Thread: S&W Walther PPK
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Old November 2, 2012, 11:41 AM   #30
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Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
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Before you drop the big bucks for a new S&W PPKs, try to find a Walther German made one. There is a world of difference in quality. I ended up getting rid of those two becuase I found some older, German made ones.
The problems with this are that (a) there is zero chance of getting factory service for a "Made in West Germany" PPK (more about this below...) and (b) the collectable nature of these guns has, in my experience, driven prices for a VG+ example above and beyond a new S&W-produced pistol, which IMHO makes it hard to justify ruining the finish by sticking it in a sweaty IWB holster.

Prices for the later Interarms and Manurhin-badged guns are generally lower than a new S&W, but again, no factory service.

Also, my apologies if you already know this, but the postwar "Made in West Germany" PP-series pistols had frames, barrels, and other major parts made by Manurhin in France, then sent to W. Germany where they were finished, assembled, and proofed. This arrangement was initially made due to immediate postwar German arms restrictions and a lack of plant capacity on the correct side of the Iron Curtain, but was reportedly continued in later decades because it was profitable for Walther and it freed up German plant space for German military contract pistols. Walther's subsequent attempt to terminate the French production arrangement resulted in the infamous "Walther Wars" of the 1980s in which Manurhin started exporting completed PPK/S's to the USA under their own moniker. Interarms became the sole American market producer of the PP-series in the legal fallout from the Walther-Manurhin feud. The Interarms license went to S&W after the former company permanently folded ca. 2001.
If you are dead set on getting a new one, then I would wait. S&W and Walther are in the process of undoing their business relationship, and very soon PPKs will be once again made in Germany!
Every press release and news report I've seen about the S&W-Walther split indicates that S&W will continue to produce the PPK series for the foreseeable future, and that the same is true for the Walther-made M&P22.

The PPK cannot be legally imported because it famously fails the 1968 GCA import points test by a single point. All German/French PPKs sold new in the USA through regular commercial channels were imported prior to 1969. The PPK/S was designed to skirt the restrictions, but it would make little sense to divide production of two very similar pistols between two plants on opposite sides of the Atlantic.
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Last edited by carguychris; November 2, 2012 at 11:45 AM. Reason: Minor reword...
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