.32 vs 380 in PPK for CCW - WaltherForums
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Old 05-29-2019, 02:59 AM   #1
PP7
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.32 vs 380 in PPK for CCW

i know this question has been brought up a few times over the years but theres been recent developments in ammo i think its kind of worth asking again. Also i dont see anything addressing using different recoil springs in a 380 PPK.

i'd like a ppk for CCW, so im wondering if i'd be better off with .32 ACP or a 380. Ive shot a rental s and w 380 ppk and it was.. OK i guess.. it kept jamming a lot.

Keep in mind im only talking about german made PPKs. is the 380 ppk finnicky like some people say it is or can this be remedied with a wolff recoil spring? or can the .32 compete with loadings offered from such as buffalo bore or hornady.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:38 AM   #2
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By “German made” I’ll presume you mean the old PPK’s?
Out of curiosity what kind of malfunctions?
And for CCW the .32 vs .380 debate is done with the question “What do you shoot better?” With pistol calibers shot placement is way more important then caliber.
And, straight up, the .380 (especially in the newer loading) is a way better cartridge then the .32 IMHO.
As an aside I have a “new” (2019) PPK/S in .380 and it performs flawlessly so far.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:53 AM   #3
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Yeah, german made. i just read and hear that 380 in the ppk isnt very reliable
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:26 AM   #4
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My S&W PPK bought used a couple years ago has been to Walther several times for various failures, all fixed for free, and now works quite well. At first I had issue with the recoil spring causing the slide to be hard to rack. I got a set of Wolff springs and was able to “improve” things. I’m not sure if having a lighter spring didn’t help create the other failures. So I’ve now gone back to the stock spring, increased my hand strength, and all seems good. Perhaps the people who built it used the strong spring for a good reason.
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:32 AM   #5
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I do not think being “better off” is quantifiable. A 32ACP to the head of an adversary is better than a 380 ACP in the adversary’s arm. The quantifiable difference is degree of accuracy in placing an incapacitating shot. However, while accuracy is important it is not a stand alone criterion. With is reduced recoil accuracy and speed of repeating shots goes to the 32, but you lose something in that selection. The loss is in barrier and tissue penetration. Barriers consist of any material in front of the aim point that will slow the bullet down. Clothing is a barrier as is bone. Barrier penetration is a factor of both muzzle energy (bullet weight factored by velocity). So barrel length also affects choice. Generally the 380 is going to outperform the 32 when it comes to any barrier or tissue penetration.

New bullet designs like Lehigh Extreme Defense are proving to have improved penetration in smaller calibers. However, that improved bullet in a 380 still has an advantage over the same bullet in 32.

The choice if caliber for self defense is best made based upon the largest caliber that you can shoot accurately. I carried and had to use a M1911 in Nam. I could handle that gun well, but that was 50 years ago. Today, 9mm is my best choice. I had gone down to 380 due to arthritis in my hands, but after 9 month of hand therapy I am able to again manage the 9mm well. So why would I carry 380 if I can manage 9mm. Bigger bullets matter.
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:04 AM   #6
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And good morning to a fellow Devil Dog.
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:52 PM   #7
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my main concern with the 380 is reliability. I know these were designed around 32 acp, unless im mistaken. What year did they introduce the 380 chambering? has anyone tried a PPK in 32 NAA?
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