Walther PPQ VS HK VP9 Debate

Walther PPQ vs HK VP9

A Detailed Review

The world is filled with plastic fantastics. Plastic fantastic is an often affectionate name given to polymer frame, double stack, striker-fired guns that are usually 9mm, but 40 S&W also qualifies. What started with the success of Glock has become the success of the entire industry. Every company who’s a serious contender produces some form of plastic fantastic, including HK and Walther and their great models between the Walther PPQ vs HK VP9.

These European heavyweights are immensely popular companies that both have a reputation for quality firearms that feature a level of refinement above their competition.

Both also produce or have produced a wide variety of striker-fired firearms. The striker-fired flagships of HK is the VP9 and Walther’s flagship is the PPQ.

Both guns have proven to be fantastic weapons, and as pistols, they are on a different level than most striker-fired, polymer-framed, handguns.

The HK VP9

Walther PPQ vs HK VP9 Comparison Serrations Details

For some time the famed German firm Heckler and Koch did not produce a striker-fired pistol. In the 80s and 90s, they were big fans of the concept and invented the first polymer frame striker-fired pistol.

However, they dived into the more successful DA/SA market for an extended period of time. The introduction of the VP9 took the gun market by storm, and the low relative price was immensely attractive to HK fans and new shooters.

Immediately the gun was embraced by the gun-buying public. It became an instant hit, and the market welcomed the VP9 with open arms. German police forces adopted the VP9, Luxembourg police forces, and even a number of US police departments have adopted the gun or approved it for duty use.

Of course, as the people’s pistol and civilians have widely adopted it with a sweet tooth for striker-fired HKs.

The VP in VP9 stands for Volkspistole, which means the people’s pistol. The price and simple design make it a gun most people can shoot with ease and can afford.

The VP9 holds 15 rounds of 9mm and sports an ambidextrous magazine release, interchangeable grip panels, an accessory rail, and no manual safety.

The VP9 series has expanded into the VP40 in 40 S&W, and the VP9SK, a compact model of the VP series, and the VP9 Tactical with a threaded barrel and suppressor height sights.

Walther PPQ

Walther PPQ vs HK VP9 Holsters Comparison

Walther is often the name synonymous with James Bond and the PPK. If you were to say the words, “I have a Walther,” most people assume the PPK. However, the PPK is a bit outdated for a duty pistol, and Walther has kept themselves up to date.

The PPQ is the current flagship Walther design and is meant for police use, concealed carry, and home defense.

The Walther was based on the P99QA, but it eliminated the double-action portion of that design. This partially cocked single action striker is simpler and more comparable to most modern striker-fired guns. Additionally the gun sports a re-designed grip, trigger guide and slide.

The gun is well known for its impressive ergonomics and the comfort most users feel when gripping the gun. The Walther PPQ has become a favorite competition pistol due to its reliability, trigger, and ergonomics. It’s an extremely well-made gun with a reputation for refinement of fit and finish.

PPQ stands for Police Pistol Quick Defense, and this is in reference to the trigger design being single action only.

The PPQ holds 15 rounds of 9mm and has interchangeable backstraps, and comes in M1 and M2 models. The M1 features a paddle magazine release and the M2 features a reversible button release.

Walther PPQ vs HK VP9 Mag Release Comparison

The PPQ series comes in 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, and 22 LR. There is the standard model, as well as the sub-compact. The gun also comes in barrel lengths ranging from 4, 4.2, 4.6, and 5-inch models. Some wear extended barrels for competition and others to attach a suppressor to it.

Walther PPQ vs HK VP9: Fit and Finish

Both the PPQ and VP9 are made to be working guns. These are the guns you’ll find in the Walther PPQ holsters and HK VP9 Holster of cops and soldiers, so they are prepared for practical purposes. That being said both features a tough Tennifer finish so you won’t have to worry about the Walther PPQ vs HK VP9 in this instance.

Tennifer is insanely resistant to saltwater and corrosion in general. It’s a durable finish that has no problems with sweat, saltwater, or resisting scratches and scraping. It gives the end-user a matte black look.

HK does take it a step further with their Hostile Environment finish that lays down a polymer coating with the Tennifer. This makes it less prone to gouges, scrapes, and scratches.

Outside of the functional nature of these weapons, both guns look great. The finish is applied evenly and gives these guns an overall smooth finish. HK and Walther both pride themselves on not cutting corners and these guns show it.

The VP9 is more angles and rectangles, and the PPQ is rounder around the edges. Both guns have tasteful roll marks displaying both the name of the company and the model of the pistol. Walther’s scroll has always been the gold standard as far as I am concerned.

Walther PPQ vs HK VP9 Paddle Mag Release Comparison

The guns both have unique, eye-pleasing grip stippling, as well as clean-cut serrations in the slide. The weapons are both refined and well made. This means everything locks into place with little to zero play, and the parts are slop free.

