Walther Forums banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. New member here from North Carolina. The PPK is just one of those pistols I want to add to the few firearms I already have. Will probably use at as an occasional carry weapon so I’ve been doing a lot of searching and reading.
I’ve come acrross some discussion threads where some have claimed that the S&W pistols have/had some reliability issues like fte and ftf. If my memory is correct, it seems that most of those discussions were maybe 10+ years ago making me wonder if those supposed problems have been corrected. I’m also looking in the used market so I have nothing against an older Interarms pistol but I like the new ones as well. Keeping my options open.
Anything I should keep in mind while I continue my search?
Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
Couple of questions for your decision. What caliber and what is your budget?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
To me (and this is only me) you have to decide if you’re a shooter or a collector.
Was a collector in the old days but am now a shooter in that the only reason I have a particular gun is to use it, shoot the hell out of it, carry it, and probably bang it into stuff or drop it. Shooter needs a gun he’s not afraid to get scratched up so I would get a newer one. Tip top shape and covered by Walther.
For the gun collector and the gun to be doted over and gently handled (because of history and resale value) I will let the pros speak to that.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,356 Posts
Good answer from the Duke. What do you want to do with the gun? Carry it, perhaps in harm's way? Chance dropping it (likely) or in an evidence locker? Then you want current production, a Smith, or even something else, designed in this century.
Safe queen? Older, more minty is better.
Moon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
I'm both a shooter and collector of firearms, I carry and shoot my S&W PPK/S all the time and have never had any FTF's or FTE's. I confidently stake my life on it all the time, it's in my rotation of carry guns. I also carry some of my "collectable" guns too (mainly .45acp, 9mm & 10mm), all that matters is that it goes bang when needed. If it winds up in an evidence locker, so be it, my life and my families life far out value any gun I have in my collection. Life's too short to carry an ugly gun. fwiw
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
674 Posts
I’ve got a S&W version of a .380 PPK. I really like this gun, bought it used. I had a lot of issues with it from day one and had to send it to Walther three times. After the last trip it has been great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for the reponses. At least the first PPK I get will be a shooter and carry gun. My wife actually likes the idea of buying a WWII era pistol but that’ll come later. So, for now, I guess I’m looking for consensus that I can buy a current production PPK with confidence or should I look for an Interarms PPK.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
The S&W Walther pistols I've owned have all functioned perfectly. However, regardless of what variant you obtain, it's key you fully understand the functioning of a PPK or PPKS, before you take it to the range, to avoid initial discouraging experiences with the pistol:
-- Because the PP series are blow back pistols, they require a firm grip to function properly. However, a firm grip does not include getting any part of your firing hand in the travel path of the slide. Any Walther, even those with extended tangs, will give you slide/hammer bite if your grip them too high. Once you get your Walther, grip it with the slide locked to the rear so can see how little margin of grip error you have before getting slide/hammer bite. On the range, adjust your grip at the very first hint of slide contact with your skin. Additionally, flat bottom mags allow you to curl a finger under the grip which tends to pull your grip down. Some users recommend gloves to avoid slide/hammer bite, but gloves will not encourage you to learn the proper grip.
-- If you load a mag into the pistol with the slide forward, you'll need to ensure the mag is fully locked in place because locking the mag with the slide forward requires enough pressure to overcome the mag spring. Looks can be very deceiving, so ensure you feel the mag lock in place. (When in doubt, you can even try to pull the mag out without pushing the slide release button.)
-- Know your Walther variant's ammo preferences. Regardless of variant, I recommend you use 95 grain FMJ ammo on your first of couple trips to the range. (If you obtain a pre-S&W pistol you may likely find that they function best with FMJ.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,921 Posts
I don't see many older PP pistols for sale around this neck of the woods. And when I do they are PPK/S or PP versions. Due to the GCA '68 it seems PPK versions are much rarer. Regarding slide bite....how big and meaty are your hands Hrcnsfan? Mine aren't large and my skin is tight....I cannot make the slide hit my hands...but if you have meaty hands the Smith or New Ft Smith versions might make you happier. Shoot one of these if you get a chance....they kick like a mule...even in 9mm/k.

And don't be like the guy below. Bought a used Bobcat today for a good price. Had my suppressed .22 and asked one of the guys I knew if he'd like to shoot it. He didn't have time but the seller of the Bobcat/company owner said he did. He was grinning ear to ear. Asked me if I knew anything about pistols. A little bit I said. He told me he bought a new Kimber 9mm six months ago and has been carrying it everyday. Then about a week ago he decided to shoot it. It was good for one shot, then a stoppage. Clear, one shot, stoppage. He went and got it....brand new, small 1911ish pistol.

