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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Quick question about a S&W PPK/s. I have been reading a couple other threads about problems and had never given much thought to a situation of my own. Now I started thinking, maybe I should ask around.

My problem has occurred 3 times. After firing about 80-100 rounds of ammo in one sitting, on about the 5-6 round out of the magazine, after firing the hammer would not stay cocked back for the next shot. The gun fed another round, was ready to go, but I had a DA pull for the next shot. This happened twice the other day at the range. I brought it home, cleaned it real good, took it out the range again for a class, and this time it did the same thing on about round 75. Same situation. Ejected, fed another round, but hammer was against the firing pin requiring a DA pull for the final shot out of the magazine.

Any suggestions? Problem?

I personally didn't mind to much since on the next pull, the gun shot fine and went into battery after the final shot. I just got thinking maybe I should ask. I called S&W and I think the guy just wanted to get off the phone and go home, but he is sending out a label for me to send the gun back for inspection. I would rather not have to go through this if possible, but I was wandering about other opinions.

Thanks
 

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I'd go for a careful cleaning and think about replacing all the springs for a set from Wolff (www.gunsprings.com). If that doesn't help, then I'd send it back. Replacing the springs would be a cheap fix even if you have a gunsmith do the work. Good luck.
 

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In gunsmithing as in medicine, the hard part is to arrive at an accurate diagnosis.

That is really impossible unless the gun is unaltered (that means, do not go willy-nilly switching out springs) and you are using ammunition of known performance and reliability (that means use a good American-made standard FMJ --such as Remington, Federal or Winchester-- for testing). And try more than one magazine, as magazines are very precisely formed and also fragile.

Fire the gun that way for 100 rounds and write down the results as if you were keeping a log. If the results are not satisfactory, send the gun back to S&W with your description of what happened. Let them diagnose the problem and fix it.

Otherwise you will be hopelessly chasing iatrogenic malfunctions.

M
 

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In gunsmithing as in medicine, the hard part is to arrive at an accurate diagnosis.

That is really impossible unless the gun is unaltered (that means, do not go willy-nilly switching out springs) and you are using ammunition of known performance and reliability (that means use a good American-made standard FMJ --such as Remington, Federal or Winchester-- for testing). And try more than one magazine, as magazines are very precisely formed and also fragile.

Fire the gun that way for 100 rounds and write down the results as if you were keeping a log. If the results are not satisfactory, send the gun back to S&W with your description of what happened. Let them diagnose the problem and fix it.

Otherwise you will be hopelessly chasing iatrogenic malfunctions.

M

Sage advice, Mike, it should be a sticky. When in doubt, write down a detailed description of the problem and send the pistol back. I love to tackle my own problems, but the most intelligent course of action is to take advantage of the manufacturers service dept.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well my gun is totally unaltered fresh from the factory. I have used a variety of ammo in the gun, but primarily use WWB for most shooting due to its easy cheap availability in my area. I do have a different magazine that I ordered off the internet. I is a Walther original part but is Labeled with Mecgear rather than Walther. I didn't think that could cause the problem. When I go out and shoot again, I will mark the magazine if it happens again.

The customer service rep said something about a hammer lock possibly not working. I looked on a diagram and I can't figure out what he is talking about. Either way, I don't know if this is a minor problem that will turn into a major problem down the road.

I originally thought it was just because the ammo was getting the gun fairly dirty was causing the problem. After about a 100 rounds the gun gets pretty black and fouled. I haved started using Tetra gun grease on the slide channels, but haven't had a chance to shoot with it to see if that helps with the problem.

Like I said, no Failure to Fire, no Failure to Eject and no misfires, it is just the hammer rides the slide back down for a DA pull on the last or next to last shot from a full magazine.
 

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I think the hammer lock starts off the trigger reset sequence. It pushes the cocking piece back down, following a shot, and the cocking piece locks the hammer back. I wonder if your trigger will reset on its own if you keep the trigger depressed after firing a round, and then slowly let the trigger go forward. That would be what was happening to my PPK. At first I polished the cut-out in the frame that the trigger bar rides in. That fixed it for about 500 rounds. When it started happening again I took a more careful look at what was happening. It seemed that the hammer block wasn't dropping back down when it was supposed to. I replaced the hammer block spring and it started re-setting better (all the time). From looking at how things come together, a bunch of fouling around the hammer block might have the same effect. Before changing anything out I cleaned all around the hammer block, as best I could, with a pipe-cleaner. Came to the conclusion the spring was weak.
Nothing I've just said might apply to your problem, but at the least I stand behind saying that the S&W factory springs are low-quality, and should be changed anyway.
 

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I suspect he was referring to the hammer BLOCK, which must be located, fit and move very precisely to work correctly and avoid misfires.

Tinkering with the hammer block is not a job for amateurs. Send it back to S&W with, as I suggested above, a PRECISE description of the malfunction.

M
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
UPDATE:

Sent the PPK/s back to S&W last week and it came back today. I was gone for 8 days. Sent it back clean and oiled and with letter describing this problem and a failure to feed problem once. I also asked them to "stake" the ejector bar spring as it keeps popping out. I have posted on a couple of threads that by following the advice on how to install this spring on the S&W causes it to be very loose and you can knock it out with a slight bump while cleaning.

Now to the fun part. S&W did nothing to the gun for the Hammer following the slide. On the letter they sent back describing what was repaired, S&W just polished the feed ramp and that was it ... nothing else.

