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Author Topic: Walther PPK .380 as Backup  (Read 3898 times)

Mississippi556

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Walther PPK .380 as Backup
« on: August 12, 2019, 03:47:53 pm »
I know, I know, .380 small frame pistols are difficult to shoot well.  And they don't have the whump of 9mm or larger calibers.  But, as a backup for 15 yards, heck more like 7 yards, they might serve.

Walther is now making the beautiful little 3" barrel PPK in Arkansas.  It's just a gorgeous little piece of steel artwork.  Only 6 shots.  Recoil might be manageable as it is 22 ounces of steel.

They ain't cheap for a .380 "pocket pistol" at about $650.

I have to admit that after seeing one in a LGS I'm more attracted to the eye candy gorgeousness of the thing and its European M&P history.  (Forget about the James Bond connection).

Thoughts?

My carry is either a Glock G22 or a Belgian FN Browning Hi-Power 9mm.  I'm thinking the little Walther would nicely complement the Hi-Power.
Mississippi"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe"  Words of Jesus, Luke 11:21 (ESV).

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    Raptor

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #1 on: August 12, 2019, 06:38:49 pm »
    The new Walther Arms PPKs are supposed to be good stuff (the old S&W-made ones were apparently teh sux). I'd go for it.

    Back when I took my Defensive Pistol class, our instructor (a veteran LEO, can't remember if he was retired or not) told us that his preferred "backup carry" setup when off-duty was a .32 Beretta Tomcat in his back pocket. Than way, if he ever got mugged, it looked like he was complying and reaching for his wallet rather than drawing his pistol. I can see a standard-size PPK (not the PPK/S) filling the same role.
    PennsylvaniaNon Timebo Mala -- I Will Fear No Evil

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    MTK20

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #2 on: August 12, 2019, 06:47:36 pm »
    They are beautiful, though I've never shot one.

    I still would like a Sig P238 or P938. It's been damn hot to carry a BUG lately, but my preferred is the Smith and Wesson 642 .
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
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    coelacanth

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #3 on: August 13, 2019, 12:11:53 am »
    Haven't shot one of the new ones but the old ones were a straight blow back action and had more recoil than it seemed they had any right to given the cartridge.  Not completely uncontrollable, mind you, but not particularly pleasant for a day at the range either.   Might have been just the way the gun fit me - or didn't - YMMV.  The sights were pretty rudimentary but probably adequate for a BUG.  Wouldn't be my choice for a concealment piece but it also wouldn't be the first time I bought something because it sang sweetly to me with little thought given to its utility. 

    If its tickles your fancy, go for it.   :cool
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    Mississippi556

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #4 on: August 13, 2019, 04:39:27 pm »
    Thanks for the replies.  I have also looked at the Sig P238, but lean toward the PPK.  Yep, the PPK is a true blow-back action.  That's not all bad.  There are complaints by those who grip it too high that the slide can do evil things to the web between thumb and index finger!  I've been forewarned.
    Mississippi"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe"  Words of Jesus, Luke 11:21 (ESV).

    Raptor

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #5 on: August 13, 2019, 06:22:49 pm »
    Thanks for the replies.  I have also looked at the Sig P238, but lean toward the PPK.  Yep, the PPK is a true blow-back action.  That's not all bad.  There are complaints by those who grip it too high that the slide can do evil things to the web between thumb and index finger!  I've been forewarned.

    The newer versions (including, I believe, the new Walther Arms ones) have a slightly lengthened beavertail on the frame that mitigates (if not alleviates altogether) the slide-bite issue.

    That said, having shot the SIG P238 and a pair of not-quite-PPK's (SIG P232 and a Makarov), if given the option, I'd take the P238. Lighter weight, better trigger, and surprisingly little recoil. But that's just my $0.02.
    PennsylvaniaNon Timebo Mala -- I Will Fear No Evil

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    MTK20

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #6 on: August 13, 2019, 09:03:16 pm »
    The newer versions (including, I believe, the new Walther Arms ones) have a slightly lengthened beavertail on the frame that mitigates (if not alleviates altogether) the slide-bite issue.

    That said, having shot the SIG P238 and a pair of not-quite-PPK's (SIG P232 and a Makarov), if given the option, I'd take the P238. Lighter weight, better trigger, and surprisingly little recoil. But that's just my $0.02.

