By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
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June 18, 2012
Last updated on 6/20/12.
And, speaking of U.S. Naval Special Warfare (SPECWAR) assaulters/operators and their combat equipment, we should probably mention the Walther PPS single-stack, striker-fired 9mm compact/sub-compact semi-auto pistol. Now, this might seem like a bit of a non-sequitur, but it's not. While I was on business trip late last year, we ended up having dinner with one of our U.S. Naval SPECWAR contacts, and he told me that he and his SEAL teammates were carrying Walther PPS 9mm (9x19mm NATO) pistols for CCW (concealed carry) and covert missions/operations, and really liked them. When he told me that, the PPS, which stands for "Police Pistol Slim" by the way, seemed like a kind of non-sequitur weapon choice. To be honest, I really hadn't thought about Walther pistols for a long time, and never would have guessed that the U.S. Navy SEALs would pick a Walther product over Glock, Smith & Wesson (S&W) M&P, Heckler & Koch (HK), SIG SAUER, and/or Springfield Armory pistols. It just seemed like an out-of-left-field choice. However, our contact explained to me that the Walther PPS is a great little concealed carry pistol with nice handling and shooting qualities–and it's reliable. Its slim profile and lightweight aspect are also ideal for CCW/covert carry.
DefenseReview (DR) has yet to T&E a Walther PPS 9mm pistol at the range, but while we were at NDIA Joint Armaments Conference 2012 last month (May 2012), got a chance to handle the Smith & Wesson (S&W) M&P SHIELD compact/sub-compact single-stack 9mm pistol, and that gun looked and felt really good in our hands. So, we asked one of the S&W representatives at the booth about his preference between the two pistols, since S&W also distributes the Walther PPS. He pointed out that while he likes both pistols and thinks both are excellent, the S&W M&P SHIELD pistol is a more recent design and a simpler design in the sense that it utilizes less parts than the PPS, so if he had to choose, he would go with the SHIELD. DR should note that we haven't yet T&E'd a SHIELD pistol at the range, either.
It should be noted that the S&W M&P SHIELD 9mm pistol most likely wasn't available (or known about) when the SEALs chose the Walther PPS 9mm pistol, so it would be interesting to see which one they prefer now in a side-by-side shooting/torture test.
The following information on the Walther PPS pistol comes directly from the Smith & Wesson (S&W)/Walther America website:
The Walther Police Pistol Slim (PPS) model narrows the margin between concealment and confidence by packing Walther innovation into an unbelievable 1.04 inch profile. It's amazing how much professional-grade design actually fits into this lightweight sub-compact. Available in either 9mm or .40S&W, the PPS packs in more power. All in all, the PPS embodies both the legendary quality and tradition of innovation that make it not just a great pistol — but a great Walther pistol.
PPS Power – Small Frame, Large Caliber
In 9mm or .40S&W, the PPS has several notable features aimed at better fit and safe performance in its narrow dimensions. From your choice of perfect-fitting backstrap (small or large) to our patented QuickSafe™ innovation, no one packs in the power and features like Walther:
– 9mm Parabellum / 9x19mm NATO Caliber
– Ambidextrous Magazine Release
– Includes 2 Magazines
– Loaded Chamber & Cocking Indicators
– Small & Large Backstrap
– Trigger Safety
– Internal Striker Safety
– Walther QuickSafe™ Safety
Two 7-Round Magazines Included (6 and 8 Round Mags Available for purchase)
PPS Attraction – Flat Out Better Features
Simply remove the QuickSafe™ backstrap — without it the pistol cannot be fired. Walther QuickSafe™ is maximum security made easy."
Suggested MSRP on the PPS is $599.00 USD.
Company Contact Info:
Smith & Wesson (S&W) / Walther America
2100 Roosevelt Avenue
Springfield, MA 01104
Toll Free: 800-331-0852
USA Fax: 413-747-3317
Intl. Fax: 413-731-8980
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