how good of a concealed carry gun is a Walther PPK?


March 4, 2010, 09:58 PM
I really like the looks of the Walther PPK, and I would like to try it out soon on rental at my favorite gun store. but, I would like THR input. Anybody conceal this at all, and does anybody own it and shoot it? how is this gun?


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March 4, 2010, 10:07 PM
It's concealable and at one time probably was one of the best. But most of the micro-9s (PPS, Kahr PM9, MK9, KT PF9, KT P11, Rohrbaugh, and probably many others) are much better choices. The PPK is still viable but just doesn't dominate the small pistol category like it once did. It's a bit heavy for one thing. They tend to need break-in. As much as 500 rounds has been recommended. Sometimes even after break-in, you have to get them worked on for reliability. I had a PPK/s in .380. Took a good bit of shooting to get it to reliability. Also have a pre-war PPK in .32. Never missed a beat but no way of telling how many rounds have been through it before it came to me.

Overall, I'd say if you like it, buy one. Shoot it to make sure it performs and carry it. Just be mindful that, from a purely practical standpoint, there are better choices out there.

March 4, 2010, 10:26 PM
The pre smith and wesson pp/ppk/ppks that I have handled were very reiiable and accurate shooters. The early ones were not throated for JHPs and preferred ball ammo. This was not much of an issue at the time since there were few if any jhp factory loads though they would generlly choke on handloaded early jhps with exposed lead.
Regardless of current trends toward micro sized pistols and the use of plastic, the pre smith and wesson ppks were well made, well engineered guns and can be concealed comfortably with a modicum of effort. They are generally thinner than the current micro 9mms that are similar in other dimensions.
I am aware of a couple of S&W PPKs in this area and have heard of several more that were non functional but never heard of any problems with the imports or the PPK americans.
Interarms provided test targets to affirm that the pistols were accurate and actually WORKED. What a concept!

March 4, 2010, 10:31 PM
from a purely practical standpoint, there are better choices out there.

I agree. More modern designs are more size efficient... meaning you can get a more powerful round in a similar sized package that is also lighter. Plenty of folks consider the .380 to be sufficient for self-defense. But plenty of other folks don't. I think it's iffy.

OTOH, for many people practicality is not the only consideration. If you're in love with the ppk - and they're certainly beautiful - get it. But if you're looking at several options, a more modern design will afford you some advantages.

March 5, 2010, 12:49 AM
I carry a PPK 32acp, or it's stepbrother the FEG AP-MBP 32acp as my concealed carry about 25% of the time. I think it's a great carry pistol. Anyone who thinks the 32acp is "Weak" really doesn't know much. The 32acp was one of the best calibers for a very long time. And while there may be more powerful cartridges out there now; the human body has not become tougher over the years. In other words, the 32acp will kill a person and/or stop a threat just as well today as it did 40 years ago. And I've never seen anyone that was "MORE DEAD" because they were shot with a 9mm, 40, or 45acp. Remember, the purpose of a defensive hand gun is NOT to kill people. It's to stop the threat. And 7 rounds of 32acp is very effective at that. And I've yet to see anyone volunteer to stand in front of one and try and prove me wrong.

March 5, 2010, 02:03 AM
Used to be the gold standard for CC but there are better these days. If you really like the classic steel lines, go for it.

March 5, 2010, 02:13 AM
I carried my Interarms for a long time. Today their are smaller and lighter pistols in 380. As for the S&W PPK/s I have yet to see one .I would carry home when compared to a Interarms or German made .
For 1/2 the money you can buy a Bersa Thunder in 380 better trigger just as accurate and reliable . Finish isn't as nice but if a carry they will wear and scratch any way .

harmon rabb
March 5, 2010, 07:11 AM
you can get a bersa thunder that looks the same and has a better trigger for half the price. :shrug:

Oscar 14
March 5, 2010, 07:39 AM
I've owned and carried a PPKs for about 8 years now. It was my first ccw gun. I have several others now but continue to carry the Walther when the mood strikes me. Never had an issue with it. Ate every kind of ammo I fed it, very accurate and fun to shoot. I didn't need to break it in. I think the .380 is an adequate SD round if you're familiar with your gun and shoot it on a regular basis to become proficient. One .380 in a BG is better than 5 misses with a .45. I have .38s, .357s, a 9mm and plan to get a compact .45, but I will continue to carry the Walther also cause it's a great gun. JMHO.

