Walther PK380 vs. the World


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GETxSOME
May 25, 2010, 01:32 AM
Saturday I went to one of the nearest Gun Shop/Indoor Ranges for the first time to look around, window shop, price range time, etc. While browsing the display cases I stumbled upon a Walther PK380 fitted with a rail mount laser. Instantly I liked the look, the size, and it felt very good in my hand. So, what does everyone feel/know about this gun and .380 ammo?

Secondly, this will be my first and only (for awhile) semi auto handgun. So, I am looking for the all around gun... and cheap. I want it to be comfortable for CC, comfortable on the range, and easy on my wallet. Oh yeah, some cool looks would be nice too lol. This PK380 seems to fit most of the criteria quite well, and I've always been partial to the look of Walthers anyway.. so I think it might be the front runner. Im hopefully going to get some range time on 2-3 guns tomorrow, so I'd like to know what YOU think about what I should be comparing to this gun.

-Travis

P.S.
is $20 per half hour + ammo/targets a decent price for range time?

P.P.S
I apologize for such a long post, I tend to be long winded :p

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GLOOB
May 25, 2010, 01:46 AM
Be sure to check your local avail and price on .380 ammo. Or if you plan to buy .380 ACP online, get ready for some sticker shock.

GETxSOME
May 25, 2010, 02:47 AM
Is CheaperThanDirt.com a good spot for online ammo?

Can someone PLEASE give me some feedback on guns of this size/cal.? Im going to the range early in the afternoon tomorrow and would like to have an idea of what guns to demo since I am on a budget for range time!

basicblur
May 25, 2010, 03:31 AM
Well you probably don't wanna hear this, but...
That Walther is one that really has me scratching my head-gotta confess-I just keep looking at it and asking myself why? (but I'm a pragmatist).
It's on the big side for a 380-you can find 9mm guns around that size.
While you might save a little money on the gun, the price of 380 ammo is going to eat you alive (assuming you can find any).
Besides being cheaper to shoot, 9mm is going to be a more effective SD round.
I really didn't think the quality looked that good, and doesn't the safety work "backwards" (flip up to knock the safety off)-if not backwards, should not the pivot point for the safety be in front of the lever and not behind-kinda like a 1911?

Anywho-I steer most new shooters wanting a SD gun to the XDSC9. I don't tell 'em to buy one, but to mebbe use 'em as a baseline when shopping.
Some advantages with an XDSC9
1. 9mm much cheaper to shoot than a 380
2. I like the grip safety-passive, so you don't forget to knock it off, but offers a little more safety when reholstering (using proper technique).
3. Darn accurate for such a short barrelled gun
4. Comes with short mag for CC (13 rds), long mag (16 rds) for HD, range work, reloads, etc.

The bad-its starting to get a little thick for CC?

Probably not what you wanted to hear, but unless you just "want" the PK380, I'd think long and hard before buying the Walther.

EDIT: To cure a dangling pinky with the short mag on an XDSC9, you can get Pearce Grip Extenders (http://www.pearcegrip.com/springxd.htm) to really lock the grip in.
I'm sure somebody will chime in with a Glock recommendation before long, but be aware of the different grip angle a Glock has-I never warmed up to 'em because of the grip angle, and I do like the XD's grip safety.
Nuttin' wrong with a Glock, but just be aware of the difference in grip angle.

GETxSOME
May 25, 2010, 03:35 AM
I'm not dead set on it, the price and feel were right but I didn't think about the strange safety and weird hammer release etc. I'd like to find something similar to it though.. what about a P99c?

basicblur
May 25, 2010, 03:47 AM
what about a P99c
I'd think that would be a much better choice than the PK380 just for the ammo if nothing else.
I'm not that familiar with 'em as they don't sell in my neck o' the woods-I'm sure somebody will be along to give you more good/bad?
Might also look at the PPS? Not that big a fan of Walthers (though I have a PPK and P22), but the PPS etc look interesting due to how thin they are (for CC).

EDIT: If you're a new shooter, fuhgetabout the laser until you've "mastered" the iron sights! Lasers are great training aids (I regularly dry fire my bed gun using the laser to check for sight bounce), but don't make a noob mistake of going straight for the laser. They have their place, but they'll probably fail just when you need 'em, and if you haven't mastered ye olde iron sights...?

