Old School Concealed Carry– Two Walther PPKs

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The Walther PPK is a timeless Classic. Will new calibers renew interest in the venerable design?

The Walther PPK is a timeless Classic. Will new calibers renew interest in the venerable design?

Check it out at Walther: http://www.waltherarms.com/ppk/

Buy a PPK on GunsAmerica: /ppk

Buy a rimfire PPK on GunsAmerica: /ppk .22

The Walther PPK may be an older design but, like the storied Model 1911, it remains a popular personal defense gun. The reasons are many. It’s an easily concealed, compact gun with inherent accuracy, simplicity of operation (reliability), and excellent ergonomics. The fact that it’s a good looking gun amongst a host of black slabs doesn’t hurt either . . . provided you do your part.

Why do you need two Walthers?

In the world of self defense, shot placement trumps caliber or capacity every time. Stopping the threat quickly means destroying the central nervous system or taking out a major blood vessel. In order to gain the skill to place your shots with precision requires training. You can accomplish a lot with dry fire training, of course, but there’s no substitute for live fire drills.

From left to right: Remington 95gr FMJ, Hornady Critical Defense 90gr FTX, Dynamic Research Technologies 85gr HP, Herters 95gr FMJ. They all fed flawlessly.

From left to right: Remington 95gr FMJ, Hornady Critical Defense 90gr FTX, Dynamic Research Technologies 85gr HP, Herters 95gr FMJ. They all fed flawlessly.

Training can be fun. The downside is that it can also be expensive. Ammo in .380 auto runs from around $.30 a round for Russian Silver Bear full metal jacket (FMJ) ammo, to almost $2 a round for G2 Research RIP hollow points (HP). Fiocchi, Remington and Winchester hollow points, the most popular self-defense rounds, cost $.70-.80 apiece. To put a couple hundred rounds downrange in a typical outing will cost roughly $60 to $160, depending on whether you shoot the cheap stuff for practice or shoot what you’ll have loaded when you’re carrying. One outing obviously isn’t going to give you the skill you’ll need to perform at your best in an armed confrontation. That takes repetitive training to make drawing and shooting instinctive. So multiply the ammo costs by a factor of five to ten, including follow-up training, since shooting is a use-it-or-lose-it skill.

Fortunately, Walther makes a full size .22 model of the PPK/S. The diminutive .22 long rifle ammunition runs about $.15 – .20 a round for a savings of $30 – 130 an outing. Personally, I’d rather use my money to buy another gun than to buy more expensive ammo, and it won’t take long to hit the break-even point if you shoot enough to be able to confidently place your shots. Besides, the .22 is a lot of fun to shoot.

Even field stripped the .22 and .380 are nearly identical.

Even field stripped the .22 and .380 are nearly identical.

There are obviously much smaller guns than the PPK/S in .380 and even 9mm. However, I prefer the Walther because the slightly larger size and weight makes it much more comfortable to shoot. I happen to also like steel guns and double action/single action triggers. The added length of the grip on the PPK/S is also welcome, to say nothing of the additional round it carries over the earlier PPK.

Sometimes I think the industry has gone too far in trying to make guns smaller and smaller. I know that they’re just responding to customer demand, but smaller is not always better. Picture a tiny .380 auto that you could hide in your nose. Perfect for concealability, not so much for shootability. (All right, maybe that’s not a very reasonable example. My point is that there’s a point where smaller and lighter makes a gun difficult to shoot well.) Your biggest concerns for a defense gun should be that it is utterly dependable and that it helps you place rounds where you want them to go. For me the Walther PPK/S is the perfect size and weight. It is thin, small enough to disappear on even the smallest person, a joy to shoot, and has the ultimate qualities of dependability and accuracy.

While the PPK/S is fine for pocket carry, even with light summer clothing it’s easily concealed either inside the waistband (IWB) or outside the waistband (OWB). I’m fairly thin and find IWB carry uncomfortable with most guns. However, with a Remora sticky holster (http://www.remoraholsterstore.com/Default.asp), I can comfortably put the Walther into my waistband wherever I like, and it’s just as easy as sticking it into your pocket.

