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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
To those who own (or have owned) both, what is your opinion of the overall finish quality and functionality of the PPK/S produced in the USA (Interarms marked, NOT S&W) vs. a similar "W. German" manufactured and Interarms marked pistol? I'm considering acquiring a 9mm kurz example with the blue finish. Thanks for your input.
 

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I had a stainless Gadsden ppk and have a blued German ppk. The German has smoother edges and a mirror blued finish, no bead blasting anywhere. The German feeds better, but the Gadsden wasn't bad. The Gadnes has a more pronounced "ring" on the slide around the muzzle, it looks bigger than the german, and the German has a lanyard ring.

The biggest difference is that the exterior of the Gadsden has many sharp edges. The German has all the edges melted better. If you go stainles, you can knock those sharp edges down, but blued you can't unless you refinish it.

My opinion is that there are plenty of German PPK/S out there at reasonable prices, go for the quality! I have heard of people getting them from 500 to 800, and the Gadsdens go from 400 to 500, it is worth the extra couple hundred to go German.
 

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THE major difference between the two guns is the way they were made. The German gun (at least through the end of Manurhin "preproduction" in the 1980s) were machined from German forgings. The frame, slide, safety, cocking piece, hammer, trigger guard, extractor, ejector and a few other parts were all cut from forgings. The American gun could never have been economically produced in this manner, so the whole thing was reengineered to use investment castings instead. Unfortunately the gun was designed for 1920s manufacturing technology, and did not lend itself to optimal use of investment castings: most major parts could not be left "as cast", and still had to be fully machined-- though far less material had to be removed, which greatly saved machine time. It's a minor miracle that this was successfully achieved, and that complete interchangeability was maintained: any German gun can be repaired with Interarms parts.

Fit and finish of the American guns became quite good, but was less consistent than the German. It takes many years to train expert polishers, and in general Gadsden never managed to exactly duplicate the appearance and "feel" of the German guns. Mainly this was because the cross-sectional curves of the forestrap and (on the PPK/s) the backstrap were less arcuate, less material being polished away, and the margin around the grips is therefore wider. Thus the grip feels "blocky", and the gun is also a bit heavier. As was pointed out above, on a stainless gun this (and other flaws such as the blending of the trigger guard into the frame and the frame beveling on a PPK) is correctible without refinishing.

Later on some MIM castings found their way into Gadsden production for parts like the ejector, presumably to cut cost. I suppose MIM parts are okay, but I've never cared much for them. S&W has extended their use now for the sear and perhaps some other parts as well.

M
 

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:)

Don't have a clue know which is a better Walther but I did find a place to buy Original Walther factory PPK/S Grips:

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=408061&kwtid=268861



Only $17.95 and they even fit my S&W PPK/S...who'd have thought? :rolleyes:

Milspec

The website also advertises a set of white grips that are exceptionally striking. But sadly, they are unavailable ... black only. They do, however, have black grips with the thumbrest, if that strikes your fancy, for $2 more.
 

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When seen close up, the white plastic ones look chintzy. They were used on the engraved chrome and silver plated guns, and actually detracted from their otherwise elegant appearance.

M
 
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