When all else failed, I turn to the PPK/S, which might Fail. Please read once.


November 23, 2008, 12:46 PM
Okay, I know there is a thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=407944) regarding the Walther PPK already. However I did not want to derail his thread, so I made a new one.

First the background.
I have 2 1911's, a Kimber CDP Pro .45 and Colt .38 super, and a Walther PPK/S that was my brothers years ago. I made the mistake of spending $1200 on the Kimber very recently, while it is a fantastic weapon, I should have gotten the compact because no matter what I do or how I carry, it prints real bad, same with the Colt. The only way I can get around it is to wear shirts that make me look like a gang banger. FYI I am 5'6" 140lbs. I live in Houston so while I can conceal carry the bigger weapons under my coat/hoody now, when it gets hot that will change.

So I am thinking about trying the Walther. Now for my question.

It has a jamming reputation it seems, I don't remember how bad, but my dad said it jams. I am looking for any and all tips/advice/tricks/things I should have a gun smith look at or that I can do myself, to help this weapon fire 50-100 rounds without a FTF. Is there any specific ammo I should try? Is there any specific gun smith in the Houston area that I should try? Any information, advice, opinions, stories, flames, etc. you can give me would be much appreciated.

I just spent a boat load of money and don't have any other options, such as buying yet another pistol. (especially since I just ordered some nice orange wicked grips :))

*Regardless of what happens, the Kimber .45 will find a seat in a special holster under my seat and I won't sell either of my 1911s.....ever :)*

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November 23, 2008, 12:59 PM
I'm not sure what you are doing or how you are carrying, I carry a full-size 1911 in 100+ degree heat regularly. Milt Sparks IWB, Galco Miami Classic, or a fanny pack. In 13 years, I've never been aware of any printing. Relaxed fit blue jeans, and a good rigid belt.

What you are talking about is switching from a gun you know to be reliable and you shoot well, to a gun with questionable reliability and inferior caliber. I seriously recommend you look at better carry options before ditching the 1911.

November 23, 2008, 01:01 PM
I had a S&W (Walther) PPK/S that ftfeed 2-3 times per 100 rounds... even after a trip to the gunsmith. I tried about 10 different types of ammo (fmj and jhp). I finally got rid of it. My hot weather gun is now a Kel Tec P32 that I got for $250. It has yet to give me any troubles. 100% reliable so far, and only half the price of my PPK/S.
After my experience with the Walther, I could never recommend one to someone as a CCW.

November 23, 2008, 01:02 PM
Well, first, clean it and get some ball ammo and see if it feeds with each magazine you have, for carry, at least two mags are reccommended. If all that functions well, try your choice of personal defence ammo, see if the gun has a preference.
I finally solved my ppk/s feeding problems by trading it for a Bushmaster A3 AK!

November 23, 2008, 01:19 PM
I agree, which is my dilemma. I typically, wear Levi blue jeans (either relax or loose fit), a T-shirt, and a front zip hoody during the winter. During the Summer, the same type of jeans and a T-shirt, typically small or medium.

With conceal carry I can wear medium at the very least. I have an M-TAC and a Rafter S. Sharkskin. I try carrying from 3-6 o' clock, but the butt of the firearm sticks out bad; even worse when I bend over (even slightly). I tried 2 o'clock but that is ridiculous and won't happen. About the only way I can carry is by buying a left hand holster and putting it small of back (I am right handed). I can do this somewhat with the right handed MTAC. I just hope I never have to tie my shoes.

If I were to ever carry the PPK/S it would only be after it fired at a minimum 150 rounds without FTF. Then 50 a week later without a FTF. That and I wouldn't mind getting it working regardless.

Any and all recommendations will be welcome. Keep em coming, thanks!

November 23, 2008, 01:43 PM
My first question would be whether it is a German or American-made PPK/S. German-made guns are far more reliable.

November 23, 2008, 01:52 PM
Made in USA, .380 caliber.

November 23, 2008, 02:06 PM
Had PPK/S many years ago. Fed ball ammo reliably, but hollow points were always hanging up on the feed ramp.

I probably could have lived with using just ball. But that miserable Walther bite drove me to trade it away.

Better luck with yours,


November 23, 2008, 03:02 PM
My solution to the problem was, replace it with a Smith-Wesson 3953. About the same size, but a much better pistol - for less $$

November 23, 2008, 05:17 PM

November 23, 2008, 05:44 PM
I had the USA made one and between the snappy recoil, the finger bite, and the reluctance to feed JHPs reliably, I fixed the problem by trading it in on a Seecamp LWS380. Sure was a sexy gun, though.

the foot
November 23, 2008, 06:39 PM
My German-made Walther has never failed to cycle and shoot reliably, with both round nose and hollow point bullets.

November 23, 2008, 07:04 PM
My S+W PPK was quite reliable, just unpleasant to shoot and underpowered. I went back to carrying a full size gun and made an investment in good quality leather, which really made the difference. I'd say your 1911 is the way to go, many excellent summer-oriented holsters can be had for less than $100, such as the milt sparks summer special, or maybe something from simply rugged. Perhaps the PPK/S will work for you, in which case that's great, but in my experience a service size gun does exactly what the name implies, and I learned that the hard way.

November 23, 2008, 08:12 PM
I've had the German and US made PPKs and never had any ammo issues. They all feed any ammo I've fed them but when carried I prefer FMJ. The caliber is pretty borderline and I think you're better off with the better penetration fmj gives you.

November 23, 2008, 08:41 PM
Could try upgrading to a P232 if you get tired of messing with the PPK/S. Its similar in appearance and size but mine has been perfectly reliable. It also handles the recoil very well and never bites me.

