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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a new Fort Smith PPK three weeks ago. I have fired roughly 300 rounds thru it so far.

Today at the range the slide locked back so I dropped the magazine to realize that there was still one round in the magazine. This happened twice.

On one occurrence the magazine was locked in place and could not be released until I cleared the chamber.

Then one time, the decocker failed to bring the hammer back.

Being new I just put the pistol down; took a breath and then cleared out the gun, and slowly started over after each incident.

Possibly operator error but not sure. Thanks for any feedback you can provide.
 

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Have you called Walther?? There are a litany of things that could be causing this... From magazine spring, to the feed lips on the mag, then there is the little torsion spring thing that pushes on the slide lock. If that is a little too sprung, impulse of recoil could push it up. You running hot stuff through the pistol??

Heck, could be still in break in period. I had about 500 through my old S&W contract pistol before it shook off any of the bugs of a new pistol. Full disclosure, after I picked up my PPk I realized that S&W had some finish issues like burrs on some of the raceways, and since it was an all stainless pistol, little bit of galling was the result.

With some grease on the raceways and some hot pills in it, worked itself true.

The decocker failing to bring the hammer back, I'd be on the phone with Walther post-haste. Did it repeat that occurrence? One thing I have not noticed with PP-based pistols is limp-wristing being an issue. 9.9999 times out of 10, if you squeeze the trigger, it went bang.
 

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I have a Ft Smith PPK. My slide hold-open problem was due to a weak ‘ejector spring’, and therefore recoil was lifting the ejector to hold-open. Problem fixed with a new spring (and attached ejector). Mag not dropping is due to the next bullet being pull forward a bit in the mag (from the last bullet being chambered); the nose of the bullet then hangs up on the feeding ramp when you try to drop the mag. Not sure how to fix this, Ive been avoiding mag drops, or just forcing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Have you called Walther?? There are a litany of things that could be causing this... From magazine spring, to the feed lips on the mag, then there is the little torsion spring thing that pushes on the slide lock. If that is a little too sprung, impulse of recoil could push it up. You running hot stuff through the pistol??

Heck, could be still in break in period. I had about 500 through my old S&W contract pistol before it shook off any of the bugs of a new pistol. Full disclosure, after I picked up my PPk I realized that S&W had some finish issues like burrs on some of the raceways, and since it was an all stainless pistol, little bit of galling was the result.

With some grease on the raceways and some hot pills in it, worked itself true.

The decocker failing to bring the hammer back, I'd be on the phone with Walther post-haste. Did it repeat that occurrence? One thing I have not noticed with PP-based pistols is limp-wristing being an issue. 9.9999 times out of 10, if you squeeze the trigger, it went bang.
Definitely calling Walther tomorrow. The decocker malfunction really surprised me; only happened once. I had racked the slide on a new mag so it was in single action. I like to decock and fire the first round on double action. “Thumbed” down the decocker; it went down but the hammer stayed back not moving.
Every time I’ve had an issue I was using PMC 90gr FMJ which I thought was quality ammo. (Had a few jams on the first time I fired it)

When I used Federal American Eagle 95 gr last week, I felt like I was Sean Connery. No issues whatsoever. I have read that PPK’s can be finicky with ammo.
Eager to go back and use more Federal. Unfortunately I really stocked up on the PMC because it’s slim pickins on 380 acp.
Appreciate the suggestions. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have a Ft Smith PPK. My slide hold-open problem was due to a weak ‘ejector spring’, and therefore recoil was lifting the ejector to hold-open. Problem fixed with a new spring (and attached ejector). Mag not dropping is due to the next bullet being pull forward a bit in the mag (from the last bullet being chambered); the nose of the bullet then hangs up on the feeding ramp when you try to drop the mag. Not sure how to fix this, Ive been avoiding mag drops, or just forcing it.
I am going to call Walther tomorrow. This is my very first firearm. Always wanted a PPK but just do not know enough to diagnose the real issue. New spring sounds logical. If I have to send it back for an extended period I’ll be renting a Sig P365 at my range while they work on it. I sense more money flying out of my hand! Thanks for your reply. I’ll follow up.
 

