Just being announced today is the new Q5 Match SF (Steel Frame) competition pistol from Walther, but Guns & Ammo was present at the super-secret media rollout of this pistol last month at the U.S. Shooting Academy in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We came away highly impressed with this pistol, and here’s what you need to know about this new (and arguably improved) version of Walther’s very successful Q5 Match:
1. The new Walther Q5 Match SF will be available in two models, the Standard and the Pro. The Pro model comes complete with a large extended aluminum magazine well and three 17-round magazines. These magazines are the standard Walther PPQ 15-round magazines wearing +2 extended basepads so they can be easily seated into the large magazine well. This model weighs 42 ounces. The Standard model does away with the magazine well and is supplied with three flush PPQ 15-round magazines and weighs 41 ounces. The MSRP of the Standard model is $1400, and the Pro model is an additional $100.
2. Steel isn’t the whole story. Some people might say that the only difference between the Q5 SF and the original version is what material makes up the frame. That’s not the case. Yes, the SF model replaces the polymer of the original Q5 frame with steel, but there’s more. The new tweaked-for-competition SF features an extended full-length frame rail which adds weight just where it will do the most good, a beavertail at the back of the frame to eliminate the chances of getting bit by the slide, checkering on the front strap and the front of the trigger guard, wrap-around textured polymer grips, and (on the Pro model) a sizable magazine well.
3. The Walther Q5 Match SF offers all the same competition features of the original Q5 Match, which is designed to be ready for any kind of action pistol competition out of the box. The front sight has a red fiber optic insert. The rear sight is fully adjustable, and mounted on a removable plate. Walther provides just about every mounting plate you might need to attach your choice of mini red dot to the slide if you desire. Each pistol is supplied with three magazines. And, of course, the Q5 SF features the same excellent Quick Defense Trigger pull found on all Walther PPQs, which they advertise at 5.6 pounds but is usually lighter.
4. Guns & Ammo got some serious hands-on time with the Q5 Match SF this past December at the U.S. Shooting Academy, where the challenging range conditions resembled the frozen tundra. We shot at distance as well as running a short USPSA-style high-speed course, and burned through magazine after magazine making steel targets ring. It is obvious that this is a serious pistol designed by people who know their stuff. The new grips are nicely textured and combined with the frontstrap checkering the pistol just doesn’t move in the hand while shooting. That extra weight in the frame definitely keeps muzzle rise down, and keeps the pistol steadier when transitioning between targets. Trigger pull was (as expected) excellent. The sights are everything you might want or need. And the big magazine well on the Pro model makes speed reloads stupid simple.
5. Get ready for new accessories. The standard polymer-framed PPQ and Q5 Match feature interchangeable backstraps. The Q5 Match SF instead has wraparound polymer grips, but Walther will soon be offering replacement grips of various sizes and materials, such as G10 laminate. If you buy a Standard model and decide you want to upgrade, Walther will be selling the magazine well, both in black and Walther blue to match the Q5’s blue trigger. And, finally, Walther will be selling a competition spring kit, with heavier, standard, and a reduced weight spring that will bring the trigger pull down to roughly 3.5 pounds while keeping the gun drop safe.
6. This is just the start. The folks at Walther told us that the Q5 SF wasn’t just a one and done. They plan to introduce a whole line of PPQ-derived pistols with steel frames aimed at duty and concealed carriers. While the Q5 SF is aimed at the competition market it would make an excellent tactical pistol with or without a weaponlight clamped on the longer frame rail. G&A can’t wait to see what Walther does with compact/carry versions of this new frame.
There’s a lot more to say about this new and exciting pistol. For a full review, look for it in an upcoming issue of Guns & Ammo!