I got a chance to shoot the new PPQ this morning. One of the other shooters on the range had one and wanted to try my CZ-85, so we swapped guns for a couple of boxes of ammo. Here’s my take:

First, the PPQ is a new and “improved” P99. When you crack it open, it looks the same as the older gun. The differences are mostly cosmetic, but they are also functional. The PPQ does not have a striker “ready” indicator sticking out the back of the gun. I kind of miss it, but it should help keep the weapon from getting outside material into the striker’s tunnel. On the outside, there’s grip serrations at the front of the slide, and the serrations are bigger and more pronounced than on the P99. This should make it easier to do press checks and run the slide with gloves. The slide release is larger and ambidextrous (Thank you! I’m a leftie!) Lastly, the grip is more like that of the H&K P30 — instead of a flat grip with finger indentations to aid in holding the gun, the PPQ has palm swells that feel good in the hand, but — in my experience with the old SIG-Sauers — can cause the pistol to shift when fired. Not so on the PPQ: there is a non-slip design to the plastic that holds the pistol in place well.

Here’s a quick look at the cosmetic differences:

and the P99:

Now the range report: the new trigger, which looks and works like that of the Glock pistols, is phenomenal. The trigger pull feels about 3-4 pounds and the reset is very very small; small enough that I had two accidental second shots due to the recoil (which is mild.) The sights are like those of the P99, three dots…line ’em up. The light trigger pull made for a very accurate pistol — standing unsupported, I was able to place my first five shots at 25 yards in a four inch group. Two magazines of shooting at a steady string (a second or so apart) gave me a 30 round group that was no larger, and most of the shots fell in a 2-3 inch oval. At 25 yards, the sights were spot on: I was aiming at the shoulder line and the bullets hit in the shoulder neck region on the silhouette target.

Closer in, I shot like one would in a fight. Drawing and firing a double tap center mass without using the sights. All fell within the 9 ring. I would follow up immediately with an aimed shot to the head. Only three missed, and that was because the palm swells and my wedding ring were throwing me right. A slight adjustment to my grip and the shots flew true. There were zero malfunctions in 100 rounds, and the owner had put 500 through with the same results.

Overall, I think I still prefer the P99 grips, but the other modifications to the PPQ are a definite improvement.

After talking to a friend at the local gunstore, I did a bit of digging and found this picture of what could be the new Walther service pistol.  It’s obviously a refinement of the P99 — a grip that is cribbed from the Heckler & Koch P30 (but with out the replaceable side panels), an extended slide release lever (if it were ambidextrous, that would be excellent), and a retooled slide with forward serrations for press checks and the like.  The addition of the Glock-like trigger: awful — better to stay with the P99’s “anti-stress” trigger.  Takedown looks like it’s stayed the same as the P99.

Early reports are that it’s going to have the same ammo capacity as the P99s in 9mm and .40S&W.