Umarex Walther PPQ M2 update

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I promised at the end of the Umarex Walther PPQ M2 review that I’d post an update, and here it is. Has my opinion of this replica changed since the first review? Well, let’s have a look…

Reading back over the original review, it’s interesting to see how my initial reaction has modified after around four months of ownership and after having had a chance to compare the PPQ M2 to other 6mm replicas such as the Cybergun S&W M&P 9c and the KSC H&K P10.

However, before I talk about what the Walther PPQ M2 does, it may be worth mentioning something it doesn’t do. After the initial review was posted, a couple of people have asked why I didn’t mention that the PPQ M2 can be set to fire in full-auto mode. The reason is that it can’t – the Umarex PPQ M2 is semi-auto only. If you look at the rear underside of the slide, the PPQ M2 appears to have the same switch that is used on the Cybergun S&W M&P 9c to swap between semi and full auto modes. However, the switch is non-functional on the PPQ M2. Good thing too if you ask me. Full auto on a short-barrelled pistol is fairly pointless for target shooting and accelerates wear on all components. It may be useful if you want to use it for CQB skirmishing, but otherwise I can’t see much point.

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Cybergun S&W M&P 9c (left) with fire mode selector switch (arrowed). The Umarex Walther PPQ M2 (right) appears to have a similar switch, but it is non-functional. You can also see the adjustment screw for the PPQ rear sight.

Quality and Reliability

Build and finish quality on the PPQ M2 seem very good indeed. Other than the issue with the slide failing to lock back (now fixed thanks to the Umarex repair service), I haven’t had any issues with this replica. There are no obvious signs of wear on any internal components and only slight wear to the paint on the top of the inner barrel. Otherwise the finish is holding up well. Looking at the PPQ M2 next to, for example, another VFC replica, the Cybergun S&W M&P 9c, the PPQ seems to be better made. Internal parts like the trigger system and the slide release are more robust on the PPQ and work more precisely. I also note that I failed to mention in the original review that the PPQ has a metal outer barrel and a brass inner barrel, both of which seem to very precisely made with good fit and movement. The slide and magazine releases are also metal, but the trigger is plastic, though robust and heavy-duty plastic.

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Good fit of inner barrel/outer barrel/slide probably contributes to accuracy

Since posting the initial review, I have read a couple of other on-line pieces suggesting that the PPQ M2 has reliability issues. In particular, it has been suggested that the metal slide can split at the front edge of the ejection port. The alloy is certainly thin in this area, but so far, mine has not shown any tendency to split. My example is still fairly new (I have fired somewhere under 1000 BBs with the PPQ M2 to date), so I suppose this could be an issue which only affects well-used versions. However, I am aware of a knowledgeable and experienced owner who has fired more than 12,000 BBs with his PPQ M2 with only minor issues (a small internal spring came loose and the slide occasionally fails to lock back on empty). So, overall, I see no reason to change my initial claim that the PPQ M2 seems to be well made and finished and reliable.

Ambidextrousness (is that a word?)

In the original review, I praised the PPQ M2 because it can be configured for left-hand operation. This involves swapping the magazine release from the left to the right side. Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that the photographs here show the pistol with the mag release back on the left. I’m embarrassed to admit that I found it hard to deal with a left-hand mag release. Although I soot mainly with my left hand, I guess that I’m so conditioned to swapping pistols to my right hand to drop out the magazine, that I can’t get used to doing it with my left. Time after time with the PPQ I’d automatically swap the pistol to my right hand to release the mag, only to realise that I needed to swap it back to my left hand. Finally, I gave up and reverted to a left hand mag release. If the PPQ was my only pistol, I’d probably get used to it in time. As it is, most other replicas need to be swapped to my right hand to release the mag, and I just can’t seem to get used to doing it the other way round on the PPQ. So, full marks to Umarex and VFC for providing a fully ambidextrous replica, and zero marks to me for failing to re-learn my pistol handling to take advantage of this.

Shooting

I gave the PPQ M2 reasonable marks for its accuracy at 6 yards in the original review, but I don’t think I emphasised enough that it shoots to the point of aim out of the box. This is so uncommon with replicas that it bears repeating. Fine-tuning with the hop-up (which incorporates a “v-notch” nub, claimed to give more stable spin to the BB) means that I can reliably place 0.2g and 0.25g BBs precisely where I’m aiming. This is very satisfying and is a massive help in any kind of action shooting. The fit of the brass inner barrel within the metal barrel and the fit of the outer barrel in the slide are very good indeed, which probably helps here. On many replicas, the opening in the front of the slide is oval, allowing the outer barrel to droop and the inner barrel can be a loose fit within the outer barrel, both of which can cause a replica to shoot low. Neither apply to the PPQ.

