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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Anybody using a 17lb recoil spring in their 380 PPK? If so, have you experienced any pistol damage or new malfunctions by using a 17lb recoil spring in your PPK?

PS: Both of my 380 PPK pistols function perfectly with the standard 20lb spring, but I'm tempted to try a 17lb spring to increase ease of racking the slide.
 

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...PS: Both of my 380 PPK pistols function perfectly with the standard 20lb spring, but I'm tempted to try a 17lb spring to increase ease of racking the slide.
Perhaps you've answered your own question? ;)
If racking is really that tough (and it is), only rack it for the first mag. Work from slide lock thereafter.
Or, get a G42.
Moon
 
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Any answer to this question without specifying the particular make and load of ammunition being used is meaningless. How can one draw any valid conclusion from only half an equation?

M
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Halfmoonclip: Yes - the G42 is perhaps the best PPK 380 sized pistol available. The TTP you mention is, in fact, the one I use. However, I'm also interested in trying a 17lb spring.

MGMike: I didn't include a make or load only because i was looking for feedback on what users of a 17lb spring have experienced. However, the load I would use with a 17lb spring would be the Hornady Critical Defense 90 Grain Flex Tip.

Thanks for any ammo recommendations for use with a 17lb recoil spring.
 

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I have used a Wolff 17lb spring and as expected did reduce the effort required to rack the slide. I did have several issues with the PPK ( S&W variant) but can’t attribute the issues to the reduced power spring. After the last ( 3 total ) trip to Walther for service I decided to take it back to stock. I did some hand exercises, and while it’s still a task to rack the slide it’s not so bad. I have to figure there must be a good reason they installed a 20 pounder in the first place. I have not had an issue in the last several months.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks. I can still manage the 20, but am curious about using the 17.

I've found a lot of archived discussion here and at other forums regarding 17lb recoil springs. I've got a 17lb spring on order; will try it out and report.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Today, using a 17lb recoil spring, I ran a 100 rounds of PMC 90 grain through my 1980 Ulm/IA .380 PPK with no (apparent) adverse effects on the pistol. No perceived change in recoil. Pistol cycled all rounds perfectly.adverse
 

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PPK .380 Stainless Interarms, test fire date December 7, 1989:


I run a Wolff 16 lb. spring.


Ammunition:
· Remington 380 ACP Ammunition UMC 95 Grain Full Metal Jacket, brass, vel. 955 fps.

· Winchester WB 95 Grain Full Metal Jacket Flat Nose, brass, vel. 955 fps.

About 3 boxes each so far.

No issues whatsoever with FTF, FTE.

I use a Hogue beavertail grip sleeve on it, which changes the comfort space entirely. No pain after a couple boxes.

Hogue #18200 beavertail grip sleeve
https://www.hogueinc.com/glock-42-43-handall-beavertail-grip-sleeve-black

Fits Glock 42/43, but the package also says it fits PPK, which it does.

Very tight fit w/ no movement.

It's the only way to go for comfort.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for sharing. Think I'll try the Hogue for improved gripping on my stainless .380 PPK.
 

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You won't regret it. It's the best decision I ever made for running a PPK.

I have read so many complaints about the lack of shooting comfort.
I think people really overlook this for the PPK, as I don't hear much about it.

Some might not care for it, being overly concerned about the Hogue detracting
from the cosmetic beauty of the side arm.

In my opinion, it doesn't. It adds a nice look in its own way. Looks like it was made
for the PPK, which it actually was and adds nice substance to the grip.

You will be pleasantly surprised at the cosmetics.

I've been made a believer in Hogue grips.

I run the finger groove rubber Hogue grip on a SIG .357 P239 (a -must- have for this one).
Makes it handle like a 9mm. The SIG P230 has one also.

It's a bear to get on when it's new out of the package (it's tight).
 

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I thought the theory for a blowback pistol is that you use the heaviest recoil spring that will reliably cycle the action. This supposedly results in the most comfortable shooting in regards to the recoil impulse. Also it is supposed to help protect the frame from battering by the slide during cycling.
My experience is with the Makarov pistol which from the factory has a light recoil spring. This supposedly was to ensure combat reliability in cold conditions.
So I don't know how it would be wise to install a reduced power spring unless your Walther won't cycle reliably with your ammo.
 

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I thought the theory for a blowback pistol is that you use the heaviest recoil spring that will reliably cycle the action. This supposedly results in the most comfortable shooting in regards to the recoil impulse. Also it is supposed to help protect the frame from battering by the slide during cycling.
My experience is with the Makarov pistol which from the factory has a light recoil spring. This supposedly was to ensure combat reliability in cold conditions.
So I don't know how it would be wise to install a reduced power spring unless your Walther won't cycle reliably with your ammo.
In general, I subscribe to that theory. But like many such generalities, it is based on assumptions of uniformity that are inexact in practice, and slavish adherence to the theory might not produce the best result.

Automatic and semi-automatic weapons function by the power of the ammunition and by the power of various springs. These factors vary considerably, even among like examples. Add to that many variables in gun design, including the distance of recoil stroke (especially overtravel) and the mass of various recoiling parts. Add to that the condition of the individual gun: state of internal wear, cleanliness and lubrication. Add to that external conditions such as heat or cold.

Obviously there must be a range in the time/motion interaction of all of these variables within which any good design must cycle and function correctly. Somewhere within that range there is a narrower optimum range for the individual shooter's intended use; outside that range, some compromise is inherent, either for ease of use, or for longevity, or for reliability.

The only way to know if using a lighter recoil spring is battering the gun is to try it with some particular ammunition and see. If it is, you'll probably be able to feel it long before you can see it. Even so, to some users who can't retract the slide otherwise, a little more recoil or a shorter service life might be worth it.

Much the same calculation is made by those who elect to use +P ammunition...

M
 

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Discussion Starter #13
MGMike: I wise person listens to what you have to say about firearms.
I've got two .380 PPK pistols. My intent is to keep a 20lb spring on my heavier usage range PPK and to use the 17lb on my carry PPK. (That choice will surely draw fire.) Now this will also draw fire from folks who think otherwise, but I do not carry with a round chambered. Consequently, in my carry PPK, I'm trying to get the easiest slide rack without unduly battering the pistol or compromising reliability.
 

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... Now this will also draw fire from folks who think otherwise, but I do not carry with a round chambered. Consequently, in my carry PPK, I'm trying to get the easiest slide rack without unduly battering the pistol or compromising reliability.
Well, I am with you. For a variety of personal reasons, I don't either. And my arthritic hands can't easily rack some slides.

But to make sure you're not compromising reliability, run a couple hundred rounds of whatever ammunition you have selected through the gun at one go without any firing, feeding, extraction or ejection problem before you trust it.

M
 

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Discussion Starter #16
SITREP: I've returned to 20 pound recoil springs. Since I've pure fleeted (my three PPK pistols ) to .380 ACP, I've found so much practice has made it (relatively) easier to rack the slides. Not as easy as 15 years ago, but easier. That said, my Interarms PPK pistols seem easier to rack than my Ulm PPK.
 
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