I finally added a Sig P365 to my collection and loved the compactness and obviously the capacity. In fact, it is what I have been using for my everyday carry EDC gun for several months. Then I had the opportunity to review the Walther PPS M2. Because both guns are similar and appeal to a large group of concealed carriers, I figured I would break them both down for you all and give you my impressions of both.
Before we get into it, here are a couple of points I need to make clear about this comparison.
First, there is no one best gun, and we all have our preferences toward certain characteristics. There are definitely universally accepted factors that make a gun preferable to a wide audience, but still, we will never reach a 100% agreement on what is the best. I have selected a few criteria to compare the guns on. Those marked with a “*” are designated as having some level of subjectivity. The criteria I used are:
- Controllability/Shootability *
- What's Included/Value
- Manual of Arms
- Trigger *
I have run 1,000+ rounds through the P 365, and 1000+ rounds through the PPS M2. The rounds consisted of a variety of hollow point, full metal jacket, aluminum, steel and brass case, factory new, and re-manufactured ammunition.
As mentioned, I have carried the Sig P365 for about 3+ months as my EDC. The Walther I have carried for a few weeks off and on during the last month as part of the evaluation.
Everyone likes to compare the specs side by side, so here are some of the most important numbers on both.
Smaller guns by their very nature are easier to conceal, and although the P365 is smaller, the PPS M2 is by no means a large gun. The half inch difference in length, or the fact that the Walther weighs .3 lbs more, does not really factor into concealability. The difference between the two that affects concealability lies in the distance from the top of the slide to the bottom of the magazine well. The PPS M2 is .5″ longer than the P365. The base of the magazine usually is what prints, and the longer length of the Walther makes it slightly less concealable.
Winner: Sig P365
Capacity is important for an EDC gun, and the more rounds you can carry, the better. You can offset the problem by carrying extra magazines, but having a gun with a natural higher capacity is preferred. After all, if you don't have to perform a magazine change why would you want to?
The Sig comes standard with two, 10 round magazines, and you can purchase a 12-round magazine for the gun. The Walther comes with 3 magazines, a 6-round, 7-round, and an 8 round magazine. With the 6-round magazine inserted, the Walther is closest in size to the P365 with its 10-round magazine. When you start adding the extended magazines to increase capacity, the grip length of the Walther becomes much longer, making it more difficult to conceal. So the Sig wins hands down on the capacity factor.
Winner: Sig P365
This is one of those subjective comparison categories. When it comes to determining how controllable a gun is, I consider: felt recoil, grip area, and texture. The Walther measures 6.28 ft-lbs of felt recoil, and 7.41 ft-lbs for the Sig (as measured by Genitron). If everything else is the same, the less the gun recoils, the easier it will be to control.
The Walther's larger grip surface area makes establishing a grip easier. However, the fact that the Sig's grip is diminutive, doesn't mean those with larger hands can't grip it effectively. I have spoken with shooters who have large hands and cannot grip small guns like Taurus TCP's or Ruger LCP's very effectively. I put the P365 in their hands and they were shocked that even though the grip is small, they are able to establish a solid grip.
A factor that lends itself to getting a better grip on the handgun is the texture of the grip itself. The Sig has a very fine ‘micro' stippling. If the Sig came with the same grip texture as the Glock 43 it would be much harder to maintain a solid grip. Some have said the Sig's stippling is too aggressive. I don't agree with this at all and believe that a more aggressive texture would actually help even more.
Walther wrapped their standard multi-directional stippling pattern 360 degrees around the grip of the PPS M2. It feels quite nice and provides a good grip surface. Again I prefer a more aggressive grip texture, especially with smaller guns. However, the Walther having more grip surface area mitigates this issue slightly.
Neither gun felt overly snappy and seemed to shoot flat. The Walther's larger size made it feel a little less like a small, single stack handgun. Because of this, I think it edges out the P365.
