Walther PPK .380 ACP

Zack @ The Next Chapter has reviewed his 1967 .380 ACP Walther PPK :

Suppose that I did not own this PPK; some might ask if I would I run out to purchase a Walther PPK over all other handguns available for home defense or concealed carry. No, I probably would not, but I certainly would not fault anyone who did choose one; the PPK is a fine little pistol.

More here.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Zack

    Thanks for the post referral. Very much appreciated.

    Merry Christmas!

  • I have a S&W manufacture stainless PPK/s that is subject to the recall, I have ordered the recall kit even though I can detect nothing wrong with the piece.

    The Smith PPK models were built too tight and need extensive breakin to be reliable. This can be hastened by getting some jeweler’s rouge and mixing it with Hoppes lube oil to make a sort of lapping compound, applying it to the slide rails and racking the slide with spring removed a few hundred times. Polishing the feed ramp with this same improvised polish has removed the tendency to jam with hollow points, at least with my weapon.

    I plan on carrying my PPK/s until the recall package arrives, as I have put it through an extensive test at the range and there are no problems; and in a shoulder rig it is undetectable under even a shirt (unless it is a very thin and/or wet white shirt). Nonetheless, better safe than sorry, so even though I can detect no flaws I will send her in for the surgery.

  • Joel Lorenz

    I purchased a S&W PPK S that was also subject to recall. When choosing the pistol I was in the market for a small pistol that my wife could fire. I selected the PPK S that came with the Crimson Trace grips. Before I learned of the saftey recall, (they have done a poor job of notifing owners) my wife and I put about 150 rds through the gun and here are my issues…

    1. Even for a new gun, this gun is unusually hard to cock and chamber the first round. For a gun that is often marketed to female gun owners, I found this gun to be a poor choice for a lady with small (not so strong) hands.

    2. I thought that for a novice shooter, the Crimson Trace grips would help with confidence and accuracy. Plus they are cool. All of this was true, but the laser part of the grip extends the grip about 1/4 of an inch above the grippy part of the slide. This does not do anything to help the above mentioned problem.

    3. Because of the short two finger style grip, the slide has a tendency to hit your shooting hand. I did not have this problem, but two others that shot the weapon did. One time it actually drew blood.

    4. S&W is doing a poor job of both getting the word out about the recall, and fixing the influx of weapons being returned in a timely manner.

    If I could go back and do my Christmas shoping again, I would not choose this pistol for my wife. On the plus side it does seem to be a well-built weapon, and the CT grips do make it an easy gun for a novice shooter to put lead on target.

  • Thomas R Smith

    Below is a letter to S&W after purchasing PPK and having nothing but trouble

    I have been trying to contact someone at customer service for the past week. Today is Tuesday March 31st 2009 and still cannot reach a human voice about my weapon that I sent to you on February 1st. This weapon was sent for repairs concerning jamming. I was promised the turn around would only be 7 to 10 days. In the interim, my wife’s 380 PPK was held for recall on February 20th well past the 10 day turn around promised.

    Today is the 31st of March and I still am looking for a return date and a live voice to speak with. You have left me no other alternative and to communicate by a machine. I will be sure to communicate by machine to other gun enthusiasts advising them of my experience with Smith and Wesson. This weapon was purchased January the 12th 2009 and returned February the 1st with only 300 rounds fired through it. With this outstanding record of performance I can only hope this gun was manufactured in Mexico and does not have the USA engraved in it.

    Thank you and please contact me as soon as possible regarding this matter.

    Thomas R Smith III

  • dynaridermark

    I also purchased a Smith-Wesson PPK/S. After comparing it to a Sig Sauer of simular size, I opted for the PPK/S…..as it had a much cleaner trigger break….and was quite a bit cheaper price wise.
    After recieving my recall letter, I boxed it up and sent it off to S&W. That was April 20, 2009. Today is July 6th 2009 and I STILL havn’t heard a word as to when my pistol will be returned to me. RIDICOULOUS!
    Also, I attached a letter with the return stating I couldn’t field strip the pistol if my life depended on it. I took it to Boise Gun Co. and had the gunsmith take a look at it. He couldn’t get it apart either….short of beating the heck out of it with a dead blow hammer. I told him to forget it…it’s going back to S&W anyway.
    Other than that. I will say that it is indeed an accurate little shooter. More accurate than my Colt Mustang .380. I would think that after 300 plus rounds that it would loosen up a tad for field stripping. NO SUCH LUCK.

  • dynaridermark

    OK!!….FINALLY, I RECIEVED MY PPK/S VIA FED- EX!!…..and it ONLY took 2 1/2 months!…..so I immediately grabbed a hundred rounds of .380 ball ammo and went out to test fire it….it shot great….even though it was grimey and I didn’t clean it until after my test session. One thing (new) I did notice was how deformed the ejected brass was…..and how black and sooty they were too. Other than that, the PPK/S shot as good as new!
    GOOD LUCK TO THOSE STILL PATIENTLY WAITNG FOR YOUR PISTOLS TO RETURN…….and I hope yours turn out as well as mine did.

  • John Godwin

    July 15, 2009

    Warning – Walther PPK/S Recall

    Pistol was sent to Smith Wesson in April & retuned July 15. Upon dry testing, when pistol was cock with safety on safe, pistol fired when safety placed in fire position. Next, when pistol was cocked in fire position as slide returns to armed position pistol fired.

    Totally unsafe to operate, critically worse than before sent in to be repaired.
    One call to S&W today, left voicemail. Please test for function without loading when your recalled pistol is retuned to you.

  • M. Meurlot

    July 27, 2009

    Sent my brand new S&W PPK .380 back to factory on May 9th and factory rec’d on May 11th. Emailed compay to find out how long it would be for them to repair and return. Company Rep originally said 4 – 6 weeks.

    Now going on 12 weeks now…………Gonna get rid of it as soon as it returns if this is the kind of service to expect. Received a lot of I’m sorry it’s taken so long.

    I even wrote the President of the company and the CEO but heard nothing from either one of them….

    No more S&W for me…………..