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Old 12-15-2018, 02:30 PM   #1
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The definitive analysis of slide and parts compatibility between manufacturers

Greetings all,

I am starting this thread in hopes that it will generate sufficient information on the subject to eventually be added to the stickies in the FAQ section since the question of slide and parts compatibility over the different generations has been asked several times in the past and has yet to be defined for future questioners and pinned there.

Until recently I was under the assumption that Interarms and Manurhin /Ulm slides and frames were manufacturer specific since in my earlier studies, I could not get the two to mix. Recently, MgMike had properly schooled me in a separate thread causing me to revisit the subject.

Now that my collection and interest has grown to refurbishing PPK and PPK/S's I have acquired sufficient parts to further my experiments and tinkering, what I have discovered is that the Interarms slides that I do have (later non-serial numbered versions) do fit and function correctly on Ulm frames. I have not been able to produce the reverse yet on an Interarms frame because there is a small hang up somewhere either on the frame or the machining of the slide that won't allow it to seat properly. I believe it can, but it will require a small ammount of machining. I also have seen numerous examples of Zella-Mehlis and Ulm frames and slides being interchangeable in .32 and would assume that all modernized parts woukd be compatible between the two because the machining was precise to the original ZM specs.

Slides aside, all other parts appear to be interchangeable with the exception of the ejector which went through a design change. Ulm and Interarms ejectors with the new design fit properly to frames that were designed to use them.

If you are bored and care to experiment with swapping your slides on various models that you own (ZM, Ulm/Manurhin, Interarms, and S&W) please post the info here on your findings. Obviously slides and frames will have to match in caliber as well as specific parts that were designed to be used in .32 only.

MgMike and anyone else who is in the know, if you would be so kind as to enlighten and further educate the class, all would be appreciated.
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Old 12-15-2018, 07:45 PM   #2
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I’ve put pre-war slides and small parts on post war pistols and vice versa without much issue. Have not tried all the parts though.

Since most Interarms pistols are stainless, doesn’t seem like there would be much point in using them in swapping parts in anything anything other than another Interarms version. Lots of stainless bits on EBay. As for S&W versions ...
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Old 12-15-2018, 10:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TheWatcher View Post
... I have not been able to produce the reverse yet on an Interarms frame because there is a small hang up somewhere either on the frame or the machining of the slide that won't allow it to seat properly. ...
I'll try to say this delicately: either you need a defter touch, or the frame or slide you are trying to use is out of spec.

PPK or PPK/s .380 slides, whether made by Manurhin, Walther/Ulm, or Walther Zella-Mehlis, will mount on Ranger-made frames, blue or stainless ---if the parts were correctly made. The result may not be cosmetically pleasing, but they will fit. No machining is required. However, some fitting probably will be necessary to achieve correct functioning.

If your mileage varies, I'm not responsible.

M
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Old 12-16-2018, 12:55 AM   #4
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153: I wouldn't advocate mixing external stainless and blued parts that could be seen either. On everything that I have worked on, I have made sure that they were original matching parts and colors to factory specs from the same period with exception of an ejector when a period correct one was not obtainable. Swapping parts for the sake of swapping is not my goal here, but rather to aid those who chose to do their own repairs not requiring service of a gunsmith or refurbish a shooter.

MGMike: I am assuming that the logical issue is on my Interarms frames. If the slides (all of them) fit and function perfectly on Ulm frames and not vice versa, then the logical cause would have to be the machining of the frames being slightly out of spec. All of the Ulm slides go on and pull back, but at the last part of seating, they catch on a piece of metal somewhere near the end of the frame. What's curious is that the Interarms slides do not catch on the Interarms frames and have no issues seating properly on the Ulm frames.
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Old 12-16-2018, 10:26 AM   #5
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Remove the ejector, hammer and decocking lever from the frame, and the safety from the slide, and try again.

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Old 12-16-2018, 12:35 PM   #6
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You speak the truth Mike. There was a small ammount of contact between the slides and hammers and the recoil spring magnified it. The Ulm slides do indeed fit comfortably on the Interarms frame once seated.
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Old 12-16-2018, 04:11 PM   #7
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As they say at Trinidad,

Last edited by MGMike; 01-31-2020 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 12-17-2018, 08:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGMike View Post
As they say at Trinidad,

hahahaha
back in the early 90's I was working on the Guard* gunsmith trailer up at Camp Perry. The Army ** trailer had a girl gunsmith on it which was to say a novelty, then and now. She had come over to our trailer wanting a to borrow a fixture to drill a hole in 1911 slide at an angle for a BoMar rear sight. We handed her the fixture, the correct drill bit and pointed at the drill press. I was making small talk with her asking her where she had got her training. She said Colorado School of Trades, I mentioned that I had spent sometime at Trinidad. Dismissively she said she had studied all the schools brochures
and that Trinidad seemed to be more a machine tool oriented than gun repair and she wanted to get her hands on guns. Just about that time she broke the drill bit off in the slide. I said.... Yeahhhhh, looks like you could have used a bit more machine training...............


the story doesn't end there. I offered her a small carbide punch that I had to try to peck the drill bit out. She was whacking it pretty hard with a hammer and I suggested that she go easy on it because it was carbide.


She whacked it even harder and it broke as I was a afraid it would. She held up the shattered end to me and said, "Carbide huh? I don't think so."


Us Guard guys and Army GUYS had a good laugh over beers later in the evening.


*NGMTU
**AMU


PS: I last saw her at FT Rucker in '95. I was at Warrant school and she had just graduated the same and was doing helo flight training at the time. I heard years later she was flying Blackhawks in Iraq.
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