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[Video+Review] Walther PDP: 10,000 Rounds & Still Going

We take a look at the Walther PDP after over 5,000 rounds downrange. How does it hold up over time? Come find out.

A lot of change can happen in a short amount of time.

In contrast, one thing that’s remained constant is the performance of the Walther PDP.

PDP full size left, compact right.

I started shooting the PDP at an event with Walther back in September of 2020. I was so impressed, I started carrying it on duty.

Now with 5,000 rounds downrange, I have some thoughts about the Walther PDP and how it handles.

So, today, we’re going to talk about the PDP in depth — what I like, what I don’t, and why I think you might want to consider this as your next CCW.

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At the very least, by the end of this review, you’ll have a better idea of what the PDP is capable of and whether it deserves a spot in your holster.

If you want to see it in action, check out the full video below.

As always, make sure to head to Pew Pew Tactical on YouTube for more guns and gear!

Table of Contents

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Walther PDP: Performance Duty Pistol

The Walther PDP is a striker-fired polymer handgun chambered in 9mm.

It comes in a few variations with two basic frame sizes — full size and compact.

Here are some options from C&G Holsters.

The full-size model features an 18+1 capacity with 4-, 4.5-, and 5-inch barreled versions. There’s also a compact model with 15+1 capacity, that comes in 4-inch and 5-inch options.

The frames and slides all share modularity and can be swapped out to find the combo you like.

I have used the 4.5-inch full size and 4-inch compact extensively over the last 14 months — both well over 5,000 rounds each.

What’s Different?

A number of features really stood out to me on the PDP. At the top of the list is the grip.

It felt amazing — like it was molded for my hand!

There’s a whole lot to like on this grip.

The angle seemed dead-on for intuitive pointing. Swells filled the palm of the hand and along the sides. Keep in mind, these aren’t grooves — they’re much more subtle.

My fingers settled into these spaces and did not move. The overall texture of the grip also gave it a secure feel. The texture itself is aggressive so you won’t lose grip even with sweaty hands.

It’s the type that can wear a hole in a long sleeve shirt over time (I know from experience). But it is also phenomenal for establishing and maintaining an excellent grip, even in wet conditions.

Born to run.

In general, the grip angle and texture lock in my hands so well that I don’t have to adjust while firing an entire magazine. This also helps me tame what little muzzle flip there is.

The PDP shoots pretty flat as a result.

Mid-shot.

Trigger & Slide Cuts!

I also love the placement of the magazine release button. This was so well done because I don’t have to change my grip to access it.

In addition, the trigger is wonderful for a striker-fired weapon, likely one of the best I’ve ever felt.

When I started running the gun, I noticed the cuts on the slide immediately. In comparison to other versions I’ve seen, I would label these belligerent.

Superterrain for the win!

Called Superterrain Serrations, these deeply grooved slots are cut in front of the ejection port and behind, in the traditional places you’d expect to find them.

The result is a strong interface with the hands when manipulating the slide.

Walther’s serrations also hook up nicely on holsters, belts, pants, nearly anything firm enough to resist the recoil spring for one-handed reloads.

18+1 is a great starting point.

Mags & Sights

The magazine has great capacity respectively and ran very well in all my trips to the range. They always fed well and dropped reliably without sticking.

And while the PDP doesn’t take Glock mags, you can literally buy and install whichever Glock sights you prefer.

Additionally, the PDP comes red dot ready, accepting many manufacturers’ footprints. All you have to do is contact Walther and they will send you the appropriate optic plate.

The recess laid pretty deep into the slide possibly allowing shooters to get by without suppressor height sights.

The 4.5-inch full-sized model I received sported a Leupold DeltaPoint Pro. This was a great option, serving me well through the rest of my career.

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Interestingly, the PDP has a design feature dedicated to red dot service. At the bottom of the magwell, in the front, a small lip protrudes. This works as a lever for pinky pressure.

When people change over from shooting iron sights they often lose the dot because they hold the muzzle too high during presentation.

Pinky pressure drops the muzzle and often brings the dot into view.

The outward curve at the bottom of the grip is a great addition for red dot users.

The lever aids this motion greatly.

Field Stripping

Field stripping the PDP is also easy and intuitive if you’ve ever done one for another kind of striker-fired semi.

Shooting the PDP: 5,000 Rounds In

The accuracy of the PDP has been solid.

