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Discussion Starter #1
Just recently picked up a stainless S&W PPK/S in .380acp, yes growing up watching James Bond movies influenced me. I've got almost a full set of historic USA military WW2 rifles and pistols that's where my collecting spirit is. It been a while since I bought a real "new" gun so I thought I'd give this a go. Off to the range tonight to give it a try. Problems galore, 2 different kinds of ammo, 3 different mags.

I shot 50 rounds of Freedom Munitions 100g FMJ and 35 rounds of Federal 90g Hydra-Shock JHP. I wanted to shoot more but every single magazine I put in the gun had at least one if not two (or three) problems:

Rack the slide and the round will not feed
Round goes BANG with trigger pull but next round doesn't feed properly
Spend casing did not eject, slide jammed shut

The last problem the failure to eject jammed the slide so bad it would not budge! I tried everything I could think of, finally called the Range Officer. He confirmed it was a stuck spent casing and took the gun to his workbench. 5 minutes later he gave me the gun back, casing removed and slide functioning again. I put the gun away, done for the night.

He asked me when I last cleaned the gun, told him never...this was the first time shooting the gun. He said I should have cleaned the gun before shooting it...get the "factory crap" out of it. OK it makes sense to me, but...

I have shot the following "brand new semi-auto guns" with no cleaning and experienced zero problems:

Four different Marlin 795 rifles, .22
Keltec Sub2000 rifle, .40
Springfield Range Officer 1911 pistol, .45
Ruger 22/45 Mark 3 pistol, .22

I get it... cleaning a gun before you shoot it makes sense (my bad), but is there some reason my all my other guns ran just fine the 1st time uncleaned and this PPK/S was literally impossible to shoot? I really wanted to come home smiling loving this gun, but that did not happen.

I'll diligently clean it and do some more range sessions to break it in...but I've just never experienced anything like this before. :confused:
 

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One reason may be that different mfg's use various lube/grease to protect handguns until they reach their owner. S&W's are notorious for needing a good cleaning (mags too!) prior to shooting.
 

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Don't condemn it for your first (uncleaned) range visit. Field-strip it and rinse it down with solvent, give it a light oil treatment and try it again. "Heavy" lubricants will interfere with the cycling of a blow-back weapon.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Fully cleaned the gun last night, finished with a light Rem oil treatment. Today I went to the range and put 100 rounds of Freedom Munitions 100g FMJ through it. Maybe 6 times it didn't feed properly...but never when racking the slide. I consider this a vast improvement. I guess another cleaning and range session is in order.
 

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The PPK/S is a pistol that needs to be broken in. You will see a series of threads that begin much the way yours has, with early problems that work themselves out with time.

My early research suggested it took 500 rounds of shooting to break it in. I think that is pretty close, but you will see a vast improvement above 250.

Shoot it. Rack the slide at home. Clean and lube it very regularly. Give it some time and patience and you will be rewarded with a pistol you enjoy shooting.

Cheers.
 

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+1 ShoreShooter and others. I'm going through similar woes with a new Browning HiPower, and I even cleaned & lubed it before the first range day. All part of the break-in process.

Nice looking pistol, I like the stainless version.

Cheers,

Carl
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well another night at the range with my PPK/S. Zero problems racking the side and loading the first round. Only 2 failure to feed in 100 rounds. I'd call this progress...

But I had 7 rounds that failed to fire. Four of them went off the second time when I manually cocked the hammer and pulled the trigger the 2nd time. The others no luck so I took the slide off (3 times) and extracted the round. They all showed a firing pin mark, I put them to the side.

When I was finished shooting I put the 3 rounds in a mag and prepared for the worst...I was amazed when all 3 fired.

This hammer strike/no fire issue happened with both Freedom Munitions 100g FMJ and Remington 95g FMJ (UMC) ammo.

Guru's of the PPK/S, any suggestions?
 