I can tell the gun was fired alot. It is very dirty. I assume they fired the gun to replicate the problem of the hammer following the slide, but like I said ... they did nothing. I guess after it happens again, I will just send it back to them like it is ... dirty and gritty by just clearing the mags and putting it in the box to send to S&W. My mistake ...

As for the ejector bar spring. I installed the spring upside down on purpose (I discussed this in another thread and found this install caused the spring to stay in better and didn't affect the ejecting of spent casings) and S&W didn't stake the spring, but they installed it back to the original way it is supposed to be installed with the curled end up and in the slot on the frame. I was looking at this with the slide off inspecting the work done (or not done as was the case) and I barely bumped the ejector bar ... guess what ... it flew off and sent the spring flying. Thanks S&W. It is now back to being installed with the curled end down in the ejector bar and it is much more solid. If you need an explanation on this, just do a post search and you can find the reasoning for this install.

Overall, I am marginally satisfied at best. I am disappointed that they did nothing for the hammer problem, but since I was not there and I can only assume they could not replicate the problem, I guess I can't really expect anything different. As for the ejector bar spring, I caution everyone with a S&W to be very careful with cleaning the gun. I am going to call them tomorrow and tell them about this spring flying off and get them to send me another one just in case. I don't want the gun to disabled due to the poor design employed by S&W.

If you have any questions, or any other suggestions on what could have caused the hammer problem, please post them here. I am pretty sure it will happen again, and I will just make S&W pay for another Overnight UPS delivery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Single action pull is fine. No problems, but it is after a single action shot that the hammer follows the side and requires a subsequent DA pull. Neither pull is gritty. Both seem smooth and firm.
 

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Can't help with the trigger reset but with respect to the "ejector bar":

During a range session, the ejector bar broke after a firing and the slide did not return all the way. I removed the mag and the partially hung-up round being chambered. Called S&W and sent the gun to them with a letter describing what happened. Gun was returned with a new ejector bar. The new part is not "loose" and will not easily come out of position during cleaning. In fact, it is pretty well modified so that it is actually tough to remove. No more "TWANG" and looking for the spring.

500 rounds since the repair and narry a problem with anything. I've mentioned this before and been met with doubt about the new part. Maybe all ya need to do is break the damn ejector bar before they will install a new one.
 

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Hammer follow-down in a PPk/s usually is caused by one of three things:

1) Insufficient recoil impulse to fully cock the hammer. This is generally an ammunition problem but in marginal cases can result from a loose shooting grip.

2) A weak hammer block/sear spring. The same tiny spring powers both. Or the spring may be okay but there is inordinate resistance to movement of the hammer block (in an S&W not surprising, given the rough internal machining and absence of deburring). A good spring will be closed and ground at both ends, with 9 active coils (9 plus a half plus a half, total 10),
wire diameter .015", coil dia. .096" and length about .393".

3) Excessive clearance (or binding) somewhere in the interfaces between the hammer, sear and trigger bar. These parts are (or should be) very precisely fitted, and isolating a misfitting not easy unless the malfunction occurs frequently. In any case it's a job for someone who understands the lockwork. Hammers and trigger bars can be swapped out experimentally but sears are semi-permanently installed.

In any event you need to eliminate the first variable. Try a hundred rounds of Federal American Eagle FMJ and see if the problem goes away...or gets worse.

As for the ejector, you can stake it yourself with a prick punch. Borrow a German or Interarms gun to observe the location.

M
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
1) Insufficient recoil impulse to fully cock the hammer. This is generally an ammunition problem but in marginal cases can result from a loose shooting grip.

...

As for the ejector, you can stake it yourself with a prick punch. Borrow a German or Interarms gun to observe the location.

M
It has happened twice on WWB and once with 80gr Corbon JHPs. I don't recall a loose grip, but who knows. It has never happened on any other gun I've owned.

I must say, I have never heard of a prick punch. I have it installed upside down right now and it is tight in the recess like it should be. I think I might use that tool to go ahead and set it in the bar better and not risk loosing it if it does happen to fly off.

500 rounds since the repair and narry a problem with anything. I've mentioned this before and been met with doubt about the new part. Maybe all ya need to do is break the damn ejector bar before they will install a new one.
Thats an idea ... I wonder if they would just send me a new bar or if they would want me to send it back to them. I can see it now ... the PPK and I are out in the woods together and there is some freak accident that the ejector bar gets whacked ... I mean broken. :eek: :D
 

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UPDATE:

Sent the PPK/s back to S&W last week and it came back today. I was gone for 8 days. Sent it back clean and oiled and with letter describing this problem and a failure to feed problem once.

I can tell the gun was fired alot. It is very dirty. I assume they fired the gun to replicate the problem of the hammer following the slide, but like I said ... they did nothing. I guess after it happens again, I will just send it back to them like it is ... dirty and gritty by just clearing the mags and putting it in the box to send to S&W. My mistake ...
Nothing like getting 'em back dirty, that burns my beans every time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah, my first thought was they were just a bunch of liars. I read the paper saying what they did, then looked at the gun. I was like ... "crap, they didn't polish a darn thing ... you can still see the residue on the ramp ... those freakin ... OH wait, I cleaned the gun before I sent it to them."

I then realized just how much they fired. They either used the dirtiest ammo they could find, or they fired about 50-75 rounds through the gun.

I'll just see if I can con my wife into cleaning the gun ... wish me luck!
 
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