Walther PPK problems


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Echo9
June 18, 2010, 01:53 AM
My new-to-guns-dad just bought a blued PPK in .380. The first time he took it out, he had a bunch of double feeds and a couple misfires.

I took it out today myself.

I now know that he had cleaned it before shooting it. With copper solvent. So I gave it a good cleaning with some #9 and oiled the hell out of it. While at the range, I figured out that he had been guiding the slide home when chambering a round. So the double feeds are no longer happening now. The gun was 100% today in regards to feeding, through 150 rounds (200, if you count the 50 he fired).

The only thing I can't figure out is the misfires. I think I got five or six misfires out of 150 rounds, and in each case, I eventually got the primer to light by pulling the trigger two or three times. The ammo is Sellier & Bellot, which I've never had problems with before.

So why the misfires? Does the firing pin spring need to be broken in more? Or could there be some cosmoline caught in the firing pin channel, making it a little sluggish? If that might be the case, how hard is it to take the firing pin and spring out? Or maybe the firing pin safety is sticking somehow?

My other question is....

That thing recoils like a SOB. I shot the gun around 7pm. It's now almost 1:40am, and the web of my hand is still red. In fact, blood was drawn. But I think that was from the sharp corner on the tang, not slide bite.

Can I lighten the recoil in any appreciable way by going from the stock 20# recoil spring to a 24#? Wolf makes one. I haven't seen any heavier mainsprings. If I did try the 24# spring, would the gun get beat up from slamming into battery so hard?

Also, anyone know of any aftermarket grips to soften up the tang? Hogue doesn't appear to make anything, and my dad doesn't seem into the Pachmayr idea.

BTW, that thing is pretty damned accurate for such a little guy. I guess because of the fixed barrel.

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gbw
June 18, 2010, 10:43 AM
If this a new S&W version, call them and send it back for them to fix. If it's an older Interarms or German Walther, best find somebody who knows what they are doing if you aren't experienced with these guns. Probably one of the firing parts or the channel has a burr or something similar.

Try Wolff springs if you like, but they will not change the recoil. There are exactly 2 ways to reduce recoil - shoot slower and/or lighter bullets, or add weight to the gun. Nothing else will change it, though you may be able to attenuate the effects with better grips.

Echo9
June 18, 2010, 11:10 AM
Sorry, should have been more specific. It's a S&W, of course.

How could a heavier recoil spring not reduce recoil? Even if the difference isn't noticable.

gbw
June 18, 2010, 11:23 AM
If the difference is not noticable what did it achieve?

If you put in such a strong spring that the slide would not budge at all (think revolver) would there then be no recoil?

A stronger spring will possibly change the slide velocity. But not the recoil. ALL of that is gonna wind up in your hand.

The amount of recoil the shooter must absorb is fixed, and is a function of bullet energy at the muzzle and the weight of the pistol. It can be attenuated, or 'spread it out' over a longer time and so have a less 'sharp' feel via various mechanical tricks (this really isn't too practical in a pistol), and you can make it feel less with better ergonomics, but you cannot change the amount of it.

Ben86
June 18, 2010, 12:18 PM
A few DA/SA and DAO guns with a hammer that I have "staged" the trigger while shooting resulted in light strikes. But once I pulled the trigger straight through with momentum it fired fine. If you staged the trigger that might be it.

How do the bersa thunders compare to the S&W PPK?

Echo9
June 18, 2010, 12:20 PM
A few DA/SA and DAO guns with a hammer that I have "staged" the trigger while shooting resulted in light strikes. But once I pulled the trigger straight through with momentum it fired fine. If you staged the trigger that might be it.

How do the bersa thunders compare to the S&W PPK?
I'm wondering that myself, specifically about the Bersa 380 CC, the one with the thinner grip. I've heard it shoots pretty soft, but I'm not sure why it would, considering its lighter weight than the PPK.

Ben86
June 18, 2010, 12:23 PM
There are so many things effecting felt recoil. It could have a heavier spring.

My uncle has one and loves it. After comparing the features of each the bersa actually looks more attractive. I really like that the safety is swept downward to disengage with the bersa rather than the counter-intuitive upward sweep of the original ppk. :)

Echo9
June 18, 2010, 12:28 PM
There are so many things effecting felt recoil. It could have a heavier spring.

My uncle has one and loves it. After comparing the features of each the bersa actually looks more attractive. I really like that the safety is swept downward to disengage with the bersa rather than the counter-intuitive upward sweep of the original ppk. :)
The safety is swept upward on the Bersa to disengage the safety. In terms of operation, the Bersa and the Walther are identical in terms of operation, with the exception of the Bersa's slide stop.

Ben86
June 18, 2010, 12:33 PM
The safety is swept upward on the Bersa to disengage the safety

Oops, my mistake, thanks for the correction. I do appreciate the a slide stop.

dfariswheel
June 18, 2010, 08:20 PM
First step is to try a different brand of ammo.
Just because you haven't had problems with S&B ammo in another gun is no indication that the PPK may not "like" it.

