I picked up a Walther PPK this summer, and I like it a bit more than others in the thread. I use it as a backup pocket pistol in a jacket pocket, usually. Because I teach beginners I find it is a good gun to introduce shooters with small hands to something with a little more recoil than a .22. With a longer barrel it's easier to learn with than the true "pocket pistols."
I've found it to be accurate on drills, even with the single/double trigger. I posted a review online a while back Walther PPK Accuracy and Defensive Test | The Gun Tutor
I have four 380's currently a Colt Govt 380, Beretta 84, Bersa Thunder 380 Plus, and a Ruger LCP, and have previously owned the SIG P230, a Walther PK380, and a Taurus PT58HC. All were fine reliable weapons although built for different purposes. The ultimate for CC would be hands down the LCP although I believe your looking for something a bit larger. Next up in size is the Colt Government model 380, a great weapon but only available on the used market now as colt stopped making them some time ago, You may want to look at the SIG P238 or the new Colt Mustang (basicly the same pistol) though somewhat small in grip size. The Colts and P238 are single stacks and SA only, and must be carried cocked and locked just like a 1911. Next up in size are the SIG P230 and Walther PK380, both are single stacks but DA/SA, both are good reliable weapons, however if you have large hands the SIG P230 like the Walther PPK will give you a good case of slide or hammer bite as in both cases the slides rather close to the web of you hand and are not friendly to folks with large hands. I had no complaints with the Walther PK380 which I sold to make room in the safe for something else. Next up the size scale are the Beretta 84 and the Bersa Thunder Plus. Both are DA/SA firearms with double stack magazines, totally reliable although a bit heavy and some think a little thick in the grip, however this doesn't bother me because of the afore mentioned large hands and having 14 to 16 rounds on hand doesn't hurt matters either when dealing with goblins, here more is always better when were dealing with the 380.
The last up is the Taurus PT58HC which is a DA/SA with a 19 round mag, this pistol was 100% reliable, but was in the same size class as a full sized handgun kind of the same as a Beretta 92 compact except in 380 instead of 9mm so not very practicle. and was sold off again to make room.
I've had my LCP for a while now and just cant get comfortable with it. I'm a pretty good shot with all my other guns but my big hands just cant grip the LCP comfortably. I saw a thread with these grips on a guys LCP and decided to order them for my LCP to see if it helps me improve accuracy. I would never rely on my LCP as my main gun for CCW (SIG .40) but want an accurate back up gun.
I am probably going to sell my LCP and go with a SIG P238 if the new grips dont improve my accuracy with this tiny gun.
Amazon.com: Pearce Grips Gun Fits Ruger LCP Grip Extension: Sports & Outdoors
Amazon.com: Hogue Handall Hyb Lcp: Sports & Outdoors
Started out with a Ruger LCP, which had to much recoil and was just to plain small to handle. Traded it in for a Smith&Wesson Bodyguard, which had the longest trigger pull I have ever felt. Traded that in and I currently have a Bersa Thunder Duotone, which I haven't yet shot but am very much looking forward to it. My collection also includes a Taurus .357 Magnum, a Ruger SR 22, Beretta Px4 Storm Compact 9MM.
I have the same problem, but it is a necessary trade-off for something that will work in a normal pocket. Anything that helps with the feel defeats the original purpose, except the Pierce mag extensions, which do help, some. My hands are large enough that nothing 'feels just right' except a full-sized pistol.
Originally Posted by padom
I have learned to adapt my conventional 'combat grip' so that I can use it without impeding the slide or shooting the end of my thumb off, and by bowing my trigger finger out to use only the pad on the first joint. It isn't comfortable, but I can usually shoot inside a 4" circle at about 10 yards.
If the OP is considering a ppk or ppk/s, consider handling both the current production from S&W, and used ones imported by Interarms. They are easily discernible by looking at the rear tang; S&W versions have an extended tang that eliminates the "Walther bite" common with the German and French versions. I have a S&W version, and agree that it had a few sharp edges. As mine is stainless, these were very easily remedied with a pin file.
Steve's comments on trigger types are something to think about. The DA trigger on mine is rather heavy, and very different from the much lighter SA pull.
I got the blued ppks, the serial indicates a late 80s model. we polished the feed ramp and it shot so nicely. I was just too sketchy on keeping my skin in tack and dont like having something that would bit. my sons as they are about 6 feet 4 & marines so my armory is always open to them. and it had an odd metally smell to it. i gave it away the same week i got it to my range friend, wendy.
i really wanted a smaller carry so i got the ruger sr22. im very happy with that little gun. havent rethought the .380
i tried that too and thought it was an obnoxious little gun.
Originally Posted by PistolChick86
Did you end up trading it in for something? If so, what did you decide to get and are you sticking with it?
Originally Posted by shotlady
A little late to this discussion but would +1 the 84/85 Beretta Cheetah line, P232 and honorable mention to the LCP if you can shoot it comfortably. I would add that for me the Sig P232 alloy frame version is pocketable in dress pants, cargo shorts, etc. I know it doesn't seem like it would work but the weight, thickness and shape despite it's size works well. Pleated docker type pants or cargo type shorts it disappears and the weight is just light enough. The stainless version would be too heavy in my opinion for the pocket. As a pocket application gun I find the heel mag release location a positive in this instance and the weapon is large enough to be very shootable. YMMV
Re: Whcih 380 would you choose or have made?
Just installed the Hogue grip and the Pearce mag extensions on my Ruger LCP and it feels like a new gun. Much better grip, very comfortable.
