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Relative newcomer here. I just picked up a new PPK/S with wood grips. The only other Walther I've owned is a PPQ. I've had the PPK/S out for one range session. It does not like Fiocchi FMJ ammo - quite a few failure to feed issues. It loves Remington hollow points however.

My question pertains to how difficult it is to rack the slide. Are they all like this? It's very difficult to get a good purchase on the slide to begin with, and it's a almost impossible to pull it all the way back. Is there anything that can be done to make this easier? Lighter recoil spring perhaps?

My only other complaint about the pistol is the sharp edges on the frame, especially on the trigger guard. I may have to smooth them out a little. Walther could have done a better job here.

Thanks
 

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Yes. Does that mean all .380 are like this? Any fixes?
Yeah.



Physics still apply and the .380 NEEDS that stout recoil spring to be able to function. And yeah, my PPK/S is the most difficult to rack out of all my guns, what with the heavy spring, tiny serrations, the safety lever in the way, and probably all greased up slide.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone. Glad to know that's the way they are. Will just need to put a couple of thousand rounds through it!
 

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The PPK/S in .380 ACP has a very stiff recoil spring, often too strong to reliably cycle underpowered American target loads due to its heritage as a German police pistol.

A lesser known fact is that back in the 70s many domestic ammo manufacturers began down-loading .380 ACP ammo out of concern for the now infamous cheaply-made potmetal .380 pocket pistols of the time, which had developed something of a reputation for catastrophic failure. Thankfully, modern SD ammo is no longer down-loaded due to the prevalence of high quality .380 pocket pistols and the subsequent demand for more potent ammo for self-defense. However, in many cases domestically produced target loads are still just as weak, ergo a straight blowback pistol designed with hot European ammo in mind such as the PPK(/S) tends to choke on said target loads.

You want to feed it hotter FMJ ammo like Speer Lawman, imported European ammo, or full-power SD ammo for at least 100 rounds to break it in before it will reliably cycle target loads.
 
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How "new" is "brand new"; i.e., who made this gun? Does it have the extended tang?

If so, it does not have a counterbore in the front of the barrel boss for the rear end of the recoil spring. This shorter compression distance, coupled with a heavier recoil spring on S&W-made and later, make the slide very hard to retract and sometimes near-impossible to field-strip. It will soften with some use, but it's still too stiff. German/French-made and early Interarms-made PPK/s .380s don't have this problem.

Also, in recent years I've had very poor luck with Fiocchi ammo. Except for Fiocchi 9mm Para made in the USA, I have found it severely underpowered, and conducive to short-recoil malfunctions.

Ordinarily I am a great believer in factory springs, but there's an exception to everything. Order a lighter recoil spring from Wolff.

M
 

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Kit', we'll want answers to Mike's questions, and is this your first pistol? The .380 PPK is simply not much fun to shoot, and your remark about 'thousands of rounds' made my hand hurt. ;)
Consider a bike glove for range duty.
Moon
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the feedback guys. This is one of the new pistols coming out of Walther. I don't know how it compares to other variations of PPK/S as I have no familiarity with Walther pistols at all. This is my first pistol chambered in .380 as I normally favor 9mm. My pistol of choice is a Nighthawk Commander 1911 in 9mm which is an absolutely incredible pistol. This PPK/S is a good shooter. I may try a lighter recoil spring just to see if it makes a difference. Prior to buying this pistol, I watched quite a few reviews, and was curious about reviewers complaining of "slide bite". After examining the pistol in person, I concluded there is no way the slide can come into contact with the webbing of your hand. What I did find is that it doesn't take long for the beaver tail on this gun to cause quite a lot of irritation. The recommendation of a cycling glove is not a bad one.
 

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MGMike: You mention the counterbore ... I've wondered as to it's purpose. Was it to make for a more securely fitting recoil spring or was there some other engineering reason?

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Easier this way

Cock the hammer first so you do not have to overcome both the slide and hammer springs.


Relative newcomer here. I just picked up a new PPK/S with wood grips. The only other Walther I've owned is a PPQ. I've had the PPK/S out for one range session. It does not like Fiocchi FMJ ammo - quite a few failure to feed issues. It loves Remington hollow points however.

My question pertains to how difficult it is to rack the slide. Are they all like this? It's very difficult to get a good purchase on the slide to begin with, and it's a almost impossible to pull it all the way back. Is there anything that can be done to make this easier? Lighter recoil spring perhaps?

My only other complaint about the pistol is the sharp edges on the frame, especially on the trigger guard. I may have to smooth them out a little. Walther could have done a better job here.

Thanks
 

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After examining the pistol in person, I concluded there is no way the slide can come into contact with the webbing of your hand.
You have that god awful beaver tail to thank for that...;)
 
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