GETxSOME
May 25, 2010, 04:11 AM
I see your point about the laser, I like it just for the "cool factor" more than practicality. I was planning on going for the non-laser fitted model for $359 instead of $550ish for the laser fitted model.

I think ammo cost is going to be one of the biggest factors for me right now. Because I am so new to handguns I'd like to put a large number of rounds through whatever gun I end up with so that it feels near second nature when handling/carrying.

Im going to check back on this thread before I head to the range tomorrow, so hopefully I can get some more feedback between now and then. I am truely open to all suggestions minus Glock and XD's. So it sounds like I need to handle/test fire a few compact 9mm's tomorrow then right?

TexasBill
May 25, 2010, 07:26 AM
I own a Walter PK380 First Edition and have had it for almost exactly six months. I think it's a great little gun. .380 is a perfectly adequate round for self-defense at typical ranges and the PK380 holds nine of them. It fits well into an IWB holster and conceals nicely.

I have found the ambidextrous safety to be easy to use and have gotten used to the magazine release. No worries about accidentally dropping the magazine!

The gun is a joy to shoot. In my experience, it has handled any .380 ammo I have tried and has very low recoil (it's a delayed blowback design). It's a pistol that's easy to shoot all day long. It's big enough to hold onto with all your fingers for improved grip and control.

.380 ammo can be tough to find at a decent price, but I haven't had any real trouble, especially recently. I've found Sellier & Bellot for about $20/50 rounds locally. Shop around online.

Plus, the PK380 is very competitively priced.

So, now you have an opinion from someone who actually owns a PK380.

LRS_Ranger
May 25, 2010, 08:20 AM
+1 for the 9mm. It's just a better round than the 380 in all regards unless the little bit of size increase is a really big deal to you. I would advise that you go to a good, big gun shop that has a lot of choices. I would then go and look at everything they have in your price range, then go home and sleep on it. Each person likes different things, and it would do you well to get your hands on lots of different stuff and find what fits you best. In your situation I WOULD urge you to get a 9mm because it is cheap and very user friendly. Best of luck..

Mad Magyar
May 25, 2010, 08:20 AM
So, now you have an opinion from someone who actually owns a PK380.

Good point...

Haifisch
May 25, 2010, 08:36 AM
A pistol in 9mm would be a better choice... A more reasonable price for ammo and a more powerful round.

dom1104
May 25, 2010, 08:39 AM
Three things are going to go thru someones mind when you show them a .380 that is larger than a LCP.

1. Girls gun
2. expensive to shoot
3. why not a 9mm?

Storm
May 25, 2010, 09:05 AM
For more opinions from those who have the gun go to the Walther Forum.

You will find that the gun has some issues other than the negatives that have already been pointed out. At any rate, I would wait a year or two while the issues are ironed out before buying one. Quite frankly, I have serious doubts that this gun deserves the Walther banner. Besides, it's an Umarex.

A P99C or PPS in 9mm are such better choices.

huntsman
May 25, 2010, 09:05 AM
Saturday I went to one of the nearest Gun Shop/Indoor Ranges for the first time to look around, window shop, price range time, etc. While browsing the display cases I stumbled upon a Walther PK380 fitted with a rail mount laser. Instantly I liked the look, the size, and it felt very good in my hand. So, what does everyone feel/know about this gun and .380 ammo?

Secondly, this will be my first and only (for awhile) semi auto handgun. So, I am looking for the all around gun... and cheap. I want it to be comfortable for CC, comfortable on the range, and easy on my wallet. Oh yeah, some cool looks would be nice too lol. This PK380 seems to fit most of the criteria quite well, and I've always been partial to the look of Walthers anyway.. so I think it might be the front runner. Im hopefully going to get some range time on 2-3 guns tomorrow, so I'd like to know what YOU think about what I should be comparing to this gun.

-Travis

P.S.
is $20 per half hour + ammo/targets a decent price for range time?

P.P.S
I apologize for such a long post, I tend to be long winded :p
Does your range have ammo?

I shot one the other day and it's a smaller than my BDA but bigger than the LCP possible for short term pocket carry and overall would be light on the belt seemed like a decent enough gun.

