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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

Walther newbie, here. :) I grew up with a love for the Walther PPK, thanks largely to my Dad - it's both our favorites. After many years, I finally got me one and will take delivery of it this weekend. (Yay!) It's brand new so I'm a little paranoid - any suggestions as to the better ammo to break it in with? For that matter, anything special I should keep in mind when breaking it in? I found some Winchester (white box) for the .380 but thought it was weird that it was a flat head. I've never shot flat heads before. I've also read that Gold Dot and Federal are pretty decent ones. To be honest, I'm tempted to try the zombie rounds I saw recently, too. :)

Please and thank you!
 

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Try them all. The more rounds you shoot, and from a variety of manufacturers, the more you'll know for sure which ones work best in your pistol and which ones to avoid (and it's fair to say that it will like some better than others). My suggestion would be to start with FMJ ammo and then try some of the better JHP rounds once you've put it through its paces for at least a couple of hundred rounds.

FWIW, I've always had great luck with Remington green box and Winchester white box FMJ rounds in my PP, PPK, and PPK/S models. We've had many threads on the best ammo for defensive carry in .380 ACP, so you might want to run a search as well.

Good luck ... and wlecome to the forum; enjoy your time here.
 

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The flat head rounds that you refer to in your post are known as a truncated bullet. They feed extremely reliably. Also, the zombie ammo that you mentioned is just a 'repackaged' design of Hornady's critical defense ammo. Basically, it just a marketing gimmick.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I got a box of the Winchester flat heads from WalMart but will be getting a few more boxes of the other brands mentioned. (Thanks, searcher451. I did a search and got some good info on the other brands to try.) RickJZ, yes, I know the zombie rounds are a marketing gimmick but they're cute. :) My husband and I are planning to get some of the zombie targets to shoot as well. Thanks!
 

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Storm,

I have had 100% success shooting 240 Federal FMJs and Federal Hydra Shoks through my brand new .380 S&W PPK/S.:)

So, I would start with Federal.

If you have a few hiccups at first, don't worry, it will settle down. These guns are tight when new, and they have a break in period of 250-500 rounds. They are also susceptible to "limp wristing" so be sure to keep a firm grip on the piece.

Let us know how it goes.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Ranger, I got some 50-packs of Federal and Lawman FMJ ammo yesterday. Can't wait to try it out this weekend! (Hopefully. If the gun ever gets here. Just saw that USPS tried to deliver to the FFL at 7:48AM! No one is opened yet. When did they start delivery that early in the morning??)


MGMike, you're hillarious!
 

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MGMike, you're hillarious!
Do not encourage him; he'll feel the need to mention the unmentionable.
It was a funny line, tho'.

IMHO, manufacturers who claim a 500 round break in period are simply postponing warranty claims. I'm not aware that Smith & Walther takes this position. Due respect, Ranger, but if it takes that many rounds to wear in a gun, it wasn't finished when it went out the factory door. Ten boxes of cartridges is a hell of a lot of shooting, in rounds and dollars.
Moon
 

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Moon,

I am just repeating something that the gunshop owner, not S&W, told me when I was doing the paperwork to buy the gun. And I did say 250-500, not 500.

The main point I was trying to make is that there is a break in period with these guns, and not to get discouraged if you have a few hiccups at first, the gun should settle down.
 

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I also would suggest "try lots", my PP will shoot ammo that my PPK/s won't. But both disliked the Winchester white box, go figure.
 

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Moon,

I am just repeating something that the gunshop owner, not S&W, told me when I was doing the paperwork to buy the gun. And I did say 250-500, not 500.

The main point I was trying to make is that there is a break in period with these guns, and not to get discouraged if you have a few hiccups at first, the gun should settle down.
Ranger, I'd agree with most of that. Some gun scribes say that you should shoot 200 rounds of a given load before you trust it in your gun.
What frustrates me are gun companies/shops that try to blame lack of 'break in' for legitimate functioning issues a gun may have.
Moon
 

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Several gun manufacturers recommend a break-in period. Walther (PPS), ParaOrd (PDA), and Armalite (AR-10) immediately come to mind. On the S&W PPK types I'd recommend 250 rounds of WWB or other quality target ammo before firing at least two mags full of whatever you're going to carry. That's two mag fulls per mag by the way. I know all guns should be 100% perfect out if the box and the sun should shine every day but that's not how life works. Besides, spend a couple of hundred rounds of practice time and you'll be better off if you do get into a fight.
 

