Walther PPQ M2 Navy Review

I found myself needing a back-up 9mm for taking classes and I wanted something Glock 19 sized, but I really didn’t want a Glock.  I already have an M&P9c with Apex’s Forward Set Sear trigger kit and while it’s been a great pistol I had heard so many great things about the Hk VP9 and Walther PPQ.  I started researching each and they both had their strong points.  My deciding factors came down to a few points.

  1. I prefer consistency in my carry pistols and the PPQ M2 had an ‘American-style’ mag release.
  2. I used to always sling-shot the slide to release it but for the past few months have been trying the slide-release.  The slide release on the PPQ is huge but not intrusive.
  3. The aftermarket for the PPQ is more expanded.  10-8 Performance offers sights, Apex Tactical offers a trigger, etc.

I’m a light whore.  I love railed pistols and insist that a light rides on each one.  I also prefer my lights to be as flush as possible to the end of the barrel.  With a 4″ barrel that leaves only a few options and I really like my Streamlight TLR-1 HLs.  I don’t have any pistols with threaded barrels and I do often fantasize about diving into the NFA realm and joining the suppressed crowd.  The answer was clear, the Walther PPQ M2 Navy.

According to its Wikipedia page:

The PPQ Tactical Navy is a variant that has a firing mechanism that has been modified for operations in and near water. A non-standard hole in the striker channel ensures sufficient water displacement if the weapon becomes completely flooded with water. Hydraulic resistance is offset by means of a stronger striker spring. In addition, special guides reduce the hydraulic resistance when the striker moves forward. These pistols are delivered with a standard staggered-column magazine and a second magazine with a +2 baseplate that add 2 rounds to the magazine capacity.

If, like me, you like pictures there is a great thread here on the Walther Forum where a full side-by-side was done.  Now, back to business.

Note-  The following was written over the course of a couple of weeks, so please excuse any grammatical weirdness.

Unboxing
I got the call today that my pistols were in so I ran down and grabbed them. My M&P Shield went straight to the smith for the Apex kit and 10-8 sights, this only needed new sights so it was quick.

It comes with a second recoil spring for when you’re using a suppressor.

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I’ve never had a polymer pistol come with a test target before, that’s cool!

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10-8 Performance front and rear sight were immediately installed. The front sight will get painted fluorescent orange here soon.

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The only other modification coming is Apex’s trigger and tuned bar. The trigger feel is already great but there is a bit of travel before you reach the break that the Apex trigger will take care of. It breaks at 4# 15 oz and is by far the best stock trigger I’ve ever felt in a non-1911. The Apex trigger and a couple extra mags will be delivered on Thursday from Brownells and then we’ll hit the range! Video will accompany a range report.

I think I’m really going to like the ergonomics. This is the first pistol I’ve ever had that I can reach the mag release AND slide release from the same position without moving my hand. Previously it’s always been one or other and obviously the mag release wins, I think this will really speed up my reload drill times. I have the small backstrap on and it feels great, smaller than a Gen4 Glock.

The sights are taking some getting used to though. I think it’s because the pistol has such a deep beavertail and the rear sight sits as far back as possible, this isn’t the case on my others.

Draw a line straight down from the rear sight and see where it is in relation to the grip on these:

Glock 17

px9151l

Now compared to the Walther:

ppqm2-right
It’ll be interesting to see what this ultimately means at the range. I’m guessing I’ll be a little slower until my brain and eyes ‘muscle memory’ all get on the same page.

Apex Trigger
Brownells came early!

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I installed the Apex trigger and while significantly shorter action it is not smooth at all. It’s impacting/rubbing/something that’s causing an issue. It’s audible as well as tactile. I made a quick video and sent it to Apex asking their thoughts.

It’s like there’s a heavy bump, a little slack, then the break. Something is amiss.

On a side note I’ve never had a polymer gun come from the factory with a polished feedramp.

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From dry-firing and inspecting it feels like the issue with the Apex trigger bar is where it lifts the safety plunger (the part on the left that sticks up.) Here is the stock compared to the Apex, the Apex is currently installed and I’m holding the stock one behind the gun.

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After some further playing with it the Apex trigger is going back. It increased my trigger pull from 4# 15 oz to 5# 7 oz and I haven’t heard back from Apex on the video. The longish pre-travel with the stock trigger really isn’t that bad and the stock trigger shoe actually feels better to me than the flat one. I’m going to do some research and see if I can easily get it down to the 4-4.5# range.

First Rounds and Trigger Tuning
I put 200 rounds through it on Saturday and another 100 on Monday. Only malfunction has been a failure to return to battery that was a little odd but it’s still being ran in.

Today I stripped it down for a cleaning and decided to polish up the trigger parts now that they’ve accumulated some wear marks. It doesn’t need it by any means but I just couldn’t help myself.

First up was the trigger bar-

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I polished for effect, not for looks. I didn’t want to change anything just smooth it out.

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Next up I polished the slide release which the trigger rotates on.

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Not particularly pretty but they’re smooth as silk now. It made an already sweet trigger just that much nicer. At just under 5 pounds right now it’s a bit heavier than I prefer so Wednesday I’ve got a new spring being delivered that should bring the pull into the low 4s.