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The only slight issue with shooting is that the notch in the rear sight is rather wide. The foreshortening effect of a photograph doesn’t show this clearly, but with the PPQ held at arm’s length, the front post looks rather small within the wide rear notch. It’s not a major issue: the sight picture is still clear in all conditions and this does accurately replica the sights on the original.

Blowback is notably strong and snappy (see the video review below). Shooting the PPQ M2 side-by-side with a KSC System 7 equipped H&K P10 (System 7 is claimed to have enhanced blowback), the PPQ seems to have the stronger blowback and the slide on the PPQ appears to move faster and more freely than on the KSC replica. The trigger on the PPQ is very good indeed when compared to other replicas. The single action only trigger pull is short, light, consistent and with no discernible creep. I’m still not entirely comfortable with the fact that I can’t de-cock this replica, nor apply a manual safety before storing it. Putting it in its box cocked and ready to fire feels wrong somehow, and there isn’t room in the box to store it with the magazine removed. But that’s how the original works, and it would be possible to de-cock by pulling the trigger with the magazine removed.

Accuracy seems to have improved with use. There are now fewer flyers and these are generally closer to the main grouping. At six yards, freestanding, it’s possible to consistently put 90% of shots in or touching the 1½” centre circle on the target. Best accuracy and consistency seem to be achieved when using 0.25g BBs. Gas consumption is good with 50+ shots from a single fill and I have experienced no leaks or loss of gas when filling.

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The ergonomics of the Walther PPQ M2 are excellent. The grip has a pronounced hump at the rear, which looks a little odd, but this locks in to the base of the thumb, providing a comfortable, precise and firm grip. The slide and magazine releases are easily operated while gripping the pistol and the slide incorporates both front and rear cocking serrations.

Conclusion

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So, four months on, how do I feel about the Umarex Walther PPQ M2? I still think it’s an absolute cracker. A combination of good ergonomics, good build quality and finish and excellent shooting ability at a reasonable price make this a winner. There aren’t many Walther replicas available (Umarex and Walther belong to the same group of companies and so Umarex has an exclusive license to produce Walther replicas) and it also makes a nice change to shoot something other than the ubiquitous 1911/Sig/Beretta 92 clones. Overall, the Umarex Walther PPQ M2 is as good as any 6mm replica I have tried and better than most. You really need to try one of these.

Video update

Related pages

Umarex Walther PPQ M2 original review

Cybergun S&W M&P 9c review

KSC H&K P10 review

Buy

You can buy the Umarex Walther PPQ M2 at Pyramid Air here.

Colouring brass inner barrels

A quick update to my Umarex Walther PPQ M2 review…

Regular readers (hello to you both!), may recall that I didn’t particularly like the very visible brass inner barrel on the PPQ M2, which slightly spoils what is otherwise a pretty decent looking replica. I had it in mind that I would try to make this a little less obtrusive, probably by painting it. However, painting brass can be tricky. Enamel and acrylic paints don’t stick very well to brass, tending to flake off. Folk who work with brass and need to mark it often use permanent marker pens. These pens apply a very fine layer of colour which is designed to be good at sticking to non-porous surfaces such as metal. So, it occurred to me that I might be able to use a permanent marker pen as a quick and easy means of covering up the brass inner barrel on my PPQ.

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Nice replica. Nasty, shiny brass inner barrel.

Finding a pen is easy, there are lots about and they’re very cheap. My wife is a teacher and has a large selection of pens, so I didn’t have to search very far. But you do need to find a permanent marker – non-permanent versions are water soluble, and will likely rub off as you handle the gun. Once you have your pen, remove the outer and inner barrels from the slide. There is no need to remove the inner barrel – it projects far enough out of the front of the barrel to be accessible. Then, use the pen to carefully draw over the brass. It will take several coats, leaving it to dry for a few minutes between coats. I did four coats, and I was surprised at how dense, black and glossy the result was.

ppqpen2Minutes later – done!

Overall this is a very quick, very easy and very cheap job. It requires very little preparation and dries in minutes. It’s much easier than faffing about with paint and it really does tone down the glare from the brass barrel, making the pistol look (in my opinion) much better. It could be used to colour any exposed metal on a replica and if it goes horribly wrong, or you just don’t like the result, acetone (nail varnish remover – just ask your wife/girlfriend/sister/mother) will quickly remove all traces of marker.

