February 2008

.380 Autoloaders: FireStorm Beats Walther PPK, Hi-Point CF

We preferred the double-action Bersa FireStorm over Walther’s PPK—in part because of a big price difference—and we were lukewarm about Hi-Point’s low-price CF, which had glitches.

Back in April 2006 we tested three .380 ACP pistols, one of which was the Walther PPK, as made here in the U.S. under license by Smith & Wesson. We loved the well-built little PPK, even though it had to go back for rework before we gave it a clean bill of health. It had failed in DA shooting, but a stiffer spring gave it the equivalent of our Grade A appraisal. We recently found a gun that looked a lot like the PPK, the FireStorm by Bersa ($307 MSRP), from Argentina. We thought it would be interesting to see how it fared against the PPK (MSRP $566). A sweep through our dealer’s shelves also gave us one of the always interesting U.S.-made Hi-Point handguns in .380, the Model CF ($135 MSRP). Could the FireStorm hold its own against the classic PPK? And did the Hi-Point again get our highest marks, as has been common for that make over the years? Here’s what we found.

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