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Discussion Starter #1
Been trollin' around thru the forum and have seen quite a few posts regarding "care and feeding" of the weapons. I've lived with Walthers from an early age, P-38 war trophy my Da brought home was the first pistol I ever fired. I could field strip and clean that thing nearly blindfolded by age 14. Got my first PPK/S .380 in '77, after I'd left the military. Learned that weapon inside-out as well. Now in possession of two more PPK/S .380's, Interarms, both stainless.

Point is: at what level do most owners draw the line with disassembly of their Walthers? If cleaning after a range session, a 'simple' field-strip and clean/lube? Every time, once a month or never? Does/has anyone disassemble the thing down to component level at some point?

Just curious. I am one who can't own something without knowing just how it works. This goes beyond mild curiosity, whether weapons, cameras or automobiles. If I'm responsible for it, I need to know how to FIX it. I've a high mechanical aptitude so anything that goes: click, buzz, whirrr (or BANG!), fascinates me. Wondered how many on the forum are like-minded.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yes, Sir! I've seen some of your examples. Your skills are magnitudes beyond what I'm doing.

...I kinda wish we were neighbors. ;)
 

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.....

Just curious. I am one who can't own something without knowing just how it works. This goes beyond mild curiosity, whether weapons, cameras or automobiles. If I'm responsible for it, I need to know how to FIX it. I've a high mechanical aptitude so anything that goes: click, buzz, whirrr (or BANG!), fascinates me. Wondered how many on the forum are like-minded.
I'm the same way: I absolutely HAVE to know how it works, and will almost always take it completely apart ONCE, just to find out. But wear and tear will accompany frequent disassembly, and damage or loss IS a distinct possibility if the wrong technique or tool is used. Learn the proper way to take it apart BEFORE you mess it up.

It has been wisely said (not first by me) that guns don't wear out from shooting, they wear out from cleaning.

In the case of PP-series Walthers, the barrel and the sear (the former is press-fit and the latter is riveted in) are semi-permanently installed and not intended to be removed except for the purpose of replacement. Incorrect removal of the extractor and the trigger guard also can cause damage.

Within reason there is much to be said for minimizing cleaning. If you scrub the chamber, brush off the bolt face and wipe out the interior of the magazine, cleaning the rest of the gun really isn't all that important for good functioning. After a day of shooting, just field strip, wipe out the schmutz and lightly relubricate. That's usually all that's required. Wipe off the exterior with a oily rag to remove salty fingerprints and you're done.

In my view, after many decades of maintaining hundreds of guns, fastidiously nit-cleaning the entire firearm after every shooting session is a gross waste of time, more for the anal satisfaction of the owner than for the benefit of the gun.

Merry Christmas to all.

M
 

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Due to my concerns about totally screwing it up, I tend to take the slid and the grips off and carefully clean absolutely everything I can get to and oil it and put it back together. I just don't have the courage to take it down further. The firing pin assembly,the trigger assembly, etc. are more delicate and detailed than I feel confident of doing correctly. I had a smith give it an all over cleaning, but I personally don't take the entire thing down. :eek:
 

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I did it once, except hammer, and there was no fun at all. The really nasty thing was putting back trigger guard.
I clean and oil after every 100 rounds, and give it a good portion of brake cleaning spray (holding a spray and a gun inside plastic bag) every 1000 rounds. So var 3000 rounds and still kicking.
 

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Actually, that's about right. Every 1,000 rounds or so, enough muck will accumulate in the gun to warrant a thorough cleaning. But don't go overboard. It's seldom necessary to detail strip all the way. Just slosh it out in a bucket of mineral solvent (better yet, a pump-driven parts cleaner bath if you have one), brush with a nylon GI M16 toothbrush, then blow it out with compressed air; oil liberally with SS-1, CLP, CRC-556, LPS-1, Androil, RemOil, WD-40 (never mind Dep), NyeOil 104, Ballistol, etc., etc., etc., whatever snake-oil you like the smell and feel of (I have them all, and use one or another according to what mood I'm in), then AGAIN blow it out with compressed air until there's nothing left but a film you can't see. Then put a a smear of moly grease, SuperLube or whatever catches your fancy in what your imagination suggests are critical areas (cam surfaces are a good bet). Then reassemble. Wipe off the outside with a RIG-rag, pop it into a plastic baggie, and into the safe it goes until your next expedition. Breathe a sigh of relief, and have a glass of nice Sauvignon Blanc.

