View Full Version : Walther PPK-S extractor and case splitting

June 20, 2012, 12:56 PM
A friend of mine got a new PPK-S and we were shooting with it last weekend.

About 20% of the time, the slide didn't go into battery. It seemed like the extractor was stubborn and didn't want to snap over the rear of the cartridge and into the groove. This mostly happened when chambering to the first round, but sometimes occurred with subsequent rounds.
After picking 65 pieces of brass and examining them: 44 were split open, 9 looked like they were on the verge of splitting, and 12 looked pretty normal.

When I looked at the heads of the split cases with the splits positioned at 12 o'clock, the scratches from the extractor were all just a few degrees to the left of the splits. All of the brass had some longitudinal scratches running the full length of the case (or close to it) too, even on the relatively normal looking cases.

It seems clear to me that my friend needs to get the extractor tuned on the gun. I'm just wondering if the case splitting could be related to the extractor, or, could this just be a box of bad ammo, or bad ammo and an extractor problem? The ammo was Winchester white box.

James K
June 20, 2012, 05:47 PM
Are you sure the ammunition was correct for that pistol? I don't quite see how an extractor can cause case splitting, but firing .32 ACP in a .380 ACP pistol might.


June 20, 2012, 05:52 PM
When you examine these types of problems yo can't just do it casually !!
Always test the gun with different brands of ammo ! Always clean the gun thorughly even when new as a bit of metal from machining, a burr from machining , or dirt can effect functioning.
Split cases very often indicate undersize cases, oversize chambers.
Do that and come back for your questions.:)

June 20, 2012, 07:51 PM
Thanks for the replies.

Sorry I can't be more thorough but it's not my gun. As I stated, it belongs to a friend and he lives one state east of where I am.

I do have the brass so I can say with certainty that it's the right size ammo. The cases are .380 auto. That gun only comes in .32 and .380 and I'm pretty sure the slide wouldn't close at all if he was trying to put .380 ammo in a .32 gun :eek:
It wouldn't surprise me if he hadn't cleaned the gun before trying it out though...

James K
June 20, 2012, 07:59 PM
Nope, you couldn't get a .380 into a .32, so that is out. Can you post pics of the fired cases? That might help even without pics of the gun.


June 20, 2012, 09:28 PM
I'll post pics tomorrow. Camera battery is recharging...

June 21, 2012, 09:31 PM
Here's a couple of pics. The scratches that I initially thought were from the extractor, go up the entire side of the case. I'm thinking that if they weren't there before being loaded, There's (at least) one major burr in the chamber or maybe a very sharp edge on the magazine lip.

June 22, 2012, 01:22 AM
Chamber is oversize. I would say that in an old police gun or a military surplus pistol if not normal it is relatively common. Not much you can do about it.

June 22, 2012, 08:05 AM
Assuming you are using new factory ammo, not reloads.
If that is a new pistol, it should go back to the factory for correction.
Something is definitely wrong.


James K
June 22, 2012, 08:06 PM
I hope I don't insult anyone by thinking of one more wild idea. That is a PPK/S, not a PPS?

That being said, I give up. That is the kind of split normally seen on old milsurp ammo when acid in poorly washed powder eats the case from the inside. To see it in new commercial ammo is very surprising. The scoring on the case certainly looks like it was put there by something on the gun, possibly the magazine lips or a sharp edge on the barrel.

If the gun is new, I would certainly call the factory and the same with the ammo. Take as many pictures as you can of the ammo and any areas of the gun that look bad.

FWIW, it is no great problem to change out the barrel on the Walther PP-PPK-PPK/S pistols. The barrel comes out to the rear once the slide is off. Just drive out the pin and tap the muzzle of the barrel.


June 22, 2012, 11:03 PM
Thanks for all the replies!

The ammo was brand new Win white box.

Here's the plan:

I'm going to tell the owner to examine the remaining ammo to see if the scoring on along the sides of the cartridges is already there.

If the ammo looks good I'll have him load up a mag and then slide each round forward until it's out of the mag, then check for scratches.

IF the ammo still looks good I'll have him load up a mag and manually cycle it through the gun (in a safe location) by pulling the slide back and letting it fly. That should ensure some scratching happens. I'll pull the bullets and powder from the cycled but unfired rounds so he can send those back to the factory along with the gun and and some split cases. I believe this is the first time he's fired the gun so I wouldn't expect he'd have any problems getting an RMA from the factory.

It's a really nice PPK... stainless and engraved etc. It should be even nicer when it's working correctly.