Part of the UMAREX "ProSecur" line of self-defense products, the Walther PDP Personal Defense Pistol is a discreet yet very intimidating and powerful pepper spray jet dispenser - now available on the International market
UMAREX first introduced the Walther PDP at the 2016 edition of the IWA OutdoorClassics expo in Nuremberg, Germany; PDP stands for "Personal Defense Pistol", but despite the name, we are not looking at a firearm.
The Walther PDP is a rechargeable pepper (Oleoresin Capsicum) spray gun, part of the company's ProSecur line of personal defense products and conceived specifically for the commercial market; and while its features make it viable as a less-than-lethal option for law enforcement or private security personnel, it's the average citizen the Walther PDP is most markedly aimed to.
Strictly speaking, the Walther PDP consists in two elements: the dispenser and the pepper spray catridge.
And the reason why the fine folks at UMAREX decided to brand it with the Walther name – Carl Walther GmbH being owned by UMAREX and part of the PW Group – is clear at a first glance: the dispenser is designed to replicate the look and feel of Walther's latest compact pistols, particularly in terms of ergonomics and pointability.
The Walther PDP is merely 125 mm / 4.9" long, 29 mm / 1.1" wide, 120 mm / 4.7" high, and weighs in at barely 107 grams (3.77 oz) when empty and around 112 grams (3.95 oz) when loaded with a pepper spray catridge. This makes it a perfectly carriable item for 24/7 personal defense.
The baseline variant of the walther PDP is black, but a pink and a white variant are available for those jurisdictions that prohibit the public carry of items whose look realistically imitates that of a firearm.
The Walther PDP personal defense pistol is also extremely easy and intuitive to operate, offering just three controls: the trigger, the grip safety, and a top-mounted sliding lever.
The sliding lever allows the top portion (a.k.a. the "barrel") of the PDP to break open for loading. The spray canister is simply inserted in the barrel, with the nozzle down, before closing the upper portion – which features two see-through windows on the sides to allow the user to easily spot the kind of canister that's inserted by the color of the label: black is for a standard pepper spray cartridge, red is for a pepper gel cartridge, white is for a water-based training cartridge.
Pulling the trigger will engage a lever which will push the canister forward within the top assembly of the Walther PDP, literally squeezing it and letting out a stream of irritant spray. The canister can be depleted in a single, long pull, or shorter and controlled pulls can be practiced to "fire" more than one jet.
The grip safety automatically disengages when the PDP is handled correctly, and prevents accidental discharges – a kind of feature that's mandatory for civilian-legal Oleoresin Capsicum pepper sprays in many Countries, particularly in Europe.
The canisters themselves are manufactured out of aluminum, are sold with a rubber protective cap, and feature a red plastic nozzle. They are available in three variant: a standard pepper spray, a pepper-based gel solution, and a water-based inert concoction for training.
Each cartridge holds 11 ml (0.37 fl.oz.) of Oleoresin Capsicum based compound, with a 10% OC content and a 2 million SHU (Scoville Heat Unit) pungency rating – which makes it one of the strongest pepper sprays available on the market, considering that most Police-grade pepper sprays value from 500,000 up to 1 million SHU.
Regardless from the payload variant, the Walther PDP propels a very concentrated and accurate stream whose range can vary between 3 meters (9.8 ft.) and 6 meters (16.4 ft.).
Both the standard pepper spray and the pepper gel are also additioned with an UV marker that allows the identification of the person hit by the stream for hours after the use of the Walther PDP. The solution is very hard to wash off, so an attacker that's been fended off with a PDP will remain identifiable by law enforcement for a long time.
Furthermore, the pepper gel payload is also additioned with a non-toxic red paint that allows positive visual identification of the person that's hit by the stream, and is extremely sticky to enhance the effect of the compound. The standard pepper spray mix will be effective on the target for about 30 minutes – even more for the gel.
When compared to the vast majority of competing products, the Walther PDP offers a significative deterrent effect – the "look and feel" of a firearm can be threatening enough against a mugger in a dark alley to stop the aggression immediately without even being used – and is more practical than standard pepper spray canisters or even spray pens: the necessary movements to point and operate a pistol are simply more natural than those necessary to operate a standard spray can, and it's impossible for the users to get confused and spray themselves under stress.
The payload formula is compliant to the laws of most jurisdictions that allow private ownership, carry and use of pepper spray for personal defense against muggers or aggressive animals. Of course, prospective customers should always check their local laws and regulations to make sure that both pepper sprays and objects that imitate firearms are not banned from ownership or carry.
The Walther PDP and its canisters are already available for purchase in several Countries in northern Europe – most notably France, Germany and Poland – with export available towards those Countries where this kind of item is legal. Distribution elsewhere is due to start in the coming months: check out with your closest authorized UMAREX dealer for local availability and price.