New acquired Interarms PPK question

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Great Scot, Sep 30, 2022.

  1. Great Scot

    Great Scot Member

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    Hey, I just won a nice blued Interarms PPK in .380 off GB. Any ammo recommendations? What to avoid? Much appreciated!
     
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  2. PRD1

    PRD1 Member

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    Mine (stainless) has worked just fine with just about any of the available commercial self-defense loads and handloads of standard level with both cast and jacketed bullets for about 30 years. Only problem I ever had was early on when the ejector/slide stop broke and was easily replaced.

    PRD1 - mhb - MIke
     
  3. starling

    starling Member

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    Any Quality ball ammo will most likely be fine. Mine ran on everything I put through it. They are snappy pistols but I was shooting a stainless one a lot when I was 13 and never had a problem. Your Jaw will probably drop when you bench it at 25 yards and see the accuracy. They are basically target pistols in terms af accuracy.

    Have fun.

    Oh.. dont overtighten the grip screw as you will crack the grips pretty easily.
     
  4. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    PPKs can be a little picky with your typical hollow points. I would recommend looking into the Extreme Penetrator bullets from Lehigh, now owned by Wilson Combat. It is a FMJ type bullet with a shape like a Philips head screwdriver that mimics the fluting damage caused by hollowpoints but without any expansion or nose cavities. I fired this stuff in an AMT that was also very picky with HPs with no problems.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1019460725
     
  5. airfoil

    airfoil Member

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    I have that pistol...never a problem with ball ammo. Have used a couple, few brands of hollow points, ate them all. Maybe the Interarms version has a better feed ramp than others? Only one way to find out.

    I never had slide bite, but a couple friends did and I guess I felt sorry enough for them that I installed a common Hogue small pistol rubber overgrip that has a beavertail. Stops that problem as well as making the little bugger slightly less 'snappy' to shoot. Not that it's hard to handle, but...

    Also sourced a magazine extension piece of plastic that allowed the use of a PPKS magazine for one extra round.

    I'm guessing you'll enjoy it, kinda heavy for pocket carry, but with a decent holster a decent choice for a carry piece. Has more safety features than your Glock type and it has some history of excellence. Would you argue with James Bond?
     
  6. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Mine was never very reliable with any load I tried, and I tried a bunch. You may find one yours likes. (shrugs)
    Interarms guns were known for having tight tolerances to the point where it was sometimes difficult to remove the slide. I could only get mine apart after a night in the freezer......
    I will say it was a beautifully machined and finished gun- but I never trusted it enough for SD duty, so it had to go down the road.
    Best of luck with yours!
     
  7. airfoil

    airfoil Member

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    I found a pic of mine...we all like pictures, yes?

    I bought her used so it may have been broken in as to the slide and such
    upload_2022-9-30_23-24-9.jpeg
     
  8. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    Neat pistol, feels super in the hand. In .380, they are just flat snappy; the .32 iteration is much more pleasant.
    What you fell as recoil is actually the blowback slide coming to an abrupt stop at the end of its travel. Wearing a bike glove for range duty is a help.
    The older versions, including the American, Interarms (made by Ranger in Alabama), were never really designed for hollow points. So hollowpoints are a maybe kind of thing, and I'd surely stay away from any non-standard ammo.
    Yes, they can shoot really straight.
    Nice catch; interesting gun.
    Moon
     
  9. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Oh, also-

    The folks at Walther forums advise against use of the decocker if possible as broken hammers and safeties are a thing. If you must use it, its best to lower the hammer slowly with the other hand. Same thing goes for the P38/P1 pistols.
     
  10. starling

    starling Member

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    mine disasembled fine but they are deffinitly tight guns. As far as shooting.. I wouldnt say they are really fun to shoot a lot of rounds in one sitting. Its the accuracy that was the real eye opener for me. Mine would easily outshoot a Beretta 92 (even after accurizing) and I am Very accurate with that design. I cant think of any pistol in that size and caliber thats more accurate. TPH can match it in 25acp but thats a different animal being basically a mouse pistol. Double action pull is very heavy but nobody actually shoots PPK in double action.

