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Old 09-05-2013, 11:48 PM   #1
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New S&W PPK/S, Bad Night at the Range

Just recently picked up a stainless S&W PPK/S in .380acp, yes growing up watching James Bond movies influenced me. I've got almost a full set of historic USA military WW2 rifles and pistols that's where my collecting spirit is. It been a while since I bought a real "new" gun so I thought I'd give this a go. Off to the range tonight to give it a try. Problems galore, 2 different kinds of ammo, 3 different mags.

I shot 50 rounds of Freedom Munitions 100g FMJ and 35 rounds of Federal 90g Hydra-Shock JHP. I wanted to shoot more but every single magazine I put in the gun had at least one if not two (or three) problems:

Rack the slide and the round will not feed
Round goes BANG with trigger pull but next round doesn't feed properly
Spend casing did not eject, slide jammed shut

The last problem the failure to eject jammed the slide so bad it would not budge! I tried everything I could think of, finally called the Range Officer. He confirmed it was a stuck spent casing and took the gun to his workbench. 5 minutes later he gave me the gun back, casing removed and slide functioning again. I put the gun away, done for the night.

He asked me when I last cleaned the gun, told him never...this was the first time shooting the gun. He said I should have cleaned the gun before shooting it...get the "factory crap" out of it. OK it makes sense to me, but...

I have shot the following "brand new semi-auto guns" with no cleaning and experienced zero problems:

Four different Marlin 795 rifles, .22
Keltec Sub2000 rifle, .40
Springfield Range Officer 1911 pistol, .45
Ruger 22/45 Mark 3 pistol, .22

I get it... cleaning a gun before you shoot it makes sense (my bad), but is there some reason my all my other guns ran just fine the 1st time uncleaned and this PPK/S was literally impossible to shoot? I really wanted to come home smiling loving this gun, but that did not happen.

I'll diligently clean it and do some more range sessions to break it in...but I've just never experienced anything like this before.
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:02 AM   #2
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One reason may be that different mfg's use various lube/grease to protect handguns until they reach their owner. S&W's are notorious for needing a good cleaning (mags too!) prior to shooting.
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:09 AM   #3
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Don't condemn it for your first (uncleaned) range visit. Field-strip it and rinse it down with solvent, give it a light oil treatment and try it again. "Heavy" lubricants will interfere with the cycling of a blow-back weapon.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:04 PM   #4
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Fully cleaned the gun last night, finished with a light Rem oil treatment. Today I went to the range and put 100 rounds of Freedom Munitions 100g FMJ through it. Maybe 6 times it didn't feed properly...but never when racking the slide. I consider this a vast improvement. I guess another cleaning and range session is in order.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:32 PM   #5
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The PPK/S is a pistol that needs to be broken in. You will see a series of threads that begin much the way yours has, with early problems that work themselves out with time.

My early research suggested it took 500 rounds of shooting to break it in. I think that is pretty close, but you will see a vast improvement above 250.

Shoot it. Rack the slide at home. Clean and lube it very regularly. Give it some time and patience and you will be rewarded with a pistol you enjoy shooting.

Cheers.
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:47 PM   #6
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Yeah, it's growing on me...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Walther PPKS a.jpg (496.3 KB, 148 views)
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:36 PM   #7
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+1 ShoreShooter and others. I'm going through similar woes with a new Browning HiPower, and I even cleaned & lubed it before the first range day. All part of the break-in process.

Nice looking pistol, I like the stainless version.

Cheers,

Carl
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:47 PM   #8
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Well another night at the range with my PPK/S. Zero problems racking the side and loading the first round. Only 2 failure to feed in 100 rounds. I'd call this progress...

But I had 7 rounds that failed to fire. Four of them went off the second time when I manually cocked the hammer and pulled the trigger the 2nd time. The others no luck so I took the slide off (3 times) and extracted the round. They all showed a firing pin mark, I put them to the side.

When I was finished shooting I put the 3 rounds in a mag and prepared for the worst...I was amazed when all 3 fired.

This hammer strike/no fire issue happened with both Freedom Munitions 100g FMJ and Remington 95g FMJ (UMC) ammo.

Guru's of the PPK/S, any suggestions?
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:46 PM   #9
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Just keep breaking it in and clean and lube after each trip to the range. Walthers are fitted to fine tolerances but once broken in they are smooth as butter.
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:50 AM   #10
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Welcome to the world of a new PPK/S.
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