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The result. Better? I think so.

Will the colour flake off the first time I shoot the PPQ M2? Will my wife discover that I have been illicitly using her precious marker pen for gun stuff? Will I change my mind and end up painting it anyway? Anything is possible! Stay tuned for the next thrilling episode…

Related pages:

Umarex Walther PPQ M2 review

Umarex Walther PPQ M2

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I have been looking for a Walther P99 replica pistol for some time. The P99 is a handily sized, distinctive looking semi auto pistol and several replica versions have been produced, but none ticked all the boxes for me. The pellet shooting Umarex CP99 is powerful and accurate, but it lacks blowback and is really a revolver in disguise. The Umarex PPQ (the PPQ is a development of the P99) is also a good shooter, but again lacks blowback and has a very heavy double action only trigger. So I was excited when a new 6mm Umarex replica of the Walther PPQ M2 was announced last year. Especially when I discovered that this replica was to be manufactured by highly regarded Taiwanese manufacturer Vega Force Company (VFC) in collaboration with Umarex. VFC have a reputation for fanatical attention to detail in their production of replicas which are also good shooters. Add to this the fact that Umarex and Walther are part of the same group of companies, giving Umarex unrestricted access to original design information and you have a great basis for a replica. I recently managed to get hold of a PPQ M2 to find out whether it’s as good as I had hoped…

Real steel background

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Walther PPQ

Launched in 2011, the Walther PPQ (Police Pistol – Quick Defence) is a development of the Walther P99. The PPQ is visually and dimensionally similar to the P99, though the grip features a new “Hi-grip” finish and there is no de-cocker or cocking indicator on the PPQ. However, the most notable improvement in the PPQ is new trigger system. The wide trigger incorporates a central blade that operates as a trigger safety. The pre-cocked firing pin gives total trigger travel of only 5mm and release travel of less than 1mm. Together, these give a very short, light and consistent trigger pull. The PPQ does not fire in conventional single and double action, it has only one firing mode but the trigger pull is shorter and lighter than on many DA/SA pistols. The Walther PPQ is also fully ambidextrous, with slide and magazine releases on both sides. No manual safety is provided. The PPQ is available in 9mm and .40 S&W calibres and can be factory equipped with a passive RFID transponder in the grip which records weapon specific data.

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Walther PPQ M2

The PPQ M2 was launched in 2013 and is identical to the PPQ other than that the ambidextrous magazine release levers have been replaced with a conventional thumb release on the left side of the frame. The thumb release is reversible for left handed use. The PPQ M2 is extremely light, weighing just 680grams (1.5lbs) unloaded.

The Umarex Walther PPQ M2

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Umarex bought the Walther firearms company in 1993, so it’s no surprise that they also have an exclusive licensing deal with Walther. A number of Umarex replicas have been based on Walther pistols and several have been manufactured by Asian suppliers. The Walther PPQ M2 is no different, being sold under the Umarex label but manufactured by Taiwanese company VFC (Vega Force Company). VFC have become known for a range of AEG and gas blowback rifles including a range of licensed H&K replicas produced for Umarex. VFC replicas are highly regarded for their extreme attention to detail as well as being reliable and accurate shooters, but the company are relative newcomers to the gas blowback pistol market.

The relationship between Umarex and their Asian suppliers is more collaborative than seen with many OEM companies – Umarex provide detailed design information, advice and even machine tools where required to ensure visual and functional accuracy. The result is good news for replica collectors – we get German engineering experience combined with low cost Asian manufacture, providing great quality replicas at a reasonable price.

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The Umarex Walther PPQ M2 is a gas powered, 6mm, blowback replica featuring a polymer grip and frame and a metal slide, inner barrel, magazine and internal and external parts. The PPQ M2 is a licensed replica, includes accurate Walther markings and produces less than 1 joule of muzzle energy.

Spec;

Calibre: 6mm

Magazine capacity: 22 BBs

Propellant: Green gas

Barrel length: 4″

Weight: 640g

Overall length:180mm

Sights: Front: fixed, blade with white dot. Rear: adjustable for windage only, with white dots.

Claimed power: 360fps (110m/s) with .2g BBs

Packaging and presentation 2.5/5

ppq20The Umarex Walther PPQ M2 is provided in a card box with Walther markings. The box features a card insert to fit the pistol. The PPQ M2 comes only with a single magazine and a short user manual – no BBs or tools are included.

ppq22Visual accuracy 9/10

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Walther PPQ M2 (top), Umarex Walther PPQ M2 (bottom).

