Compact Carry Option: Walther PPQ-SC

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Photo courtesy of Walther Arms

Chambered for the potent 9mm cartridge, which has gone through a serious phase of evolution over the past two decades thanks to advances in propellants and bullet designs, Walther offers one of the slickest examples of the “new generation” of semi-auto pistols in the caliber, the PPQ-SC (Sub Compact).

When I first looked at this pistol, the feature that caught my immediate attention like a fishhook was the texturing on the grip panel. It’s the same pattern found on the Walther PPS M2, another 9mm we admittedly over-examined at the 2018 SHOT Show because the non-slip surface pattern is a grabber.

Walther calls this a “non-slip, cross-directional grip surface” and it didn’t take much to convince this child of the rainy Pacific Northwest that whoever designed this pattern either spent lots of time in a rain soaked environment, or knew somebody who did. And the grip surface pattern is just the teaser. There’s a lot more about this pistol that deserves scrutiny.

Photo courtesy of Walther Arms

Anybody looking for an easily concealed pistol with punch could warm up to the PPQ-SC. It’s got a 3.5″ barrel, short 0.4″ trigger travel and a really fast reset at 0.1″. According to Walther, the trigger pull is 5.6 lbs., not bad at all for a striker-fired handgun, especially one this size.

The OAL is 5.6″, which translates to easily tucking into the pocket of a down vest or jacket, to say nothing of a deep concealment holster, either a rig like the one I designed several years ago over which a shirt can be tucked, or an ankle holster. At 21.2 oz. empty, this little pistol is pretty user-friendly where carrying is an issue.

It’s got a 10-round magazine capacity. Thanks to the synthetic frame material, Walther designed this pistol with an interchangeable backstrap to allow users to customize the pistol to their hands. At the front of the frame there’s a Picatinny rail molded into the material for a flashlight or laser. This seems to be an almost obligatory feature on today’s crop of semi-autos, though it seems a bit out of place on such a small handgun.

Photo courtesy of Dave Workman

An ambidextrous slide stop extends for ease of use while wearing gloves, which are certainly part of my wardrobe about seven months of the year. The magazine release is also ambidextrous, enhancing this pistol’s usefulness for all shooters.

The design features three safeties including two drop safeties and a firing pin block, so this handgun will not discharge unless somebody presses the trigger.

It’s got three-dot sights, which I like. The sights on this pistol are polymer, but they are tough enough to get the job done. The rear sight is adjustable for windage. And here’s the good news: there are optional metal self-illuminating sights, and I really like them! Living in a low-light environment for much of the year, “night sights” are a plus.

Anyone looking for a compact defensive sidearm should give serious consideration to the Walther PPQ-SC. With the right ammunition, this little handful packs a big punch. MSRP is $649.

For more info, https://waltherarms.com/ ; Walther Arms Inc., Ph: (479) 242-8500.

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