Walther PK380 Review from BestGunReviews
The Walther PK380 looked like a promising option. I am a loyal Walther fan and the PK380 had the specs and options I was looking for…not for me, but for my wife. But don’t let that make you think this is only woman’s pistol.
The Walther PK380 is a Single/Double Action .380 Semi-Auto, which was intended for concealed or purse carry. It is light, cozy to hold, with one of the easiest slides I’ve ever tinkered with. .380 is manageable and with a self-defense round, is a viable self-defense option. Here are the specs from Walther’s site.
The Walther PK380 appears inspired by the looks and I’m sure the mass success of the P22. The P22 is a small and comfortable semi-auto, and the PK380 is the effort to make a P22 chambered in .380. I think this was done well, but I don’t think it will ever see the success of the Walther P22.
As you can see above, the P22 and the PK380 are very similar in size. I won’t be doing much of a comparison here. If small size is what you are looking for in the PK380, it may do okay but did not totally fit the bill for me. Although small, there are many other choices (especially in .380) for a low-profile pocket pistol or purse pistol. The PK380 slide is boxy and “edgy” making it seem cumbersome or unwieldy for a purse. It will work as a CCW and may be fine for some, but it is something to test for yourself and be aware of.
The PK380 is very light and comfortable, so it gets points for that. It weighs in at just over a pound, empty. It also has an ergonomic grip so just sits right into your hand. However, it does not feel as good as a PPQ or P22. It’s not the ergonomics, it’s the material. The grip and the trigger both felt cheap. I’m sure they will hold up, but usually with Walthers I am used to feeling “quality.” I wasn’t feeling it as I picked up the Walther PK380. Aside from that, I wouldn’t think anyone would have complaints about weight or comfort.
More on the comfort and weight–recoil is minimal and handles the .380 just fine. We did not experience any fatigue, it cycled well and was accurate enough. It is easy to use.
It sports a rail and so may be a plus for anyone who want a laser.
Another positive is that it does look cool. I found it fun to shoot for men and women alike. This is even a decent pistol to train with for new users as an easier step up from a .22. It is ambidextrous, so lefties and righties alike are all set with the PK380. It is accurate enough and you’ll do well with it. I wouldn’t say it’s a tack driver, but then again that’s not what we bought this one for.
The trigger is okay. As I mentioned above, it felt cheap but trigger pull was reasonable and length of pull will be okay for most users.
One negative is cleaning. The PK380 (at least our model) came with a key that you need to use for unlocking the pistol to clean it. This is very annoying and I don’t like having to keep an extra part to keep track of in order to maintain it. I understand why they did it, but I would hope any responsible gun owners follow the basics when cleaning their firearms to avoid accidents as well as keeping them locked up safely away from users who should not have access to them in the first place. I don’t want a key to unlock my pistols for cleaning. I just want to break it down. For sure, I am the one who will be cleaning it, so that was important for me.
The key deciding factor to buying the PK380 was the slide. It is SUPER easy to rack. It may be the easiest slide I have ever handled. For any newer user or anyone who has trouble with tougher slides, this may take the cake for that reason. It made the difference for us.
Another deciding factor to buy the PK380 was the price. Comparing to the PPQ is unfair as the price difference is a couple hundred dollars and they are not even comparable in the first place. The Walther PK380 is about $300-350 and was under $400 out the door. Very reasonable. My belief in that you get what you pay for applies here, but I do think this is a decent gun for the money.
There are the debates about what the correct self-defense round is which I am not going to get into here. With good .380 self-defense rounds it’s no joke – just like any other handgun or round. I attended a class years ago run by an ex-Compton cop who hated the endless ammo debates. He said that the round that kills the most people every year in the U.S. is the .22LR. He was all about proper usage, safety and shot-placement. I agree totally. I wouldn’t want to get shot by a .22LR, .380 or a BB for that matter.
In the end, we sold the PK380 despite being a loyal fan of Walther. It just did not fully suit the purposes we wanted, and we felt there were other options that would. The new Walther CCP, for example.
In summary, this may be right for you. Were 50/50 on it and honestly we wanted to like it way more than we did. Neither of us loved it, but we didn’t hate it either. Middle of the road. I would not let this article totally deter you from a purchase of the PK380. It is a good pistol, but was simply not our favorite. It may be good for you, but there are some things to be aware of. If the price range, it can be a viable option, however.
FYI: There was a recall in late 2012. Check out your serial number Walther’s website in the case you pick up any used PK380. Thanks for reading our Walther PK380 review.