Sometimes I write product reviews on my blog, and sometimes I write about DIY projects. This post is a little bit of both.
I recently purchased a pair of Walther PPQ 9mm pistols. I love them. I’ve owned a Walther PPK for years, and as much as I love it, the PPQ is a better choice for what I want to do with it. The European PPQs come with metal night sights, but in order to minimize the number of imported pieces on the gun (Google “gun import restrictions” to see why that’s even an issue), Smith and Wesson (who imported the first batch of PPQs for Walther) slapped a cheapo set of plastic sights on the PPQ… that don’t even glow in the dark.
But that’s fixable. If you have more money than brains, you can purchase the stock metal night sights from Walther for $145. Granted, they look great on the gun, but many have complained that they’re not bright enough, and since I had to buy two sets, it didn’t make sense to pay a premium for sights that looked great, but didn’t glow sufficiently.
That left Trijicon and Meprolight as the two front runners for the job, and since I’ve had nothing but good luck with the Trijs in the past, that’s the route I went: Trijicon WP01 – designed for the P99 and PPQ. They were $97 per set through Amazon, meaning I saved nearly $100 purchasing two sets of Trijicons over the Walthers.
To remove the polymer stock sights and install the Trijicons, you’ll need the following:
- 1.3mm Allen wrench (I purchased this set from Amazon for $8)
- A pair of plyers
- A small flathead screwdriver (as in jeweler’s style-small)
- A few dabs of Uncle Mike’s Gun Tite (which is made by Loctite and is literally identical to Loctite Blue — so buy whatever you can find that’s cheapest)
- A 3/16 x 60mm precision nut driver (I got one as part of a set when I purchased my Glock rear sight tool set)
Step 1: Break Down the Pistol
Verify the pistol is not loaded, then field strip the pistol. Ideally, you already should know how to field strip every firearm you own, but look on YouTube for videos of how to do this if you’re new to the PPQ.
Step 2: Remove the Factory Front Polymer Sight
Flip the slide over and look at the bottom of the front sight.
Using the 1.3mm Allen wrench, unscrew the tiny Allen screw and remove it. Pinch the flat sides of the bottom of the front sight together slightly. Flip the slide upright and grip the front sight gently with the plyers and wiggle it out.
Step 3: Install the Trijicon Front Sight
Using the 3/16 x 60mm nut driver (or a Glock front sight tool), remove the screw from the Trijicon front sight. Holding it in the nut driver, apply 1-2 drops of GunTite onto the threads.
Place the new front sight in the oval hole on top of the slide, then pick up the slide with your non-dominant hand, holding the new front sight in place with your index finger. With your dominant hand, place the screw and tighten it partially. Verify visually that the front sight is straight (it helps to use the lines on top of the slide as a reference), and then tighten the screw fully. Be careful to not overtighten. These screws can strip or break easily. Just get it snug, and let the GunTite do its job of helping hold it in place.
Step 4: Remove the Factory Polymer Rear Sight
Holding the slide in your left hand, use the small jeweler’s flat head screwdriver to loosen the adjustment screw on the right side of the rear sight. Note that this screw is reverse threaded, so you’ll have to turn it clockwise to loosen. Once the screw is approximately half-way removed, use the tip of the screwdriver to press down on the spring-loaded retaining pin that is holding the head of the screw in place. Push the head of the screw (which will push the rear right) gently to the left of the slide, then slowly release the spring-loaded retaining pin. Continue pushing rear site laterally to free it from the slide. Remove the adjustment screw from the stock rear sight.
Step 5: Install the Trijicon Rear Sight
Insert and tighten the adjustment screw in the Trijicon rear sight about half way.
Insert the rear sight into the slide’s rear channel from the left side. It shouldn’t require a lot of force. Continue pushing the rear slide into place until the adjustment screw touches the retaining pin. Press down on the retaining pin (either with the screwdriver or a fingernail) and continue pushing the slide until the adjustment screw can hold down the edge of the pin, then release the retaining pin and push the slide until it clicks into place. Tighten the reverse-threaded adjustment screw by turning counter-clockwise, until your sight picture is close to accurate.
Next time you go to the range, be sure to take the small screwdriver with you so that you can do any final adjustments to the rear sight.
Step 6: Turn Off the Lights
Now is the moment you’ve been waiting for! Re-assemble your PPQ, turn off the lights, and admire your handy work.
Congratulations! You’ve replaced your factory plastic sights on your Walther PPQ with Trijicon night sights!
I like a lot of things about these Trijicon night sights. They’re a good value. They glow brightly. I like the bright white rings around the vials, making it easy to use as a daytime sight. They’re strong enough (and shaped properly) to allow you to rack the slide with one hand on your belt. And as you’ve seen here, they’re easy to install. Based on my previous experience with Trijicon sights, they should glow for at least 10 years.
My only complaint is that they do look a bit bulky on the PPQ, and I have to admit they mess with the lines of the gun from the rear. This is completely cosmetic, of course, but something to consider if that will bother you enough to make it worth paying extra for a “factory” look by purchasing the factor Walther night sights designed for the PPS (which work fine on the PPQ).
I welcome your comments below!