.380 - Walther PPK or Beretta

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by BigV, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. BigV

    BigV New Member

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    I have been looking for a good .380 auto for my wife as her CCW. I have narrowed it down to either a Walther PPK or a Beretta. I WAS leaning towards the Walther. A friend of mine who is a US Customs agent carries a Walther as a BUG. It was made sometime around 1985 and shoots flawlessly. Today at a gun shop in Cuyahoga Falls, I was asking about a Walther and was told by 2 of the workers there to stay away from the new Walther. They claim to have sold 6 in recent months and have serious problems with all of them. Both FTF and FTE. He claims that they polished the feed ramps and could not make the guns reliable. Since I am not one to take the word of salesmen (they didn’t have a PPK, only had the Beretta) I figured I would toss the reliability question out here. Anyone have a newer Walther PPK and have problems? Any suggestions on which is the better gun Walther of Beretta? They are priced about the same. My intent is not to start an argument between Walther and Beretta owners so please don’t take it that way. I look forward to your responses
  2. user_error

    user_error New Member

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    I have a beretta 92fs and I LOVE shooting it, more than any other pistol I've ever shot. After thousands of rounds, the only problem I had was once, the fifteenth (last) round failed to feed because the mag spring was worn out. The gun itself is a work of art.Not to mention it shoots like sex on satin sheets.
  3. BigV, I've heard the same thing about the new Walthers from several differrent sources. The Beretta is a good pistol, but before you buy, take a close look at the Sig Sauer P-232. It is the sweetest .380 your ever likely to see and makes an excellent carry piece.
  4. lead

    lead Active Member

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    I would second the suggestion that you look at a Sig 232. Sig quality is very impressive. The 232 is similar in weight and size to the Walther, the Beretta will be heavier.
    If you want to go a little cheaper(like maybe just to make sure the gun fits your needs without spending a fortune), the Bersa Thunder 380 is also a PPK clone, very reliable, at half the price. I've owned both a Bersa and a Sig, it's like owning a Chevy and a Cadillac, both will get you there, but the Caddy does it in "style".
  5. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

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    OK, one very important question: what does your wife want? I don't mean to be flip here, and hopefully you are including her in the decision. But a woman has smaller hands, and she really needs to hold (and if possible, shoot) as many different weapons as possible before you make a final decision. Trigger pull will be an important issue; at least, it is for me. My hands are very small, and if the gun has a very heavy pull, I simply don't have enough leverage in my fingers to make a smooth pull and still keep the gun on target.

    Sorry to butt in. Y'all carry on with your discussion. :)
  6. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    I assume we're talking new guns here. If that's the case, I'd go with the Beretta.

    The Walther PPK is a fine design, and, as manufactured in Germany and France, was a nicely made and reliable firearm. BUT.....the currently made U.S. production ones have had a lot of problems.

    As a native Mainer, it pains me to say this, but the U.S.-made PPKs, built in Houlton, Maine, seem to be cobbled together by a bunch of unemployed Aroostook County potato farmer's wives......who may be great at picking potatos, but know nothing about making pistols. :confused:

    Go with the Beretta.
  7. A very good point, SoMo. Firearms are not a "one size fits all" item. As a general statement, and one which certainly does not apply to all females, the .380 is generally a good caliber compromise for females in terms of controlability v. stopping power. The pistols it is chambered for, by and large, are small enough to fit smaller hands well. One .380 on target is much better than ten .45s that miss.
  8. Peanut Man

    Peanut Man New Member

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    For my wife, the "pop-up" barrel was most important, so we went with the .32ACP Beretta Tomcat. She has real difficulty in "racking" the slides on autos. I think Beretta makes a .380 pop-up barrel. For me though, I have and prefer the Kel-Tec P3AT .380 because of it's size.
  9. BigV

    BigV New Member

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    Thanks for the replies!
    I found a used Walther PPK/S at a local gun store and couldn't pass up the deal. Took it to the range today and shot 200 rounds without a hiccup! The only problem (if you want to call it that) is my wife can’t pull the slide back. I now have a nice BUG.
  10. Small correction: You now have a VERY nice BUG. :D

