"It's for people who want the absolute best performance from their carry gun," said Walther'sCody Osborn at the 2020 SHOTShow Media Day at the Range. A bold statement, to be certain, but Walther has earned the right to make it. Focusing on providing unmatched quality, the company's strategy of speaking to the firearms connoisseur is clearly evident in its brand-new Q4 Steel Frame pistol. This handgun is a direct descendant of last year's smash hit--the Q5--but sized down for easy concealability. Make no mistake; this 9mm offers the same sweet, crisp trigger and metronome precision as its big brother. As Osborn commented, "We're really in a class of our own right now."
Another bold statement? Yes, but once again, Osborn is correct: The Q5 and Q4 are really the only steel-framed, striker-fired pistols currently being made...despite the fact that the market has been crying out for one. Let's start with that steel frame. Yes, at 40 ounces it's heavier than most purpose-built CCW handguns, but that steel gives the gun second-to-none durability. What's more, Walther has precision-machined the frame to distribute all 40 ounces in a beautiful balance that essentially eliminates recoil, and makes it easier for the shooter to find their natural point of aim.
The Q4 Steel Frame also boasts really terrific ergonomics. It features a proprietary grip texture that's aggressive without being abrasive, a boon for people (like me) who often wind up with cut-up palms after a day of shooting. Lefties and righties can rejoice as well; there's a reversible oversized magazine release button and a recessed ambidextrous slide release.
The new Q4's trigger is everything you expect from a Walther: A safe two-stage trigger with a crisp break and short reset (1/10 of an inch!), the Walther Quick Defense Trigger is considered one of the best striker-fired triggers on the market. Finally, the Duty Optimized Beavertail provides the shooter increased grip height on the pistol, which further renders the recoil down to virtually nil. The best news is that you won't have to wait until the fourth quarter of this year to see the Q4 in person; the gun is due to ship this February. Q4 Steel Frame MSRP: $1,399 Q4 Steel Frame Optics Ready MSRP: $1,499