Walther has pushed the envelope on duty pistol design since World War II, when the company began using materials and manufacturing processes that today we take for granted. The new PPX is an excellent example of a duty pistol that takes proven design elements—a short recoil, locked-breech action—and employs modern manufacturing techniques—a polymer, molded frame—then dials in features that today’s shooters expect—low-profile three-dot combat sights, a Picatinny rail and more. Not only is the PPX well built and feature-packed, but it’s also affordable at a retail price of under $500.

At first glance, the PPX has a radical look. The ergonomic grip looks different than that on most duty pistols, but the shape is comfortable to hold and helps to naturally point the pistol at the target. The frame is polymer, with a non-slip, cross-directional grip surface. The grip also has a bit of a palm swell, so the PPX feels secure in hand without feeling overly large. The PPX does a great job of stuffing 16 9mm or 14 .40 S&W rounds into the grip without its feeling like a liter-sized bottle of soda. The slide offers a lot of surface area to grasp, though it neither looks nor acts too blocky. The top edges along the length of the slide are chamfered, so the slide fits your non-shooting hand to palm the slide. The old-school pinch-and-pull method to manipulate the slide is effortless. Front and rear slide serrations are large and offer a sure grip. The iconic Walther banner logo is roll-marked into the front serrations of the left side of the slide. Together, the frame and slide make the PPX look big and beastly, but the pistol feels smaller and livelier when it’s in your hand. The PPX uses a short-recoil, locked-breech action, like Walther’s PPQ and P99 to name two models. Sig Sauer, Glock and other manufacturers also use the short-recoil, locked-breech action design. The design is well proven in combat and on the streets.

Three automatic safeties are built into the PPX: a trigger safety, a firing-pin safety and a disconnector safety. The safeties prevent accidental discharge if the PPX is dropped and make it well suited for safe carry. A loaded-chamber viewport—a small notch—is cut into the breechblock, allowing you to quickly check to see if a live round or an empty case is in the chamber…


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