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The Carpati Report

Josh Smith​

I’ve been asked by several people to do a report on the Carpati Mod.95. This smallish .380 is a near clone of the Walther PPK made by Romarms in Romania. It has an ambidextrous safety/decocker and a European heel release for the magazine, which holds 7 rounds. It would be a true ambidextrous pistol if not for the grip panels which must be attached for import: The one on the left came with a very large thumb rest which I sanded off. As well, though it does not affect the ambidexterity of the pistol, the magazine has an extension for the pinky finger.

Ammo used for break-in was CCI Blazer HP; ammo used for this test was Remington FMJ.

Here is the pistol with the slide locked back. Finish is what one would expect from a former ComBloc state. However, after an initial break-in, I could not get it to malfunction. In fact, after a couple bobbles within the first 50 rounds, it had no trouble, even when limpwristing. I've never observed this in a blowback pistol. Notice backstrap is not nearly as curved as the Walther PPK's.

Initial test distance was five paces, or about five yards. My target was a shirt hung from a limb.

I believe that old shirts are very good targets for combat practice as there are usually not bull's eyes imprinted on them, save for a few I've seen on the rebellious youth of my town.

First I tried a series of speed rocks at the designated five paces. Though this was a bit far for this exercise in my opinion, sometimes one just must fire quickly and accurately.

Being left handed, most of the speed rocks landed the shots into the right side of the shirt.

Next, I moved to deliberate aimed fire to center of mass.

Oh oh... my aiming point was to the left of where the bullets struck. Because of what you'll see next, I have no ready explanation as to why I had two flyers, top and bottom.

Sooo.... after making the observation that the sights were likely off, even at five paces, I adjusted them. In adjusting them I thought to myself, "What would the average Communist officer be able to use in the field to adjust the sights, if he absolutely needed to do that work himself?" Into the garage I went for a small ball-peen hammer and a long screw to use as a drift.

This is the result of my sight adjustment with the hammer. The flyer is was shot in double action mode; the rest were in single action. The button was my aiming point.

As I later found out, I had drifted the rear sight a bit too far to the left. There were two marks peened into the top of the slide: One was in front of the rear sight, and the other was in back. I drifted it to the leftmost mark.

I decided to shoot this 16"x12" box at 40 paces (yards) using intentional, single action fire. I was not hitting anything, only kicking up dirt to the left of the box. A couple more whacks with the hammer moved the rear sight a bit to the right, in between the marks, and I was able to hit about 50%. I fired 10 rounds and five hit. The fifth struck under the box, creasing it, so I counted it as a hit. I honestly do not know if the misses were the gun, or if they were because I'm not used to shooting smaller handguns at distance.

I like this pistol except for one downside: It bites! My hands are somewhat desensitized in that area however from martial arts and breaking, so I grinned and bore it.

This is what slide bite looks like, for those who are not familiar with the term. It is relatively common on smaller, early design handguns because where the slide rides relative to the hand, and because of inadequate protection by the "beavertail."

Here's an illustration of how one must sometimes "take one for the team," or, "The Dynamics of Slide Bite 101."

And a view with the slide closed.

Overall, I'm impressed with this pistol. I got it for a C note and change from a dealer, who threw in a box of ammo.

The trigger is heavy in DA, but it has a very short pull, much like a NY+ Glock trigger. The single action has some creep but is light and almost feels tuned.

If I rated firearms using the "star method," I would give it 7 starts out of 10. The reasons for this are availability of spare parts (I've not found any) and slide bite (though again, it's typical of these style pistols). I feel confident in relying on it as a backup gun, and a "sometimes primary" pistol.

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Looks like a very nice pistol. I'm familiar with the "Walther Bite" as I own an original Walther PPK/S. My Taurus PT908 has pretty much displaced my PPK/S as my compact carry, but for sentimental reasons I cannot bring myself to trade it off. The PT908 bites a little, too.

Walther PPK/S and Browning BDA .380's
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