     Works for me. That's really all the validation I need to run out and buy one  :neener .
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    Mississippi556

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #7 on: August 13, 2019, 10:39:12 pm »
    The newer versions (including, I believe, the new Walther Arms ones) have a slightly lengthened beavertail on the frame that mitigates (if not alleviates altogether) the slide-bite issue.

    That said, having shot the SIG P238 and a pair of not-quite-PPK's (SIG P232 and a Makarov), if given the option, I'd take the P238. Lighter weight, better trigger, and surprisingly little recoil. But that's just my $0.02.

    The extra weight is not a concern, but the trigger is.  Thanks for the observation.  I’ll look into that on both the PPK and the P238.
    Mississippi"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe"  Words of Jesus, Luke 11:21 (ESV).

    Kaso

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #8 on: August 13, 2019, 11:26:42 pm »
    Haven't shot one of the new ones but the old ones were a straight blow back action and had more recoil than it seemed they had any right to given the cartridge.  Not completely uncontrollable, mind you, but not particularly pleasant for a day at the range either.   
    In what seems to be an increasingly rare occurrence, I agree with coelacanth on this.  In a word, a .380 PPK's recoil is 'obscene.'  Not so with the .32 models, but that is to be expected.

    The newer versions (including, I believe, the new Walther Arms ones) have a slightly lengthened beavertail on the frame that mitigates (if not alleviates altogether) the slide-bite issue.

    That said, having shot the SIG P238 and a pair of not-quite-PPK's (SIG P232 and a Makarov), if given the option, I'd take the P238. Lighter weight, better trigger, and surprisingly little recoil. But that's just my $0.02.
    They do have a longer tail of sorts, but I count that as a negative.  Having owned a S&W with a tail, and an Interarms without, the tail just sucks.  The tail sits low against your hand, (by design) and gives its own version of 'hammer bite' each time the trigger is pulled.  Maybe it won't draw blood, but it hits you every time, whereas the tail-less models only bite if you hold them wrong.

    To the PPK vs P238 comparison, I have shot both and would go with the P238 every time.  The P238 is lighter, slightly smaller, holds the same number of rounds, better sights, a SAO trigger...  And it has far less recoil on top of that.  The Only edge I would give the PPK is it has a better SA trigger than the P238 - but that is more than offset by the DA trigger that is usually terrible.

    Kaso

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #9 on: August 13, 2019, 11:31:56 pm »
    I have to admit that after seeing one in a LGS I'm more attracted to the eye candy gorgeousness of the thing and its European M&P history. 

    This is about it.  These days, with all the objectively 'better' options out there, I imagine the reason most carry a PPK (or a Detective Special,  or a Pre-Model 10) is so they can have that connection with an age long past.

    coelacanth

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #10 on: August 14, 2019, 12:13:17 am »
    In what seems to be an increasingly rare occurrence, I agree with coelacanth on this.  In a word, a .380 PPK's recoil is 'obscene.'  Not so with the .32 models, but that is to be expected.
     They do have a longer tail of sorts, but I count that as a negative.  Having owned a S&W with a tail, and an Interarms without, the tail just sucks.  The tail sits low against your hand, (by design) and gives its own version of 'hammer bite' each time the trigger is pulled.  Maybe it won't draw blood, but it hits you every time, whereas the tail-less models only bite if you hold them wrong.

    To the PPK vs P238 comparison, I have shot both and would go with the P238 every time.  The P238 is lighter, slightly smaller, holds the same number of rounds, better sights, a SAO trigger...  And it has far less recoil on top of that.  The Only edge I would give the PPK is it has a better SA trigger than the P238 - but that is more than offset by the DA trigger that is usually terrible.
    I have frequently been compared to a broken clock.  Right twice a day - and then only briefly.   :cool
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    Mississippi556

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #11 on: August 14, 2019, 10:05:28 am »
    The PPK’s DA capability is a plus for me compared to the Sig which is SAO. I know it’s heavy, too.  About 14 pounds!  Were I a more well-healed sort, I’d buy both, but . . .

    Maybe I’ll try to find someone local that would let me fire their baby Walter so I can assess the recoil.  I do not want to go lower than .380 on the power scale.
    Mississippi"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe"  Words of Jesus, Luke 11:21 (ESV).

    Raptor

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #12 on: August 14, 2019, 06:48:48 pm »
    In what seems to be an increasingly rare occurrence, I agree with coelacanth on this.  In a word, a .380 PPK's recoil is 'obscene.'  Not so with the .32 models, but that is to be expected.

    I concur. My P232 was larger and heavier than a PPK, but the recoil was significantly harsher than the P228 I owned at the time. The P228 I could shoot for hours, but with the P232, 2 boxes of ball ammo was about my limit. And the "Low Recoil" Hydra-Shoks were downright painful.

    I honestly wouldn't turn my nose up at a .32 ACP PPK for defense. No, the cartridge is not nearly as effective as pretty much anything else on the market, especially since .32 ACP hollowpoints really don't penetrate all that well, but the low recoil can make up for that: if you can quickly put 3+ FMJs into the baddie's sternum or face, Mr. Baddie is probably not gonna have a good rest of his life.
    PennsylvaniaNon Timebo Mala -- I Will Fear No Evil

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    cpaspr

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #13 on: August 14, 2019, 08:05:10 pm »
    I know Raptor had issues with his P232, but mine?  I love mine.  Though truth be told, I haven't shot it lately.  I carry the LCR357 instead, mostly because I can carry it in my pocket.

    But I never found the recoil on the 232 to be all that bad.  I need to check it out again to make sure.  I think I'll pull out for next week's bowling pin shoot.
    Oregon

    Raptor

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #14 on: August 14, 2019, 09:51:32 pm »
    I know Raptor had issues with his P232, but mine?  I love mine.  Though truth be told, I haven't shot it lately.  I carry the LCR357 instead, mostly because I can carry it in my pocket.

    But I never found the recoil on the 232 to be all that bad.  I need to check it out again to make sure.  I think I'll pull out for next week's bowling pin shoot.

    Part of the problem with mine was the SIGARMS-marked Hogue grips that came on the gun. I HATE grips with finger grooves since they never fit me right (I have small-ish hands with long fingers). The grooves on those grips were wide enough apart, and the ridges between the grips high enough, that I really couldn't get a decent grip on the pistol. Once I swapped those out with OEM plastic grips, the pistol's shootability was much improved.
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    cpaspr

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #15 on: August 15, 2019, 11:25:55 am »
    We've strayed from the original question, and I have no real input on it, never having fired any PPK.  Other than yes, slide bite hurts.  Fatter, Pudgier, Meatier hands seem to be more apt to get cut during recoil.  I got cut twice in as many shots when I first got my P232, and quickly adjusted my grip slightly.

    Raptor, I replaced the factory hard plastic grips on my 232 with a set of aftermarket (not Sig marked) Hogue finger groove grips.  They helped with the recoil, and the grooves seem to fit my hand shape well enough.  But I understand your dilemma.  The first centerfire handgun I bought after college was an S&W Model 66.  The factory grips were HUGE!  I quickly replaced them with a set of Pachmyers (non-finger groove).  They fit my hands better, but were still too fat at the top of the grips to really say I liked them.
    Oregon

    Mississippi556

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #16 on: August 15, 2019, 03:30:17 pm »
    Yep, we've strayed a bit, but it's all good info.  The current PPK is so new, I can't find one new in box for sale.   A LGS here has one in stainless that is their store demo.  I've played with it, but I want the traditional old school blued version.  They have quoted me a good price, but put my name on a list with about 20 other people with no obligation to buy.  They say it is on back order.  They will call me when new product becomes available and I can then say yea or nay on the purchase.

    In the interim, I'm striking out on locating anyone locally at the places I shoot who has one that I might actually put a round or two downrange.

    I really like the appearance of the stainless model but for the color, but don't want to commit until I can find out about the recoil and the double action trigger pull.  I plan to shoot some pretty hot .380.  That will tell the tale. 

    Buffalo Bore has tested and approved their +P 100 grain hardcast in the PPK at 1149 fps with reliable cycling.  That's pretty impressive for the little .380.
    They also have the Buffalo Barnes 80 grain TAC (solid copper hollow point) +P load also tested and approved in the PPK at 1235 fps.  Those Barnes TAC bullets have incredible terminal performance with dramatic expansion and close to 100% weight retention.  They don't do well through glass, though.  For home defense, that will probably not be the issue.