HK has a slight advantage with their poly coat, but both guns look and feel great.

Walther PPQ vs HK VP9: Specs

The HK VP9 sports a 4.09-inch barrel, with a total length of 7.34 inches. The gun is 5.41 inches tall, and 1.32 inches wide. It rocks a 15 round magazine and weight 25.56 ounces with an empty magazine.

The VP9 uses the same magazine as the hammer-fired P30, so magazines are widely available. The HK VP9 comes with both front and rear slide serrations, a Picatinny rail for accessories, and a wide variety of side, front, and rear grip panels to adjust the gun to your hand.

The bore has polygonal rifling with six grooves in a right-hand twist. The barrel is cold hammer-forged and made from cannon grade steel. It will last forever, if not forever, longer than you.

The Walther PPQ M2 has a 4-inch barrel and an overall length of 7.1 inches. The gun is 5.3 inches tall, and 1.3 inches wide. It fires from a 15 round magazine that is compatible with the older P99 magazines. The gun weighs 24.5 ounces empty and also sports rear and front slide serrations.

The gun has three interchangeable backstraps for different grip sizes. The barrel is also cold hammer forged and utilizes polygonal rifling.

If you were just to read the specs, the two guns seem to be twins. They are quite similar, and when two companies are trying to produce an affordable, well-made weapon that fulfills specific roles, then you can bet there will be overlap.

Walther PPQ vs HK VP9: Ergonomics

Walther PPQ vs HK VP9 Ergonomics Comparison

Here is where battles can be won and lost in the gun world. How does a pistol feel? How do the controls work? These are all critical questions, and often the winner is which one feels better in your hand.

We’ll talk objective facts, but at the end of the day when you pick the gun up is when you figure out if it fits you.

Both guns do feature overtly ambidextrous controls. The PPQ M1 or “Classic” sports the same paddle release as the VP9 which is inherently ambidextrous. On top of that, both guns wear ambidextrous slide releases. Neither gun has a manual safety, and they both have trigger-based safeties.

The PPQ M2 has an American style push-button magazine release, and it can be moved to the left or right-hand side. It’s not genuinely ambidextrous, but configurable for any user.

HK just released the VP9-B which also features a button release that is reversible. Speaking of configuration, the guns both feature customizable grips.

The PPQ comes with three backstraps to adjust the gun to different hand sizes. The VP9 goes a step further and gives you three backstraps and six grip panels for an impressive degree of customization.

The slide release on the Walther PPQ is one of my favorites. First off, its massive and easy to reach and use with bare hands or while wearing gloves. It’s also positioned so that a high, thumbs forward grip won’t disable the slide lock. The HK VP9 gives me the same problems SIG’s do, and that’s my thumbs resting on top of the slide lock instead of alongside it. This prevents the gun from locking back on the final round.

As mentioned before both feature front and rear slide serrations. The VP9 does have wings. By wings, I mean raised portions on the rear of the slide. These provide a better grip and make the gun easier to rack. This can be invaluable for those who have terrible hand strength.Walther PPQ vs HK VP9 Charging Handles Comparison

The way a gun feels in hand is the most subjective thing there is. To me, the Walther PPQ sets the bar for comfortable handguns. Its grip fits me perfectly, and I find it immensely satisfying. That being said the VP9 grip is excellent, I have no specific complaints about it. I merely like the PPQ a bit more.

Both companies place a lot of time into making a comfortable grip that allows a high hold on your gun.

Both guns have a nice trigger undercut, a great beavertail, and nice palm swell.

Walther PPQ vs HK VP9: Features

Both the VP9 and PPQ have Picatinny rails for lights, lasers, coffee makers and other accessories. The guns also feature full-sized sights with standard three-dot and night sight options available depending on the model.

HK Produces the VP9 in black, FDE, OD Green, and grey. The PPQ is produced in black, OD Green, Tungsten, FDE.

I do like the fact the grip panels on the PPQ are black, and I think it offsets and looks excellent with the FDE, OD Green, and Tungsten models.

The VP9 has an enlarged heavy-duty extractor that functions as a loaded chamber indicator which is a nice feature. The PPQ does come standard with an adjustable rear sight for zeroing purposes.

Walther PPQ vs HK VP9: Shooting Characteristics

These guns both handle amazingly well. The high grip you can achieve helps fight recoil and muzzle rise. Both guns sport light striker-fired triggers that make double taps and rapid-fire easy and controllable.

The trigger on the Walther PPQ is likely the greatest stock trigger ever placed on a striker-fired handgun. It’s light, short, creep and grit-free. It can easily take you by surprise and make something like a Glock trigger feel immensely heavy. Its 0.1” trigger reset is brilliant.

