The Walther PPK in .32
An Icon Returns

Caleb Daniels is a lifelong Bond fan and firearms enthusiast from Kansas City, Missouri. For seven years, he worked in the firearms industry, growing up in that world. Commando Bond was founded in 2020 as a passion project to bridge the gap between pop culture and the world of firearms, by analyzing how to live like Bond, from his daily carry, to his wardrobe and lifestyle.

In an era of modern designs, a sea of similarity, many have rediscovered the pleasures of classic calibers and intriguing firearm designs, which only makes it proper that the PPK, an unrivaled legend in the industry, be given the opportunity to return to its roots.

Today, we celebrate the return of an icon – the Walther PPK is once again chambered for 7.65mm, or .32 ACP for those on the American side of the Atlantic. The original chambering introduced in 1931 is now, 93 years later, back in production.

Pistols will be available in both stainless steel and black, from Walther Arms USA’s Fort Smith, Arkansas, facilities, blending the classic caliber and aesthetics with cutting-edge production and finishing technology.

Naturally, thanks to the world’s favorite suited spy’s proclivity for carrying a pistol chambered for .32 ACP, the clamor for a PPK chambered for this round once more has been resounding. Walther is thrilled to answer this call, for collectors, pop-culture fans, and those in search of a more unique daily carry. After all, to borrow from another popular franchise, a .32 ACP PPK is certainly, “an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.”

A History of Innovation

When the PP and the smaller PPK were designed in the early 20th Century, the team at Walther elevated the expectations for concealed carry. In the early 1930’s, the striker-fired, pocket automatics of the time were notorious for accidental discharges, hardly something ideal for trustworthy self-defense. It was clear that the market was in need of a safer defensive pistol, and that was a call Walther was more than happy to answer.

Looking to other firearms for inspiration, it became clear to Fritz Walther that the traditional revolver did not have the problems faced by early striker-fired automatics. The revolver’s double-action trigger allowed a hammer to rest in the forward position, making an accidental discharge far less likely. This technology had not been successfully adapted into a mainstream automatic at that time. Walther changed all that by submitting the first patent for a double-action/single-action “revolver” style automatic pistol. The patent, submitted in January 1924 described this new concept as a, “Self-loading pistol with magazine and revolver self-cocking lock with double-action trigger.”

In addition to transforming revolver technology into a reliable automatic pistol, Walther pioneered the dual safety/decocker mechanism. With this, the slide-mounted safety allows users to carry the pistol loaded with the hammer down, and with the additional security of the safety catch. 

This feature allows users to safely carry their pistol without fear of accidental discharge while also reducing the profile of the weapon for seamless concealment and effective draw speed. Peace of mind while carrying was achieved, without compromising the pistol’s duty-driven purpose.

While many only think of the PPK due to its well known pop culture connections, the reality is, this pistol completely changed the expectations for sidearms in the early 20th Century. The double-action/single-action automatic pistol became a requirement for many military sidearms around the world in the 20th Century, a call Walther continued to answer with designs such as the P38, P5, and P99. 

In the Cold-War era, aside from its use by fictional spies, the PPK saw use by an array of real-world end users, including members of the following clandestine organizations:

  • German Intelligence Service (BND)
  • French Intelligence (SDECE)
  • Israel Intelligence (Mossad)
  • United Kingdom (MI5 & MI6)
  • United States (MACV-SOG, CIA, & Navy SEALs)

The PPK likely gained favor with such organizations due to its compact size and fixed barrel design, which allows for the pistol to run a silencer – without the need of a “booster” or Neilson device. SOG operators, for example, reportedly carried silenced PPK/S pistols during their HALO jump operations behind enemy lines.

Aside from the incredible history and end users, the PPK design is still just as reliable and functional today as it was 93 years ago, and it remains a pleasure to shoot recreationally and carry in 2024.

Few can make that claim after so many years, and yet, Walther’s familiar and quintessential concealed carry sidearm is well deserving of such praise. At the time of its initial release, Walther quickly produced a .22 LR variant of the platform, specifically so those serious about self-defense could train with their preferred pistol with a more economical round. Almost 100 years later, this is a standard practice across the industry, in addition to dry-fire training. Walther’s current mantra – that “It’s Your Duty To Be Ready,” is nearly a century in the making. This demonstrates Walther’s unwavering testament to provide the highest quality firearms and educational opportunities in the industry.

All this in mind, the legendary PPK pistol, returning to its classic caliber of .32 ACP, is undoubtedly a pistol suited well both for the collector and those in search of an elevated daily carry firearm. One will likely find the .32 caliber PPK most at home in its natural habitat – underneath a well-cut dinner jacket and paired with an exceptional shoulder holster. Frankly, no firearm is better suited for such occasions. 

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