Gabby Franco likes to think she may have played a role in the development of Walther’s new PDP F-Series. “I love it,” she said, when asked about the new firearm designed for women and for shooters with smaller hands.
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In a video featuring Walther pro shooters Gabby – along with Tatiana Whitlock and Michelle Waldron – she talks to Cody Osborne (former marketing manager for Walther) about conducting training for female state troopers. The women used .45 caliber handguns, and Gabby said, “They were proficient and handled the guns well. However, I saw potential for them to do even better with a different type of gun.”
A few months later, Cody called her and told her about the PDP F Series in the works. She thought, “Oh my goodness! This is the holy grail!” Then, she visited a range where she shot a prototype to give Walther’s team further input.
Cody said he remembered that conversation about the female law enforcement shooters with Gabby. He said, “You had all female law enforcement officers. They’re handed this .45 caliber gun … tough to shoot, especially new shooters … we know when a gun doesn’t fit us, we see it. We can see it down range on the targets and you can feel it in your hands.” He then elaborated about how law enforcement agencies tailor gear such as body armor, boots, belts and other apparel for women officers. “But, this gun here, this is what you’re going to defend your life with … why doesn’t anything exist for this?”
Gabby believes Walther took her comments “to heart.” She added, “People at Walther really listened about my, and other women’s, suggestions about the grip. They moved the trigger of the PDP back! When I used to shoot my 2011s, which are big guns, my gunsmith got me a full trigger and he filed it so much that you could barely see it. In a sense, Walther accomplished similar results. Engineers moved the trigger back without compromising reliability and quality. Now, many shooters can have a better trigger reach with the F-series essential to shooting fast and accurate. Moreover, this pistol can still use standard PDP and PPQ magazines. Being able to shoot a standard frame gun without readjusting my grip feels awesome! I am thankful to Walther’s team who put thought and effort into this project.”
When asked why it matters to women (and those people with medium- to smaller-hands) to have a gun with a more accommodating grip, she answered, “For starters, the PDP F-series puts us at the same level with people who don’t have to adjust their hands to reach the trigger. It levels things out. For instance, when I have to adjust my grip, most of the recoil goes into the thenar eminence (mound of flesh in the palm at the base of the thumb). That also means, that I have to put a lot more effort to control recoil, especially in my support hand. Conversely, the whole back part of my palm is receiving the recoil with the F-series, instead of into my little thumb.”
Walther designed the PDP F-Series, working with female shooters, to fit a woman’s hands. Three specific features make it female-friendly. First, Walther paid attention to the grip angle. It allows for a higher grip on the gun. Second, it narrowed the grip circumference slightly. Third, it shortened the reach for the trigger. This combination allows for a more improved grip control, just as Gabby asserted.
It’s not only women – there are many men who have short fingers and medium-hand size. Many men will start shooting the PDP F-series because it will fit them like a glove. This also is a gun that will work great for young shooters.
Gabby noted, “The PDP F-series uses the same competition magazines that I use on my PPQ. That’s phenomenal. I don’t think there’s anything like it in the market.”
Gabby shot a Walther GSP .22 caliber firearm in the Olympics, and she believes the excellent quality of the line carries over into the consumers market. “If somebody knows how to make triggers, it’s Walther!” she said.
Gabby, Tatiana and Michelle appear in videos regarding the design of the gun. Other features that make this fun comfortable in a hand include superterrain serrations (less aggressive), reduced force racking system (20% reduction in racking force), performance duty texture,
the newly designed grip, red-dot ready capability and modularity (two frame sizes and three slide lengths).
The F-Series comes in 3.5-inch and 4-inch barrels, and retails for $699.
Find out more about the PDP F-Series here.
Visit Gabby Franco online.