March 5, 2010, 07:43 AM
And if you carry one you have to learn to drink martini's.


The Bushmaster
March 5, 2010, 09:27 AM
Only if you carry the .32 ACP...:D

March 5, 2010, 09:15 PM
My Interarms works just fine and carries pretty nicely. I can't hit the broad side of a barn from the inside with my Keltec P3AT, and I've found that I'd rather carry something a little heavier that I shoot well.

March 5, 2010, 09:23 PM
For all those bad mouthing the S&W PPK and PPK/s:

I've had my S&W PPK/s for 2 years now, and it has yet to see an issue whether FTFeed, FTFire or FTE. It is extremely accurate and feels good in my hand. It points very naturally for me.

Yes it is a bit heavy, but I like a bit of heft. I carry it daily and I never feel like I don't have enough gun. Trigger pull in SA is also heavy, but it's very smooth, with a clean crisp break. I like it that way as I carry round in chamber, hammer down.

This PPK/s is one of my favorite guns, second only to my CZ P-01.

March 5, 2010, 10:49 PM
Carried one for many years but the Bersa shoots much much better and costs far less.


But I should note that I carry a 3 inch PT-140 in 40 S&W and feel that the .380 or 9mm for that mater is not sufficient for protection.

March 6, 2010, 12:24 AM
Keep it clean and it'll do fine. A friend of mine carried his in an ankle holster. He went for qualification and when he pulled it, it choked. Leg dandruff, dust and hair tied it up. He turned it in for a Smith Model 60.

The one I checked out from the armory HATED ball ammo and loved GoldDot.

Both of those were pre-Smith stainless .380s.

March 6, 2010, 01:30 PM
There are much better options out there especially for the price your going to pay for a walther.

D/A trigger is horrible
Hammer bite
Horrible recoil (due to it being a blowback)

Frankly your better off carrying a Makarov, or P64.

P64 v PPK.

9mm makarov vs .380

the makarov will hit harder and recoil softer

the P64 can be had for $164 at aimsurplus
Your lucky to find a PPK even a crappy S&W for under $550.

March 6, 2010, 02:19 PM
The Walther has a proven design that works -- and has worked for decades.
It's a terrific choice for concealed carry.

The original German-made guns are expensive these days, but the quality is second-to-none -- and that includes all of the clones that are on the market, IMO. The French-made pistols from Manurhin also are exceptionally well-made, and you can often find these models for less money. If you spot one at a price that's within your budget, grab it -- you absolutely can't go wrong. The Interarms/Ranger pistols, made in the USA, also are worth the time and attention. Most of them are wonderfully rreliable, and they are built to the identical specs of the originals. The S&W guns, IMO, should be passed by (and yes, I own one). For every one that works, you'll find one that does not. The recall (hammer block/safety) was slow to happen, and many of the "repaired" pistols have exhibited the same issue upon their return to the owner. Unless, or until, S&W gets is act together and figures out a way to produce a reliable PPK, stick with the Walther, Manurhin, or Interarms names and you'll be a happy camper.

March 6, 2010, 04:08 PM
While I like to reminise about the old days, this is not one of them PPK that is. First off it was a 1970 model (Walther), the finish rubbed off, the slide had to be greased all the time otherwise it would bind up, the trigger could only be used single action or you would miss whatever you were shooting at, the finish was so bad it would rust if not kept oiled.

Traded it in on a Browning High Power after less than a year of ownership. Neat looking gun but a POS unless you are a James Bond fan (Q could have given Bond a much better gun to use).

If you must have a small gun then get a decent one in 9mm or better yet in 40 S&W.

Not too well known but the best investment in a good workable gun:

Take a look at one, you will be suprised.

Mad Magyar
March 6, 2010, 05:24 PM
Comparing a Walther to a Bersa is like comparing a Titan P.U. to a Ranger...
This winds up more in my pocket (yeah, a little heavy--hitch up your belt) more so than in a holster; but it's reliable...That's what counts..
P.S. Wore that outfit yesterday-boots to match-in warm Phoenix and had more stares than Britney existing her car....:D
P.S.2 All handmade by me; except the boots...

chris in va
March 6, 2010, 05:41 PM
For the same size and weight you can get a Kahr K9 or MK9 if you prefer all steel. Plus it's 9mm.