SPECS: Walther PPK/S

Caliber                                  .380 auto                                                                    .22 long rifle

Finish                                   Stainless Steel                                                        Nickel Plated

Mag Capacity                       7 rounds                                                                      7 rounds

Weight (no mag)                21.4 ounces                                                              21.2 ounces

Weight (full mag)               25.5 ounces                                                              24.5 ounces

Barrel length                       3.3”                                                                                3.3”

Overall length                     6.37”                                                                             6.1”

Width                                    0.98”                                                                             0.98”

Height (no magazine)       4.2”                                                                                4.2”

Trigger weight: DA            13 lbs.                                                                           17 lbs. 8 oz.

SA                                          5 lb. 6 oz.                                                                     5 lb. 2 oz.

MSRP                                    679.99                                                                          469.99

Street Price (approx.)        550.00                                                                          390.00

 

The slide locks back after the last round is fired on both guns. They don’t have a manual slide lock so you won’t lock the slide at the wrong moment.

The slide locks back after the last round is fired on both guns. They don’t have a manual slide lock so you won’t lock the slide at the wrong moment.

The Walther PPK/S .22 is nickel plated, has a smooth action, crisp trigger, and external hammer. I actually like the look of the nickel plating. It has an appealing color and the gun is nicely polished which gives it a quality look. The .380 auto is stainless steel with a non reflective finish. The .22 comes with two pinky rest magazines which hold ten rounds each. They’re steel with a composite bottom plate. The .380 also comes with two magazines.

Like its bigger brother, the .22 PPK/S has a safety/decocker mounted on the left rear of the slide. Down is safe and the forward position is ready to fire. Since it’s double action/single action, the first pull of the trigger requires more force. S&W lists it as 17.5 pounds and it’s all of that. Once the first shot has been fired, however, the hammer is back and you’re in single action mode for the remainder of your shots. The trigger has little creep and a clean break at just over 5 pounds. Of course you can manually cock the hammer and skip the double action stroke but if you’re using it (or the .380 auto) as a daily carry gun, it’s safer and easier to carry with the hammer down and the safety off. The greater weight of the double action pull makes it unlikely that you’ll have a negligent discharge, just like with a revolver; especially if you carry in a holster that covers the trigger. With the hammer down, it rests on a hammer block so there’s no risk of an accidental discharge from it being hit or dropped.

The fixed barrels both have polished feed ramps for trouble-free feeding.

The fixed barrels both have polished feed ramps for trouble-free feeding.

Because the PPK is a non-locking, simple blowback design, meaning that the expanding gasses from the cartridge simply force the brass and slide to the rear, it has a fixed barrel which makes for better accuracy. The downside is that it requires a fairly stiff recoil spring which can make the slide difficult to manipulate for those with weak hand strength.

Shooting from the widely used defensive distance of just over 21 feet, it was easy to place rounds within about a 2” inch group shooting offhand. The PPK is a close-in self defense gun; you shouldn’t have to shoot any farther than that in a personal defense situation. Some reviewers have been able to get 3” groups from a bench rest at 25 yards so it has the accuracy for longer shots. It’s just that with any gun this diminutive, you have to be really good to shoot effectively at longer ranges.

There were two things that I should comment on with regard to the dependability of the .22 PPK/S. First, it did not cycle reliably with regular pressure ammunition. Like most full size .22 partner guns, the gun needs high speed ammo. I shot both German and American ammunition and the gun performed flawlessly with both. The only thing I didn’t like was that when you insert a fully loaded magazine and chamber the first round, the second round in the stack rides the slide forward slightly. This makes it difficult to remove the magazine if it’s full or nearly full. You have to pull it until the top round pops free of the magazine. Not a big deal, just a minor annoyance. I guess when you don’t have any big problems with a gun, the little things stick out more.

