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Discussion Starter #1
I recently took ownership of this .32acp West German police surplus PP, made in 1964. It looks to have the usual proof marks and shows holster wear and some light pitting. The bore looks very good.









It will be strictly a range gun for me and friends to experience.

I put 50 rounds (both 73 gr Lellier & Bellot and 71 gr Magtech) through it for the first time today, and had a couple of issues.

First, every 10 rounds or so a round would jam in such a way that I couldn't move the slide to clear it, so I'd drop the mag and then I could clear the round. When I say jam, I mean that the slide wouldn't close fully and I could see a new round partially in the chamber (barrel). I experienced this with both brands of ammo. Empty casings ejected properly. Thoughts?

Second, I can only seat a loaded magazine by depressing the mag release (catch) button. Looking at it at home with the slide off, the catch in the mag well is just too difficult to move back when the mag gets to it unless I really slam the butt end of the mag hard. I don't like to do that. I found depressing the mag release button lets the mag seat properly. An unloaded mag hesitates as it gets to the mag catch, but it doesn't have to be slammed as hard. Do I just need to disassemble the mag release (mag catch) and clean it out?

I should mention that both mags are Mecgars. One came with the pistol and the other is new. I experience the same problem with both.

I appreciate any input. It's fun to shoot!
 

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In past experience, .32 PPs are normally as reliable as gravity. I'm suspecting a tolerance issue, and perhaps the mag release is sticking or out of spec. It shouldn't be necessary to slam the mag into the gun.
MecGar mags really are OEM, so unless you really drew the short straw, the mags shouldn't be the issue. We are assuming here that the gun is clean and lubed.
Explain a little more about your jam-clearing situation; what do you mean when you say you 'couldn't move the slide'?

The old PP turn ins seem to run the gamut from soup to nuts; some are virtually unfired, and others have really high round counts. They are a ball to shoot, and generally accurate and reliable.
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Explain a little more about your jam-clearing situation; what do you mean when you say you 'couldn't move the slide'?
I couldn't pull the slide back to cause the stuck round to eject. Once I removed the mag, I could do that.

And yes, I cleaned and lubed it before shooting.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've been doing a little more searching on this forum. "Failure To Return to Battery" seems to describe my jamming problem. Based on what I read, the extractor (the round not sliding under it properly as it's drawn from the mag) could be an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just to update, I followed the recommendations in the link. I disassembled and inspected my mags (they were already clean). The chamber is clean. I removed, inspected and cleaned the extractor and spring (it was dirty but didn't look worn). I also tried some American-made ammo: Federal American Eagle 71 grain FMJ.

I still have the same problem (failure-to-feed, or failure-to-return-to battery), but the pistol functions best with the Lellier & Bellot ammo. It definitely functions worst with the Federal (I think I actually fired only four rounds). When out of battery, looking in through the ejection port, it appears the round isn't hooked under the extractor.

My plan is to replace the extractor and its spring and see if that helps.

:)
 

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If you have already removed and cleaned the extractor and found nothing obviously amiss, and if it moves freely without sticking when pushed from the inside with your finger, I don't think much will be gained by replacing the extractor and spring.

I think the problem is elsewhere.

Try this: Remove the slide. Hold the pistol vertical with the muzzle down and drop a Federal cartridge into the chamber. Does it fall in freely and fully, without sticking or resistance? Turn the gun vertical with muzzle up; does the cartridge fall out by itself? If it won't fall in and fall out by itself, you've found the problem.

If that is not the problem, be sure that the recoil spring is correctly installed (the smaller end goes to the rear, around the barrel), and that it's not the previous owner's "approximate" replacement. With the slide off, a good .32 PP recoil spring is about 4-1/2" to 4-3/4" long and extends beyond the barrel about 1-7/8" to 2". Wire diameter is 1.2mm and there are about 15 active coils.

M
 

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I'm sure I do not need to remind any shooter of a semi-auto pistol that there must be sufficient resistance applied upon the rear of the gun for it function correctly. In other words, keep those elbows locked so the gun has something to push against.
 

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I'm sure I do not need to remind any shooter of a semi-auto pistol that there must be sufficient resistance applied upon the rear of the gun for it function correctly. In other words, keep those elbows locked so the gun has something to push against.
Your reminder is timely. It could be that, too. Especially since Federal AE tends to be loaded on the light side. And a slide which doesn't make it all the way to the rear will tend to drag the next cartridge (the top one in the mag) forward, which --if a stoppage occurs at that point--will make it difficult to clear without removing the mag, a circumstance which is also relevant to this particular scenario.

M
 

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LedFowl, any idea what the symbol used to be that has been struck out???

I too have a 1964 police surplus PP with something "X'ed" out. I have a couple of guesses but nothing concrete.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Try this: Remove the slide. Hold the pistol vertical with the muzzle down and drop a Federal cartridge into the chamber. Does it fall in freely and fully, without sticking or resistance? Turn the gun vertical with muzzle up; does the cartridge fall out by itself? If it won't fall in and fall out by itself, you've found the problem.

