An analysis of Interarms/Ranger USA-made PPK-PPK/S serial numbers & dates - WaltherForums
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:53 PM   #1
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An analysis of Interarms/Ranger USA-made PPK-PPK/S serial numbers & dates

Good day, my friends.

All of us know about the mystery of the dates of manufacture in regards to our beloved Interarms PPK and PPK/S pistols. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell when your particular Interarms was born by any observation of the markings on the pistol. The only way to know is by observing the test target paper that may or may not have come with your pistol. Some did not come with it having been lost to time or changing too many hands, some have incomplete dates on them (day and month but no year), and still others (like mine) come with the test paper but with no date written on it at all.

Thankfully, Searcher got a Sticky thread started a while ago for those of us lucky enough to have the test target with a date on it to post our serial numbers and date of manufacture so others may gain an idea when their pistol might have been built. Unfortunately, that sticky has been hijacked into oblivion by so many random posts that it's a chore to weed through. So, I took the liberty of not only going through the thread in detail, but also to organize the useful data.

First, please be aware there are many more serial numbers than the samples below on the Sticky thread, but the posters chose to "edit" their serial numbers by not supplying the full number. For example, S1063**. While the need to preserve one's privacy is understandable, this unfortunately also creates incomplete data, and therefore cannot be used. So any edited serial numbers have been disregarded. Second, many postings spoke of a purchase date but not of test target dates. This too must be considered inaccurate because who can say how long the gun sat about in a warehouse/store shelf before it went to a loving home.

Below you'll find three charts of usable data. From the posts in the Sticky I've learned a very important fact in regards to Interarms made PPK and PPK/S models. Note the following:

PPK 9mm kurz stainless all start with "A"
PPK 9mm kurz blued all start with "K"
PPK 7.65 x 17mm stainless all start with "B"
PPK/S 9mm kurz stainless all start with "S"
PPK/S 7.65 x 17mm of unknown finish all start with "W"

There were some mentions of TPH models, but I've left them out in the interest of keeping this somewhat concise.

In this first chart, we have the usable reported Walther models sorted by Date of Manufacture.



In this second chart, we have the usable reported Walther models sorted by
Serial Number.



And, in this final chart, we have the usable reported Walther models sorted by Model and Serial Number.



Based on the information we have thus far, we can ascertain the following regarding the Interarms/Ranger manufactured PPK and PPK/S pistols based on their serial numbers and reported test target data:

1) The order of the serial number is linear (i.e. they ascend in number as the date of manufacture progresses.)

2) There is no correlation between the models and their respective serial numbers (i.e. PPK/S with the serial number S046930 does correspond to the manufacture date of PPK A043149 - in this case it was built six years earlier, while PPK A068995 was built one year later than PPK/S S094624.)

Without much more input and data in the Sticky thread, we have very limited numbers to work with. But at least we can begin to assemble a pattern. So, in the hope of solving this mystery, please keep adding useful information to the Sticky in the FAQ section if your PPK came with a dated test target paper! It's all we'll ever have to work with, because the third and final fundamental to be understood when it comes to our Interarms pistols is this:

3) There are no patterns or anagrams to be found in the serial number. There can be no means of telling how old your PPK is based on the serial number (or other markings) alone. We need more data!

-Pilotsteve
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:14 AM   #2
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I did something similar with the P5 / P5c dates we have. Nice work.
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Old 12-31-2010, 01:02 AM   #3
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Thanks much PS! Most excellent work....

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Old 12-31-2010, 10:16 AM   #4
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That's terrific work, Steve. Bravo.

We'll stick this thread and keep it here awhile, rather than automatically moving it to the Sticky sub-section, so that folks can a) see it, b) add to it, perhaps, and c) appreciate it.

Well done.
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:33 PM   #5
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I have a Walther PPK that I purchased used, immediately after the original owner turned it in for a trade. They were still in the store at the time of my trade-in (a Ruger Redhawk). Purchase was September 1988 and the SN is A024561. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corgiPPK View Post
I have a Walther PPK that I purchased used, immediately after the original owner turned it in for a trade. They were still in the store at the time of my trade-in (a Ruger Redhawk). Purchase was September 1988 and the SN is A024561. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:51 PM   #7
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Thank you for the information, Corgi. Although the data you've given is much appreciated, I see from your post you mention purchase date. While helpful, this does not correspond to the date of manufacture which is what we're seeking. Did your PPK come with a test target? And if so, is it dated? That is the date we need for accurate data. Thanks for your time and effort, Corgi.

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Old 01-02-2011, 11:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilotsteve View Post
Thank you for the information, Corgi. Although the data you've given is much appreciated, I see from your post you mention purchase date. While helpful, this does not correspond to the date of manufacture which is what we're seeking. Did your PPK come with a test target? And if so, is it dated? That is the date we need for accurate data. Thanks for your time and effort, Corgi.

-Pilotsteve
Now that is interesting. I just dug the box out of my attic and there was a test target in the box that I had never seen before. But strangely, the SN on the target is different than on the pistol (A001109 rather than A024561). What could that mean? Perhaps I should go back to the dealer and ask for a trace on the two sales. It has Fired By: MH with a 1-31 date but no year. All three shots are low.
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:08 AM   #9
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I guess I've solved the mystery. The label on the side of the box had the SN marked out, but I was able to decipher the number as that matching the test target. The dealer apparently switched boxes or just put the pistol in one that was laying around. However, I will stop by the store anyway to ask.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:27 AM   #10
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IA PPK .380 Stainless Ser# A062635 Test Target: 9/4/92
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