I suppose it’s price beginning by addressing the apparent elephant within the room – What on earth was Smith & Wesson doing making a Walther? Nicely, for a time, Smith & Wesson owned Walther and therefore had entry to the PPK for manufacture. It cranked out PPK variants from 2001 to 2012. However the true purpose was that demand for the James Bond gun by no means actually went away.
Walther has since cut ties with S&W and arrange store in Fort Smith, Arkansas, to relaunch its personal Walther U.S.-made PPK line in 2019. Demand remained excessive, in order that is smart, however there’s no denying the pistol has a number of years beneath its belt. Walther’s unique design for the semi-auto double-action/single-action gun dates again to 1929.
Whereas James Bond’s “PP7” was extra usually chambered for .32 ACP, the enhance to .380 ACP packed extra energy within the blowback pistol for self-defense. However does the design nonetheless rise up?
It’s a easy blowback system with an extended historical past – for much longer than even Walther’s basic design. Small straight-blowback sidearms have been well-liked amongst non-public residents and navy officers – usually as private purchases in .25 and .32 ACP – even earlier than World Battle I. However Walther’s often-replicated design has actually turn out to be one of the crucial recognizable and revered.
The PPK/s, like different PPKs, hosts a set barrel surrounded by a recoil spring. Solely the slide reciprocates when fired, ejecting casings and chambering the following spherical. The one-stack mags solely host seven rounds of .380, however your entire bundle is sort of slender and concealable because of this. It’s, nonetheless, strikingly heavy when in comparison with the big variety of recent micro-9mm handguns that host larger capacities of a typically extra highly effective spherical in a lighter, smaller bundle.
Listed below are some normal specs:
Weight (Empty Magazine): 1.475 kilos
Size: 6.7 inches
Sight Radius: 4.1 inches
Width (Widest Level): 1.2 inches
Top: 4.8 inches
Double-Motion Pull: 11.5+ kilos (marketed 13.4)
Single-Motion Pull: 4.4 kilos (marketed 6.1)
The load of the double-action set off maxes out on my gauge at 11.5 kilos, but it surely’s marketed at 13.4 kilos, which appears proper. That may appear to be fairly a bit, but it surely’s remarkably easy with little or no stacking. In reality, it seems like a heavy however clear double-action revolver set off. The break for the double-action set off is abrupt, making it a bit laborious to seek out precisely the place the wall is positioned.
That stated, after your first double-action pull, the gun strikes into a pleasant and light-weight single-action set off. There’s a couple of quarter inch of slack to the take-up, minor mush, and a really quick reset. My gauge had the SA set off at 4.4 kilos. The reset is gentle sufficient that I sometimes struggled to shoot sluggish follow-up pictures over the necessary one-shot-per-second restrict at my vary.
Lastly, this DA/SA gun hosts a security/decocker which may really feel a bit awkward to American palms. Mounted on the left facet of the slide, the security makes use of a ahead sweeping movement that’s principally the alternative of a 1911, requiring a ahead and rise to disarm the security. The reverse movement prompts the security and concurrently decocks the hammer. Smith & Wesson issued a limited recall on choose PPK/s pistols again in 2009 over issues with the decocker, which was remedied in-house on affected weapons and up to date for brand spanking new ones.
The all-steel sights are fundamental however efficient with a crimson dot on the entrance and a notched rear. The rear reveals a few of the design’s consideration to element, internet hosting a rear ledge for added visibility, whereas the highest of the slide is properly textured with a glare-reducing wave sample.
Whereas it has a little bit of heft, that weight isn’t all unhealthy. It does a pleasant job of consuming recoil. There’s nonetheless some snappiness, particularly with self-defense hundreds, however I don’t wish to overstate it. The gun isn’t disagreeable to shoot should you can forgive the frequent reloads wanted with a 7+1 capability.
Total, the load truly offers the gun a snug, authoritative really feel within the hand. In actual fact, your entire gun feels prefer it suits like a glove, even with my bigger palms. It factors naturally and wields easily whatever the weight.
The primary double-action pull is a bit heavy, but it surely’s extra of a rolling pull that allowed me to maintain the gun heading in the right direction whereas taking pictures. In a testomony to the gun as a self-defense piece, I used to be capable of shortly put a number of rounds heading in the right direction in a sub-2.5-inch group at 10 yards because of the set off, sights, and controllability.
For my testing, I ran 500 rounds by means of the PPK/s. The majority of my taking pictures was 94-grain finances FMJ ball ammo blended with 100 rounds of flat-headed lead-free 70-grain Federal indoor-training hundreds, and 100 rounds of 99-grain Hydra-Shok Deep hollow-point self-defense hundreds.
All ammo fed and ejected reliably. Higher but, the sunshine set off with a brief reset allowed me to run the PPK/s with a good quantity of pace, which is appreciated in a self-defense pistol.
We might have a pleasant, long-winded debate about .380 as a self-defense spherical, however that’s sort of been finished to demise (see beneath hyperlink). Suffice it to say I wouldn’t wish to be shot by any .380 ammo…ever. Plus, it truly has some additional benefit within the fixed-barrel straight-blowback pistol recreation. There are limits to what you may safely do with recoil and stress in such programs, and .380 strikes a pleasant concord between energy, reliability, longevity, and controllability.
Truthfully, my major concern when testing the PPK/s for carry was its weight at 1.5+ kilos loaded. The form hid properly in quite a lot of holsters at each the appendix and 4-5 o’clock positions. The broader hybrid holsters that got here with this PPK/s as a used gun from the Guns.com Vault did a nice job of spreading out the load. After a number of days of normal carry, I can say it was snug and simple to hold.
My largest situation turned out to be the security. Certain, this one is a little bit of a coaching situation, however the ahead movement to flip off the security feels clumsy in comparison with a downward stroke. I’ve to interrupt my grip barely to do it reliably from a draw, and I’ve simply by no means preferred that exact design on any pistol.