    BigV, since she apparently has problems with jacking the slide on an auto, have you considered a good J-frame .38 Special for your wife instead of the small auto? I carry one quite often simply because I like them. They're light, easy to conceal, and not punishing to shoot, especially with standard pressure ammo. In terms of stopping power, the .380 and .38 Special are roughly comparable.
  11. BigV

    BigV New Member

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    I have a S&W model 60 that was sent to S&W over 8 weeks ago to have the hammer replaced. My wife likes my Firestar .40, but she thinks it's too heavy for her to carry. Since she is not very well versed in fixing problems encountered with 1911 style pistols, I think she will be better suited with a wheel gun. I hope the model 60 fits the bill. Less problems and when you pull the trigger the gun goes boom!
  12. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

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    I have found it much easier to rack the slide using the method that Massad Ayoob recommends: the Israeli method, or "slingshot technique." Here's how he describes it:

    Here's the article from which the quote came: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob031207.html
  13. Exactly so, BigV. The S&W 60 is an excellent weapon, though I would stay away from .357s in it if your wife is using it! :rolleyes: You might consider also one of the Smith aluminium alloy snubbies if weight is a concern. I have two Smith 637s fitted with different grips and often carry one or the other. I've found the recoil on these is not substantially different from the steel snubbies, even using the +P ammo for which they are rated. They weigh in at about 16 oz. and with good grips, they perform extremely well. Smith has priced the 637 at the low end of the spectrum, so you can usually pick one up for around $400 new.
  14. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    P-shooter's giving you some good advice!
    On the choice of auto's, I'd go with the Walther; I had (2) TPH's, out of Alabama, that had functional problems, the one I have now is 100%; the (5) PPK-S's,I've owned, all Alabama guns, were all 100% functionally! I like the lesser thickness of the Walther, over the tilt barrel of the Beretta; if your wife cannot perform an 'immediate action drill', on either weapon, a revolver is THE choice.
    And, while I'm sure this will start some debate, in a 2" revolver, at household/defensive distances, my ammo choice is a 140 gr flush seated wadcutter, right out of the target ammo box; full caliber hole, minimal recoil and flash= maximum results!
  15. Stash, why that load? I won't argue about its effectiveness, but wouldn't the old "Chicago" or "FBI" load serve the same purpose but serve it even better? A 158 grain lead hollow-point semi-wadcutter +P is a proven combo, and you might even get some expansion out of that lead bullet at close range. Personally, I prefer the new Speer 135 grain +P Gold Dot that is designed specifically to expand and penetrate reliably from a 2" snubbie. Some are calling it the "short barrel" load, and so far, the stats look very promising. Please understand, I'm not disparaging your choice; it's a reasonably good one and I suspect at close range you are going to get substantial bullet deformation with it, which is always a plus.
  16. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stash247
    And, while I'm sure this will start some debate, in a 2" revolver, at household/defensive distances, my ammo choice is a 140 gr flush seated wadcutter, right out of the target ammo box; full caliber hole, minimal recoil and flash= maximum results!