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New spring for the ejector and slide hold open great ideas. If you are using it as a carry pistol, check out the Sig P365 SAS, think it stands for Slide Anti-Snag. Sights are minimalist, and even that is giving it credit as having “sights” so to say. I don’t know how concerned you are with size of the pistol, but another one of the P365 lineup is the P365XL. I have fists off ham-sized proportions, and a slightly bigger pistol I can hide on my body without printing. I’d definitely give it a look. Have heard only good things. I wish I had liked my P320 more. Sadly it wasn’t what I was looking for so it had to go to make room in the stable for new pony.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Called Walther this morning. On hold for 30 min and gave up. Sent detailed email to customer service. No acknowledgement so don’t know if it went thru. Called again and left voicemail.
Returned to the range just now and one hollow point (Gold Dot 90gr) I was testing jammed. All range ammo (Fiocchi 95gr) 50 rounds; no problem.
When field stripping to clean the ejector seems loose (side to side) and I am being very careful.
Have no idea what is acceptable.
Still love the gun but need some professional reassurance it is functioning correctly. Hopefully I can ship it to Fort Smith for an inspection.
we shall see...
 

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What time did you call?? With the COVID impacting the gun industry, every manufacturer/sales website has a big thing stating that they are inundated with massive volume of phone calls and emails. So while I am surprised that you had such dismal result of service call, I am not surprised given the current climate.

I once spent 1 hour and 48 minutes on hold with the USPS looking for an important parcel they lost. Just to tell me they boogered up and sent a package destined for South Dirty Jerz ALL the way out to Pittsburgh, PA on the wrong truck. And it wasn’t even the first time that happened. For Pete’s sake they did it twice in a row, with the cheapest postage I could get away with from them. You’d think less postage would mean they want to have it in their possession as little time as possible...

I digress, moral of story, I spent almost 2 hours on hold with USPS, so ANY time spent on hold with a gun manufacturer service line is heaven comparatively. I realize time is money and your time is worth a lot, as is everyone’s. So don’t take that as an insult to your getting off line after 30 minutes.

Figure from mid day Wednesday through Friday’s hours are best time to call. Every shooter and their brother with a service issue will be clogging up the phone lines first thing Monday and Tuesday.

Ejector on the PPk is a sliding plate type, isn’t it?? That when the trigger is back, it cams up as the slide is moving back, right?? It has been quite some time since I owned one or worked on one that I can’t properly remember. I almost miss mine.

Regardless, I hope you get through to them and I hope you get it resolved. This sounds like a fluke issue to me, and that it is once in a lifetime error. Either it is fixed or replaced in best scenario. Stinks when something doesn’t work as intended. Spoils the fun of it all.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Haha...I run an e-commerce business so very familiar with USPS randomly zig zagging all over the country once every few thousand shipments.
It has not left a bad taste (yet). I really want this to be my EDC. I enjoy using it at the range.
what I think is the ejector is on the left of the frame; looks like a really flat “S” almost 2” long. It pushes up when the magazine is in. Lays flat on the frame when the mag is removed. It does not seem secure when I very carefully move it. Seems like too much wiggle room. I could be a total newbie ignoramous here and 100% mistaken.

I am confident it will get sorted out. I’m in no rush. I go to the range once a week. I’m sure it will have a positive resolution. Thanks again for the feedback. I’ll update when I finally connect with Walther.:geek:
93205
 

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Discussion Starter #10
to answer your first question I called around 1pm CST. I’m on Pacific time.
I can only imagine how busy they are. I am sure they will make it right. I would just like to start having trips to the range without any jams and focus 100% on my accuracy.
 

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Is it possible some of your problems are from limp-wristing? Since this is your first firearm and the .380 is pretty snappy, limp wristing can cause problems to feed and I suppose other problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Yes it’s possible I’m getting lazy on some of the rounds and not gripping it correctly.

the more I think about it I do not think I am extending out as much as possible. First firearm being a new PPK and a lack of experience probably not an ideal combo.

next private lesson in a few weeks.
It’s a process...
 