Walther PPQ vs HK VP9 Holster Ergonomics Comparison

The VP9 trigger is a little stiffer, but not by much. It’s smooth and grit-free, it just requires about 1.5 pounds more pull than the PPQ. The VP9 trigger is refined and comes in second place concerning stock triggers, and striker-fired guns.

Both guns have nice combat style sights that make getting on target easy, and accuracy is top-notch. You can almost split hairs with these guns. The sights, the triggers, the grip are all aligned to bring the most accuracy you can squeeze out of their hammer-forged barrels.

Walther PPQ vs HK VP9: Ease of Concealment

These are both full-sized guns, but with the right holster, they can be concealed carried comfortably. The Walther’s rounder edges may feel more comfortable when it comes to IWB options.

Concealing IWB may be slightly uncomfortable, and will likely require you to go up a size in pants. Concealing OWB will be more comfortable, but it may be harder to hide the gun.

The V3 No Print Wonder lets you figure out which works well for you by allowing you to choose OWB, Appendix, or traditional IWB.

Since they are double-stack guns if you were looking to carry an extra magazine, the Mag holster is likely your best bet. It’s supportive of those 15 rounds of 9mm.

Final Thoughts

Walther PPQ vs HK VP9 Concealed Carry Handguns Comparison

I love living in America because I don’t have to pick and choose what gun I want. As long as I have the funds, I can purchase both. However, if I could only have one which way would the cookie crumble?

Honestly, I’d go with the PPQ M1 or Classic model. I prefer the paddle release over a button. That being said the HK Vp9 is an outstanding gun, and I wouldn’t feel under-gunned with it.

What do you folks think between the Walther PPQ vs HK VP9? Let us know which model you would choose and why. If you are also looking for a dedicated Kydex holster to secure your concealed carry handgun inside, we recommend you check out our concealed carry holster here.

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22 replies
  1. JMJ
    JMJ says:

    I think the author threw in two aspects of his own user error/irrelevant experiences with the HK slide release/opens on last shot comment and grip feel. I personally do not have any issues with the gun staying open on the last shot due to where I place my thumb. That is a personal problem; everyone does not hold a pistol the same way he does. As for his opinions about the grip, that too is a personal opinion; admittedly.

    Also I’m not sure how old this article is. Since its initial release in 2014, the HK vp9 has been revamped for 2020 where it now comes with 17-round magazines. There is also an optional 20 round magazine available from HK. The 2020 version also comes Optics ready, and has blacked out rear sights.

    The Walther trigger is pretty damn good from what I have seen in videos. I have heard that from gun dealers as well. I have not fired both side by side so I have no comment with respect to that subject matter vs the VP9 trigger.

    So in conclusion I think both pistols are well-made quality pieces. To me the HK is more combat ready. I have owned a USP and an hk45c… if those two excellent previous models are any indication of what His are like I presume the vp9 will carry on the same tradition of no-nonsense no compromise performance.

  2. Todd
    Todd says:

    I own both of these, and have used thier customer service for sight installation (HK) , and a repair (Walt.). HK had one of the best customer service staffs I have ever dealt with. Friendly, articulate, and very fast. Walther’s was very bad experience. Horrible, cryptic communication, unresponsive, unorganized and an overall rude tone. After so many incomplete email responses to my questions about shipping, I called them. The guy that answered looked over the email history (6 months), and apologized profusely, and advised that this is unusual. I still did not recieve my shipping label via email, like he said I would. So I called again, and a very complacent sounding guy sent me the label with me on the phone (My request) , I didn’t get it. I told him to try a different email, and it worked. Somehow they all entered my first address wrong many times? Dunno if I would buy another.

  3. Eric Hambright
    Eric Hambright says:

    I have both and honestly not sure which I like better. PPQ has crap selection of aftermarket stuff which mostly is only painful with the lack of good sight options. HK is slightly better in that regard but still less than others.

    Both guns will drop the striker if struck on the butt (there are some YouTube videos of this).

    Both have nice trigger, although I would give the edge to PPQ.

    Ergonomically, I like them both.

    H&K as a company seems to not care much about the civilian market which is annoying. Walther is owned by Umarex and they made some shit guns in the 90s. Current Walthers seem to be well made (except the .22) so to me it’s a toss up as to which company I like better. Elitist attitude Vs Corner cutters for cost.

    My VP9 cost about 200 bucks more but it also came with tritium sights and an extra mag.

    Honestly I feel like it’s 6 to one, half dozen to the other with these two guns.

  4. Todd
    Todd says:

    I just used HK customer service to install truglo sights on my VP9. They completed the job within 3 hours of receiving the slide, and are shipping it back today. I asked how they did it so fast, the rep. told me that they have time, because nothing ever breaks on HKs. As far as HK or VP9, I have shot both extensively, and can’t easily decide. The trigger on the PPQ is about 15% shorter of a pull, but feels like it might be a bit light for a duty weapon. I’ll probably end up buying one.

