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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Has anyone here ever had trouble with fully-loaded (full-to-capacity) mags cycling properly in their ppk/s models?

As I've already noted here in another thread on magazines, I recently purchased a couple of (new to me) Interarms ppk/s models (.32 and .380), and early-on, I experienced some minor issues with different makes or brands of magazine, including a failure to lock securely in the mag well, which was most pronounced with the Mec-Gar brand of .380 mags. However, I finally had a chance this past week or two to spend much more time at the range with both pistols (firing maybe 150-200 rounds through each at 15-20 yards), using different mags and ammunition types, and I've since encountered another issue with the magazines that occurs very consistently. It happens with both calibers (both pistols), regardless of ammo type, and it happens with both finger-rest and non finger-rest style mags.

When fully loaded to 'maximum' capacity (i.e., when filled to 8-rounds in the .32 or to 7-rounds in the .380), one of two different things frequently happens with both pistols:

1) The slide will come back and then fully forward (or in some cases only 90% forward), but the first round will remain unexpectedly in the magazine and fail to chamber,

or . . .

2) The slide will come back and then fully forward, with the very first round chambering properly (as it should), but once fired, the following (second) round will FTF mid-way in the chamber, jamming the gun.

Significantly, both problems completely and reliably disappear with both calibers (both pistols), when the 'max' capacity of their respective magazines is reduced by a single round (from 8 to 7 in the .32 and from 7 to 6 in the .380).

To be clear, this isn't a particularly 'big deal' for me (I just don't pack the two mags to their full capacity anymore), but I'm curious, has anyone else experienced this particular problem before? If so, is it a common problem or a known defect of some sort (e.g., recoil spring, etc.)? And were you able to resolve it in any way?

Many thanx!
 

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It is a common issue with certain magazines and ammo types. This can also be induced by not holding the gun properly when shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It is a common issue with certain magazines and ammo types. This can also be induced by not holding the gun properly when shooting.
Watcher;

Thanks for your response.

Although they've come from a variety of different sources, and most are 'used' (not new), the mags themselves are all factory Walther brand. In addition, they all perform the very same way when fully loaded, and only when "fully" loaded, which seems to imply 'pistol' (not mag) to me. And (as stated above), it occurs with both pistols and with both (FMJ or JHP) forms of ammo.

So, despite my 50+ years of experience firing handguns of various sorts, perhaps you're right! Perhaps its as simple as my technique? Stranger things have certainly happened. Until now, I haven't had any experience with Walther firearms whatsoever, and I don't really have a ton of experience with small, semi-autos in-general. I hadn't even considered it until now, but it makes perfect sense that soft or inconsistent 'handling' while firing could be the culprit. So I guess I'll head back to the range and pay much closer attention to my handling technique.

I'll say this much . . . both pistols have a relatively stout and snappy recoil for such small calibers, leading me to believe that their recoil springs are probably healthy, 20 lb. standard-issue or comparable, and the issue does occur more with the .380 than the .32 by a factor of about 2-3x. This too could be explained by handling.

Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to respond, and for the added advice.
 

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Give the grip a try first. I have witnessed a particular shooter who was able to produce the specific jam that you describe simply by limp wristing while shooting using a .380 PPK/S. By focusing on his grip, he got everything to cycle smoothly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Give the grip a try first. I have witnessed a particular shooter who was able to produce the specific jam that you describe simply by limp wristing while shooting using a .380 PPK/S. By focusing on his grip, he got everything to cycle smoothly.
Yup, I don't doubt it, and the more I think about it, I think you may have hit it right on the head with this suggestion. A limp or hesitant wrist makes perfect sense. The only thing that it doesn't seem to explain (or at least the one thing that I can't understand?), is why the problem consistently and reliably seems to disappear after simply reducing the mag capacity by a single round. That remains a puzzle to me.
 

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I'll have to consult my dvd's and get back to you on that. One type of issue had to do with the positioning of the first round (but you said that you are using factory mags with original design specs ), another issue is the tension of a fully loaded mag +1 in the chamber. To help assist in this, it was recommended that you chamber a round, top off the mag, and then assist the top round forward so that the nose of the first round sits almost flush with the front of the mag. This will take a bit of pressure off of that first round and give it a leg up at getting out and entering battery on the first shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
. . . To help assist in this, it was recommended that you chamber a round, top off the mag, and then assist the top round forward so that the nose of the first round sits almost flush with the front of the mag. This will take a bit of pressure off of that first round and give it a leg up at getting out and entering battery on the first shot.
Yeah, I've heard of guys doing that with certain models, and maybe that'll resolve it, but its kinda like I said, its more of a curiosity to me than anything else. I've gotten around it by simply reducing the load in each mag by a single round, and if improved handling technique doesn't seem to resolve it, I'm O.K. with that, but it would be nice to get an answer to it somehow, assuming that one is even available?

I was a revolver guy for the bulk of my life until the late 80s when I picked-up a Beretta 92F, and later a Colt (10mm) Delta Gold Cup, neither one of which demonstrate these sorts of issues. But they're both overkill for cc, and I really like the design and conceal-ability of the ppk/s, so its all good. Its still early in the ownership phase for me with both pistols, so I'll keep working with both (both calibers) to see just what I can fine-tune with each one.

Thanks again.
 

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The PP series, especially in .380, is prone to issues of hold. The blowback slide is going very fast; if the pistol isn't firmly held, it can cause mischief.
It is among the reasons I don't trust them for anything serious, tho' they are great guns and fun to shoot... in calibers smaller than .380.
Locked breech guns (like Ringo's 1911 and 92) are far less prone to this problem.



When someone starts talking about having to load magazines in a certain ways to make the gun work...I don't wanna go there.
Moon
 
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