The problem, besides varying quality levels, is that often the pistols are foreign made, and finding accessories like magazines, holsters and spare parts is nearly impossible. Sure, your pistol is a great budget weapon, and it’s accurate, reliable and capable, but where do you get the necessary accessories?
Recently, though, a little company called Walther introduced its own line of budget pistols. Walther is probably most well-known for the PP, PPK, and PPK/s series of pistols that James Bond has used for the last four decades on the silver screen. They have also been producing some of the most innovative polymer frame pistols in the world, with classics like the concealable Walther PPS, the Walther P99, and Walther PPQ, the Walther PK380, and now the Walther PPX.
The Walther PPX is a semi-automatic handgun chambered in either 9 mm, or 40 Smith and Wesson. The pistol is advertised as a double action only weapon, and is a duty sized. It comes in blued, stainless steel, and blued with a threaded barrel. The Walther PPX comes with two magazines and is advertised as Walther’s new budget pistol. So what’s the budget? Right, that’s the important part. I paid $315 for the stainless steel version, with the threaded barrel variant going for the same, and the blued model going for as little as $289.99.
Walther is also offering $100 worth of gear for the PPX for models purchased after April 2014. This includes a kydex holster, a dual magazine pouch and an extra magazine. All you have to pay is $9 for shipping and handling. Of course, all the free holsters in the world won’t make up for a crappy weapon, so let’s take a closer look.
I am happy to report the Walther PPX is an outstanding weapon. It is accurate, reliable, ergonomic and plenty capable. Those looking for a budget backup weapon would be hard-pressed to find something as high quality as the Walther PPX.
First off, the Walther PPX is incredibly ergonomic. The grip does feature a distinct hump which has drawn some criticism from the looks department. It’s not the most attractive feature, but the hump makes the grip very comfortable. The hump forces the user to grip the weapon high, and allows for a nice comfortable grip. The Walther PPX forgoes the standard Walther paddle mag release and goes with a more traditional push button magazine release.
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In terms of being concealable, the Walther is way too large for that. It is an excellent self-defense weapon, though, and makes for a wonderful home defense weapon. The weapon comes equipped with a standard Picatinny rail for the mounting of flashlights or lasers. The magazines are high quality and made from steel, and they run right in the mid-$20s apiece.
The PPX features a wonderful trigger. Although the PPX claims to be a double action only trigger weapon, the trigger is not what you expect from a double action only weapon. When I hear DAO, I imagine a long trigger pull, like the Sig P250. Not necessarily heavy or bad, just long. The first time I fired the weapon, I was surprised.
I also was surprised at how light the trigger was, and when it broke it genuinely surprised me. There is hardly any take-up, and the pull is very, very light. The reset is short and audible, and rapid fire with this weapon was very easy to accomplish. I adore the trigger, and as a target weapon the Walther PPX is spot-on. I honestly wouldn’t change a single thing with the trigger.
The light trigger adds to the accuracy of the weapon — and the weapon is already very accurate. The weapon comes equipped with large three dot sights that allow for rapid target acquisition and are very easy to line up. The large weapon handles the 9mm cartridge well, and offers an advantage when it comes to follow-up shots. In terms of accuracy I won’t explain my success but my wife’s.
My wife doesn’t mind guns, and occasionally shoots with me, but she does it to remain proficient, whereas I do it for fun. With the Walther PPX my wife was producing her tightest groups ever at 10 yards. She was knocking out the 10 ring in one circular hole, and then she moved to the 9, the 8 and the 7, knocking each number out for fun. She’s not a hardcore shooter and she’ll be splitting hairs with the PPX soon enough.
The Walther PPX packs a punch, and with 16 9mms in the magazine there aren’t many fights it can’t win. When it comes to reloads, the PPX makes this extremely easy. It doesn’t just release the magazine; it ejects it. The magazine is shot out of the magazine well with a lot of force behind it. It is impressive, and even when the gun is held upside down the magazine flies out about halfway.
In terms of reliability, the pistol ate everything we’ve throw at it so far. We have used a variety of different loads, including the cheapo, dirty, Tula ammo. We threw heavy 147 grain subsonic 9mms, and even reduced recoil 115 grain loads. Of course, we used the standard 115 and 124 grain FMJ target loads. This gun ate it all without a single hiccup.
One of the reasons my wife loves the PPX is that it is incredibly easy to rack. She is a very petite woman, and traditionally doesn’t care for automatic pistols. She can rack most autos, but it takes a bit of effort. With the PPX she can rack it without a single ounce of effort. She feels much more confident with the PPX than a Glock or CZ.
The Walther PPX is a superb pistol, especially at a $300 or so price point. The weapon comes packed with features not commonly available on budget pistols. This pistol’s superior trigger, ergonomics, magazine quality, and accuracy made the Walther PPX the best budget pistol on the market. Plus, with Walther’s current promotion, it’s pretty hard to beat.
The Walther PPX allows those on a budget to have a quality firearm without spending a fortune.
What is your favorite budget pistol? Share your tips in the section below: