July 2008

Firing Line: 07/08

I read with great interest your review of three .380 caliber pistols, in particular your critique of the Walther PPK. In the May 2008 issue, you positively gushed over the Walther PPK 32 ACP. After reading your May 2008 issue I ran (not walked) to my local gun store and bought a Walther PPK/S chambered in .380 instead of the 32 ACP because I wanted more power in a concealable. My brother has the 32 ACP PPK/S model. Everything we both read was that the 32 and 380 were 'virtually indistinguishable' except for the caliber. Imagine my surprise when the June 2008 issue was far less complimentary about the 380 than the 32 despite their being nearly physically identical. True, my right hand-thumb metacarpal ached (see photo at right) from the recoil as you describe in the June 2008 review. I also had to adjust my typical 45 ACP 'Ayoob' grip by lowering my hand and hooking my pinky finger under the thumbrest on the magazine to avoid two things: (1) my right thumb interfering with the decocker; (2) 'biting' me between the thumb and forefinger. On the other hand (no pun intended), I find this classic pistol to be as accurate as you describe and have already pumped over 500 rounds through it using three different Walther original magazines (note to users: break in the magazines, they tend to 'double feed' when new). I appreciate the craftsmanship and fit/finish probably more than your testers do. I am aware of the serrations on the decocker, but mine aren’t nearly as abrasive as the ones you describe on the PPK.

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