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Range Report: Sig P232 vs. Walther PPK

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by PlayboyPenguin, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Firearm tested
    .380acp Walther PPK
    .380acp Sig Sauer P232


    Ammo used
    140 rounds - 90gr Winchester WB FMJ
    50 round - 85gr Winchester Silvertips


    SIGvsPPK.jpg

    I recently picked up a LNIB Sig P232. I have always been a huge fan of the Walther PPK so I had never seen much use for this gun. I just thought it was a little bit too large for a .380acp pistol and that it was just a PPK wanna-be...but I got a good deal on it, so I said what the heck. That statement alone should alert you to the pro-PPK bias that exists where I am concerned. So read the rest of this report knowing that it was written by a die-hard PPK fan. :)

    I decided the best way to test this new-to-me gun was to place it in a head-to-head battle with my beloved Walther PPK.

    FORM:

    What needs be said about the PPK that has not been said before. It is hands down one of the most beautiful guns ever made and has earned it's reputation as a true classic.

    The PPK is a simple DA/SA blow-back pistol with a slide mounted decocker/safety and it's small size makes it a very easy to conceal firearm.

    The Sig P232 is actually quite a beautiful gun also. It is very similar in design to the PPK but is a bit more fluid looking.

    The P232 is also a DA/SA blow-back style pistol, but on the P232 the decocker is frame mounted and it has no manual safety. The p232 is also a bit larger than the PPK. The difference amounts to about .5" in height and length.

    It would really be hard to decide which gun is actually the better looking gun. I personally prefer the PPK, but your opinion may differ. I do believe the smaller size of the PPK gives it a design advantage right up front...and I prefer it over the P232 as far as looks go...but it is not by much of a margin.

    SigP232-1.jpg

    PPKtulip-1.jpg

    FEATURES:

    Both the P232 and the PPK have very similar features. They are both DA/SA with manual decockers and are both blow-back designs. The P232 does lack the manual safety, but I have honestly never engaged the safety on my PPK anyway. I just consider it a decocker. I do think I prefer the decocker on the P232. The decocker on the P232 releases the hammer much less violently than the PPK. It allows you to lower the hammer pretty slowly by depressing it and allowing it to slowly raise. Sigs have the best decockers in the game, IMHO. The decocker on the PPK seems to slam the hammer down pretty hard. In fact, as I was writing this review I learned the PPK has been recalled for issues with it's firing pin block. I cannot help but think the decocker being so forceful has something to do with this issue.

    Both guns have simple red three dot sights and both have exposed hammers which can be manually engaged for SA shooting.

    Both guns also have wrap around grips which help considerably with reducing felt recoil. There is no metal backstrap beating into the palm of your hand on either gun.

    I will have to give the advantage to the P232 when it comes to mechanical tear down. The frame mounted lever is easier to use than the method PPK employs...which is to pull down on the trigger guard. The P232 seems to come apart a little bit more easily.

    I have to turn back around and give the advantage to the PPK regarding the magazine release. The PPK has the standard "push button" style mag release located behind the trigger guard on the grip frame. The P232 has the European style mag latch on the bottom of the mag well. I am not crazy about that feature on the P232.

    As far as features go, I would call it a draw. It all depends on what you want and what aspects of their designs are more important to you as an individual. I prefer the PPK.

    FIT:

    The PPK's are very nicely put together. They are very solid and tolerances are tight and even. You just can't beat them. The P232 does not beat the PPK in this area, but it does seem to equal it. Both gun are extremely well put together. they are great examples of how a gun should look and feel.

    I would have to call this category as a tie.

    FUNCTION:

    Both of these little guns really shine when it comes to performance. Both guns fired off every round with no malfunctions of any type. I did not have to clear a single failure to feed or failure to eject and all the rounds went bang.

    Both guns were also very accurate. I was getting almost identical groups from both guns at 10 years, 15 yards, and 20 yards. Both guns also proved capable of hitting the 6" steel spinners at 25-30 yards with ease...despite their simple sights. Both guns felt good in my hand and both guns seemed to point very naturally for me. I would never be able to choose between the two if accuracy was the only considered factor. They are too dead even.

    As far as comfort is concerned, each time I would start to think one felt better in my hand than the other I would reverse my decision the next round with the other gun. The P232 did have an advantage of a longer grip frame, which made it a little more comfortable to hold onto. The extended mag on the PPK did even this out some, but the fuller grip of the P232 is very comfortable. I think anyone with larger hands would prefer the P232 over the PPK.

    FLAWS:

    It would be hard to find too many flaws with either of these guns. They are both well thought out and time proven designs. I have no problem calling them both beautiful examples of fine craftsmanship. They are very elegant and sophisticated looking pieces of machinery.

    I am not crazy about the decocker on the PPK or the mag release on the P232. If you want to consider those issues "flaws" I will not argue with you.

    FINAL IMPRESSION:

    As I have stated before. I believe the PPK is a gun every collector should have in their safe. It is also a gun that anyone that carries should take a good look at when search for their CCW. It is small/easily concealed, solid, well made, reliable, accurate, and capable. It also has both a decocker and a safety for the more timid. Then add on top of that the fact that it is a true classic and one of the best looking guns ever and you have a real winner.