When I first zeroed the DeltaPoint Pro at 10 yards, I shot a 3-round group at 1 inch.

Hidden Hybrid Holsters also has carry options for the PDP.

Any wild variations from this theme have been attributable to increased speed and general operator error on my part.

I still occasionally have to fight against jerking the trigger.

After the initial introduction and training on the PDP, I tested it extensively at my home range. I also began carrying it on duty using a C&G Kydex OWB holster and mag holder.

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This combo served well to secure the gun and magazines through clicked-in retention, while simultaneously holding all in place at the ready.

The performance of the PDP did not change. It was a beast and continued to slog on, providing reliability and accuracy as long as I did my part.

Half-inch increments.

But Nothing Is Perfect…

That isn’t to say the PDP is perfect.

There was one trip to the range where I ran the gun really dry and experienced a couple of stovepipes.

After a clean and lube, it didn’t happen again.

Safariland has a number of holsters too.

However, one issue I had repeatedly is a failure of the slide to lock back after the last round.

I eventually diagnosed this as my high grip and large hands riding the slide stop lever, occasionally preventing it from doing its job.

It’s no fault of the gun and an issue I’ve had with other manufacturers.

Also, I tend to believe any weapon truly considering itself worthy of a duty rating should come with three magazines, not the two you receive with each PDP.

Holosun HS507C-GR X2 Button on PDP
Holosun HS507C-GR X2 Button on PDP

The initial rollout was well done. Walther paired with several holster companies to have options in inventory before the guns were released.

At the launch, we used C&G, Safariland, and PHLster holsters along with the Leupold DPP and a Surefire X300.

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Unfortunately, as the year progressed and pandemic-related problems compiled, magazines, barrels, and even the guns themselves became difficult to locate.

By the Numbers

Accuracy: 4/5

The PDP is accurate if you do your part, the trigger and the barrel complement each other nicely.

Reliability: 4/5

I found it took abusive levels of dryness to cause any type of malfunction. Otherwise, they kept trucking.

Customization: 4/5

Walther has done a good job of offering several accessories if you want to further customize your PDP such as triggers, extended mag releases, baseplates, threaded barrels, and more.

Looks: 5/5

This gun looks like it was built to run hard, function dictating form. That alone is an aesthetic I appreciate.

Price: 4/5

Although the MSRP shows $699, several online retailers have the PDP listed at $599 which makes it competitive for the market and a good value at that price.

Shhhhhh.
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Overall: 5/5

Accurate, reliable, fun to run, and ergonomically very pleasing, the Walther PDP is a gun that has caused my appreciation to grow the longer I’ve owned and used it.

Conclusion

The Walther PDP is extremely well done. Whether you are a concealed carrier, home defender, or officer on the street, it is an excellent option.

PDP full size.

The grip is superlative, the accuracy is very good, and I’ve only experienced a couple of issues I likely caused. In short, the gun is highly reliable in my mind. The controls are well-placed and the trigger is superb for a striker-fired weapon.

To see the gun in action, check out the video below.

Have you had any experiences with Walther handguns? Let us know about your favorites in the comments below. We also added the PDP Compact to our 8 Best Compact 9mm Handguns, so be sure to see what else made that list.

FAQ

Is the Walther PDP a competition gun?

It's not built as a competition gun but rather as a duty and self-defense pistol. However, you likely wouldn't be handicapped using it in Production class.

Is there a safety on the Walther PDP?

There is no external manual safety on the Walther PDP.

Is the Walther PDP snappy?

Only if you don't do your part. The ergonomic and well-textured grip aids in keeping down snappiness from muzzle rise.

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16 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Cole

    I’ve been sold on Walther pistols for a while, I’ve owned a P99, 2 PPQs, and now I have a PDP full size 4.5. After 1000+ rounds, not one hiccup at all and it’s my go-to. I ran it with a Vortex Viper for a little while, but now I just run it with open sights. I swapped the factory sights out for a set of XS tritium sights and I can get a quick sight picture plus I can place good precision shots when I need to. There’s less muzzle-flip than my PPQs. I love those deep cut serrations which I thought was the one thing that needed improvement with the PPQ. Walther made that improvement and then some with the PDP.

