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Old December 14, 2018, 05:58 PM   #26
tarhealcracker
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The Bersa Thunder 380 is a clone of the Walther pp/ppk except it has an alloy frame and a few updated features. A magazine removed safety and decocker feature come to mind. One can be had in the $325 ish price range as well.

I had a Walther pp in 32 cal. back in the day that I foolishly sold because it was too heavy and unsuitable as a carry gun due to weight and caliber. IMHP
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Old December 14, 2018, 09:09 PM   #27
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I’ve shot .357 Magnum out of a j-frame and didn’t go crying to my momma, so I think I can handle the recoil of .380 out of a PPK.
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This is my belief as well Grinner. I now carry a .357 and man it is stout, but still manageable and I can handle a .357 I can handle a .380.
Recoil is tad subjective but here are some things to consider.

The little .380 offers relatively low recoil but you'll often feel more of it. That's because many pistols in .380 (and .32 acp) are blowback operated. Pistols in 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 acp, etc. generally use other types of action which distribute the recoil energy differently.

Whatever you are shooting, there are techniques to managing recoil that can help. Using an isosceles stance with shoulders forward, head low, and elbows out can work wonders with even the most powerful magnums. Another thing to think about is strength. Working out to get stronger in general can help you manage recoil. Even if you're already a beef cake, you could work on specifically strengthening your hands. Do a video search on grip strength and shooting to find out more.

Speaking of manliness, recoil is a challenge in general. When you have a powerful cartridge in a tiny gun, everyone has to work a little harder to shoot it well. Some people put in a lot of effort and can quite good with an LCR or alloy J-frame in .357 magnum. Chances are, they'll still have an easier time and might be a hair faster with .38 special. Personally, I don't like pushing uphill and I don't recommend it to new shooters. Find something pleasant to shoot and shoot the heck out of it.
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Old December 15, 2018, 10:11 AM   #28
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I wouldn't consider the Bersa a clone of the PPK any more than a Sig 230 is. There is a vague similarity in appearance, and they are all fixed barrel blow backs, but I think the Walther looks a bit more sleek and refined than the Bersa.

Not that there is anything wrong with a Bersa as a shooter or carry gun, but if someone want an example of the classic Walther design, there really aren't any substitutes. The FEG comes close, but not quite.
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Old December 17, 2018, 02:13 AM   #29
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CDR Glock: I have no idea Whether the stock PPK/S' DA trigger can be reliably lightened. Or if so, which spring might be best.

The decision was made to sell it and switch to Makarovs: the actual Maks, which (you might realize) were manufactured ..only.. in Bulgaria, "EG", Russia and the "PRC".
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Old December 17, 2018, 09:23 PM   #30
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I love my PPKs, it's a work of art in the same way a P-08 is, and very few other firearms reach that level. The broomhandle is interesting looking, the 1911 is utilitarian excellence, but very few are aesthetically perfect like those two.
Beyond that they don't make as much sense as a 1911 (IMO) for self defense, they weren't the first successful production auto like the C-96 (the Luger came within a few years) and certainly many handguns fill a particular niche better.
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Old December 24, 2018, 05:33 AM   #31
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I bought a well-used West German made PPK in 1995. I'd always wanted one, and around that time there was an article in (I think) HANDGUNS magazine about a custom job that Krebs Gunsmithing in Illinois was offering (www.krebscustom.com). Among other things, the gun was "de-horned" and had an extended grip tang welded onto the frame. (I have big hands and long fingers and an extended tang was an absolute requirement for me)

I had such work done on mine the next year. It's very nice. The sights were replaced, the trigger action smoothed up, the tang extended and the gun refinished.

It wasn't cheap, but it sure is neat. I got a stylish shoulder holster from Mitch Rosen to go with it, along with a leather belt holster, and later on a kydex holster from Ky-Tac.

I'm not sure if Krebs still offers that package.(It isn't listed on their website)

However, Cylinder & Slide does (www.cylinder-slide.com) and they have a link on their website to a review in the May 2003 issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS.

There are better choices to be made for small concealment guns these days, but the PPK is still elegant and appealing. (And it's neat because of the connection with the older James Bond movies. That's why I bought one . . . )

I may have to put a slightly heavier hammer spring in my PPK -- if I shoot European 9 x 17 ammo with hard primers, sometimes I get a failure to fire on the first strike. It's 100% with Federal Hydro-Shock HPs and Silvertips, however . . . .

I have found that both my PPK and Sig 230 are ammo sensitive -- the critical dimension seems to be the overall length of the round being employed. Both guns seem to run better with rounds that have a slightly longer OAL. I've had good luck in both guns with Winchester Silvertips and Federal Hydra-shock, and any generic ball that does not have a stubby round nose bullet.

In January 2010 I bought a .22 cal Walther PPK/S, which I use as a sub-caliber practice gun for both of my .380 pistols. It's a splendid little gun, fun to shoot, and not at all ammo sensitive. I've been shooting that gun on a regular basis to keep my skills up, BUT the tiny issue sights are beginning to be a real challenge for my old eyes if I'm shooting on an indoor range that has spooky lighting.

