Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Walther PPK

I have been offered an opportunity to purchase a Walther PPK .380 through a private transaction. Much like any man my age, I like this gun for the sole reason that James Bond carried a variation of it. It's cool looking and is compact; ideal for any 00 agent.

The pistol itself, is alleged to be in almost new condition and (tax time and all, grab your ankles) the guy is forced to part with it. His asking price is $375. This seems to me to be a reasonable deal, especially because, you know if you break out the roll of notes and he sees it, $375 is not going to be the final offer.

My only concern is the caliber. How crappy is a .380 ACP? I keep a Taurus .357 loaded with Speer Gold Dot .38 +P Hollow Points. I have some faith in that round and it won't go through 3 adjacent houses. Is the the .380 worth a shit?

This is not a caliber argument. Given the choice, everything I own would be chambered in the fat, slow, but very effective .45 ACP. This pistol just seems to be very carriable and pretty easy on the eyes as well.

Can a .380 stop somebody?

Theoretically, the .380 auto will have close to the same stopping power as a .38 special, when loaded with fun stuff like Hydra-shoks. So yeah, you can take something down with it.

You'll like the gun. It's a great carry weapon. The only drawback I see to it is that it's damned heavy for such a small gun.

The double-action is sufficiently heavy that you can carry w/out the safety if you so choose. Plus, you have the manual safety if you want it. I like that option myself. It's probably one of the greatest pistol designs of all time.

The gun itself is accurate as hell for such a small squirt. The .380 is capable of some pretty interesting groups with the fixed barrel. The accuracy is a good thing. If you're worried about small bullets, you know that you can place them pretty much where you want them.

Very mild recoil, which is also a plus. However, you have to watch for a little slide bite if you shoot over 50 rounds or so. The newer ones add a bit of a beavertail, but I don't really mind one way or the other.

The gun really feels great. It points well, which gives the shooter a lot of confidence. This is never a bad thing.

The James Bond thing is OK, you're not alone.

You'll have to let us know when you go to break it in. I think you'll be happy with it.

I have to second Kyle on this. Don't disparage the .380 ACP as a stopper. It has potential with the right bullet and load. The Hydra-shoks are good. Winchester Silvertips are good too. In fact, any hollow-point bullet will improve the gun's potential as a self-defense round.

This part is unpleasant. There is a lot of nonsense around how a bullet kills. Things like hydrodynamic shock, neural shock and others have been debunked. Unless you hit the spine or the brain, the bad guy can still function, at least until his bleeding causes his blood pressure to drop enough that he loses consciousness. A larger bullet like a .45 will speed the bleeding out process (the more tissue damage, the more bleeding ensues).

An expanding bullet like a hollow point in .380 will spread to a size at least equal to a .45 hardball bullet. Of course, a .45 hollow point will expand more than a .380.

In short, a .380 will get the job done even though it is not as efficient as a .45. A .380 has a slight advantage in some scenarios since it is less likely to overpenetrate and hit something else after exiting the bad guy. In probably more scenarios, the .45 will be better. In any case, you have to carry the gun for it to do any good.

The PPK is a nice little gun though heavy. It is easily concealed even with summer-type clothing. You are getting a decent deal on this depending on condition.
Hydra-shoks Good!

My PPKS likes them better than some of the hardball I've fed it. It's my summertime concealed gun here in AZ.
Benjamin - Aim for the aorta. (and yea, yea CNS, but its more fun to say "aorta").
Remington also makes a round called the Golden Sabre, which the PPK/S seems to like a lot.

With jeans, the PPK is a great pocket pistol. The jeans must be a bit baggy, and fairly heavy to hide the outline.

I wrote on my blog about the differences between the ppk/s and the Sig 232. It might give you some more insight. (Shameless plug, but at least on point!)


Pocket blasters are cool. Everybody needs one. The .380 is a decent defense round, and it looks like there's a bit of consensus on this score.

The stainless model is well-worth it. It is super-easy to clean. I look forward to a review after you shoot the thing.

Another plus is that Smith & Wesson is handling the warranty and parts on them in the US now. I speak from personal experience when I say their customer service is pretty good. I had to get a sight pin for my P-99 (also gotten because it is James Bond's gun. I'm not ashamed). They sent the part out that day, and were super cool about the whole thing.

.380 and 9mm and Makarov are not that different. Use the Federal ammo to be sure.

I have shot a many a .380 - the Bersa from Argentina is a "close copy" of the PPK. and I find that very nice. (I don't know anyone who has a genuine Walther, or if I do, they won't lend it to me.)

The price seems low for a Walther.... If you want a compact carry gun, the Bersas are going for about 250 in stainless, a little less in blue.

I bet its fun to shoot.
You've all convinced me. I will never question the worth of the .380 ACP ever again.

In fact, I bought one.

Arguments were consistent and held that my holding every caliber to the .45 test was outside of reality.

Now that I own the gun, I realize how small it is. It is the most miniscule pistol I own. Makes sense that it is a good carry-weapon.

Regardless, your suggestions were extremely helpful, and I succumbed and bought the subject firearm.

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I purchased the Walther PPK, having sold my Keltec P32. I agree it's quite a heavy gun for its size, but so far I've liked the feel, it's nice to feel like you're actually carrying something, unlike the the Keltec, which is so light and flimsy, really feels like a toy. And I must admit, too, part of the reason I wanted it was Bond, James Bond. The effects of Hollywood..

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