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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)


Walther PPS Observations:

I believe that by following these steps, 100 percent of the common issues that are associated with this handgun can be alleviated. That is, of course, if you are having any problems at all in the first place, most owners are not.

I compiled this list based on the ownership of two Walther PPS's, twenty five plus years as a "amateur gunsmith", many hours spent shooting and “smithing” on Walther PPS’s and being active in Walther forums.

This is a great firearm that needs a little extra attention during the break-in period and light lubrication of the disconnector.
Note: On a Glock this is called a "connector".

1) Very tight, close tolerance handgun. Probably the reason it is so accurate. It needs to be properly cleaned and lubed. (Don't all firearms!)

2) This handgun was designed for concealed carry. Though the accuracy is uncanny for a short barreled, medium to large caliber handgun, it is not a target gun and can become uncomfortable to shoot after many rounds. (Especially in .40 S&W)

3) Magazine springs are under outrageously high tension. A real thumb buster at first.

a) The magazine springs do break in after continued use. I always store mine fully loaded. (no, this does not weaken the spring, years of compressing and expanding wear out springs)

4) High magazine spring tension pushes up on the cartridges so hard, when new, that it slows the slide down and can cause feeding issues.

a) During break in, lightly grease or oil (lube) the underside of the slide area that moves across and picks up the cartridges. (Loading rail, do not confuse with the "feeding ramp" which is part of the barrel assy.)
b) Do not fully load the magazines for the first 50-100 rounds.
c) Many of us have even polished the entire loading rail with good results.

5) Disconnector induces drag on the slide during forward movement. This, and the partial cocking of the firing pin is the hesitation you feel in the slide before it goes into battery.
a) Apply a small dab of gun grease directly on the disconnector tab.

Disconnector location: Slide removed, located in the handgun frame, against the aft right slide rail.
Nickel or S.S. color. Marked with an "S" for standard or "H" for heavy trigger.
Disconnector function: a safety which prevents the pistol from firing in an "out of battery" condition when dropped. The disconnector resets the trigger bar so that the striker will be captured in half-cock at the end of the firing cycle.


b) Lube disconnector tang and area of slide that engages/disengages the disconnector. (Disconnector ramp)

c) The Walther manual doesn't tell you this but lube the disconnector in the area where the trigger bar slides across it. One very small drop of oil helps to smooth out the trigger and helps prevent the trigger from not resetting. This was a problem I had with my PPS. Lubing the disconnector permanently stopped this malfunction. This is a very important step! Don't skip it!

6) If necessary, polish the feeding ramp and top of chamber. Smoothes cartridge feeding function.

7) Find the backstrap size that you like and than don't remove it. It is not necessary to remove it for cleaning, just make sure the magazine is removed and the chamber is empty, point in a safe direction, than pull the trigger and remove the slide. Wow, just like a Glock! If you can't figure this out or do not like the Glock method, use the QuickSafe backstrap to decock the weapon.

8) These handguns normally hit low on the target due to the European style of sight picture, Point of Aim verses American style of 6 o'clock position. Don't know the difference? Look here:
http://www.bobtuley.com/sight_picture.htm

9) Due to the short, narrow slide (lighter weight) this firearm is susceptible to "limp-wristing". Use a firm grip during trigger pull and proper follow through.
a) If you are experiencing feeding or extraction problems...stove piping, not going "into battery" fully, limp-wristing may well be the problem.

10) It is normal for the PPS recoil spring rod assembly to fit with very little compression. When the slide is on the frame, the recoil rod actually seats against an area inside the frame, not on the barrel lug. This puts more pressure on the spring after assembly.

You can tell this is happening by the way the slide moves forward about 1/4" when you release the slide from the frame for disassembly.

Make sure you are seating the small diameter spring end onto the second rounded step on the barrel and not on the first flat step. The second step usually puts just enough pressure on the recoil spring assembly to hold it in place during assembly.
Note: Most later model PPS’s, 2009 and higher, fit with more compression than the first few year models.

11) The Walther PPS uses a dual spring, dual stage recoil rod assembly. I have found that it benefits greatly to spray this unit lightly with a "dry" lubricant. There are many available on the market, use one that is recommended for use on plastics.

Gun manufacturers claim that plastic, dual stage guide rods are self-lubricating but a coating of a dry lube really smoothes them up and will not collect dirt.

12) Having problems installing the slide after removal:

You are pulling the slide back too far when you disassemble the weapon. A Glock slide can be pulled back quite a ways to release pressure on the take-down lever, a PPS can not. It only takes less than one quarter of an inch of rear slide movement and the disconnector engages. If this happens the slide can be removed (though it is a little hard on the cruciform) but the disconnector must be reset in order for the slide to be reinstalled. It can be reset by moving the trigger slightly forward or by pressing down directly on the cruciform.

