July 28, 2021
By James Tarr
By the time you’re reading this the new Walther PDP 9mm pistols will have been announced. Designed to not just replace but be an upgrade over their flagship PPQ pistols, the optics-ready PDP is sure to get a lot of attention. There are two versions of the PDP, the 15-shot Compact, which has a four-inch barrel and is roughly the same size as the current PPQ, and the Full-Size PDP, which has a 4.5-inch barrel and a longer grip, inside which you’ll find an 18-round magazine.
One smart move Walther made with the PDP was having the Compact fed by standard PPQ magazines. Not only are they very reliable, they are widely available and not expensive. The Full-Size PDP takes longer PPQ-pattern magazines, except they are not quite the same, hence the reason for this little article. Every accessory on the market meant for PPQ magazines works for the PDP Compact magazines, as they are one and the same. Because the PPQ and Walther Q5 have proven to be somewhat popular in USPSA competition, you’ll find no shortage of aftermarket magazine accessories. In the accompanying photo you’ll see a PDP Compact, and the magazine stuffed inside it is sporting a +6 magazine extension from Taylor Freelance for a 21+1 capacity.
Beside the gun you’ll see the 18-round magazine of the Full-Size PDP. It locks into the Compact pistol and functions perfectly. But…while the longer magazine has the same body as the standard PPQ magazines, the bottom of the magazine is cut at a different angle, so aftermarket basepads (Taylor Freelance, TTI, etc.) meant for PPQ magazines sit at the wrong angle. It also uses a different follower, and the longer springs needed for those extended basepads don’t lock into the new follower. Taylor Freelance is making separate extended basepads/springs for the Full-Size PDP magazine and I’m sure other companies will follow suit, I just wanted you to be aware of some potential complications if you’re looking to upgrade the magazines of your new PDP. The length/type magazine you have will make a difference when you’re shopping for parts.
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About the Author:
James Tarr is a former police officer and private investigator, and is a nationally ranked competitive shooter. He has been writing professionally for 20 years, both magazine articles and books.