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Posted: 7/30/2015 8:25:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/30/2015 8:37:39 AM EDT by Makarov]
PPX Review

I will dispense with the details of the PPX’s  size, weight, length, construction, operation, etc. This is all readily available on Walther’s website or from a quick Google search.

I confess, I purchased this gun purely due to the price. I had never handled or even seen a PPX before and I needed another 9mm handgun like I need another .355” diameter hole in anything. Nope, I was completely drawn in by the less than $300 in-my-hands price tag offered from CDNN and my transferring FFL-Quantico Tactical. Both businesses are a pleasure to deal with and made the process as easy and painless as possible. That being said, while I am attracted to good deals, I do not buy junk. You will not find a Jennings, a Raven or even a Hi-Point or Heritage Arms offering in my safe. In addition, I am wary of surplus handguns made in countries that no longer exist with non-existent replacement parts availability or anything exclusively imported by Century Arms and their non-existent customer service. However, this was an opportunity to purchase a true Walther product (these are made at the Ulm factory) for not much more (<$100) than the current price of a Hi-Point.

First Impressions:
Funny I should mention “Hi-Point”. As I opened the Walther shipping case my first thoughts went to the ungainly and homely looks of a Hi-Point. The PPX is NOT an attractive pistol. It possesses none of the elegance of a 1911 or BHP, neither the sex appeal of a Sig226 or S&W gen3 nor the clean no-nonsense lines of a Glock, M&P, etc. Before I even took it out of the box, I was starting to regret my purchase.

In the hand:
The slide is BIG compared to the frame and they don’t look like they fit together. If you just hold it in your hand like you are holding a rock, the gun looks and feels top heavy. However, once you grip it in a proper handgun hold, the top heaviness seems to abate itself. In addition, the ugly grip angle actually coaxes your hands into a natural and repeatable hold that contributes towards consistent shooting and accuracy (more on that later). I wear a “Medium” glove and this gun fit me well. It was indeed probably designed around a medium-sized hand as a one size fits all feature since it does not have interchangeable grip inserts like other popular modern designs. Still, I asked several shooters to grip the gun and all but those with huge Neanderthal-like hands or seven year old girls thought it fit at least “well-enough” to use and control. Personally, the odd shaped angles between the grip and the slide feels to me a lot like the Ruger SR22 pistol but with enough grip to hang onto. I like it.

Again, this is all readily available on the Web so I won’t repeat what you can easily read everywhere else. Instead, I will highlight what I liked and what I did not like.

What I liked –
The gun is easy to field strip and clean. There is no special trick or tool required to take it apart for cleaning or to reassemble. Do it once and you could do it anywhere anytime and never have to resort to the printed instructions again.
The sights are made of steel, contrary to what some sections of the Walther website indicate. I like Glocks but what has annoyed me to no end is that the first thing I have to do after spending $500 on a new Glock is “invest” another $50 to $100 into sights that won’t fall out or break off.
The trigger has a very nice feel even if the reset is just a tad too long for my preference. It is not super light but the peak of take-up is very distinct and the break is very crisp with minimal over-travel. It is a far superior feel than my factory M&P trigger and this whole gun costs less than the $300 “upgrade” for the M&P.
I ran 200 plus rounds of a variety of ammunition including different mfgs of FMJ, HP, standard vel., +P, 115gr., 124gr., 147gr. and it all functioned without issue. Despite the gun being top heavy even the hotter +P loads felt very controllable.
The magazines are made by MEC-GAR and appear to be high quality. They are also readily available for $20 each!

What I didn’t like –
I hate to say it but the whole pistol has an almost “pellet gun” feel to it. The use of MIM parts in the three part barrel assembly and the plastic frame made it seem cheap. Now, like I said before, I like my Glock and I like my M&P but the plastic used on the PPX just seemed too thin and too brittle. I have absolutely nothing to base that conclusion on. Maybe it will last just as long as any other plastic framed pistol but it just doesn’t feel as substantial to me.
For a 16+1 round capacity and 4” barrel this is a BIG gun. A G19 is dwarfed in its presence. Holster options seem limited and I don’t believe I would choose this as a CC piece. For me, it will likely become another nightstand gun or a hideaway gun.
Unlike the Walter PPQ which features a “lifetime” warranty, the PPX has a”1-year warranty”. I don’t know if that represents a cost-saving efficiency or a lack of confidence in the long term reliability of the product on the part of Walther but it does not instill confidence.
The exposed, bobbed hammer might make you think the gun offers a second-strike capability on a misfire. It does not. In the event of a misfire you must execute the same malfunction drill as any striker-fired pistol. In addition, I was hoping that the exposed, bobbed hammer would act as an additional safety during re-holstering by placing your thumb over it. Let me make this perfectly clear; KEEPING THUMB PRESSURE ON THE HAMMER DOES NOT PREVENT THE PISTOL FROM FIRING!! I have not tried this with live ammunition (and I am not going to) but attempting this during dry-firing exercises resulted in the release of the firing pin.

