Gun Reviews

Gun Reviews

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.

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Ruger Max-9

Well, here it is…the first gun purchased through our online store, and the first gun being reviewed on our website. I had to ensure the credit card payment gateway worked and that our distributors sent the gun to me, as the FFL. So, what a better way to test the operability of the online store than to purchase a firearm through it for myself.

CT Red (micro) Dot

This particular model comes factory direct with a Crimson Trace red dot sight and (1) 12-round magazine and (1) 10-round magazine. I never owned a handgun with a red dot sight, so I wanted one to learn to shoot with one. From what I read, once a shooter learns to shoot with a red dot, target acquisition is quicker, and I want to see if I can get to that point too.

Here are the pros, from my point of view.

First, the gun is very comfortable in my hand with the 12-round magazine in the grip. Accordingly, I fully expect the Max-9 to become my EDC handgun, once trained.

Green Fiber-optic front sight

Second, it holds 12 rounds in one magazine and 10 in the other. Generally, 12 rounds shouldn’t be necessary in a defensive situation, but you never know. Ruger introduced the Max-9 to jump on the high-capacity subcompact bandwagon making their mark, namely the Sig Sauer P365 and the Springfield Hellcat.

Third, the trigger is light and crisp, in the snap cap dry fire testing I did upon taking it out of the box.

Fourth, it also comes factory direct with a green fiber-optic front sight. Should I ever decide to remove the red dot, this front sight will then work very well in low light situations.

Fifth, as with all red dot mounted firearms, a nice feature is that you can use the front of the red dot to rack the slide. You do not have to grip the slide serrations with your fingers to rack the slide.

Looking through the red dot, the dot is actually visible, here as a white dot, but is red in reality

Sixth, it has an ambidextrous thumb safety. So, when drawing from the holster, the shooter needs to practice taking off the safety as the handgun is coming out of the holster.

I added the Crucial Concealment – Covert IWB Kydex holster to my store order, which fits like a glove and provides clearance for the red dot.

Seventh, the Crimson Trace red dot is auto on/off. Pick the gun up or draw from your holster, and the red dot turns on. Lay the gun down or re-holster it, and in a short time, the red dot turns itself off.

Eighth, the unloaded weight is only 18.4 ounces. Not bad for a high capacity handgun.

Now, here are the cons.

First, the slide is more difficult to rack at this juncture than I thought it was going to be, because it is brand new. I expect the slide spring tension to relax after breaking in the gun with a few hundred rounds through it.

Second, the red dot takes some time to master. For those shooters not familiar with using red dots, handguns containing them are not models that you can simply remove from the box, holster and carry. You need to work through the unfamiliarity of the red dot by shooting a few hundred rounds through the gun at the range. We must practice drawing and aligning the sight picture. The factory settings of the red dot has the dot aiming just above the front sight, which is perfect. But for someone like me, initially drawing and aiming the gun in my home had my sight alignment all over the place. I need to practice what I preach, and that is of getting 100% comfortable with the entire operation of the gun.

Overall, I was impressed with this gun and the matching holster. If you want to learn more or to purchase this gun from our online store, click here. If you want to learn more or purchase the Crucial Concealment holster, click here.

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S&W M&P Shield EZ9

The best gun on the market for new shooters or shooters with dexterity issues is the S&W M&P Shield EZ9 or simply the “EZ9”.

As the name implies, this gun is the easiest gun on the market to operate, and comes in two models; the Base Model and the “Performance Series” model.

Base Model

  1. It is chambered in 9mm, the most popular caliber in the world.
  2. The slide is the easiest to rack, with the slide spring being only about 1.5 pounds of resistance.
  3. Because the slide is the easiest to rack, it can also be racked with one hand.
  4. The backstrap contains a squeezable safety, the gun can only be fired if the shooter completely grips the gun. If the shooter does not completely wrap their shooting hand around the grip and squeeze the grip, the gun cannot fire.
  5. The slide takedown is the easiest on the market, whereby the shooter merely has to move the slide takedown downward 90 degrees, and the slide slips right off the frame.
  6. The magazine capacity is 8 rounds, perfectly adequate for new shooters to allow comfortable concealed carry.
  7. There is a tactile round indicator on the top of the breach, to inform the shooter if there is a live round in the chamber or of the chamber is empty.
  8. The magazine release is reversible, to make the slide release ambidextrous.
  9. The gun’s width is narrow, making it comfortable to carry all day.

This base model EZ9 has two options:

  1. An ambidextrous thumb safety. But in my opinion, the optional ambidextrous thumb safety is overkill. The gun already contains the aforementioned backstrap safety. Therefore, in a defensive situation in which the user may need to draw, aim and fire quickly, the need to turn off the optional thumb safety may hinder quickly drawing, aiming and firing.
  2. An under gun, rail mounting Crimson Trace red laser.
  3. Truglo Tritium Night Sight

Then we get into optional models, aka the “Performance Series”

Performance Series Model

  1. A ported barrel is standard on all Performance Series models. A ported barrel is a barrel with holes drilled into the top of side, near the muzzle. These models direct exhaust gasses through these holes, thereby reducing recoil.
  2. A flat, competition trigger, compared to a curved trigger of the base model.
  3. Optic sights, with both the front and rear sighting being green optics.

The Performance Series models has two available options:

  1. Color accents. The color choices are black, silver or gold. The barrel, trigger, breach and backstrap are the parts affected by the color accents.
  2. The aforementioned ambidextrous thumb safety.

This gun is available for purchase on this site. Click here for more information or to purchase.

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