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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum, and a new Walther PPK owner. I recently purchased a Interarms PPK in good condition. I took it out to the range and it shot fine. Now at home, I've been trying to get some dry-fire practice in using snap caps. The trouble I am having is that the heavy DA trigger pull (which as we all know is in that 17-20 lbs range) becomes almost unbearably stiff (to the point where I can't even pull it all the way back with even two fingers) after a few trigger pulls. Keep in mind I am not ejecting the snap cap but just pulling the trigger onto the same snap cap in the chamber multiple times.

Do you find it common that the trigger pull would get worse and worse as you shoot more rounds in DA only? Do you think this is a problem with the gun? Is there some kind of cleaning/lubrication I can do to improve it? Or is my trigger finger just getting tired after a few pulls? (Note: I have switched hands to test the last theory, and it doesn't help much)

Again, I'm a Walther newbie - but I love this gun so far and am hoping to use it for EDC - but I'm not sure I can do that if I won't be able to pull the trigger when drawing for defense!

Thanks for your help.

-Mike
 

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As service managers have been known to opine since the Model T, 'they all do that'.

Couple things, assuming the gun is properly lubed. Use the distal joint rather than the pad of your finger. Remind yourself that the double action is only for the first shot, so try it intermittently, not for dozens of reps. And if you are pulling that hard, it is unlikely you can hit a barn from the inside. Hope I'm wrong; how did you do at the range?
Finally, if you are a complete newb to shooting, the PPK is a difficult trainer.
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Moon, thanks. It’s good advice. I’m not a newb to shooting by any means, though I am a newb to Walther guns. But I’m very experienced as a shooter and particularly I’ve shot (and own) revolvers with heavy DA triggers. I think part of this may be needing to break the trigger in (gun doesn’t seem to have been shot much) which I am not sure snap caps can really help with - live rounds are probably the only way to effectively break in a trigger. So more range trips for me.

My last range trip I shot about 30 rounds of FMJ and 10 rounds of JHP and was getting pretty nice groups at 7-10 yards. The gun is a nice shooter. And yes I was only shooting DA on the first shot.

Happy to hear more advice on how to tame and break in the DA trigger on these guns. I just wanted to make sure there wasn’t anything wrong with the gun itself (it seems to be clean and in good working condition) - probably it’s just overworking myself with the DA pulls and snap caps not appropriately simulating a live fire environment.
 

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Then your revo shooting should stand you in good stead.
You can break in the trigger with dry fire, tho' the snap cap is a good idea.
Shooting .380 PPK pistols flat wears me out; you are wise to limit your rounds.
Welcome to the forum.:)
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I figured my revolver shooting would help work a DA/SA setup in a semi auto but the stiffness and heaviness of this trigger took me by surprise. I’ll keep “hammering” away with it though and hopefully it breaks in after a few hundred rounds or so. It’s such a neat little gun, hard to resist taking it out of the safe constantly just to hold and stare at it :).
 

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They do feel embarrassingly good in the hand!
Moon
 

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It's definitely heavy, but I've found once you get used to it there's less of an issue. What helps is that despite being really heavy it is still smooth, with minimal creep and stacking. It took a while, but I can shoot well enough with it after... a lot of rounds.
Invest in a glove that will hold up while helping with the slide bite.
 

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I cannot pull through the triggers in double-action on most of my SA/DA pistols -- not just Walthers. Not any more. The ravages of arthritis on my finger joints has put stop to that.

So I developed a work-around. I always shoot handguns two-handed, so as the gun is brought up, my free thumb cocks the hammer, and all my shots have the same trigger pull. I press off the first shot almost as fast, and usually more accurately. No, I don't bother with weak-hand scenarios or worry about training for all those worst-case situations. At my age there are some things that one must recognize that he simply can't do any longer. One tries to substitute wisdom and caution for youthful energy.

M
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all! I definitely agree with all the thoughts here. I think the key is not to torture yourself by trying to dry fire that DA trigger 10-15 times in a row :p.

For EDC purposes I feel like carrying safety off, DA mode is the way to go, but would most people practice pulling back the hammer when drawing so the first shot is in SA? It seems more intuitive to me that the first shot would be in DA, but I get nervous that in a life or death situation I would have too slow of a trigger pull due to the heaviness of the trigger...hence the dry fire practice! I guess that’s why you hit the range a lot to get comfortable with the gun...

Out of curiosity: Do most people consider the first shot to be a DA pull or are most people trying to always shoot in SA?
 

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...would most people practice pulling back the hammer when drawing so the first shot is in SA? ....
Out of curiosity: Do most people consider the first shot to be a DA pull or are most people trying to always shoot in SA?
Regardless of the specific activity, doing what "most people" do is often a poor standard to emulate. Think about your options, try them, and adopt what seems most natural and satisfactory to you. Whatever you settle on, it is axiomatic that you won't be much good at it unless you practice --a lot.

You need to be more than just "comfortable" with a gun; you need to be instinctive.

M
 

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mj, the sheer simplicity of a striker-fired pistol is what led me to such things. You absolutely have to discipline yourself to stay off the trigger until you are ready to fire. Beyond that, there is enough breakweight in the trigger that you aren't apt to fire without willing it.
My Glock 42 doesn't look as neat (well, okay, it is fugly), tho' it actually feels pretty good, and it is bunches nicer to practice with than our beloved blowback Walthers.
Moon
 

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mj, the sheer simplicity of a striker-fired pistol is what led me to such things. You absolutely have to discipline yourself to stay off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
....And to take extraordinary care not to allow anything else to overcome the comparatively short and light trigger travel of most striker-fired pistols.