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Nothing wrong with a modest break-in. It's foolish to run a new car hard 'till there are 1k miles on it, and a couple hundred rounds of combination 'break in and getting to know you' is just fine in a new pistol. Who wouldn't want to put some rounds thru' a new gun?
My gripe is the use of lack of break in as an excuse for malfs, especially a 500 round standard that seems to be promoted by some gunshop commandos. At a bare minimum it's selling a bunch of expensive ammo, and at worst it's masking a problem that should be sending the pistol back to the mothership for attention. Ammo sales may be the big motivator. Personally, 100 rounds seems like a reasonable break-in, with extensive testing of the load you intend to carry thereafter. I sent a really wonderful Kahr .380 on down the road for a very occasional failure to eject with carry ammo.
Milspec, you noted some manufacturers that recommend a break-in. Do you recall what sort of round count they are suggesting?
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's here, it's here! Finally! Went to pick up the PPK today. Didn't have time to go to the range yet so when I got it home, stripped it down, cleaned, lubed, and tested it with a couple snap caps and ... nothing. It would never extract the snap caps out. It came with 2 magazines and I bought one from the store. One magazine (store mag) extracted fine a couple times then quit. The other 2 won't extract at all. They appear to fire fine but just stayed in the chamber, causing a "pile up" when you pull the slide back. Thankfully, didn't have to strip it to free the round. I was able to push the round back in the magazine, eject the magazine, and then shake the chambered round free. I was planning to go to the range tomorow but I'm a little concerned to try it with live ammo now. I found a thread on here where someone with a PPK/S had problems extracting snap caps too. But I'm hoping it's a PPK/S thing and not a PPK thing. Any ideas?
 

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I would not panic about the snap caps. Neither my PP or my PPK/s will eject the snap caps either. I gave up on them a wile back because they were such a PITA to get out. Also as has been mentioned before by others on the forum, these guns don't throw a live round out of the chamber when clearing it, like other guns do. I have gotten into the habit of turning mine almost upside down with my left hand, cupping the ejector port with my palm while using the same right hand to pull the slide back to get them to spit out a live round that is chambered. They have absolutely no problems ejecting spent brass at all. They just are not as forceful or as enthusiastic as other types of guns when clearing a live round from the chamber.
 

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Nothing wrong with a modest break-in. It's foolish to run a new car hard 'till there are 1k miles on it, and a couple hundred rounds of combination 'break in and getting to know you' is just fine in a new pistol. ...
Moon
Moon: I'm sorry, but we depart irreconcilably on that one. The analogy is false. I venture that you would never buy a new car if the dealer warned you to expect to be stranded on the roadside in the first thousand miles. Break-in of a car (which has to do with oil consumption and brake linings) is inapplicable to guns.

I expect a gun to work straight out of the box. If it's made right, it will. I have enough experience with guns that did work straight out of the box that I demand it. I am intolerant of slipshod manufacture.

M

Maybe I am a dinosaur about this, but I strongly believe that there are a lot of people on this forum who are far too supine in their acceptance of the mediocre and haven't experienced what quality really means.


PS I am like Miss Jean Brodie: I hate a reduction of standards.

M
 

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Agreed.

These days, what seems to have become standard operating procedure is that the manufacturer blasts out thousands and thousands of guns, largely untested and unrefined with inherent issues and design flaws, passing them onto the gunbuying public, who become the "beta" testers. This happened with the Sig Sauer P238 series that had extractor issues before there was a recall followed by a redesign. This seems to have become an acceptable business practice to an increasing number of manufacturers - that it's OK for loads of guns to filter back to the factory for tweaking, and we'll boast about our customer service and take care of them through the warranty.

I can't think of a more aggravating scenario than purchasing a brand new gun, then experiencing issues with it right out of the box, and then having to send it back to the factory for a 4-week or longer stay before getting it back - possibly not even fixed...

It's quite common.
I read about it on these and other forums.
Local gun store owners talk about it.
A lot...
 

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I will make one observation, FWIW.

I have noticed, on this forum, a recurrent and what I would regard as excessive emphasis on a manufacturer's "Customer Service".

In years bygone one never focused on that because one rarely needed it. The guns were carefully made, rigorously inspected, and worked.

M
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I took it over to my gunsmith neighbor who looked it over for me. He stripped it down all the way and cleaned it some more. Apparently, there was some solidified grease where the extractor was and he also found that the extractor was misshapen a little so he sanded it off a little and now it spits the caps out the port just fine. It's a little disheartening that a brand new gun that I've been waiting for for so long needed a little fix right out of the box. But I'm glad it's nothing too serious. I'm taking it to the range today with all the different ammo I've bought. We'll see ...
 

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Storme: Just to be clear, you note that the PPK you just purchased was new, but I don't seem to be able to find where you've listed the manufacturer. Is it an S&W-made model? Thanks in advance.
 
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