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1 CST would be about 2 or so EDT, correct?? Could have been a peak time. They also probably stop accepting calls at around 4 EDT, if they are like most other manufacturers.

That "S" shaped deal is actually your slide hold-open. When you insert an empty mag, you notice it pops up. Empty mag and slide movement equals hold open. Should move freely. Your ejector is actually slightly behind that and protrudes from the frame upwards as slide travels back, hitting back of the brass casing and causing it to pivot on the extractor and be ejected from the pistol.

Private lessons are a good thing. Hopefully the instructor is NRA certified. Nothing better than getting good training and tips from such an authoritative source.

I don't know how comfortable you feel with the pistol, and neither do I know where you live. But if it safe to do so (and ONLY if safe to do so), invest in snap caps, the red aluminum ones from A-Zoom. I think they come in a pack of five. Load them into your mag, as practice rounds, put a target up on a wall in a spare room, and practice trigger pull. That is a GREAT way to get much more comfortable with a firearm. You can practice trigger discipline, imagine the shot, and see if you are jerking or pulling the pistol at the time of the shot. This could also lead to your limp wristing it, the follow through.

As a good friend once taught me, you should expect the shot, but it should also be a surprise. Too much expectation, and you flinch, not enough, and you're caught off guard. Don't lock your elbows, stand in the triangular pattern, and squeeze the trigger. Keep a firm hold on the pistol, but ride the recoil out into the follow up.
 

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I posted above already - have 2 out 3 issues the OP mentioned... plus the failure to go into full battery problem mentioned in the other recent ‘Ft Smith PPK Issues’ thread.

The S-shaped/hold-open piece is call the ‘ejector’ in the various PPK part diagrams online. I don’t think limp wristing is the problem, since a new ejector/spring (that Customer Service was gracious enough to provide) seems to have solved the problem for me for the last ~200 rounds. Guess which one works:



Without the slide on, the ejector will feel loose/floppy, it’s just a loose ‘press fit’ in there. Really kinda neat though, like a little puzzle, it can only be put-in/taken-out at just the right angle and pressure. Actually, all the pieces in the slide are puzzle-like too - very solid and secure in operating mode, yet it is very easy to detail strip (and without special tools) once you know the little tricks and proper sequence. Decent YouTube vids for that.

There’s a lot I love about this firearm, but after 6-700 rounds, it’s still not CCW reliable.... and very difficult to find 380 anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for your reply. 380 is difficult to find right now. One of my best friends bought a new CCP today at the same store I got mine and had no ammo to go with it!
Walther did not reply to my email or voicemail from yesterday.
so which ejector is correct? You said what needs to be said: “still not CCW reliable...”
That’s the real issue: if Murphy’s Law shows up and I am in a situation where I need to think fast and defend myself I don’t need Murphy adding a failure to fire on top of that. I suppose I am like a lot of enthusiasts here; I can be more patient waiting for a resolution or for me to improve my stance and fire properly but at some point the gun needs to be clearly deemed reliable.
Did you send your ppk to Arkansas for the new ejector or did you make the repair yourself?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
1 CST would be about 2 or so EDT, correct?? Could have been a peak time. They also probably stop accepting calls at around 4 EDT, if they are like most other manufacturers.

That "S" shaped deal is actually your slide hold-open. When you insert an empty mag, you notice it pops up. Empty mag and slide movement equals hold open. Should move freely. Your ejector is actually slightly behind that and protrudes from the frame upwards as slide travels back, hitting back of the brass casing and causing it to pivot on the extractor and be ejected from the pistol.

Private lessons are a good thing. Hopefully the instructor is NRA certified. Nothing better than getting good training and tips from such an authoritative source.

