Walther PPQ Problems To Be Aware Of

If you’re a gun enthusiast, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with the Walther PPQ. It’s a great German gun that was originally designed for use in law enforcement. Despite this weapon’s widespread use and popularity, the PPQ isn’t perfect.

The most common PPQ issue that my readers & myself have experience is it’s failure to return to battery. This can be very frustrating, but luckily it can be easily fixed by using the correct ammo & performing a thorough cleaning.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the Walther PPQ problems that I’ve experienced and other gun owners have reported over the years.

Issue Description
1. Can’t Return to Battery Failure of the slide to fully close after firing a round.
2. Feeding Issues Problems with the firearm’s ability to chamber a new round.
3. Gun Won’t Shoot Inability of the gun to fire or discharge rounds.
4. Removing Spent Cartridge Difficulty in ejecting or extracting the spent cartridge.
5. Slide Won’t Lock Failure of the slide to lock in the open position.
6. Random Magazine Drop Magazine falling out unexpectedly during firearm use.
7. Issues With Front Sights Problems or concerns related to the front sights of the firearm, affecting aiming or visibility.

Top 7 Walther PPQ Problems

image of walther ppq with green background

As I said, there is no doubt that the Walther PPQ is a great handgun used successfully by many over the years. However, there are some reoccurring Walther PPQ problems that gun owners have experienced.

Here are the top 7 issues PPQ owners face.

  1. Can’t Return to Battery
  2. Feeding Issues
  3. Gun Won’t Shoot
  4. Removing Spent Cartridge
  5. Slide Won’t Lock
  6. Random Magazine Drop
  7. Issues With Front Sights

1) Can’t Return to Battery

When a gun “fires out of battery,” it means that the breech and barrel have not returned to their proper position after firing. This is likely happening to your Walther PPQ when it won’t fire. I’ve actually experienced similar issues with the M&P 15 Sport 2 problems I’ve encountered. Although they’re totally different firearms, it shows the importance of gun maintenance.


Reasons & How To Fix

If you run into this issue, consider the following causes & solutions:

  • Wrong Ammo – If you’re using the wrong or faulty ammo then this issue should be expected. Swap out your ammo & re-test your firearm.
  • Keep Your Gun Clean – Many issues can be caused by improper maintenance of the Walther PPQ. If the chamber is dirty it could prevent the round from seating properly.
  • Cut Back On Lubrication – Excessive lubrication can cause the parts to slip and fail to engage. From my investigation, several people on the Walther forum seemed to have this exact issue.

2) Feeding Issues

The Walther PPQ is a popular choice for a concealed carry weapon, but it often fails to feed properly. The cartridge gets stuck in the chamber and fails to eject, making it difficult to reload. This can be a major problem in a self-defense situation. I actually ran into this same issue when reviewing the different Springfield hellcat problems!

Reasons & How To Fix

If you run into this issue, consider the following causes & solutions:

  • Pick the right magazine – Make sure you are using the correct magazine for your gun. This may seem like an obvious solution, but if you own multiple firearms it can be easy to swap out equipment.
  • Magazine Installation – Ensure that the magazine is seated correctly in the gun. Sometimes, a small bump can cause the magazine to become misaligned, preventing the rounds from being fed into the chamber. Take the time to CLEAN your magazine!
  • Broken Magazine Flange – Inspect the magazine itself for any signs of damage. If the magazine is bent or otherwise damaged, it may not be able to feed or seat properly. You’re only option here is to buy a spare magazine.

3) Gun Won’t Shoot

Having any gun jam is an extremely frustrating experience. Frankly, there are many reasons why a gun would jam. Here are a few of the major ones Walther fans have encountered. This is also one of the ruger lcp custom problems that shooters encounter!

Reasons & How To Fix

If you run into this issue, consider the following causes & solutions:

  • Clean Your Gun – The most common reason for your gun to jam is that the gun is dirty. If you haven’t cleaned your gun in a while, the buildup of gunk can cause major issues.
  • Broken Striker– This part of the gun is responsible for starting the firing process & igniting the round, so if it’s not working properly, the gun won’t fire. Replace the striker so that the slide and barrel move properly.
  • Dead Trigger – Another possibility is that the trigger spring is broken. This spring provides tension on the trigger, and if it’s not working properly, the gun won’t fire. Replace the spring & test again with live or dummy rounds.
  • Dead Ammunition – Finally, it’s possible that you’re simply trying to fire a defunct or dead round. If the round isn’t properly seated in the chamber, it won’t fire.

4) Removing Spent Cartridge

Several people have experienced issues where their Walther PPQ will not eject used rounds. For obvious reasons, this can be a serious problem if you’re in a firefight and need to reload quickly. I’ve actually had similar issues with the Kel-Tec KSG Problems I’ve run into. Although they’re totally different weapons, it shows the importance of gun maintenance.

