When Walther came out with the hammer-fired PK380 they knew it would be tough going up against the Joe Tactical or Dirty Harry wannabes.
Walther also knew that a certain percentage of the gun community need a smaller gun, a slide they can manipulate while under pressure.
Walther’s PK380 is an older design with an endearingly old-fashioned manual safety, paddle-style magazine release, and disassembly tool. That said, the grip is surprisingly comfortable, its feature set makes a lot of sense for many shooters, and considered one of the softest-shooting .380s on the market.
Yes, the PK380 is reliable, unfortunately, not all ammunition plays well with this pistol. Expect a time trials of several different ammo brands before you find one that works 100 percent of the time.
The PK380 is not bad for concealed carry but its not the smallest gun out in the market.
The trigger is a typical hammer-fired pistol – which means it’s pretty good. The pull is not an ultra crisp but the single-action is at 5.25 lb pull and the reset is acceptably short at 0.25” (6.4 mm).
It’s easy to be accurate with a trigger like this, and its not bad when compared to other CCW guns. That said, some shooters prefer a heavier trigger on carry guns to mitigate the risk of accidental discharge.
For those shooters, put the safety on and de-cock the PK380 (or don’t put one in the pipe) and the double-action trigger pull clocks in somewhere above 9.0 lb (our trigger pull gauge only goes up to 9.0 lb). Light serrations on the trigger face round out the package.
Older PK380s have steel sights, while newer ones have plastic – both are three-dot arrangements with all-white dots and a slightly smaller front dot. The sights are competent and sturdy, and the rear is drift-adjustable.
Magazines are nickel-plated single-stack with witness holes for all eight rounds. A pinky finger extension makes it comfortable to grip. Grip
The Walther single-stack polymer grip makes it very pleasant to hold. The grip has modest finger grooves and no backstraps, no grip adjustments to fit your hand. The comfort of the grip is what makes the PK380 pleasant to shoot. Magazine Release
The magazine release is the Walther design: an ambidextrous paddle that rides at the rear of the trigger guard. I’ve found that the best way to work it is not with a thumb but with the trigger finger.
Some Other Tid Bits
One of the complaints from a small group of PK380 fans is that when you fire the pistol, you need a firm grip for control and possibly slow closing stroke on the slide.
Accuracy is acceptable – This isn’t a target pistol but it definitely gets the job done.
Some PK380 fans did not clean the pistol before running it through:
-100 rounds of Wolf steel-cased FMJs
-150 rounds of Fiocchi FMJ brass
-50 rounds of Prvi Partisan JHPs
Without any malfunctions!
However, this does not mean that the PK380 can take any rounds without a hiccup. The pistol can still be picky whether you’re running FMJs or hollow points. You’ll need to spend some time finding a load that the PK380 is compatible with.
The PK380 is a little big for the subcompact class, but that size gives it just enough bite in the palm and fingers to feel truly secure. Its grip is, in typical Walther fashion, stupidly comfortable. Helped along by the slim, single-stack grip width, this is a very nice gun to pick up and hold.