For visual accuracy, this is about as good as it gets. The Umarex Walther PPQ M2 is virtually indistinguishable from the original firearm. Every line and contour of the original are replicated including the complex “Hi-Grip” texturing on the grip. On the left side of the pistol all markings are precisely the same as on the original. On the right, only very small, engraved text reading “Cal. 6mm BB” and the “F” mark for the German market are different. The magazine and base have authentic markings and even the markings on the transponder housing in the backstrap are replicated.

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Visual accuracy is further improved by all controls being accurately replicated (in function as well as visually) and by details such as the extractor being modelled as a separate (metal) part.

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If I had to pick out slight visual issues (and I’m struggling to find any), I’d mention that the brass inner barrel is only recessed by around 5mm, and is visible from the front and that there is a light moulding seam on the base of the trigger guard and under the accessory rail. Some people have also noted that the gap between the rear of the slide and the frame is larger than on the original. However, the difference is marginal and doesn’t detract from the overall visual appeal.

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Replicas seem to get better and better in terms of visual accuracy, but it’s difficult to see how the PPQ M2 could be substantially improved upon.

Functional accuracy 14/15

When you first pick it up, the Umarex PPQ M2 feels a little light at 640g, though to be fair that’s only around 40g lighter than the (unloaded) original. It does have good balance – on many replicas with a polymer frame and grip the weight is carried high and forward, but the PPQ M2 has good weight distribution.

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The slide moves through a full range of travel and locks back on empty. Both left and right slide release catches work. The takedown latches work as per the original and holding down the latches allows the slide to be removed to the front. One quirk of the PPQ M2 is that it can’t be de-cocked. You must rack the slide to cock the internal striker for the first shot but, like the original, there is no decocker. Once cocked, the only way to decock is to discharge the pistol without gas in the magazine.

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The full-size magazine latches and releases as per the original. The trigger is a good replication of the original, with a short, light action. Even the trigger safety works as it should. On many replicas which feature a blade trigger safety, this is purely decorative. On the PPQ M2, if you carefully try to pull the trigger without touching the central blade, the pistol will not fire.

This is a very good functional replica and would make a useful training and practice weapon for users of the firearm version. The only feature from the original which doesn’t operate in the same way here is the extractor (on the firearm version, the extractor also acts as a loaded chamber indicator).

Shooting 34/40

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To prepare for shooting, the magazine must be charged with gas and up to 22 6mm BBs loaded into the magazine. The magazine follower cannot be locked down, so it has to be held in place while BBs are loaded into the wide part of the loading slot. The slide must be racked to cock the internal striker, and then you’re good to go. The trigger pull is short, light and consistent and with a clear release point.

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The rear sight is adjustable for windage only (though strangely the manual claims that the rear sight is fixed). To adjust the sight, the slide must be racked and locked back. Viewed from the underside, a hex screw is then visible which retains the sight. If this is loosened, the sight can be moved from side to side. Front and rear sights include white dots and the sight picture is clear.

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Six shots, six yards, .25g BBs, rapid fire.

The blowback is strong and snappy, though the pistol is fairly quiet. Fine if you want to shoot without disturbing the neighbours but a little disappointing if you enjoy a loud bang. The PPQ M2 shoots well and with reasonable power – in the 270 – 290fps range with .25g BBs – well under the claimed 360fps but entirely adequate for target shooting. On my PPQM2 consistent groups of 1½” at six yards are possible for aimed shots with around 2″ for rapid fire. My version is very new, having fired less than 300 shots, and in my experience airsoft GBB pistols take time to bed in, so accuracy may improve with use. Groups are very consistent with no flyers. The combination of hop-up adjustment and the windage adjustable rear sight means that the point of impact and point of aim can be aligned. There is no noticeable cooldown if shots are fired rapidly and two full magazines can be shot from a single fill of gas.

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Hop-up adjustment wheel (arrowed)

Out of the box, my PPQ M2 had a very irritating tendency to allow the loaded BB to roll out of the front of the barrel if the pistol was held pointing even slightly downwards. However, a couple of clicks on the hop-up adjustment cured this. No tools are required to adjust hop-up, just remove the slide and turn the knurled wheel under the barrel. On occasion the slide also failed to lock back on empty, but to be fair this may also improve with use.

