Test: Walther Q5 Match SF Champion

Brand new from Walther is the Q5 with steel frame. The competition version Match SF Champion was tested here as a representative of the all-steel pistols, but the Ulm-based firearms manufacturer also offers the model as a normal Q5 Match Steel Frame with slightly reduced equipment. 

The test gun from Walther 

Q5 Match SF disassembled with a cartridge box and cartridges.
The heavy steel frame is the novelty of Walther's new SF variants. In fact, the market today is almost overflowing with polymer-framed, striker fired pistols –  on the other hand, you can hardly find this combination with a steel frame.

The newcomer does not differ fundamentally from a Q5 with polymer grip. A long  slide encloses a five-inch polygonal barrel. The skeletonized slide front provides for the reduction of the weight, while at the back reflex sights can also be mounted instead of the cover plate with integrated rear sight. The steel frame with match trigger forms the basis of the steel frame variant. Walther in fact also equips the Champion version with blue anodised +2 magazine extensions and a matching magazine funnel. The hand position on the grip does not differ spectacularly from a normal PPQ. But the steel version is much more slip-resistant in the hand than the polymer versions due to the sharp but not biting checkering of the frame and aluminum grips. In addition, due to the material used, the Walther Q5 Match SF Champion is heavier, which has a positive effect on balance, recoil and muzzle flip. The slide-frame play of the present SF guns at least seemed to be much smaller than with a normal PPQ/Q4/Q5 with polymer frame, similar to a P210 or an expensive custom 1911, which makes the Ulm heavyweights produce a pleasantly "expensive" noise when cycling the slide.

PPQ and the P 99, the technical ancestors

Technically, the all-steel versions also follow the basic concept of the Walther PPQ, which in turn goes back to the Walther P 99. This means a striker-fire action with single action trigger, which feels like a particularly high bred, smooth-running partly pre-tensioned trigger with medium trigger travel and ultra-short reset. The polygonal barrel locks directly into the ejection port, as is usual today (not only with Walther).

The Walther Q5 at a glance 


Walther Q5 Match SF Champion
Price:1898 euro

9mm Luger (9x19mm)

Magazine capacity:17 + 1 cartridges
Barrel length:5" / 127 mm
Dimensions (L x W x H):8.66 x 1.53 x 5.9 in / 220 x 39 x 150 mm
Trigger pull:88.18 oz / 2500 g
Weight:42.32 oz / 1200 g

steel frame with checkered aluminum grips, sports trigger, magazine funnel, magazine extensions, red dot-ready slide.

The Walther Q5 Match SF Champion in test 

The adjustable rear sight of the Walther Q5 Match SF Champion
The adjustable rear sight sits on the plate covering the slide milling for reflex sights. 

In the accuracy area, the Champion lost only two points out of a maximum possible of 50 points (-2 points). The best grouping was achieved with GECO Hexagon ammo with heavy 124 grain bullets. Full points were awarded for cycling – the test pistol swallowed all types of ammunition without complaint and ejected all cases evenly like a sewing machine, about one to one-and-a-half meters to the right, irrespective of different load types and unimpressed by the ammunition performance (-0 p.). The trigger pull of the new pistol would be too heavy for any kind of sports, but the PPQ/Q5 match trigger of the all-steel version seems to be pleasantly crisp and fully competitive (-3 P.). In addition, the fact must not be ignored that some dynamic disciplines do not allow ultralight pulls for the first shot – the Q5 is not just a 25-meter target pistol.

The red fiber optic front sight of the Walther Q5 Match SF Champion
The red fiber optic front sight is more suitable for dynamic disciplines than for static 25-meter sports shooting.

Levers and controls don't cause any problems even for left-handers. The fact that the Q5 as a sporting weapon may not remain open after the last shot when the thumb is stretched, is to be tolerated for a target pistol. You can in fact easily operate the bolt release even with small hands without having to reach around. Points were only deducted for the Glock-style disassembly (-1 P.). The micrometric rear sight mounted on the cover plate should have a larger leaf for a match pistol. But the gun offers the option to mount different MRDSs instead. The matching plates are factory supplied (-0 P.). During the testing, we didn’t like the somewhat airy barrel fit in the area of the cartridge chamber (-1 P.) and the little-bit too wide and angular beavertail – the latter problem will be tackled in Ulm in the near future.  At the end of the day, the Q5 SF Champion got 92 points and an "Excellent" rating. 

Walther Q5 Match SF Champion review

Accuracy (max. 50 points)
48 points
Cycling/safety (max. 10 P.) 
10 points
Trigger (max. 10 P.)7 points
Grip design (max. 5 p.) 
5 points
Controls (max. 10 P.) 
9 points
Sights (max. 5 P)
5 points
Fit and finish (max. 10 P.)
9 points
Total points (max. 100 P.) 
93 points
Test result 
6 out of 6

More information on the Walther Q5 SF Champion can be found on the manufacturer's website.

all4shooters.com already published tests of the following pistols:

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