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GUNS Magazine April 2010 - Page 32
• JOHN TAFFIN • THE wAlTHER PPS A compact, concealable pistol in potent 9mm. here are several things gunwriters need to be concerned about T and guard against. Two of these are being misunderstood and misquoted; both of which we are usually helpless to do anything about. The other two are repeating oneself and routine. Since I spent most of my life as a teacher, I can simply dismiss repeating myself as ongoing review. Routine is the greatest danger as it is easy to fall into an almost mechanical mode of punching out words without feeling and it is always great when the firearm being tested provides something to prevent routine. Such is definitely the case of the Walther 9mm PPS. As soon as I fired it the first time I knew this was not a routine pistol. In fact it is quite exciting to someone who does not excite easily. I encountered my first Walther as a 6-year-old in 1945 when my stepdad (returning from the service) brought home several souvenirs, one of which was a 9mm Walther P38. It took him awhile to find work, so his Walther was sold. Twelve years later I would actually get to fire a Walther P38 and did not particularly care for it as by then most were saying the 9mm was inadequate and you needed a .45. I bought two surplus .45s, a 1911 Colt and a 1917 S&W and forgot the Walther. In the 1960s I encountered Skeeter Skelton who was a big fan of the Walther PPK PPS mAkER: CARl wAlTHER GmBH-SPORTwAFFEN ARNSBERG, GERmANY www.CARl-wAlTHER.dE ImPORTER: wAlTHER AmERICA (S&w) 2100 ROOSEVElT AVENUE SPRINGFIEld, mA 01104 (800) 331-0852 www.wAlTHERAmERICA.COm ACTION TYPE: Locked breech, semi-auto CAlIBER: 9mm CAPACITY: 7+1 and 6+1 BARREl lENGTH: 3.2" OVERAll lENGTH: 6.3" wEIGHT: 21.3 ounces FINISH: Matte black steel slide SIGHTS: 3-Dot, Rear, windage adjustable GRIPS: Integral Polymer PRICE: $622 Johnfiredtwofull7-roundmagazinesthrough theWaltherPPSat10yards. BlackHills147-grainFMJsfiredatacombat shootingdistanceof7yardsdeliveredstellar performance. The9mmWaltherPPS isthinnerandslightly shorterthaneithertheColtCobraorSmith& WessonJ-frame.38Specials. .380 as a pocket gun. I wanted one but never quite got around to it. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s semi-autos became more and more accepted as duty and civilian self-defense firearms, polymer framed pistols became quite prevalent, and the 9mm which had been so easily dismissed over the years began to be offered in some very potent JHP configurations, which are not all that far removed from the .357 Magnum in a short-barreled pistol. Currently Smith & Wesson is offering the line of Walther pistols including the latest, the PPS. This little 9mm has a black polymer frame with an integral grip, pebble grained on both sides and serrated front and back for a very secure gripping surface. The steel slide has cocking serrations in front of the rear sight, and sights consist of a post front with a white dot mated up with a square notched rear sight with white dots on both sides. These sights are very easy to acquire and provide a very good sight picture. The only mechanical safety is the lever, which is found in the front of the trigger surface and which must be depressed before the PPS can be fired. There is a red loaded chamber indicator in the back of the slide below the rear sight. The ambidextrous magazine release is unlike anything I have ever seen. Instead of being found on the grip frame behind or below the triggerguard it is instead a lever on both sides of the bottom of the triggerguard and this must be pressed downwards to release the magazine. This presented a slight 32 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • APRIL 2010