13) Still having problems installing the slide assembly?

What you have is your striker hook hitting the ejector.

With the weapon unloaded, magazine removed and the slide removed, take a light and look into the magazine well as you try to install the slide assembly. You will see that the ejector (from your upside down point of view) has to slide under the hook on the firing pin (striker). If you torque or twist the slide over toward the left side of the frame (toward the slide stop lever) the ejector clears the hook and the slide assembly slips right on.

14) Dry fire practice with the Walther PPS.

This is real simple....use snap caps or risk breaking your striker guide by prolonged dry firing of the Walther PPS.

Proof: Unload and remove the slide assembly. Remove the recoil spring assembly and barrel. With the slide positioned to view the striker, push the striker forward to simulate firing while pushing down on the striker safety (striker safety is the silver button, part 7.1).

What stops the forward travel of the striker? Answer: The back part of the plastic striker guide (part 11.3)! Every time you dry fire this weapon, the striker, not being cushioned by a primer strike, is stopped by the plastic striker guide.

The guide has been reported as broken by a number of PPS owners on several forums over the years. Several have E-mailed me personally on the issue.

Occasional dry firing for Glock-style disassembly is not a problem but continued dry firing CAN and has damaged the PPS.


Hope this helps a few people out that are having issues.


 

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An excellent presentation, which I would commend to everyone who owns one of these pistols (I don't, for reasons which follow).

Having said that, I have two comments in passing.

The PPS would have been a helluva lot better pistol if the design department had resisted the sales department's demand for an advertising gimmick to try to denigrate the Glock, and had refused to incorporate that dumb, stupid, imbecilic, moronic, idiotic, cretinic, retarded, minus-minded and --ah, you get the drift--idea of making that flimsy, two-bit plastic backstrap a disabling "safety" so that users can innocuously forget to check the chamber before pulling the trigger to dismount the slide. It violates every principle of sound engineering.

Second point: guns that are made RIGHT don't need a "break in" period to function correctly. Military and the most demanding police customers expect (and insist) that guns work from the get-go. Why shouldn't we? Has the consuming public been turned into warranty-dependent wimps?
Why is it that the most commonly-heard compliment of Walther now is how wonderful S&W's service department is?

This is not merely an unlettered opinion gleaned from reading the internet; in years past I had some professional exposure to the acceptance procedures of production for the U.S. and British armies, and also of the very rigorous standards that J.P. Sauer followed in manufacture of the P6 (P225) pistols for the German police. In the latter case, once a month a pistol was pulled at random off the assembly line and fired 5,000 rounds. There was no allowance for "break-in"; if the malfunction rate exceeded 1/2 of one per cent, the assembly line was stopped until the reason why was found and corrected. THAT, gentlemen, was QUALITY CONTROL.

Happy new year.

M
 

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I agree with most of your post. However, show me one gun manufacturer who is performing that level of quality control on a $600 gun today, and I'll go buy one if I don't already own one like it.

These days you're lucky to get a $3500 Wilson 1911 that runs right with no break-in period. I just picked up one of the much vaunted Glocks and it bobbled more rounds when new than my PPS did. Runs fine now, after 3-4 mags.

This situation does suck, but it is simply the state of the manufacturing today. Yes, the companies are (all) banking on low expectations, an "acceptable" 5-10% defect rate, and hoping that you'll live with problems rather than bother to return things for repair.

Have you bought any one product in the last two years that was of the same quality as it was 10 years ago? Hell, they're even making Kleenex and underwear cheaper than they used to, and charging more for it.

Frankly, I wish Walther would divest itself of its relationship with S&W, and go back to making their own well designed German guns, instead of trying to come up with the next Sigma/Glock/P99 hybrid, and accepting S&W's lame-ass QA/QC practices. Lets have something with some style, like a (polymer?) next generation PPK in 9mm, with some lines.

Great base topic, by the way!

-- Sam
 

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I agree with most of your post. However, show me one gun manufacturer who is performing that level of quality control on a $600 gun today, and I'll go buy one if I don't already own one like it.

These days you're lucky to get a $3500 Wilson 1911 that runs right with no break-in period. I just picked up one of the much vaunted Glocks and it bobbled more rounds when new than my PPS did. Runs fine now, after 3-4 mags.

This situation does suck, but it is simply the state of the manufacturing today. Yes, the companies are (all) banking on low expectations, an "acceptable" 5-10% defect rate, and hoping that you'll live with problems rather than bother to return things for repair.

Have you bought any one product in the last two years that was of the same quality as it was 10 years ago? Hell, they're even making Kleenex and underwear cheaper than they used to, and charging more for it.