...Beyond that, there is enough breakweight in the trigger that you aren't apt to fire without willing it.
...
Moon
In my own personal opinion, that is misplaced confidence. I'm not condemning anyone's choice, but to me the current crop of striker-fired pistols with no manual safeties are an invitation to an accident. Like carrying or having around a Colt Government Model cocked-but-unlocked; I don't see much difference.

I admit to having a different perspective on this than many people. After nearly 20 years investigating deaths and injuries from stupid things people did with guns, I take a pessimistic view of the notion that this or that is "perfectly safe", or that scheisse won't happen.

Also, the new striker-fired pistols mostly have plastic frames and triggers that are soft and flexible, and they depend on light sheet-metal trigger bars and other components that are not rigidly held or guided, and apt to become displaced or misaligned. When that happens --and it does; this forum is full of such posts-- the problem is very hard to diagnose because you can't see what's going on.

In my view (again, just mine) the hammer of a pistol that has one is a visible, tactile, robust safety device. You can directly control it, and it instantly shows whether the gun is cocked or uncocked; there is nothing hidden or remote about its function. To me, that's too valuable to be traded for lower cost and the dubious advantage of first-shot trigger consistency.

M
 

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....And to take extraordinary care not to allow anything else to overcome the comparatively short and light trigger travel of most striker-fired pistols.

This is why the NYPD prevailed upon Glock to produce those "NY trigger" models. Way back when, the LAPD had their service revolvers converted to double-action-only for the same reason. Adrenaline and light triggers are not a good match.
 

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...

This is why the NYPD prevailed upon Glock to produce those "NY trigger" models. Way back when, the LAPD had their service revolvers converted to double-action-only for the same reason. Adrenaline and light triggers are not a good match.
I'm not disputing that, but analogies to police practice are, to a considerable extent, misleading. The concerns of law enforcement agencies are quite different from those of ordinary civilians who employ guns for a variety of activities, of which self-defense may be only one. For most of us, our job description does not include holding a gun on a criminal suspect. In civilian gun accidents, high adrenalin is almost never involved; inattention, ignorance, carelessness or stupidity is.

M
 

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Points taken, Mike. I'll stick to the notion that Gaston's terrible child is amazingly resilient and reliable, stamped parts/plastic or not. It has never been apparent to me why this should be so, but I've shot the snot out of mine with virtually no malfs and no breakage. My attitude was your attitude until I shot the first one and discovered I could hit with it. The damned things just work.
I understand the comfort of a hammer, but it can also contribute to a ND in the process of handling it, raising or lowering.
In any case, we'll have to agree to disagree. Like you, my trigger finger is becoming arthritic, and I can manage the weird Glock trigger really well, and see the ball in the bucket sights.
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks all. This is good discussion.

I own a Glock 19 and enjoy shooting it (though its ugly as heck compared to the PPK) but I bought the Walther because I wanted a DA/SA option for CCW. I think for me, carrying safety off, hammer down makes the most sense because the DA trigger is heavy enough (the whole point of this thread!) to act as a de-facto safety. That's what I've gathered from talking to others/researching other forum responses, anyways.

I think Mike's point is well taken in that whatever carry option you choose, practicing drawing and dry-firing (or live firing at ranges where I can draw from holster) is key - I won't feel confident carrying the gun until I've developed the adequate muscle memory where I feel I could deploy the weapon in a defense scenario (with adrenaline pumping and probably a lot of external distractions to account for).

Thanks for all the advice.

P.S. An appealing similar concept to the NY trigger mentioned above is the H&K LEM trigger. I've been looking at picking up a P30sk in that configuration - but I think I'll try carrying the PPK first.
 

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In civilian gun accidents, high adrenalin is almost never involved; inattention, ignorance, carelessness or stupidity is.

Most ADs among police officers fall into one or more of those categories as well, whether or not we care to admit it.
 

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....
In any case, we'll have to agree to disagree. Like you, my trigger finger is becoming arthritic, and I can manage the weird Glock trigger really well, and see the ball in the bucket sights.
Moon
We are not much in disagreement. Like you, I respect the Glocks for their simplicity and reliability. In fact I own two of them, one very early 17 and an SF .45. I can manage their triggers quite well and I think their sights are the best. But I won't carry them, or keep them loaded in the pickup truck. I don't trust them, or myself, that much --not when I have others with a wider margin of safety.

M
 

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Most ADs among police officers fall into one or more of those categories as well, whether or not we care to admit it.
I didn't go there because it was beside the point I was trying to make. But I believe that is true. Despite training and departmental rules and discipline, police officers seem to be disproportionately represented among plaintiffs in product liability lawsuits against the manufacturer when the gun handler shot himself. Sure, it was the gun's fault...

M
 

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Mike, thanks. I trust the Glock safety system, but always keep loaded ones with the trigger guard covered. The same thing is true when I carry one. Nothing is fool proof; better fools are born every day.
mj, go searching for the protracted discussion Mike and I had about PP-series drop safety. Personally, I think you have good odds of no issue with carrying loaded, safety off, but the wrong set of (several)circumstances can result in an ND. Safety ON is safer.
The double action first shot is a different issue in general. Law enforcement has to handle prisoners, and that long pull first shot would be good for that. For actually hitting things I'm less sure, and the transition to the second, lighter shot can be a problem. Mike's notion of actually cocking the gun on the draw has some merit.
Moon
 
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