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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a chance to fill one of my last "I should have one of those" slots in my collection: a stainless .380 Walther InterArms PPK. Shoots great, carries great, just wish it wasn't associated with that 'James' guy.

Two quick questions:

1) What was the interval that InterArms manufactured the PPK (and is there a way to determine the manufacturing date?)

2) Is the PPK dangerous to carry loaded, decocked and unlocked? It's double-action trigger is pretty stiff - stiffer than about anything else I own, including SIG 229s and 239s which I carry 'unlocked' (for obvious reasons). I understand that the basic PPK does not have a drop-safe safety.
 

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There's a thread going on right now that is asking a similar question.

I say, it's okay to carry with round chambered, decocked, safety off. This is no different than a double action revovler. I suggest you invest in a quality holster with good retention characteristics, and that fully covers the trigger. I carry this way when the pistol is in my IWB holster. I switch the safety on when carrying the gun in an ankle rig.

As long as the pistol is in good mechanical order, there's no problem carrying it the way it was designed to be carried.

I have a cop friend who carried his PPK as a backup weapon back-in-the-day. He calmed my fears when he told me he carried this gun, decocked, safety off, for 10 years with no problems.

-stunks
 

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I say, it's okay to carry with round chambered, decocked, safety off. This is no different than a double action revovler.

As long as the pistol is in good mechanical order, there's no problem carrying it the way it was designed to be carried.

I have a cop friend who carried his PPK as a backup weapon back-in-the-day. He calmed my fears when he told me he carried this gun, decocked, safety off, for 10 years with no problems.

-stunks
My apologies in advance, as no flame is intended. My purpose here to put a matter straight that may save anyone taking a cue from this thread from an unexpected visit to an energency room (or a one-way trip to a morgue).

The quotes above are poor advice.

The safety arrangements of double-action revolvers are not in any way comparable. Revolvers generally don't have manual safeties, and what safety features they do have work very differently from those of the Walther PP series pistols. Equating the two is not merely a case of oranges vs. apples, but with bananas, avacados and coconuts thrown in.

For openers, revolvers do not have inertia firing pins, and the pins are so small and light they do not need to be locked. Nor are revolver firing pins mounted in heavy reciprocating slides that can move (unless locked closed, as by the safety on a Colt Gov't Model) if the gun is dropped.

Your cop friend answered the wrong question. It's not how many years he carried his Walther decocked with the safety off with "no problems". The question should have been: How many times did he drop it? And from how high, and on what kind of surface, and in what attitude did it land? If he didn't drop his pistol in those 10 years, his experience is worthless. If he did, presumably it did not fire on that occasion(s) or he would have said so. But was the gun damaged internally? Did he know? Could he tell?

The safety mechanism of a Walther PP series pistol is composed of parts that are so small, and so precisely fitted, that the average user hasn't got a clue whether the pistol is "in good mechanical order". Most don't know to disassemble the safety components or inspect them for proper operation, damage from wear or deformation, or a broken or missing spring. For example, the tiny spring that powers the hammer block is about the size of a lead pencil tip, and can be easily lost. Its absence might not be missed until the pistol fired full auto-- unless the pistol happened to be dropped first. The hammer block itself is not much bigger than a "smilie" icon and its contact surface is much smaller yet. Q: How many drops will it absorb?

Walther designed the PP series to be carried with the manual safety "ON", as that is the ONLY mode that positively locks the firing pin. That is explained, and stressed, in Walther's instruction manuals. Cops often ignore this warning, at their peril. The hammer block may prevent the hammer from moving forward to strike the firing pin, but it does not keep the slide and firing pin from moving rearward if the pistol is dropped and lands on the grip tang.

A few years ago a cop in a precinct station in Illinois dropped his Walther PPK/S out of his locker and shot himself through his kneecap. He was lucky in one respect: he didn't take the slug between the eyes. Of course the manual safety was not "ON"; he didn't think it was necessary.

M
 

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No apologies necessary MGMike. I'm open to being proven wrong. Perhaps my cop friend dispensed some poor advice.

It could be a simple as saying, "don't drop your gun." However, putting that into practice 100% of the time would be impossible.

So, you're right. The way to be the safest is to use the safety.

I apologize for spreading that bad advice.

-stunks
 

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Stunks, you are 100% correct that an admonition "Don't drop your gun" is perfectly silly. For safety, you have to assume that sooner or later the gun WILL be dropped, perhaps under the worst and most unexpected circumstances. In such a case, the user has two responsibilities: first, to have the gun in a mode that minimizes the risk of discharge, and second, to have the gun examined afterward by a competent gunsmith to make certain that its mechanical integrity to withstand another drop has not been compromised. If somebody is careless and shoots himself, it's his own fault; unfortunately it is sometimes an innocent bystander who catches the slug.

The harsh truth is that any time you drop ANY gun with a round in the chamber, and it does NOT fire, consider yourself fortunate. I'm an old cat who has squandered probably eight of his lives, which is why my CCW semi-auto pistols are carried with the chamber empty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A thoughtful, reasonable discussion. Thanks.

Now for the flip response:

In order to be completely safe, I have decided to have the PPK melted down and re-cast as a chafing dish. Anyone attacks me now, I'll either whack'em across the bridge of the nose with it, or serve them a nice fillet of sole in a lemon creme sauce.

Sorry - the argument about 'safest' got my imagination running. Fact is, life is a risk - choose the level of risk you can tolerate and get back to living.

Given that I often carry SIGs I prefer not to 'mix' my manual of arms. But the PPK is one of those seasonal compromises and I'll just have to drill the 'flip safety off' step.
 

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Hold on a second here.

I understand that the PP series has a solid firing pin. It could (emphasis on "could") go off if dropped in just the right way from just the right height (which means it would have to be pointing downward in safe direction).

But, placing the manual thumb safety on won't change this.

I believe that when the Walther's thumb safety/hammer drop is down, it covers the firing pin from a hammer strike and locks the trigger from being pulled.

I don't believe there is any type of firing pin block involved though. Series 80 1911 style pistols (and many, many other semi-autos) have a trigger activated device that "fills in" a gap in a two piece firing pin.

I don't believe carrying a Walther PPK with the thumb safety on prevents it from going off when dropped.
 

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I don't believe there is any type of firing pin block involved though. Series 80 1911 style pistols (and many, many other semi-autos) have a trigger activated device that "fills in" a gap in a two piece firing pin.

I don't believe carrying a Walther PPK with the thumb safety on prevents it from going off when dropped.
I think it was said earlier, the safet DOES LOCK the firing pin from movement. Prove it to yourself, take the slide off the frame, engage the safety and try to push forward on the firing pin with a small punch. You will see the pin will not move forward, If it does you have a dangerous and defective weapon and you need to replace your firing pin and safety lever.
 

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The rotation of the safety lever to the "ON" position actually does two things: first, as stated above, it locks the firing pin, by capturing its ball-shaped segment at the rear; second, it shields the rear of the firing pin from coming into contact with hammer, regardless of any movement of the slide. It's a excellent system, but you have to remember to use it.
 
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