    The P232 does not possess the sense of history that the PPK does, but it seems to equal it in almost every other way...except in the over-all size department. It is a well made, reliable, accurate, and polished looking firearm that would be a welcome addition to any collection...be it in the safe, at the range, or in your holster.

    It was very nice shooting a gun I love as much as the PPK today. I always remember why I love it so much every time I take it out shooting. It was even nicer finding that I just might have another beautiful .380acp pistol with which to share my affection.

    In the end, deciding between these two guns would simply be a matter of personal preference. They are so evenly matched in design, quality, and performance that the little differences are what would make or break the over-all deal. Do you want the slightly smaller and lighter one? Do you want the standard or european mag release? Do you want the easier to tear down? Do you want the larger grip frame? Do you want or not want a manual safety? These would be the questions that make your decision for you.
     
  2. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    Another nice review - thanks for posting.
     
  3. Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo Clackamas County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Good presentation of the differences.
     
  4. bjustice

    bjustice USA New Member

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    Thanks so much for this great article. I am currently in the market for one of these two guns. I came into the decision leaning more toward the PPK (father in law has one and I love it) but really enjoyed holding the Sig the other day. The ultimate decision will probably come down to the manual safety since my wife may be getting her CCW and I wouldn't want a mishap when she's digging for her chapstick/phone/whatever.

    Again, great review and great perspective. Thank you!
     
  5. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Very nice review, especially since I've been thinking seriously of buying something like that.

    Just one question. How did they group at 200 yards? :D

    The sole reason that I've been carrying an SW Airweight .38 +P is the small barrel. Most autoloaders are simply bigger at the barrel end and rub and protrude in my pocket, whether vest, pants, or down my back.

    For that reason and overall size I think I still prefer the Walther, but that's just me.

    Thanks again. Good job.

    PS One question. Do you know how I can easily conceal my AR-15? :D
     
  6. uscsoldier

    uscsoldier Salem, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    nice write up:thumbup:
     
  7. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Great write-up, thanks ;)
     
  8. GED

    GED North Idaho Active Member

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    Really appreciate the comparison/analysis of these two fine weapons.

    I've always wanted a PPK. When I finally decided on
    buying one I did a lot of research first and ended
    up buying a Walther PPS.

    But I still would like to get a PPK-for all the
    reasons you've cited. But your analysis makes the
    Sig very tempting too....maybe it's better to just stop "researching", reading posts on discussion forums like this and just buy the darn PPK!
     
  9. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Dude how many handguns do you own?

    And am I the only one with severe handgun envy because this guy?
     
  10. GED

    GED North Idaho Active Member

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    Two-Walther PPS & P22.

    Posted a photo of my P22-post #15 under "Walther P22" in the Handguns discussions. Beautiful little pistol-wonder if this gun was made to be fired or kissed?:D
     
  11. pokerace

    pokerace Newberg Well-Known Member

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  12. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    Dude how many handguns do you own?

    Some time back there was an active thread "show your guns".. folks posting photos of their toys, safes, walls, etc.... assuming the photo of two safes posted by Mr. Penguin was really HIS collection, he's got a LOT of handguns...... four or five SHELVES of them, most of the width of the safe.

    Now, its also possible his photo was nicked from some other source.... some bright bulb posted a photo of a whole ROOM full of weapons, and someone else outed the source... he'd seen the same image a few years ago. Funny lot, this....


    In any case, Mr. Penguin, excellent review... and may I also commend you on the top quality photography accompanying this piece? I was in professional photography for a few years, and these are excellent images.. sharp, well lit, good composition, proper exposure....

    Not really "on the prowl" for a small auto pistol for CC, but may be before too long... I tried to get one of the 3 LCP's on offer a week or so ago... but wasn't on the site soon enough and all three flew away before I saw the posting. Something small yet capable may be in my near future..... in which case I'll surely take a good look at these two guns. Fit to my hand will be an issue.. the Sig may be overlarge..... I do like my Shorty Forty, but it is a bit on the large size for best concealment.....
     
  13. pokerace

    pokerace Newberg Well-Known Member

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    Not enough!!
     
  14. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    Spot on... there's always space for one or two more, right?
     
  15. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    Great review thanks. I must admit the Sig P232 has been tempting me
     
  16. HenryJ

    HenryJ Eastern Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I realize that this is an old thread, but I found the review very helpful.
    Thanks for taking the time to post!
     
  17. Searcher451

    Searcher451 Oregon Member

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    That's a nice report on two fine handguns; thanks for sharing it with us. I've always found the PPK to be a natural fit for my hand and eye; the SIG, not so much, however. I've tried it with a variety of different grips and just can't seem to get a comfortable lock with it. But no question that both are worthy handguns -- the German- and French-made PPKs, especially.
     
  18. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    Give a try to a "slip-on" grip sleeve by Bianchi or Hogue. They make a huge difference in handling to the PPK, giving the middle finger more power to squeeze, which also reduces the dreaded "PPK slide bite."..................elsullo :thumbup:
     
  19. Searcher451

    Searcher451 Oregon Member

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    Thanks for that suggestion, elsullo. I've got a couple of the Hogue sleeves for .25 caliber (read: tiny) handguns, ala the Walther Model 9, but none that would fit either the SIG or the PPK. I'll have to look into it. Salute
     
  20. GED

    GED North Idaho Active Member

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    Something like this(Hogue):