I don't shoot the PPK all that much BUT I have broken firing pins twice. Apparently this is a common problem. The last time (2012) I had to ship the gun back to Walther to have a new firing pin of a new design installed.
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Old December 24, 2018, 01:47 PM   #32
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Just took my newly acquired Smith PPK to the range yesterday. Despite all the negative press I’ve seen on the Smith version of PPK, I like it quite a bit. Reliable with fmjs and hollow points, very accurate, and mild recoil. In fact,it’s easier to shoot and more reliable than a previously owned Interarms PPK.
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Old December 24, 2018, 02:29 PM   #33
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In January 2010 I bought a .22 cal Walther PPK/S, which I use as a sub-caliber practice gun for both of my .380 pistols. It's a splendid little gun, fun to shoot, and not at all ammo sensitive. I've been shooting that gun on a regular basis to keep my skills up, BUT the tiny issue sights are beginning to be a real challenge for my old eyes if I'm shooting on an indoor range that has spooky lighting.
Tell me about the tiny sights and old eyes! I noticed the last few times out really having difficulty achieving a sight picture with my PPK/S 22. But like you stated it is a great practice gun for the 380 PPK/S.
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Old December 26, 2018, 04:35 AM   #34
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Despite all the negative press I’ve seen on the Smith version of PPK, I like it quite a bit.
Agreed, I should note that the MIM ejector on mine did break, but S&W sent another right away.
No matter what one chooses eventually someone will say bad things about it. After reading many comments about how bad the S&W is compared to the Interarms I recently found a bunch of unfavorable comments about that brand too. Reading the history of the PP series there have been many changes in the design, little things. So it never was perfect and no gun is I think.
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Old December 26, 2018, 07:59 AM   #35
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Another vote for the FEG AP 7.62. I picked mine up two months ago and just can't believe this is a $200 gun. I swapped out the 20lb hammer spring for a 9lb PA63 Wolff recoil spring dropping the DA trigger pull from 12+ lbs to 8lbs with zero issues in 250 rounds of Geco and S&B 32acp ammo.

32acp from a 20oz Walther PP sized pistol is very pleasant, so much so that my wife has decided to swap her Beretta 950bs for the FEG as her CCW.
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Old December 26, 2018, 07:29 PM   #36
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if you have to get a .380 in this style of gun, get the Sig P232 it has a superior trigger, or... the lower cost but surprisingly well made Bersa.
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Old December 27, 2018, 05:09 PM   #37
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I’ve got an old model, like 1920’s old. It’s 7.65mm (32acp). Sights are nothing special and the DA trigger pull is awful! Kinda a pain to breakdown and clean compared to modern semi autos.
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Old December 28, 2018, 01:32 AM   #38
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if you have to get a .380 in this style of gun, get the Sig P232 it has a superior trigger, or... the lower cost but surprisingly well made Bersa.
I do not have to get a .380 it can be a 32 as well. I just want a PPK/Walther, for no other reason that I might want to buy a tuxedo.
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Old December 28, 2018, 11:04 AM   #39
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I have the PPK/S in .380. I love it. It is the S&W version, so the beaver tail has protected me from slide bite.

Walther is making them again here in the US, and it also has the improved beaver tail.

I had a Sig P238 and it is long gone. The PPK/S is still here. It does impact my hand more than my 9mm's, but it is nothing to worry about. I will have to take it out and run some rounds and measure the g-forces via my Apple Watch and see how it compares.

