Gun Tests October 2013 Look-Ahead: 9mm Pistols from Walther, Kriss Sphinx, and CZ USA


( — The Gun Tests Houston test team obtained three interesting 9mm polymer-frame handguns — the Walther PPX M1, the Kriss Sphinx SDP Compact, and the CZ USA CZ 75 P-07 Duty — and tested them in the October issue.

Managing Editor Tracey Taylor said, “This trio had a lot in common. They were very close in overall length, if you discount the CZ’s longer barrel. The CZ and the Sphinx are obviously related in bloodline, with the Sphinx being fairly described as a legal, but much higher end, copy of the CZ 75. Walther’s product has the most market-savvy approach, coming in many hundreds of dollars below the Swiss-made Sphinx and at least a few tens of dollars, maybe more, below the CZ.”

She added, “There are differences, too, with the Walther being a DAO action and the Sphinx and CZ being DA/SA, and the CZ being convertible to SA operation as well. But because of the Walther’s excellent trigger, it didn’t give up as much as you might think to the second-shot single actions.”

Gun Tests Editor Todd Woodard said, “But when the smoke cleared, our team said we had three above-average products that we probably would not purchase. Readers may disagree and see silk where we saw sow’s ear.”

The Walther PPX M1 No. 2790025 9mm Luger, $450, is a full-size polymer pistol made by Carl Walther in Germany, and imported by the Walther Arms affiliate in Fort Smith, Arkansas, as mold marks in the polymer frame attest.

Based on the magazine’s evaluation of the Walther PPQ No. 277648140 S&W in the July 2013 issue, it looks like the PPX is a simplified and less expensive version of the PPQ. Major differences are the double-action-only PPX is hammer fired, not striker fired. The PPX also uses a conventional button magazine release (reversible) rather than the PPQ’s paddle-style release.

Like the PPQ, the PPX came with two Mec-Gar magazines (16 rounds in 9mm) and a hard plastic case. It lacked the PPQ’s loader and removable backstraps. The PPX will fire without a magazine inserted.

The Kriss Sphinx SDP Compact 9mm Luger, $1295, looks like an improved CZ 75, made from high-quality materials and to Swiss manufacturing standards. It’s the middle child of three SDP pistols, including the Standard and Sub-Compact models. The pistols are similar in make up, outside of size. The Standard is 8.3 inches long with a 4.5-inch barrel, and the Sub-Compact is 6.55 inches long with a 3.13-inch barrel.

The test pistol, the Compact, was 7.4 inches long with a 3.7-inch barrel. In the pipeline supposedly is a Kryptonight Edition, which will have a special finish, Defiance H.A.L.O. (H3 Adaptive Luminescent Optic) green sights with combined fiber-optic and tritium technology, and a 17-round magazine.

The CZ USA CZ 75 P-07 Duty No. 91178 9mm Luger, $528, is one of two new versions of the CZ 75 P-07 Duty that have become available since the last test of the line in October 2010. An OD Green version debuted in April 2012, and a month later, the test gun, the No. 91178, came fitted with a threaded barrel that made it suppressor ready.

With its 1/2×28 threaded muzzle, this version of the P-07 Duty accepts most suppressors made for the U.S. market. Along with this, the sights on this variation are higher than normal so they will clear 1-inch-diameter suppressors. With a can of that size aboard, the staff noted the LPA adjustable rear sight and 0.314-inch-tall front blade provided a good sight picture and allowed shooters to keep both eyes open.

Gun Tests subscribers should receive their printed magazines around the September 25. Subscribers with electronic access can also check to read about this matchup, Publisher Tim Cole said.


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