The Walther PDP seems to be one of the guns worldwide that enjoys ever-growing popularity. Last year, the colleagues from Guns & Ammo crowned the pistol "Handgun of the Year". So it's only natural to take another look at this innovative pistol series, especially when the fresh successor models in the form of the Pro SD pistols are available for testing Let's go!
The new Walther PDP Pro SD in detail
Carl Walther, a firearms manufacturer in business since 1886, offers the PDP in five different versions. The full-size frames, which hold 18-round magazines, are available with slides with barrel lengths of 5"/127 mm, 4.5"/114 mm and 4"/102 mm. With the shorter Compact grip frame, which holds 15 cartridges in 9mm Luger, slides are combined with barrel lengths of 4"/102mm and 4.5"/114mm.
The question of what might suit one personally is not always easy to answer and depends on the particular use. According to the manufacturer, the bestseller in Germany is the full-size variant. In the USA, on the other hand, it is the compact version with 4"/102 mm or 4.5"/114 mm barrel length – "concealed carry" sends its regards here! Recently, the 4"/102 mm versions with the Compact grip frame have also been available in trendy colors such as Tungsten Grey, OD Green or FDE (Flat Dark Earth). Now the German manufacturer rounds off its respectable lineup with the Pro SD models, whereby the abbreviation SD in the model designation already indicates a silencer barrel.
The 5.1" version of the Walther PDP comes with the full-size frame, while the 4.5" version was chosen as the golden mean for the slide. The Pro SD 5.1" then gets its model name from the 5.1"/133 mm long barrel with ½"-28 UNEF thread. The Walther Pro SD 4.6", on the other hand, features the shortest slide as well as a 4.6"/118 mm barrel with identical muzzle thread. Alternatively, a compensator can be attached in place of a silencer, such as the single-chamber compensator from Petersen Gunworks in Münster.
Those who don't use either can at least enjoy the coolness factor. The slide features very deep cocking serrations in the front and rear, which Walther itself calls "Super Terrain Serrations".
In addition to providing good grip during reloading or any slide manipulations, they also give the latest polymer-framed pistol a distinctive look. The tetrahedron texture of the grip provides a very good purchase and a lot of shot control, which is definitely not a given with "plastic pistols". The grips are rounded off in the truest sense of the word by the all-round magwell made of aluminum, which has been coated in black.
Both Pro models are equipped with the Dynamic Performance Trigger, which can be retrofitted to standard PDP models for 288 euros.
The trigger units of our test guns had a measured pull weight of around 1,900 grams with clean characteristics and a pleasingly short reset. Since the beginning of the year, the cutout for the night dot sights has been extended by about two millimeters on the entire PDP series, so that the Aimpoint ACRO C-1/P-1 and C-2/P-2 as well as less expensive models such as the Burris Fast Fire or Vortex Venom can now also be mounted.
Typical series features such as the double-sided slide stop and the reversible magazine release are of course also present on the Pro SD models.
The cutouts on the top of the slide for the iron sights with adjustable rear sight, which are quite usable out of the box, were inspired by Glock, so that all retrofit sights that the tuning market has to offer can be used if required.
By the way, each Pro SD comes with a green-colored main recoil spring that is explicitly intended for silencer use only.
In addition, the manufacturer includes three18-round steel magazines with each version.
Practical test: how do the two new Walther PDP Pro SD models perform at the shooting range?
We fitted the large PDP Pro SD with appropriate Walther adapter plates for an Aimpoint ACRO P-2 and the small PDP Pro SD with a Leupold Delta Point Pro before moving to the range. After sighting in the micro red dot sights, accuracy checks were made with six 9x19 ammo types, four factory and two handloads, with bullet weights ranging from 115 to 147 grains. The average grouping of all loads was 1,85”/47 mm.
The shorter version even came out ahead of the longer version in terms of accuracy with an average of 1.65”/42 mm. We were pleasantly surprised at the accuracy that could be extracted from the two pistols with the appropriate ammunition. The subsequent dot drills went off without any malfunctions. Due to the grippy frame, both pistols were easy to handle, even though they do not necessarily have the lowest overall height among the striker-fired action pistols.
Walther PDP Pro SD Full-Size and Compact, specs and price
|PDP Full Size Pro SD 5.1" (Compact Pro SD 4.6")
|18 rounds (15-round magazine also available)
|Polymer frame with steel inserts
|Steel, black coated
|Barrel Length, Rifling:
|131 (118) mm, 12-groove polygonal
|3.7 mm, fully adjustable with white, non-glowing outline
|3.7 mm with white dot
|181 (170) mm
|Trigger safety, trigger controlled firing pin safety
|Trigger Action, Pull Weight/Span:
|SA, mean 1,869 g/110 g
|Weight (incl. Magazine):
|769 (733) g
|215 (203)x34x150 (140) mm
|Hard case, 2 spare magazines, replaceable backstrap,
recoil spring for suppressed operation
Our test conclusion: are the Walther PDP Pro models a good buy?
Like the standard Walther PDP models tested a year ago, the Pro SD versions also impressed with their clean workmanship, features, function, handling characteristics and shooting performance. But the best comes at the end, because the Pro SD models are also attractively priced. The manufacturer charges 1,098 euros for the latest offspring of the series. That's just a 300 euro surcharge over the standard PDP. If you consider that the Performance Duty Trigger costs 288 euros and the aluminum magwell 79 euros for a retrofit, you save just under 70 euros. The silencer barrel is then added to the overall package virtually free of charge. A sporty and fair deal and thus a good buy, in our opinion.
The test pistols were kindly provided by the manufacturer Carl Walther – here you can get more information about the new PDP models.