This gun will put holes where you want them if you do your part. It is DAO in the sense that each trigger press feels the same from first round to last but in spite of the exposed bobbed hammer it is nothing like a traditional double-action. Initially, I had shots going severely low and right. I returned to the basics of pistol shooting and realized that I was trying to work the trigger like I do on my Glock. This trigger has a completely different feel. Once you hit the peak of take-up it requires a much more subtle press to take the shot. As I mentioned earlier, the reset is a tad longer than I would like but again, I am used to my Glock. The sights are adequate using the three dot arrangement. I will likely darken the dots on the rear sight a bit as I find it easier to focus on the front sight without so much visual clutter. Still, on my second box of ammo, I ran the “Dot Torture” drill as quickly and accurately as with any of my guns.

Why So Inexpensive?:  
There are some obvious cost cutting features on the PPX.
One size fits all grip. No replaceable grip inserts for larger or smaller hands.
Use of MIM parts. For some this is the Debil but many respectable guns now use MIM manufacturing to produce at least some parts (Glock for example). I am not a metallurgist but talked with one in a bar once. He told me that the MIM process lends itself very well to parts that are designed from the start to be MIM produced. He said such parts (if constructed properly) are every bit as strong and reliable as if they had been milled and heat treated in a traditional manner.
A “One Year” warranty which is a non-sequitur if you are building or buying a quality product but does probably help the bean counters sleep at night and lowers the margins required to cover “no charge” work on a ten year old gun that may even have been abused.
The use of a three-piece barrel construction utilizing some MIM technology. Less material wasted, less machining = less cost. FWIW- the venerable BHP has been using a two-piece barrel for years and most people don’t even know that.  Just a hunch- the girth of the three piece barrel is likely what drives the bulkiness of the entire slide.
The PPQ is a great gun but the price tag has probably scared a lot of shooters away. The PPX has been priced to attract a market that Walther could not reach with the PPQ. There was likely a strong marketing drive to offer a Walther pistol in the sub-$500 price range.

Are there better new guns out there? Certainly! Are there better new guns out there for ~$300? IMHO, the PPX would be hard to beat at that price. Despite the low price, this gun offers a lot of great features; descent steel sights, a light rail, good ergonomics, a good trigger, durable finish, factory support and readily available extra mags for $20 each. I would not choose this as a daily carry piece for a couple of reasons but I am sure that is doable if you were so motivated.  I suspect this would be a good gun for a beginning handgunner looking for their first centerfire due to the price, ease of use, nice trigger and accuracy or any experienced shooter for the very same reasons. I am keeping mine.

Link Posted: 7/30/2015 9:44:14 AM EDT
You did a review with no pics?
What are you thinking...... The PPX may be the ugliest pistol only surpassed by a Hi-Point but come on Pics man PICS!
Link Posted: 7/30/2015 10:11:39 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/30/2015 10:47:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2015 3:21:01 PM EDT by Makarov]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By EdgecrusherXES:
You did a review with no pics?
What are you thinking...... The PPX may be the ugliest pistol only surpassed by a Hi-Point but come on Pics man PICS!
View Quote

Sorry, I am having problems with my Photobucket account and have been unable to post my own pics for quite sometime. However, here are some other other people's photos

The MIM barrel breech

(credit to truthaboutguns.com)

From the Walther website;

Link Posted: 8/2/2015 9:44:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2015 9:44:38 PM EDT by Tirador223]
Another factor about this pistol is that it is available from the factory with an extended and threaded barrel.  I bought a whole PPX ready to go as a suppressor platform for not a whole lot more than I would have paid for a threaded barrel by itself for a P99.
Link Posted: 8/2/2015 10:20:55 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Tirador223:
Another factor about this pistol is that it is available from the factory with an extended and threaded barrel.  I bought a whole PPX ready to go as a suppressor platform for not a whole lot more than I would have paid for a threaded barrel by itself for a P99.
View Quote

Link Posted: 8/2/2015 11:56:32 PM EDT
All Walthers now have a lifetime warranty that is retroactive back to models made in the mid 1990s.
Sorry, I forget the exact year.
Link Posted: 8/3/2015 9:16:52 AM EDT
Fine review, and I agree with just about everything you pointed out. I feel it's one of the best bargains out there today and enjoy mine.
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