Walther’s PK380 has been the “go to” pistol for those who want a gun that’s easy to fire because it doesn’t have much recoil and can be used even without much hand strength…
But Smith & Wesson recently released their M&P 380 Shield EZ, which fills the same role as an easy to shoot and easy to operate pistol.
Both guns are awesome, but shooters who want “the best” will still be asking…which one is better?
They’re almost identical when it comes to size and weight as well as their magazine capacity. Their retail price is the same too, standing at $399.
When you compare the two guns’ magazines, you find that the Walther’s magazine is softer but the S&W’s magazine is still easier to load up thanks to the finger studs. The finger studs allow you to pull the follower down one-handed and lets your other hand easily put each round in place.
Even though the guns are so similar, you can tell there’s a slight difference in quality of construction and materials with the S&W coming out on top.
For example, the S&W has steel sights while the Walther uses plastic. Is this a huge difference? Not exactly, but it does give a general feeling that the S&W is the more professional gun.
The grip on the Walther feels good in your hand and has a well-shaped palm swell. However, it doesn’t have as much grip texture and it’s not possible to grip the Walther as high as you can the S&W.
The difference between these two guns becomes more obvious when it comes to field stripping it and ease of use.
The S&W has a thumb safety and is placed in a location that you can easily reach with your thumb. The magazine release is also easy to reach and works the same as most American pistols. Field stripping the S&W is also easy…just rotate the takedown lever and pull the slide out the front.
On the other hand, the Walther is much harder to use than the S&W. It also has a side mounted safety, but instead of being within easy reach of your thumb, it’s way up on the slide…behind the rest of your hand, which makes it hard to reach without using two hands.
When it comes time to release the magazine on the Walther, you’ll find that it’s done European style with paddles. Yes, you can get used to the European style after a while, but for a gun that’s meant to be as easy to use as possible, why not make it easier to do like the S&W does?
Racking the slide on the Walther is somewhat difficult for a gun that’s supposed to be easy to use, and the S&W is definitely easier.
The S&W’s trigger pull feels good, but the Walther’s pull is much harder. The Walther’s trigger pull is made worse by the extreme curve on the trigger which feels uncomfortable on your finger.
When firing, the S&W suffers from less recoil than the Walther, and combined with its superior grip, the S&W is definitely the easier gun to shoot.
So, which one is better for those who want simplicity and ease of use? There’s a certain amount of personal taste involved in choosing, but the S&W had a better overall feel, and that’s the one I’d recommend.