As we ring in the New Year and begin to make preparations for this year’s SHOT Show meeting in Las Vegas, manufacturers have been chomping at the bit to release their new products for 2019. Most will wait until the day before the convention to announce their newest product offerings to the masses. Imagine my surprise when Walther, not only announced an extension of their wildly successful PPQ line, but we actually had them show up in the warehouse a few days later for sale. The all new Q5 Match pistol now with a Steel Frame.
The Q5 Match SF (steel frame) is manufactured in Germany and is an improvement over the Q5 Match in a very important aspect. Weight. While the Q5 Match weighs in at 27.9 ounces unloaded, the SF model weighs in at 41.6 (standard) and 42.3 oz on the Pro model (magwell bevel) adding an impressive increase of weight by almost 33%. For those who are not familiar with competition shooting, most serious competitive shooters have desired pistols that are heavier because of the reduction in recoil that is felt due to the fact that the gun will have a softer recoil impulse when firing. This would allow the shooter to recover quicker for faster follow up shots thus providing reduced times during a shooting match.
The Q5 Match Steel Frame is currently offered in 2 configurations. A standard model without a magwell that will ship with three 15 rd. magazines and a Pro model that has a Walther installed magwell that will ship with three 17 rd. magazines. I think it was smart for Walther to include the pistol in 2 options as some people will prefer the magwell while others may not. Having a magwell on your firearm does make reloading quicker as you will have a easier time guiding your magazines into the grip yielding faster reloads, however, some shooting sports will reclassify an external magwell as a modification which could result in you competing in a different class that you may not have intended. Please note, if you opt for the Pro model you will need to use extended magazines to ensure they fit correctly and your pistol operates reliably.
I had the pleasure of unboxing the Pro model first and I was pleasantly surprised at what greeted me. Familiarity! It felt like I was unboxing my original Q5 match with the main difference being the beautiful steel frame in the box. As packaged from Walther the Q5 Match SF comes with the following:
1- Q5 Match SF (standard or pro model, whichever you purchase)
3- magazines (15 or 17 rd capacity depending on the model you purchase)
3- optics mounting plates and hardware for mounting various red dot optics
1- magazine loader
1- cable lock
1- instruction booklet
1- test target fired from the factory
The grip on the Q5 Match SF model has been replaced. Where the original Q5 Match had a textured grip that felt soft and conformed to the user’s hand, the SF model has a rubberized wrap around grip with a checkered front strap that provides a “grippier” profile when handling. This should further secure the firearm in the user’s hand to provide maximum control when firing. The dustcover on the Q5 Match SF is fully extended to provide as much weight as possible to the front of the firearm, whereas on the original Q5 Match the rail extends only part of the way down the length of the frame. Field stripping the firearm has been modified. The new Steel Frame model has a new takedown lever. After clearing your firearm and locking back the slide you simply rotate the takedown lever up and then release the slide. After pulling the trigger you can simply pull the slide off to expose the internals of the firearm.
To put it frankly, I believe Walther has another hit on their hands. I see this handgun competing directly with those who run other steel frame production handguns such as the CZ Shadow 2, Beretta 92 or Tangfolio Witness, among others. The pistol is impeccably machined and I’m sure will perform as such. I will definitely be adding one to my collection in the near future. I hope to do a follow up article in the future where I’ll be able to show off multiple targets with little small groups of bullet holes in them from various distances at my local range. I’ve never been so excited to for my tax return in my life! Now if I can only get my hands on those rumored German-made Walther PPKs that are supposed to be stateside one day soon.