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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been a longtime fan of the PPK, but as I start to sift through the details, I am beginning to realize that this is a very storied piece of hardware, and like a newbie to anything, I'm a bit overwhelmed.

I know roughly what I want. I'd like to have both a vintage model - something from 1939 to 1968, preferably without a swastika on it. And another, modern version. Perhaps the newer US made versions. I really like small, all metal handguns. Nothing new and plastic. I don't mind paying a bit for something, but I want to be much more educated on what I'm getting than what I currently am. So this is a starting point for me.

So let's break this down into 2 main questions:

1) What am I looking for, in a vintage PPK? Best versions for reliability and craftsmanship.

2) Who makes the best current version? Again, reliability and craftsmanship.

I'm fine with both the .32/7.65 and .380 versions.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Welcome Lars,

the best craftmenship you'll find between 1935 - 1940. 90° safety is a bit crappy, caused by the safty drum (some broke, expensive to exchange). 60° is OK. In ~1941 swastika was introduced. Manurhin/Walther between 1952 and 1968 are also very good.

Ranger made PPK changed the material of the frame from forged to investment casting. I personally would prefer a forged frame.

Martin
 

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PS: I would recommend .32 ACP (7,65mm). Easier to handle and the original design/ammo the gun was made for.
 

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Current gen PPK in .380 made in USA by Walther. Previous gen made in USA for Walther by Smith and Wesson. I have a S&W version I bought used and it shoots well. Had to make a couple of trips to Walther for maintenance/repair. But shoots really well.
I agree with the above post in that a .32 would be great for recoil. But if you want new/recent then it’s .380.
 

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It also depends on your intentions for the pistol. If you are going to shoot it, vintage with history would be really cool to have and you could probably find a 32 caliber model. If money is no object, it would be a fun hunt. But if it is something of insane value and you pay a lot of money for it, shooting it might hurt said value, if that is something you care about.

If you want something you can just slap ammo in and burn it up at the range, new manufacture USA made by Walther Arms is way I would go. The S&W one I had was post-recall, so I never had to worry about that recall thing they did with earlier gen models. But the Ft. Smith ones seem to have a good following. I strongly believe in modern manufacturing methods being improved over old ones. Technology, both in metallurgy and the way its formed or manufactured, has evolved so much since the 1930's that I would prefer new. Just my two cents, you do you.

PPk's are beautiful little pistols, the lines and designs were ahead of its time, very nice pistol and I think you will be happy with it, whatever route you go.
 

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I'd go with a pre 68 Manurhin or Walther PPK in 7.65 (because of the lovely lines and no beaver tail of the later models). I've also love the Ranger PPK models as well.
The PPK/S is a solution to the 1968 Gun Control Act and was a combination of the PPK slide/barrel with the longer PP frame to allow the weapon to be imported to the USA. It is also nice but not quite a PPK being longer in the frame and holding an additional round.

The modern Ft Smith weapons are getting nice reviews (again I'm no fan of the beaver tail) but a good Ranger may be had for a similar price.

I'd suggest the 7.65 as that was the design platform as Martin told you. The 9mmk can be a little "rappy" to shoot more than a box at a time. Although truth be told I EDCed a Manurhin 9mmk for many years and didn't mind shooting it at the range.

Welcome to the Forums Lars.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ranger made PPK changed the material of the frame from forged to investment casting. I personally would prefer a forged frame.
Yeah, that's a good bit of info right there. I, too, prefer such things.

Thanks for the advice on years. I'll most likely go for the .32ACP, in any event, even on the newer variant.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It also depends on your intentions for the pistol. If you are going to shoot it,
Yes, I personally don't believe in collecting. For me, all things were meant to use. So while I may not shoot it all the time, it will definitely see some range time. It will probably also go into my secret sleeve by the nightstand.

I don't want to buy anything that is expensive, just for the sake of being expensive. (again, not a collector) If it's pricey with purpose, that's OK. I like well made things, and definitely love owning a piece of history.
 

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I see your points. All valid. Nice living in a place where you do what you want for your own reasons. My PPS stays in hip holster when I want to "take her for a walk" (a phrase that drives my fiancee absolutely bonkers 🤪) but her bigger sister, the P99 stays in the nightstand next to my side of bed in case of bump in the night.

I have one or two collection pieces, heirlooms of sorts that I will pass on, and I don't mind adding to my collection here and there (lovely having a C&R FFL for that part). But I do like how you put it, it has a purpose. I always called them "more machines" and they should be used as such. I have a wall hanger musket that I built from a kit, used a bunch to establish a petina, but other than that she hangs on the wall. Maybe if I shoot out the rifling in my flintlock I will do the same. One day maybe a Luger.