M
 

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I should have added:

Beyond the above, I generally let the gun TELL ME when more detailed cleaning is needed. Example: If ejection gets erratic, or I start having unexplained feeding malfunctions with reliable ammunition (notwithstanding a clean chamber and clean magazine) I dismount and clean the extractor. Or if I get weak primer indents the first thing I check is for schmutz in the firing pin channel. But you gotta pay attention to what the gun is doing. Most people don't, and they show up on this forum--confused and befuddled-- where they are sometimes advised (by the abysmally ignorant) to change springs and polish the feed ramp.

M
 

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...I clean and oil after every 100 rounds, and give it a good portion of brake cleaning spray (holding a spray and a gun inside plastic bag) every 1000 rounds.
That works great, Stan. Plus, it get into the places impossible to clean otherwise and really reduces or even eliminates the need for a detail cleaning (complete disassembly). Mike is correct; if the thing is operating well, there is no need to take it completely apart.

However, there are downsides to using certain spray-blast cleaning chemicals. I swear by B-12 Chemtool available at any Advance Auto or Wally-World (if you shop there). It is an incredible product that dislodges even the worst gunk down to the bare metal. A good blast of B-12 (use the straw that comes with the can) through your slide and frame, getting into all the 'nooks and crannies, and your PPK will look like it just came out of final inspection. However, it will also instantly remove the paint from the front and rear sights and the safety dot on the frame. Worse, it melts plastic on contact so you've got to remove the grips first before using it. And no pinky-rest magazines, either.

-Pilotsteve
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is all fer th' newbies!

:smirk:

Even "Deep Woods OFF" will screw up plastics.

..jus' so ya know.
 

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Rule One of gun maintenance is in common with the Hippocratic Oath; do no harm.
Or, as a gearhead buddy's dad put it even more clearly 'if it ain't broke, don't ---- with it'. He was talking about things automotive, but the analogy is appropriate.

Like Mike, and somewhat ignoring my own advice, I like to know how it works and what's in there. But you need to fight that urge to no small degree. As far as interior gunk, solvent and compressed air are the answer, and it lets you get the crud out without taking things apart. Be happy with a fieldstrip otherwise, but do keep an eye open for malfs that might indeed indicate that something is broke. Don't even take it to the gunsmith without a really good reason; as a physician buddy observes, stay out of hospitals; people die there.
Let the gun itself help you decide; some like the 1911 are easy to detail strip and to no small degree are their own toolbox for the job. Others, like S&W revos, aren't hard to detail strip or reassemble, but you had better know what you are doing. Know when to say when.
Moon
 

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The biggest mistake to do on a PP or PPK or PPK/S is to avoid the time and spacing for marring the top of the fixed barrel/chamber where the slide slides off after you lower the trigger guard and move it (or hold it) to allow the slide to come off. It is way too easy to let an inexperienced hand to remove that slide without scratching or marring the fixed barrel or chamber of the fixed barrel.

The problem is the slide itself with the fixed battery/base/firing pin hole assemble may really scratch or gauge the fixed barrel finish there. I've seen many PP series totally brutalized in this region which is hidden from a dis-assembly.
 

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However, it will also instantly remove the paint from the front and rear sights and the safety dot on the frame. Worse, it melts plastic on contact so you've got to remove the grips first before using it. And no pinky-rest magazines, either.
-Pilotsteve
Well, of course I do remove grips before spaying and also I field-strip it first, but surprisingly brake cleaning spray does not affect the paint at all, including that 'brightSights' marks I applied on back and front sights.
Just don't forget to put on good plastic gloves before doing this, it dissolves the regular ones in a minute
 

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Well, of course I do remove grips before spaying and also I field-strip it first, but surprisingly brake cleaning spray does not affect the paint at all, including that 'brightSights' marks I applied on back and front sights.
Just don't forget to put on good plastic gloves before doing this, it dissolves the regular ones in a minute
Sounds to me like cruelty to animals...

