines. Check Amazon Price

This is an ultimate holster to settle and solve all of your carry needs. It’s literally 4 holsters in one–complete with wall mount as well. It’s custom fit to the Walther PPS M2, available in right or left hand orientations, and proudly crafted in the good old U.S. of A. Check Amazon Price

Other CCW Pistols of Its Class to Check Out

When it comes to selecting your CCW pistol, you really need to do your research. You’ll need to find something reliable, accurate, and one that you can stake your life on in a high-risk situation. The Walther PPS M2 can definitely provide that. But you might want to check out a couple of other options that we find to be outstanding.

#1 Sig P365

Sig P365

The Sig 365 set a new definition for what a great concealed carry handgun can be – it quickly became the go-to 9mm for many shooters.

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  • Reliability A+
  • Accuracy A+
  • Customization A
  • Ergonomics A+
  • Value A+

Our Grade

A+

Reviewed by Graham Baates

Reader’s Grade

TBD

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Honestly folks, the Sig P365 might just be our absolute favorite CCW handgun. No offense to the Walther PPS M2, but this Sig really is something special. Wanna know what we think?…READ MORE

#2 Glock 43x

Glock 43x

Sold at Palmetto State ArmorySportsmans GuideBrownells, and Guns.com

A single-stack “slimlined” Glock pistol specifically designed for CCW.

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  • Shootability A+
  • Reliability A+
  • Accuracy A+
  • Ergonomics A
  • Value A+

Our Grade

A+

Reviewed by Graham Baates

Reader’s Grade

TBD

Based on 0 Reviews

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The Glock 43X is a hybrid (so they say)! It is a combo of the Glock 48 and the Glock 43. Glock did a solid job in rising to the challenge by creating its version of the P365 and a lot of you might agree. However, we did notice though a few drawbacks compared to the P365… READ MORE

How to Care for Your Walther PPS M2

There’s no point in purchasing a quality gun such as the Walther PPS M2 if you aren’t going to care fo it properly. This includes learning how to take it down for cleaning and maintenance, and then properly putting the thing back together. Thankfully, Walther Arms has put together a very easy to follow video on how to do just that.

Important Links and Resources for Your Walther PPS M2

Are you looking for more info on your Walther PPS M2? Or have you lost your user’s manual? Don’t worry.  We’ve got you covered.  Check out the links below.

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About Graham Baates

“Graham Baates” is a pen name used by a 15-year active Army veteran who spent most of his time in the tactical side of the Intelligence community including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-Army Graham spent some time in the 3-Gun circuit before becoming a full-time NRA Certified defensive handgun instructor and now works as an industry writer while curating a YouTube channel on the side.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I very much liked mine for all the reasons stated above. It was a terrific shooter. It was my #1 carry choice until the Sig P365XL came along.

  2. Before the panic, these things used to sell for $290 all day long. The Sig P365 is the new hotness on the block but these Walthers are honestly more ergonomic and are better shooters. With 7 1 and a spare mag I feel adequately armed.

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