I purchased one of these last year on a whim (who among us haven’t made an impulse by?). I happened to be in a local gun store when one arrived and I instantly liked the ergonomics. Up to that point I hadn’t found a modern concealed carry 380 that felt “right”.
The Walther PK380 is a browning design-based semi auto pistol, chambered in .380 ACP. The PK380 employs a slide-mounted, ambidextrous manual hammer-block and a non-decocking safety coupled with an external hammer. The hammer also incorporates a half cock feature for added safety for the concealed carry user. The ambidextrous magazine release is integrated into the bottom edges of the trigger guard which I have found makes magazine changes much easier than the conventional thumb release found on most semi-autos. The PK380 has no slide lock / release lever which I feel contributes to its intended concealed carry purpose. The slide, barrel, and internal frame are steel, while the grip/dust cover is polymer which contributes to reduced weight. The 8 round magazines are single-stack design which is interesting since the width of the grip would easily allow for a double stack design. The instantly recognizable grip of this pistol was designed by the famous Italian designer Cesar Morini, renowned for his match pistol grip designs. It is almost identical to the P22 on which the PK380 is based but also draws design ques from the much older Walther P99 and the sister offering from Smith and Wesson, the SW99. Molded into the dust cover is a picatinny-style rail which can accommodate any number of accessories. I’ve fired several thousand rounds through the Walther without any malfunctions. In previous reviews we have pointed out our preference for premium ammunition and I will say it again here. Using cheap ammo will result in less than favorable results. I like this little gun! It fits my hand perfectly and while it’s at the big end of the .380 concealed carry crowd it is still small enough to easily conceal. There are a few issues however. The first is the fact that the gun only comes with one magazine and extra magazines can be hard to find. The second is the apparent waste of magazine capacity. Sure 6 or 7 more rounds would add weight but certainly not enough to dissuade carrying it. I just don’t see why Walther didn’t incorporate a double stack design. In Summary: This is a dependable, reasonably priced 380 worthy of consideration for both concealed carry as well as good old fashioned fun time at the range. I highly recommend it.
Side Note: When I purchased the pistol, I also purchased the optional Walter Laser. The piece is visually appealing and was designed to fit the gun perfectly. However I would not recommend it. The laser will not hold its zero past a few magazines and while I could go back to Walther as they have an excellent warranty program I opted not to do so because of what I perceive as a design flaw. At the rear of the laser housing are two red led lenses which glow when the laser is on. I believe that this was intended to be an indicator for the user to know when the laser is on/off. However the unintended effect of this is to “paint” the shooters hand. In a low light confrontation the last thing you want is to be illuminated. If you like the use of lasers I would go with one of the many green lasers out there which are much easier to see in all lighting conditions.