Review: Walther PPQ M2 in .45 ACP

Review: Walther PPQ M2 in .45 ACP

For the first time in its history, Walther is introducing a pistol chambered in .45 ACP: the PPQ M2 45. PPQ stands for Police Pistol Quick Defense, and M2 means it has the American-style magazine release button—as opposed to the paddle release on the original Walther PPQ. The button isn't reversible, but it is replaceable. The Walther PPQ 45 comes with the standard left-side button installed, but the company also includes a separate button meant for the right side to accommodate left-handers. Simple replacement instructions are in the owner's manual.

The new Walther PPQ M2 in .45 ACP is a full-size gun at 7.4 inches long, 5.8 inches high and 1.3 inches wide. When empty, the gun weighs 28 ounces.

The PPQ 45 has a 4.25-inch barrel, and it's 7.4 inches overall and 5.8 inches high, making it far larger than what most people will be willing or able to conceal. But since it has a polymer frame it is much lighter than many .45s. The barrel of the Walther PPQ 45 has an integral feed ramp that is polished at the factory, and it features polygonal rifling, which means you shouldn't fire lead bullets in it.

The Walther PPQ 45 is fed by a steel 12-round magazine (where legal), and two magazines are provided. The magazines have polymer base pads that flare slightly at the bottom, which helps if you have to strip a stuck magazine. They have numbered index holes at the rear at the four-, seven-, 10- and 12-round marks.


Despite its lightweight polymer frame, shooting the Walther PPQ 45 was pleasant, even with the author's injured hand.


The PPQ's distinctive slides are narrow at the top with curved sides. The top of the slide is serrated, and the pistol has flat-bottomed slide serrations front and rear that work nicely. Both the slide and barrel have a corrosion resistant matte black Tenifer coating.


In addition to the grip texturing, the Walther PPQ 45 ships with two backstraps which are held in by a single roll pin at the bottom of the grip.

The Walther PPQ 45 has the ubiquitous three-dot sight setup, and the rear is adjustable for windage via a screw in the right side. My only complaint about the sights is they are plastic, not metal.

The PPQ's frame has subtle finger grooves and texturing, and I found myself wishing the PPQ's texturing was more aggressive. It's not slick, but it definitely could be a little more grippy. Unlike the 9mm and .40 versions, the Walther PPQ M2 .45 ships with only two interchangeable backstraps. The Small is installed on the gun, and the Large one puts extra material underneath the web of your hand.


Walther PPQs have the best trigger pulls of any full-size striker-fired gun on the market. The trigger pull on the test gun Walther sent me measured 4.25 pounds, with perhaps a quarter-inch of take-up before a crisp break. The trigger itself is pivoting and has a flat, serrated face with a manual safety lever.

Despite the caliber increase, the PPQ 45 isn't much bigger than its 9mm cousin. The 9mm is .3 inches shorter and is the same height and width as the 45. It also weighs 4 ounces less. The 9mm holds 15 rounds, while the 45 holds 12.

The Walther PPQ 45 was pleasant to shoot. I attribute this to both frame material and bore height. Polymer flexes and absorbs some of the recoil forces; metal does not. And while the Walther 45 does have a higher bore height than, say, a 1911, it directs less force straight back into the web of your hand due to increased muzzle rise.


I first shot the Walther 45 after injuring my firing hand, and I found the reduced direct recoil force brought less pain. Most people aren't shooting with injured hands, but many people suffer from arthritis and joint pain. If you're one of them—or you're recoil sensitive—and have been wanting a .45 ACP, the Walther PPQ 45 may be for you. Actually, since it's pleasant to shoot, nicely accurate and completely reliable, it's a good option for anyone who thinking about buying a .45 ACP pistol for defense.

Walther-ppq-shooting

Recommended for You

As you will learn in this detailed review, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 (manufacturer SKU # 180023) is an easy-racking, soft-shooting pistol. Compact

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 Review

James Tarr - November 06, 2018

As you will learn in this detailed review, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 (manufacturer...

The number of accessories and aftermarket upgrades for the SIG P320 is only going to increase. Accessories

SIG P320 Accessories and Upgrades

James Tarr - December 14, 2017

The number of accessories and aftermarket upgrades for the SIG P320 is only going to increase.

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most parts in just minutes.
Instead, the curtain-rod engineer with a Accessories

8 Popular Drop-In Glock Mods

Dusty Gibson - July 17, 2013

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

The New Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun Load

The New Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun Load

Speer's Jared Hinton shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun load.

Teaching New Shooters

Teaching New Shooters

Julie Golob of Team Smith & Wesson guest stars, joining Jim and Scott for a discussion of how best to introduce new shooters to the sport.

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Kahr Arms officially broke ground on their new headquarters in Blooming Grove Township, in Pike Industry

Kahr Arms Breaks Ground on New Pennsylvania HQ

Handguns Online Staff - June 04, 2014

Kahr Arms officially broke ground on their new headquarters in Blooming Grove Township, in...

The SIG SAUER P365 (model # 365-9-BXR3) may just be the subcompact 9mm against which all others will be judged. Compact

SIG P365 Review

James Tarr - October 31, 2018

The SIG SAUER P365 (model # 365-9-BXR3) may just be the subcompact 9mm against which all...

Do you remember the first time you fired a gun? If you're like most, you were somewhat Training

Pro Tips For Controlling Recoil

Richard Nance - April 11, 2017

Do you remember the first time you fired a gun? If you're like most, you were somewhat

See More Stories

More Semi-Auto

Stoeger is entering uncharted territory for the brand with the STR 9, but it's obvious this gun was well thought out and engineered. It manages to maintain a reasonable price and yet still performs and functions the way most shooters demand. Semi-Auto

Stoeger STR 9 Review

Brad Fitzpatrick - October 16, 2019

Stoeger is entering uncharted territory for the brand with the STR 9, but it's obvious this...

The new Glock 48 has been specifically designed to be the “Canadian Glock 19,” but the end result is an interesting handgun that should be of great interest to Americans as well. Semi-Auto

Glock 48 Review

James Tarr - August 14, 2019

The new Glock 48 has been specifically designed to be the “Canadian Glock 19,” but the end...

Mossberg dives into the CCW market with the MC1sc 9mm pistol (#89001), their first striker-fired semiautomatic. Semi-Auto

Mossberg MC1sc 9mm Pistol Review

Brad Fitzpatrick

Mossberg dives into the CCW market with the MC1sc 9mm pistol (#89001), their first...

See More Semi-Auto

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.