Have to go to the range now and test accuracy. If this improves my accuracy I will keep it as back up gun otherwise I will sell it and put the money towards a Sig P238.
Today I held the bersa thunder and the cheetah 84fs
the SA trigger pull is just a bit smoother on the cheetah
the DA trigger pull seemed to be about the same. If there was a pound difference I couldn't feel it.
the thing that I liked best was that your index finger pushes down to disengage the safety on the Cheetah but your finger has to push UP to disengage the safety on the Bersa.
Drawing the pistol from a holster.... I wonder how many people have an index finger strong enough to push up on the safety.
seems that two hands were required
Re: Whcih 380 would you choose or have made?
My answer to your original question is a Makarov. Although i prefer them in the 9x18. Nice and alim. Smaller than my other FS (even the compact) double stacks.
8+1. Easy on the hands (for me) for recoil.
Sights are piss poor hard to see.
And the safety is down for off (if you choose to carry safety engaged), which for me means, a natural action during the draw stroke. Pushing up for safety of was never right for me.
So, of a med/full size .380ish, that is my choice. Probably be what i go back to of i reach the age where arthritis comes into play.
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned a Bersa Thunder 380,,,
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the Bersa Thunder 380,,,
Mine is a great little pistol that simply does not malfunction.
Now having said that, I absolutely love my Beretta 85,,,
It's like Mr. Beretta snuck in and took a mold of my hand.
The Beretta has less felt recoil than the Bersa,,,
But it also costs more than twice the money.
New Bersa's are around $285.00,,,
New Beretta's (84 or 85) are over $700.00.
The Beretta fits my hand perfectly,,,
The Bersa fits my hand nicely,,,
I hit well with either gun.
New Beretta pistols only have a three year warranty,,,
New Bersa pistols have a lifetime warranty for the original owner.
I have the Bersa Thunder duo-tone 380. Had lots of FT-etc issues. Replaced recoil spring and that cured all the issues except for last round failure. Bought a new Bersa mag since I wanted two and only one came with purchase. Same problem. Ordered two new mag springs (ps: cleaning didn't help). Haven't got to the range to test it further yet. I can't polish the feed ramp because of the iodized coating (wish I had not got the duo tone for this purpose). But the feed ramp appears ok, I just like to have them slick as snot as a rule. At any rate, I am thinking of getting the Kahr CW380 since it is a couple inches shorter than the BT380 and shorter grip for ease of pocket carry. I figure my PX4 40 cal is the cold weather carry, the BT for late spring and early fall carry, and the cw380 for hot weather minimum clothing carry. Can't carry a full size 40 cal w/o printing in hot weather very well. The cw380 is supposed to be great for +p. I can't find one to shoot so figure a Hogue will ease that issue if it is there. My BT380 handles the +p fine and can shoot it all day.
I carry a Ruger LCP IWB during cooler weather, target round in the pipe and 6 hollow points in the mag.
Then a Sig Sauer P230 .380 OWB when it's hot enough to sweat Elsie rusty in the summer, 7 hollow points in mag and nothing chambered
My two favorite .380's are my Beretta 84 FS and my Sig Sauer P238.
I've had a lot of .380's and IMHO, nothing beats the Beretta 84 (Pick a variant) and it's closed slide "brother", the Browning BDA380. If you look around, and wait, you can find either of them in decent used condition, for about $300. I bought an 84BB a couple of years ago, in "85%" condition, for $289. A friend recently bought a BDA380 for $329, in excellent (I would say 90%) shape. Both shoot anything you put in them, as long as it's loadable. I've had one FTF, due to a severely out of round case. This was the same cause of the only failures I had with my previous 84 and my BDA380's, going back to about 1980.
My vote is for the Sig P238... simply on another level than most other .380's (Beretta's are very nice too), also in another price range than most. Worth every penny imo. The dependability and quality you expect from a Sig in the palm of your hand.
I have an old German-made, Armaloy plated, Walther PPK-S in 380 ACP. It is utterly reliable and has never failed me; but it's, also, blow-back operated and, quite frankly, kicks, 'like a mule'.
Originally Posted by hideit
NOT all Walther PPK-S pistols are, 'the best'. When Interarms began manufacturing them, here, in America and, 'under license' they screwed a lot of them up. Many of the early, American-made, Interarms AND Smith & Wesson pistols have uncorrectable feed ramp problems. So, when you look at old Walthers you have to be careful. It's only the German-made pistols (many of them imported by Interarms and stamped accordingly) that are actually superior little pistols.
New Walthers? They've got some MIM parts in them; but, they work fine. By the way, this is just a personal observation on my part; but, as of now, I've never met anyone who enjoys shooting a Ruger LCP. Carry? Yes, but not actually using for, say, an extended practice session.
May I ask, 'Why' you're so enamored with 9mm Kurz? It's NOT a great self-defense caliber? In fact I only carry mine (with two extra magazines) when I'm wearing a lightweight suit - Which, nowadays, ain't all that often. Perhaps, an honest-to-goodness 9 x 19mm pistol would suit BOTH your hands and your needs a whole lot better!
To answer your last question: Personally I'm not a SIG fan. I don't like alloy frames; and I don't like the premium prices SIG pistols command. I've, also, had to repair a few of them; and, once taken apart, I've seen too many metal stampings and tool marks on the inside. I don't remember seeing any MIM parts; but, I wasn't looking for them; and, somehow, I think they must have been present - especially in two, 'Mosquitoes' that I repaired.
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