And it’s lefty friendly too…

I don’t assign points for replicas which can be set up for left-handed use, but if I did, the PPQ M2 would score, oh I don’t know, maybe an additional gazillion points here. You see, I’m a lefty and this is the first replica I have tried (there are probably others, but I haven’t found them) that supports full left handed configuration without spending additional money. Ambidextrous pistols are fairly common in the firearms world, but for some reason very rare in the replica world – I have lost count of the replicas I have owned which have had non-functioning slide release catches on the right side. I knew that this replica had a working ambidextrous slide release, but I was a little disappointed to see the magazine release only on the left side. However, some background reading suggested that the mag release on the original pistol is reversible and that the magazine has cut-outs to allow the catch to be used on either side. One of the first things I checked on the replica was to see if this was accurately modelled, and I was delighted to find that it was.

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The theory of swapping the release button over is simple – a grub screw is removed which allows the two halves of the mag release assembly to be separated and removed, and it’s simply reassembled the other way round. In practice, it’s a little fiddly. You need to remove the mag and slide and then use a long, 0.9mm hex key to remove the grub screw, which lives at the bottom of a long channel and is rather difficult to see.

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The grub screw is very long and has to be completely removed before the two halves will separate. And putting it all back together takes a lot of squinting into the mag well to get everything lined up. But it makes such a difference. Lefties of the world rejoice! For the first time, you can shoot a replica without having to juggle it from hand to hand.

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Right handed shooters just won’t appreciate how good this looks.

Quality and reliability 10/15

The Umarex Walther PPQ M2 appears to be very well made and finished, especially for a pistol in this price range – I paid just €100 (around £84/$135) for my PPQ M2. The polymer frame and grip are robust and there is no flex or creaking when you grip the pistol. The finish on the slide is a very good match for the plastic frame, which helps the components look as if they belong together. Attention to detail is very good indeed in looks and function.

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I had no misfeeds or failures to fire with my PPQ M2, once I had stopped BBs from rolling out of the end of the barrel by adjusting the hop-up. The slide did fail to lock back on empty on a couple of occasions. Overall I’m not aware of any reliability issues with this replica, and VFC have a good reputation for the reliability of the other airsoft guns they produce.

UPDATE

OK, so after shooting around 300 rounds with the PPQ M2, the slide now fails to lock back on empty.  As you’ll have read in the review. it was always a bit temperamental, but it now never locks back after the last BB is fired.  It will lock back if you manually rack the slide with an empty magazine, but not while shooting.  With the slide off, everything looks as it should, and I haven’t dropped it or anything stupid, so I can’t tell why it has stopped working.  The question is: what should I do now?  Do I just accept that’s how it is?  Do I contact the German supplier where I bought the gun?   Do I try talking to Umarex?  In the spirit of providing useful information for readers of the Pistol Place, I think I’ll try talking to the supplier first.  I have never done this before, but it’ll be interesting to see what they say.  Surely it’s reasonable to expect a replica, even a relatively low cost replica, to work for longer than that?  In the meantime, I have amended the score for the PPQ M2 accordingly, and I’ll keep you up to date with my efforts to get it fixed.  Watch this space!

Overall Impression 13/15

I like pistols which are good functional and visual replicas of the original firearms, and this is about as good as it gets in both respects. It’s also a good enough shooter to be fun for target shooting, which is what I’m looking for.

And it just feels good when you pick it up. Despite the light weight, there is nothing toylike about this replica. The grip fits my hand very well and the whole pistol feels well balanced and tight. Nothing rattles or wobbles and all the controls work crisply and well.

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I might have liked a little more weight (though it’s actually close to the weight of the firearm version) and perhaps it would have been better if the brass inner barrel was recessed more deeply, but otherwise I’m very happy with my PPQ M2. The fact that I also finally have a replica that supports left handed shooting is the icing on the cake, and I can see that this is a pistol that I’ll be using a great deal.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive pistol which is also a good action shooter and an accurate replica, you can’t really go wrong with the Umarex Walther PPQ M2.

Total score: 86/100 (unless you’re left-handed, in which case you should add a whole pile of extra points)

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Functionally and visually accurate replica with good markings.
  • Decent shooter.
  • Can be set up for left or right handed use.
  • Well made and finished.
  • Low cost.

Cons

  • Maybe a little light.
  • Visible moulding seam under the barrel/trigger guard.
  • Brass inner barrel could be better hidden.
  • Slide locking failed after around 300 shots (see update)

Total score: 82.5/100

Video review

Related pages

Umarex Walther PPQ M2 update

Umarex Walther CP99 review

Umarex Walther CP99 Compact review

Buy:

You can buy this pistol at Pyramid Air here.

Links

Walther PPQ M2 on the Umarex web site

Walther website