Glock 49 vs Walther PDP Compact: A Side-by-Side Comparison

The new Glock 49 has some gun enthusiasts swooning and others annoyed with another crossover handgun. Walther is making so many versions of the PDP that it’s hard to keep track of them. Both gun companies are legendary in their own right, so debating the quality of either gun is a waste of time. They are both reliable handguns using completely different styles, which makes them good comparison guns for those unsure of which one to buy.

Picking between these two handguns is like choosing between an AK-47 or AR-15 rifle. Different flavors for different tastes. But there are some, like me, who love both guns, and this makes it hard to choose. Are there any benefits to one over the other? Each gun does have advantages and disadvantages to consider when selecting the “right” one. I’ve had both out on the range for some drills and good old-fashioned pop-can plinking.

Walther PDP and Glock 49
The Walther PDP Compact and Glock 49 with red dot sites. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Ultimately, the gun you select will depend on what you like and how important the advantages/disadvantages of each gun are to you. I’ve chosen the PDP Compact for the review because it has a shorter grip than the G49. I have the compact PDP with both the 4-inch and 5-inch barrels, so we will examine both. The Glock 49 has a 4.49-inch barrel, which puts it right in the middle of the PDPs. Both have optic plates for red dots, so we will discuss that as well.

The Long Road to a Compact Glock with a Full-Length Slide

Gaston Glock found a reliable gun that worked and stuck with the design. There are plenty of models out there, but they are different versions of the same gun. Now that he’s gone, there is speculation as to what direction Glock will take. Could there be a revolver, AR-15, or bolt action gun someday? Only time will tell. But for now, their newest gun, the G49, is a crossover between the G17 and G19. Some blew the G49 off as a half-hearted attempt at releasing a “new” gun.

Glock 49 with RMR red dot and TLR-1 HL light.
Glock 49 is the newest version in the long lineup of Glock handguns. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Others, however, were excited to get their hands on one because it has a purpose. I work in law enforcement, so I’ve carried a Glock around for years. A Glock 17 with a Streamlight TL-1, to be exact. I don’t hate it, but it’s never been a favorite either. I used to say that Glocks are ugly, plain guns, but they get the job done. Once I was in a different assignment and not on the road as much, I wore a Glock 19. I like the G19 better than the G17, but I am still not a huge fan.

When Glock introduced a new crossover several years ago, I was hoping for something close to the PDP. Instead, we got the Glock 45, which is a crossover of the G17 and G19 but backward: a long grip (G17) with a short slide (G19). We started carrying these at work, but again, I wasn’t the biggest fan.

Glock 49 MOS, the newest crossover in the G-World

Once Glock released the G49, I scrambled to get ahold of one. A week later, I was at the range with one in my hands, and it became one of my favorite guns. As I mentioned above, it’s a Glock 17 slide (modified just a little) that rests on a G19 frame. The slide is modified to use a G19 recoil spring and guide rod. Basically, everything on this gun except for the barrel and slide itself are G19 parts. I tend to shoot better with the G49 than I do with the full-size G17 or compact 19.

I won’t get into all the specs of either gun, as they can easily be looked up on the company’s website. But instead, I want to look at the strengths of the G49 compared to the Walther PDP. The first one is the MOS system by Glock. If you are going to use a red dot, Glock makes it super easy to attach one. When you buy an MOS-ready gun, it comes with multiple adaptor plates for just about every popular footprint on the market. You don’t have to buy any plates; just select the plate with the correct footprint and attach the optic.

Glock 49 with Streamlight TLR-1HL and RMR optic.
The shorter grip on the Glock 49 with the longer (G17) slide is a perfect combination for me. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
The second advantage Glock has over Walther is the availability of accessories. This is a battle Glock wins time and time again. It doesn’t matter if you look up magazines, sights, holsters, triggers, etc., you will find more options for Glock. This doesn’t mean there are not some options out there for the PDP, but not even close to the number of Glock accessories.

