Walther PPK/S .380 Feedback Requested.

Is a semi-auto with a top 8 rd capacity obsolete?

  • Depends on the accuracy/build of the pistol.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


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I recently came into possession of a Walther PPK/S1 .380 ACP cal.
No! It wasn't me trying to emulate any 007 flick! There were 23 weapons laid out for grabs in an estate sale, many large revolvers, a few shotguns, rifles, hi-powered .177 & .22 pellet guns (CO2), an authentic 1940 Luger, minus the legalizing import papers :-(, (War trophy) many large mid and small semi-autos, so I asked my passed-on friend's eldest son which one his dad always took with him as his CCW of choice, and up came a Walther PPK/S1, it was just (IMHO) the best made larger cal than my Springfield XD-9mm CCW weapon of that beat out the others for my needs, just small enough for complete concealed carry year-round but nowhere a large as my Beretta 96 FS .40cal Centurion that is just too big for year round legal CCW carry, out of sight in WA.
So let me bitch about it 1st, with a $6 difference in a Walther © 7-round magazines which seems to be as good, maybe even better/newer & less costly (D-spring and other compounds added to the mag during the metal-mixing phase, like carbon heat absorbing chemicals), which the Walther brand mags lacks, but the MecGar © brand have, so I bought 5 of them online, legal & reputable @ $21.47 ea a day after buying the Walther as the best CCW in the best condition for $350 (cheaper than most I found new) that came with an 'Uncle Mikes' clip-on holster and 5 full boxes of American Eagle by Federal 95g FMJ .380 ACP, 50 rounds per box new ammo. That's about how many it will take to get me semi-proficient on my slightly used but very well maintained new pistol. Out of the 8 rounds tops it can hold that is still 3 less than I'd like that mag/weapon to carry. Guess James Bond didn't ever miss his targets, and just 4 the hell of it watch any scene where he takes out 20 BG's with no reloads. Q must have tweaked that Walther! WaltherPistols.com: MecGar Walther Mag PPK/S FR 380ACP 7rd - MecGar Walther Item 6254 @ $26.73 ea is a Walther made mag, 2 came with the weapon, so I ordered 5 more of these MecGar 380ACP (Item # 5775) with a bottom finger rest, blued, 7 round capacity duplicates, made by MecGar which seemed to be a better way to go to up the extra mags I want loaded in reserve and cut paying Walther brand-name prices. OK it holds 8 if I stick 1 in the spout which has no upper receiver lock-back lever (ala M1911 or Beretta), so the only way to safely load 8 is load a 7 round mag, chamber 1 round then drop the mag and add 1 more round to the clip, insert it back into the weapon and now I have 8 total. It does have a right-sided safety lever with up shows a red dot, meaning its ready to fire, but it's not a left handed friendly weapon. It also has a half-cock hammer safety I have yet to get comfortable with. I prefer the no extra external safeties of the XD-9 which is a draw, point & shoot small and lighter 9mm weapon. But with 10+1 117g COR©BON JHP's loaded & 6 ten-round mags in reserve or just for saving time loading 1 or 2 mags at a range in reserve loaded makes each 117g COR©BON JHP shot a close range BG stopper.
It's German, so spare parts come from Germany (?) or does Walther arms have a U.S. factory operation? This model says on the right: 'Smith & Wesson, Houlton, ME USA' (importers or producers?) on the left side it says: 'Under license of Carl Walther, Waffenfabrik, Ulm, DO, Modell PPK/S Cal 9mm, kurtz/380APC.
Why would ANY secret agent who whacks BG's by the dozen need a weapon that doesn't carry more rounds in it's mags? Or am I missing something? The (online) pre-ban 10-rd $48-$60 mags are IMHO ugly protrusions and a jamb or F2F weak spring no tension left SNAFU waiting to happen. So I'll stay with my 7 + 1 shooter and the 7 rounds of a 9mm/.380 ACP it seems to like both mags labeled as such, BUT I sure would like that question answered B 4 I put it to the test in even our best indoor pistol range in town: Welcome to Sharp Shooting Indoor Range and Gun Shop
It feels right in my hand with excellent balance. With some practice it will add to my collection a weapon I would never have bought new, that would have been a Glock but as the post-WW II build of the infamous Luger, which I read was the 'father' of the Walthers I would value what USA Carry Walther PPK/S owners have to say about it on this site, verses me finding out for myself at a range where I'd like to know it's strengths and weakness before I think it's a 007 cool 'toy' and blow my frigging foot off trying to clear a MF or cook off! Double-Oh-Stupid!
Have at it folks I value your input as for me I haven't even had the chance to shoot a single round thru it, yet, but I hear the super cool indoor pistol range at calling me.
And how comes with the Walther magazine stamped '9mm', it holds 7 .380 ACP's holds 7 too, and both lock/loads and chambers a round just like a true 9mm shouldn't into a .380 or even be able to do? Just the same as the Walther stamped .380 APC mag does, but a true 9mm is clearly a smaller round. Maybe that's why Mr. Bond got the damn thing. I took some pictures of it I'll upload with this post.
My regards,


