Photo by Christoph von Forstner
Guns & Tactics Magazine Contributor Kristof Nagy reviews the Walther PPX pistol.
In the shadow of the highly successful Walther PPQ, the German company with a remarkable heritage of pistol development and manufacturing launched another interesting product that somehow missed the attention it deserves. The Walther PPX was revealed in 2013. Now, after months of intensive testing, it is time to give this superb fighting pistol an in depth review.
Don’t be fooled by the chunky looks of this affordable firearm. Its size and ergonomics are as good as the PPQs and while it looks huge, it is a reasonably compact fighting tool and relatively light weight. Although fitted with an external hammer the PPX is not a classic DAO pistol, but rather a weapon with an excellent 6.6 lbs pre-cocked trigger and a very short travel of 7mm that makes pulling it a joy. Walther fitted the PPX with a hammer instead of a striker that must be partially cocked through slide movement and is dropped by the trigger pull. There is no external safety to bother with and no decocking device. The magazine release and slide catch lever are designed in a pretty voluminous way so they can be easily reached even with small or gloved hands. Made out of high strength polymer, the frame is fitted with a Picatinny MIL-STD-1913 rail that will accept every compatible light or laser device, adding to the defense and duty potential of the pistol. The excellent texturing of the grip will enhance operator safety and control of the weapon when wet. Walther also rounded the contours of the slide during the manufacturing process, so it will not interfere with your gear or cover garment during the draw stroke. An additional loaded chamber viewport is provided so the user can visually check the status of the firearm with a quick glance on the top of the slide.
Photo by Christoph von Forstner
Disassembling the PPX is child’s play with the massive take down lever on the firearm’s left side. Simply lock the gun back, rotate the take down lever, release the slide catch and pull the slide slightly rearward and then forward of the frame. There is no need to pull the trigger before taking off the slide, adding to the overall safety of the procedure.
The PPX is showing its true value on the range. Firing thousands of rounds through it during the last month, we witnessed no hiccups at all. The barrel of the pistol features an interesting 360 funnel around the chamber that will allow the pistol to easily feed every type of ammunition you can lay your hand on. This feature enhances the reliability with modern anti personal ammunition significantly. The short trigger travel and the positive reset combined with excellent ergonomics and the highly visible, sharp sights make the PPX a precise and rapid shooter. The out of the box accuracy with factory ammo was outstanding.
To test the true capabilities of the PPX, we decided to put it through a 1000-round torture test. The test protocol calls for 1000 rounds to be fired in less than 15 minutes with two shooters and no firearm related malfunction. SLIP 2000 EWL was used as lubricant for this demanding test. The PPX passed the test with flying colors. The shooters experienced no shift of zero during the process and the extensive buildup of heat inside the slide was not transferred to the frame or the shooters hands. The firearm was disassembled and closely inspected after the test. No wear and only a minor buildup of carbon and fouling could be witnessed, confirming the record of this Walther pistol as an easy to maintain and forgiving design. Clearly the PPX was unimpressed by the burdens we put on it. To verify that there was no loss in zero or accuracy 10 rounds were fired from seven yards, proving the outstanding performance and durability of the pistol by impacting nearly hole in hole.
Walther designed the PPX as an entry level firearm with all the quality characteristics of a full size fighting pistol. Manufacturing and materials are to the highest German standards with no tool marks and a state of the art Tenifer finish. The durability of the weapon and its reliable construction makes it an excellent self defense pistol and has significant potential to enter into the duty pistol segment for those who are more on the budget side, but refuse to accept compromises in quality and design.
Learn more about the Walther PPX at http://www.waltherarms.com/products/handguns/ppx/.