Walther introduces the PD380 semi-automatic pistol, a new compact design for personal defense and concealed carry that carries on the German company's tradition of .380-caliber defensive handguns with a remarkably modern take on the concept
Manufactured in Germany by the world-famous Carl Walther company, but so far announced only on the US market, the Walther PD380 .380 ACP semi-automatic pistol represents both an innovation and the pursuit of a long-established tradition for the Ulm-based brand.
A tradition, because ever since the PPK pistol was first launched back in 1931, Walther has always had a compact or sub-compact, concealable personal protection pistol chambered in .380 ACP featured on its catalog. Long regarded as obsolete, .380 ACP has been living a comeback of sort on the global markets for a while, given the possibility for .380-caliber pistols to be compact, lightweight, and sport a considerable level of firepower at the same time, particularly in those Countries – such as the US – where high performance .380 loads are commercially available.
An innovation, because the Walther PD380 replaces the PK380, first introduced in 2009 and recently discontinued, retaining its basic concept while integrating the overall design with a wide array technical and ergonomic solutions and features straight from the PDP line of service pistols.
The Walther PD380 is a blowback-operated semi-automatic pistol with a tried-and-true external hammer-fired, SA/DA trigger – a departure from the striker-fired layout of the PDP line of pistols – built around a black reinforced polymer frame that features a Picatinny railed dust cover for tactical accessories and a ergonomically-designed grip with Walther's own Performance Duty Texture patented hexagonal grip texture on all contact surfaces, offering a firm grip in all conditions for superior controllability.
The frame of the PD380 pistol also features the ambidextrous field-stripping lever found on all Walther handguns since the first iteration of the P99, and a Walther-signature ambidextrous paddle-style magazine release lever. No manual slide stop lever is provided. The Walther PD380 feeds through single-stack 9-rounds metal magazines.
The matte black machined steel slide of the Walther PD380 is, according to the comnpany, "effortless to rack" thanks to Walther's signature SuperTerrain front and rear protruding serrations. Also featured is a solid set of replaceable white-dot iron sights.
Like the PK380 it was designed and launched to replace, Walther's new PD380 features an ambidextrous slide-mounted safety lever, easy and quick to reach and operate by thumb for left-handed and right-handed shooters alike, allowing users to carry their pistol in "Condition One" for faster reaction to threats.
The ambidextrous manual safety of the PD380 also works as a decocker of sorts: when the safety is engaged, the shooter can pull the trigger to release the hammer and guide it down with his or her thumb to engage the double action. As the safety prevents the hammer from hitting the striker, manual decocking can be performed with peace of mind, knowing that even should the shooter's thumb slip, the PD380 won't accidentally discharge.
Standing at 16,4 centimeters / 6.48" in overall length with its 9,4 cm / 3.7" barrel, and weighing in at barely 584 grams (20.6 oz) when tempty, the Walther PD380 is available on the US market at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $449.00; for information concerning availability and pricing outside of the United States, consult the authorized Walther distributor for your Country.