Winner: Walther PPS M2
Not surprisingly both firearms come with the standard cleaning rod, bore brush, cable lock, and hard case. The Sig provides two, 10-round magazines. One with a flat baseplate and one with a pinky extension. The Walther provides three magazines. The 6-rounder has a flat baseplate, while the 7 and 8-rounders are extended. A big bonus to Walther for providing the extra magazine.
Sights on an EDC gun are important, and one of the first things owners usually change. Both firearms come from the factory with above-average sights. Both guns have metal sights, no polymer sights that can be easily damaged. The Walther has phosphorescent, 3-dot sights with a windage-adjustable rear sight. The Sig comes with bright-green Trijicon 3-dot sights that are self-illuminating.
The rear sights on the Sig have a 90-degree angle which allows for easier one-handed slide manipulation. The Walther's rear sight is slightly angled, meaning it is slightly more difficult to operate with one hand. Both sights are very easily picked up in bright as well as low-light.
Speaking of low-light, if you like having a light on your EDC, you can do that with the P365. It has a proprietary Sig rail that will accommodate a Sig light/laser, maybe an adapter is being created as I write this. The PPS M2, unfortunately, does not have an accessory rail.
I can't mention value without including the average price. I am finding the PPS M2 for around $350 and the Sig for about $499.
While I personally like the Sig sights better, the fact that Walther provides 3 magazines and has a lower average price, makes the PPS M2 the winner.
Winner: Walther PPS M2
Manual of Arms:
The PPS M2 has an integrated trigger safety that is common on most polymer, striker-fired guns, while the Sig does not. Neither gun has a manual external safety. The slide-stop and magazine release on both guns are on the left side. Neither gun has an ambidextrous magazine release or slide-stop. The magazine release on the Sig, however, is reversible and can be flipped to the right side of the gun. The PPS does not have this ability.
The Walther PPSM2 has two takedown tabs and is taken apart just like a Glock handgun. The Sig has a takedown lever that is engaged when the slide is locked to the rear. The only advantage I could see to the process of field stripping is that the trigger does not have to be pulled to take apart the Sig.
Honestly, this fact should not even have to be mentioned. But it appears that enough people leave rounds in the chamber and end up discharging the firearm when cleaning it that it requires being said. So much so, in fact, that magazine disconnects are a thing and some preach that Glock's disassembly is unsafe. My opinion is that the process is not dangerous, the person who leaves the round in the chamber when cleaning is dangerous, but I digress.
One thing I must mention is that out of the box, the Sig's slide felt pretty gritty and tough to rack. I cleaned the gun really well, and after a few hundred rounds a lot of that feeling went away. The sensation that remained felt like the slide had to overcome a ‘sticky' point and then would move freely to the rear. The slide on the Walther seemed to require the same amount of force throughout the entire movement of the slide. The slide on the Sig might have required a little less force to rack but it was pretty negligible.
I will throw this unique quality that the Walther possesses in this section. The PPS M2 has a rod that extends about 1/4″ from the rear of the slide as the trigger begins to move to the rear. This allows the user to have a physical indication that something is impinging on the trigger as they holster the gun. Is it necessary? Probably not, but it is unlikely that you would be in a situation where you needed to pull the trigger, but could not because there was no clearance for the rod to extend.
This is close, but because the Sig has a reversible magazine release, Sig will win here.
Winner: Sig P365
A lot goes into the feel of the trigger, and it isn't all about pull-weight. What makes a nice-feeling trigger is highly subjective, but there are some measurable attributes that allow us to compare the triggers. First the trigger shoe itself.
The Walther has a polymer trigger shoe with the integrated trigger safety. You can feel the ridges and trigger safety when you squeeze the trigger. The Sig has a metal one-piece, smooth trigger shoe. I like the feel of the Sig's trigger shoe much better.
Describing the way the trigger feels as it moves to the rear can get unnecessarily complex. Here is how I describe it:
- Take-up: The sloppy, rearward, movement that takes up the slack in the trigger.