Frankly, I wish Walther would divest itself of its relationship with S&W, and go back to making their own well designed German guns, instead of trying to come up with the next Sigma/Glock/P99 hybrid, and accepting S&W's lame-ass QA/QC practices. Lets have something with some style, like a (polymer?) next generation PPK in 9mm, with some lines.

Great base topic, by the way!

-- Sam
Sam: OK, I see your wish for what Walther ought to do, but what is your best suggestion for the rest of us?

M
 

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Sam: OK, I see your wish for what Walther ought to do, but what is your best suggestion for the rest of us?

M
In what context?

If you want to be assured that whatever you buy is going to work 100%, buy a good used gun from someone you trust.

If you want a new gun today you pretty much pays your money and takes your chances. Be prepared to do some break in and/or fluff & buff work to get it running right. Don't be surprised if you have to send it in for warranty work and/or replacement, and and don't consider it a personal affront if you do.

Again, it's not just Walther/S&W, and it's not just guns.

-- Sam
 

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If you want to be assured that whatever you buy is going to work 100%, buy a good used gun from someone you trust.

If you want a new gun today you pretty much pays your money and takes your chances. Be prepared to do some break in and/or fluff & buff work to get it running right. Don't be surprised if you have to send it in for warranty work and/or replacement, and and don't consider it a personal affront if you do.

-- Sam
Thank you. Good advice on both counts.

M
 

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I like the Walther Quick-Safe backstrap. Three members of my department carry Walther PPS 9mm's off-duty. All three are intelligent, gun savvy, safe people. They have never negligently discharged a firearm.

But neither have the many, many reported (how many have gone unreported?) negligent discharges of Glocks due to the fact that the trigger must be pulled to disassemble the gun.

I know, I know, I know that the chamber must be inspected and the slide racked several times and safety must always come first and that way there would never be an ND.

But human nature is human nature. We're not all perfect. We've all missed our highway exit, left an item on the roof of our car and then driven off, gone shopping and forgotten to buy an item we intended to purchase.

These are harmless brain stalls. A brain stall gets serious when you put a round through something you didn't intend to shoot.

There are two types of gun owners in the world. Those who have had negligent discharges and those who will.

I like the PPS Quick-Safe backstrap. It works fine for the three people I know who own the Walther PPS....

-Steve
 

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HMMMMM ...... BUY A .380 BERETTA, .380 SIG, .380 KAHR, .380 COLT AND SHOT THE HELL OUT OF IT WITH NO RECONSTRUCTION AT ALL.
ACS
Uh, the PPS comes in 9mm /.40 S&W and my .40 functions function perfectly - always has. Was your post intended for the PPK/s forum? And 380 Kahr a reliable performer, seriously?
 

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There are two types of gun owners in the world. Those who have had negligent discharges and those who will.
Steve: The first time I heard this line, it came from a LEO who worked as the primary range officer and firearms instructor for a large metropolitan police department in the Midwest. He was a crusty old guy who knew his stuff, knew his guns, and always said what was on his mind. His observation was based on more than 35 years of experience at the time, and he had seen more than his share of accidents and mishaps and goof-offs -- and a couple of near-tragedies to boot.

I've heard the same line repeated many times since.

I personally find it to be good advice for anyone who carries a firearm, shoots a firearm, or keeps a firearm -- loaded or otherwise -- in close proximity. If nothing else, it's a great reminder of the potential dangers that simply come with gun ownership.

Thanks for sharing it.
 

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Steve: The first time I heard this line, it came from a LEO who worked as the primary range officer and firearms instructor for a large metropolitan police department in the Midwest. He was a crusty old guy who knew his stuff, knew his guns, and always said what was on his mind. His observation was based on more than 35 years of experience at the time, and he had seen more than his share of accidents and mishaps and goof-offs -- and a couple of near-tragedies to boot.

I've heard the same line repeated many times since.

I personally find it to be good advice for anyone who carries a firearm, shoots a firearm, or keeps a firearm -- loaded or otherwise -- in close proximity. If nothing else, it's a great reminder of the potential dangers that simply come with gun ownership.

Thanks for sharing it.

Once again, it's absolute baloney. If you believe it, it becomes a self- fullfilling prophecy.

The same applies to the old saw that there are two kinds of motorcycle riders, those that have laid their bikes down, and those who haven't yet done so.

That type of negative mentality is a breeding ground for accidents to happen. Always be careful and always be safe. There's a reason it is called a "negligent" discharge.
 

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Ogie: Let's agree to disagree on this (and also, perhaps, to help get the thread back on track).

