The Walther PPK first caught my attention thanks to one of my favorite heroes of the silver screen, James Bond. Let’s take a closer look at this famous firearm.
Walther released the PP in 1929, which was a big hit with German military and police as well as for civilians. It established a reputation for reliability and accuracy. Similar to the development of the Police Detective short barreled revolvers, there grew a demand for a shorter barreled PP pistol which would be easier to conceal. Walther’s response was the PPK, released in 1931, also known as the “Polizei Pistole Kriminal,” because it was issued to the Kriminalpolizei, similar to the US’s Detective Division. Like the PP before it, the PPK became a quick favorite with many military and law enforcement divisions. The Walther PPK has the dubious fame of being the pistol Hitler used to commit suicide at the end of World War II. Unfortunately for enthusiasts of the popular pistol, the Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibited the import of the Walther PPK (it failed the size requirements by one point). In response, Walther produced the PPK/s (the “s” designation means “special”), which was, essentially, a PPK slide and barrel mounted on the slightly larger PP frame. Currently, Smith & Wesson have the only license to manufacture PPK pistols.
Caliber: .32 ACP and .380 ACP
Capacity: 7+1 (.32 ACP) or 6+1 (.380 ACP)
Weight: approx. 1.4lbs
Frame material: steel
Slide material: steel
Barrel length: 3.3in
Price range: $600-$2,000
Where You’ve Seen It
As I mentioned in the open of this piece, some of the Walther PPK’s fame is a result of being 007’s sidearm of choice (chambered in .32 ACP) in the wildly popular James Bond movies. It has appeared in Bond epics from From Russia With Love (1963), and Diamonds Are Forever (1971) to Quantum of Solace (2008) and Skyfall (2012). It has appeared in several other well-loved movies over the years, as well, including one of my all-time favorites, Inglorious Basterds (2009), Run, Lola, Run (1998), and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). Not surprisingly, the Walther PPK can be seen in a long list of television shows, as well. To my great pleasure, Firefly and Doctor Who are among that number. The PPK is also a popular video game gun. Among others, it is featured in such games as GoldenEye 007 and Team Fortress 2.
In the featured image, suave James Bond (Sean Connery) wields his famous blued Walther PPK pistol in You Only Live Twice (1967).