Blast From The Past – The Old School 380 ACP Walther PPThe Firearm Blog

The Walther PP is one of those guns that many people today look at like its not impressive, but this little gun has quite the history both in gun world and in my personal life. The Walther PP is a small simplistic handgun that’s influenced quite a few pistols throughout history. My personal Walther PP has family history for me and is also an important gun in my collection.


The Walther PP was chambered in 25 ACP, 32 ACP, or 380 ACP for the most part with a few others chambered in more exotic rounds. It is a fixed barrel blowback operated action which doubled as a place for the recoil spring to go over. The design was extremely simple but was insanely reliable in the field. The Walther PP was adopted by military and police units in the mid-1930s and saw use in both arenas for quite a while. The Walther PP is one of those guns that doesn’t get enough credit for being innovated for its time. Guns like the Makarov and other eventually guns like the Bersa Thunder borrowed heavily from the Walther PP’s design.

Range Time

My personal Walther PP is chambered in 380 ACP and has a 7 round capacity. Growing up I would go to the range with my dad and we would shoot this fairly often. The little PP had some wear internally and would occasionally become full auto. This would result in a 7 year old riding the lightening until it ran out of ammo. I thought it was awesome and immediately told my dad it was awesome, he, however, did not think it was as cool as me. We sent it to Earls Gunshop in North Carolina to be rebuilt and when it came back, the gun functioned flawlessly.

Typically guns of this size will be rather snappy. Luckily the Walther PP is made completely out of metal, it has little felt recoil when running standard range ammo. The sights are very basic but provide enough help to get the job done. This gun is made to be used within fairly close distances. As a result, there are no adjustable sights or even a slide release. The gun is very basic but that’s part of its charm, it’s an enjoyable experience just shooting the gun and that’s what makes it special in my mind.

My Personal Walther PP’s History

The Walther PP I have started out as a gift from my grandfather to my father as a college graduation present. Once he graduated law school and the BAR exam, he started practicing in Northern Michigan for 20 years. In the mid 80’s he started carrying the Walther PP in the courtroom with a special permit.

My Walther PP was one of the main guns I shot growing up as a kid learning how to shoot. When it came time to graduate college, I came home to a new job and my dad waiting with a wrapped box. I opened the box to see the Walther PP and spare magazine in its original box keeping the tradition alive. The Walther PP is one of those guns that has a ton of sentimental meaning to me. I’ll occasionally take it to the range and enjoy it but it’s fairly rare as of lately.

Overall Thoughts

I don’t think people give the Walther PP enough attention as it deserves. Especially being such an influential for future designs like the Makarov and other European pistols. People tend to overlook the Walther PP for the smaller PPK. After iconic characters like James Bond started using the PPK, the popularity of the PP declined. Most people know the PPK as the legendary design instead of its big brother, the PP. I really enjoy shooting this gun and if you ever find it for a bargain price, I think its definitely worth checking out. Let me know what you guys think of the Walther PP or PPK in the comments below. If you have questions, feel free to reach out on my Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!

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