    I may get another one eventually but it will most likely be a PPks because the grip cracking ticked me off and I was very careful not to overtighten. Would be neat to set one up with fully adjustable sights because they are basically mini target pistols in defensive calibers.

    reliability wise I never had a jam or parts breakage but I wasnt testing every single jhp back then. I kept it loaded with silvertips because they were kind of the go to for 380acp HP back then unless you ran magsafe or glasers which also functioned fine in my ppk. the 32s feel like you are shooting a pocket pistol in 25acp but they are not nearly as common. Honestly the snap isnt really that bad. I never had any pain from shooting it.

    Mecgar sells the fingerest kits on their home page and those give you a full grip. Its a shame Hogue or Pachmayr never made grips for the PPK. Wolff also sells spring kits for them if you want to tune the pistol to your liking. the most gentle 380acp I know of is 90grain FMJ PMC bronze so that may be a good place to start. Its a soft shooting load.

    The rather harsh snap is because its a straight blowback. While that is somewhat shunned now it deffinitly has its advantages over a delayed tilting barrel system.
     
  11. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    I would only add (based on personal experience with the .380s):
    - Use snap-caps - don't dry-fire
    - JHPs with a wider ogive may not feed well (the old green-box Remingtons with similar nose profile to FMJs have always worked well for me)
    - concur with @NIGHTLORD40K above about minimizing use of the decocker
    - you may discover this is the only pistol you've ever fired that actually does create the mythical "slide bite"
    - you probably will crack the grip panels at some point

    Finally, good that you got an Interarms model. The S&W models plain stink. It's still a pistol with some cachet. (in English, cool factor)
     
  12. starling

    starling Member

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    Lots of good advice in this thread from folks I have taken for granted that people should know. Its close to 100 years old in terms of design so its best to treat it as such. They are not fragile pistols. Very robust and durable in fact. Things like dry fireing and useing the decocker to drop the hammer is best not done on any designs from the era or any other era really .....but I kinda baby my firearms.

    PPK going to spoil you though. All these modern plastic 380s are going to feel like junky innacurate toys once you put some time on a PPK. Might as well start keeping an eye out for a deal on a Makarov PM if you dont have one yet.
     
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  13. airfoil

    airfoil Member

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    Yeah, now I want a PPK in .32 again...I heard that is the best shooting caliber and I had been sorta looking for years, but one's I have seen were too much money. Now, they are even more. From what I remember no one has made the pistol in .32 for many decades.

    If a .32 barrel could be sourced, I saved instructions for modification of a .380 to .32...but I never found a barrel at a price I was willing to pay.

    In any case, Walther is making the PPKS again, but I've not heard much about it, other than it's pricey. The Smith version was, let's say, problematic...and IMO, besmirched a fine legacy design.
     
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  14. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Mine has so far fed every kind of FMJ just fine. If I hold it and grip it just right, it won't bite my XXL hands. Accuracy might be a little better with fixed-barrel blowbacks than it is with locking breeches where the barrel moves.
     
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  15. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    The only ammo to avoid, in my opinion, is the ammo your gun doesn't like. And that may vary from gun to gun.

    Every new pistol I get will be fed a variety of ammo to determine this. If I find that it has less and dislikes, I'll move forward with what it likes.

    Trying to feed a gun ammo it doesn't like is a recipe for extreme frustration... and needless frustration at that.

    So shoot a variety and see what happens. Since shooting is fun, it's not as if you lose anything doing it!
     
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  16. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    Mine is one of the current production ones that people seem to call the "Fort Smith" model. I think they're made in Germany and assembled in Fort Smith, Arkansas or something like that. They're right, they are pricey, but boy do they shoot. Whatever ammo I've shoved into the mag has functioned 100%. Mostly FMJ I admit, but I've run a couple of mags of Remington HTP hollow points, and a couple with NovX 80 grain copper hollow points too. Those surprised me as they functioned perfectly.

    I don't find the recoil objectional at all, but it is a PPK/S so it's got a bit more grip to hold onto. The flush fit magazine I consider to be basically useless. I gotta have the ones with the mag extension (spare mags are not cheap either). No slide/hammer bite, but the current production ones have the extended beavertail from the Smith and Wesson days, a really nice addition I'm sure. My 22 PPK/S's have never given me any slide bite either though.

