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Quarantraining with a Walther PPQ Airsoft

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While airsoft has been disregarded by some as a LARPing game for children, the attitude is changing as trainers and individuals are finding them as a cost-effective form of regular practice. Whether for defensive or competition ends, dry fire is key to keeping one's skills sharp and improving. Now Walther is showing how airsoft might very well be the next evolution of dry fire practice.

To squeeze this out we obtained a Walther PPQ gas blowback (GBB) pistol, a spare magazine, some 6mm BBs, and a bottle of gas. The airsoft model of the PPQ represents 1:1 dimensionally to its lethal brethren and is near actual weight; it doesn't feel like a toy until you retract the slide.

What You Can and Cannot Do

Even though this is a gas-operated pistol, the recoil is significantly less than even the most tricked out gamer gun shooting mouse-fart loads. Practicing controlled pairs or any form of rapid-fire is right out the window (though it is a ton of fun!)

But that's the real major limitation. Anything exercise you can perform with dryfire you can accomplish with airsoft. Draws, sight picture/sight alignment, breaking your first shot, and reloading are all on the table for deep practice.

One particular note about reloads: the magazine of the airsoft Walther PPQ also serves as the fuel tank for the gun itself. Because it's both pivotal to function and relatively expensive to replace, we recommend putting something like a dog bed in front of you while training so the magazine won't be hitting a hard surface. Additionally, if you reload by aggressively sling-shotting the slide, this one might not be for you. The recoil spring is very lightweight, and if you treat this like the real deal you may risk breakage.


Carrying with a red dot equipped pistol has been a norm for most of us for several years. Ergo, in order to maximize our practice, the PPQ would need an MRDS mounting solution. This can be tricky, as additional mass on the lightweight slide can cause malfunctions. Yet another reminder that this isn't a real pistol.

While we tried several methods, the one that worked involved obtaining a cheapo UTG mount that replaces the rear dovetail. Actual PPQ mounts are fairly expensive, so we rolled with one designed for an M&P 2.0 and filed to fit–one advantage of using a $15 mount is that the metal was extremely malleable.

Instead of an RMR, we went with a Burris Fastfire II. Firstly, it's incredibly lightweight and thus more likely to work, and secondly it's relatively inexpensive and we weren't trying to break the bank.

Ultimately, once the gas was upped a little bit it runs like a champ.

Some may be concerned about the MRDS sitting higher than on an optics-ready pistol, but after shooting and using many dot setups over the years, including the taller ALG Defense 6-Second Mount, we definitely do not have that issue. Further, mounting a red dot on an airsoft version can be a good way to familiarize one's set with using them.

We finished off by zeroing our optic so it would have the same POI as our actual carry gun at across-the-room distances.

A genuine Surefire XH35 or X300U WML is used depending on which holster we're using (a modified Armordillo Concealment X-Fer for the XH35, and a PHLster Floodlight for the X300U). These holsters are based around the WML itself as is platform-neutral.


Because we didn't want dozens of 6mm balls rolling all over the house, a pellet trap and target system was constructed using a storage container, some dowels, old t-shirts, and carpet samples. You can break out the school glue and safety scissors yourself and see what you can come up with yourself; you're only limited by your imagination.

Loose Rounds

With base prices starting around $100, the Walther PPQ can make for a decent training gun whether you are stuck indoors or simply can't make it to the range. We found it especially useful for training the draw and that first sight picture. The magazines are somewhat cumbersome to load relative to a normal pistol, and this is also where that second magazine helps tremendously.

The practicality of a airsoft replica did show its quality in one area: more than ever before, daily practice was easier, more affordable, and with attention to detail, more beneficial. We look forward to seeing what regular practice at home does to improve our skill at the range.

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1 Comment

  • Lee says:

    Just want to say I appreciated the article; I also have a PPQ I want more practice with inside. The tip for cobbling together a airsoft RDS mount inexpensively is icing on the cake! Thanks again.

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  • Just want to say I appreciated the article; I also have a PPQ I want more practice with inside. The tip for cobbling together a airsoft RDS mount inexpensively is icing on the cake! Thanks again.

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