  5. Robert maletta
    Robert maletta says:

    While both are are some of the best the gun world has to offer l chose the Walther PPQ navy 9mm so far the gun has been flawless l did change the guide rod from stainless guide rods and put XS big dot night sights the trigger and reset are really good so is accuracy to 50 yards for a handgun

  6. Bobo
    Bobo says:

    Oh, and as far as HK’s CS goes, the one time I used it (for a used/out of warranty P7) they were excellent, while I did pay for shipping (which was fine) they didn’t charge me anything for the work they did and turn around was fast.

  7. Bobo
    Bobo says:

    The best Poly Striker Trigger isn’t on either of these pistols, it’s on the Steyr MA1…the PPq and VP9 are a toss up (personally I’d take a P99AS or P99C AS over either one) but if you’re going to buy a PPQ get the M1 version with the paddle release as the gun was intended to have, not the bastardized button version.

  8. Bruce
    Bruce says:

    For me, Walther is King. Fit, Form & Function, there are none better… and the trigger, nothing and I mean Nothing beats it. I own PPQ-M2 in 9 & 45 also 2 PPS-9s.
    Walther is the King and my wife says Queen of hand guns. As for holsters, Clinger you guys got the market right. I love them.

  9. Jim Simpson
    Jim Simpson says:

    I love my PPQ 45, best trigger and very comfortable to shoot. I have not had a great time working with their customer service.

  10. Frank
    Frank says:

    I own both & prefer the PPQ because it has the best slide release (think HK P30 style instead of the crappy one on the VP9); triggers are good on both but PPQ is better than even the LE version of HK. Walther has excellent customer service but HK has never needed repair. I’m a huge HK fan but the PPQ has won my heart. Other Walthers are not close to HK. The real tough ergonomic choice is between PPQ and P30!

  11. Jake
    Jake says:

    I have put thousands off rounds through PPQ Q5, 12-14k over the last year. I have done zero maintenance, straight from the box to shooting competitions with it. I have had no issues with it.
    I carry a 4inch PPQ daily in a No Print Wonder, IWB easy to conceal and wear all day. That gun has a couple thousand rounds through it as well and through a Rangemasters training class. I also shot the IDPA Nationals with it.
    I sold off all the other polymer guns and have a couple of the PPQ now.

  12. Scott Moore
    Scott Moore says:

    I don’t agree with HK customer service sentiment. I have had to deal with them once and we’re all business. Straight up answered my question, no bs, told me the price, I said okay and RMA was issued. This was all for a pistol bought second hand.

    I would however take the PPQ over the VP9.

  13. Steve
    Steve says:

    One thing I forgot to note in my previous comment is that I own a Clinger IWB holster for my PPQ SC LE and I love it. One of the features I really like about this Kydex holster is that it covers up the magazine release button completely so there are no accidental pushes to the button. The holsters very comfortable and was adjustable to the angle I wanted. It is also very light and compact for something which completely conceals and protects the weapon while providing comfort for me.

  14. Steve
    Steve says:

    I love my PPQ SC LE. I also really like the vp9sk. What helped in the decision-making was that the Walther was noticeably more affordable.

    Your review missed the fact that the PPQ SC, and I’m not sure about the other PPQ models, has two very small window for the chamber loaded indicator — a tiny little hole on the top and a tiny one on the side and they’re only useful when there’s enough light to shine down on the brass inside. For that reason, I liked the H&K better, however I felt the H&K indicator should have been built a little more pronounced.

    Felt recoil is so minimal on both weapons, although the Walther has less. It seems to return on-target positioned more quickly.

    The PPQ SC LE comes with the glow-in-the-dark sight dots, but I felt the vp9sk glow-in-the-dark system is better.

    Another thing I would like to know, and I’m still looking for a solid answer, and your review didn’t cover it either, is the grip angle or barrel angle. Is one of these pistols designed with a more similar angle to a 1911, and is one of them a little bit more closed angle?

  15. Jason
    Jason says:

    The PPQ has the best trigger I’ve felt on a striker pistol. I don’t know why all pistols can’t have a trigger this good. It is my range gun and my truck gun.

  16. Ruby Road
    Ruby Road says:

    I laugh everytime I see somebody make fun of HK’s customer service. I’ve never had an HK that ever required me to need to speak with their customer service dept. Every HK pistol I’ve ever owned is the highest quality pistol imaginable. If you want the best quality handgun available, look at any HK pistol. They’ve proven their worth with military units around the world. I have a P30 that’s very similar to the VP9. I’d definitely pick the VP9 out of this lineup.

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