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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have chance to buy an early 80s PPK/S that is in unfired condition. Anything I should look at or be concerned about.
 

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So it depends on what the LGS or owner will allow you to do. Once I clear the pistol to ensure it is safe to inspect:

I like to check under the grips for rust. (Sweat tends to get under PPK/S grips more so than PPK grips.)

I also make sure the slide locks back on an empty mag; doing sure ensures that you've got a functional and correct (caliber) "slide lock/ejector arm" in your pistol and that your mags are the correct caliber and are functional. Note that .380 mags have a rib the length of the mag. This rib in the mag is where a small tab on the follower travels and this tab is what engages the internal slide lock. (Also note that a .32 mag (no rib) will fit and lock in your pistol, but it will not lift the slide lock on an empty mag. Never use a wrong caliber mag or wrong caliber ammunition!!)

I also like to remove the slide to inspect the feed ramp and chamber to ensure they have not been damaged by overzealous "polishing."

PS: I've seen some abused "unfired" pistols. I inspect "pre-own" guns with the assumption they have been fired.

PS#2: Forgot to add that once the slide is off and in my hand I like to:
  • Check to make sure the loaded chamber signal pin is functional by pushing on it to check spring tension.
  • I also manipulate the safety to check timing by dropping the lever; the hammer should drop as the lever is about mid-way (+/-) over the safety dot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So it depends on what the LGS or owner will allow you to do. Once I clear the pistol to ensure it is safe to inspect:

I like to check under the grips for rust. (Sweat tends to get under PPK/S grips more so than PPK grips.)

I also make sure the slide locks back on an empty mag; doing sure ensures that you've got a functional and correct (caliber) "slide lock/ejector arm" in your pistol and that your mags are the correct caliber and are functional. Note that .380 mags have a rib the length of the mag. This rib in the mag is where a small tab on the follower travels and this tab is what engages the internal slide lock. (Also note that a .32 mag (no rib) will fit and lock in your pistol, but it will not lift the slide lock on an empty mag. Never use a wrong caliber mag or wrong caliber ammunition!!)

I also like to remove the slide to inspect the feed ramp and chamber to ensure they have not been damaged by overzealous "polishing."

PS: I've seen some abused "unfired" pistols. I inspect "pre-own" guns with the assumption they have been fired.

PS#2: Forgot to add that once the slide is off and in my hand I like to:
  • Check to make sure the loaded chamber signal pic is functional by pushing on it to check spring tension.
  • I also manipulate the safety to check timing by dropping the lever; the hammer should drop as the lever is about mid-way (+/-) over the safety dot.
I guess I should say it is a stainless version. Also this is an online listing.
 

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If Stainless, no change to above as stainless will also rust, especially if stored improperly since the early 80s.

If it's truly an early (~first four years?) Stainless Steel Ranger, your pistol will have a serial number on the frame and slide. Additionally, the barrel hood will have a counter bore which the small (and ground) end of recoil spring fits into. Later production Rangers do not have serial numbered slides or counter bores. Additionally, on later production Rangers, the small end of the recoil spring will be "clipped" given there is no counter bore. I've owned early, mid and late production Rangers and perceived them all to be of the same manufacturing quality. However, my current early Ranger (well inside the first thousand made) feeds more reliably with a reduced power 17 pound recoil spring; with the full power 20 pound spring the slide would sometimes short stroke and not pick up the next round. Also, regardless of year, the sights on the stainless Rangers are painted orange. The rear sight is drift adjustable, but be very careful as in my experience (also found several places on this forum) the stainless steel rear sights seem more prone to chipping or breaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If Stainless, no change to above as stainless will also rust, especially if stored improperly since the early 80s.

If it's truly an early (~first four years?) Stainless Steel Ranger, your pistol will have a serial number on the frame and slide. Additionally, the barrel hood will have a counter bore which the small (and ground) end of recoil spring fits into. Later production Rangers do not have serial numbered slides or counter bores. Additionally, on later production Rangers, the small end of the recoil spring will be "clipped" given there is no counter bore. I've owned early, mid and late production Rangers and perceived them all to be of the same manufacturing quality. However, my current early Ranger (well inside the first thousand made) feeds more reliably with a reduced power 17 pound recoil spring; with the full power 20 pound spring the slide would sometimes short stroke and not pick up the next round. Also, regardless of year, the sights on the stainless Rangers are painted orange. The rear sight is drift adjustable, but be very careful as in my experience (also found several places on this forum) the stainless steel rear sights seem more prone to chipping or breaking.
This has to be an early years Ranger made gun as the pictures show serial numbers on both slide and frame. Also it looks like the serial # is S001101.
 

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So I've been inspecting a very nice Ulm .380 PPK/S I just got for $550 dollars. At home the eye loop came out and I found some rust with very light pitting in the slide serrations. Otherwise, the bore cleaned up to look near mint and the blue finish also looks +95% with no high edge wear and a clean backstrap. Have hit the serrations with some oil and and fine steel wool driven by tooth picks. My current assessment is this PPK/S is a very high quality shooter. It might be a candidate for hard chrome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So I've been inspecting a very nice Ulm .380 PPK/S I just got for $550 dollars. At home the eye loop came out and I found some rust with very light pitting in the slide serrations. Otherwise, the bore cleaned up to look near mint and the blue finish also looks +95% with no high edge wear and a clean backstrap. Have hit the serrations with some oil and and fine steel wool driven by tooth picks. My current assessment is this PPK/S is a very high quality shooter. It might be a candidate for hard chrome.
Looking at one in stainless that is Interarms era that might come home with me. Price is about same. Owner hasn't shot it much. But he said he has had no issues with it, just too many guns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A stainless Ranger is a good gun
Yes I know. Just going back and forth over this. Have 2 guns I want and limited to 1 by budget. One the PPK the other a Kimber Micro 380. Not sure which I want more. Both about same price. One is new other isn't. One is sa/da other is sa only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Yes I know. Just going back and forth over this. Have 2 guns I want and limited to 1 by budget. One the PPK the other a Kimber Micro 380. Not sure which I want more. Both about same price. One is new other isn't. One is sa/da other is sa only.
Well I pulled the trigger on a 1983 PPK/S in stainless. This is not the one I had been looking at to buy. But from same time frame. I had 3 that I was looking at. This gun was owned by a collector and he never shot it. Once a year he would get it out and clean it and oil it up and put it back in the gun case on display. It comes with all original paperwork including test fire target and plastic box it came in. It has both 6 shot a 7 shot mags and even original plastic cleaning rod. Bought it for $650. Actually I think I stole it at that price. The original owner is getting old and is selling off his guns one at a time. He has no one to leave them to that is even vaguely interested in them.
 

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Yes, you stole it.

Well played.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Even though I plan on shooting it I still think I got a good deal. I am not going to abuse it but it will no longer be a show case queen. I do plan on putting new grips on it and putting the old ones away so they don't get ruined.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You're right. I use to own of this for a couple of years
I still can't get over the fact that I just bought a Ranger made stainless PPK-S in unfired condition with all the original paperwork and case for only $650. Best deal I ever made.
 

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Quite a deal, 2=bits. I wouldn't take $650 for my blue PPK/S in fired condition, early 80s with honest wear on it. Very accurate little pistol.
 

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I have an Interarms PPK/S I bought in 1987 that I absolutely love. I had a "reliability package" done to it where certian places on the inside were ground a little and polished. Super reliable now. In fact, it will feed empty cases.
 
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