When comparing the 9mm handguns available, two models that always top the discussion are the Walther PPQ and the Glock 19. They are both quality handguns, but their makers have taken two very different approaches to the designs. While Glock is a master of simplicity and reliability, Walther has gone for a more elaborate design. In the end, both are fine choices to consider. However, we must make a comparison between the Walther PPQ versus the Glock 19.
Largely, the Glock 19 has established itself as the gun to beat in this category. Part of the reason is because it was the first polymer handgun created that covers the needs of just about any user. The Glock 17 started the revolution as Gaston Glock incorporated his years of polymer experience into the handgun industry. The Glock 19 was just the third model produced by Glock, so it has had a long run of success.
While the Glock was first created specifically for the Austrian army, it is now used as the primary sidearm in over 48 countries. Over 60% of the service handguns used in the United States are Glocks, and the Glock 19 is the most popular model. This is because it is large enough to easily stop an attacker, but small enough to use as a conceal-and-carry weapon. It is accurate, reliable, and can take just about any ammo you can fit in the magazine.
The Glock 19 is inexpensive, easy to find ammo for, and has a plethora of accessories and modifications available. While it is not the prettiest gun in the world, there really have not been any complaints about the firearm since its release. It took other manufacturers several attempts before developing a gun of this size and caliber that could potentially compete against the Glock 19. However, the PPQ holds its own in the debate on the Glock 19 vs Walther PPQ.
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Walther is a German manufacturer, and the PPQ is a revised version of the popular P99. It has quickly gained a reputation for being a fast and ergonomically focused firearm. It has a much more attractive appearance, and a grip that cannot be topped. The PPQ has a light trigger pull which allows for quicker and more accurate follow up shots. These are all reason why it could become a good alternative to the Glock 19.
The ergonomics of the PPQ are one way that it stands out from the Glock 19. It has a unique grip texture that is especially comfortable on your hand. There are three interchangeable backstraps, so you can adjust the grip based on your hand size. The magazine and slide releases are ambidextrous for any user. The slide is serrated so you can easily grip to pull it back. The comfort added to the firearm also added to the styling and appearance of the firearm. I must admit that it is a fresh change from the plain Jane looks of the Glock 19.
The trigger pull is one of the nicest features of the PPQ. It has a light, smooth trigger at only 5.6 pounds. The trigger travels .4 inches with a .1 inch rest, so the recovery is quite fast. The recoil is light and there is very little muzzle movement, so your follow up shots should typically be on line. The light trigger also helps with the accuracy of your initial shot.
Another feature I like about the Walther PPQ is the three dot sight system. I have always seen complaints about the sights on the Glock 19. The three dot system on the PPQ draws in your eye allowing for a quick target acquisition. These sights are good in standard and low light scenarios, and are low profile so they are less likely to catch on clothing or the holster. Unfortunately, the sights are still plastic like on the Glock.
The only negative aspect of the Walther PPQ I have seen is an issue with the slide lock. Some users have mentioned that the slide does not always lock in place at the end of a magazine. It turns out that the issue is based on finger placement. If you place your finger in the wrong spot, it will hit the slide release button at the end of the magazine preventing it from locking in place. I am sure adjustments can be made to how the gun is gripped to prevent this issue, but I have never heard about this problem from Glock 19 owners.
The Glock 19 is the reigning champ when it comes to firearms in this class. It was released in 1988 and has been one of the most widely sold handguns ever since. One fact that should be noted is that there are three primary versions of the Glock 19 available. There is the original release, the Gen 3, and the Gen 4. The newer generations add features like an accessory rail which allows for tac-light accessories, different grip textures, and interchangeable backstraps for larger handed owners. However, newer generations have been criticized as having issues with reliability. If I had to pick a Glock 19, it would be the original version.
The G19 is a true utility pistol. It is big enough to be used as a full service pistol, but small enough that you can wear it as a conceal-and-carry firearm. It is a bit bulky for tight clothing, but still covers the needs of most users. The versatility of the firearm is unmatched. It will take virtually any ammo that fits, and it will take magazines from several other Glock models. This gun is rough and tough, and does not even have to be cleaned that often.
The trigger pull on the Glock 19 is well above average. It has a smooth pull with a crisp wall. The grip is a little on the rough side, but still does fine. Recoil is light on the Glock allowing for a tight grouping on follow up shots. It is considered to be accurate and reliable. The appearance of the Glock is very basic by design, and it has a plain look to it.
One of the only complaints about the Glock is the sights. Both the front sight and the rear sight are made of plastic. This means that any time you drop the gun you risk permanently damaging the sight picture. It also means that simple wear and tear from pulling the gun from your holster could wear down the sights. In addition, the rear sight is a wide rectangle that confuses the eye. When drawing your firearm, you have a small front sight floating in a large rear sight rectangle. It makes target acquisition very difficult and can make follow up shots even tougher.
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Comparison – Walther PPQ vs Glock 19
You cannot deny that the Glock 19 has established itself as the standard for the industry. However, you have to be open to other options. Not everybody is going to fall in love with the Glock. I think the biggest advantage that the Glock has is that hundreds of thousands of military, police, and personal owners have proven its effectiveness. It is very hard to argue with experience. Many people swear by the Glock brand and would never buy another handgun.
However, it is worth considering new innovations. There is the possibility of Walther coming up with a better option. To determine if they have accomplished this, we must look at the few weaknesses of the Glock and the few advantages of the Walther. These are minor details, so remember that either of these handguns could be an excellent choice.
The biggest complaints of the Glock 19 are the sights and the appearance. The Glock rear sight is a wide rectangle that leaves the front sight floating is a sea of uncertainty. How is your eye supposed to adapt to that? You have to be able to focus in on a specific point, but the wide rear sight does not allow it. As for the appearance, it is simplistic. The Glock is also called the “block” because it has very few features to make it more attractive. Are these major issues? No, not really.
The main benefits of the PPQ are the sharp appearance and ergonomic design. The criticisms of the Walther PPQ are the placement of the slide release and an occasional user having issues with groupings. The slide release issue makes sense to me, but I cannot understand the accuracy issue. Every aspect of the PPQ says that it should be more accurate. The sights are better, it is light on recoil, and the trigger pull is light and smooth. However, some users shooting both guns and comparing the Walther PPQ versus the Glock 19 say that groupings are tighter with the Glock. That makes no sense to me unless users are just more experienced with the Glock because it has been around so long.
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If you have to make a decision on the Walther PPQ vs the Glock 19, I give the edge to the Glock. The main reason is because of the fact that the Glock has proven itself over and over. The Walther is just too new for me to say it is a better gun than the Glock. A few years from now we may change our tune. Both guns are high quality options and I would be happy to fire either weapon, but the win goes to Glock this time.