What if James Bond had a choice? Sure, Q stuck him with the Walther, but would the super spy have preferred a Sig? Let the debate begin.
The SIG P232 and Walther PPK series could be mistaken for brothers. They look so utterly similar. It wouldn’t be out of the question to assume that one is a copy of the other. Admittedly these two compact pistols have a lot of similarities. They both use popular pocket pistol calibers, both are single stacks, and both use a straight blowback design. However, there is more than meets the eye.
Today we are going to break down the differences between the SIG P232 and Walther PPK. The differences are subtle but important. Especially if you are considering either of these firearms for concealed carry, let’s dig into it!
While both guns are designed to be compact and easy to carry concealed, there are such significant size differences. The PPK is the smaller option. It’s 6.1 inches long overall and is 1.1 inches wide with a height of 3.8 inches. Its total weight is 19 ounces.
SIG”s P232 comes in a bit bigger, with an overall length of 6.6 inches. The gun is 1.2 inches wide and 4.7 inches tall. Impressively this larger gun does weigh only 18 ounces. The longer grip is a better grip and does offer an extra round of capacity.
Both guns are svelte and slim European classics. Neither is a race gun, but both provide satisfying ergonomics. Both guns have their strengths, and both have their weaknesses. The Walther uses a press-button magazine release which is much easier to use than the SIG option. The SIG P232 uses the old-school European heel magazine release.
Where the SIG shines is with its frame-mounted decocker. Much like the p220 and similar P series pistols, the decocker is placed just in front of the grip and is very easy to activate and use. Walther uses a combination frame-mounted safety decocker. Walther’s solution isn’t bad, but SIG’s is much better.
SIG also offers a slightly longer grip which my big hands appreciate.
Small guns aren’t exactly best known for their accuracy, but when you stack the two side by side, I’m betting most shooters will have an easier time shooting the P232 accurately. The SIG P232 and p230 featured considerably lighter triggers. The double action trigger pull is ten pounds with the SIG and more than 13 pounds with the Walther. The SIG single action is 4.5 pounds, and Walther’s single action is a little over six pounds.
On top of that, the SIG has larger sights that are dovetailed into the slide. The Walther’s sights are much smaller. When comparing the two, it’s easier to see the bigger sights, which makes the gun easier to aim and shoot. The longer barrel of the P232 offers you a better sight radius, which makes the gun easier to fire accurately.
The slightly larger P232 delivers you one additional round of ammunition. If you are looking at the .380 ACP versions, the P232 holds one extra round. One extra round isn’t a whole lot more but it can be a consideration when you are looking at two guns that only hold a handful of rounds.
The primary caliber used by both guns is the .380 ACP, but that’s not all. The SIG P232 utilized the .380 ACP on top of .32 ACP and 9x18mm Ultra. The Walther PPK has always been the more popular option and has been more successful than the SIG variant. As such, it’s found in far more calibers. This includes the famed .380 ACP, as well as .32 ACP and 9x18mm Ultra, but shooters can also get Walthers in .25 ACP and .22 long rifle.
Teutonic Carry Guns
Sadly, SIG discontinued the P232. It’s long gone now, but the Walther PPK is still going strong. Walther produces the gun in the United States now, and modern production is limited to .380 ACP and .22LR. Your only option for a P232 or even a P230 is on the used market. Which would you prefer?
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5 thoughts on “The SIG P232 vs the Walther PPK”
You missed a few other points. The Walther is a much older design than the SIg P232. How much older? 42 years older. SIG didn’t even exist when Carl Walther’s PP and PPK series of pistol took the European market by storm in 1935, as the first commercially successful DA/SA handgun ever engineered and produced. The PP (Police Pistol) was an immediate success with Europe’s LE community. The PPK (Police Pistol Kriminale) was designed for undercover officers, as it was smaller and easier to conceal.
Q couldn’t have handed 007 a SIG, because it wasn’t developed until 1977. Long after Bond had been in Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
The PPK, was also a favorite of the German Officer’s Corp as a sidearm throughout WW2, it was often found on the uniform in its distinct leather holster on German Army, Airforce and Naval Officers. The PPK, joined the P-08 and P-38 as among the favorite “war trophies” for Allied Soldiers to aquire. Surprisingly, it was far more common to find a PP or PPK in .32 ACP than .380 ACP during this period. .380 PPK’s were produced, but that caliber became more popular after the War than before it.
I would disagree that accuracy is an issue with these guns. Because of the fixed barrel of blowback designs, they have the potential to be very accurate. My early 70’s PPK/S across a rest, can consistany keep 1 1/2″ groups at 25 yards.
Though retired to Range Baby Status in 2018, when the sights became too difficult to use in Low Lights Drills, my PPK/S spent 25+ years as my CC Weapon. With 2 extra 7 round mags, I never felt undergunned the entire time I carried it. The secret with small guns, is practicing frequently and often.
I own a Sig P230SL and sometimes shoot with a friend who owns a PPK. There is no competition the SIG is superior in every way. My friend always tried to get me to trade or sell him the P230SL, but there was no way I was doing that.
I hope I went one smile
I wish I could paste a comparison of the SigSauer P232 side-by-side with the Whitney Wolverine. Totally two different approaches using different alloys, aluminum as opposed to stainless but they are really just cool looking pistols and shoot really well. Hands-down, the SigSauer P232 I would’ve chosen for Bond and maybe even the Whitney Wolverine would have looked really cool in his hand. No shaking or stirring here just “Got Grip.” The purchase of the Sig P232 in lies the difference for my hands over the Walther PPK any day hands down. Sorry to see they discontinued this fine pistol.
Sig 230 stainless owner for years. Great pistol. I also have other Sigs lately the Sig 365. that replaced my carry Sig 225.