    The other common complaint I hear is the DA trigger. In my experience that's true, at least with the 22 PPK/S I have, however, the 380 I've got has a really NICE D/A trigger. I mean it feels better to me than any J-frame type revolver I've ever owned, and still retains the great S/A pull most Walthers seem to have.

    I'm no great shot, but this was the result of my first time out. Seven yards I think. Ammo was FMJ, I forget what brand...probably Blazer, or Remington UMC. I was just shooting and reloading, and most of them seemed to be hitting about where I expected them too. A little low at first, but I adjusted POA and things looked up after that. First shot each magazine was fired D/A.

    Walther380T.jpg

    I thought I'd carry it a lot, but since then I picked up a Tisas Fatih 13, copy of the Beretta 84BB, that holds almost double the rounds, so the Walther is more of a range toy than anything else now. I did get a nice Bianchi 100 IWB holster for it though. You never know.

    WaltherBianchi.jpg

    There was an interarms 380 at my LGS a few weeks ago. I was sorely tempted, but I've got this one, the Tisas, and a Beretta 84F, so I think I'm good for 380's, Now if it had been a 32...it would have been different. I've come to really like these little guns.
     
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  17. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I had an Interarms-Manhurin made stainless PPK/s several years ago. It was a decent shooter with fmj, but it started doubling on me so I sent it packing (with disclosures about the issue).

    My only beef with the design involves how the edges of the grip were rather sharp and not too comfy for my mitts when it recoiled.

    Good luck, as a Bond nut i I love the looks and panache, but the design just doesn’t love me :(.

    Stay safe.
     
  18. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Same as many here, had one for several years as an off duty, but down the road it went.

    Snappy recoil and two red lines on the web of my hand got tiring. Also never got used to the change in trigger position after the first round was fired and it went from DA to SA. Always felt like the trigger wasn't resetting, something I didn't need to think about under stress.
     
  19. Griffen

    Griffen Member

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    I have had three S&W PPK/S’s and all three started out finicky, but ended up being great. I still have a stainless one. The stock grips had to go. The blowback design is too snappy for that narrow backstrap and thin grips. I found a set of wider Altamont grips with Walther engraved on them and now it handles very well.

    The key to these is to run them a while and tolerate the miscues and then polish the wear areas. Mine is slick as glass now and cycles perfectly every time. That being said it is my opinion that I should not have to give custom shop treatment to a firearm to get it to run reliably. It should come that way from the factory. I bought this last one for a song because the guy did not know how to make them run right and was tired of messing with it. I tried to explain the process to him, but he was done with it. So, I bought it.

    I shot anything I wanted through it. The accuracy is superb no matter what you shoot.

    CF245CC6-CA8B-4DD6-BEFC-111C8AA3A30D.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2022
  20. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    Just capture the hammer with your thumb when applying the decocker. Yeah, it is possible to fracture the decocking drum (it really is pretty honeycombed with slots and cuts), so just ease the hammer down.
    The PP series has many manifestations, made in Germany, France, the US (Interarms/Ranger made in Alabama, S&Walther in Houlton, Maine, and the current guns from Umarex/Ft. Smith) In this last guise, the slides are German, the remainder being made, and assembled, here.
    Later Smith production, and the current guns, have a good rep for running on hollowpoints. Part of the challenge is slide velocity; as a pure blowback, the empty has to be ejected, and the cartridge stack lifted, in a hellfire hurry. The gun was designed as a .32, in which caliber it is pleasant to shoot. Stretching it to .380 makes the window of reliability somewhat smaller.
    For those challenged to field strip, a couple things help. Put a quarter under the trigger guard boss, rather than trying to hold it. Make sure the recoil spring is installed with the tight end around the barrel. And yeah, that spring gets stacked up tight, so some guns are stinkers to take down.
    Umarex/Walther will honor warranty work on any Walther, providing the parts are available. Numrich/Earls Repair can help with older guns.
    Moon
     
