Walther PK380

Review of Walther’s PK380

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.

Walther PK380 Review

Walther P22 and the Walther PK380

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.

Walther PK380 with 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.

5 Comments

  1. Please tell me if the hammer pull is smooth in s.a. and d.a. And if trigger pull wont Hurt the fingers of a Small hand.Thanx

    • I sold it, but recalling the trigger is smooth enough and easy. Sort of squishy, really. It won’t hurt your fingers.

  2. early last year i bought a pk380 for my wife for valentines day …. it was gauranteed to have 1 jam per 6 round magazine …… i traded it in on a Sig P238 and have shot more than 500 rounds … not one single jam !!!!! WTF walther ??????

  3. Do not buy this hand gun. They have serious safety issues. My husband and I bought weekend before last not know of these issues. Spent 400 dollars for a gun that is not safe to use. We called Walther today they know of the issues and are unwilling to do anything about it. The gun store we bought it from will not help us. We also found out that Walther does not even manufacture the PK380. It is manufactured by a company that makes air rifles of all things.
    Issues that we have found so far

    1)When last round is discharged from weapon the slid does not stay open.
    If slid is open if you just bump the gun it will close
    When the last round is ejected the sliid is suppose to stay one until you release the magazine and close it manually
    Slid closing with just a small bump is a serious safety issue with the very least being having your hand/finger closed in there to the point to what if there is a bullet in the firing chamber. This could cause the gun to fire hurting or killing yourself or someone else.

    2)when chambering a bullet into the the firing chamber sometimes the bullet does not go in.

    Both my husband and I have fired the pistol as well as a manger at the gun store where purchased. All of of us have had the same issues with the gun.
    The gun store told us to send it back to Walther.

    I feel that Walther has misrepresented themselves. They put their name on a gun that they don’t make and refuse to repair, replace or do anything to help.

    We have fired a total of 300 rounds the gun. The problems started after about the first 50. We were told there is a break in period of 200 to 300 rounds

    • That seems sort of weird to me. It sounds like you did get a real dud, but S&W/Walther customer service has been pretty impeccable for when I have needed it in the past. The PK380 I had my hands on seemed to function just fine, although it wasn’t my fav pistol I’ve ever held, I did not feel that it was unsafe or malfunctional. I thought for what it was it was fine for the most part. Not enough to keep it, however. Is is possible you had one of the recall year models?

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