    I guess I'm sort of changing the focus of my own thread, but until I can get a PPK to actually shoot, I'm open to suggestions on +P loads for the .380.  Of course, I don't plan to shoot a steady diet of +P in any .380 I buy.  I'll shoot the hot stuff enough to feel competent, but practice with the standard velocity and pressure FMJ loads.  And those Buffalo Bore loads are over a dollar per trigger pull.  I don't mind that for the actual BUG mags, but not for practice.  Thoughts on ammo choice, please.
    Mississippi"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe"  Words of Jesus, Luke 11:21 (ESV).

    coelacanth

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #17 on: August 15, 2019, 11:08:08 pm »
    I guess the best .380 ACP I ever fired extensively was a Beretta model 85.   Really nice pistol in terms of controllability.  The sights could have been better but they were well regulated for the Remington and Winchester ball ammunition we were shooting.  As I recall it was 90 - 95 grains at around 900 fps or so.  We were shooting both paper targets and some scrap lumber we had brought along to see how well the rounds penetrated. 

    I am of the opinion that all pistol rounds are susceptible to failure in a self defense situation so my focus is on shot placement and penetration.  The rounds we were firing out of the Beretta were plenty accurate at typical combat/home defense distances but the penetration was less than optimal on the lumber.  Standard pressure .38 Special ammunition - 130 grain FMJ and 158 grain cast lead semi-wad cutters out of a 4" barreled revolver did better.  Granted, not quite up to the standards of modern ballistic gelatin testing but we made do with what we had and drew our own conclusions.   If I were using a .380 ACP I would probably opt for a FMJ design for pistol reliability and best penetration.  I would find one that worked 100% reliably in my pistol and practice with it enough to put them exactly where they would do the most good. 

    Lest you think I am unduly recoil sensitive, I carry a .45 ACP that is not significantly larger than the PPK in question and that aluminum framed little beast will nudge you when the hammer is tripped on a 200 grain truncated cone FMJ.  Feeds great, hits hard, penetrates well.   

    Much is made of the ability of a fired bullet to expand in the target, thereby causing a large temporary crush cavity and dumping all its energy in the target while simultaneously not over-penetrating the target.   That said, terminal ballistics is a very complicated science that has a discouraging number of variables that affect the outcome.   The .380 ACP pistols are attractive because of their size - not because they are so much more effective than anything else.  Light for caliber bullets at low velocity are always going to depend on accurate shot placement to be effective.  A pistol that cannot be controlled well enough under recoil to deliver fast, accurate follow up shots is a liability in a defensive role and doubly so if the round it fires is of questionable effectiveness. 

    Now, a Mozambique drill with a .380 ACP is likely to be just as effective as anything else.  Two to the center of mass and one to the head is a pretty effective deterrent - especially if using a deep penetrating round.  But, with a .380 ACP that usually means a FMJ design and it might actually take three to get the job done.  Or so it seems to me.   :coffee
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    GaBoy45

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #18 on: August 16, 2019, 12:25:34 pm »
    I have an older Interams PPK and PP, both in .380. I like them both. The recoil is about on par with something like the Kahr PM9 but heavier in weight. I don’t mind it and usually stick with the Hornady XTP in .380. It expands some but does a good job penetrating. The PP is so thin I usually throw it in an IWB holster when I’m working around the house in shorts. The PPK carries pretty well in an ankle holster but I don’t have as much carry time with them like my usual 1911/Hi-Power and BUG Colt mustang or S&WM&P340.


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    coelacanth

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #19 on: August 16, 2019, 02:24:43 pm »
    How do you like that Colt Mustang?  I've looked at them but never fired one.   :hmm
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    GaBoy45

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #20 on: August 16, 2019, 03:35:16 pm »
    How do you like that Colt Mustang?  I've looked at them but never fired one.   :hmm

    I like it. Controllable and has same manual of arms as my normal EDCs. It’s about to off to C&S for a few upgrades. Carries well on the ankle. I like my BUGs to have very similar manual of arms as my primary.


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    coelacanth

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #21 on: August 17, 2019, 02:51:10 am »
     :thumbup1
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    GaBoy45

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    Re: Walther PPK .380 as Backup
    « Reply #22 on: August 17, 2019, 01:38:42 pm »
    :thumbup1

    The Sigs seem...blocky...to me. Great guns but I like the Mustang better.


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