All of my other ones, I try to get to range with regularly (before and after this stupid overblown shutdown) and get practice with them. Those vintage ones are really nice, I think you will be mighty happy with it. Not to sound pedantic, but I would seriously suggest you get anything like that checked by a competent gunsmith or expert before you hit the range with it. I am sure it is fine, as it was designed to be fired and used. Never hurts.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah, it's sold, but I see quite a few of these. I prefer to find one locally, that I can inspect before sale. That one just happened to really catch my eye. It's a nice piece, in my opinion.

I don't really have a problem with other people collecting - don't get me wrong. I just have no desire to enter into that fray, and compete with anyone for the obscure, over the functional. A handgun of any kind is going to be the smallest part of my day, so having what I like, and knowing it's there for me, in both aesthetic and utility, is all I could ever ask for. I spend a great deal of my time traveling, so I don't want anything that I'd have to take out specialty insurance for, either. If I lose it, life should move forward quickly. :)

I really appreciate everyone taking the time to educate me on this subject. By all means, keep it coming. I'm not in a rush, so late entries are always welcome.
 

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Welcome Lars,

the best craftmenship you'll find between 1935 - 1940. 90° safety is a bit crappy, caused by the safty drum (some broke, expensive to exchange). 60° is OK. In ~1941 swastika was introduced. Manurhin/Walther between 1952 and 1968 are also very good.

Ranger made PPK changed the material of the frame from forged to investment casting. I personally would prefer a forged frame.

Martin
are the new Walther USA PPKs also made with investment casting?
 

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The modern Walthers are investment cast, as are most current guns, but the process is more than strong enough. Cast HiPowers are considered more rugged than forged ones in .40 Caliber.
For the OP, couple thots'. Since you don't want a modern poly wonder, the PPK in .380 really isn't a whole lot of fun to shoot. Consider one of the mini-1911s from Colt, Kimber or SIG. They are all metal, available in .380 (some in 9mm), and based on a classic design. They are current production, so getting one shouldn't be an issue.
Then you can look for a .32 PP or PPK to your heart's content. The smaller caliber is bunches nicer to shoot. If memory serves, Smith & Walter made a few, Ranger/Interams did, but they're not common. Police turn in PPs are still to be had, as are imported PPKs. The further down this list you go, the pricier it gets. Good luck.
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I used to build long arms, but I've been out of this game for so long, I need a refresher...

If I buy a pre-war PPK, would it be considered a C&R? If so, do I need to go through an FFL? (I seem to remember that the rules were quite different for this category)
 

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You'll be going through an FFL.
 
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If I buy a pre-war PPK, would it be considered a C&R?
Yes, if it's older than fifty years (or pre-1970 as of today) it will be C&R eligible. Section II of the ATF C&R list also explicitly catagorizes the following as C&R:

Walther, bolt action and semiautomatic rifles, all cal.’s, mfd. prior to 1946.
Walther, Model P38 semiautomatic pistols, bearing the Norwegian Army Ordnance crest on the
slide, cal. 9mm Luger, S/N range 369001-370000.
Walther, Model PP and PPK pistols, mfd. in France by Manhurin during the 1950s.
Walther, Model PP and PPK semiautomatic pistols, in all cal.’s, mfd. in France and marked
"MANHURIN".
Walther, Model PP and PPK semiautomatic pistols, manufactured at Zella Mehlis, cal. 7.65mm
and having Dural frames.
Walther, Model PP and PPK semiautomatic pistols, manufactured at Zella Mehlis, cal.’s 5.25mm
(.22), 7.65mm and 9mm Kurz and having a factory chrome or nickel finish.
Walther, Model PP pistol, 50 Jahre 1929-1979 Commemorative, cal.’s .22 and .380.
Walther, Model TP and TPH pistols, cal.’s .22 and .25 ACP, original German manufacture only.
Walther, Olympic bolt-action single shot match rifle, cal. .22, made by Waffenfabrik, Walther,
Zella-Mehlis (thur.) prior to World War II.
Walther, pistols, mfd. at Zel1a-Mehlis (Thur) prior to 1946, all models, all cal.’s.
Walther, post World War II production Model P38- and P1-type semiautomatic pistols made for
or issued to a military force, police agency, or other government agency or entity.
Walther, rifles, Model 182, cal. .22, made by Waffenfabrik, Walther, Zella-Mehlis prior to
World War II.
 
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