It is flat and easily carried in your pocket. Yes it weighs more than many, but does it weigh too much? I don't think so. Besides, when you are out of ammo you can use it like a hammer.
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Old December 30, 2018, 03:52 AM   #40
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I do not have to get a .380 it can be a 32 as well. I just want a PPK/Walther, for no other reason that I might want to buy a tuxedo.
It has long been acknowledged that in addition to their obvious utility; knives, watches, and lighters can also be expressions of style or even tokens of masculinity. Despite some cultural and legal complications in their history, concealed carry guns can fall under that same umbrella. (Some guys might balk at this but it's totally a thing.) If you routinely carry a firearm and you want the right one to go with a tux at formal events, you'd certainly get style points. Even with "just" a PPK in .32 acp, you'd still be better prepared to defend yourself than a lot of people in a lot of possible crowds.
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Old December 30, 2018, 04:55 PM   #41
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I have small hands and love the little Walthers. I have a pre war PPK 7.65, a near 40 year old .380 PPK/S and .22LR PPK/S. The Mauser & Bersa are nice and I like them; but the Walthers are just such perfect fits.
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Old December 30, 2018, 08:20 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Cosmodragoon View Post
It has long been acknowledged that in addition to their obvious utility; knives, watches, and lighters can also be expressions of style or even tokens of masculinity. Despite some cultural and legal complications in their history, concealed carry guns can fall under that same umbrella. (Some guys might balk at this but it's totally a thing.) If you routinely carry a firearm and you want the right one to go with a tux at formal events, you'd certainly get style points. Even with "just" a PPK in .32 acp, you'd still be better prepared to defend yourself than a lot of people in a lot of possible crowds.
I started carrying a 1911 full size in 1982. The only time I did not carry conceal was when I lived on base or was stationed overseas. Until a few months ago I decided to carry a 686 with a 3" barrel simply because I love the way that gun looks, plus the caliber is nothing to sneeze at too. The PPK is just another pistol that I like how it is designed and the look appeals to me. The PPK will be my back up gun. I alway carry two guns with me as it is the fastest reload one can do. The PPK will replace my 22 mag naa.
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Old December 31, 2018, 03:56 AM   #43
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Until a few months ago I decided to carry a 686 with a 3" barrel simply because I love the way that gun looks, plus the caliber is nothing to sneeze at too. The PPK is just another pistol that I like how it is designed and the look appeals to me. The PPK will be my back up gun. I alway carry two guns with me as it is the fastest reload one can do. The PPK will replace my 22 mag naa.
Two guns is more gear than I can manage but if you can comfortably and reliably do both with a tuxedo, any caliber concerns are largely mitigated. In the extremely rare case that you'd need your second gun, I think a PPK in .32 acp would be a welcome upgrade over the mini revolver. I just wonder how the size and weight increase will shake out when you do. (How will you carry the 686 and PPK?) If I was a two-gun guy and this was style-driven carry for the occasional formal event, I might end up with the PPK as primary and the mini revolver as backup. I hope you'll keep us updated.
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Old December 31, 2018, 05:43 PM   #44
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Shoulder holster is one of the best ways to carry a heavy gun, if not, than we need to fork up the money for a really good thick gunbelt. You just get used to carrying extra gear.
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Old January 1, 2019, 09:12 PM   #45
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Shoulder holster is one of the best ways to carry a heavy gun, if not, than we need to fork up the money for a really good thick gunbelt. You just get used to carrying extra gear.
I feel like shoulder carry is one of the best ways to carry any handgun. The only hitch is needing to have your cover garment on at all times. That's fairly easy with a suit, blazer, or tuxedo since the jackets are expected to be worn regardless of weather. You'll get a few wrinkles from keeping it on in the car but standards have relaxed enough that few would question it.

With more casual apparel, it can be tough in high heat and humidity. Yes, some guys pull it off with a flannel or other long-sleeved shirt but I find that very difficult. A cardigan sweater can work and I've been accused of "Mr. Rogers Carry", but that's also weather-dependent. As a result, I tend to shoulder carry from when Fall gets cool to when Spring gets warm. Then I switch to a smaller gun and use other methods.
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Old January 1, 2019, 09:52 PM   #46
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for the money, i'd still opt for the Sig p232. its just far more refined if style is at the top of the menu.
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Old January 1, 2019, 11:12 PM   #47
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The Sig P232 is a very pretty gun and I hear good things about its function. I think it comes down to the magazine release. I love a paddle. I like a button. I don't care for the heel release on the P232.
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Old January 3, 2019, 05:10 PM   #48
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I recently got the itch to buy a Walther PPK, simply because I like the look of it. I normally carry a 22 mag NAA as a backup but now I want to carry this particular gun. ONLY this model. I would like to hear the pros and guns of this handgun from first hand shooters that own one or have fired it. Thank you in advance.
There are 380's that are lighter
There are 380's with better ergos
There are 380's with less felt recoil
There are 380's with better triggers
There are 380's that are less expensive
There are 380's that are better 'shooting'

But there are no 380's cooler than the PPK, and it has nothing to with the movies. There are just really really neat from many different perspectives. If you are looking to top the list I stated above, just get yourself an S&W 380EZ as it beats the Walter across the board, hands down. But if you want to satisfy a wants vs needs itch, the PPK will do it.

Enjoy yourself
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Old January 4, 2019, 04:59 PM   #49
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The only .380's that I own are an old Bersa 383A (predecessor of the Thunder) and a stainless Walther/Interarms PPK/s. I've had the PPK/s since 1989. It's been years since I have shot it, but, the last time that I did, I put 600 rounds through it without a hitch (I keep records).

The PPK/s is one of those guns whose practicality has likely come and gone. But, who can argue with the fact that they are just one of the most cool looking guns to have ever been manufactured? I have no desire to part with mine.

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Old January 9, 2019, 08:10 AM   #50
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I just picked up a Bersa Thunder 380 Combat last week. I already have a Taurus 709 Slim, but like the looks of the Bersa.

The Bersa is a tad larger than the Taurus, maybe 1/2" longer and 1/8-3/16" thicker on the grip, feels nice in my hands.

Much less recoil than the Taurus also, only drawback is the cost of the ammo, approx twice what 9mm Luger costs.

Fired it 50 times this past Sunday, ran fine and is quickly becoming my favorite over the Taurus.

AND...the price is right. I paid $280 for the 8-round version (they make a 15 rnd for more $$$, Bersa Thunder Combat Plus) and that included shipping and the $27 transfer fee at the LGS.

I'm going to a gun show this weekend and if I can find the 15rnd version for a good price then it's coming home with me!
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