Walther’s New Flagship Handgun: the PDP

On Tuesday, Walther announced the launch of their newest pistol, the Performance Duty Pistol (PDP). It’s a polymer-frame, striker-fired 9mm handgun that retains some of the frame features that we saw on the steel-framed PPQ released back in 2018, but with a completely redesigned slide assembly.

In fact, the barrel is the only part of the slide assembly that is the same as the PPQ. The slide has red dot ergonomics engineered into it with new sight cuts, so it’s an optics-ready platform, compatible with many of the red dot sights out there on the market. 

The slide profile is different, too. Essentially, they raised the serrations, (Walther calls them SuperTerrain), so if you’re wearing gloves or your hands are slick, racking the slide is going to be much easier. 

The Walther PDP launched with informational videos explaining all the new design features on this handgun. Let’s take a closer look.

SuperTerrain Serrations

Walther PDP 9mm striker-fired pistol SuperTerrain serrations.
Instead of the standard subterranean cuts that are cut into the surface of the slide, the SuperTerrain design raises the serrations above the surface of the slide for a new, more positive feel to operating the action.

Performance Duty Trigger

As for the new trigger, Walther says it shortens the length of travel and increases the tactile definition of the trigger break. 

Walther PDP Performance Ready Trigger.
The folks at Walther say, “When you are READY to take the shot, this is the trigger you want.”

“The incredible result is a highly distinct, recognizable feel for repeatable accuracy that will maximize your confidence. When you are READY to take the shot, this is the trigger you want. Walther has always had the best striker fire trigger in the market.” ~Walther social media.

Performance Duty Texture

As mentioned before, the duty grip texture is the same as what they had on the steel-framed PPQ. The tetrahedron design is non-abrasive, so it won’t be irritating to the skin or clothing.

Performance Duty Texture Grip
From Walther: “Walther has pushed the boundaries of testing in some of the harshest conditions to endure this pattern is READY when you are. Whether it’s torrential rainfall, extreme heat, and humidity, icy cold temperatures, or thick mud, the Performance Duty Texture of the PDP will help you be READY when it’s imperative you have the perfect grip.”

Performance Duty Pistol Modularity

According to Walther, the new PDP is the most modular and versatile pistol they’ve ever designed and they’ve launched it in two distinctly different frame sizes – compact and full size. It’s also available in three different slides lengths – 4” and 4.5” in compact models, and 4”, 4.5” and 5” in full-size models.

Walther PDP 3 models
The Walther PDP is available in three configurations. There are two frame sizes: Compact and Full-Sized, with the Full-Size in two slide lengths.

PDP Overview

In the video below, Larry Vickers goes through the historical development of Walther pistols leading up to this newest model. 

From Walther:

“Over a century of engineering passion, precision workmanship and innovation are behind the design of the new Walther PDP (Performance Duty Pistol). We challenge ourselves to produce the best performing pistols possible. The rest is up to you. It’s your DUTY to be Ready.”

Read more about the Walther PDP  at Walther Arms.

Stephanie Kimmell is the firstborn daughter of Missouri's Pecan King, worthy scion of a Vietnam veteran sailor turned mad engineer-orchardist-inventor-genius. With a BA in technical writing, she freelances as a writer and editor. A Zymurgist greatly interested in the decoction of fermented barley and hops, she is in many ways a modern amalgam of Esther Hobart Morris, Rebecca Boone, and Nellie Bly. She hunts, fishes, butchers, and cooks most anything. When not editing or writing, she makes soaps and salves, spins wool, and occasionally makes cheese from cows she milked herself. Kimmell is a driven epistemophilic who loves live music and all sorts of beer.

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