Reasons & How To Fix

If you run into this issue, consider the following causes & solutions:

  • Fix Your Extractor – The most common reason is a faulty extractor. The extractor is responsible for grasping the spent cartridge and ejecting it from the gun. If the extractor is damaged or not properly tensioned, it might not be able to do its job.
  • Keep The Chamber Clean – If you continuously fire your Walther PPQ & let dirt and debris build up in the chamber there will be issues. This will prevent the spent cartridge from being ejected.
  • Squib Loading – This is when the projectile doesn’t have enough force or momentum to eject. This can prevent your Walther PPQ cartridges from being ejected. In my personal opinion, this is unlikely the cause of your issues.

5) Slide Won’t Lock

Some shooters have experienced issues with their Walther PPQ slide. They can get the slide forward but it will not lock open after emptying a magazine. This is not something I have personally experienced on this weapon or with other guns. We found similar Diamondback AR15 problems as well!

Reasons & How To Fix

If you run into this issue, consider the following causes & solutions:

  • Wrong Ammo – Make sure you’re using the right ammo. If you are trying to use underpowered ammo it can cause misfires and jams that will prevent the slide lock from working.
  • Broken Slide Stop Lever – Check to see if the slide stop lever is broken. If it is, then the slide will not be able to lock open. There are several other parts that could potentially cause these same issues if broken. Troubleshoot to see which is specifically affecting your Walther PPQ.
  • Gun Grip – Make sure you’re placing your hand on the slide in the correct position. If your hand is too close to the muzzle, it can interfere with the action of the slide and prevent it from locking open.

6) Random Magazine Drop

A few Walther PPQ owners have experienced an issue with the magazine randomly dropping on its own. This can be quite frustrating, especially when you’re in the middle of a range session.

Reasons & How To Fix

If you run into this issue, consider the following causes & solutions:

  • Bad Magazine Insertion – Make sure that the magazine is inserted properly. If the release is spring-loaded, it may not be engaging the magazine correctly. Don’t be afraid to use a little bit of force to get your magazine inserted. Don’t worry the high-density plastic frame can handle some muscle!
  • Broken Spring Release – Check the release spring for damage. The spring is located in front of the trigger guard and can be easily replaced. We found similar ruger ec9s trigger problems in our previous tests!
  • Bad Magazine – It is entirely possible that you received a faulty magazine altogether. Inspect the magazine itself for damage. If the magazine is broken you’ll need to replace it before the Walther PPQ will work properly again.

7) Issues With Front Sights

If you bought one of the best Walther ppq night sights and had some issues…you’re not alone. Several shooters have reported issues with their front sights. Specifically, the front sight won’t stay in place and even comes off while firing.

Reasons & How To Fix

If you run into this issue, consider the following causes & solutions:

  • Check Your Screws – This issue is exclusively caused by loose sight screws. I recommend that you read the sight manufacturer’s specs and installation guide if you want to get the exact tightening torque. Otherwise, just use common sense and tighten it down enough so that it can’t move!

Who Is the Walther PPQ Best For?

The Walther PPQ is an excellent choice for competition shooting and self-defense. In fact, the smooth trigger and consistent reset make it one of the most popular concealed carry weapons on the market. I recommend finding the best sight for your PPQ to maximize your accuracy and performance. Additionally, the PPQ’s ergonomic design makes it comfortable to hold and easy to control, which can be important in a fast-paced self-defense situation.

FAQ’s – Walther PPQ

Are Walther PPQ reliable?

Despite all the issues we have just discussed, the Walther PPQ is a reliable gun. It's one of the most popular handguns on the market for good reason--it's reliable, accurate, and comfortable to shoot. I have no doubt that it will serve you well in a self-defense situation.

What is replacing the PPQ?

The Walther PDP (Personal Defense Pistol) is a new striker-fired pistol that's set to replace the Walther PPQ. The PDP is a smaller, more concealable pistol that's geared towards personal defense. It has a shorter barrel and a shorter grip, making it easier to conceal and handle. It also features a redesigned trigger system that provides a smoother, lighter trigger pull.

What does PPQ stand for Walther?

PPQ stands for Police Pistol Quick-Defense. It's a term used to describe the Walther PPQ, a semi-automatic pistol that is widely used by law enforcement agencies worldwide.

Which is better HK VP9 or Walther PPQ?

HK VP9 has higher quality because it is made with a better polymer. Walther PPQ doesn't fare as well because it can wear down over time and the trigger becomes harder to pull. Both can be good options, but I give the VP9 the edge.

The Bottom Line

Now you know everything there is to know about the common Walther PPQ problems that shooters face. Many of these issues can be fixed with just a little bit of effort. However, several of them will require complete replacement parts or even a new PPQ altogether. It just goes to show, just because a weapon is popular does not mean it is 100% completely reliable. Hopefully, these tips will help out some Walther PPQ fans!

About the author

Patrick Howard

I have been working as a gunsmith for 20 years. Rain, fog, moisture, high temperature, or even snow are all the things a product must withstand in order to be recommended by me.

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