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Lucky You!! As you know and have stated, there are Pros and Cons of the 380..personally, I see nothing wrong with them, I carry one also. Would LOVE to have a PPK but I make do with my little Bersa and Kel-Tec. I HIGHLY suspect that you will be happy with this little ass kicker..CONGRATS!
I think there's nothing wrong with a .380. I carry a bulgarian Makarov during the hot months, which is very similar in size and power to the Walther PP. As they say, a .22 on your hip is better than a .45 at home.

If you're concerned about penetration with JHP in .380, you can always use FMJ. Good luck with your new find.

I have a German Walther ppk/s. I posted some stuff on this gun a few days ago at another site in response to soemone finding one of these at an estate sale, I'll repost here for infomation's sake.

All Walther PPK/S were produced in one of 2 places, France or the US.

In 1968 the US law changed which required Walther to marry the larger PP frame with the shorter PPK slide and barrel, thus the PPK/S was born.

Almost all US guns were either imported by Interarms (will say made in W Germany) but manufactured in France by Manhurin before being sent to Ulm, Germany for proof testing, or when in 1986 the France plant lost it's license to make the PP series and the manufacture was changed to the Interarms contracted plant in the USA (mfg in USA), under Walther supervision. Lastly when Interarms stopped manufacturing (owner died, went out of business), S&W began production in America (mfg. USA) again under Walther supervision. Some parts have always been made for these guns in Ulm, Germany, but final assembly and proofing determines country of manufacture, hence why the French guns will show a German manufacture, as that is where they were proofed and the US guns will show a USA manufacture..

The side of your gun slide should say where it was manufactured, I'm guessing W. Germany, which means at the French factory. I found this info on the PPK/S

said by another poster: "I have owned both Manurhin and Walther produced PPK/S's and the Manurhin guns struck me as being every bit the equal of the German built guns."

That's because they're AREN'T any "German made" PP series pistols, and haven't been any since 1945.

When WWII ended, the Walther plant was completely bombed out. What was left ended up in Russian hands.
The Walther family escaped to the West, bringing with them the critical production plans for the Walther firearms.

When the new West German government wanted to adopt the P-38 pistol, Walther had the plans but no production plant.
Rumor has it, that the French had removed the P-38 production tooling, jigs, and dies from the Mauser plant before finally destroying it.

Walther contracted production of the P-38 and later the PP series guns with the French Manurhin company.

After Walther built a new plant in Ulm, all P-38 production was moved back to Germany, but Walther decided to keep having Manurhin produce the PP series pistols in France under contract.

The guns were manufactured in France, shipped a few miles over the border to Ulm, where they were blued, proof-fired, stamped "Made in Germany", and sold as German-made Walther pistols.

To be fair, in Europe the country where the final proof is conducted is considered the country of manufacture.

