Walther PK380

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Walther PK380

Postby Slap Yourself » Mon 20 Jan 2014 11:58 am

Let me just open by saying, I'm new to the forum so please be gentle. :wink:

Now, by all means I'm not trying to start a caliber war.. I understand most people prefer 9mm and higher for self defense purposes and I agree with that. With one exception. The Walther PK380.

Walther's site says, "The PK380 is not just good looking. It is small and good looking. That makes the PK380 excellent for concealed carry. Its small grip is ideal for shooters with small hands. The slide is easy to operate, making it a good choice for women. The light weight goes unnoticed in a pocket or purse." And they're absolutely correct. This firearm is very compact but with an overall length of 6.5'' it's still big enough to look quite intimidating if need-be.

The PK380 is my everyday carry and weighing just barely over 1.2lbs (with empty mag) (so lets say under 2lbs full) you barely can tell it's there. The slide is steel and the grip/frame is very hard plastic. The gun does not at all feel cheaply made and sure doesn't preform cheaply either. I've put a little over 1.5k rounds through this gun and NEVER have I had a single misfire/double feed/fail to feed/fail to eject and that is with using several types of ammunition. First time shooting I was able to get my grouping in the center of a small paper plate at about 30'. The magazine holds 8 rounds (9 with one chambered) which, with hollow-points isn't too shabby in my opinion. The single/double action is really nice. Double action: 11lbs trigger pull (before trigger job) Single action: 4lbs. Really not too bad.

The small grip is really comfortable. Ergonomic styling makes it fit as if it was custom made to your hand. Now, I'm not a big guy. (5'9'' 160ish lbs) so you can imagine I don't have the biggest meat hammers, so this gun is a great tool for me. Also, the PK380 doesn't hurt your hand when you shoot it. Nor is the slide a pain to rack. I was shooting my friend's Bersa Thunder .380 the other day and thought to myself, "[auto-filtered], this thing hurts my hand... I must be some sort of weenie." (Not at all trying to bag on Bersa or their firearms or the people that use them.) But after shooting the Bersa I was very happy that I got the Walther.

It doesn't hurt my masculinity to say this gun would be an excellent choice for a wife or girlfriend. I took my wife out shooting the other day and she wants me to get one for her.

Did I mention the cost? (Obviously not) I got mine at CAL Ranch for $349 with the factory laser for the gun. I don't know if I'll use it much, but it would have been the same price for the one without the laser. For the quality of the firearm and how it shoots, I would say that is WELL worth the price.

Now, there is one fairly big thing I DON'T like about this gun: It requires you to have a special take-down tool, which makes it a pain if you needed to quickly field strip the gun for any reason. Other than that I think this gun is very decent for the price and I will continue to carry it everyday.

I hope this was an adequate review!

Cheers! :wink:
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Re: Walther PK380

Postby dewittdj » Mon 20 Jan 2014 12:22 pm

Many would argue that a .380 just doesn't have the stopping power that one needs in a carry gun. Stopping power is a hotly debated topic and has been for a number of years. Evan Marshall, author of "Handgun Stopping Power", in his book, simply stated: "Stopping power is an illusion." Stopping power is an important consideration, but several other factors should be considered as well when purchasing a firearm that you intend to carry. These factors are: accuracy, reliability, whether or not you intend to conceal, and power factor (product of muzzle speed and bullet weight). If stopping power were the only concern, then we would all be toting cannons.

Data derived from "Stopping Power Chart" in "Handgun Stopping Power" by Evan Marshall:
.22 LR will stop a perp in one shot 29% of the time. BTW, more LEO are killed by .22 than by any other caliber.
Caliber vs. one shot stops:









Caliber% Stop w/1 hit
.22 LR 29%
.32 ACP 59%
.380 Auto 64%
.38 Special 73%
9mm 79%
.357 Mag 96%
.44 Mag 92%
.45 Colt 80%
.45 ACP 96%


Bottom line, any gun will do if you will do (that's a paraphrase of Iggy Piazza), and if you aren't comfortable carrying it, then chances are great that you won't be carrying it when it is needed.
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Re: Walther PK380

Postby B Cart » Tue 21 Jan 2014 11:07 am

Shot placement is definitely much more important than the caliber size, but that's a whole other conversation.

As for the Walther PK380, I agree that it is a SWEET gun! It is well built and extremely ergonomic, especially for people with small to mid sized hands. The only thing I don't like about it is the safety is funny to me. Most pistol safeties (1911's and others) are on safe when the safety is UP, and as you draw, you push the safety down as you get a proper grip. With the PK380, the safety is actually on in the DOWN position, and you have to flip it up, which I find is less intuitive and different than what most people are used to. It's not a big deal, and just a training issue, but I thought that was interesting. That being said, everything about the PK380 is awesome. It's a great little gun for concealed carry. I carry a 9mm Walther PPQ daily, and love it, but the PK380 is definitely more concealable, and a great shooter.
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Re: Walther PK380

Postby gskip33 » Tue 21 Jan 2014 1:07 pm

Slap Yourself wrote:Let me just open by saying, I'm new to the forum so please be gentle. :wink:


If you like the gun, and it shoots a bullet every time you pull the trigger, then who cares what anyone else thinks?

Personally, I would carry FMJs as opposed to HPs with a .380, but that is a personal decision. Most ballistic tests I have seen agree. HPs with a .380 load just don't penetrate enough to be what would be considered "effective" according to the tests.
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Re: Walther PK380

Postby JoeSparky » Tue 21 Jan 2014 2:49 pm

gskip33 wrote:
Slap Yourself wrote:Let me just open by saying, I'm new to the forum so please be gentle. :wink:


If you like the gun, and it shoots a bullet every time you pull the trigger, then who cares what anyone else thinks?

Personally, I would carry FMJs as opposed to HPs with a .380, but that is a personal decision. Most ballistic tests I have seen agree. HPs with a .380 load just don't penetrate enough to be what would be considered "effective" according to the tests.

I would add to your first line: And you can accurately hit your desired target in a time-frame that is suitable to the situation as many times as you need in order to STOP THE THREAT! And that you are will to practice with so that you are both safe and proficient.

I don't care if you choose to use a bb gun or a .500 S&W Magnum or anything in between (talking handguns) for this as long as the suggestions by gskip33 and with my addition are met. It is YOUR carry gun for the defense of those around you or yourself.

Personally, I like the .45 cal as I find the snappy recoil of the 9mm or the .40 uncomfortable and the .45 cal is more of a thump-shove sensation to me.
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Re: Walther PK380

Postby Slap Yourself » Thu 23 Jan 2014 7:51 pm

B Cart: Knowing the gun and it's weird safety, how would you suggest carrying it concealed with one in the chamber? Safety on? Safety off with the 11lb trigger pull as safety? What would you suggest?

I appreciate the input guys. And yes, I agree. Accuracy and training are everything. As I said before, I wasn't looking for a caliber war, merely giving my thoughts on an excellent weapon in case it suited some else's needs. So I appreciate no one taking it to extremes.

I appreciate the input guys. And yes, I agree. Accuracy and training are everything. As I said before, I wasn't looking for a caliber war, merely giving my thoughts on an excellent weapon in case it suited some else's needs. So I appreciate no one taking it to extremes.


"I carry because I would rather have one and not need one, than need one and not have one. Let's just call it peace of mind."
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Re: Walther PK380

Postby B Cart » Fri 24 Jan 2014 10:33 am

Slap Yourself wrote:B Cart: Knowing the gun and it's weird safety, how would you suggest carrying it concealed with one in the chamber? Safety on? Safety off with the 11lb trigger pull as safety? What would you suggest?


Great question, and the answer comes down to personal preference and how you want to train. I think guns with external safeties are fine, IF you train with them until flipping off the safety becomes an automatic part of every draw without even thinking about it.

Personally, I don't like external safeties on my pistols, so none of my pistols have them, and I ALWAYS carry with one in the chamber. I carried a Sig P229 everyday for 5 years, and it had no external safety, so the 12lb first trigger pull acted as the safety. I felt completely comfortable with that, and my current carry gun (Walther PPQ) has no external safety, so the split trigger acts as the safety, and I feel completely fine with it as well.

In your situation, since the PK380 has an 11lb first trigger pull, and the PK380 safety manual says you can safely carry the pistol in decocked double action mode, I think you could carry with the safety off and be ok (as long as the pistol is decocked). Since the safety manual approves this method, this is how I would carry if it were me.

The reason I don't like external safeties, is because it adds one more action that must be taken before your gun will fire. In a high adrenaline, life or death scenario, I want to be able to draw my gun and pull the trigger without anything potentially hindering the gun from going off. Your brain does funny things under intense stress, and I just wouldn't want to hope I remembered to flip of the safety in the split second that I needed my gun to save my life or the life of a loved one. This became very apparent to me when I was doing a team live fire house clearing drill with my AR-15. I train with my AR a lot and I felt like manipulating my safety was an automatic thing for me. The first time I was clearing a hot house, I surprisingly had a really high heart rate and got a slight case of tunnel vision. After I engaged two targets, I flipped my safety back on exited the room, and started working down another hallway. I came into a room with a bad guy target and I brought my rifle up and pulled the trigger and nothing happened. I pulled the trigger 3 or 4 more times before my brain realized that my safety was on, and I then clicked it off. This cost me multiple seconds, and would have potentially cost me my life in a real situation. I realized after this event, that even if you train a lot, your brain does funny things under stress, and if I'm ever in a fight for my life, I want things as simple as possible.

Sorry for the long post, but I hope that clarifies things a little bit. And that is just my personal opinion, so others may have other good input.
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Re: Walther PK380

Postby Hawk87 » Fri 24 Jan 2014 11:40 am

Even if you carry with the safety off, you should still train to hit it as part of your draw stroke. Sometimes safety's can flip on by themselves (or so it seems). Also some holsters are designed to ensure the safety is in the safe position, so you will want to double check that as well.

I am with bcart, I don't like safeties on carry guns, I have had too many times hunting where I forgot to flip my safety off in the heat of the moment. However I do believe it's something that can be trained around, it just takes more work.
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Re: Walther PK380

Postby Slap Yourself » Fri 24 Jan 2014 10:06 pm

Thanks for the input B Cart and Hawk87. You guys are awesome. I agree, having the least amount of hurdles to jump to make it go bang is important.

On another note: I'm looking for a .40 for a decent price. (hooray for tax season and an awesome wife) You two prove very knowledgable, any recommendations?


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Re: Walther PK380

Postby Hawk87 » Fri 24 Jan 2014 11:23 pm

Slap Yourself wrote:Thanks for the input B Cart and Hawk87. You guys are awesome. I agree, having the least amount of hurdles to jump to make it go bang is important.

On another note: I'm looking for a .40 for a decent price. (hooray for tax season and an awesome wife) You two prove very knowledgable, any recommendations?


"I carry because I would rather have one and not need one, than need one and not have one. Let's just call it peace of mind."


That's a pretty wide open question. I tend to prefer Glocks, but I am not really a big fan of them in .40, due to the recoil impulse. I would recommend you look into a S&W M&P, with the disclaimer I have not shot one myself. It's my understanding however that they are very accurate (in .40 at least) and reliable. Out side of that, I would look at Glocks (you might like them), the walther ppq, H&K, and maybe sig. The M&P and the Glock, and maybe the walther are the most cost effect from the list. I don't have experience shooting most of those guns in .40, so I would pick a good reliable brand, and test it out. Things like the way a gun points and how you like the recoil are factors you should take into consideration, and can vary from shooter to shooter.

I have to say though, for the price, a used Glock can be pretty hard to beat.

If you want to give a little more info, like price considerations and what you want to use it for, that would help.
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Re: Walther PK380

Postby UnderratedF00l » Fri 24 Jan 2014 11:36 pm

Hawk87 wrote:I have to say though, for the price, a used Glock can be pretty hard to beat.


+1.

@ the OP:

I don't mean to nitpick, but why the choice of .40 over 9mm? I'd suggest that a Glock 19 is still -- despite all attempts by their competitors -- the gold standard for a carry firearm, and every other firearm that comes out is compared directly against it.

A good 9mm self defense hollow point is a very capable round. A 15 +1 capacity in the G19 is nothing to sniff at -- it's as reliable as all get-out, and is as accurate as the shooter.
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Re: Walther PK380

Postby Slap Yourself » Sat 25 Jan 2014 3:00 pm

UnderratedF00l wrote:
Hawk87 wrote:I have to say though, for the price, a used Glock can be pretty hard to beat.


+1.

@ the OP:

I don't mean to nitpick, but why the choice of .40 over 9mm? I'd suggest that a Glock 19 is still -- despite all attempts by their competitors -- the gold standard for a carry firearm, and every other firearm that comes out is compared directly against it.

A good 9mm self defense hollow point is a very capable round. A 15 +1 capacity in the G19 is nothing to sniff at -- it's as reliable as all get-out, and is as accurate as the shooter.


Oh you're not nitpicking, you're fine. You know, I don't really have a preference when it comes down to .40 or 9mm to be quite honest. I'm just looking for a very reliable full size self defense tool. (That's also not going to be much more than $500-$600 hopefully) I know it's quite the open question... Just need some advice thatI can base my reasearch off of. You guys are a huge help, thank you!
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Re: Walther PK380

Postby Hawk87 » Sat 25 Jan 2014 3:49 pm

If 9mm is on the table then my recommendation is a Glock 19. It's what I carry and shoot, and in my opinion is the perfect all around gun.
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Re: Walther PK380

Postby B Cart » Sat 25 Jan 2014 3:51 pm

I used to carry a .40 for a lot of years but have since switched to 9mm and never regretted it. I have a Sig P229 and M&P in .40 and like them both, but I would suggest a 9mm over a .40 for better handling, less recoil, more ammo capacity, and chaper ammo. And if you use good 9mm self defense rounds, your bullet performance be be just as good as a .40 and easier to shoot. Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P is a great self defense load.

As for what gun to get, I personally carry and love the Walther PPQ, but I would also highly suggest a M&P 9, Glock 19 or 17, or H&K P2000. There are a number of other very reliable and well built guns, but based on your requirements, I the the top 3 choices, in my opinion, would be a PPQ, M&P, or Glock. As long as you're choosing from reliable brands, find which one fits you best, and you shoot best, and pick that one.
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Re: Walther PK380

Postby Photocell » Sat 25 Jan 2014 9:33 pm

Talking to a a UHP friend of mine I was told they just put in an order for 700 or so Gen 4 Glock 17's, turning In their 22's (.40) I think the 19,23 are the best carry sizes. And as long as I have loved .40 I am getting thinking to switch myself back to 9mm.
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