View Full Version : Walther PPK safe to carry with safety off

July 24, 2000, 03:04 AM
I have a USA Walther PPK 380. I would like to carry it with the safety off, round in the chamber, hammer down. I have been told by some people this is ok. Others have said if I drop it I could have a accidental discharge. Help.

[This message has been edited by mrat (edited July 24, 2000).]

George Stringer
July 24, 2000, 06:48 AM
Mrat, there is always the chance of an AD if a loaded firearm is dropped. Carrying the Walther as you describe would be as safe as any DA auto carried in the same way. But why take the chance? Carry it with the safety on and the chance of an AD is greatly reduced. George

July 24, 2000, 11:26 AM
Just make sure your weapon has an easy to access safety, and then practice carefully drawing it and flipping off the safety until you get so good at it you can do it in the blink of an eye.

I twist the facts until they tell the truth

James K
July 25, 2000, 11:30 AM
The Walther has a hammer block that works pretty well and about the same way as the hammer blocks on Colt and S&W revolvers. A blow that would fire the gun would have to either break the hammer or distort the frame. I have carried the PP and PPK with the safety off and chamber loaded with no qualms.


Paul B.
July 25, 2000, 03:16 PM
Jim. The hammer block works only when the safety is on. If you drop the gun, and it lands on the muzzle, it could very well fire.
I carry mine with chamber loaded and the safety on.
Paul B.

James K
July 26, 2000, 09:20 PM
Hi, Paul B.,

No, the hammer block works whether the safety is on or not. It is a spring loaded plunger that is forced up from the frame by the motion of the hammer lifter/sear. When it is down, as it is with the safety off and the trigger forward (normal carry mode), it blocks the hammer from forward motion. When the safety is on, the safety prevents the hammer from reaching the firing pin, but that is not the hammer block I am referring to.

If you want to see this work, remove the slide and lower the hammer. Then, try to force the hammer forward. It should not move enough to fire had the slide been in place. Now pull the trigger and you will see the block rise up about even with the top of the frame. Now the hammer can be released (carefully) and will go forward to the frame. The hammer block will prevent firing if a loaded pistol is dropped on the hammer with the safety off.

(A few very late war guns were made without the hammer block, but I am assuming you don't have one of those.)



Paul B.
July 27, 2000, 12:19 AM
I did have one of the late war PPK's. No, it did not have a hammer block. Damn thing fired every time I tried to use the safety.
I read in one of the gun rags that the PP,PPK, and PPK/s would fire if dropped on the muzzle. I can't remember who wrote it, but I think it was Mas Ayoob. I always figured that he knew what he was talking about, but maybe not? I'll try what you suggested.
BTW. Anybody who wants to see if the hammer drop safety is working propoerly, take an ordinary lead pencil with a good eraser on it. Put the pencil down the barrel, eraser end first. Drop the hammer with the safety. It may jump about two inches or so, that's OK. If the pencil goes flying out of the barrel, the hammer drop safety is defective. If you want to see the difference, dry fire once with the pencil in place. A good thing to remember.
Paul B.
It's funny. About the only DA auto I know of that got the safety right is the Makarov. All the others have it bass ackwards. You'd think some designer would get it right. Apparently the Russians did.
Paul B.

July 28, 2000, 02:06 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Dangus:
[B]Just make sure your weapon has an easy to access safety, and then practice carefully drawing it and flipping off the safety until you get so good at it you can do it in the blink of an eye.

My problem is that I am left handed and the safety is made for right handers.

I bought the pistol on a whim and did not think about it until I got it home. I collect guns so it isn't that big of a deal but it would be nice to carry it sometimes.

James K
July 28, 2000, 08:37 PM
Hi, Paul,

I think we are talking apples and oranges. On the PP/PPK, when the hammer is dropped with the safety, the safety catch itself rotates up around the back end of the firing pin and its internal surface also blocks the pin by blocking the shoulder on the firing pin itself. If a PP/PPK fires when the safety is engaged, either the safety or the firing pin is defective. (And the pistol will fire full automatic until the magazine is empty.)

This has nothing to do with the hammer block, since the hammer and trigger are back when the safety is engaged to drop the hammer, and the trigger will remain back until the safety is moved to the fire position.

The hammer block, as I said, is in the frame, not the slide, and is disengaged when the trigger is to the rear, just like the block on a revolver. Whether the safety is engaged or not, the hammer block prevents the hammer from moving forward. When the gun is carried with the safety off, the hammer block prevents firing if the gun is dropped on the hammer. Since it is spring loaded, it is not quite as fool proof as the mechanical hammer blocks on a Colt or S&W, but it is very reliable.


July 28, 2000, 10:57 PM
You've all forgot to mention something. The gun has an inertial firing pin, ala 1911, w/o a firing pin safety. Whether or not the hammer is impacted, the pin can continue to move forward as the pistol comes to an abrupt halt(as when dropped). There MAY be enough energy imparted to the primer for ignition. As Jim mentioned, carrying with the safety engaged locks the pin against any movement. It's a judgement call that you have to make for yourself. :)

James K
July 29, 2000, 10:08 PM
Hi, VictorLouis,

True, we were rather focused on the gun dropping on the hammer. As you note, the PP/PPK firing pin is an inertia type, but I doubt very much that that light pin could build up enough inertia to fire the gun if it were dropped on the muzzle. Needless to say, I am not about to sacrifice one of my pistols to prove this, though.

Dropping on the muzzle is less common than falling on the hammer, since the weight of a pistol is to the rear and a dropped pistol will usually fall on its back end. Only recently due to, I think, one freak accident and 50 gazillion lawyers, has firing pin intertia become recognized as a problem.

The P.38 does have a firing pin block and does not have a frame mounted hammer block.