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Walther PD380


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Walther PD380
Walther PD380

In a continuation of Walther updating its line to the PDP generation, Walther's popular PK380 has been made over to become the PD380. We never reviewed the PK380, but Walther's PD380 seems to be an update to that model with PDP like slide shape and frame texture.

The Walther PD380 features an ambidextrous paddle magazine release.
The Walther PD380 features an ambidextrous paddle magazine release.

What Is It? The Walther PK380 is a hammer-fired, single-stack, locked-breech .380 pistol I feel fits the bill for newer shooters and those looking for a comfortable gun to learn with and use in self defense. 9+1 capacity puts it on par with the micro-compact craze, but with a longer stock the PD380 is much more comfortable to hold and shoot than micro compacts with a flush magazine.

Hammer-fired means an extra level of control and confidence with the Walther PD380
Hammer-fired means an extra level of control and confidence with the Walther PD380

Who's it For? The Walther PD380 is sized right to be easy to carry, easy to store, with enough stock to be easy to hold. The finger grooves are broad enough to fit most hands, and magazine baseplate provide splenty of room for the all-important pinky. The pinky has the most leverage to control recoil and pinky pressure is a much quicker and finer way to control aiming than wrist tilting which can be course.

.380 acp, despite being a John Moses Browning cartridge and younger than 9mm is not as popular and commands a higher price per round. With that in mind it costs more to train with, but withh lower recoil can make for more efficent training.

Factoring all of this together the Walther PD380 is likely best suited for newer shooters and those who don't get to or want to spend a lot of time on the range. The fact that it's hammer-fired provides and extra level or safety and control as well.

The Walther PD380 uses a locked breech resulting in less felt recoil and a more familiar takedown.
The Walther PD380 uses a locked breech resulting in less felt recoil and a more familiar takedown.

For a closer look at fit, finish, & features as well as how to field strip the pistol see the tabletop video below.


What's in the Box? Walther kept the kit simple. A manual, a quality chamber flag, mandated lock, and two magazines. The simplicity of this gun is likely a virtue for many. Older Walther PK380 magazines will function in theh PD380 and are available at various retailers, for example for $24.16 from Optics Planet.


Walther PD380 box and contents.
Walther PD380 box and contents.

Specifications:

MODEL: 5050508

CALIBER: 380 ACP

COLOR: Black

SLIDE MATERIAL: Steel

FRAME MATERIAL: Polymer

OVERALL LENGTH: 6.48"

SLIDE LENGTH: 6.32"

WIDTH: 1.24"

HEIGHT: 5.15"

BARREL LENGTH(TWIST): 3.7" 1:10

SIGHT RADIUS: 6.43"

WEIGHT WITH EMPTY MAGAZINE: 20.6oz

MAGAZINE CAPACITY: 9

MAGS INCLUDED: 2

TRIGGER: DA/SA

SAFETIES: 1 Auto, 1 Manual

TRIGGER PULL: DA 10lbs, SA 5.6lbs

MSRP: $449

Retail Pricing As of 14FEB24. Click links for current pricing


The Lack of a slide stop/release lever keeps the pistol's overall width slim, and may require a little training for those used to using the lever, but in reality it's a simply adjustment. To lock the slide open simply pull the slide to the rear with an empty magazine inserted. To release the slide simply pull the slide slingshoty-style with a loaded magazine inserted or no magazine inserted.

The Walther PD380 features the same grip texture of the PDP line.
The Walther PD380 features the same grip texture of the PDP line.

The Range Portion of the review followed standard GBGuns protocol; used as a means of providing both a performance-based fair review and an opportunity for opinion and commentary by highly-experience shooters. The real value in this protocol is that the same protocol has been used for over 400 handguns over the years, making it easy to compare and contrast different models fairly.

  • Cold Shots: Truly the first rounds through the gun.

  • Full Magazine +1: Suprisingly some modern guns still struggle with this. It's a test of how much play is in the magazine as well as how the slide cycles with pressure. This is also when I do my best to learn the trigger.

  • What's For Dinner™: A test to see what ammunition the gun will eat. Does the gun feed the round from slide lock, will it cycle and feed another round of the same type, does the slide lock to the rear on empty, and is there any notable point of impact change with different loads.


For this gun we used the following ammunition:



Priced and linked where found at the time this article was written. Check links for current pricing.


Range Ammo: 95gr Maxtech FMJ $18.36 / 50 at Firearms Depot

50gr Liberty Ammunition Civil Defense $30.99 / 20 at Palmetto State Armory

85gr Winchester Silvertip JHP

90gr Hornady Critical Defense $24.69 / 25 at Sportsman's Guide

94gr PPU Defense Line JHP $23.26 / 50 at Global Ordnance

94gr PPU Handgun Line FMJ $21.99 / 50 at Palmetto State Armory

95gr Blazer Aluminum FMJ $20.69 / 50 at Global Ordnance

95gr Speer Lawman FMJ $23.83 / 50 at Global Ordnance

95gr Browning BPT

102gr Remington Ultimate Defense Compact Handgun BJHP $28.79 / 20 from Remington


  • Sights & Trigger Control: on a 6" spinner target at a distance of 12 yards. We got this from Titan Great Outdoors and use it to gauge how learnable the trigger is and usable the sights are for forced, timed, precise shots.

  • Practical Accuracy: Five shots from a distance of seven yards at a one inch target. This isn't so much about printing a tight group as it is a culmination of our shooting experience and time for us to collect thoughts prior to making a conclusion.

  • After Shots: Final impressions and reflections from the range session.

The entire process can be seen in the Shooting Impressions video below.


At the range both Teya and I were pleasantly impressed. We had some initial accuracy struggles that proved to be shooter error and learning the gun. That was an important reminder that absolute first impressions may not be accurate as a gun needs to be learned. Teya experienced a couple loads that failed to go fully into battery. That may have been her, may have been the load, that specific round, or any number of variables. If it concerns you that much you can try those same loads yourself or simply avoid them.

I had not looked that the specifications of the Walther PD380 prior to writing this and was surprised to see what Walther has the trigger pull listed as. The double action did not feel like ten pounds, likely because it was so smooth and controllable. The single action does feel about five pounds and with a travel appropriate for carry. Recoil was very comfortable thanks to the locked breech and a stock shaped and sized well enough for both of us to comfortably wield the gun.

To find a negative, both Teya and I would have preffered different sights. That's a matter of personal preference, but neither of us liked the factory sights. They didn't prevent us from performing, but simply didn't provide the visual stimulation we like to lock onto.

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4 Comments


I don’t get it. If you’re going to design a new model/renovate an old model why on earth are you not giving it increased, double stack capacity? Especially in .380ACP? Much as I’d rather have a DA/SA .380 (when the time comes to make that switch) I think I’ll be sticking with my Sig P365 .380.

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Just purchased my Walther PD 380 yesterday, the 13th of February. Wonderful handgun to shoot! All the positive review points were dead on. I compared it at the range against my Smith & Wesson m&p 380 PC Ez Handgun. No real difference when shooting. The Walther is now my carry sidearm. The reviews were spot on. Factory sights are easy to see and recoil is soft. It is a 380 caliber handgun. Highly recommend for anyone looking for a CCW in 380. Thank you Graham for your review

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Alan Carr
Alan Carr
Feb 14

Thanks for the write up. I need to rewatch those videos.

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Replying to

It is a great handgun. Not having a slide lock not a problem for me. It shoots as good as it looks. I'm glad I bought one. It is now my carry sidearm

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