Walther: Some Things Never Change

March 17, 2021
Kevin "KJ" Jarnagin

Some Things Never Change. Walther PDP Tows Party Line

Some companies know what they're good at and stick with it. Walther is about grip and trigger. They haven't strayed from the message. If you pick up a Walther, there is a certain feel that is undeniably Walther. With the Performance Duty Pistol launch, PDP, Walther further emboldens itself as a firearms community leader. After shooting the PDP, I can honestly say this Walther is not making the return trip to Fort Smith.

I'm in the market for a full-size firearm, looking for one that feels solid in hand, points naturally, and ages like a fine wine. The full-size Walther PDP was sent to us for a review, and while Ryan Gresham did the on-air stuff, I was able to get my hands on the PDP behind the scene. 

What is the first thing you notice on a firearm when you hold it? The grip, of course. This isn't some new revelation. The grip is the first thing I notice, which is why Walther invests so much research and development into the grip. I'm getting into a bit of marketing speak, but the Performance Duty Texture is a tetrahedron design. That is a fancy way to explain that the grip is made of hundreds of small triangles. Wait, triangles have points on the top. Wouldn't that be an issue to have hundreds of triangles stabbing your hand? Not at all. I'd say they are capped with microscopic jagged edges. 

As your hand presses tightly around the grip, the tiny triangles aggressively strengthen the bond between gun and hand. When wet, the triangles gain rigidity and grip. I didn't think it was possible, but it happens. 

I see this as a super advantage for long days on the range in the hot, sweaty South. Many firearms wet test out have fairly basic grip textures. In heat and humidity, these guns flip a little more due to sweat on the grip. It doesn't feel like I'm able to get back on target as quickly. For those looking at the Compact PDP, this is a massive advantage. If you plan to carry this gun, think of sweat adhering to the grip. If God forbid, you have to defend your life; you'd like to have a grip on a gun that maintained its performance even if drenched in sweat. I appreciate that Walther enhanced the overall grip feel of the PDP.  

The Walther PDP is designed to accept red dots. While this is a mere side note on many of today's top self-defense firearms, Walther went back to its roots and enhanced the grip for red dots. The ergonomics of the PDP grip are designed to allow shooters to pick up the red dot quicker and more consistently. 

The base of the PDP grip where the pinky finger rests is the key. With a slight forward turn, the base of the grip allows for a natural aiming position. I enjoyed this feature. For my hands, the full-size grip is longer than the width of my dominant hand. When I grip the PDP grip and place more pressure downward on the pinky finger, the PDP grip ergonomics make picking up a red dot a split second quicker. It's ever-so-slight, but I do notice a difference. I saw it more on the Compact version since the grip is shorter, which brings me into a great feature that Walther has built right into the PDP. The PDP is modular between the models. So, I can take the short grip frame of the Compact PDP and outfit it with the full-size slide. Therefore, I get the best of both worlds. 

The trigger of the PDP is what I expected to feel from Walther. The "Performance Duty Trigger" is a new trigger from Walther, but it is precisely what you'd expect. The length of travel is shorter, and the reset is extremely short. 

I like over-sized controls, especially the slide release. You don't have to think about where it is at on this gun. No matter what size of hands you have, it is always in the right spot. Plus, the large magazine release button is easily converted to either side of your choosing. 

Another excellent addition is the super-sized slide serrations. These seem beefy, but they don’t have hard edges that cut. It is more like a mud tire. It provides ample room for a positive grip when needed most.

Like I said, I’m in the market for a full-size firearm that fits just right, but it is worth mentioning the compact version. I love the size of the frame on the Compact PDP. My pinky finger hits at just the right point to make the red dot ergonomics works just right. The Compact PDP has a similar size to a G19. 

This is a popular size, but not many companies are announcing guns of this size in today's world. Most are busy chasing the trimmer is the better crowd. Walther may have bucked this trend, but they stayed their course. They remain a leader when it comes to grip and trigger.

Don't believe me? I guess you'll have to drive to the local gun shop and feel for yourself. ~ KJ

Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often finds himself in a bass boat. Whether it's making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, KJ always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.