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I have a recently acquired PPK/S .380 The first time I took it to the range, I had problems with it. The hammer would follow the slide down at times, rather than staying back for a single-action shot, as expected. I couldn't trace the problem to any obvious source. I tried a different mag, I tried different ammo, I tried gripping the gun tighter and looser. I took the pistol to a highly respected gunsmith who examined it, said it had been very dirty inside, cleaned it out, fired a few test rounds, and pronounced it ok. I took the gun back to the range yesterday. The gun still has the same problem, and also several times it failed to lock fully into battery, with the slide staying back about 1/4 inch. A person on another forum suggested that he had the same problem which he traced down to a defective hammer release. (Part 37 in the attached link)
http://www.e-gunparts.com/productschem.asp?chrMasterModel=2100zPPKS
The left side of the slide is stamped "made in usa" under the Walther banner. The right side of the slide is stamped with the Interarms Alexandria, Virginia stamp. The serial number is S016xxx stamped on the right side of the slide and the right side of the frame as well. The gun came with the original box, manual , and two magazines. It has the checkered wooden grip panels.

Does anyone out there know what's going on with this pistol? Should I just try to contact Smith & Wesson, even though it doesn't say S&W anywhere on the gun? Does anyone out there know of a gunsmith in or near central Ohio who might know how to fix this problem? Could it be just the hammer release? The guy also mentioned that his gunsmith found that his barrel had "moved back a little bit". My impression of this model has always been that it is a very well-designed, reliable pistol. Am I incorrect in that assumption? Should I just break down and get a SIG 230 or 232? Should I stick with my SIG 225, even though it's so much bigger and harder to conceal? I also have an AMT backup .380 and it's not reliable either. I would like to find a reliable, fairly small .380 for a backup gun.
I'm new to this forum and I would ask that you forgive the length of this post. I would love to find a solution to this problem.
 

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Welcome and sorry you are having problems. The hammer follow problem does come up from time to time, I personally had it with a German PP. It is hard to diagnose, it could be: the hammer block spring, cocking piece, hammer, recoil and hammer spring issues, decocking lever. The solution I came up with is take it to a smith that has all these parts and can try different combinations until he finds the culprit. The guy that fixed mine was Tom Heller, you can contact him at [email protected] . I don't know if he will work on the American ppk/s, but may and he will be up front with you on what he will charge. He is by St. Louis, MO so you will have to ship it. You can also contact S&W, but they may not work on it since it is not one of theirs. BTW, I tried to fix mine myself and bought and replaced every part above and it turned out to be the last one, the decocking lever, so it's cheaper to send it someone than spend $150 in parts.

If it were me I would not use a 380 for SD when there are so many 9mm out there that may even be a little smaller. Hmmm, the Walther PPS comes to mind;)
 

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Thanks for the info. I LOVE the PPS, and as soon as I can save up some funds, I plan on getting one of these as well. I do, however, think that as long as the PPK has been in production, they would have had time to work out the kinks by now. It amazes me that I'm really having such a hard time solving this problem. The art-deco styling is impressive, but if the thing doesn't shoot well and reliably, I don't need a paperweight. So far, I'm not impressed. I'm not a big fan of the .380 cartridge in general, but it's better than nothing. I have a very close friend whose 15 year-old son was forced to terminate two home invaders with an old PPK using old LRN bullets, three shots to BG number 1 and two shots to BG number 2. That just happened to be what was in the gun. It saved his and his girlfriend's life. Score one for the good guys.
 

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It may not be related to your problem, but you can't go wrong replacing all the springs. Wolff makes a replacement set fairly cheap (gunsprings.com). A competent gunsmith ought to be able to swap them out pretty cheap if you don't want to tackle it yourself. As for it failing to go into battery, mine had that problem occasionally when I bought it, but a ramp and chamber polishing cleared it up.

Also, I used to own a Sig P230, and it had the same feed issues that some PPKs have. Feed problems seem to be more common with the fixed barrel, straight blow-back design. Some need a little smoothing out before they''ll work right. I now trust my PPK totally, and its a very accurate easily-concealed gun.
 

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Breaking radio silence

Billy:

This gun is approaching 20 years old, and previous owners have had an abundant opportunity to f**k it up.

First: Your pistol originally did NOT have wooden grips. Remove them and replace them with standard black plastic grips and see if the problem doesn't go away. (Possible interference with sear.) Eliminate that possibility first.

Second: forget about replacing all the springs. That's not your problem.
It will NOT cure the malfunction and will just lead to further frustration. I am beginning to think that the guys who proffer this advice are unwitting shills for Wolff's.

Third: if replacing the grips doesn't cure it, the likely cause is that somebody replaced either the safety lever or the decocking lever (which is internal), without appreciating the consequences of what they were doing. That means you are now on the ragged edge of two possible malfunctions: firing when the safety is turned "ON", or going full automatic. Neither of these is desirable, and both are dangerous and potentially fatal.

The difficulty is that the decocking lever comes in about 7 sizes, and must be selectively fitted. This is the component that reconciles all the various tolerances that are allowed in manufacture. If it is improperly selected, the gun may fire when the safety is applied or may not close completely.

This is not a matter for kitchen table correction. It requires a level of knowledge and skill that is not available on the internet. If you like the gun, send it to a gunsmith who understands Walthers. I happen to favor Mike McClellan (no relation to me) to worked at Interarms for many years and who long ago performed warranty service on hundreds of them (but those days of free service are over). He can be reached at (703) 739-2170). Tom Heller, suggested by another poster above, is also very competent.

As for Earl's, that fine too. Just be sure not to eat anything after 9PM the night before.

M
 

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Correction

Correction: Wrong number.

Telephone for McClellan (M&M Gunsmithing, Alexandria, VA) is (703) 739-2150.

Sorry.

M
 

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Thanks for this good information, Mike. A link to Mr. McClennan's website is posted in the Sticky notice in the P99 section under the "Great Sites for Walther Owners" thread, for those who might want some additional information.

Good to see you back, by the way. :)
 

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Billy:
Second: forget about replacing all the springs. That's not your problem.
It will NOT cure the malfunction and will just lead to further frustration. I am beginning to think that the guys who proffer this advice are unwitting shills for Wolff's.

Third
My problem is with jamming, both chambering and ejecting. According to the stamps on it (FJ), it is a '58 manufacture Ulm PPK/S. Incredibly, I bought it new in '92! It's hard to believe it sat on the shelf for 34 years!
 

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According to the stamps on it (FJ), it is a '58 manufacture Ulm PPK/S. Incredibly, I bought it new in '92! It's hard to believe it sat on the shelf for 34 years!
Ooops, I didn't look closely enough. It could be a J first if the J has a dot on top. It could be '80 something. My eyes are getting old...
 

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Good to see you back, by the way. :)
I'm not back, just passing through. Billy396 had a potentially dangerous problem and deserved a little guidance.

As for Pachmayr grips: they are fine until you notice that the trigger return is slow. That's when you take them off and drop them in the nearest trash can.

M
 
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