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Discussion Starter #1
I already know that I have one of those 'transitional' mid-south PPK/S's (Ser #4453AAA)

Just a few questions for those that know more than myself.

The question is, is this basically still an interarms manufactured gun? Buying additional magazines, anything to look for? Grips fit the same as the new ones?

What exactly is a Ranger gun?

Finally, any ideas on the quality of the mid-south guns? Better than when S&W took over?
 

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It was a license IA had from Walther to make the gun in Alabama by the "Ranger" dudes who replicated the original design to a Tee. Some minor parts are metal injected moldings and most of the guns were made in Stainless Steel which Germany never did (or Manurhin).

Collectors (keep in mind we are speaking "collectors") of Walthers prefer German made (Germany or W. Germany), Manurhin, Ranger IA in that order. SW manufacture would be regarded at the end of that order.

The functional capability of a Ranger is easily so close to the older ones made in Germany or France just because they are newer and have newer parts that are less likely to be worn out or shot or abused over the decades. I'd bet my life on my Ranger PPK/S ahead of any older German or French Walther for reliability--not necessarily for collecting although they are easily now collectibles compared to what is for sale now to us brand new.

Magazines and grips should interchange with all PPK/Ss and PPs. The grip of any PP or PPK/S and magazine are all interchangeable old or new.

A Ranger gun is a prize as far as I am concerned and as far as most others are concerned. I like the stainless steel. It looks nice and it is easy to take minimal care of compared to anything blue.

For me a Ranger is equal to a German or French gun because I don't buy Walthers to collect them. I buy them to shoot them.

Collectors are like coin collectors; they like having the "rarest coin" even though identical coins made from some other mint with the same date and condition are the same in the make.

My Ranger:

 

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Back in the day a lot of folks thought that the IA PPKs were junk. It's interesting to see how their status has changed since SW has started making them and now they are classics. I had an early blued version back in the day and I felt that they were not as good quality as the French version.
 

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From my perspective, as both a shooter and a collector, I still rank them this way:

1. German/Walther (things of beauty, true, but still wonderful shooters)
2. French/Manurhin (and they are neck-and-neck with Walther)
3. USA/Interarms (a notch below but an excellent shooting pistol)
4. USA/S&W (some work better than others)

Your mileage may vary.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
From my perspective, as both a shooter and a collector, I still rank them this way:

1. German/Walther (things of beauty, true, but still wonderful shooters)
2. French/Manurhin (and they are neck-and-neck with Walther)
3. USA/Interarms (a notch below but an excellent shooting pistol)
4. USA/S&W (some work better than others)

Your mileage may vary.
So I'm assuming this PPK I have (Ser xxxxAAA) would belong to the number '3' category? There's no S&W stamp. Just Made in USA and Springfield MA...
 

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If Houlton's enrolled on the gun it's not a Ranger. It's an SW. You must mean the note in the box from Springfield and that is not stamped on the gun but just paperwork from SW.
 

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I have a PPK/s from S&W. Had it about a year. Has always worked
good and shot what ever was in it.
Am like alot of others what is going to happen with support, etc
since the love loss between Walther and S&W.
Anyone know how long they were actually dating?
 

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I think with either the Ranger or the current Houlton production run....you are either going to have a collectible (if even to a lesser degree) or a boat-anchor one of these days. One positive side of the Ranger is that French-made (German and Manurhin) gun parts will "generally" interchange with Rangers. Not so much with the Houlton guns.

I just can't see Walther establishing an HQ in the states, manufacturing and marketing a PPK 22lr and not taking back production of ALL the PP series pistols. I just believe that as soon as contractual terms allow and Walther establishes a firmer foot-hold here in the US, it will not have two different manufactures producing weapons. I think it is already very clear that Walther and Houlton are not in love with each other. May all be made my Umarex or John Deere for all I know. I just can't see a company going and staying fragmented like this and surviving. But.....Walther survival under any circumstances may be a chancy proposition as well.

Moral to the story.....get them spare parts while you can.:D
 

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At least Ranger Arms test fired the PPK and TPH
and sent a factory test target serial numbered to the pistol.

I don't believe that a Smith and Wesson made PPK comes
with a factory test target.
 

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I did own a S&W 32 PPK/S that came with a test target and the normal goodies in the box. It was one of those that worked as well. I replaced it with a Ranger when I had the opportunity.
 

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The OP said "transitional gun". It seems that i have seen a post of an IA, Ranger built Walther w/S&W stamps from when S&W was taking over production.

Roboslug
 

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That is correct. Once Interarms went out of business, S&W inherited/paid for/acquired the remaining inventory of parts and whatnot and assembled a number of pistols from the stock on hand. A search here will produce some additional details. Some photos of the firerm in question would be beneficial.
 

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I personally think that would be a pretty neat gun to have, if it were assembled and functioned properly, but only Walther fans would know what it was. The individual unaware gun owner would just look at you with that 1,000 yard stare and wonder what the heck you were talking about and why you were telling him.

OP....I think you have a rare piece, if only rare among the Walther family of enthusiast.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If Houlton's enrolled on the gun it's not a Ranger. It's an SW. You must mean the note in the box from Springfield and that is not stamped on the gun but just paperwork from SW.
Here are a few pics. No paperwork. 2-tone version. VA mark on the barrel, XXXAAA serial number on the frame and no Smith logo on the slide.
 

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