M
 

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DrE,

Like you, I have a need to understand how everything works. I bet that, like me, since early age you took apart your toys. As a kid I took my toys apart before I played with them. It drove my parents crazy. I'm lucky that my better-half gets-it and she just laughs about it. With my guns, once I've broken them down and understand how they brake down and come together, I just maintain them as needed.
 

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To disassemble:

Remove magazine whether loaded or not.
Pull trigger guard down and either hold it or move it left or right to fix it.
Pull back the slide to the point it is releasable from the frame.
Lift upward above the frame/slide rails.
Allow the slide to move forward without scratching and marring and scraping the fixed chamber and barrel it is now above. Do it slowly and take your time. If you don't you will mar the upper chamber ring and barrel of the fixed barrel.
Remove the slide only when it is absolutely free from the recoil spring to mar the barrel.

The spring remains (recoil spring) around the barrel and you can remove that by twisting it in the opposite direction the coils show while pulling it from the fixed barrel.

When the slide is removed you have more intricate choices about how to take out the firing pin and chamber indicator. If you want to go this far pm me. Otherwise leave that alone and clean the Walther and oil it with CLP spray or CLP drops we use for the Beretta M9, M-16, M-4, or 1911 .45 ACP.

Putting it back together is the reverse but remember to take your time when putting the slide back onto the frame with the racks for it. DON'T GAUGE OR MAR the barrel or chamber area attached to the barrel because if you do then I'd know it was handled by an imbecile before I got to it and I would not want to buy or touch or own it at all.
 

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Been trollin' around thru the forum and have seen quite a few posts regarding "care and feeding" of the weapons. I've lived with Walthers from an early age, P-38 war trophy my Da brought home was the first pistol I ever fired. I could field strip and clean that thing nearly blindfolded by age 14. Got my first PPK/S .380 in '77, after I'd left the military. Learned that weapon inside-out as well. Now in possession of two more PPK/S .380's, Interarms, both stainless.

Point is: at what level do most owners draw the line with disassembly of their Walthers? If cleaning after a range session, a 'simple' field-strip and clean/lube? Every time, once a month or never? Does/has anyone disassemble the thing down to component level at some point?

Just curious. I am one who can't own something without knowing just how it works. This goes beyond mild curiosity, whether weapons, cameras or automobiles. If I'm responsible for it, I need to know how to FIX it. I've a high mechanical aptitude so anything that goes: click, buzz, whirrr (or BANG!), fascinates me. Wondered how many on the forum are like-minded.
I'm a new member and really enjoy what you all have to say about the subject you talk about. But I'm trying to find where I can learn how to reassemble the recoil spring. I've tried and tried but damn I just cant seem to get it done! Any ideas? I'd hate to have to bring it to a smith everytime I disassemble and clean. Your comments will help. Thanks.
 

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But I'm trying to find where I can learn how to reassemble the recoil spring. I've tried and tried but damn I just cant seem to get it done! Any ideas? I'd hate to have to bring it to a smith everytime I disassemble and clean. Your comments will help. Thanks.
What exactly is 'reassemble the recoil spring'? Put it back on barrel?
If it is too tight, Just start pushing it on barrel and rotate clock-wise, it will go.
And for cleaning you don't actually need to take it off from the barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Stan is right. Turn the spring as you push slightly.

How did you remove it? If you just PULLED it off, it could be stretched. Some gentle discretion needs to be adhered to when stripping a firearm... or a watch.

If you are having difficulty with the reassembly, p'raps you ~should~ look to a pro to put it back together. And to be certain it hasn't been compromised in some way.

Better safe than sorry!
 

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What exactly is 'reassemble the recoil spring'? Put it back on barrel?
If it is too tight, Just start pushing it on barrel and rotate clock-wise, it will go.
And for cleaning you don't actually need to take it off from the barrel.
Thanks, for your comments. Actually, it's not reassembled, but rather placed on the spring guide and positioned under the barrel against the barrel's lug (?), or whatever you call it. However, thanks to Tanfo's assembly of the P22 (which I also have) that I watched I was able to put it back together. Little hard to hold the spring down over the guide with my "old" hands, but with a pair of gloves, believe it or not, I was able to do it. Again, thanks, for your comments.
 
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