March 6, 2010, 06:23 PM
I have heard that the PPK doesn't particularly like JHPs as mentioned above. However, it is slim and would conceal easily in a pocket or however you like.

Because it doesn't like hollowpoints (it's an old design that was made when basically all there was to shoot was FMJ rounds) I have heard of people loading a hollowpoint into the chamber, and keeping a magazine in it full of regular ball ammo. .380 doesn't have much power to it compared to 9mm and up, and I guess the thinking is that even a FMJ won't overpenetrate if you have to take a second shot. .380 ball ammo brought down many people back in the day. Maybe not in one shot, but I'm sure they weren't willing to fight as hard after catching the business end of it.

The Lone Haranguer
March 6, 2010, 06:28 PM
A benchmark of pocket .380s for decades, it has been surpassed by several subcompact 9mms - most notably the Kahr PM and MK series - of virtually equal size. I would rent and shoot one first to be sure it doesn't leave "slide tracks" across your hand.

March 6, 2010, 06:54 PM
My S&W PPK/s feeds hollowpoints just fine. Again, no FTF's or FTE's since I've owned this pistol.

I don't get hammer or slide bite from my gun either. I used to have the skin between my thumb and forefinger rubbed off, but a little work with a stone rounded off the sharp corner at the beavertail, and it hasn't done it since.

March 6, 2010, 07:10 PM
I had an Interarms PPK/S and hated it. It had to be perfectly clean and oiled to function. It would fail to fully chamber a FMJ round when it had the slightest bit of dirt on it, or after 50 rounds or so. I would take a Keltec P3AT over a PPK/S any day...and the P3AT is much lighter and smaller to boot. My Kahr PM40 weighs much less than a PPK, is about the same size, is more reliable, and shoots .40 S&W. There are so many better choices.

Mad Magyar
March 6, 2010, 07:43 PM
but a little work with a stone rounded off the sharp corner at the beavertail, and it hasn't done it since.
Precisely...I used a fine file & emory cloth also to finish off the rear edges of the slide....You can see in the photo the rounded rear-end..
I notice some critique about reliability. I do keep it well maintained, maybe that's the difference...

harmon rabb
March 7, 2010, 09:01 AM
Comparing a Walther to a Bersa is like comparing a Titan P.U. to a Ranger..

not really. it's like comparing a P3AT to a LCP. the clone is better than the original. more reliable, better trigger, cheaper.

March 7, 2010, 09:24 AM
The Walther PPK/S is clearly one of the finest pistols ever made with regard to materials fit and finish. Reliable. Inherently accurate. Crisp trigger action from DA to SA, perfect for a SD pocket pistol. A workmanship legend. Period.

It amazes me how any knowing pistoleer can throw good money at the latest gun-de-jour made of black plastic and stamped sheet metal. Disagree? Study the exploded diagram of the PPK/S. Or the venerable Colt Mustang. Then look at the popular Diamondback. Bah. Why do people spend money on such junk?

March 7, 2010, 03:31 PM
I've had 2 of the S&W ppk's, yes they are a bit heavy but both of mine shot fine and all I ever shot in then was reloaded speer gold dot hollow points. The reason that I've had 2 is that I made the misteak of showing the first one to my wife who adopted it, so I bought me another and my son got it when he got his carry permit. But my wife found that it was a bity heavy to carry (like her sp101) so I got her a LCR with ct laser grips and she gave me back my ppk, but since then I got a keltec p3at and a pf9 and I prefer the pf9 to the ppk (more umph and better sights). So to each his own, get what you like, try it out if you don't like it there are lots more choices out there.

March 7, 2010, 09:20 PM
Been carrying my Interarms-made Walther PPK in .380 since 1999, when I bought it new.
I originally purchased a Colt Pony in .380. After the first two shots, the trigger failed to return forward to battery. I removed the magazine, cleared the chamber and pushed the trigger forward into place.
A few more rounds, same story.
Brought it back to the dealer, who doubted my report on the Colt's failing. Then he started working the slide back and forth, and dry-firing it each time. About the 4th time, the trigger stuck in the rearward position.
The dealer looked down and said, "I"ll be damned. He offered to send it back to Colt. Nothing doing. That Pony had an 18-pound double-action trigger pull! :what:
And since it was double-action-only I couldn't hit a thing with it.
Applied the Colt money toward the Walther PPK and have never regretted it.
Yes, it's an older design -- that means it's proven.

