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Walther PK380 vs. the World

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by GETxSOME, May 25, 2010.


    GETxSOME Well-Known Member

    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.


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

    I apologize for such a long post, I tend to be long winded :p
  2. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    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 Well-Known Member

    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!
  4. basicblur

    basicblur Well-Known Member

    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 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.
    Last edited: May 25, 2010

    GETxSOME Well-Known Member

    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?
  6. basicblur

    basicblur Well-Known Member

    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 Well-Known Member

    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?
  8. TexasBill

    TexasBill Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. LRS_Ranger

    LRS_Ranger Well-Known Member

    +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..
  10. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Well-Known Member

    Good point...
  11. Haifisch

    Haifisch member

    A pistol in 9mm would be a better choice... A more reasonable price for ammo and a more powerful round.
  12. dom1104

    dom1104 Well-Known Member

    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?
  13. Storm

    Storm Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. huntsman

    huntsman Well-Known Member

    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
  15. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. chicharrones

    chicharrones Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. christcorp

    christcorp Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. Guns and more

    Guns and more member

    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.
    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.
    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.
  19. 6x6pinz

    6x6pinz Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. huntsman

    huntsman Well-Known Member

    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.

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