  21. obiwan1

    obiwan1 Member

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    I bought mine new in 1967. It has a very strong recoil spring so it would stovepipe on commercial range ammo available back then. A hand load of 4.2gr Unique under a 90-100gr round nose was very reliable. I used a Sierra 90gr JHP over the Unique powder as my carry load for years. Once hot factory ammo became available I used that. CorBons worked flawlessly. If I were to carry it today, it would be with either CorBons, ARX, or the Phillips screwdriver ammo such as BlackHills HoneyBadger. All function well in my gun. I question whether there is enough velocity to expand hollow points so now that the above mentioned ammo is available I defer to that. Worst case is they work like a round nose load.
    It has always been a snappy gun but, since I broke the factory grips and replaced them with Hogues the snappiness is not so bad.
    Beware of the "railroad tracks" on the web of your hand obtained by holding a very high grip.
    My gun is VERY accurate even to extended range (for a pocket pistol).
     
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  22. HisSoldier

    HisSoldier Member

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    A little judicial use of a fine gray wheel (Scotch brite type, wide faced is best) to the sharp edges of the bottom rear 1/3rd of the slide will take slide bite away. If you aren't used to "Dehorning" a pistol you may want to practice on any sharp edged steel flat bar first. This is easy to do without effecting the finish on a stainless steel PPK or PPK/s, a blued one will need refinishing.

    The Walther only needs a gentle touch to the wheel with the direction of the motion being along the wheels parallel to the edges, if you have a ten or twenty power loupe with you you can run the edge very lightly along the rails bottom corners, then hold it up and look through the loupe, then gray wheel again etc.
    The back edge of the slide can be radiused very lightly by the same method, but again, make sure the direction is along the direction of the edge and you won't be able to detect that it's been smoothed out unless you know where to look, or maybe not even if you do know, if it's done right. This is the very rear edge where the slides sloped butt end meets the slides bottom rails. so both rails can be radiused so that they are visible without ruining the lines appearance, about a .015" radius. They come with a slight radius there but but still look great with about twice as much radius, That's done with a rolling motion starting with the bottoms of the rails up, and rolling the end your holding down so you pull away just as the rear slanted surface is about to touch.
    The theme is many light passes with inspections between them rather than any heavy pressure at any time. The sharp edges should still appear sharp, but a very tiny almost invisible radius will be along those formerly sharp edges. I did mine right after the first range visit when I got my two red bite lines on my shooting hand and never regretted taking the bite out of it.

    I should make a video of it because it's very easy to overdo the gray wheels action.
     
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  23. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    I had a PPK/S many years ago, for a brief time. The worst trigger pull of any gun I've ever owned. I traded it as partial payment for an unaltered Model 1894 Krag rifle (one of the Holy Grail guns for collectors). I still congratulate myself on that trade.
     
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  24. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Hahaha... yeah, I had one in the 70s with a trigger-action of like quality ... followed by a PP, same-same. :) ... and I still have the stainless PPK (ayup, more crappy DA trigger-action) that I bought in the late 80s.

    I simply trained myself to, when necessary, cock the hammer as the Walther was clearing the Roy Baker pancake. My reasoning? If I am drawing my Walther "out in the world", I am very possibly about to have to shoot someone a lot ... followed by having to sit down before my knees go wonky as the adrenaline dump quickly wears off. ;)


    Oh yes, a too-high/tight grip and/or puffy hands can result in some messy slide slicing.

    ===

    Great Scot,

    I have never encountered any issues with any flavor of ball ammo in my NIB 1989 PPK and, unfortunately, it has been decades since I conceal carried my PPK so I cannot remark on what current commercial loadings are reliable in the piece. Sorry.

    An all-steel small 9x17 handgun can seem pretty heavy in these days of polymer-framed handguns but ~60 years ago it was just dandy. By the time I got to my car (BRG MGB :)) on the way to work, I could not even feel it in that leather pancake holster riding tight-in at ~4 o'clock.

    Congrats on your Classic handgun acquisition! Enjoy!
     
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  25. obiwan1

    obiwan1 Member

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    BRG MGB! Love it. :) I got a MGB-GT BRG when I got back from overseas in 1970. Loved the wire wheels. Women loved that car!

    It was the perfect compliment to my PPK!
     
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