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Just keep breaking it in and clean and lube after each trip to the range. Walthers are fitted to fine tolerances but once broken in they are smooth as butter.
 

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I might say welcome to the world of a new S&W PPK/S.

Neither of my IA PPK/S guns required any break in period.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Not broken in yet, OK? Well I've got 285 rounds throught it, how many does it typically take? As it is now, I don't have confidence in it as a concealed self defense gun...but it is pretty heavy, I could always throw it at the bad guy.
 

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My new S&W PPK required no "break in" period, over 500 rounds and still running without any malfunctions. I trust it with my life.
 

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I have two new S&W's in .32 acp. One PPK and one PPKS. The PPK has never had a single malfunction in nearly 1000 rds. The PPK/s has some type of stoppage every 20 rds or so, again after almost 1000 rds. Someday I'm gonna take a three corner file and some emery cloth to it.

My feeling is sometimes you get a good one and other times.......
 

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Discussion Starter #16
One more complete cleaning and another range session. If after that there are still issues I guess it goes back under a service request.

1000 rounds and still stoppages...WOW! I had no idea some of these are that fussy.

I rounded the sharp edges and updated it with grips from grips4u.net...it's a beautiful thing to hold now. When it shoots it is bloody accurate...I want to love this thing. I just need a gun that goes bang every time I pull the trigger.
 

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My PPK/S is a " 'tween" ('tween is a USA gun but not an Interterms or S&W made around 2000) and I bought it used. The gun had a beautiful set of carved wood grips that made the gun great to look at but it was just unreliable. The previous owner had lots of problems with it and finally sold it to me and I took over his problems.

Absolutely by accident I found the fancy grips were interfering with the slide and trigger bar. I removed the grips and put some original plastic grips on it and that cured all the reliability problems.

Since you had stock grips originally the new grips are not your gun's issue.

Before you hit the range again make sure you have a little grease on the slide rails and that you aren't "limp wristing" some of your shots.

Good luck
 

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The fact is that some of the S&Walthers are better than others. Some are flawless. Some are not. Some are somewhere in between flawless and not. Some in the not category have been sent back to the factory for fine-tuning and have come back flawless. Others that have been sent back have come back in the ... not category once again. Why this is, exactly, who can say? ... and that includes the folks in Maine.

As a rule: ammo, then mags, then aftermarket grips. Some are more sensitive to ammo than others, but the S&Walthers were supposedly fine-tuned to make the ammo issue non-existent. If you had the issues with the original grips, that's likely not the issue. If all of the mags you have exhibit issues, I'd still look at purchasing another new mag or two to see if that solves your troubles (you can always use extra mags). If none of that works, then a trip in a box is in order.

Do keep us posted.
 

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I've said this many times before, but I'll repeat it: The alleged necessity to "break-in" a gun, not an automobile, is an apology for poor workmanship. A factory new gun used with high-quality ammunition of the type prescribed by the manufacturer, after one cleaning to remove any preservative coatings (particularly from the chamber), should function correctly straight out of the box. If it doesn't, it wasn't made right.

M
 

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While I concur with Mike, in today's brave new world of gunmaking, they aren't finished like they once were. It thus becomes the owner's job to either break the gun in by shooting it, or (more cheaply) taking some fine emery paper to the frame/slide rails and perhaps the barrel. Wrap the emery cloth over an old credit card to get in the bottom of the grooves, and remember the goal is to polish the running parts, not to actually remove any metal.
It goes without saying any abrasive needs to be cleaned away completely.
For the OP, it might also be worth your while to check the chamber for rough surfaces and tool marks; clean it and examine it under good light.
In a perfect world, this work wouldn't be necessary, but it is what it is. The Walther was designed in an age when some hand finishing and assembly was part of gunmaking; keeping the cost in check today prevents that. We'll see how Walther makes out building them in Arkansas.
Moon
ETA- for the record, just had another hugely positive experience with S&W customer support.
M
 
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