Walther Q5 Match Steel Frame

Walther Q5 Match Steel Frame

You can shoot pretty much any functioning handgun in action-shooting sports like USPSA and Steel Challenge and have a good time. But if you get serious, you’re eventually going to want a competition-specific pistol. Look no further than the new Walther Q5 Match Steel Frame.

With this model Walther is reaching out to newbies and veterans alike by delivering a competition gun that’s ready to rock and roll right out of the box. Yes, the company already has its Q5 Match, but that pistol is a polymer-framed gun weighing about 29 ounces while the new steel-frame version tips the scales at nearly 42 ounces.

Walther-Q5-Match-Steel-Frame-2
The extended accessory rail on the steel frame adds weight out front, and the ports in the slide allow it to cycle faster while imparting less rearward force. It keeps the barrel cooler, too.

That’s a big difference, and the proof is in the significantly lower muzzle flip—allowing for faster, more accurate shots. The steel frame puts added weight in your firing hand, which helps anchor the gun, and also out front courtesy of an extended accessory rail. The cuts in the slide make it lighter so it cycles faster and imparts less rearward force—while keeping the barrel cooler as well.

The Q5 Match Steel Frame is based on the excellent PPQ platform, and I’m a huge fan of that pistol; a standard PPQ M2 is my go-to all-around semiauto. It starts with the excellent Quick Defense trigger. On the Q5 Match Steel Frame it’s blue and not black, but that’s merely a styling cue. It has the same 5.6-pound pull, with a 0.4-inch take-up and 0.1-inch reset. My sample’s trigger matched those specs.


The ambidextrous slide-lock lever is also the same, and I really like this oversize lever because it provides a ton of leverage and is easy to reach. I’m training myself to use the slide-lock lever instead of slingshotting the slide for competition reloads because it’s faster, and this is the kind of lever I want.


Walther-Q5-Match-Steel-Frame-1
The pistol features Walther’s excellent Quick Defense trigger and a reversible magazine release button. The extended beavertail allows a high grip on the pistol and assists in control.

The reversible magazine release button is same size as the standard PPQ as well, but with the Q5 Match Steel Frame there’s no shelf underneath it, so there’s nothing that could interfere with fully depressing the button. Three 15-round magazines come with the standard model. (The magazines for the Pro model have extensions that increase capacity to 17 rounds.)


The rotating takedown lever—as opposed to the “grasp and pull” latch found on the standard PPQ—is teardrop-shaped and provides a great index spot for the support-hand thumb. The front of the trigger guard is squared-off and serrated for those who wrap an index finger there.

Since it’s a steel-frame pistol, it doesn’t offer interchangeable backstraps. I run medium backstraps on my PPQ, and I find the grip circumference on the steel gun to be on the cusp of being too big for my hands—although it’s only 1/4-inch bigger around than my PPQ with medium backstraps installed.

On the plus side, the checkered polymer wraparound stock and 25-lpi serrated frontstrap keep the gun solidly in your hand. And an extended beavertail permits a high grip on the pistol and provides additional control.


The Q5 Match Steel Frame ships with a fully adjustable LPA rear sight installed on a plate. Turn out two Allen-head screws and you can swap out the rear sight for a plate to accommodate a reflex sight. Three plates are provided for Trijicon RMR, Leupold Delta Point and Docter sights.

Walther-Q5-Match-Steel-Frame-3
Removing the LPA rear sight plate permits switching to one of three plates designed to fit Trijicon, Leupold and Docter reflex sights.

The front sight is a red fiber-optic from LPA, and it’s held in place with a slot-head screw in case you want a different front sight. A hole in the bottom of the slide permits easy access to the screw.

The pistol was accurate from the bench as expected, but of course, the real test is running targets, and I put several hundred rounds through the gun in various drills—much of it with SIG’s Match Elite and Federal’s Syntech Action Pistol loads. There were no failures with those or any of the other ammo I used for accuracy testing and drills.


The pistol comes out of the holster nicely, points well and, as promised, has minimal muzzle jump. For me it excelled on drills like Failure to Stop—allowing super-fast double-taps to the chest A-zone and providing the stability and excellent trigger pull for that precise A-zone head shot.

Winter was in full force when I tested the gun, and I didn’t shoot an actual match with it, but I plan to remedy that when spring hits. I think I’m really going to fall in love with the gun then. If you’re a competition shooter, I think you will, too.

Walther-Q5-Match-Steel-Frame-4
Notes: Accuracy results are averages of four five-shot groups at 25 yards from an MTM pistol rest. Velocities are averages of 10 shots recorded on a Pro Chrono placed 12 feet from the muzzle. Abbreviations: FMJ, full metal jacket; FNEB, flatnose enclosed basea Pro Chrono placed 12 feet from the muzzle. Abbreviation: FNEB, flatnose enclosed base

As an added bonus, until June 30 you can pick up a Q5 Match Steel Frame (or any other PPQ) at your local gun shop or online and try it for 30 days. If you don’t think it’s for you, you can return it to Walther for a full refund.

WALTHER ARMS Q5 MATCH STEEL FRAME
TYPE: striker-fired semiauto
CALIBER: 9mm Luger
CAPACITY: 15-round magazines (as tested)
BARREL: 5 in., Tenifer-coated 1:10 twist
OAL/HEIGHT/WIDTH: 8.7/5.4/1.3 in.
WEIGHT: 41.6 oz.
CONSTRUCTION: Tenifer-coated steel slide and frame
TRIGGER: Quick Defense; 5 lb., 7 oz. pull (measured)
SIGHTS: LPA adjustable rear, LPA fiber-optic front; 3 plates to accommodate reflex sights
SAFETIES: 3 passive
PRICE: $1,499
MANUFACTURER: Walther Arms, WaltherArms.com


Recommended for You

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...

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.

1911

Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review

J. Scott Rupp - May 08, 2019

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

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.

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.

Going To The Range

Jim and Scott show you how to make each trip to the shooting range a quality experience.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Ammo

To Cast a Good Bullet

Bart Skelton - June 28, 2012

I don't have a distinct recollection of the first time I reloaded a cartridge – it's been a...

1911

Remington Timeline: 2011 - R1 Pistol Is Introduced

Handguns Online Staff - September 09, 2016

Eliphalet Remington's world initially revolved around flintlock rifles at the time, and while...

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

Industry

Kahr 25th Anniversary K9

J. Scott Rupp - July 19, 2019

Kahr's K9 9mm pistol is a quarter-century old, and to commemorate the milestone the company is...

Reviews

SIG Sauer P365 MS Review

J. Scott Rupp - July 25, 2019

The SIG P365 is an excellent 9mm carry pistol—one that's rated for +P ammo—and it's now...

Semi-Auto

Remington RM380 Executive Pistol Review

Brad Fitzpatrick - June 21, 2019

Remington's new executive adds aesthetic upgrades to the company's popular RM380 semiautomatic...

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.