Here’s the Guardian silencer for the .22. Installation is as simple as removing the thread protector with the supplied wrench and screwing on the silencer.

Here’s the Guardian silencer for the .22. Installation is as simple as removing the thread protector with the supplied wrench and screwing on the silencer.

Firing with the Huntertown Arms Guardian 22 SS silencer attached was even better. There was no noticeable change in the point of impact shooting offhand. What little recoil there is was further reduced, and the longer site radius made point shooting even more accurate. I can’t shoot cans, clay targets or exploding targets at my range, but plan to take it out of the city and do just that. The pistol isn’t silent, of course, but the sound level is reduced enough to shoot comfortably without ear protection. (Note: Our lawyers asked me to tell you that you should always wear ear protection when shooting regardless of whether or not you’re using a sound suppressor, and that you should always engage any safeties on the gun when carrying.)

It’s not “silent” of course. But it’s quiet enough to save your hearing. It’s also a lot of fun to shoot without all the noise.

It’s not “silent” of course. But it’s quiet enough to save your hearing. It’s also a lot of fun to shoot without all the noise.

The Guardian is an excellent silencer at a modest price – $289 MSRP (not counting the $200 Federal tax). Made by Huntertown Arms (http://huntertownarms.com/g22ss.php) the Guardian SS 22 is all steel with stainless steel baffles and comes apart easily for cleaning. You just have to buy an adapter to fit the gun on which you’ll be installing it. The adapter for the Walther PPK .22 was $35 from the Silencer Shop (http://www.silencershop.com/). By-the-way, it fits my Ruger 10/22 with the adapter removed so if you buy one for your 10/22, no adapter is needed.

Firing the .380 auto was identical to firing the .22 with the exception of a little lighter double action trigger weight (13 lbs.), and the added recoil from the bigger, more powerful round. The weight of the gun keeps recoil moderate, however. Some writers describe the .380 as a “snappy” round. That’s not true of the Walther. All guns experience the same recoil from identical rounds of course. The perceived recoil varies however, due principally to moving parts, weight of the firearm, and distance from the grip to the barrel. The Walther is ergonomically well designed with the barrel at the top of the grip which also makes sighting more instinctive. The weight of the gun serves to slow the recoil impulse so that, combined with the slide moving rearward, the recoil is spread over a longer duration than with plastic featherweight guns. It’s definitely NOT “snappy.” I’ve fired hundreds of rounds in one outing and could have happily continued if I’d had more ammo.

The .380 auto version comes with two 7-round magazines.

The .380 auto version comes with two 7-round magazines.

By now you’re probably getting the idea that I’m a PPK fan. I admit it, for better or worse. I don’t like a carry gun that’s too heavy or too light, too big or too small. This is definitely my Goldilocks gun. Sure, I‘d prefer more firepower and a bigger cartridge, and I also sometimes carry bigger guns depending on clothing, activities, etc., but with modern ammo the .380 auto will definitely do the job if you do your part. The Walther PPK/S design makes getting good with the gun fun and easy. It’s also easy to conceal and comfortable to carry, which is probably why I carry it so much.

The .380m auto version comes with 2 Magazines – one with the pinky rest and a composite bottom plate, and one with a flat steel bottom plate. The latter is slightly easier to conceal and I prefer an all steel magazine. With all the talk you hear about capacity and the advantages of a semi-automatic pistol over a revolver, there’s one point that’s never mentioned — the magazine is the weak link in a pistol. For example, I’ve fired thousands of rounds through a Glock 19 with not a single malfunction of the gun. However, I have had the bottom plate of the magazine fail on the first shot, dumping the rest of the rounds onto the ground and rendering it a single shot. So before you start bragging about how many rounds your gun holds, believe me when I say it can turn into a single-shot in an instant. That doesn’t happen with revolvers. And the reason you should always carry a second magazine if you carry a pistol isn’t for more firepower (unless you’re a member of Law Enforcement or the military where you might get into a running gun battle against large numbers of bad guys.) From what I’ve read, the average civilian gunfight lasts 3 seconds and 3 rounds are fired. That sounds reasonable. As a civilian, you need to carry a spare magazine in case your primary magazine fails! I’ve had three composite magazine base plates fail over the course of my shooting career; all from high quality original equipment manufacturers. Two of them had only been fired a few times. I know that’s not many failures, but please believe me as someone who’s been there – – if you’re ever in a gun fight, you want to know with absolute certainty that your firearm will function perfectly and that you’re prepared for any and all potential malfunctions. Shit happens. You may not get a do-over like you do at the range.