    Stash, why that load?
    Everything I am hearing is that the wife is an infrequent, or new shooter.
    She will tire of the sport very quickly, if it hurts, or startles her, and poor choice of ammo in a light weapon, with a short barrel, will do all of that.
    I load wads by the case, and so, they are very available, for practice, particularly, for my girls, when they were younger; I believe the adage that "You fight as you train".
    I can load 'party poppers', with a 88 gr jacketed bullet, designed for the .380, the will expand like popcorn, in a 2" gun, but these are very loud, even outdoors, and will 'light up your life', and the room, in the dark. This makes a second, aimed shot, difficult, even for a seasoned shooter.
    Short of such a dedicated load, there exists no really high performance load, for a 2" gun; there's simply not enough barrel!
    The Target loads(2.7 of Bullseye), offer, as I said before, a full caliber hole, minimum recoil, and flash.
    For any of you, who have never fired a weapon in a closed space, like a house, DON'T, unless you cannot avoid it; it raises the sound pressure at least two levels of magntude (100X), compared to outdoors.
    I have no hearing in my right ear, hear poorly from my left, and I wear hearing protection, all the time; indoors hurts me, even so.
    P-shooter, I recommended the load because it is cheap, easy, readily available, and not likely to deter the young lady from continuing to explore shooting; with a single well placed shot, it will drop any man; poorly placed, empty the gun, and the threat will surely 'go away'.
    Feel free to e-mail me at vfubar@aol.com, or IM, if I can further clarify.
    I'm not trying to 'slam' you, or anyone else, rather, to share some first hand knowledge about what works, based on empirircal data, and first hand experience: everything I have written, my kids got, 15 or more years ago, with an eye to their outliving me.
  17. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    Just want to toss in my .02 on women and legth of trigger pull.

    As of lately I figure about a third of the people I train to shoot are female and I've come to look for a lot of things that are particular to their usually smaller dimensions. A lot of engineering on weapons just never factored in what a 4'10'' woman would have to improvise to effectively use the equipement. Ya know...lol.

    Anyway, on trigger pull. I learned to assume nothing. Most womens' hands look much smaller, however, a lot of that is accounted for by slender build, not length of digits. When she actually grips the weapon her slim fingers may let her get a similar or equal reach to a mans. Of course some people just straight up have short fingers, stubby fingers, or tiny hands all around so this isn't always the case.

    Quick example. My girlfriend stands about as tall as my shoulder, chin high at the most, but when she puts her hand in my palm her fingers are only about half an inch shorter than mine. Go figure. A DA gun that fits my hand would give her trouble, but we can shoot the same SA all day (provided recoil isn't bad).

    Just my advice for future purchases: have your lady hold/dry-fire the pistol before you assume it's too big. Or at least measure her trigger reach to yours and compare before you decide. You could rule out a good gun for the wrong reason.
  18. spaided

    spaided New Member

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    Walther is my choice...I love mine and i have NO problems at all. I do have the PPKs (made in the US) but it works GREAT. And its so small. If i could change one thing maby another round or two would be a great add.
  19. Light Coat

    Light Coat New Member

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    Got a pile of Walthers. Want more Walthers. Just plain nuts about Walthers.

    Here's the "but". The trigger pull in DA may be a bit heavy for a woman's preference on the Walther PP-PPK-PPK/s patterns. It is too heavy for some men too. That's equality I tell you.

    Everybody has too feel their way into their right hand extension. Left hand extension to you lefties. I know a couple of ladies that like .44 Mag and own 1911A1's to boot. It's all the person I tell you.

    Try everything once. If you like it; do it again. If you really like it; buy a safe full of it.
  20. armen

    armen New Member

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    Walther PPK issues

    I bought my PPK around 5 years ago after shooting one at the Try and Buy day at the local range. The store owner begged me not to buy it as they were notorious for stovepiping. Mine is one of the American made ones before Smith moved the plant.
    A few things were lousy-trigger pull was too heavy, racking the slide was difficult, and the gun stovepiped every 20 rounds or so no matter what ammo I used. A call to Wolff got me the lightest springs they said would work, which lightened the triggerpull and made it easier to rack the slide.
    I engaged in a little head scratching about the stovepiping problem. first I polished the feed ramp and the chamber (barrel) to allow a round to enter and exit easier. That helped a little, but didn't eliminate the stovepiping. Then I carefully tapered, contoured, and polished the leading edge of the extractor, figuring that it was having a hard time climbing over the rim of the cartridge. This made all the difference in the world.
    The stock plastic grips cracked after 6 months, so I bought Hogue wood ones.
    Later, an S+W rep told me that all PPKs give grief until you run 500 hot rounds through them.
    The gun is very accurate for it's size.
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