- Wall/Creep: The phase(s) where the trigger mechanism begins to engage the sear. This is where you will begin feeling resistance, and the resistance begins to build as the trigger moves rearward. This is where shooters may describe the trigger as being ‘gritty', ‘mushy' or ‘smooth'.
- Break: The point where the sear releases the striker. A good trigger break should feel crisp, like a piece of dry spaghetti breaking in two.
- Reset: The movement of the trigger forwards to the point that the striker is reset and another shot could be fired. In striker fired guns, this point is essentially the wall. A short takeup facilitates quicker follow-up shots.
The Sig's trigger has a light take-up and hits the wall right away. The break is crisp and the reset relatively short. The trigger seems to be consistent and predictable. The Walther's trigger feels like most of the polymer, striker fired guns. I would equate it to a Glock trigger, being that it has a spongy/mushy take-up and wall. Once it breaks, it is crisp and the reset is short and sweet. Knowing exactly where the break is going to occur is not as easy as on the Sig due to the mushy feeling.
Both triggers moved forward .3″ from the rearmost position to the reset point.
The Sig's factory trigger pull weight is 5 lbs. One and a half pound lighter than the 6.5 lb pull on the PPS M2. Personally, I care less about pull weight and focus more on the feel of the trigger as it rides through that creep phase.
The Sig trigger was crisper and more predictable. I know some readers may complain that it doesn't have a trigger safety and a lighter pull weight, but the gun is only as safe as the user, and Sig wins the trigger comparison.
Winner: Sig P365
This is where the rubber meets the road, as both guns are marketed primarily as EDC guns. It goes without saying (but I guess I am going to say it) your EDC gun MUST be reliable. So how did the guns fair after throwing 1000+ rounds through both?
The ammo used was a mixture of:
- 9mm Armscor 115g FMJ
- 9mm Freedom Munitions 124g remanufactured FMJ
- 9mm Winchester ‘white box' 115g FMJ
- 9mm Freedom Munitions 124g +P JHP
- 9mm Federal HST 124g +P JHP
- 9mm Blazer 115g FMJ (aluminum case)
- 9mm Wolf 115g FMJ (steel case)
The guns were shot over a period of days under different weather conditions, ranging from around 40 degrees to 80 degrees. Both guns could not have been more rock solid performers.
With the Sig, I had 2 failures to eject with the Blazer, aluminum cased ammo. I had 2 instances where the slide did not lock to the rear on an empty magazine. I believe this was due to my grip causing my finger to ride on the slide stop, not a mechanical issue. I had one instance where the slide did not go forward fully into battery with Wolf, steel case ammo. Outside of these instances, the gun ran great with the other ammo.
The Walther ran flawlessly except for two times the slide failed to lock back. Both happened near the beginning of the 1000 rounds and were while shooting the Wolf, steel cased ammo.
I ran both guns with full magazines and partially filled magazines and it didn't cause any problems. I shot several rounds through each by leaving a round in the chamber and removing the magazine. Both functioned properly during that test.
Note on barrel witness marks-
Other reviews have noted that both firearms appear to have witness marks on the barrels. I did confirm that this is accurate, as both guns' barrels showed these marks. At least at this point, neither indicated a malfunction and appear to be cosmetic only.
Okay so Sig won 4 areas, Walther won 2 and there was one tie. This doesn't mean the Sig is a ‘better' gun than the Walther. You really have to get the guns in your hand and shoot them to see which one you like more. For me, the Sig displaced my Glock 27 EDC that I had carried for 10+ years, so it's safe to say I like the Sig. However, the Walther shot very well, felt good, and was not any harder to conceal (with the 6-round mag).
The big difference is capacity. It really is hard to put down a gun that has the capacity of 10+1 for a similarly sized gun that has a 6+1 capacity. So if you see me, I will most definitely have the P365 with me. But this factor may not be as important to you, and in that case, the two firearms are very similar and you can't really go wrong with either.