Train often. Stay safe. Have fun.

The .380 has a red dot on the front sight and a red stripe on the rear that greatly    improves your sight picture.

The .380 has a red dot on the front sight and a red stripe on the rear that greatly improves your sight picture.

The .22 sight is a simple post up front with a U-shaped rear sight. The rear sight is flat enough to use as a one handed cocking assist on both guns.

The .22 sight is a simple post up front with a U-shaped rear sight. The rear sight is flat enough to use as a one handed cocking assist on both guns.

Typical results for the .380 offhand from 23’. My old eyes have trouble seeing the sights. You could probably do better.

Typical results for the .380 offhand from 23’. My old eyes have trouble seeing the sights. You could probably do better.

This is a typical offhand group for the .22 from 23’. Why 23? You’ll have to ask the people who set up the commercial range.

This is a typical offhand group for the .22 from 23’. Why 23? You’ll have to ask the people who set up the commercial range.

The Guardian 22 is easy to take down for cleaning out the powder residue and lead deposits.

The Guardian 22 is easy to take down for cleaning out the powder residue and lead deposits.

The loaded chamber indicator is easy to see and feel.

The loaded chamber indicator is easy to see and feel.

There are no ambidextrous controls for lefties like me. However, I carry with the safety off and have no trouble reaching the magazine eject button with my trigger finger.

There are no ambidextrous controls for lefties like me. However, I carry with the safety off and have no trouble reaching the magazine eject button with my trigger finger.

Takedown really couldn’t be much simpler. Pull down the trigger guard, move the slide back far enough to lift it off the frame, then just slide it off the fixed barrel.

Takedown really couldn’t be much simpler. Pull down the trigger guard, move the slide back far enough to lift it off the frame, then just slide it off the fixed barrel.

I prefer the flat finish on the grips on the .22 rather than the shiny grips on the .380. Unfortunately, they’re not interchangeable.

I prefer the flat finish on the grips on the .22 rather than the shiny grips on the .380. Unfortunately, they’re not interchangeable.

For carry purposes I favor the all steel magazine. It has a lower profile and I’ve experienced enough failures with composite floor plates to not want to bet my life on them.

For carry purposes I favor the all steel magazine. It has a lower profile and I’ve experienced enough failures with composite floor plates to not want to bet my life on them.

{ 39 comments… add one }
  • JT June 3, 2016, 3:56 pm

    I looked long and hard at getting a PPK. Glad I never popped for one. Bought a Sig P232 instead which is about the same size and very accurate for a concealable 380. I also own a Sig P238. You could say I’m a Sig fan but I have nothing but praise for both models and although the P232 is no longer produced you can find nice examples online. From looking at “prices paid” it’s safe to assume that the P232 remains popular. Carry ammo for both is Hornady Critical Defense.
    I’ll add that I often practice with both at 25 yards offhand. If you can keep the rounds on target at 25 yards then you’ll have no trouble at 23 feet.

  • stephen December 4, 2015, 5:35 pm

    don’t understand ?

  • stephen December 4, 2015, 5:33 pm

    need help in finding magazine for walther pp mol 7.65, any help will be greatly appreciated ..thanks Steve

  • Brian August 2, 2015, 7:31 pm

    I was looking at the Walther PPK but its performance comments from owners has me now looking at the Bersa Thunder 380 which is half the cost of a PPK.
    God Bless the USA!