But then there's the whole ammo thing so I don't know, for a newbie you might look to the 9mm

Taurus 617 CCW
May 25, 2010, 09:05 AM
FYI...Gander Mountain is offering free shipping in their catalog for all items including ammo. I ordered a box of Gold Dot .380's and they arrived last week. No shipping, no hazmat. The GD's ran $24.99 to my door. Their promotion is good until the end of the month.

chicharrones
May 25, 2010, 09:24 AM
If it wasn't for the price of .380 ammo, I'd love to have a Walther PK380 for my wife and daughters to shoot. Being that it isn't blowback like other .380s in this class (Walther PPK, Beretta Cheetah), people with lesser hand strength can actually rack the slide.

As far as the slide safety going the wrong way, that is like most slide safeties I've ever seen (Beretta 92) - not counting Makarovs.

christcorp
May 25, 2010, 09:35 AM
Three things are going to go thru someones mind when you show them a .380 that is larger than a LCP.

1. Girls gun
2. expensive to shoot
3. why not a 9mm?
Screw what goes through someone else's mind. Don't buy guns to impress people. Buy the gun/caliber you want. The gun you'll shoot a lot and become proficient with. Screw what others think. There are however some very good opinions out there that are constructive. The availability and cost of 380 ammo makes it the one caliber of gun I would tell people to pass on. At least for now. Unless you're really big into reloading, the 380 is not going to be a fun gun if it's always sitting in the house because you can't find or afford ammo to shoot in it. For the same size of the gun, you can find a 9mm or a 9mm makarov pistol and buy ammo for $8-$10 a box. And it's available. That's the ONLY reason I wouldn't recommend getting a 380 pistol.

Guns and more
May 25, 2010, 09:37 AM
Is CheaperThanDirt.com a good spot for online ammo?
No. They were gouging people on .380 when it was hard to find. "It's like playoff tickets." Yeah, playoffs are over.
I'd go to Natchez and Cabela's.
is $20 per half hour + ammo/targets a decent price for range time?
With their gun? Probably. One range near me charges $20 all day with my gun, the other (air conditioned) charges $20 per hour. When I shoot, an hour is enough. After that I find I get lazy and just fire at targets rather than concentrate.
I'd like to know what YOU think about what I should be comparing to this gun.
A good range gun is big and heavy. A good carry gun is small and light. If you only have one, I'd practice with the carry gun. I love my Sig P-238. Small, fun to shoot, looks good, great carry gun, but......not so cheap.

I find it's less expensive to buy a good gun than to buy a cheap one, then buy the good one later when you learn why you didn't like the cheap one.

6x6pinz
May 25, 2010, 09:53 AM
I have four of the PK380's one is the first edition. Great little shooters and about as comfortable a pistol to shoot. Anyone can shoot it and not feel over powered like some do even with a 9mm. I don't cc mine, that is what my sig 230sl is for. People need to wake up and realize that 380 is back and plentiful again, not like a year ago. Sadly yes 380 is more expensive than 9mm and yes if this is going to be an all around pistol there are definitely other pistols that should be considered. Nothing wrong with the PK380 and if it one you like the looks, feel and your ability to control it than it would make a great choice. No matter what others think, if YOU are not comfortable with (insert your pistol choice here) than it will not be a good pistol to YOU.

huntsman
May 25, 2010, 12:05 PM
People need to wake up and realize that 380 is back and plentiful again, not like a year ago.

Not for me, I still can't walk into the local shops a pick up a box of .380 in any brand.

I have been buying SD ammo from Cabela's but when you add shipping it's over a buck a cartridge.

easyg
May 25, 2010, 12:11 PM
Quote:
People need to wake up and realize that 380 is back and plentiful again, not like a year ago.

Not for me, I still can't walk into the local shops a pick up a box of .380 in any brand.
Same here in the Charlotte area of NC.
.380 ammo is definitely not plentiful locally.
Yeah, you can find some, but it aint cheap.

easyg
May 25, 2010, 12:12 PM
A P99C or PPS in 9mm are such better choices.
I agree.

EMC45
May 25, 2010, 12:31 PM
I carry ball ammo in my .380. It is an Astra Constable. I used to carry ball in my Keltec too. Cheaper and I know it will feed. I ran some hollowpoints through the KelTec and an earlier Colt 1908 Pocket Auto. The reliability was hit and miss. A defensive handgun being used in a defensive situation is not a good testing platform for reliability issues....