As for recoil, the .380 is a very "snappy" round and tends to feel like it's recoiling a lot. This is something you have to just get used to with the .380.

SouthpawShootr
June 18, 2010, 10:40 PM
I had an Interarms PPK/s that didn't become reliable until sometime after the 500 round mark. Many people who have these guns recommend around that many to break the gun in. Give it a good cleaning and shoot it for a few hundred rounds. If it improves, keep going until it smooths out. If not, send it back to S&W and have them work it over. BTW, make sure that you clean those magazines. Some gun companies put this foul, stickly preservative on mags and many new owners neglect to clean it off (I almost traded what turned out to be a superlative SigPro b/c of this).

mljdeckard
June 18, 2010, 10:49 PM
This is why I tell people that little guns are NOT guns for beginners. They are NOT easier or more fun to shoot.

I would clean the heck out of the firing pin channel with Hoppe's or something similar, but understand, Hoppe's is a solvent and you want to make sure you clean it off thoroughly before you lube the gun.

Byron
June 19, 2010, 08:59 AM
Echo9, have your Dad send it back to Smith.I would call them.Had to send mine back as part of the recall and light strikes.They sent me a label to take to FEDEX who boxed it at no charge.Turn around under 3 weeks.The modification was done on the recall and no misfires. I have shot a considerable amount of ammo through it.Smith backs their guns. Byron

rscalzo
June 19, 2010, 09:16 AM
You haven't stated if the handgun was purchased new or used? Maintenance could have been neglected if used.

My PPK/S is a German made from the early 70's and if flawless. However the slide tends to catch the web of the hand. Never found recoil objectionable though. Just takes time. While I never had problems with the small amount of S&B I've used, I'd try a different brand. I always used Winchester when the handgun was used as a backup and they worked perfectly. Unfortunately with a 380, it's more what's available than what is your preference.

searcher451
June 21, 2010, 07:33 PM
Lots of ways to go here: It all depends on who made your pistol, and when, and who might take responsibility for it today -- beyond yourself, of course. If it's a current model, send it back to S&W ... ASAP. The Houlten crew also will work on an Interarms-made PPK these days; just call them and tell them what you have. (How weird is that?) The best gunsmiths in the country for working on the German/Walther and Manurhin models is probably M&M Gunsmiths in Virginia:

http://mmgunsmithing.com/

204 S. Union Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703-739-2150
Fax: 703-739-9890
E-mail: mail@mmgunsmithing.com

Echo9
June 21, 2010, 07:43 PM
The gun was bought new a few weeks ago.

My dad recently but some Winchester through it (from Wall mart) and said he had no misfires.

Then again, that was only out of 25 rounds.

HOWARD J
June 21, 2010, 08:54 PM
You can purchase leather shooting gloves if you look around---they cut down the bleeding.
I am older than the hills--I have no recoil problem with my PPK.
NOW--my P3-AT has a numming affect on my hand .
My Sig P-238 no problem.

PRM
June 22, 2010, 07:54 AM
I would agree with the post on different ammo. Sometimes you can get a bad lot. I have got hard primers with Remington ammo in the past.

Recoil: On the Walther PP ~ PPK/s ~ PPK pistols the .380 is a handful. I have owned two .380s and two 32 ACPs over the years. I like the 32s hands down over the 380 in this pistol.

My most carried handgun at present is a Manurhin Walther PP in .32. Its easy to conceal and carry. Is a tack driver for accuracy with mild recoil which makes for fast follow up shots. Has 8+1 capacity (9 shots) which is a pretty impressive package in a small gun. Last, this gun has had several thousand rounds shot through it and has been flawless. It has digested everything from Federal Hyda-Shoks (hollow points), Fiocci FMJ, Patri Partizan FMJ, to Remington FMJ without even a hiccup.

A lot of folks don't like the 32. I will admit that if I was walking into a gunfight and given a choice, I would choose my 12 gauge or 30-30. However, most of the places I go and activities I am involved in, concealment is the main consideration and the 32 has always met my needs. If you like the Walther and recoil continues to be a source of frustration ~ the PP series pistols in 32 are all over Gun Broker.

Mad Magyar
June 22, 2010, 08:53 AM
To remedy one portion of your problems, the slide & tang corners need to be smoothed out. If you look closely at my PPK, you'll see what a little fine filing & emory cloth will do: no more blood...:)
Sorry to read about your other issues, but hopefully S&W will correct them.
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q148/veritas2369/PPKauto.jpg

searcher451
June 22, 2010, 03:03 PM
That's a good way to go, MM -- nice suggestions.

Echo: You also might want to try adding larger grips, like the wood coco bolo grips that CDNN Sports is offering for the PPK/S for about $27. The felt recoil isn't so bad when you hold the gun with something more substantial than the original plastic versions, in my view -- and these not only fit the S&W model perfectly, but they look great besides. Can't beat the price, either.

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