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

Umarex Walther CP99 Compact

The Umarex Walther CP99 Compact was launched in 2006 and is a replica of the Walther P99c.  This was the second Umarex blowback BB gun, launched  after the success of the Walther PPK/S (see review link at bottom of this post).  These two pistols would certainly make an interesting addition to any collection as they perfectly illustrate advances in handgun design and technology.  Both are blowback, BB shooting replicas of concealed-carry pistols produced by the same company, but designed more than seventy years apart.

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Real steel background

The Walther P-99 is a short-recoil operated, locked breech, semi-automatic pistol manufactured by Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen in Ulm, Germany. It uses a glassfibre-reinforced polymer grip frame and steel slide. The P-99 was designed as a sidearm for law enforcement and security forces as well as for civilian use and was a direct replacement for the Walther P5 and P 88 pistols. It has an internal striker rather than the traditional hammer, and the striker tip protrudes from the back of the slide to indicate that the pistol is cocked. It has a 4″ barrel with an accessory rail beneath.  It was launched in 1997 and is currently used by law enforcement and security forces in Europe, Asia and North America.

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P99c

A concealed carry, compact version of the P99, the P99c was introduced in 2004.  This version has a 3.5″ barrel and a 1″ shorter grip and is often used as a back-up weapon by special forces.

The Umarex Walther CP99 Compact

The CO2 powered CP99 Compact has a metal slide, polymer frame, blowback action and is single action only.  It weighs 1.6 pounds, has a 3.25″ smoothbore barrel, fixed sights and a metal drop-out magazine that holds up to eighteen steel BBs.  CO2 is stored inside the grip and accessed by removing the rear part of the grip.  At some point after initial release the design of the CP99 Compact slide was modified by Umarex; initial models had moulded plastic over the slide ejection port while later models featured a fully cut-out ejection port.  There are no other obvious visual differences between earlier and later models.

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Early model CP99 Compact with covered slide ejection port (left) and late model with open ejection port (right)

Umarex also offer spare magazines and a laser sight specifically intended for this model.

Packaging and presentation  2.5/5

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The CP99 Compact comes in a small and not especially impressive cardboard box containing the pistol, one magazine and a short user manual.

Visual accuracy  8/10

Visually, this is a pretty close.  One of the most noticeable features of the real P99c is its shortened grip.  However, the grip on the CP99 Compact has to be much longer to allow the CO2 cartridge to fit inside (the same thing applies to the Umarex Walther PPK/S, which also has a longer grip than the original).  So, this replica is modelled on a P99c fitted with a grip extension – a commonly fitted optional extra which allows the real pistol to use full-size magazines.

Other visual differences include the lack of a de-cocker on top of the slide, non-adjustable rear sights and an external safety catch/decocker on the right side of the frame on the replica.

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P99c with grip extension (left), CP99 Compact (right)

As noted earlier, later versions of the CP99 Compact have a fully cut-out slide ejection port, which I think looks better.  However, the earlier models with the plastic covered ejection port are actually a closer match to the profile of the original weapon.

However, overall, this is a very good visual replica of the P99c which includes autherntic Walther markings.

Functional accuracy  12/15

This a blowback replica with a drop-out (though not full size) metal magazine.  It operates in single action only and the slide locks back after the last round is fired.  The slide catch and ambidextrous magazine release work as per the original weapon.

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On the real P99c, a cocking indicator is provided in the form of the rear of the striker pin which projects through an aperture in the rear of the slide when the pistol is cocked.  This functionality is replicated on the CP99 Compact by the appearance of a red dot in a cut-out at the rear of the slide to show that the pistol is cocked.

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Cocking indicator

There are several variants of the real P99c which feature a number of safety configurations.  None are accurately replicated on the CP99 Compact.  The real weapon also features a decocking button set into the top of the slide (similar to the P99).  Neither of these features are replicated here and instead, a rather odd combined safety catch/decocker lever/button is mounted on the right side of the frame, just below the slide.

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Decocker/safety catch

The drop-out magazine isn’t full size and incorporates the lower front part of the grip.  The main body of the magazine is made of metal, unlike the Umarex Walther PPK/S where the magazine is all plastic.  The CP99 Compact cannot be field stripped.

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CP99 Compact magazine

Shooting  30/40

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Up to eighteen BBs are loaded into the metal drop-out magazine.  The magazine clicks positively into place and the bottom of the magazine incorporates the little finger part of the grip.  CO2 is loaded by removing the rear part of the grip and inserting the CO2.  Piercing is done by twisting the moveable bottom part of the grip.  The gun feels well balanced and very pointable.  The rear sight has a rather wide aperture, making lining up the sights a little imprecise.

There is a distinct first and second stage to the trigger pull, but both are light and precise.  The gun fires with a sharp crack and the blowback is positive and strong.  The strong blowback provides a distinct recoil effect, making it necessary to re-sight the gun after each shot.  I was able to get more than 90 full power shots from a single CO2.

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Eight shots, 6yds, freestanding

Power is reasonable at around 310 – 330 fps dependent on weather conditions (though I have seen other reviews quoting much higher fps, so it’s possible my CP99 Compact was underperforming).  Accuracy is also fair for a steel BB shooter – I saw groups of around 2″ firing freestanding at 6yds.  The rear sight opening is very wide, which does make lining up the sights a little more difficult.

This is a nice replica to shoot.  Like the PPK/S, the strong blowback and loud bang make it feel more powerful than it is, but it is significantly more powerful and accurate than that pistol.  It’s no target pistol, but this replica is accurate enough to be fun and challenging.

The only thing which lets down the shooting experience is the fiddly safety catch which also looks rather cheap and nasty.  It’s a fingernail shredder, especially moving from “Fire” to “Safe” as this also decocks the gun.

Quality and reliability  13/15

I’m not aware of any known reliability issues with this pistol.  Indeed, some owners have reported firing thousands of rounds through the CP99 Compact without any problems at all.  That’s pretty outstanding for a fairly low cost BB shooter, but it won’t come as any surprise when you pick up this pistol – this gun has a very substantial feel to it.  In fact the whole gun has that indefinable feeling of quality that is also found in the best of the other Umarex replicas.

It is finished in an attractive semi-matt finish and the paint on the metal slide precisely matches the finish on the polymer frame and grips, making both elements look as if they belong together.  The slide racks, locks and releases with a precise and satisfying action and there are no rattles or looseness.  Overall fit and finish are outstanding.

Overall Impression  14/15

I like the CP99 Compact.  A lot.  It feels good to handle and it’s just powerful and accurate enough to be fun to shoot.  In this respect it’s notably better than the similar PPK/S.  It’s also fairly frugal with CO2, makes a satisfying bang and the kick from the blow back is strong.  The only think that lets it down is the fiddly safety catch/decocker.

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Conclusion

Straight out of the box, the CP99 Compact feels well balanced and superbly finished and constructed.  It isn’t outstandingly accurate, but then no short-barreled BB gun ever will be.  It’s satisfying to shoot and this is enhanced by the strong blowback and light, smooth and consistent trigger pull.

This is a logical successor to the venerable Umarex Walther PPK/S, but in my opinion the CP99 Compact is a better made, more accurate and more powerful gun.  Overall I’d recommend this without reservation to anyone looking for a well-made, durable and fun BB gun.

Total score: 79.5/100

Related pages:

Umarex Walther PPK/S review

Umarex Beretta PX4 Storm review

Umarex Walther CP99 review

Lubrication of air pistols

Links

Umarex web site

Buy

You can buy the Umarex Walther CP99 Compact at Pyramid Air here.