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Smart decision. Call SW and, although you're upset, be nice to the people. They are the only practical solution to solving your problem. They'll get you a return authorization # and a UPS label. Send it back and let S&W spend their money on completing the "break-in" of the gun.

A word of caution: Do not send the gun back with the wooden grips or even the photo showing the failure or they'll claim that is your problem and return the gun.

For the record, I had a terrible struggle with FTF, FTL, and FTE with custom wood grips on my PPKS. I solved all my problems with replacing the custom with original grips.

Good luck
 

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While it may be that S&W sees the Walthers like a red-headed stepchild, I've had such relentlessly positive results with their customer service (on regular S&Ws) that I'm doubtful that they'll treat you in any way but really well. There is some merit to returning the gun with the OEM grips just to avoid the issue.
For the OP, you've discovered what's utterly maddening about the .380 series; been there, done that. My troubles were with feeding a Ranger, tho' a buddy has an iteration of the same gun that's been flawless. Go figure and good luck.
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #43
After market grips, what after market grips? ;)

The gun is back in its original configuration, I'm looking forward to dealing with S&W and getting this thing shooting straight.

Thanks for the guidance and direction, I'll post of updates.
 

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Jim, what makes you crazy is that they are just such damned neat guns. I got the problematic .380 because a buddy showed up at my place with one; it just felt entirely too good in my hand. When I got a Ranger .380, it gave enough trouble that it sent me back to J-frame revolvers PDQ.
There's no rest for the wicked, except maybe for .32s.
Moon
 

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Moon, I have never had trouble with a 380 PPK except that early 1960's nickel engraved PPK 380 I bought new. It jambed on loading , but I did not give it a fair chance. I have never owned a S&W PPK 380 though. I have never had any trouble with a 32 PPK or PP that I have had. I have had little glitches ,but no big problems.

I have owned German, French, & IA PPK 380's with no trouble.
 

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I have, to date, never had any problems with a 380. They all feed and fire like they are suppose to. I have a W.Ger. PP, IA PPK, and a S&W PPK/S

Sometimes it is just the ammo. Commercial ammo is not like hand loaded or matched. If the manufacturer is run out of powder during a run. They just dump another drum in to the hopper (or what ever it called). This new drum may be a different batch or a different brand of powder, or it could be the type of bullet.

For an example: I put over a 1100 rounds of several different brands of .22 through one of the new PPK/S .22's not a problem firing or feeding (well one the casing blow up. It wasn't a feed problem the remainder of the casing came out with a flick of my finger nail). Anyway the rest of the story, During the shortage of .22's, I didn't know at the time, I had picked up a white box of Winchester 1280 fps copper hollow points. When I started to use them. My gun became a single shot no longer an semi-automatic. I had to rack the slide every time. I putted out a different box of CCI standard and it went back to being a semi-automatic, again. So I finally found a bullet that the gun didn't like. I have some CCI hollow points and I will try those. Then I will know if it is hollow points or just the Winchester type.

I guess I'm just a Pollyanna when comes to Walthers. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #48 (Edited)
Well I called today (thanks for the contact info searcher451) to see what the next step is in my unreliable PPK/S dilemma is. I told the service rep I bought the gun last month and after 4 range sessions is was basically impossible to shot a single 7 round mag without a problem...providing all the details while being nice.

He told me he was "almost certain" it was an ammo problem. He said many PPK's have come in and 85% of them are ammo problems. He said due to the blowback design it needs good ammo and inferred manufactures are cranking our sub-par ammo lately...mentioning Remington and a few other USA ammo vendors.

I was told I had to get of hold of some Fiocchi ammo as that was the best there is. If there are still problems only then would an RA issue be issued. If the gun is returned and it is found out to be "ammo issues" I can be charged for both gunsmith fees and range time.

I'm just astounded at this, especially since I can't find a box of Fiocchi anywhere. I've got over 1000 rounds of 3 different kinds of .380 and I have to invest more before these guys will even look at the gun.