I don't know how comfortable you feel with the pistol, and neither do I know where you live. But if it safe to do so (and ONLY if safe to do so), invest in snap caps, the red aluminum ones from A-Zoom. I think they come in a pack of five. Load them into your mag, as practice rounds, put a target up on a wall in a spare room, and practice trigger pull. That is a GREAT way to get much more comfortable with a firearm. You can practice trigger discipline, imagine the shot, and see if you are jerking or pulling the pistol at the time of the shot. This could also lead to your limp wristing it, the follow through.

As a good friend once taught me, you should expect the shot, but it should also be a surprise. Too much expectation, and you flinch, not enough, and you're caught off guard. Don't lock your elbows, stand in the triangular pattern, and squeeze the trigger. Keep a firm hold on the pistol, but ride the recoil out into the follow up.
I do have snap caps and will try that. Just have to triple check the other ammo is in another room!
Shooting is similar to a golf swing in that some of my bullseyes occurred when I didn’t over think it. However there is a sweet spot in my mind because if I am too lax I am most likely limp wristing and if I stress too much it’s not an accurate shot.

in my opinion the instructor is excellent. Very patient and knowledgeable. Former LEO as well a veteran from Iraq/Afghanistan. He also taught my CCW class.
Will be disappointed if I cannot get to a point where I am confident in the reliability of the ppk for EDC.
I have wanted a PPK for 15 years but there was never a good time to take on that responsibility; will not sell it; there are plenty of other modern options out there. Sig P365 or the CCP M2. But being nostalgic I really want to carry the PPK.
 

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Sorry if I wasn’t clear... CS sent me a new ejector/spring in the mail - it’s the taller/top spring. This new spring works - haven’t had a hold-open failure in ~300 rounds now (another 100 rnds this morning). The lower/weaker spring allowed the ejector to lift slightly under recoil and lock the slide open occasionally. I understand you shouldn’t just bend spring steel to fix it - something about the heat treating/annealing process.

My issue is now down to failure to go into full battery (same as discussed here: Fort smith PPK issues). CS graciously sent me a new extractor/spring and that has greatly reduced, although not eliminated, the problem. At least now, problem seems confined to one ammo - Sig Elite Performance FMJ. Need more testing though.

BTW... I have A-Zoom snap caps and they jam in this gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So not wanting to turn negative but if any of you were not comfortable with the PPK as reliable EDC what would you choose as a superior replacement?
For me, must be on the smaller size and have a manual safety; decocker is a plus.

With that said, I still have hopes for my PPK.

Would be nice if Walther Customer Service would at least acknowledge my messages, even if it's just a quick "hey you're new, you might be limp wristing but be patient and we will check it out..."
 

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My father has a Shield 40. Has a manual safety, even though it is rather diminutive. It's positive in manipulation, slight click in either direction. Slim and packs a punch. Reliable, no frills. I don't think the PPS either classic or M2 comes with a manual safety. But for a "belly gun" that you're probably going to draw in the heat of a very tense situation (God forbid), you're probably not going to want to have to worry about diddling with a safety lever.

But on other side of same coin, grain of salt there. To each their own, I am not a safety dictator. There are options, should you want it your way, as it should be. I don't know how they handle, as I feel they are too small for my meat hooks, but those little miniaturized 1911's. I think SIG, Springfield, Kimber, etc make them. If they make the full size ones, they probably make the little sister versions. I think those are mostly 9mm's too. Quite snappy for a paper weight. But they usually have the typical wing safety as 1911's do.
 

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So not wanting to turn negative but if any of you were not comfortable with the PPK as reliable EDC what would you choose as a superior replacement?
For me, must be on the smaller size and have a manual safety; decocker is a plus.

With that said, I still have hopes for my PPK.

Would be nice if Walther Customer Service would at least acknowledge my messages, even if it's just a quick "hey you're new, you might be limp wristing but be patient and we will check it out..."
You probably have more options than I.... my criteria are small size with zero spring loading behind chambered primers. My J-frames are great, but would like a quick reload semi option too. I may give the NAA 380 Guardian (true DAO) a whirl next.

Recently haven’t found Walther CS very responsive/accessible either.... seems to be several posts about this.... worrisome.
 
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