Pictured above: The Walther Arms PPQ SC includes many of the features consumers love about the company's full-size PPQ, all inside a compact frame that allows for easier daily carry.
In the middle of the 1950s, a British firearms expert named Geoffrey Boothroyd gave a piece of advice to the novelist Ian Fleming about what guns his fictional spy, James Bond, should be using in the novels that Fleming was writing. Among the guns that Boothroyd suggested was the Walther PPK, a small, easy to conceal, hammer-fired pistol, and Walther’s reputation as the preferred choice of secret agents had begun.
Since then, Walther has put out some excellent pistols in a wide variety of calibers, and one of the newest is another small, easy-to-conceal gun: the Walther PPQ SC. Unlike Bond’s PPK, which entered service in the 1930s, the PPQ SC is a modern, polymer-framed, striker-fired gun that represents the latest advances in pistol-making technology.
The PPQ SC (an abbreviation for Sub Compact) is built using features taken from Walther’s popular line of PPQ pistols. First off is the superb trigger on this gun: Walther advertises the PPQ SC as having a 5.5-pound trigger pull, but at a 5.25-pound pull weight, my test gun averaged slightly under those numbers. Weight of trigger pull isn’t the only thing that makes up a good trigger, though, and the PPQ SC’s trigger has a short length of travel, no stacking, a clean break and a distinct reset. It is one of the best—if not the best—factory triggers on a striker-fired gun that I have ever found.
Like many modern polymer-frame pistols, the PPQ has adjustable backstraps and ships with two sizes: Regular and large. I found the regular backstrap to be more than adequate for my hands. However, I found that the 10-round magazine it ships with to be bit short for me: I much preferred the larger 15-round magazine that it also ships with to be very easy to grip and use, though it does make the gun harder to conceal.
The PPQ SC controls are all laid out well and easily accessed. The slide-stop lever is ambidextrous and easy to use, and the magazine release is right where you’d expect it to be. The gun ships with the magazine release on the left side on the gun, and a right-side release is included in the case for those who need it.
On the front of the frame of the Walther PPQ SC, there is a short length of Picatinny rail for mounting accessories such as weapons lights and laser sights, and the trigger guard is undercut slightly to allow for higher grip on the gun. The grip on the pistol is textured for better purchase, and the finger grooves on the grip were big enough to help me hold onto the gun better, but not large enough to get in the way of me getting a firm firing grip on the gun during the draw.
The pistol I tested came with the now-ubiquitous three-dot sight system, and I was pleased to see that the rear sight was user-adjustable for windage. I found that, during my range sessions with this gun, its outstanding trigger made it simple and enjoyable to get fast, accurate hits, and the textured grips and well thought-out ergonomics help soak up recoil and get the gun back on target with relative ease.
Taking the PPQ SC for cleaning and service is similar to other striker-fired guns. However, one feature that I really liked on this pistol versus similar guns from other manufacturers was the operation of the takedown lever. I’ve found that on many similar guns, it took the stars to align just right and no small amount of sleight-of-hand to get the slide off the rails for disassembly. With the Walther PPQ SC, though, all it took was some slight downward pressure on the slide release lever while moving the slide forward, and presto! Off came the slide.
With an MSRP starting at $649, the PPC SC should definitely be on your shopping list if you’re looking for small, lightweight pistol for personal self-defense. Compact and easy to conceal, it has all the features you’d expect from a modern semi-automatic pistol, plus a trigger that’s first in its class. True to Walther form, it’s a gun for the secret agent inside all of us.