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View Poll Results: Would you shoot/use a Walther PPK heirloom? Would you update finish/grips/internals?
No, don't shoot it and leave it in the safe and keeping it like it is. 2 5.13%
No, don't shoot it but update whatever you want on it. 0 0%
Yes, shoot it but keep it like it is. 27 69.23%
Yes, shoot it and update whatever you want on it. 13 33.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 18, 2013, 12:40 AM   #1
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Walther PPK "Heirloom"- to shoot or not to shoot...

So my late father passed down a Walther PPK to me. His father, my grandfather, served in WWII and brought it back from Germany.

We shot it from time to time, years ago. Then it sat in a safe undisturbed for a long time and started to get some rust on it. When we discovered this we had it re-blued, and my father and I were never really happy with the quality of the service. The lines of the gun just don't look too terribly nice anymore.

The German writing is almost not legible. It says WaA 359 under the eagle stamp. I hear the PPK everyone's granddad brought back from WWII has some "special story" but without papers it's just a neat story. So I can't see this specimen being of any more value than any other run of the mill PPK from that period regardless of story.

I really question having something just sitting in a safe until you die. I get the whole heirloom thing. I want to pass down all my guns to my future kids and all...

My question is this:
A) Would you keep a gun like this in a safe (since it's an heirloom)? Or get it looked over by a gunsmith and shoot it or carry it whenever you want?

B) Would you keep it in the condition it is in? Or have a nice looking custom finish and grips put on it if you wanted to?

Thanks for any opinions!!!

Last edited by DATL; January 18, 2013 at 01:28 AM.
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Old January 18, 2013, 12:43 AM   #2
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I have several rules I live by in my life. One of them is the following, infer what you will.

Wine is to be drunk, toys are to be played with, cars are to be driven and guns are to be shot. Art is to be looked at.
"Is there anyway I can write my local gun store off on my taxes as dependents?"
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Old January 18, 2013, 12:50 AM   #3
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Ha ha I like that!
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Old January 18, 2013, 12:57 AM   #4
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I personally, however, would leave it as is simply for the memories, nostalgic value. I have my grandfathers (Puppy's) pre 68 Win 30-30 that will gets shot but will never be changed. It will keep all its scuffs, wear, etc. It is part of my memories of him.
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Old January 18, 2013, 02:47 AM   #5
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Just shoot it.

I joked that I was going to change Grandpa's orginal Wincherster Model 12 into a Riot Shotgun. They hid the shotgun from me for about 13 years.
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Old January 18, 2013, 03:11 AM   #6
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Shoot it

Replace the grips because they are fragile. There really is nothing to "update"
if God hadn't meant us to shoot he wouldn't have given us trigger fingers

do the interns get glocks ?
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Old January 18, 2013, 04:28 AM   #7
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If you want it to be something you keep and pass down to your kids, shoot it. Keep it in good condition, change the grips, but don't alter it much. Keep the original grips tucked away somewhere.

If you think you might want to sell it sometime, obviously, don't shoot it, don't muck with it. They may be quasi-plentiful now, but so were Mosin 91/30s, which seem to be (finally) drying up. Be patient, and it will become more vaulable.
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Old January 18, 2013, 07:17 AM   #8
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Take care of it, but by all means go shoot it. Letting it rust, and then poorly refinishing it has killed a lot of its value. With that said, it certainly has a lot of value to you and that is all that matters. Shoot it, take care of it and pass it on.
"He who laughs last, laughs dead." Homer Simpson
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Old January 18, 2013, 11:57 AM   #9
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If you are planning to pass the gun on as an "heirloom', especially one that is going to sit in a safe and just be brought out to be admired, then what does it matter what kind of wear is on the internals of the gun, or even if it shoots? I say shoot it, enjoy it, and maintain of it.

Last edited by wgsigs; January 18, 2013 at 12:58 PM. Reason: changed wording on gun internals
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Old January 18, 2013, 01:57 PM   #10
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I am sorry to break the news to you, but as a "collector" item that value had been negated by the re-blue. I would get on the Walther forum to find out how much.

That does not diminish the value as a family heirloom.

