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Old 10-06-2010, 02:06 PM   #1
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Default Walther PPK vs Bersa Thunder 380

Hi, everyone.

I'm a firearm newbie and looking to get a pistol for concealed protection and also possibly to be the start of a collection/hobby. I was surprised to read all the positive reviews on Bersa while being a significantly cheaper alternative, especially with the reports of the PPK having the tendency of jamming (not sure what that means). However, I was still drawn to the PPK because I thought it was able to accept a suppressor in its stock condition, but I found out that's not the case. So being that both the Bersa Thunder 380 and Walther PPK have to be modified for a suppressor, I'm wondering if one of the two is inherently easier for this modification or if both are equally challenging? If the latter is the case, I figure I could get the Bersa and receive the same/better quality while saving some money. Would there happen to be a place where I might be able to get one of these already modified?

The only pistols I'm currently considering are the PPK, Thunder 380, and the short barrel 500 Magnum. Can you guys give me your take on the power, accuracy and reliability ratings for these 3?

By the way, is there a difference in performance between the long and short barreled Magnums, or is it just a thing of portability/concealability/aesthetics? Also, I noticed that both the stainless steel and blued steel PPK's are priced practically the same, but do they both actually have the same longevity or is it a give and take thing? For example, will you get corrosion resistance with stainless but have metal hardness/frame rigidity compromised, and good frame wear resistance with blued steel but lose out on corrosion resistance after a period of use?

Thanks very much.

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Old 10-06-2010, 02:14 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by GoldenEye View Post
Hi, everyone.

I'm a firearm newbie and looking to get a pistol for concealed protection and also possibly to be the start of a collection/hobby. I was surprised to read all the positive reviews on Bersa while being a significantly cheaper alternative, especially with the reports of the PPK having the tendency of jamming (not sure what that means). However, I was still drawn to the PPK because I thought it was able to accept a suppressor in its stock condition, but I found out that's not the case. So being that both the Bersa Thunder 380 and Walther PPK have to be modified for a suppressor, I'm wondering if one of the two is inherently easier for this modification or if both are equally challenging? If the latter is the case, I figure I could get the Bersa and receive the same/better quality while saving some money. Would there happen to be a place where I might be able to get one of these already modified?

The only pistols I'm currently considering are the PPK, Thunder 380, and the short barrel 500 Magnum. Can you guys give me your take on the power, accuracy and reliability ratings for these 3?

By the way, is there a difference in performance between the long and short barreled Magnums, or is it just a thing of portability/concealability/aesthetics? Also, I noticed that both the stainless steel and blued steel PPK's are priced practically the same, but do they both actually have the same longevity or is it a give and take thing? For example, will you get corrosion resistance with stainless but have metal hardness/frame rigidity compromised, and good frame wear resistance with blued steel but lose out on corrosion resistance after a period of use?

Thanks very much.
OK, lets see if I understand what you're asking here. You're considering either a .380 or a S&W .500 - is that correct? There's a lot of middle ground here I think.

As for the PPK and the Bersa - I've owned both and they are nice guns. The Walther is more expensive than the Bersa for the same reason an Acura costs more than a Honda.

It's been a while since I had a Bersa but I believe it's like the Walther in that the barrel is attached to the frame and it would take a lot of effort to have it threaded for a suppressor.

In general, the longer the barrel - the better the ballistics & accuracy but it's more difficult to conceal.

To me a carbon steel gun treated properly is just as resistant as a stainless steel gun but SS has it's advantages especially in the hot and humid GA climate.

I'm trying to give serious answers but I can't help but think you just came from a theater playing a James Bond marathon...

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Old 10-06-2010, 02:51 PM   #3
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I have the S & W Walther PPK/S and love it. The main thing to watch for on the Bersa is the short beaver tail. You can get railroad tracks on your hand if not careful. You do need to break in the Walther when it it broken in it is a great shooter. The pistol is heavier which helps in recoil management. I have shot other .380's LCP Bersa Taurus ect. and found it not pleasant to shoot. The Walther design is over 75 year old. It was among the first double action auto pistol. Hitler used one to kill himself. Allot of history behind the PPK. The German military issued it to their officers. It is more the a gun it is a piece history. A classic.

Walther PP - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 10-06-2010, 03:20 PM   #4
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NGIB,

Nice to meet you. First, I wanna say thank you for your brave service in protecting the nation's Constitution and sovereignty, and I hope you are being treated properly as a veteran from the social services or whatnot. I feel those that try to chisel off or neglect veterans (including politicians) should suffer nothing less than imprisonment because it's treason in essence.

I couldn't help but laugh a bit when you brought up James Bond because that's exactly where my knowledge and inspiration for firearms come from. Specifically, the GoldenEye video game where all the guns are listed upon selection. Having played that with friends for a better part of a decade, I got to remember many of the gun names, such as the Deusche, Klobb, PPK, Cougar Magnum, AR-XX Assault Rifle, etc. I see guns in movies all the time, but none of those give in-depth exposure on their backgrounds enough to make an impression.

Anyhow, yes, I'm trying to choose between these 3 pistols because they're all I really know about, apart from the Glock, but I think that's too big for practicle concealment. And, as you mentioned, the 500 Magnum is gapped widely from the 2 380's, and while it's not the same Magnum model as in the video game (357), the super small size plus the tremendous power gave its immediate appeal. Of course, what I want most right now is to duplicate the supressed PPK, so that I get both decent close range protection+minimal overpenetration possibility and be able to have a reproduction of what Bond uses at the same time. I just called a couple shops here in GA, and was ultimately directed to a company called Tornado Technologies out in Oregon that is supposed to be the most equipped and experienced so modify a PPK barrel. I was told that they would probably thread the end of the original barrel to have a threaded extension/adapter be placed in which would then thread into the suppressor. Picturing that in mind, I don't think that will be a very secure method, but I'll see what they can offer once I get a chance to ask them about it directly. If this project turns out to cost way more than a 500 Magnum, I may just settle for the Magnum.

