Contextual Valuation, Diminishing Returns - Part 5
Pistol C on our diminishing returns chart holds a unique place. It requires every so slightly more investment, but likely is capable of providing greater performance than pistol B.
Pistol C’s recommendation is the Walther PDP/PPQ series of pistols. The PDP at the end of the day is a product-improved PPQ, which is a product-improved P99QA, so we are looking at evolutions, not revolutions, similar to the generations of Glock pistols.
Walther has been making firearms for 136 years (lineage can add 42 years)
Service pistols adopted since 1956 (PP series, P38, P1, P4, P5, P99, PPQ)
Walther OEM approval of specific aftermarket parts in the PDP (that’s a first)
Multiple concealed / duty holsters available
Greatly improved ergonomics over many competitors
Optic ready for all PDP pistols
Thin double stack magazine means a thinner grip
Factory armorer’s course w/tools available
Discounted pricing for LEO/MIL - similar to Glock’s
Accepts Glock iron sights
Has police contracts (proven reliability/accuracy standards)
Street price starts around $540, Feb2022, internet
The PDP compact is extremely close to the Glock 19 in external dimensions, but does offer an advantage that many may miss. The slightly longer frame of the PDP has a slight ledge/scoop that allows your pinky finger to apply more force to the frame while shooting. This seems minimal, but the pinky and ring fingers are responsible for a HUGE portion of grip strength, with the pinky also having the most mechanical advantage on any handgun frame. The weight is practically identical between these two pistols, and both pistols hold 15 rounds in a flush fit magazine. The PDP has the ability to mix and match frames and slides, similar to the Sig P250/320 series of pistols.
The sights of a PDP are nothing to write home about out of the gate, but they do come with standard adjustable rear sights - something Glock doesn’t do outside of their competition models. As previously stated, the PDP is designed to accept Glock iron sights, so it is extremely easy to put any favorite setup on the pistol (Dawson, Ameriglo, Trijicon HD XR, whatever). The optic plate is a vast improvement over the PPQ models, as it is separate from the rear iron sight. With PPQ optic ready models, you will generally lose the rear sight to mount a red dot.
The biggest complaint of many newer shooters of the Glock platform is the trigger - minimal resistance, a vague sensation when the sear releases, but a stiff and strong reset helps make up for it’s downsides. Typically, recommendations for what trigger is best soon follows the purchase of a Glock, which inevitably adds $150 or more to the purchase price (frequently a disconnector isn’t purchased these days). Enter the Walther PDP. Walther addresses this situation with a very crisp sear release and minimal over-travel - they achieve this with the sear releasing at the rear of trigger travel, and having a fully cocked striker system. This approach also lends itself to a rapid reset of the trigger, while also potentially making the firearm easier for people with smaller hands or shorter fingers to fire in comparison to a double stack Glock.
The Walther is a great option for a lot of people, especially those who are not impressed by a Glock, or find themselves wanting to modify a Glock shortly into ownership. For the dollar, you are getting a subjectively, and in some cases objectively, better pistol than the standard Glock recommendation so many people receive. Pretty much every benefit of a Glock is also found with a PDP in some fashion or another as well. The biggest negative you will generally hear from about a PDP is it isn’t a Glock (duh), or that they don’t have the lion’s share of Law Enforcement contracts (they have contracts in Europe and are getting them in the US).
Walther has other tricks up their sleeves you won’t find with other companies. Twice in recent history Walther has promoted their pistols with a 30 day money back guarantee. No manufacturer - literally, nobody - has done that before that I can find record of. In fact, they’re still doing it at the time of this writing. Walther’s warranty program covers all firearms made since 1993, regardless if you’re the original owner, and they cover inbound shipping, so your shipping and warranty cost is exactly 0% of what a new gun costs. Walther operates on a 48 hour return for warranty work - this combination isn’t found by any other manufacturer covered in this series. Frankly, Walther likely has the best warranty program in the industry; I’m guessing they can offer this due to the LACK of warranty work performed for their clients.