I didn't see anything wrong with it visually and asked him to explain exactly what it was doing. He didn't have a clue....well, is the spent case ejecting. Not sure. When you retract the slide does an empty case fly out? Not sure. Well describe for me exactly what is happening, for example is a round jammed under the feed ramp, standing straight up.....he didn't know. Do you have a second magazine? Yes. Did you try it? No. What ammo. Don't know. I suggested getting a couple of varieties of 9mm including fmj, firm grip, try both magazines and if it won't cycle to call Kimber. A pistol will give you a lot of clues as to what might be wrong......but one of the first rules is don't carry a new pistol without shooting it a couple of hundred times to make sure it functions properly. Good luck with your search. Beautiful little shooters PP pistols are. 1917
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
First what model do you want? PPK,PPK/s 380,32, stainless or blue? The S&W guns function excellent with a better feed ramp system. The ranger ppk is awesome in 32 acp. My German 1976 PPK/s is finicky to say the least. You also might come across a French Manurhin PPK/s, they were imported late 80’s they are good guns. The war time guns are big bucks 1500 to 2000 dollars and better suited for collecting. My personal issue was with the long S&W tang over the original design. I much prefer the original design grip and I prefer the PPK over the PPK/s model. Plenty of guns out there, even the new 22 lr’s, which I love, they are fun guns. Great for training but not really for carry. If you don't mind the long grip tang on the new Walther's just buy a Ft Smith Walther. Kittery Trading Post in Maine has a used S&W PPK/s 380 for sale at about 550.00. Good luck on you quest!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
First what model do you want? PPK,PPK/s 380,32, stainless or blue? The S&W guns function excellent with a better feed ramp system. The ranger ppk is awesome in 32 acp. My German 1976 PPK/s is finicky to say the least. You also might come across a French Manurhin PPK/s, they were imported late 80’s they are good guns. The war time guns are big bucks 1500 to 2000 dollars and better suited for collecting. My personal issue was with the long S&W tang over the original design. I much prefer the original design grip and I prefer the PPK over the PPK/s model. Plenty of guns out there, even the new 22 lr’s, which I love, they are fun guns. Great for training but not really for carry. If you don't mind the long grip tang on the new Walther's just buy a Ft Smith Walther. Kittery Trading Post in Maine has a used S&W PPK/s 380 for sale at about 550.00. Good luck on you quest!
I prefer the PPK over the PPK/s as well. Further down the road I'll look at picking up a German or French model but my first PPK will likely be a stainless .380. I just need to decide if I'm going to buy new or used. Thanks for your input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
There are some advantages to buying new or more recently produced . . . Consider the following from Walther USA: "If you purchase a Walther firearm, it carries its Legendary Warranty regardless of whether or not you are the original purchaser. This warranty covers Walther centerfire and rimfire firearms, produced after 1993 only and does not apply to antique, limited edition, or custom firearms."
Also:
-- The PPK is thought, by many, to be at its best in .32 ACP. However, any .32 ACP variant is generally more expensive than the same variant in .380 ACP.
-- The .380 ACP is thought, by many, to be best handled in a PPK/S given its longer grip. The PPK/S will also give you an additional round in the mag.
-- The PPK and PPK/S have the same slide length, but the PPK/S has a slightly longer grip. However, if you pocket carry, there is not much felt or signature difference between and PPK or PPK/S, especially if you pocket carry the PPK/S with a flat bottom mag.
-- Because of the need for a stronger recoil spring, racking the slide of a PPK or PPK/S in .380 ACP, is generally thought to be much harder than doing so in .32 ACP. Consequently, dis-assembly and assembly (lifting the slide from the frame) of a PPK or PPK/S can be harder with a .380 ACP pistol than the same pistol in .32 ACP.
I personally consider the PPK/S a better weapon than the PPK. However, for me, the look and feel of a PPK can't be beat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,910 Posts
I just need to decide if I'm going to buy new or used.
Because .380 PPK or PPK/S are not particularly fun to shoot most are not shot very much. Used guns in very good to like new condition are not hard to find. I personally would NEVER buy a new one. If you do decide on the new gun, you might want to wait a minute. The prices have dropped 20% already and I would expect them to be in the $500 range before long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
You may realize, that your shooting experience with a PP series pistol does not match your expectations. It can take time "master" the PP series and some folks just don't have the patience to do so. If you want a very shootable, reliable, concealable and affordable .380 ACP, get yourself a Glock 42. In my view, it's the best "PPK" sized .380 ACP pistol one can buy.

That said, the look and feel of a Walther PPK is hard to beat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,948 Posts
For what it's worth, I'd stay away from Interarms PPK/S as mine and several others I have had the misfortune to handle have had significant feed and eject issues. I got rid of mine and it took me a LONG time to even consider another Walther because of how bad it was (and how much effort I put into just trying to get it to function properly).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,523 Posts
My advice for a shooter PPK would be one chambered in .32 ACP/7.65 mm. The mild recoil makes it very pleasant at the range. Unfortunately this will limit you to the pre-1945 Zella-Mehlis pistols and the pre-1968 Ulm/Manurhin pistols. Although common these can be expensive.

My only Interarms Walther is a .380 ACP PPK and I've never had any functional problems with it. However, the recoil can be a little uncomfortable. I'm usually finished after two magazines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
Although fairly hard to find, .32 ACP Interarms and .32 ACP S&W pistols are fine shooters as well, but a tad less expensive than earlier variants.

My .32 S&W PPK is one of my favorites on the range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
Not badmouthing the .32 (except the cost of the ammo) but I have never understood the wide spread statements about the .380 PPK/S being “not fun to shoot” or a big recoiler or harsh.
It should be noted I am a husky lad and life long shooter but if there is a significant difference between it and the rest of my pistols I ain’t noticing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hrcnsfan
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top