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Old June 12, 2010, 02:15 PM   #1
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Walther PPKS

I am considering buying a Walther PPKS. Can anyone tell be more about them? Which is the better grade (bells and whistles) among them? Is it true that they are very finicky with certain types of ammo?
Thanks for your input.
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Old June 12, 2010, 02:26 PM   #2
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I'll catch it for this remark, BUT, stay away from any of those walther PPKs now being made by S-W! Buy one and need to send in for recall, if ur lucky u MIGHT get it back before u collect social security checks!
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Old June 12, 2010, 02:33 PM   #3
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S&W made PPK/S's had a big problem and I am not sure if it's been corrected or not?

I have a old German/French made version from 1974. Once I got the extractor spring replaced it has worked fantastic! No issues with any certain types of ammo.
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Old June 12, 2010, 04:09 PM   #4
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I have one of the S&W Walthers that was part of the recall. I have been totally satisifed with mine, and have never had one failure of any type, including 3 types of JHP ammo. I bought mine new about a year ago, but my FFL had already sent the gun in for the recall. If you are buying a new gun, you don't need to worry about the recall (unless it's really old stock).
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Old June 12, 2010, 04:12 PM   #5
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I have a Franken-PPK/s (Walther slide on a Manhurin frame). It's never failed to digest any FMJ .32 Auto I have had in it.
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Old June 12, 2010, 09:14 PM   #6
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Your choices in PPK/s models are as follows:

Made in France by Manurhin, proofed and finished in Germany and marked "Made in Germany".
Excellent guns.

After the license with Walther expired, Manurhin imported them under their own name.
Same gun as the German marked, just with Manurhin markings.
Excellent guns and a good deal, but were only available a couple of years.

Interarms made in America.
After the license with Manurhin expired, Walther licensed Interarms to make them in America.
Actually made by Ranger in Alabama.
The first PP series made in stainless steel as well as blued.
Quality was usually very good, some later models had quality issues.

In between Interarms and S&W.
Assembled from parts.
Had no Interarms stamps. Quality varied.

Currently made by S&W in a separate production plant.
A slightly modified licensed copy.
The frame tang is longer to prevent hammer bite or slide cutting of the hand. Grips will not interchange with older versions.
Early guns had quality issues, and a recall was done due to a possible problem with the firing pin safety system.
Current guns are getting a very good reputation.

If you can find and afford it, the German/French or Manurhin versions are trouble free. and the highest quality.
Price is high.
The Interarms is good, but buy one made before the later few years.
The S&W is getting good and has a lifetime warranty if you do have trouble.

Use ONLY genuine factory magazines in whatever version you get. After market very often cause trouble, which gets blamed on the gun.

Be prepared to experiment with ammo to find a brand/type your specific gun "likes" and is reliable with.

Keep the gun lubed. I always used a good grease since that doesn't dry out or run off.

Polishing the feed ramp may be necessary on later production Interarms and S&W guns, but DO IT RIGHT, and don't try for a mirror bright shine. You just want smooth.

Don't try installing lighter mainsprings, these too often cause reliability problems. The DA trigger is heavy and you just have to get used to it.
Once you do, you won't notice it.

Don't install heavy-duty recoil springs. The gun was engineered to use factory weight springs, and other springs may cause reliability problems in small pistols.

Watch out for limp-wristing the gun, which may cause reliability problems.
It's a .380, but you still need to hold on to it firmly.
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Old June 12, 2010, 09:24 PM   #7
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Walthers CAN be finicky but it depends upon the one you end up with. You'll not really know until you've put a couple hundred rounds through it.
When you get yours start off with expensive ammunition (quality) to make sure the ammo is not the problem if a problem appears. Select FMJs of high quality manufacture first, and buy also some good HPs as well and see how they do.
If you choose the .380 over the .32 ACP you are more likely to encounter a malfunction. The Walther was originally designed around the .32 ACP and the length versus the slimness of the cartridge makes feeding more reliable compared to the fat short .380 round.
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Old June 12, 2010, 09:56 PM   #8
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If you want a Walther-like gun that costs a lot less go check out a Bersa.
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Old June 13, 2010, 06:44 AM   #9
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We bought my wife's S&W PPKS used two years ago. Sent it in for the recall, got it back in a fair amount of time. Has been flawless since getting it back, with many different types of ammo. It is her favorite carry pistol.
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Old June 13, 2010, 09:03 AM   #10
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My German ppks was reliable with ball but would not function handloaded speer jhps. The barrel was not throated for these. At that time there was only one factory load and the speer jhps with exposed lead. The factory load was from a maverick ammo company and they did not expand on impact with flesh. The German gun, though post 68 GCA, was very well made.

I had a stainless PPK American that was functional with any bullet type. By this time, there were quite a few JHPs and they were going fast enough to expand in water and beef brisket.

