Walther Q5 Match Review: Utilitarian Race Gun

I recently had the pleasure of getting my hands on the Walther Q5 Match, a feature-rich handgun designed for the competitive shooter. Heavy emphasis on “pleasure.” The gun is pretty to look at and is renowned for its accuracy. But I wanted to see if I could take a race gun and turn it into a utilitarian SHTF piece; something I could rely on if I could only have one handgun. So, how did it handle? Is it truly a utilitarian piece of German engineering? Or is it just a race gun?

Let’s take a look.

Pretty to Look At

When it comes to factory-standard features, the Walther Q5 Match is, by all accounts, a premium handgun. It ain’t cheap, and it shows. Ready to roll with a fiber optic front sight, an adjustable LPA rear sight, an optics-ready slide, and a match-grade trigger system, the Q5 Match comes equipped with a polygonal rifled five-inch barrel and a stepped chamber, which is fairly common for a race gun. Its sleek steel slide with precision-cut lightening cuts and crisp blue competition trigger naturally draws you in for a closer look. It’s just a joy to look at, and it feels nice in the hand. That’s always a plus, yeah?

Just one look at that sleek steel frame, the bright blue competition trigger, and the fiber optic sights, and you’re naturally hooked. It’s a real beaut of a gun.

Race Gun Features

The polymer PPQ M2 frame is light — maybe a bit too light for a gun of this size — and features precision-molded finger grooves and a full-size magwell that fits comfortably in any hand. While I opted to stick with the factory-installed medium backstrap, the gun includes three other options (S, L, and XL) to accommodate any hand size.

The extended ambidextrous controls are tactile and easy to operate, though I did find that my thumb liked to ride the slide release lever, which resulted in one failure to lock open on the last round. However, with some adjustment to my grip, that issue resolved itself. Otherwise, the gun is a real dream to shoot.

The high-visibility fiber optic front sight and windage-adjustable rear sight offer quick, intuitive target acquisition and a lightning-fast return to your target for quick follow-up shots.

If you’re one for pistol-mounted optics, the rear sight assembly is easily removed from the slide using a supplied hex wrench. However, it’s important to note that while the gun is marketed as an optics-ready pistol, it does not come with any optics plates. You’ll have to contact Walther to order the correct plate for your optic. It’s a short wait, though. Mine was shipped to my house in less than a week, so it wasn’t terrible.

The gun also ships with three flush-fit 17-round magazines.

A utilitarian, do-all gun?

So, is the gun a utilitarian, do-all gun? I’m inclined to believe so. Because the pistol features a lightweight polymer frame, it’s a bit snappier than you’d think. I ran the pistol in the factory configuration and, while fun and accurate, I noticed I wasn’t as quick with my follow-up shots as I thought I should be. So, seeing that I wanted to use the gun as a utilitarian heat piece, I opted to install a heavy SureFire X300U weaponlight and a Holosun 407C green dot on the pistol.

Walther Q5 Match
From the factory, the Walther Q5 Match is a bit on the snappy side due to the lightweight polymer frame. But, with a heavy Surefire light and Holosun optic installed, the gun is easier to control and a real joy to shoot.

This light/optic combo accomplished two things for me. One, it can function reliably as a race gun, a home defense rig, or a SHTF piece. And two, the combination of the two added a bit of much-needed weight to the rig, making it a bit easier to get back on target and control the gun under rapid-fire conditions.

One Caveat, Though

My only real complaint is that I struggled to accommodate the extended slide stop/slide release with my normal shooting grip. I kept resting my thumb on the release lever, which forced the slide to slam home on an empty chamber after the last round instead of locking to the rear. At first, I thought I had a malfunction or light primer strike, but I quickly figured out that it was indeed a “me problem.”

The enlarged slide release was a bit of a booger for me. I noticed that I tended to rest my thumb on the release lever, which forced the slide home instead of locking it to the rear on an empty magazine. Totally a “me” problem, but a minor annoyance with the design.

At one point, I caught myself tucking my thumbs to the side in hopes of clearing the lever, only to pull my shots off to the left a bit. That’s not a problem with the gun per se, but I wasn’t overly impressed with the lever design. That’s nothing a little training won’t fix though.

That, and there are very few holster options available for the Q5 Match. There are a few competition holster options out there for the steel-frame model (Q5 SF), but I think I’ve seen a whopping one holster for the polymer-frame model I have, and it wasn’t compatible with lights or laser sights. So, that’s been a pain. I’m currently on the hunt for a custom holster. I’ll keep you posted. Again, that’s not a gun problem, but it’s a problem that’s apparently not easy to solve.

Quality SHTF Rig

When it comes to making the gun a do-all SHTF rig, the Q5 Match checked all the boxes for me. It’s accurate, comfortable, consistent, and above all else, reliable. Aside from my unfortunate grip error, the pistol performed flawlessly and looks good to boot. If you’re in the market for an entry-level race gun or utilitarian “do-all” gun, give the Q5 Match a shot. If you opt for the steel-frame model, you can probably forego the heavy light/optic combo and save a bit of cash. But, if you don’t want to spring for the more expensive model, but want incredible accuracy, reliability, and consistency, the Q5 Match should be a top contender for any shooter.

But, let me know if you can find a decent holster for it, will ya?

With more than 15 years of firearms education and professional firearms experience, Corey is a passionate 2A supporter and educationalist, avid sport shooter, firearms collector, and creative writer. When he's not glued to his computer or scouring through the latest edition of the AP style book, he spends most of his time coaching his son's sports teams, exploring our wonderful country, and traveling to European WWII battlefields with his family and English pals from across the pond. Our Editor-in-Chief and self-proclaimed "professional nobody," and "world's okay-est shooter," Corey is based out of Kansas City, Missouri, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing from Drury University. Feel free to flood his inbox with expletives and other indecencies; if he even notices, he'll likely respond in kind.

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