    August 2, 2022 1:48 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike Hochstein

    Mine is a PDP 4.5 with a Holosun 507c and Olight balder mini laser and light. Just doesn’t get any better

    June 23, 2022 6:29 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Todd

    I have the 4.5" PDP full size with a venom red dot. I love the way it shoots and handles. I have around 2000 rounds through mine now and love the feel. It is now my EDC. Right out of the box, I thought it shot as good as my Q5 SF Match Pro. I have around 4000 rounds through my Q5 and never had an issue with it or the PDP except when I got a box of ammo that had issues in any gun I tried to run it through.

    May 13, 2022 8:09 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bob

    Four 4/5, one 5/5, and you give it a 5/5 overall..? Personally, I do think it's closer to5/5 myself...

    March 1, 2022 6:30 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    James

    What in tarnation? You run the pistol dry and then ding it on reliability. I mean car reviewers don't drain the oil and then complain that the engine seized up.

    January 10, 2022 9:21 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sean Curtis

      James,

      It wasn't my intention to run it dry but it happened during a training. It was strictly my negligence in not staying on top of it. However, I was glad to see the issue resolved when I diagnosed it and applied oil.

      January 24, 2022 8:26 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Roy Shoulders

    Thank you for the review. I'm about 2,000 rounds into my PDP (4.5 Full) and I absolutely love it. A tad bit snappier than my Sig P320 X-VTAC and SS DR920...but...I love this gun to death. It fits like a glove and I trust it with my life every day.

    January 9, 2022 4:02 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sean Curtis

      Absolutely Roy!

      Glad you found the same joy I did. The fit is amazing and the performance it wonderful.

      January 24, 2022 8:27 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      john schroeck

      a dpm recoil setup will tame the flip alot

      February 18, 2022 4:57 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Andrew F.

    Thanks for the review. Good to see Walther getting some recognition. I’m another PPQ owner and fan. It has the most comfortable grip and best striker fired trigger I’ve experienced. PDP updated features look appealing, especially being optics ready. Now if only they would offer a 10mm model with similar ergonomics and trigger performance, I would jump at the chance to get one of those.

    January 6, 2022 8:50 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sean Curtis

      Andrew, thanks!

      The PDP owes much to the PPQ from what I understand. And here's hoping for a 10mm version!

      January 7, 2022 7:51 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    BuckeyeChuck

    4 out of 5 for reliability??
    To me that means it is Not reliable for carry.

    January 6, 2022 8:49 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sean Curtis

      Chuck,

      Don't get hung up on the number. Would 9/10 make you feel better? The PDP is reliable, I said I carried it on duty. It's at least as reliable as the Glocks I've carried over the years. I'm pretty stringent with a 5 rating just because it has to be completely beyond reproach in my mind.

      January 7, 2022 7:53 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        JOHN K JOHNSON

        Chuck, I've had two PDP's since they were introduced, replacing the wonderful PPQs I previously owned. I can say without reservation that the PDPs are completely reliable...I've never had a single failure in 2000+ rounds.
        Over the last two years I've had to use difference ammo brands due to availability, including some that I never used...or in a few instances had never even heard of. No matter, the PDPs kept rolling along. And this includes both range and defensive ammo. I also own Sigs and HKs. The Sigs, at times, were a bit cranky with ammo. The HK VP9 and VP9 SK, as reliable as the Walthers.

        January 22, 2022 3:21 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    John Woodward

    I have two Walther PPQ handguns with 4" barrels. I use one for dry fire and one is my EDC. I don't even have to unload my EDC to dry fire because they exactly the same. They have fantastic triggers, they come with replacement sets of side plates and back straps. They have been very accurate out of the box. My PPQ's have the paddle mag releases, which I prefer. The M2 PPQ's have the button mag releases to satisfy Americans who prefer them. I am an instructor and I overwhelmingly prefer the paddle releases. I can reach the paddle much easier than the button and have never had any problem. Paddles are faster for me to do emergency reloads. (I know, I have heard the fears of the paddles - its a training issue in my opinion.) I do have other handguns I like (Sig,, H&K, Colt, Ruger) but the PPQ's are by far my favorite. I have fired thousands of rounds through them and they are rock solid reliable. They eat any ammunition I have fired without failure. I do love my Colt Python revolver but I do not carry it. For those who do not like the PPQ, I hope you are carrying what you love that is reliable, effective, ergonomic, and portable.

    January 6, 2022 4:50 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sean Curtis

      John, thanks for your perspective!

      I totally agree, many gear setups can be completely effective with training. I haven't tried the paddle release, but imagine I could adapt. There is no single answer, thankfully.

      January 7, 2022 7:58 am
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