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Two reasons, one physical, one rational.
I have arthritis in the large joint of both of my thumbs. It only rarely bothers me except when I have "reach" with either thumb, and like some others here, I have to break my grip to get my thumb over the release button, and on bad days it's painful to rack the slide.

Rationally, when dropping a mag and replacing it, there is only one digit that is doing absolutely nothing, and that is the trigger finger. Since I like to maintain the same grip throughout my shooting, it costs me nothing in that regard to simply drop my index to the paddle below, then immediately back to the rest position below the slide, and a firm grip is maintained throughout. Moving a thumb all the way around the grip surface is another matter altogether, as your grip is reduced to some of your palm, your pinky, and ring and middle fingers only.
 

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I can use the button model just fine, but it does hurt my thumb joint, and I like not having to shift the gun in my hand. I can drop the mag on my P99 without moving anything except the trigger finger, and for me it's faster.
 

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Anyone want to take a shot at explaining this?
I like the paddle release just fine - having two pistols with it - but for “training” purposes I would prefer to have all on one type. And given a choice on them I would have got the “button.”

With that said the M2 button is (IMHO) far superior for many reasons. Simple, easy, quick. Perhaps the fact I’ve always had them is a big reason but it would seem a hard system to improve on.

Yet here is this forum I hear quite a bit from a subset about how they wish this pistol or that one would have a paddle. Extolling the existence of the paddle but never quite saying why. Even so far as to not buying a pistol because it doesn’t have one.

Any logical reasons for this preference or is it a “just because?”
I have small hands and cannot reach the button on the M2 … or a Glock 43... or most other guns … with my thumb. However, I can reach a paddle with my index/trigger finger on any gun that has a paddle … and it makes sense to do so since the trigger finger shouldn't be in the trigger guard, anyway, during a magazine change.

Thus, for me, the preference is purely ergonomic -- as it means I can perform magazine release/drop with a single hand using a paddle … leaving my off-hand free to pull the spare magazine from its holster and move it into position for loading. Together, these mean faster magazine changes with paddle guns than with button guns for me, since button guns require two hands for me to release/drop the magazine.

Most paddle guns are also ambidextrous at all times -- meaning no swapping the button from one side to the other. This is important because one may not always have the use of one's primary hand (due to disablement) and, thus, may need to rely on the off-hand. In such cases, a button gun with a swappable button usable only from one side (like most have) … is a significant drawback if the pistol needs to be in the off-hand and the mag needs to be dropped; a paddle gun has no such issue.

And by the way, I have 7 stitches in my primary hand (where the thumb connects to the hand) as I type this … thanks to a recent tractor accident. I've been carrying my EDC (PPS M1) on my weak side since the accident -- without having to modify the pistol, at all. And yes, I train lefty, as well, and the effort instantly became worth its weight in gold after the accident … as did having a pistol with an ambi paddle mag release.
 

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It's pretty simple.


The Walther PPQ was originally designed (as many handguns are) as a service pistol. This means it was intended for law enforcement or potential military sales, in large batches.


When you're designing a service handgun which may go to an organization with 10, 15, 20,000+ officers or agents, you want the gun to be as ambidextrous and usable as possible. This limits the time a gun spends being swapped or modified in an armory to suit or fit an agent/officer. This where the PPQ shines as a service gun design.


The slide release/lock is long by comparison to many guns, but it's reachable for almost any shooter, and it's ambidextrous. The backstraps are interchangeable, and the paddle magazine release is naturally ambidextrous and likewise can be used by anyone who can comfortable grip the pistol. Larger hands can use middle fingers, while smaller hands can use pointer/trigger fingers, etc.


If you've ever used a push-button "ambidextrous" magazine release you'll know they're seldom good. You're pushing something inside with two springs and it's not a very pleasant mag release. The lever is an easier, more logical ambidextrous option (even if you have a gun like the current PPQ which can be swapped from one side to the other).


If you give a PPQ (M1) to a new officer or agent you change one thing: backstrap. The rest of your time is spent on firearms training. It makes the levered PPQ a solid design for basic issue use.