357SIG
May 25, 2010, 12:44 PM
I don't like to bash specific guns, as I think most offerings from any major mfg. are usually as good as anything else. The PK380 is one where I have to break that rule. Why?

Well...
- The gun was designed to be a .22LR (P22) and scaled up significantly to handle the .380. That doesn't sit well in my stomach.
- I've been seeing posts about severe wear on the barrel as a result of sharp edges on the slide. That makes me think it isn't well machined.
- If the safety is the same as that of the P22, it sucks and moves around under recoil.


The first two alone are enough to keep me far from ever owning one of these guns. The last is unverified.

Other things that infulence me, but are just me being nit-picky:
- Size is too large, as a Kahr K9/P9 is the same size and available in 9mm.
- Cost of ammo.
- Effectiveness of .380 auto.

MICHAEL T
May 25, 2010, 12:49 PM
I decided to keep my PPK/S That other just ugly. 380 is pretty easy to find in my area again. May be your dealers need to order it. My dealer has several brands Even corbon not cheap but its their. Wal Mart only place almost no ammo and no need to go their any way.

basicblur
May 25, 2010, 12:52 PM
9mm has never been that hard to find at WalMart in my area, but the shelves are finally starting to fill up with it. Can't tell you the last time I EVER saw 380 on the shelf. 9mm practice ammo is going for roughly half of what 380 is going for, and from what I hear, my area is better than many on 380 ammo prices. A 50 round box of 9mm Federal @ WalMart is under $10-WWB is slightly higher. You'll have to dig to find 380, and you'll be lucky if it's only twice the price of 9mm.

AFA the safety being "backwards"-the only SD gun I have with a safety that operates like the Walther is a 4013TSW S&W-nice gun, but I truly despise the safety design. I much prefer to knock it off by flipping down like a 1911/HK USPC, etc. Mebbe it's because I grew up on 1911s, but flipping a safety down is much more intuitive than flipping it up-and after you flip it down, your hand is in/closer to the firing position than having to reposition your thumb after flipping it up. Either way, I'd still also prefer the pivot point be in front of the lever instead of behind, just to make it easier to reach/operate. I also prefer frame mounted safeties instead of slide mounted.

And to the OP-AFA ammo, I have better luck with practice ammo prices @ WalMart (unless you're really buying in bulk), but for SD ammo, you might try Ammunition To Go, and also visit police supply shops in your area? The police supply shops in my area range from cheapest prices I've found to outrageous (for SD ammo).
I avoid the 20/25 round boxes of SD ammo shops are pushing these days-I buy the 50 round boxes from the previously mentioned 2 sources often for the same price as shops are selling the 20/25 round SD boxes.

Kilroy Higgins
May 25, 2010, 01:06 PM
All of this aside, how does this gun compare the the Walther PPS?

(Also, hi all, long time lurker, first time poster)

GETxSOME
May 26, 2010, 09:39 PM
So yesterday I went back to the local store/range, and pretty much put my hands on every 9mm in my price range. The only one that compared to the feel of the PK380 IMO was a S&W P99. I'd like to locate a P99C and run some rounds through it because I'd really like something smaller.

I tend to be slightly impulsive so I may disregard the .380 ammo issue and just end up with a PK380 anyway just because I love the feel so much!

RidgwayCO
May 26, 2010, 11:50 PM
If you reload, .380 Auto is a cheap and easy round to work with. I reload for my Beretta 84 and Bersa 95 for less than $.09 per round (95gr lead round nose bullets). That's only $4.50 for a box of 50. But if you don't reload, I'm not sure if I would recommend the .380 Auto because the commercial ammo is so expensive. And with the profusion of .380 handguns being sold, I don't see that changing in the near future.

If this is your first gun (for the practice range, carry, and home defense), then I'd recommend something comfortable in 9mm Parabellum. Commercial ammo costs won't eat you alive, and that means you'll be able to practice more with it. And the only way to become a better shooter is to practice...

GETxSOME
May 27, 2010, 12:14 AM
That's a very good point, at some point I'd like to start reloading but that won't be for awhile. I guess my plan will be to keep touching every 9mm until I find the right one... which makes me a little sad because I'm too impatient to have to wait!

huntsman
May 27, 2010, 09:06 AM
^ Then just buy it, as long as you can get the ammo to shoot do what you want.