I'm really starting to regret ever buying this, it has been problems from day one and this is not what I would consider friendly customer service.
 

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Call Kate and let her know about this. She is generally always on top of things and should get you some help.

Ammo can be a determining factor -- the PP/PPK model is known for being ammo sensitive, although the S&W models are supposed to run absolutely everything. But that being said, I've used Remington FMJ in my Walthers for years and have never, ever had an issue with any of it, lot after lot and year after year.
 

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So they're selling these pistols "ammo proprietary?" C'mon man, who's believing that. Where in the marketing or user manual does it say,"Use Fiocci ammo or no S&W support?"

If that is what SW is saying now then thank God we have other gun manufacturers.

My "tween" PPK/S works fine with any 380 ammo. It loves Remington, and the only ammo it never had in it was Fiocci. Glad I don't have to deal with SW for my PP.

I would definitely call someone higher up the ladder than a customer service phone jockey.

Keep us posted....good luck
 

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Do not take that BS response as the final answer. Keep calling until you get a reasonable person on the phone.

If you were seeing this with steel cased Russian junk then maybe but Remington FMJ is generally very reliable.
 

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I shot about 50 rounds of Remington last weekend, and had no issues.

Fiocchi does pop up now and again. I got 1000 rounds of it in 9mm from Cabelas about a week ago at a GOOD price.

I also have some PMC .380 tucked away, and have not had issues.
 

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Pursue your questions with S&Walther; I ran into one jerk in a recent Q n' A with them, but it was quickly made right.
And yes, it could be an ammo problem, but I would still pursue it with them. Keep asking questions 'till you get an answer you like.
Moon
 

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"I'm just astounded at this, especially since I can't find a box of Fiocchi anywhere. I've got over 1000 rounds of 3 different kinds of .380 and I have to invest more before these guys will even look at the gun."


What kind DO you have?
 

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I was looking through the trash cans at the shooting range to find some empty Fiocci boxes. Figured if I have to send a gun to SW I'll have to include 3 Fiocci box tops to get service.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
"I'm just astounded at this, especially since I can't find a box of Fiocchi anywhere. I've got over 1000 rounds of 3 different kinds of .380 and I have to invest more before these guys will even look at the gun."


What kind DO you have?

Freedom Munitions 100g FMJ, Federal 90g Hydra-Shock JHP, Remington 95g FMJ (UMC)
 

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Freedom Munitions 100g FMJ, Federal 90g Hydra-Shock JHP, Remington 95g FMJ (UMC)

I did a quick google search on the Freedom stuff. It appears to be reloaded ammo. Mixed reviews. Some good, some not very good. I didn't search too hard, but didn't see anything specific to .380. 9mm reviews were all fine that I saw, but others no so much.

I have not tried using JHP myself, but I have seen a number of comments over time that this handgun does not handle JHP well at all.

As I said before, I have not had issues with Remington.

But it is POSSIBLE that for 2 out of the 3 ammo types you are using, that it MAY indeed be an ammo problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Freedom Munitions is a respected commercial reloader. I shoot often and I've found this is great way to pull the trigger a lot without cringing thinking what it is costing me. I have bought many thousands of rounds including:

.223
.38 special
.357
9mm
.40
.45

I've used this ammo in a wide variety of handguns and rifles and have had excellent results. I don't have a gun that I can't run this stuff, I would not blink buying more...until my PPK/S.

My KelTec Sub2000 is also blowback design and it eats Freedom Munitions ammo all day long without a hitch.

Just in case the reloads were a problem for my new PPK/S I also bought the Remington ammo and the Federal stuff is the standard in defensive ammo for protection.

I picked up a new S&W gun partially due to the improved feed ramp design, thinking ammo would not be a problem.

Maybe it is an ammo problem, but if it is I'll get rid of the gun. If this gun is so fussy that I must feed it "special" ammo, then it's not for me.
 
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