Some video of it running during Saturdays workout-

New Trigger Spring
Over on Walther Forums someone did all the leg work of tracking down springs that could replace the factory trigger spring. I ordered a set from McMaster-Carr that has lightened the pull by 10 oz. It’s now a smooth and crisp 4# 5 oz.  I think I’m done tinkering now, well aside from the Talon Grips I haven’t installed yet.

Apex’s Response
After a week I heard back from Apex:
Hi,
Thank you for your patience in working with us. Apex Tactical is in the middle of moving their company from California to Arizona. They hope to be settled by the end of October.
In regards to your Walther we have shown your video to the President of Apex as well as the design engineer for the Walther.
They are both working on what they believe to be a good solution for you.
We have a support issue set up with all of your information in it and we are in touch with Matt our design engineer.
New inventory for the Walther will be arriving in a few weeks. At that point we hope to be able to send you a new trigger in exchange for this one.
We will follow up with more details as soon as possible.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reply.
Thank You.
Accuracy Testing
I took it to the range to do some 25 yard ammo testing but started off badly when I left my rest sitting by the front door. I decided to give it a try anyway as I was really curious to see how it would do. I stacked some ammo boxes as my makeshift rest and off I was.To start warming up I grabbed 5 rounds of Speer Lawman 124 grain and put a target at 25 yards. I shot the 5 and checked the target, it was shooting 6+ inches over point-of-aim. I loaded and shot another 5 with the same result. I thought there was no way I was shooting that poorly, even during warm-up, so I loaded up 5 rounds of Federal HST 124 grain. Those 5 were better but still 2-3 inches high. 15 rounds into a day where I was planning on methodically shooting 300 and I wasn’t off to a good start. I decided to call it quits, I didn’t see the point in practicing with a pistol when the sights are off.I emailed my woes to 10-8 asking their thoughts and even though it was Saturday afternoon they got back to me same day. Unfortunately they didn’t have much to offer in the way of help as they only make one height front and rear sight. I tracked down a .200 Dawson Precision and ordered it up, factory is .180 so with quality ammo I’m hoping that brings me in line. Once it gets here I’ll head to the range with an assortment of weights in FMJ and a couple hundred rounds of carry ammo, but not forgetting my rest again…
Dawson Delivery
The Dawson sight arrived after just a couple of days. I’ll be heading to the range soon to see how it hits. I’ve got a class this weekend so I’m really hoping my point-of-aim/point-of-impact is in line.20160908_105033-1.jpg
Accuracy Testing -Round 2
I headed to an indoor range, with my rest this time, to test out the point of impact on the new Dawson Precision sight I installed and to test out a few different rounds. I brought some 115, 124, and 147 grain loads. I typically prefer to run 124 grain in everything, it’s my carry load and it seems to be the most accurate for me. Here’s who came to the party-20160909_184002-1.jpgNote on the group pictures-

  • All groups were shot at 25 yards with the top of my front sight on the bottom of the target. Point of aim is marked on each picture.
  • All training ammo/FMJ was tested for 3 groups of 5 rounds each with no re-shoots. The best group is pictured.
  • The orange targets are 2″ and the blue dots are 1″.
  • For some reason I had a hard time focusing on my front sight and had ‘double front sight vision’ while shooting.
  • Massad Ayoob believes that the best 3 shots of a 5 shot group from a rest is comparable to Ransom Rest results, as such I’ve marked the best 3 shots in each group.

I warmed up shooting 4 groups of 5 rounds at 25 yards and then got right into it. First up was the Fiocchi FMJ 115 grain. As with my 92G Brigadier Tactical 115 grain shoots high.

FI 25-1.jpg

Next was American Eagle 124 grain, my preferred 9mm practice round. If I could have kept the horizontal spread a little tighter it would have been a hell of a group!

AE 25-1.jpg

American Eagle 147 grain was up next. I’ve never really found a pistol that particularly likes 147, it never shoots point of aim for me.

AE 25-2.jpg

To round out the training ammo is Speer’s Lawman 124 grain. It’s not normally a round I buy but I picked up a case on sale and I’m glad I did.

SLM 25-1.jpg

Now what I was really waiting to shoot, my carry ammo, Federal HST 124 grain. I brought 100 rounds and shot all of them for groups. Here are a couple of the best.

HST 25-1.jpg

HST 25-2.jpg

Couple takeaways from all this-

  • My rear sight needs to be drifted ever so slightly.
  • It really seems to prefer 124 grain ammo.
  • If I do my job it will do the rest.

If anyone is interested, or probably even if no one is;), I’ll post up video of the shooting.

This now puts the total round count at 600. I can’t say I’m disappointed in anything so far, its been great.  Obviously a sample of 1 is statistically insignificant but if this one is anything like the rest I don’t think you can go wrong with the PPQ M2.

-SA
UPDATE:  One More Modification
I thought I was done messing with it but I had to do one more thing. They way they designed the reversible mag release it has a shelf below it. While it makes it easy to hit the release, with my grip the shelf on the right hand side tears up my support hand finger during firing.
1

2

I’m not going to change my grip just for this gun, so……. out comes the files and sandpaper! First I need to knock down the shelf.

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Little more needed and then switch to a high grit.

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That should just about do it!

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Now I’m done!
-SA

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