If that is not the problem, be sure that the recoil spring is correctly installed (the smaller end goes to the rear, around the barrel), and that it's not the previous owner's "approximate" replacement. With the slide off, a good .32 PP recoil spring is about 4-1/2" to 4-3/4" long and extends beyond the barrel about 1-7/8" to 2". Wire diameter is 1.2mm and there are about 15 active coils.
The Federal cartridges do drop fully into the chamber (slide off, muzzle down), but they don't drop out when I turn the muzzle straight up. A Lellier & Bellot round does go in and drop out nicely, thank you.

The recoil spring is just under 4 1/2 inches long and has 15 coils, counting the ones on the ends. It's installed correctly.

What do you think, Mike?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm sure I do not need to remind any shooter of a semi-auto pistol that there must be sufficient resistance applied upon the rear of the gun for it function correctly. In other words, keep those elbows locked so the gun has something to push against.
Pretty sure I'm not limp-wristing it, but I appreciate the reminder. Thanks.

LedFowl, any idea what the symbol used to be that has been struck out??? I too have a 1964 police surplus PP with something "X'ed" out. I have a couple of guesses but nothing concrete.
I read with interest the thread about your pistol and how the hammer follows the slide. As to the mark, my eyesight isn't good enough to see it any better than the photo shows. Maybe Rheinland-Phalz?
 

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The Federal cartridges do drop fully into the chamber (slide off, muzzle down), but they don't drop out when I turn the muzzle straight up. A Lellier & Bellot round does go in and drop out nicely, thank you.

The recoil spring is just under 4 1/2 inches long and has 15 coils, counting the ones on the ends. It's installed correctly.

What do you think, Mike?
I think I would thread a 9mm bronze bore brush into a section of cleaning rod, chuck the other end into an electric drill and run it around and back and forth in the chamber, then take it outside and closely examine the chamber walls with sunlight shining in over my shoulder. It should be bright, shiny and free of obvious defects.

Then I would make certain that the magazine spring is not installed backward. The top coil should fully nest inside the "step" of the follower, with the second coil positioned to support the front of the follower.

Then I would dismantle the magazine catch to find out what the problem is there, especially to make sure that when latched the magazine is not being held too high or too low in the frame.

If none of that helps, then I would call Walther Customer Service and see if they can supply a new .32 PP recoil spring (not one for a PPK, which is shorter).

M
 

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I went back and carefully re-read LedFowl's description of the stoppages. Leaving aside for the moment the magazine catch (which may or may not have anything to do with it) the symptoms all point to short recoil, perhaps aggravated by some previous alterations. If somebody has substituted an "extra-power" recoil spring (or one from a .380) that could account for it. Also if someone "throated" the feed ramp in the mindless-abandon style now made (in)famous by S&W Houlton, the frame may have been hogged out deeply enough to let the top cartridge in the magazine drift forward far enough to partially block feeding of the cartridge being chambered. On original German, French and Interarms PP-series pistols there is a definite "step" between the frame feed ramp and the barrel chamfer, and that's why. Remove it and you're asking for trouble.

A very rough examination of the condition of the magazine catch can be performed by removing the slide and observing its movement from above as a magazine is inserted from below.

Meanwhile, my curiosity now piqued, I will compare the recoil springs from .32 and .380 PP pistols and post the results later today.

M
 

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Mike : I tried the other day to put my new S&W 32 recoil spring on my Interarms PPK 380. I just wanted to see if it was lighter than the 380 spring, & it went on ok, but I couldn't get the slide back far enough to push it down at the rear. The S&W 32 spring must be longer ,but it works fine on the S&W32.

I know this is the reverse of what you said but I thought I would throw it in. I didn't try too hard to get it on as I didn" want to get it stuck.
 

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Mike , if you are taking the mag button out ,& have to squeeze the trigger guard to remove the pin & spring on the guard how do you do it? maybe my hand is too weak to sqeeze the guard up enough. I used to have very strong hands but this is beyond me now. Is there an easier way to do it ?
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I think I would thread a 9mm bronze bore brush into a section of cleaning rod, chuck the other end into an electric drill and run it around and back and forth in the chamber, then take it outside and closely examine the chamber walls with sunlight shining in over my shoulder. It should be bright, shiny and free of obvious defects.

Then I would make certain that the magazine spring is not installed backward. The top coil should fully nest inside the "step" of the follower, with the second coil positioned to support the front of the follower.

Then I would dismantle the magazine catch to find out what the problem is there, especially to make sure that when latched the magazine is not being held too high or too low in the frame.
M
I'll try these things. It may take me a while. Thanks.

Here's a few photos. The chamber is not shiny right now, but it is smooth...







 
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