Any gun is better than no gun.

Life is too short to fret over something as small as this.

Rawb77
May 27, 2010, 10:16 AM
+1 to going to a 9mm P99c or even going P99. I carry a P99AS no issues keeping it concealed even though it is a *full sized* gun. If you're worried about that, drop it down to the P99c!

GLOOB
May 27, 2010, 04:08 PM
Is CheaperThanDirt.com a good spot for online ammo?
You should have checked last week. All they had in stock for .380 ACP were Glazers, 6 rounds for $10.00, and some kind of mall ninja super-ammo that is $33.89 for a box of 50.

I have a LGS that's selling .380 PMC for $14.00, for reference. But it's still pretty rare to see. None of the big chains have any, right now.

Nine Lives
May 27, 2010, 04:19 PM
There is plenty of it online. I bought a bunch of both JHP's and FMJ's from ammunitiontogo.com like 2 days ago to feed my PPK.

GLOOB
May 27, 2010, 06:45 PM
Yeah, I bought some there, too, before I found a small amount, locally. But $18.00 a box plus shipping for Privi Partisan (however you spell it) FMJ makes it as expensive as .45 ACP bought locally.

GETxSOME
May 27, 2010, 08:01 PM
I'm going to keep an eye open for .380 at some of the local stores.. If anyone has a tip on a spot in southern Michigan let me know!

searcher451
May 27, 2010, 08:21 PM
If you are considering a PK380 vs. the world at present, take the world and leave the PK380 behind. It's a Umarex product to start with, it has far more in common with the P22 than it does with the P99, and it's also got some issues that need to be worked out (see the Walther Forums for a good look at some of them).

The folks here who recommended the P99C had it exactly right, without even considering the ammo availability question -- and that's also worth considering.

GETxSOME
May 28, 2010, 02:39 PM
I'm having trouble finding a P99C.. What would be the price difference between that and the PK380?

pete f
May 28, 2010, 03:09 PM
Get the full size 99. Yeah its a bit big, but its easy to conceal with a good holster, and its a terrific gun. I prefer the standard trigger action on the 99, over the QA trigger.

The price difference is what ever the stores in your area have them for.

I had a PK380, one of the first ones shipped, I had it for a month, kept trying to create reasons to keep it and failed, I sold it.

Issues, its too big for the .380. its a larger gun than several pocket 9 mill guns. Had they kept the same dimensions as the p22, they would have had a winner, even if it only held 8 rounds. I have a hard time carrying a gun that big for a cartridge that weak. It shot well, and it worked, but it was a let down.

If you are a new shooter, which is sounds like, the 9 mm ammo will be about 2/3rds the price of 380, real good defensive ammo is available, and cheap shooter stuff is coming back

I have taught several people how to shoot handguns prior to them getting their carry permits, and I would say 70-percent have decided that after trying several of my guns, that the p99 is the one they want to carry.

huntsman
May 28, 2010, 04:08 PM
I'm going to keep an eye open for .380 at some of the local stores.. If anyone has a tip on a spot in southern Michigan let me know!
Cabela's

Weevil
May 28, 2010, 04:30 PM
I picked one up a couple of months ago.


http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n200/srebough/100_0221.jpg


Pretty much an impulse buy, I had a P22 and liked the look and feel and the PK380 has the same look and an even better feel in my hand.

I may wind up carrying it occasionally but I've got other guns for that so that wasn't my primary concern.

As I was hoping it's a great little shooter with almost no felt-recoil and with the great ergonomics and very good accuracy it's a real pleasure to spend an afternoon at the range with.

Yeah there's definitely better guns for killing people but the PK380 is hard to beat for just the pure joy of shooting and plinking and if necessary it can be pressed into service for self-defense.

oasis618
May 28, 2010, 04:59 PM
$20 per half hour! Jeez my local range is $10 for as long as I feel like staying...1 hour or 10.

DAdams
May 28, 2010, 05:59 PM
You might want to look into the S&W line.

M&P 9c is close to the P99c.

Here is their new .380 with built in laser. Don't know if they are in the shops yet.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category4_750001_750051_757892_-1_757752_757751_image

I just bought a P99AS. It fit me better ergonomically than any other mid to full sized semi's. The P99C and P99 go for the upper $600 range. I bought mine from Buds.

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