Walther PDP-F

The Walther PDP-F is a relatively new 9mm handgun introduced in 2022 by Walther. So, it does not have the lineage of the models like the 1911 or the Beretta 92. Walther is targeting women shooters as their primary market for this gun. Walther wanted to capture a larger share of the women gun shooter market. So, while other guns are usable by women because they perhaps are smaller, lighter caliber, easier to handle, these other guns are not made nor designed specifically for women shooters.

The model number means Personal Defense Pistol, Female. Or at least that is the conventional thinking. Walther has not indicated with the “F” stands for because is becoming popular with elderly shooters and shooters with dexterity issues. So, the “F” could also mean “Fogey” or “Fuddy Duddy”.

As more women enter the self-defense, concealed carry market, Walther wanted to be the lead in capturing an increasing share of the women shooter market. Walther interviewed 2000 women shooters, both professional and amateur and asked them “if you could design a gun for women from the ground up, how would you design it?” The responses were tabulated and the PDP-F was conceived.

The circumference of the hand-grip is smaller than the average hand-grip, because the majority of women shooters have smaller hands. The grip itself has been re-angled to accommodate women’s hands better. The trigger reach has been reduced by moving the trigger further back towards the grip, because, again, most women shooters have smaller fingers. The slide spring pressure has been reduced by 20% to make the slide easier to rack. In addition to the slide pressure reduction, the slide serrations have been cut deeper to allow better gripping when racking. The non-abrasive grip texture has been designed to be more aggressive to make the gun easier to grip and to hold. And finally, the back strap has been made modular and comes delivered with three size back-straps for small, medium and large hands. The foot of the grip, where the magazine is inserted, has a small forward bump out. The purpose of this to allow shooters to keep the muzzle on target by forcing the shooter’s hand to press down against this bump out. The gun comes in both a 3.5” muzzle model and a 4” muzzle model. The magazine capacity is 15 founds for both size models, which should be plenty of stopping power for a woman to stop an attacker.

This gun was named NRA Women “Handgun Of The Year” for 2023.

So, what’s in the box? The 9mm gun comes with a molded case, two magazines and three changeable back-straps. It is set up to have optics put on, such as Tritium sights or red dot sights. If Tritium front and rear sights are Glock sights. So if you decide to replace them, you will need to purchase the Glock sight removal tool from Amazon. The crescent wrench or socket in your tool box will not work, because those tools will be too large.

I purchased one of these guns and bring it to show students in my Women’s Only classes. My 19-year-old daughter was initially hesitant to shoot it because of her perception of the anticipated recoil. But after being coaxed by the Range Safety Officer to try it at our favorite indoor range, she now loves this gun. It fits her tiny hands perfectly with the small backstrap. The day after the range visit, I was cleaning my handguns and had this PDP-F in the mix of guns to be cleaned. My daughter came into the room, grabbed the PDP-F off the table and began practicing handling it…checking to make sure it is empty, keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, exercising perfect trigger discipline, and proclaimed “I love this gun.” Her rationale for her opinion is that grip circumference and rearward trigger are perfect for her hands.

Both size models are available in my online store. If you want to shop the online store, just be sure to disable your VPN first. You can re-enable it after your shopping experience. If, not, you will get a “403 Forbidden” error.

Click here to shop the 3.5″ muzzle size.

Click here to shop the 4″ muzzle size.

As an edit to this blog, in February of 2024, the Pennsylvania State Police announced the full-sized PDP has been selected as the statewide duty weapon for all officers. So, the lineage is there.