Blogging to you from the Northeastern Badlands of The County of Lake, in the state currently known as Fatmanistan, DEEP DEEP DEEP DEEP DEEP inside the heartland of the Banana Republic formerly known as the USA, WELCOME TO THE NEXT CHAPTER! WARNING! ALL FORMS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ARE ADDICTIVE; EXCESSIVE USE MAY LEAD TO MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS, REDUCED JOB PRODUCTIVITY, INSOMNIA, SOCIAL ALIENATION, GENITAL ULCERS, BLINDNESS, POLITICAL EROTICISM, AND / OR DEVIANT FUNAMBULISM. NOTICE: NO GUNS OR AMMUNITION ARE FOR SALE VIA THIS BLOG. (No, I will not trade my Colt Python for some lubricious adventures with your trophy wife and a future first-round draft pick.) CAVEAT: This blog is not suitable for viewing while at work, while inside a public library, while inside any public or private school, or while inside any public or private restroom. Do not view this blog while driving a motor vehicle or while piloting an aircraft. Viewing this blog may be illegal inside the EU, NYC, Chicago, Seattle, and other parts of the Third World. THIS BLOG CONTAINS (albeit often very childish) ADULT-CONTENT. DISCLAIMER: This blog is a hobby, it is not a livelihood. Even though much of what I blog about relates to firearms collecting and recreational shooting, I am not an expert (by any measure) on any facet of guns, shooting, hunting, or personal defense. Entries at this blog are akin to good old-fashioned campfire chats or post hunt bourbon-fueled barroom-bluster; I offer no opinion on what you should or should not purchase, or what you should be using or doing. What does or does not work for me could be rugged-country-miles away from your tastes and your needs. All products, places, and miscellany that I review for this blog are purchased / rented / leased at retail price by me. I do not accept payment, gifts, discounts, freebies, products on loan, distilled spirits, recreational pharmaceuticals, plea-bargains, probation, parole, Papal Blessings, Presidential Pardons, or sexual favors for doing any review or blog post. TRACKING COOKIES: Google et al stick tracking cookies on everybody. If you are online, you are being spied on via one method or another, for one reason or another; 'nuff said. You may be able to minimize your online DNA residue by using Tor and Duck Duck Go. Vive la liberté! Vive all y'all! Ante omnia armari. To each of you, thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Walther PPK .380 ACP

Another semi-automatic pistol that I keep readily available for home defense is a 1967 vintage
Walther PPK chambered in .380 ACP. Why do I keep a PPK for home defense? Mostly out of habit, once upon a time I only owned a couple of handguns and this PPK was one of them. Not all PPKs are equal. This particular one has a decent double action trigger. I once owned a 1966 PPK in .32 ACP but the double action trigger pull was the worst I have ever experienced, so I sold it at my first chance to turn a profit.

Suppose that I did not own this PPK; some might ask if I would I run out to purchase a Walther PPK over all other handguns available for home defense or concealed carry. No, I probably would not, but I certainly would not fault anyone who did choose one; the PPK is a fine little pistol.

Older PPKs may be unreliable when fed hollow-point ammo. Mine does well with the Federal Classic 380BP hollow-point, which can be hard to find. I believe I have enough 380BP in the ammo locker to outlast my remaining heartbeats. If I use up my supply of 380BP before I kick the bucket I most likely will just sell this pistol or retire it to the gun-safe. There are plenty of other effective .380 ACP hollow-point loads on the market, but my old PPK doesn’t like any of them. If I absolutely HAD to get my PPK to work reliably with other brands of hollow-points, I would save up some money and have
Cylinder & Slide do a tune-up.

Under license from Walther,
Smith & Wesson currently USED TO make a modernized version of the PPK in the USA. I have never fired an S&W PPK so I cannot say how it compares to an older, European made PPK. Click here for a 2005 Charles E. Petty article on the old and new PPKs.

There are a few arguable advantages the .380 PPK may have over a .38 J-frame revolver. Some consider the PPK easier to conceal; the PPK is a flat, very thin pistol, while the revolvers are thicker because of the cylinder. The .380 PPK holds seven rounds of ammo (six in the magazine plus one in the chamber) while the .38 J-frames hold five rounds. I actually find it easier to conceal a J Frame in a pocket holster than I do a PPK. Since there is no manual safety to deal with on a J-frame revolver, I find bringing it into service (for me) is faster and more intuitive than a PPK. My ability to shoot accurately is the same for both the PPK and the J Frame; I find the recoil of both manageable, you may not.
Click here for a Stephan A. Camp article comparing the .380 ACP with the .38 Special.

Click here for some good Walther PP and PPK photos, and disassembly instructions.


Home on the Range said...

It's one gun that I just never considered, because of the couple of small negatives I'd heard about it. But the pluses you bring out, make it worth considering. Thanks.

"Zack" said...

Hey, Brigid. Thanks for stopping by. Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

One big plus for me is the PPK's positive hammer block safety. A safety is one more measure insuring against accidental firing in the hands of someone who shouldn't be handling the gun, whether a visitor to your house, or a miscreant.

Mark said...

Plus you get to pretend you're James Bond at the range. This gun is on my "must shoot" bucket list, only because I'm a Bond freak.

davebehrens said...

I have an old Interarms Walther PPK/S from around 1972. It certainly doesn't like HP ammo; damn thing jams a lot. However, the newer PPK and PPK/S pistols, sold by S&W, have been modified slightly in their frame and receiver slides which, it is claimed, allow them to fire reliably using HP ammo. A much better defense choice than jacketed ball ammo.

I love the hammer block safety system on this carry weapon. Similar to the Walther P-38.


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