Glock Model 42 vs. Walther PPK

There are several contemporary .380ACP designs, but what’s the most “mature” .380ACP design? The one I settled on was the Walther PPK. So I set out to compare the PPK to the G42 to see how the new comer (G42) would stack up.


Since the announcement of the release of the new Glock Model 42 (G42) in .380ACP, I’ve seen both positive and negative comments about it.  It seems as if we, in the firearms industry, have found another “you either love it or hate it” design.  I remember the same sentiments rolling through the industry when the Glock Model 17 (G17) 9mm was released.  “It’s too blocky.”  “There’s no safety (from the ignorant).”  “It’s plastic (from the more ignorant).”  Then there were those who loved the capacity, the same trigger pull every time (even if they increased the weight of it) and the rugged durable performance.  Since the Beretta 92F and the S&W double stack 9mms were the “standards” at the time, they were what the G17 often was compared to.  Remembering that I wondered, what would the G42 be compared to?

Sure, there are several contemporary .380ACP designs, but what’s the most “mature” .380ACP design?  The one I settled on was the Walther PPK.  Having been around since 1931 (83 years!) and being very well known as the preferred weapon of James Bond, I felt like the PPK had been well vetted and accepted as a reliable, well designed .380ACP handgun.  So I set out to compare the PPK to the G42 to see how the new comer (G42) would stack up.

First up, the specifications so we have a basis for discussion:

Item

PPK

G42

Caliber

.380ACP

.380ACP

Trigger Pull

13.4 / 6.1

5.5

Barrel Length

3.3”

3.1”

Overall Length

6.1”

5.94”

Height

3.8” / 4.3”

4.13”

Width

1”

.84”

Capacity

6+1

6+1

Sight Radius

4.2”

4.9”

 

Now, let’s mark off the ones that are either the same or so close as to not make much of a difference.

Caliber, same. Capacity, same. Barrel Length, close enough (.2” won’t matter in the long run). Width, .16” can be measured, but won’t really be felt. You can argue the difference in “printing” if you’re carrying concealed under a garment, but honestly? If that .16” makes a difference, the problem is YOU and what you’ve chosen to wear; not the gun.  Overall length is .26” difference. That’s a quarter inch.  It may or may not make a difference in ease of concealment, but I’m not going to argue it.  With a gun this small, what difference does a quarter inch make? Again, if that quarter inch matters THAT much in your concealment ease or effort, the problem is you, not the gun.

The table shows two heights for the PPK because the shorter is the 6+1 version while the longer is the 7+1 version.  For the extra round you had a half inch of length.  The G42 measurement is with a 6-round magazine.  As of this writing I can’t find a +1 floorplate (though they are inevitably coming) and I expect it will add close to that half inch.  Measuring the 6 round capacity of each, the PPK comes up .33” shorter – a full third of an inch.  That’s not going to rock my world but it is noticeable and significant.  The question is, is that good or bad?  For all the people I know who complain about having no place to put their pinky when shooting guns this size, having a grip that 1/3” shorter might be a bad thing.  But if you’re arguing concealability, the 1/3” is a good thing.  I feel like the difference is entirely subjective and can be argued either way.

So what’s that leave?  Trigger pull and sight radius.

The PPK trigger pull shows two different weights: 13.4 pounds and 6.1 pounds.  Why?  Duh.  It’s a double action / single action weapon. The first shot is double action and will require that 13.4 pounds of pressure.  The single action shots that follow will be 6.1 pound pulls.  The G42 shows only one trigger weight: 5.5 pounds.  The same standard trigger pull as Glock has for all of its other handgun designs.  The striker-fired “safe action” system permits for that same trigger pull every shot, no matter if it’s the first shot or the last.  I like that.  I haven’t found any educated and experienced shooter who DOESN’T like that… but opinions vary.

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