I think I briefly came across the statement that the S&W 500 Magnum is one of the most powerful handguns out there, is that right? If so, should I expect it to have a big recoil as opposed to a 380, and are the chances of a first-shot kill high?

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Old 10-06-2010, 03:26 PM   #5
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I think I briefly came across the statement that the S&W 500 Magnum is one of the most powerful handguns out there, is that right? If so, should I expect it to have a big recoil as opposed to a 80?
Uh, YES.

I highly suggest you get out to one of the local ranges and try a few guns out (if you're old enough). What happens in a video game bears little resemblance to real life I'm afraid...
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:37 PM   #6
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I have the S & W Walther PPK/S and love it. The main thing to watch for on the Bersa is the short beaver tail. You can get railroad tracks on your hand if not careful. You do need to break in the Walther when it it broken in it is a great shooter. The pistol is heavier which helps in recoil management. I have shot other .380's LCP Bersa Taurus ect. and found it not pleasant to shoot. The Walther design is over 75 year old. It was among the first double action auto pistol. Hitler used one to kill himself. Allot of history behind the PPK. The German military issued it to their officers. It is more the a gun it is a piece history. A classic.
Thank you very much for the background info on the PPK. I had taken a look on Wikipedia and learned that it had been around since early last century, but never knew that it's what Hitler killed himself with. And with it being a historical piece, having it also shown in the media with the James Bond franchise makes it one of the most (if not the most) famous handgun(s), I think.

However, in a discussion comparing the PPK with the alternatives, a subject that naturally arises is whether a 380 acp is adequate for self defense against someone intending to kill you. A brief search on the internet showed the seemingly concurred idea that a 380 is well adequate, but notwithstanding, it is still the minimum on the list, hinting the possibility that it may not be enough to save your life, especially if the adversary also has a firearm and/or body armor. Of course, jumping over to the 500 Magnum may be reaching overkill, so what would you say are the medium choices that favor power in addition to small size/ease of portability?
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:40 PM   #7
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NGIB,

Nice to meet you. First, I wanna say thank you for your brave service in protecting the nation's Constitution and sovereignty, and I hope you are being treated properly as a veteran from the social services or whatnot. I feel those that try to chisel off or neglect veterans (including politicians) should suffer nothing less than imprisonment because it's treason in essence.

I couldn't help but laugh a bit when you brought up James Bond because that's exactly where my knowledge and inspiration for firearms come from. Specifically, the GoldenEye video game where all the guns are listed upon selection. Having played that with friends for a better part of a decade, I got to remember many of the gun names, such as the Deusche, Klobb, PPK, Cougar Magnum, AR-XX Assault Rifle, etc. I see guns in movies all the time, but none of those give in-depth exposure on their backgrounds enough to make an impression.

Anyhow, yes, I'm trying to choose between these 3 pistols because they're all I really know about, apart from the Glock, but I think that's too big for practicle concealment. And, as you mentioned, the 500 Magnum is gapped widely from the 2 380's, and while it's not the same Magnum model as in the video game (357), the super small size plus the tremendous power gave its immediate appeal. Of course, what I want most right now is to duplicate the supressed PPK, so that I get both decent close range protection+minimal overpenetration possibility and be able to have a reproduction of what Bond uses at the same time. I just called a couple shops here in GA, and was ultimately directed to a company called Tornado Technologies out in Oregon that is supposed to be the most equipped and experienced so modify a PPK barrel. I was told that they would probably thread the end of the original barrel to have a threaded extension/adapter be placed in which would then thread into the suppressor. Picturing that in mind, I don't think that will be a very secure method, but I'll see what they can offer once I get a chance to ask them about it directly. If this project turns out to cost way more than a 500 Magnum, I may just settle for the Magnum.

I think I briefly came across the statement that the S&W 500 Magnum is one of the most powerful handguns out there, is that right? If so, should I expect it to have a big recoil as opposed to a 380, and are the chances of a first-shot kill high?

Yes it is the most power hand gun in production. There maybe a more powerful handgun but they are only IMO novelty gun. Also if your going to put a suppresser your going to need ATF Tax permit to own one. If you make it your self you are going to lose your firearm rights.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:50 PM   #8
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Uh, YES.

I highly suggest you get out to one of the local ranges and try a few guns out (if you're old enough). What happens in a video game bears little resemblance to real life I'm afraid...
That's a great idea, but do these ranges have guns you can use over there for a fee or do you have to bring your own, and do they require you to have some other qualification/license apart from the age factor?
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:54 PM   #9
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Yes it is the most power hand gun in production. There maybe a more powerful handgun but they are only IMO novelty gun. Also if your going to put a suppresser your going to need ATF Tax permit to own one. If you make it your self you are going to lose your firearm rights.
Do you know where I can find out how much this ATF Tax permit is going to cost here in Georgia? I was told I could get a suppressor for about $750, but that's excluding tax(es).

Also, after having legally obtained a suppressor and a permit for concealed weapons, is it permissible to take the suppressor with you to a state that bans it, like New Jersey, or does suppressor banishment in a particular state only entail the acquisition of the license to get one?
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:17 PM   #10
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your going to have to find that out for yourself. To me it will be a PIA and not worth it.

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