The PPS M2 is a redesigned version of Walther’s PPS pistol with improvements that matter. The PPS is a hefty firearm that remains small enough to conceal. I have had the opportunity to shoot the original PPS previously, and I enjoyed shooting it. I shot so accurately with it that I was eager to purchase one, until I identified one sticking point that, for me, was a deal breaker: the triggerguard-mounted magazine release.

The single most important improvement on the Walther PPS M2 is the new magazine release, which is in a more familiar location.

Enhanced Control

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The pistol’s magazine features an extended basepad for more grip.

As a smaller shooter, I am used to having to compensate in order to manipulate and operate controls on firearms that were made for people much larger than me. I have spent my adult life doing whatever is necessary to quickly and consistently manipulate my firearms. I have learned over the years that the most important thing for me to be successful is consistency. That means consistency across firearms, holsters and accessories. Any time I find a firearm that does something different or moves familiar controls, I am reluctant and nervous—unless, of course, it improves my speed and accuracy. This wasn’t the case with the PPS magazine release.

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The first time I shot the PPS and tried to conduct a magazine exchange, I found myself confused. I was never able to operate the magazine release lever in a way that was quick, let alone felt safe. I was forced to use my support hand to eject the magazine. This put my digits too close to the trigger and resulted in a dramatic decrease in speed during reloading. I actually told my husband that he was lucky because, had the magazine release on the PPS been a button situated on the frame, he’d be buying me one. Well, now it looks like that rooster has come home to roost!

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The low-profile front sight won’t snag on clothing.

I would never buy a firearm just because of a magazine release, but I certainly would abstain from purchasing any gun that made magazine exchanges cumbersome. The Walther PPS M2 placed the magazine release in a familiar and comfortable location; I am able to do magazine changes confidently. But I also like the Walther PPS M2 because it has many features that make it a firearm that I would use for personal defense, both inside and outside of the home. These features include the gun’s tough Tenifer finish, its slim profile and ergonomic Walther grip, the trigger-pull weight, the low-profile sights and the available chamberings.

Built To Last

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Note the PPS M2’s 3.18-inch barrel and wide forward slide serrations.

As a former police range master, I have seen the condition of guns that would come into the armory for annual maintenance. These experiences helped me understand the importance of having a corrosion-resistant coating on firearms that are carried out in the elements. Even those firearms that were carried concealed by our officers suffered corrosion if they were not treated. I have maintained firearms by reputable firearms manufacturers that had rust in the slide serrations and even on the rear sights. Carrying a concealed firearm means that it may be subjected to the elements or even perspiration. These exposures eventually corrode the finish of a firearm. The PPS M2 is coated with Tenifer, which protects it from these conditions, making it well suited for demands of concealed carry.

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Although the original PPS also had a slim profile, the ergonomic design changes to the PPS M2 keep the pistol slim and concealable, yet better contoured to the shooter’s hand. The ergonomics improve the fit of the firearm’s grip to the shooter hands. The greater contact between the firearm and the shooter’s hand will aid in minimizing movement during shooting, increasing accuracy and the speed of follow-up shots.

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Six-, seven-and eight-round mags are available.

The PPS M2 is chambered for 9mm and .40 S&W (available in the spring 2016). These calibers fall within the commonly accepted self-defense calibers because of their stopping power and penetration. The PPS M2 has a six-, seven- and eight-round magazine capacity for the 9mm version. These three magazines are designed for use with concealment (six), comfort (seven) and capacity (eight). Depending on the needs of the user, whether it’s concealed carry or personal protection inside the home, they can select the appropriate magazine capacity for their intended use.

Primed For CCW

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The author’s test pistol featured a crisp trigger with a 6.1-pound pull weight.

There are many opinions as to what an appropriate trigger weight should be on a self-defense gun. There is one school of thought that a heavier trigger is safer because it requires more intention. I disagree with this school of thought, which probably developed with negligent discharges. When it comes to deciding trigger weight, my recommendation would be to base that number on the individual shooter. For shooters who exercise good trigger-finger discipline, a good trigger weight for a self-defense gun can safely fall between 5 to 8 pounds.

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If the weight is any lighter, then the shooter may fire a round while prepping the trigger, and any heavier than that and the weight could actually impact speed, accuracy and even the shooter’s physical ability to break the shot. The 9mm version of the PPS M2 has a trigger weight of 6.1 pounds, which falls right in with what I would consider to be a solid self-defense trigger weight. Additionally, there is no external manual safety, which is something I ensure is not on any firearm I intend to carry or use for self-defense. That’s just one less thing to fumble with under stress.

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The final feature of the Walther PPS M2 that enhances its self-defense appeal is its low-profile metal sights. Those carrying this firearm concealed will see the benefit of these sights—the ability to draw the firearm from concealment without it snagging on clothing. The trade-off is that there are no hard angles to catch on clothing if a shooter needed to manipulate or charge the firearm one handed. Given the odds, it is probably better to have low-profile sights. In addition the rear sight can be adjusted for windage, allowing you to fine-tune the pistol for your ammunition.

There are only two other features that I hope to see on future releases of the PPS M2. The first feature is the reversible or ambidextrous magazine release. I typically mount my magazine releases on the right side of the gun for consistency. I can comfortably reach the magazine release now, but I try not to deviate on the placement of controls from one handgun to another.

The other feature that was previously on the PPS but not on the PPS M2 is the accessory rail. This firearm is one that I would use for concealed carry and for home defense. Although I may not mount a flashlight on it, I think the ability to mount a light is a feature that many people, looking for firearms to carry concealed or to use in home defense, might want. I’m comfortable with a two-handed flashlight technique, but I encourage everyone using a gun for self-defense to have access to an illumination source.

M2 Upgrade

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Walther’s PPS M2 made some substantial improvements from the original PPS. The modifications made to it make this firearm much more suited for concealed carry and home defense. Although most of the modifications were relatively minor, they have a huge impact on the versatility of this slim-line firearm.

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Shooters who invest in the M2 will be able to change magazines faster, carry this firearm in the elements without corrosion, draw from concealment and shoot more comfortably than those outfitted with the original version. It wasn’t hard for me to walk away from a purchase of the original PPS since I was unable to operate the magazine release effectively, but I don’t see myself walking away from the PPS M2 quite as easily.

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