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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read somewhere that the Walther PPK was used the Metropolitian Police Bodyguards for Princess Margaret (?). On one ocassion the PPK was needed and "jammed". As a result the PPK was withdrawn from service.

Does anyone out there know if this story is based in reality or is it some kind of fantasy?

Certainly any pistol can "jam", but my expierence with Walthers of any kind had shown them to be as reliable as any.

Thanks!
 

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It is indeed true, althought it wasn't Princess Margeret. March 20 1974 a loon tried to kidnap Princess Anne and her husband. James Beaton, their bodyguard returned fire but his PPK jammed. Henceforth it was not used by the Diplomatic Protection Team.

There is much controversy surrounding the facts, and Beaton himself claimed that the PPK jammed because the slide was blocked from cycling full during the mayhem. No other UK forces dropped the PPK, in fact it is still in use with the SAS and SBS for deep cover operations, and has seen much in the way of active service without any major problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the information ASP9MM!!!

Do you know of any reports or articles that were published regarding this incident?

I was beginning to think this was a fictional story. Would like to read as much as I could on the incident.

Again Thanks!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Interesting, no mention of the jammed PPK though. Prehaps there is a later story on the enevitable inquiry.

I will keep looking and update this post for those interested.
 

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Why did his PPK jam?

It is indeed true. Why did Officer James Beaton's gun (Walther PPK) jam when he tried to return fire on the assailant? Was there an inquiry? Did he properly maintain his gun? Was there anything wrong with his ammo? All guns in the world can jam and it is to the individual to reduce the possibility by properly maintaining the gun and choosing the proper ammo. Walther PPK was indeed withdrawn from service in the concerning force and replaced by Smith and Wesson guns after the incident. I consider the withdrawal as an absolutely stupid move. Why was the PPK chosen in the first place? Were there any trials before commissioning the gun? If yes, then why was it withdrawn after a single incident of jamming? Absolutely stupid. What type of jam was that. Did he try the tap rack shoot drill after the jam?
 

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Was it a .380? If they'd listened to Q, he'd have had a 7.65. ;)

Without starting a hugely speculative fight about it, a blowback .380 is running on the outer fringe of power for that design. Who knows what might have caused the trouble; clothing or other slide interference (as noted), a bad grip or unfavorable hold, troublesome ammo, lack of maintenance, whatever.
At best we are guessing here, based on almost zero factual information.

Remind yourself, for whatever the wonderful historical valor of the British armed forces, Old Blighty is becoming a place where knowing a muzzle from a buttplate is held in very little esteem. There is a reason that they have to buy their handguns someplace else. It's a wonder that they even permit the Royals' guards to be armed with anything that isn't from the Tower's armory.
Moon
 

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The firearm was a 7.65mm Walther PP, not a PPK.

The weapon was carried constantly loaded with a round in the chamber, the safety and hammer dropped. Beaton fired the first round double-action. He had kept the magazine fully loaded for more than 3years and the feed spring had become lazy, and failed to lift the next round for chambering.

This is indeed the reason the Met Police Royalty protection and Special Branch protection changed over to use the S&W Model 36.

Beacons coat, and the crushed-Spring magazine are exhibits at the Met Police "Black Museum"
 
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