So, until Walther contracted with InterArms to have the PPK and PPK/s pistols produced in the US, ALL PP series pistols were actually made in France by Manurhin.

Some of you may remember the Walther/Manurhin "Advertising War" of the mid 1980's.
The license with Manurhin had expired after Walther had the guns produced here, and the Manurhin company decided to market their "own" PPK/s pistols.

Walther's ads said that ONLY Walther-marked guns were "genuine". Manuhrin's ads said that since they had actually made ALL the guns since 1945, THEY were the "genuine" gun.

Somehow Walther and Manurhin resolved the dispute after about a year, and no more Manurhin-marked guns were imported.

A side-by-side comparison of contemporary Walther and Manurhin PPK/s pistols revealed that the guns were in fact produced on the same production machines.
Machine marks were exactly the same on both guns, the plastic box was from the same mold, and the instruction manual for the Manurhin was exactly the same as the Walther manual, except the pictures had the Walther name air-brushed out, and replaced with Manurhin marks.

All through the 50's, 60's and early 70's when the gun magazines had their annual "round-up" articles on pocket autos, they always described the Walther PP series guns as "Typically fine Teutonic quality" and "High quality German craftsmanship".

After the guns started to be produced here in America, they blandly informed us that they'd always known the guns were produced in France.

So, arguments over which is the better gun, a German PP series or a French Manuring PP series gun is a moot point.
They were produced on the same equipment, in the same French plant, by the same French workers.

In short, There AIN'T no "German" PP series guns, and haven't been any since Adolph bit the Big One."

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As far as the gun goes for CCW, I haven't really used it and I may not due to size. I think I'm different than most who want to have the biggest baddest thing available when that bad guy confronts them. I spent nearly 50 years in some of the worst Los Angeles gettos/slums/projects and never carried except for one week in 1992 (riots), so my main focus now that I can is comfort and concealability without making adjustments to my lifestyle.

I do not like any type of waist band carry, preferring to carry in my pocket only, so I just ordered a Seecamp LWS32. Until it gets delivered in about 90 days I'll be using my Beretta 21A in .22LR! If the .32 cal Seecamp is fine for me when it gets here, the .380 would certainly work as well, except for the size. The argument against it that many say you can get a nice 9mm or better for the same size these days. I don't know because I don't own any large autos, but that might make sense.
What a history lesson!

Thanks Stiofan,
Man that gun has been around, dated.. HELL yes, it fits the time-line when USAF (Ret) George D. (RIP) was a 25 y/o USAF master sergeant finishing up business in what was left of the '1,000 year Reich!' It remains a mystery how he got it or even where, but I do thank you for the impressive lineage work you pulled up on it. A weapon that surfaced just in time for a very Cold War (Korea/Nam/Balkans). The serial # is 7325BAB, PPK/S-1. No year date I can find. I have to go find a link to an Adobe PDF 'Users Manual' or order one online so I know how to take it apart, find out what makes it work and get very familiar with putting it back together after a good clean & lube. Then practice that for however long it takes which I hope isn't a 2-hour job even for an expert with one, which I a far from. Unlike most guns I have used or owned, the break-down/field-stripping is a pretty common sense deal, not with this, a few tiny screws holding mysterious parts underneath, and no visible/manual anything (indents, buttons or break-down points) that would make taking this apart a quick job, about as complicated as an M60 which at least had levers and indents and bars to push or pull to give me somewhere to start with. I wont take any weapon to a range until I now how I can break-it down and put it back together or IMHO I shouldn't even go near the range-fire part I am dying to do, but if it takes a gun-smith to do what I can't and a fancy tool-box of ex Nazi/German, French or USA made gizmos then I will look very foolish the 1st time it locks up and I have options a. take a loaded weapon home with a potential discharge in route or b. find the the right manual that makes it a job I can do myself in under 2 days, would be nice :-(
Thanks again for a very thourouh work-up on a weapon I am learning more about each day. When I finally get the savvy to use it well plus the extra mags I will try to post a JPG of what it looks like in action.

The Walther and the Bursa T380 sure look a lot alike. I am sure that there is no comparison in so far as overall quality is concerned, however, how do they compare size and weight wise?
My friend in life had two Bursa T380's I asked him why he carried or even owned the cheaper clone of the Walther PPK/S. His cryptic reply was "If I have to do anything with a gun that could come back to put me in jail, which weapon do you think I would chuck into the deepest lake in WA and not lose much?" 30 years of being a military trained killer from WW II to numerous tours in 'Nam had taught him when it is wise to toss a cheaper/less finely crafted pistol & walk away a free man. His 2 (cheap brown plastic cracked grips and hair-line cracks in the aluminium housing) both looked like crap! Guess if it's being sent up for life for premedititated or 5 years on a self-protection rap gone very wrong G. (RIP) knew it was better to sink a Bursa tied to a BF rock than pay the piper. Even as an old guy this was a fella with the 1,000 yard stare. You can tell when a pro-soldier gone special-ops has sent many of his enemies to holes in the ground and still lives with it, that was my buddy! His son sold each Bursa to some young/dumb buyers for $100 ea and I don't think I should say any more or I may upset good Bursa users if they do make good small semi-autos. I'd be scared to even try shoot either of the Bursas he once owned! Blow my frigging hand off!

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The Bersas, at least the modern ones, generally have very good quality marks from most users on the various gun boards. I don't own one or have ever fired one, so have no first hand knowledge.
I have an Interarms PPK/s .380 and I love it. I bought it from a man who bought it new in the '70s (I think) and never really used it. It was in his gun safe all those years and was perfect as new when I got it. I've had it a few years now and shoot it weekly at the range.

There are plenty of loads available that will do the job. It has never failed to fire, chamber, or eject a round. I think it's saftey and multi strike capability are execelent features. It's a little heavy and a little more bulky then a Kel-Tec but it is a real gun after all.

I'm saving for a Walther PPS .40 now but not sure it will replace my PPK as a daily carry.

I'm also looking to get a Walther SSP M4 for competition Bullseye.

Mags: Walther vs. MecGar.

Howdy tag1737
As I wrote I too came into a Walther PPK/S-1 and it is a very nice small CCW weapon, but it only came with 2 Walther © 7-round clips, originals I suspect. So I did a web search for 5 more, at this web-site I found what I was looking for from a company called TGSCOM, INC. Very nice web-site with guns and accessories galore.
http://www.thegunstore.com .
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The 7-round Walther clips are $28 and up a pop for the brand name replicas of what I had, wasn't interested in higher capacity magazines sticking out of the grip end, which they had 10-rd jobbies @ almost $50 a pop! So I bought five MecGar © mags (MecGar Walther Mag PPK/S FR 380ACP 7rd I.D. # 5775) @ 23.14 ea with a solid composite plastic triangular thumb rest. They come in chrome and black, make sure U tell them your choice or U will get chrome. nice and shiny bright! Inside each is a 'D' rated 'music-wire' spring, per them "strongest springs available". I got mine in black, much better and cheaper way to give me enough back-up mags to meet year-round concealed needs + back-up fire-power for a weapon that only fires 7+1 tops. Plus I don't spend 1/2 my time @ the range reloading only 2 mags. I haven't even gotten around to firing the pistol yet, I'm practicing break-down, maintenance and reassembly first @ home so I have total familiarity with it long before I start range fire. IMHO the MecGar magazines are better all round fit, the Walther ones are a tad loose by maybe 0.2mm all round! The MecGar fit flush and lock in place well 1st time. Their make and design (inside plus a better thumb-rest) then paying the extra $5.38 for a Walther mag just for a brand name clone didn't make sense. They arrived 1 week after I placed the phone order each wrapped in a nice packet (UPS) with magazine facts and maintenance steps/diagrams clearly outlined on the back in English with each one. I would recommend them over the Walther originals if only for a D quality spring that the Walther mags may have had, but after 20-30 years of holding 7 rounds in a clip under the tension of a full load may be loose and cause a failure to feed (F2F) problem.
I only post this as a way for you to get better made cheaper clips than the originals, which may have worked well when Sean Connery was 40 and kicking ass, but could fail now they are drawing retirement pay & popping Viagra to get a good push on the bullet load!
My Regards,

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Hey Canis-Lupus.

Funny that you mention the mags. I was in my local gun shop and was looking for an extra mag for my M&P 9mm when I noticed a bunch of Walther mags. The owner said they just came in and most were brand new. I picked through them and grabbed 2 flat bottoms and 1 with the pinky extension. Got them for $20 each.

They all fit fine and I'm off to the range in a few min to test them out.

Right!! Now Pay Attention!

Canis the .380 is a good self defense round. i myself prefer the makarov . Walther is a goodbrand and HK4U love his P99 . i have heard though that the PPK does jam from time to time for some reason so be sure to practice tap,rack fire drills. and go ahead and practice your super sneaky moves with it!!! it 'll be fun and Lord knows will probably be useful. yes, i am a huge 007 fan { and brit comedy!!} and am looking forward to november when Quantum of Solace hits the screen! if you have not seen " Casino Royale" with Craig. you simply must. sorry. hopei ddn't hijack the thread! congrats on finding and getting it!!! and really go have some fun with it!
There can be only one!

Yeah Boris,
I sat thru 'Casino Royale', (being the ex medic kinda dude I am) I would love to know how Bond comes out of a FULL cardiac arrest, gets the crap knocked outa him so many times he SHOULD have a face that looks like it hit a Mac-truck yet in the very next scene, (time-line-minutes later) ALL the cuts are gone (nothing heals THAT fast!), not a hair outa place, sitting at a card table and looking like a male model and the suit (that had blood all over it in the scene B 4) looking like it came right out of the dry cleaners shop, is just too 'BrittyWood' for belief. There can be only one!
"No Mr. Bond...we want you to die!" Sean ruled & Walther PPK's that shot around 100 rounds without a single reload were acceptable. And the villains were always real evil nut-jobs bent on world domination, like Osama with a death-ray satellite aimed at Buckingham Palace!
I'll have fun with it for sure, but my primary CC is and always will be the Springfield XD-9, with the Walther in a leg holster back-up for the rougher places I find myself, like trying to order extra cheese in a MacDonald's and the Hispanic kid behind the counter goes for the 10th time: "Que senior.... Beeeg Mac to go, si?"
Looking forward to range day, when I can get this gun stripped and back together in under 3 minutes, not there yet :-(

well, vesper did it!!

yeah, i know... on the walther disassembly, see if the the trigger well pulls down and pull the slide ALL the way back. the makarov is based on the walther and that is how you field strp it basically. seems festus had posted a site that had links to every firearm manual in the universe..... surely walther has a manual online.
I feel that all the Walthers are great weapons and this one is no exception. I do not own one but some day who knows. I do own a P88 and P5 Compact. I rank Walther right up there with HK's and Sig's. I think these three are perhaps the 3 best fire arms in the world. Then again I could be a little prejudice. As far as the 380 with the right ammo selection and proper shot placement it would do well. I prefer the 9mm but a 380 in the hand beats a 44 mag left at home ever time.
oh, one more thing....

Canis , if you decide to carry it and maybe if you don't.... be sure to charge the weapon and then top off the mag. that will give you 9 shots. and the best tactical reload is another gun!
Canis, I just ran across your thread while searching for something else. Thought I'd share some info since you are new to the PPK/S. I have a pistol just like yours, and also one made by Manurhin in the early 80s. As Stiofan pointed out, most "German" ones that you see were made in France and proofed in Germany, then stamped Made in Germany. Mine was, in fact, proofed at St. Etienne--not in Germany.

Yours was not imported by Smith & Wesson; it was made by them in Houlton MA. I'm not sure of the timeline, but I think S&W started making them around 2003. The only easily recognizable difference is the longer tang they incorporated to alleviate the common problem of the slide biting the shooter's hand on recoil.

You will find, if you haven't already, that field stripping the PPK is the ultimate in simplicity. You just pull down the trigger guard and pull it toward you slightly so it will stay down; then simply pull the slide back all the way and lift the back of the slide up. It will slide right off. Then just slide (that's a lot of slides) the spring off the barrel. That's it. You will notice that one end of the spring is slightly smaller than the other. Be sure to put it (slide it) back on small end first. You can download a manual for free--just Google "PPK/S manual."

One other thing: it is a common belief among USA-made PPK/S owners that magazines other than Walther banner mags are the cause of jams they have experienced. You might want to look there if you have a problem that is not caused by your ammo or by limp-wristing. Your gun does look as if it has been used and broken in; I personally think that is the key to the U.S. guns.

You probably have found out by now that the 9mm Kurz is the same as .380 auto. Kurz means "short" and your ammo is 9x17, shorter than the "regular" 9mm you're thinking of, which is 9x19.

I think you will like your gun (even though it can be a beast to shoot, with recoil that is a lot snappier than you might expect from a .380). But that's just me. I ride old Triumph motorcycles and drive Italian sports cars--lots of panache, but sometimes they don't work! Just kidding--I wouldn't carry this for defense if I didn't trust it 100%. It's true that some of the newer designs, like my Glock 23 for instance, are easier and more pleasant to shoot. I still like the PPK best. I doubt the new PPS will inspire the same feeling--but I really want one.

In any case, my older, French-made pistol has been flawless and is my daily carry. My USA gun had a few problems with jamming until I ran a few hundred rounds through it. I use ball ammo in it, keep it very clean and well-oiled and it is a good, reliable weapon. I'm not that interested in the expansion of hollow points or the penetration of FMJ--I just want my pistol to say Bang instead of Click. Yours looks as if your buddy used it some, so it's probably broken in. I think that's the key to these guns.

BTW, the Bersa Thunder 380 is a sweet little gun--reliable and pretty accurate. Especially impressive is that you can buy one new for around $250. I would grab a nice used one any day for a hundred bucks.

Good Luck with your PPK!
Thanx SouthPaw,
I downloaded an Adobe users manual for the PPK/S-1 and dutifully followed it, (6 band-aids later & much profanity) I finally figured out that whomever wrote it must have come from a translation from German to French then into English or a combo of that mix. Your help in making the obvious something I was by-passing following the directions made it a snap, MAN did it ever have some rock-hard cordite & early rust started in certain (moving) critical to fire it parts, NO wonder it was such a pain to even chamber a single round, but after 3 hours of alcohol wipes, tiny bristle brushes and Q-tips plus some WD-40, used and wiped clean as I know it has a lo-flash-point I don't need any residue of that left inside the weapon when it heats-up around 100 rounds of Federal .380 FMJ's I plan on using 1st on range-fire days, then look around for maybe a few boxes of COR©BON HP's for what I really got it for: back-up carry, not range fire. I feel confident that I can now field-strip it, and get it back together in under 3 mins and not lose too much blood! U know if I had come into that weapon maybe 2 years later than I did, the neglect it's previous (81 y/o) owner who seldom cleaned (too sick and no young stud anymore) it may have made it a lemon even a good gun-smith would have buried with it's last owner, RIP. I look forward to taking a Brit female guest to the range with it in 2 weeks for some show and tell, plus if I get any JPG's worth an upload I will slap a few of them onto this thread as closure. I thank you for all for the huge help you have all been helping me to get familiar with this nice older designed weapon. Funny, I never thought such an older pistol would generate as much as I have learnt just by reading & rereading the posts to this thread. Something I doubt I'd find anywhere other than USA Carry's growing patronage and huge knowledge base.
My Regards to everyone who helped me thru this task,

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