A couple of pre-recall Smith and Wesson PPKs reached this area. They did not function with any ammuniton what-so-ever and I never heard whether the factory fixed them or not. I have not heard of anybody around here buying a Smith and Wesson PPK since those first two.
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Old June 13, 2010, 08:32 PM   #11
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I have a old Interarms and great pistol Shoot anything I load in it. I agree with about 99% of Dfariswheel post I have how ever lowered my mainspring to 17lbs made little better DA trigger and no loss of reliability With all the different ammo I have shot thru it. I use Corbon DPX for carry.

Want a walther type pistol for 1/2 money get a Bersa Thunder.
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Old June 13, 2010, 09:12 PM   #12
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+1 on the Interarms....

I have had two - one PPK and one PPKS and neither one ever jammed or malfunctioned - the PPK I still have and I wind up carrying it more than any of my other (larger/high-capacity) pistols as it is just too easy to grab it and drop it in a pocket.

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Old June 14, 2010, 11:18 AM   #13
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My wife bought an Interarms stainless PPK/S in the mid-90s. It happily digests new (FMJ & JHP) and reloaded (LRN) ammo.
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Old June 15, 2010, 12:48 AM   #14
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I have a S&W PPK and PPK/S and so far I have had very good luck with both. I did have a few feed jams on the PPK first few rounds but now it takes anything I feed it and same for the /S . Overall I like the PPK the best as it is however so slightly lighter than the /S and I do notice the difference in my pocket but overall I'm a happy S&W PPK owner.

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Old June 15, 2010, 09:23 AM   #15
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+1 on the Bersa.

I have a Bersa & a Walther PP. The Bersa has a better trigger pull; is more accurate; and, is less expensive than a Walther.
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Old June 15, 2010, 10:33 AM   #16
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As already stated in the post: the S&W .380 version should be avoided. The PPK/S in .32 ACP, preferably the German, French or Interarms version, is a winner.

I have an interarms in stainless steel (.32 ACP) that has performed flawlessly.
I have rounds yet to fire before I sleep ...
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Old June 15, 2010, 12:28 PM   #17
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I have two W. German and one French marked PPK/S. The only modifications are polished feed ramps. All are .380. All cost between 3-400 each over the past five years. All super reliable with any ammo. I use MecGar mags in them. Never really cared for the US mfg guns when the Euro guns are comparably prices and much better quality.
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Old June 15, 2010, 02:06 PM   #18
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While we are talking PPKS's....

why not consider a true PPK? Since you are looking at a PPK-type, I am assuming you want it as a pocket gun, and the PPK fits a pocket much better - I have had both and the difference is noticible. Since it is a pocket gun, I do not think having "only" 6 or 7 rounds is a problem. In my mind, the only advantage you get from a PPKS is the one extra round.

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Old June 15, 2010, 02:06 PM   #19
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I have a S&W PPK/S and love it. I never sent it in for the recall and see no reason to. It functions very well and is beautiful and accurate as well. I also have an Interarms PPK but haven't shot it, I may some day.

The thing I think one is up against in opinions about guns on the internet is that everyone has an axe to grind, either they don't want anyone to tell them they are an idiot for buying brand X or they assume their bad experience translates to all guns of that type, so they think anyone who buys one is an idiot.
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Old June 15, 2010, 02:42 PM   #20
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PP and PPK. Both have been great. Both older. My spouse had 'limp wrist' issues so back to her revolvers. They do need to be held tightly. Enjoy.

(If you put a PP bbl in a PPK there is just enough bbl sticking out to thread .....)
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Old June 15, 2010, 03:46 PM   #21
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This may be controversial, but:

I'd recommend something else. The PP/PPK design was fine for its time, but its time was a long time ago. The guns are hard to cycle (heavy recoil springs to accommodate blowback operation), marginal triggers, usually quite effective bite at the thumb joint, safety that is difficult to use, a de-cocking system that gives me the willies, and performance that pales when compared, for instance, to a SIG P239.
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Old June 15, 2010, 05:08 PM   #22
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Have two american Walthers from before [email protected] that never jam and work great every time, but the stainless in one is too soft and one day soon the slide on that gun will have to be trashed. It's a 1995. Winchester, Remington, handloads whatever...they feed. Fiochhi xtp, they don't.
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Old June 15, 2010, 10:33 PM   #23
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I know each to his own however out of the 100+ firearms I own the PPK/S is one of two I actually hate. Somewhere between getting bitten by the slide and the nasty recoil I lost the love of the gun. Surprisingly, just the other day I had the pleasure of firing about 40 rnds through one of the TCP 380's it was not as bad as I thought it would be.
IMHO with comparable size 9mm's available today why buy a gun that shoots a "short" version of ammo.
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Old June 15, 2010, 11:27 PM   #24
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I have to say now that a number of you have mentioned it. I too have been "Bitten" a few times by my Walther! I did not think it was the slide but, I guess it must have been.

If I were to buy a .380 today (this one was given to me by my Father) it would not be a Walther. I would buy a Browning BDA. They are beautiful guns and fit a bigger hand without the extended mag.
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Old June 16, 2010, 01:21 AM   #25
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In between Interarms and S&W.
Assembled from parts.
Had no Interarms stamps. Quality varied.
I have one of these.
It's marked Walther USA LLC.
Never had any problems with it.

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