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  1. #1
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    Rediscovering the .380acp Walther PPK

    I got the itch to pull out one of my more neglected guns today and take it to the range. I dusted off one of my .380acp Walther PPK's and took it shooting. It really made me realize why I have always felt this is one of the most underrated carry guns on the market. With all my other guns the PPK has been kind of pushed to the side as of late.

    I enjoyed the gun so much today that I thought I would do a quick range review on it for people that may have overlooked this little gem in the past.

    FORM: What needs be said about the PPK that has not been said before. It is hands down one of the most beautiful guns ever made and has earned it's reputation as a true classic.

    FEATURES: The little PPK actually has some nice features. It has a good DA/SA trigger, exposed hammer, decocker, and a manual safety for those that like them. The extended tang on the newer models like this one also take care of that old slide bite problem.

    The only thing I have added to the gun is a nice set of wood grips.

    FIT: The PPK's are very nicely put together. They are very solid and tolerances are tight and even. You just can't beat them.

    FUNCTION: These little guns really shine when it comes to performance. I fired every time I pulled the trigger and gave me no problems. I did get one FTF but it was operator error. I was racking the slide and let it slip out of my sweaty hand. It was 96 degrees here today.

    It was also very accurate for such a small gun. I was shooting better than 50% at 8" steel spinners from 25-30 yards. I think people really underestimate the long range ability of this gun and think that it is just a belly gun. That is just not the case.

    You can just pull this little gun out and start firing. It points so easily and shoots so soft that it is so easy to empty a whole mag in almost no time right on target. It is not the most powerful round but it is powerful enough that the accuracy and ease of shooting make you very confident in it's ability to stop a threat.

    FLAWS: I just do not find flaws in this gun design. I am a huge fan of it and think it is nearly perfect. Sorry, but I just really like this design.

    FINAL IMPRESSION: This is a gun every collector should have in their safe. It is also a gun that anyone the carries should take a good look at when search for their CCW. It is small/easily concealed, solid, well made, reliable, accurate, and capable. It also has both a decocker and a safety for the more timid. Then add on top of that the fact that it is a true classic and one of the best looking guns ever and you have a real winner.

    It was nice "rediscovering" this firearm today. I do not know why I overlooked it for so long but it just got lost in the shuffle. I am thinking this gun just earned it's way back into the carry rotation.


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  3. #2
    Baldy's Avatar
    Baldy is offline Senior Member
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    Nothing in the world wrong with that little pistol. The wife carried a Mauser hsc which is a lot like the PPK for many years.

  4. #3
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    I'll dissent a bit and say that the PPK does have a few issues:

    1. It is hit-and-miss in terms of reliability. Some work great, some poorly.
    2. It leaves slide tracks on the hands of some shooters.
    3. The sights are mediocre.
    4. The trigger is usually very heavy.
    5. The safety/decocking dingus works backwards.
    6. It's very big and heavy for a .380, at least by modern standards. For a gun that size, I can carry a 9mm or a .40 in a modern pistol.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  5. #4
    James NM's Avatar
    James NM is offline Senior Member
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    The PPK line is a true classic. No, it's not a modern pistol, but the PPK has stood the test of time.

    I just recently picked up a PPK/s made in West Germany in 1978, imported by Interarms. Blue, LNIB, and just plain sexeeee. Like I said, a true classic.

  6. #5
    submoa is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    1. It is hit-and-miss in terms of reliability. Some work great, some poorly.
    German made are the best, Maruhins were mediocre, S&W inconsistent.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    2. It leaves slide tracks on the hands of some shooters.
    Come on, PPK slide bites draw blood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    3. The sights are mediocre.
    Black PPK sights are almost invisible out of daylight. SS are marginally better.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    4. The trigger is usually very heavy.
    DA trigger is heavy. SA trigger is actually not bad.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    5. The safety/decocking dingus works backwards.
    Rotates the same way as M9.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    6. It's very big and heavy for a .380, at least by modern standards. For a gun that size, I can carry a 9mm or a .40 in a modern pistol.
    Its a metal framed gun.

    I too am an admirer of the PPK. Its probably one the most aesthetic handguns made.

    Aside from the above, the PPK does not have an external slide stop lever and you have to fight to remove the slide to field strip when new.

    Of the PPK clones (Bersa, SIG, etc), I like the Sphinx AT-380 (10rd mags, dao) the best:


  7. #6
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    Come on, PPK slide bites draw blood.
    My old Interarms version and my uncles German made one both bit me terribly. Neither of my S&W imports bite me at all. The extended tang does it's job very well.

  8. #7
    OMSBH44 is offline Member
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    Post

    I'm glad to see you have not yet had problems with your's. Mine was a
    Jamm-a-matic. It even coughed on round-nose FMJ factory loads. I could
    not get it to fire my reloads reliably, no matter what type of bullet I used.

    I wished it had an external slide stop/release.

    On the plus side, I liked that it was all metal and felt really good in my hand.
    It fired factory hollow-point rounds just fine.

    I gave up and sold the little thing.

    Good luck with yours in the future.

  9. #8
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by submoa View Post
    Rotates the same way as M9.
    Like I said, backwards.

    Its a metal framed gun.
    Right. Old school design that has been surpassed, at least from a practical standpoint.

    Its probably one the most aesthetic handguns made.
    So is the Colt SAA, but I wouldn't carry one for defense.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  10. #9
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    So is the Colt SAA, but I wouldn't carry one for defense.
    Oh..oh...I would. In a heartbeat if open carry was acceptable.

  11. #10
    submoa is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    Like I said, backwards.
    Hey, we both hate slide mounted safeties.

  12. #11
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by submoa View Post
    Hey, we both hate slide mounted safeties.
    I don't even call it a safety. I call it a dingus.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  13. #12
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    I don't even call it a safety. I call it a dingus.
    I just call it a de-cocker. I never use it as a safety.

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