  • Loupgarous July 21, 2015, 8:49 pm

    Reminds me of the part of the novel Goldfinger by Ian Fleming, when “M” asks James Bond what his carry piece is, and he says about the PPK (chambered in .32 ACP because ammo in that caliber can be found everywhere in Europe) that it has “the delivery of a brick through a plate-glass window.” I was in high school, had just read through that month’s Guns and Ammo and laughed my ass off.

    James Bond may have gotten more tail than the whole CIA Directorate of Plans and Operations together, but he knew squat about the terminal ballistics of his carry weapon’s ammunition.

    • Jirka April 3, 2017, 10:43 am

      Well, he had 6.35mm beretta before he switched to PPk so yes it has quite a punch. And you know what? Here in europe it still is normal pistol round. I dont know what s this american obssesion with enourmous rounds like luger or .45 Did someone people become bigger than they were in 20th century when it was enough to drop a guy and now it isnt anymore???

  • Charles Bailey July 13, 2015, 1:21 am

    I carried a Walther PP 380 for some time. Liked the gun, though it was great, until I shoved it into a shoulder holster and it fired. OK, I know it cant happen, but it did. I was never able to make it happen again, but I was never comfortable with the gun after that. It is a small thing, but I much preferred the PP over the PPK; I suppose Walther quit the PP because James Bond made the PPK famous.

    • Brian August 2, 2015, 7:52 pm

      Do you like the Bersa Thunder 380? It looks a lot like the PPK but has a better record of firing correctly.
      God Bless the USA!

      • Duke February 26, 2017, 12:29 pm

        The Bersa is South-American.
        The ppk/s-1 was built in US by smith & wesson under license from Walther.

    • Brian August 2, 2015, 7:54 pm

      Do you like the Bersa Thunder 380? It looks a lot like the PPK but has a better record of firing correctly. Anyways something is wrong with this moderator.
      God Bless the USA!

  • DL Clementson July 5, 2015, 5:07 pm

    I’ve always had an attachment to the Walther PPK, it feels right in your hands and at respectable distances it is a very accurate defensive weapon. When the ammo shortage and pricing made it harder and harder to afford weekly trips to the range I discoverd a little gem at one of the big box stores, the Umarex PPK/S in 4.5mm (.177 BB). This is an all metal Walther replica with blowback action that can be used indoors or outdoors to help you stay proficient and practice your draw and target acquisition at a cost of less than $5 per 100 rounds. I know that nothing beats live-fire practice but this little gem is great for cheap fun at about $70 and it fits in all of my PPK holsters, too.

  • RICHARD MERRITT July 2, 2015, 5:18 pm

    I HAVE THE WALTER PPK AND COLT POCKET LITE BOTH VERY GOOD POCKET PISTOLS AND 2 YEARS AGO I PURCHASED A SIG 380 AND STARTED TO USE IT DAILY. ITS SMALL, LIGHT, ACCURATE AND CAN OUT SHOOT BOTH OF THE ABOVE. ITS A BIT PRICEY BUT A MUCH BETTER POCKET CARRY BACKUP.

  • Max July 2, 2015, 7:31 am

    I have a 60’s era German (or French) made PPK/S in blue steel. I put laser grips on it which works well. I have no problem cycling and firing the pistol but I agree that racking the slide is a very difficult proposition for some. I had it at the range last weekend. I shot about a 3-4″ group off hand at 25 yards. My adult daughter could not rack the slide. I had also brought my SCCY2 in 9mm, try that trigger! Smooth but really really long pull. If I can find a good smith in the area I’ll talk to them about an action job and new springs. Love the gun. The Walther is my wife’s gun but it would be a strong candidate for backup for me.

    • Duke February 26, 2017, 12:32 pm

      There is nothing you can do about the sccy’s trigger. Leave it be. It is cheap for a reason.