Myself? I learned to "really" shoot in a law enforcement capacity, and I was issued an HK P2000 which had a lever magazine release. It was different to my Walther's (I used my middle finger on the P2000, where I tend to use my trigger finger on my PPQ). After leaving service, there was no point in me going out of my way to change my muscle memory having trained for many years and thousands of rounds using a paddle release.


One design is not inherently better or worse, but occasionally you need to consider the macro-level of sales/utility when wondering why a gun has a certain design. I do think the paddle is a more efficient way to design a mass-issued firearm, but it's obviously not a serious issue or everyone would design their guns that way.
 

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I like the mag. Release on my pps gen.1 and my p99. To me much easier and quicker to use. I can use the normal button release on my other pistols fine, just like the paddle release more.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Moot point now I guess. Did a little Arsenal reorg and my “carry 9’s” are now both P99’s and, of course, both with the paddle release so I guess I’d better learn to love it. P99 fanboy so I guess I’m a paddle guy now.
No real issue with the paddle my only thing is now I have a mix of guns with both types of mag release. Besides have used a mag button for decades.
Sounds like a training issue for me and I’d better keep a clear head when the SHTF.
 

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No real issue with the paddle my only thing is now I have a mix of guns with both types of mag release. Besides have used a mag button for decades.
Sounds like a training issue for me
Now you just need to ad a P38 or P5 (get both ;)).

My collection is a mix of button, paddle, and heal release and I've never noticed any problem with confusing them.
 

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Now you just need to ad a P38 or P5 (get both ;)).

My collection is a mix of button, paddle, and heal release and I've never noticed any problem with confusing them.
And don’t forget the random release CCP...it’s always fun to spice things up a bit with unknown variables.
 

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Buttons are unjustified but for the reason of convention. “It’s how it is on other guns” is the ONLY reason for buttons. They are inferior. Period.

Paddles, especially the Walther P99 paddles are so much easier to use for every size hand, it screams “use me”. And it is completely Ambi in the most reliable manner. Buttons don’t bone close . It cracks me up when people tout buttons but own firearms where they must shift their grip. I wear large gloves and have to shift my grip slightly on almost all my button guns. It MIGHT work for you if you have monkey thumbs or on a gun like the PPQ, but for most people the forefinger on a paddle guarantees you won’t move your hands position.

I cringe when I see reviewers who SHOULD know better and attempt to use their THUMB and end up short on a paddle. This is too stupid.

Even guys with long fingers do fine with the Walther paddle. It’s better in every way.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Wow. Well I couldn’t disagree more but it’s a free country - for now.
Use what you please.
 

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Wow. Well I couldn’t disagree more but it’s a free country - for now.
Use what you please.
You asked for reasoning to counter this button craze, so..you get it ;)

As for using what you please..it's been said here..."one size doesn't fit all".

I've had several button guns, even a PPQ Navy, and also including a S&W M&P, XD-S, G19, borrowed a friend's Shield for a few weeks...

I keep coming back to my paddle Walther guns, especially my PPS.
I've also been using the P99c more lately, on my days off, traveling, in a dual gun setup.

I've got above average sized hands, every gun mentioned above, save the Shield required me to shift my grip to drop the mags. The Shield felt cheap, but that's not the point here.

I'll never give up my paddle guns, though I might try others. The PPS is my ride or die safety tool. Don't think you (belly)button fan boys will be talking me out of it, now, next week, or ever. ;):D
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Uhhh. No.
It was the excitable “tone” of the post I was commenting on and the use of buzz words.
In any case almost all weapon communities have their “excitable types” (there are other terms for it) about certain things and features.
Except the Rimfire community. They have always seemed the most grounded.
 

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I used strong definitive words, not emotion. Not really excitable.

The case is clear for the paddle. It fits more hands well, is mechanically better for ambi construction, it keeps your hand stable while reloading (especially the Walther LONG paddle), and it gives you MUCH better leverage than ANY button.

Again, the only reason to prefer buttons over the Walther paddle is convention. And that my friend is a GOOD REASON for their use in your guns.

I'm just arguing straightforward facts wrt their differences.

Do I have MORE button guns. OF COURSE. They are worse but useable. I have them for other reasons.
 
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