As a side note, a Luger being shot has to be carefully considered as the parts are numbered and a broken part cannot be replaced (other than with a fake numbered part). If you have an intact fully number part Luger do not shoot it.

As a lesson to anyone looking, if you want it to maintain collector value do not change it. Rust is far better than re-blue. With the right technique rust can be minimized and then further rust stopped keeping it oiled.

So, yes you can shoot it as much as you want as it can be repaired if something breaks as you will not diminish the value.

Reloads would be best as modern ammunition is hotter than the original stuff and you could damage the gun requiring repairs that are worth more than the gun is.
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Old January 18, 2013, 05:16 PM   #11
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warningshot, that is HILARIOUS ha ha ha.

RC20, I appreciate your information. While I was already aware the monetary value of this pistol was negated by the rust/re-blue- I appreciate the info. The sentimental/heirloom value is all I covet. However, I did not think about being mindful of what ammo I shoot through this thing! Thanks!

I hate this thing got rusted, but once my father started battling cancer materialistic things just didn't concern him. Watches and guns- neglected. However cigars, old scotch, wine...stuff like that- now those were things he and I did not neglect ha ha ha

Thanks for the responses! I definitely feel better about using/shooting it now. I will keep it like it is mostly as it is. I am going to see about getting some light load ammo and keep shooting it.

I may see about purchasing a newer one to meddle with ( ie black duracoat, nice rubber grips, etc...) and CC from time to time. Ever since I took this thing out of my (DRY) safe it has really stayed on my mind how good it handles!
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Old January 18, 2013, 08:20 PM   #12
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The reblue really negated any collector value, but it is still a very nice gun. Also, the holster is not for that Walther, it is for the P.27(t), the Czech Model 27.

FWIW, the eagle and 359 is the German army inspection/acceptance stamp, so the gun was used by the military. The 359 is the number assigned to the head of the WaffenAmt (WaA) inspection team at Walther. He remained there for the duration of the war.

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Old January 18, 2013, 11:58 PM   #13
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James K, thank you very much for the info! Even though I knew my granddad served during WWII in Germany, I always wondered if the gun was actually a military one. I wish Walther had a way you could punch in a serial number and see detailed information about it's service if any. That would be very cool- but I imagine the sheer volume of these pistols, and the fact that the records (if any existed) would be kept by the military over there not the gun manufacturer means it'll forever be unknown.
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Old January 19, 2013, 02:51 AM   #14
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DATL: My late father-in-law began his 30-year career with the Army Quartermasters in WW2.
He volunteered to be attached to the 101st Airborne and was with them throughout the long campaigns.

When his unit went into southeastern Bavaria, John actually walked into Herman Goering's Haus, and 'liberated' several handguns.
At least you have a souvenir. I imagine that the officers had the first pick.

My late FIL traded Away his handguns soon after the war as rewards for various people who did him favors!
It would have been impossible to prove that he personally had these guns from Goering's Haus gestohlen.

Last edited by Ignition Override; January 19, 2013 at 04:21 AM.
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Old January 19, 2013, 02:59 AM   #15
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I have a older PPKS German made that my Father left me. I shoot it. I have replaced springs and the grips. This gun is never getting sold only passed down to the next generation.
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Old January 19, 2013, 10:31 AM   #16
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If I had an heirloom from my grandfather, I would take it out of the safe once a year on his birthday and shoot it. Clean it, put it back. Repeat.

Grandpa's guns were sold by an uncle after Grandpa died (nothing against guns, he needed the money). Either I or a cousin would have gladly snapped them up if we had known. They had little monetary value, but to us, priceless as heirlooms.
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Old January 19, 2013, 11:51 AM   #17
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I'd shoot it with the kids. Makes more memories.
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Old January 19, 2013, 06:40 PM   #18
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Function check it, shoot it sparingly with light ammo and enjoy it. But a Bersa or Makarov if you want to run it. I wouldn't want to lose that gun.
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Old January 19, 2013, 08:32 PM   #19
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As with most people on here, I would shoot it. Swap the grips and take it to a smith to let them give it a good fine tooth comb look at it.
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