Gila Jorge
November 23, 2008, 10:22 PM
Live in El Paso TX and one run in with a certain Rottweiler convinced me to lose my PPKS in favor of my dependable 45 acp 1911 in various flavors...Kimber Tacitcal Pro 2 is fine. as is my Wilson Sentinel, or my Kobra Carry...all conceal well with an overshirt with a dramatic print...the gun gets lost in the confusion of the print...I am 5-10
and about 185 and in 105 heat wear as little as possible...Blessings...but get rid of the 380...only James Bond likes it....and it kicks more than my Les Baer Premier 45 acp....

November 23, 2008, 10:56 PM
I have no recoil issues with the S&W PPK. I have custom grips and like the heft and feel. It's a change from the polymers, that's for sure. But I have had a few FTF issues even with FMJ's so it's not my carry piece. It's heavy and not well balanced when carrying IMHO.

November 24, 2008, 03:37 AM
As long as I use factory mags.


Mine is an early Smith made gun.
I'm not at all sure if it wasn't an Interarms gun that Smith put together from the left over parts when the old Ranger plant closed it's doors following the demise of the parent company.

Anyway, as long as I refrain from using aftermarket magazines, it works fine!!

Give yours a good cleaning and lubing, load it up and shoot it!!

The PPK/S does like a bit more lube than other pistols, however, so don't spare the grease!!

The Wiry Irishman
November 24, 2008, 10:29 AM
I've found that mine is incredibly sensitive to limpwristing. If my grip is anything less than rock solid, the next round will get hung up on the feed ramp. As long as I have a near white knuckle grip on the gun it runs like clockwork. Once I figured out the grip problem, I ran a few boxes of hydrashoks through it without a hiccup. It hasn't failed for me since (200ish rounds) though it usually does for people shooting it for the first time.

November 24, 2008, 03:30 PM
Thanks for the feedback, your opinions are well received as always. I'll go back and re-examine options for my 1911s. I'll try to get the .380 working though, if anything it will be a good novelty/back up piece for the glove compartment or trunk.

November 24, 2008, 03:41 PM
Getcha' a Colt New Agent.

FWIW, this old Walther never fails but it's a .32...http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p263/twagger/guns/waltherPP_l_.jpg

November 24, 2008, 09:36 PM
I have over the years owned 1 Walther PPKS and 3 Walther PP(s).

The PPKS was in .380 (German), 1 of the PP(s) was a .380 (Manurhin Walther)and the other 2 were .32(s) (Maunrhin Walther).

The one I am currently carrying is a .32. Not arguing which cartridge is better - that has been done enough on THR. But, in my Walthers, the .32(s) have been 100% reliable. The .32 is milder in recoil and quicker for followup shots.

My .380(s) were a little more particular about ammo during break-in, but malfunctions afterward was rare. Not as good as the .32 versions which have digested everything I have run through them.

Although I am comfortable with the .32, I would buy another .380 PP if I could find it at a decent price. I am partial to either the Interarms German or Manurhin Walther imports over the S&W. One caution - if you have large hands, you can get the infamous "Walther Bite" from the slide if your not careful.

November 24, 2008, 09:52 PM
I always sought out the German or Manhurhin ones. I never had a problem with reliability.


November 24, 2008, 09:55 PM
I've never had a malfunction with any kind of ammo in my Interarms U.S. made stainless PPK/s, so I can't help with where to look for fixes.

If it helps to know the ammo types used - I've run several hundred rounds of both Federal Hydrashoks and CorBon 90 grain hollowpoints through it along with at least a thousand FMJ ball of various brands.

November 24, 2008, 10:09 PM
Also try a Bersa .380, same size and mine has been extremely reliable, for 1/2 the price of the Walther.

November 24, 2008, 10:12 PM
I second Browningguy. Get a nice Bersa if the PPK dosen't pan out. I carry it all the time.

November 26, 2008, 11:11 AM
I've owned two S&W PPK/Ss. The first was a used gun that had several FTEs every time I took it to the range. The second was a dreamboat--reliable and accurate. I never had a problem running any type of .380 through it, however, I bought a cheap, non-factory mag and that would hang it up.

I'm really sorry I sold that gun...

November 26, 2008, 02:36 PM
The kind of bullet you use might make a difference. In my .380s I like to use Rem Golden Sabers because they are the heaviest .380 out there (102gr) and the have a very good rounded nose HP which makes it easy to slide up the feed ramp. I also like CorBon PowRBalls because they feed like FMJ but work like HP. However, they are very light in .380 (70gr I believe).

November 26, 2008, 04:42 PM
My S&W PPK/S has been reliable with premium HP ammo, Winchester USA round-nose ammo and wimpy Berry's plated round-nose handloads EXCEPT that when I lubed it with regular gun oil I had occasional failure-to-return-to-battery issues after the gun built up some crud (50 to 100 rounds). I never had any issues with a clean, lubed gun. I recently switched to Tetra grease, and it looks like the gun will run longer without issues.

My reliability-enhancing tip: Clean the gun every time you shoot it and use a high-quality lubricant.

November 27, 2008, 03:02 AM
My made in USA (1998) by InterArms Walther PPK/s in .32acp has yet to fail to go bang after several thousand rounds out the business end. It feeds hollow Points as well as hardball.

Now, as to a blanket statement by many on this board suggesting .32acp or .380acp are inferior calibers, I would suggest that it really depends on the ability of the individual squeezing the trigger, not the caliber. :scrutiny:

If there is a known issue with your PPK/s by all means have a gunsmith take a look at it. Do not bet your bacon on a defective weapon of any caliber! :eek:


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