Yes, it's all-steel and a little heavy -- that means longevity and the little extra weight soaks up recoil. An 80-grain jacketed hollowpoint at 1,000 fps (a maximum load crafted by me, and not one I'd divulge) generates a fair amount of recoil and blast in such a small gun.
I'll take the extra few ounces.

It has been remarkably accurate and reliable for about 2,500 rounds. I have a cousin who, impressed with my PPK, bought one for himself. He works at a major shooting on the West Coast, so he shot it a lot.
He put 8,000 rounds through his, in about two years, before he retired it. It was getting worn, but still went BANG when you pulled the trigger.
We both reload, and agree that our PPK pistols are not completely reliable with lead bullets, but with ball or jacketed hollowpoints it just gobbles them.
I don't recall that I've ever had a jacketed bullet fail to feed.
Lead bullets are reserved for target practice, so an occasional failure to feed is tolerated.

Here in Utah, I walk in and out of stores for hours with the PPK in my coat pocket or, during the summer, in my front jeans pocket. It's flat, and conceals easily.
I lubricate my PPK with Remington's Rem-DriLube: spray it on, the carrier evaporates and leaves a dry film of Teflon. The dry Teflon doesn't attract pocket crud like a moist solvent, such as gun oil, does. The PPK is reliable for months without additional treatment.

No, I've never had the slide or hammer bite me.

The double-action pull is about 8 pounds. The single action breaks cleanly at about 5 pounds.

My Interams-made PPK is reliable and accurate. It's easily maintained and breaks down into major components in seconds. It's thin, unlike so many of the newer pistols today that seem to have been inspired by a 2X4.

If the day comes that I have to defend my life, I'll hope that I've got an AR15 or 12-gauge pump in my hands. A handgun is a last-ditch defensive weapon, but far better than your fists or a knife.
The PPK may not be the answer to every defense scenario -- no handgun is.

March 8, 2010, 02:29 PM
+1 on the P64. Great gun for the money, a little bigger in the bang department. I like and have owned the PPK along with the P230. I carry several different guns, with the P64 being one of my favorites.

March 8, 2010, 03:58 PM
Bond never seemed to have a printing problem. :rolleyes:

March 8, 2010, 06:42 PM
I'm glad there are so many happy customers with Interarms stainless and S&W produced PPk and PPk/s's. I cling to my 1964 German Walther PPk in .32. It is amazingly accurate, and perfectly reliable with Dynamit Nobel, RWS, and most US factory ammo. My reloads are a little less reliable & need a taper crimp die, and I haven't got around to getting one yet. As far as concealing, here is acomparison to a Colt Government and Colt .25 auto. The PPK is right in between. If you use the flat bottom mag with the PPK, it hides even better in a pocket, on the ankle, etc. Go for it!

March 10, 2010, 12:30 PM
Mine was a pre 74 German made gun. I owned it for 20 years, and carried it off and on during that time. After the 3d time it FTF's on me, I stopped carrying it. I feel that if I cannot rely on a gun after having it worked on by a gunsmith "who specialized in Walthers", "michael Britt", I could no longer carry it. It was very accurate, and shot it weekly with a club at the Nassau County range. I loved the way it looked and felt, but lost faith in it. Perhaps the Sig would be the way to go now, I have been told that they are very reliable. Don't forget that in the 70's-80's there weren't many small autos to chose from. Now there is no excuse to carry underpowered weapons that are finicky. I would suggest any of the newer 9mm, 40cal, H&K, Sig, Glock,Baretta and Walther, all make nice guns in 9mm that are the same size and around the same price range. I had a similar incident with Kahr 9mm when they first came out, I closed the book on that one also. I shoot my guns, and I know how to shoot them, if there is a problem that can't be fixed after 2 or 3 trips back to the gunsmith or factory, "gone" We have come a long way since the .380 being the only auto choice for a small package. Gun companies like fashion designers and car manufacturers, must change, add, or somehow modify their guns every year, or no one would feel the need to get the new model. It doesn’t mean it's better or worse. The sudden resurgence of the 380, is a gimmick, there is no real need to step back into time for a "new 380". If you really have to have one, get the newest best engineered model made. Shrinking things down always makes them more temperamental. I have nothing against 380's, they had their place and maybe still do, but there are better options for you now.

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