There’s nothing wrong with being pragmatic. In fact, the advantages to pragmatism are numerous, especially when concerning things like cars, groceries, and firearms. Yes, you will look great in that European two-seater, but you can’t haul a recliner in it. Neither can you take the car-pool lane on the highway. You get the idea. The difference between excess and just right is often not so much a question of quality as it is correct fit.
When it came to selecting my second concealed carry pistol, this was foremost in my mind. I knew I wanted a quality pistol and I knew that this one had to fit me better. There was no question of quality with my first concealed carry pistol. It was from a well-reputed manufacturer. The pistol had been well-reviewed by both the magazines and real-world users. I liked shooting it and I shot pretty good with it. I was happy with the purchase-- until I started carrying it. This double-stack handgun, even though it was a compact model, was too thick to hide on my (then) lanky frame. I knew part of the problem was pant size, but even when the pants were right it was often painfully obvious that my concealed carry gun was not so concealed. Having a concealed carry pistol and having it with you are two vitally distinct propositions. My double stack was a fine handgun. It just wasn’t fine for the task I’d asked of it.
So smaller was the answer. But how much smaller? Mouse-gun tiny? Maybe just thinner? I wrestled with these questions for a few months and the indicators kept pointing toward the Walther PPS. It was thin, there were three magazine configurations that could minimize the profile of the gun considerably, and it was available in a substantial centerfire caliber. After a trip to the gun shop and the requisite paperwork, a new PPS in 9mm was mine.
My brother helped me celebrate by getting me a swanky IWB holster that could be worn with my shirt tucked in. The super-thin PPS was right at home, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at me. And that was the idea. I could finally carry discretely. But could I shoot this thin thing? Much to my surprise, I could shoot the PPS better than the compact double stack that preceded it. Not only that, I could shoot it better than any other handgun I had ever shot. Way better.
So what does all of this have to do with airguns? Umarex made a blowback .177 BB version of the Walther PPS. But that is history. Walther revised the PPS into the PPS M2. This update changed the grip texture and profile to allow the shooter a more ergonomic grip on the pistol. The changes proved to be a major hit with shooters. Finally, Umarex has updated the .177 PPS with the M2 changes.
This update is a boon to those who carry the PPS M2 every day. They can now holster, draw, shoot, and re-holster a .177 caliber BB or 6mm airsoft replica for training. Training doesn’t have to be a “when I can get to it” event with the PPS M2 air pistol on hand. The range is as far away as your garage or backyard. The Range Officer doesn’t send you packing when you’ve stayed too late in the garage. Your spouse might get upset, but you are in your own garage! Your garage is “open” whenever you want it!
Setting up a BB trap is super easy. A trip to your local hardware store with a few dollars can produce a new 5-gallon paint bucket. Simply pack the bucket with shredded paper, foam rubber pieces, or a few old t-shirts to give the BBs something to hit and then fashion a piece of cardboard as a target that will cover the opening and you are done. Holster and draw drills can now be performed to a level a realism that included firing and some recoil. You can measure your effectiveness by simply measuring your target. Of course, practice with a BB pistol cannot take the place of live fire with your handgun, but regular drills with your CO2 powered PPS M2 will improve your interface with your firearm at every level.
If you have gotten on board with Walther’s PPS M2, there’s no reason not to have either the .177 steel BB or the 6mm airsoft on hand for training when your schedule doesn’t allow for a trip to the range.
Mark Davis, avid outdoorsman and family man, is the Social Media Specialist at Umarex USA.