What's baloney to some is sound advice to others, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's my belief that anything at all that helps to keep a gun owner safe is good thing, indeed, regardless of where the motivation comes from or how it's presented, or by whom.

As a reformed motorcycle owner who was forced to lay down a once-nice Triumph on more than one occasion -- and through no fault of my own -- I also think that the advice to potential Harley-riders is well worth considering as well. But that's just me.

Peace.
 

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Ogie: Let's agree to disagree on this (and also, perhaps, to help get the thread back on track).

What's baloney to some is sound advice to others, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's my belief that anything at all that helps to keep a gun owner safe is good thing, indeed, regardless of where the motivation comes from or how it's presented, or by whom.

As a reformed motorcycle owner who was forced to lay down a once-nice Triumph on more than one occasion -- and through no fault of my own -- I also think that the advice to potential Harley-riders is well worth considering as well. But that's just me.

Peace.
I agree in principle with you as far as staying safe! However, I don't like any negativity in my safety regimen. I have safely handled guns and riden motorcycles for over 45 years now. I don't intend for that to change by heeding a mistaken fatalistic mantra. I don't look at that phrase as advice, I see it as negative thought. We'll agree to disagree on this one. Stay safe.
 

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At the risk of belaboring the issue ;)

(sorry in advance)

The motorcycle metaphor is different than the firearm. Avoiding a ND is completely within the control of the shooter. Checking a chamber doesn't require that the shooter/person next to you do anything in particular. Your gun, you're checking, end of story.

Such is not the case with bikes - unforseen road hazards, deer that jump across the highway, and crazy drivers can all cause an otherwise safe rider to hit the ground... factors outside the control of the rider can influence your vertical state. ;)

(Granted, my father would have said "every auto/bike accident can be avoided"... that's true, but only if you didn't EVER get on the road in the first place.)

thorn
 

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work horse

OK so I had put up an earlier thread asking about the shoot ability of the .40 vs the 9mil. as it pertained to the PPS only. However it strikes me odd that people are having such problems with this gun. Is it really that unreliable ?!? I read a post where someone said that's what you get with a 600 dollar gun!?! WHAT !! I'm sorry but to me that's real money and I expect it to function like a real working firearm. The sole purpose of such a thing as a gun is to fire bullets if its not doing that its not doing its intended job period. I have put off buying what I thought was the perfect solution to my quest for the perfect carry pistol because I simply can not afford a 600 dollar paperweight. I would like to hear some good stories of people who have had success with this and people who have not. specifically if they were able to get past the issue. I have a PPK that did not function correctly for two reasons. One was my fault as I was shooting weak weight ammunition that was not re cocking the blow back design of that pistol and the second was due to a small bur on the feed ramp. After fixing these two minor problems it functions now 100 % and I would trust my life to it. If it is something like that for the PPS then its really not a big deal. You cant expect to drive a car whether its a Kia or a Bentley and never change the oil so I can understand giving a lil TLC to a firearm designed to protect your life if one day you call upon it to do so. Whats so wrong with a break? in period ill be sure to follow the instructions for mine I mean common again with the car analogy but seriously if you have a turbo and consistently drive it hot and then shut it off without letting it spool down it will go bad plain and simple. Why would a firearm be any different. What I do expect is for a well lubed and clean and cared for PPS to function time after time after time.
 

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Take a look around this forum. There are plenty of topics about this. Check the "FTF Problems (poll)" topic.

Manufactured goods have failure rates. There's no way around it. Current market forces are causing companies to accept higher failure rates than in the past.

In my opinion, the PPS may be a little more prone to some out-of-the-box issues than some other new guns, but not as much as some here would have you believe.

I may be the one you're quoting as saying, "What do you expect from a $600 gun." If so, I believe you're taking it a bit out of context. I agree that $600 is a lot of money, and we should all expect that anything we buy for that kind of scratch would work perfectly. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world. There are plenty of people who spend $800, $1000, or even more on a gun, only to find it doesn't work perfectly.

As I pointed out in another thread, I have a $600 Glock that didn't function 100% out of the box. It cleared up. I bought a $450 S&W revolver that didn't work correctly and had to go back for service. It happens.

This is simply a fact of life these days. If you're uncomfortable buying a PPS that has a slight chance of not being 100% perfect, don't. But good luck finding something is guaranteed to be 100% out of the box. You're not going to find a gun thinner than the PPS in 9mm or .40 S&W. For me, it was worth the chance, and I got a good one. If I hadn't, I would have returned it for service, or gotten S&W/Walther to make good on it. However, I would not come back to this forum a year or more later and continue to rag on the gun, as some folks have done. They seem to have taken their bad PPS as a personal insult, and are on a crusade to make sure no one ever enjoys theirs.

-- Sam
 
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