Walther’s evolution from the infamous P99

In 2003, Walther introduced a special edition of the P99 called the “Final Edition.” Before the end of the 26-year run of the P99, Walther had already begun moving on through the PPQ. This series had some major differences, including a short-action trigger (single action only) and changes in ergonomics. By the time Walther ended the P99 bloodline for good, they had already moved on from the PPQ as well. The newest line, known as the PDP series, has all but killed the PPQ series of handguns.

According to Walther, “the PPQ series has been discontinued except for the Q4 and Q5. However, Walther will continue to support all discontinued PPQs for a period of 10 years per the limited lifetime warranty.” That leaves a couple of options for those PPQ fans, but the PDP series has become Walther’s flagship handgun. There are numerous variations available in size and caliber.

Walther PDP Compact

There is something about the grip and feel of the PDP that brings me joy while holding it. The compact frame feels natural in my hand and, in my opinion, is a better-looking gun. When I purchased my PDP compact frame with a 5-inch barrel, I couldn’t mount my optic. Walther requires you to purchase the PDP 2.0 adapter plate for the specific optic you plan to use. I’ve been waiting to order the $40 adaptor plate for an RMR footprint, but they have been out of stock. Again, this points out Glock’s dominance in the accessories and mounting department.

Walther PDP handguns.
Walther PDP set of 9mm handguns. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
This is something Walther really needs to work on. Why not provide adaptor plates like Glock does? Now, on to the stronger points of the PDP. The first one I’ll mention is the slide release. Walther guns are set up closer to a competition gun than Glocks are. This means better ergonomics and speed when firing the gun. An extended slide release is a standard feature of the PDP. You may not pay much attention to this until you try finding that little slide release quickly while changing magazines.

Speaking of mag changes, the mag well on the PDP is flared more than Glock’s, making it easier to change mags. With the angle of the grip, using the slide release and mag release is easy to do, even while shooting. The other two things I want to mention are the slide serrations and trigger guard. Walther’s slide serrations are much deeper than Glock’s, making it easy to grip the slide. The trigger guard is enlarged, leaving plenty of room for those who wear gloves.

Field stripping comparison

This isn’t really a big deal, but it just irritates me, so I’m going to bring it up. Why did Glock make their slide release lever so small? Walther clearly wins the contest of making this process simple. With a larger square-style lever, the gun comes apart just like a Glock, but it’s easier to do. Last year, we did some drills in the winter and tried field stripping our Glocks with gloves on.

Just about everyone struggled because they were wearing thicker gloves for cold weather. When I got home, I decided to try this with my PDP and was able to do it. Overall, the takedown process is the exact same with each gun; it is just easier with the PDP. Again, this isn’t a huge deal, but I wish Glock had made their takedown lever just a smidge bigger.

Apples and oranges?

Both guns are reliable and have some positive attributes the other misses out on. I’m never shy about saying which gun I prefer, but in this case, it’s a coin toss. I like my Glock 49, the accessories for it, and the red dot adaptor plates you get in the box. The PDP, however, is a great-looking gun that is even more comfortable to shoot. Walther updated their optic plate system from the 1.0 to the 2.0, and I’ve had trouble finding them in stock. I also dislike needing to purchase a plate before mounting an optic. It should come with the gun.

Walther PDP Compact pistol.
The Walther PDP is a great handgun for self-defense. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
People will debate both sides of the triggers on these two guns. For me, the Walther has a much smoother trigger pull than a Glock pistol. A combination of the grip and trigger allows me to shoot just a little better with the Walther PDP. Glocks are a little less “bulky” looking and have a long history and reputation for reliability. When heading to work each day, I still carry a Glock as my duty weapon. From an optics standpoint, Glock is the clear winner for me because they provide everything you need without making an additional purchase. As a gun overall, both are great contenders, and it would be hard to pick a winner. Let us know what you think below.

Sheriff Jason Mosher is a law enforcement generalist instructor as well as a firearms and tactical weapons trainer. Jason graduated from the FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) and serves as a Sheriff for his day job. When he’s not working, he’s on the range, eating steak, or watching Yellowstone.

Sign Up for Newsletter

Let us know what topics you would be interested:
© 2024 GunMag Warehouse. All Rights Reserved.
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap