Walther PPK

Description

The Walther Polizei Pistole Kurz (Short Police Pistol) is a small-frame semi-automatic pistol chambered in .380 ACP and .32 ACP.  It was originally designed in Germany in 1935 as a concealed carry pistol, but is now manufactured by Smith & Wesson, one of the largest handgun manufacturers in the US.

Features include an exposed hammer, a double-action trigger, a single-column magazine, and a fixed barrel which also acts as the guide rod for the recoil spring.

walther_ppk-cover1 walther_ppk_11 walther_ppk_21

Specifications

.380 ACP
Caliber:.380 ACP
Capacity:7
Sights:Fixed open
Features:Decocker
Action:Semi-auto
Size:Medium
Trigger:Double action only
Slide Material:Stainless steel
Frame Material:Polymer
Website:http://www.waltherpi…
Weight:1.375 pounds
Barrel Length:3.4"
.32 ACP
Caliber:.32 ACP
Capacity:7
Sights:Fixed open
Features:Decocker
Action:Semi-auto
Size:Medium
Trigger:Double action only
Slide Material:Stainless steel
Frame Material:Polymer
Website:http://www.waltherpi…
Weight:1.375 pounds
Barrel Length:3.4"
MSRP$629.00

Editor Review

Forget for a minute that this pistol was a staple for Nazis.  It was the imagination of Ian Fleming that made the Walther PPK an icon.  The diminutive pistol is the preferred side arm of 007—James Bond, and that’s one of the main reasons why the classic Walther is still in production.

The Walther PPK is a small, slim, and concealable handgun.  They are not the bulky, macho, blunderbusses preferred by Americans heroes.  While the silver screen was dominated by Americans with .44 magnums and .45 automatics, the suave Walther looked more like a piece of Jewelry meant to accent Bond’s tuxedo.

But like Bond himself, don’t let the Walther’s looks fool you.  This is a complex and capable firearm.  The pistol has been in production for 80 years.  And it has eliminated much of the competition—some exceptional guns like the Colt 1903.  The solid steel construction gives the pistol a substantial feel.  The sights are clear and usable.  The initial double-action trigger pull is heavy, but the following pulls are light and responsive.  It has an exposed hammer and a de-cocker.  The gun’s fixed barrel adds a slight bit of recoil, but increases the pistol’s accuracy. 

The most common argument I have heard against the PPK is that it is not available in 9mm—or anything bigger than the .380.  Nonsense.  The .380 is an effective round—when placed well.  It is certainly effective at close range, and that is this gun’s intended use.

My guess would be that you know already how you feel about the PPK, but I’d highly recommend it as a backup gun, or for concealed carry.  However, the competition in this market is stiff because there are lots of small polymer framed pocket pistols like the Ruger LC9.  Most of these high-tech options are smaller, thinner, and some shoot stronger rounds.  They are also lighter, harder to hold, harder to shoot straight and prone to jumpy recoil.  


But I personally like the way the PPK handles, and shoots, and conceals. The price may be prohibitive for some—it isn’t cheap.  But it is a fine example of German engineering.  That said, the pistols are built stateside by the good folks at Smith & Wesson—so you can add the venerable reputation of that fine company to the list of recommendations.  And, if you ever find yourself decked out in a white dinner jacket, sipping a dry martini, facing down the most nefarious villains of whatever war we happen to be fighting…

I can’t imagine using the classic Walther PPK for anything other than self defense, though others have.  The canonical version of Hitler’s suicide includes a PPK—maybe the best use of a Walther pistol, ever.