Walther PK380 .380 ACP Handgun Review

The Walther PK380 handgun is their first true new .380 ACP in 80 years— the PPK’s heir apparent!

The Walther PK380 is both a revolutionary and an evolutionary gun. In either instance this new Walther .380 semi-automatic has some very historic shoes to fill. It is the first all-new Walther pistol to be chambered in .380 ACP since the Model PP was introduced 80 years ago in 1929. The successors to the original Model PP – the PPK and PPK/S (a combination of the PPK slide with the PP receiver) are still being manufactured more than 78 years later, and neither has seen their popularity decline since 1931 when the compact Model PPK was added to the Walther line. With a production run that any armsmaker would envy, one might wonder why Walther would tempt the fates, and favorable ones at that, with a new .380 ACP pistol. The answer is, quite simply, you asked for it.

walther1Walther established the precedent in 1995 when it began importing the innovative 9mm Model P99 into the US. The P99 has since become one of the most reliable sidearms in the world. In 2001, Walther took the P99 design principle and applied it to a .22 LR semi-automatic, the P22, now one of the most popular .22 autos in the world and offered in a variety of configurations including compensated target pistols and sporting models equipped with a Picatinny rail mounted red dot scope. People simply love the Walther P22 for its rugged design and ease of operation. The only thing missing, lamented many, was a P22 chambered in .380 ACP. The wait is over.

Gun Details
The PK380 is a slightly scaled up version of the P22 with virtually the same feel, balance, and operating features. Longer at 6.5 inches (versus 6.3 inches); taller at 5.2 inches (versus 4.5 inches), with a 1.2-inch versus 1.1-inch variance in width, the PK380 has a slightly deeper grip and more pronounced finger grooves. The larger grip design allows the gun to comfortably fit most hands. In our case the bottom of our thumb could rest atop the first joint of the second finger—a generally ideal grip. The third and little finger also firmly wrapped around the tapered combat-style finger grooves.

Load Comments
  • Eklypse13@yahoo.com

    Anyone know if there are Night sights available for the PK380?

  • Ken

    I’ve had the PK380 for the better part of this year. After putting about 600 to 700 rounds through it the gouges on the barrel just keep getting deeper. According to Mark Rossini at Walther America this is normal, the gun is designed this way. Having put probably 2000+ rounds through my Springfield XDM 45 without the same issue I can’t help but be skeptical. I did file a huge burr out of the upper inside of the reciever so maybe that will help. Too bad, I do like the way it feels in my hand.

  • EoDan

    I have a follow up to my first post dated Oct 22 2012.
    My initial response to the Walther PK380 was not exactly favorable.
    I was having some FTF issues right out of the box. (Chambering the first round)
    After doing some online research with other PK380 owners, I found the following advice most helpful. “Clean the weapon.” I am told that the manufacturer applies a heavier oil to help protect the metal parts from rusting while on the retailers shelves. This simple 10 minute step greatly improved my FTF issue.
    After firing over two hundred rounds through the PK 380 since that first cleaning, I had no failure to feed problems. I fired a variety of 380 ammo, including the Federal personal protection JHP. All of the FTFs I experienced were when I cycled the first round. What I learned is that when you pull the slide back you have to let it fly, don’t walk it back or tilt the gun when cycling. Keep it upright. The 380’s in general are finicky with ammo so I suggest you experiment with what ammo works the best for your gun.
    PRO’S: Shooting the Walther PK380 is a joy. Ultra low recoil, very light weight, sensitive trigger pull and great 3 dot sights all help to put your rounds on target. I was dead on accurate at 7 yards the first time I shot it. (I am no expert marksman) It feels like a full sized gun but conceals easily.
    CON’S: I don’t like the safety because you have to flip it up to fire, not down to fire…that seems backwards to me. Breaking the gun down requires a special plastic key (only one provided) but It is a simple process. The spring was a bit tricky to replace. There is no slide lock or de-cocking mechanism. The clip release is amber dexterous but located on the bottom of the trigger guard and It’s a bit awkward. Replacement clips are costly (about $35).
    Overall I would “Recommend”. My confidence level has significantly improved and the pros far outweighs the cons? I look forward to shooting the Walther PK380 for years to come.

  • EoDan

    Just bought my Walther PK380 from a gun show the other day…i loved the way it feels and looks, also love the easy racking action. Here is my problem with the gun. I bought some federal personal defense JHP rounds and planed to use this as my carry weapon, replacing the more powerful but bulkier Glock 23. The first thing I noticed while testing it was the failure to feed from the hollow points. I tried to load the gun several times and each and every time I had a FTF. So I loaded some ball ammo thinking that would correct the problem and I did get better results but still experienced some FTF’s. Perhaps because the weapon is brand new is the reason for the FTF problems. I plan to shoot several hundred rounds through this weapon and try again with JHP,s. I have read a lot of negative things about this gun since buying it and I need to know that it will go bang when I pull the trigger. Has anyone experienced the same problems? Any advise about the ammo I used? I was told to run a few hundred rounds through to break it in. I also read about a malfunction of the manual safety that allows the gun to fire with the safety engaged. Right now I am sorry I bought this gun…don’t know if I will ever feel confident using as my personal carry weapon. This might just turn out to be another target gun. I could really use advice from someone with experience.

  • dale 6351

    My pk380 hits low at10 yards any way to fix it?

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  • I have a question. When the slide is back and locked I can move the barrel. Was this part of the design\engineering or it this a problem?

    Thank you I enjoy reading your comments.

    John S.

  • mudur

    Just picked up one and shoot 150 rounds no problems…Really nice gun to shoot …highly recomend for conceal.Feels great in the hand…Dont forget best gun is the one you can control and shoot the best…You can not go wrong with pk380

  • i have 2 of Walther Pk380’s. one is a safe queen, it is number 340 of the First Edition. the other is a standard one that i carry and use at the range.
    To add to the technical specs for the story, it is also a breech lock action and not a blowback action like the previous PP, PPK and PPK/s. therefore, there is no recoil to it. honestly, theres more recoil to a Walther P22 using CCI Velocitor ammo

  • mastershot

    walther has done it again. Now i have two walthers that wont jam. The walther .380’s will feed any ammo problem free.

  • I don’t see the PK380 in your
    2011 Gun Buyer’s Guide.

  • Jeff

    I just found out today about the 380. I’m on the hunt now to get one. They look like the perfect 380. I can’t wait

  • dale nix

    have a walthers pk 380 love it so much that i bought 2 more just to have

  • Woody

    Got one these and it feels great in my hand.

  • SpizyChicken

    Just got one myself! Always loved the feel of the Walthers in my hand. Nice little gun.

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