  • Doug June 30, 2015, 7:09 pm

    The absolute worse gun – not just pistol, gun, I have ever owned. The double action first shot is ridiculous. Mine was just under 17 pounds – after market springs brought it down to about 12 – 13 pounds. The slide bit my hand practically every shot and the power to weight ratio is about zero. Accuracy on the single action trigger was acceptable, but nothing to write home about. I owned a Colt Mustang Pocketlite at the same time. It was easier to shoot, more accurate, locked breech action, much easier to carry and conceal at 12 ounces less, same cartridge, same stopping power at 3/4 the price. Got rid of the Walters as soon as I could. I now own 6 Pocketlites, including a Government Model and never looked back. If James Bond had not used one in his movies Walters would not have sold a dozen.

  • Larry June 30, 2015, 11:56 am

    Really good article. Thanks.

    I too like steel guns in SA/DA hammered versions. The Walther PPK is a beautiful classic small pocket sized handgun. That said, I have been carrying a Beretta Storm sub compact in 40 caliber right in my front pants pocket for the last four years. While nearly the same size as the PPK, it holds 10 plus 1 of 40 caliber, giving me much more peace of mind should the occasion arise where I need to put it to use.

    In “half cock” mode, which is actually just slightly off the firing pin, & the safety off, it is very similar to a revolver in it’s first round use in that all I need to do is pull the long DA trigger. Subsequent rounds are then at single action status.

  • Rod June 30, 2015, 6:48 am

    I have carried the WALTER 380 for years with the plastic base plate not knowing about it’s possible failure. Really enjoyed your article on my classic gun, thanks a million!

  • Martin B June 29, 2015, 6:02 pm

    I read a comparison test somewhere that did the chronograph test of all the .380s then available, and the Walther PPK had the fastest barrel by at least 100fps. Accuracy was also great. However the testers didn’t like the blow back mechanism and felt the Browning tilt barrel alternatives were softer shooting, even though they were lighter. But velocity is by far the most crucial factor when using .380, it needs all the speed it can get.

  • petru sova June 29, 2015, 4:00 pm

    I highly recommend any Walther PP or PPK or PPK/S that was made in either Germany or France. All post war PP series guns were made in France even if they say made in Germany.

    Do not get screwed by buying any PP series guns made in the U.S. by any of the manufactures who made them down through the years. Smith made guns were the absolute worst with sloppy and crude workmanship and late models had brittle MIM cast parts. Smith guns were noted for jamming and misfiring in the double action mode. Smith guns workmanship was so crude the frame not only had rough machine marks but even horrendous sharp edges on the frame. You can’t cant get any cruder than that.

    My real regret is that back a number of decades ago their was a slew of super cheap excellent condition PP pistols imported in .32acp which many people like myself did not buy because we believed the moronic babblings of the gun writers of the time that claimed the .32 acp was about worthless. Nothing could have been further from the truth as I found out much to my chagrin years later that the German army actually rejected the .380 acp because it would not penetrate a helmet while the .32acp zipped right into it. If I had known that back then I would have bought two of the PP .32 acps. And with todays expanding bullets the .32 would have been a good pocket pistol to carry for defense.

  • Jon Smith June 29, 2015, 1:24 pm

    Just curious. How does installing a suppressor on the .22 PPK give you increased sight radius?

  • SteveA June 29, 2015, 1:08 pm

    You wrote “the longer site radius made point shooting even more accurate”
    Adding a silencer does not change your sight radius UNLESS the silencer has a sight on it.

    • Duke February 26, 2017, 12:36 pm

      If you are using the end of the suppressor as the reference for point shooting then the radius is longer. You can’t use the front sight of the gun when a suppressor is installed. The sights are not tall enough. Smh.

  • DesertMadness June 29, 2015, 12:35 pm

    Bond. James Bond.

  • David Hardy June 29, 2015, 11:54 am

    Have a couple of PPKs, but still prefer my Colt 1908/.380 for a ‘walking out’ pocket pistol.

  • BRASS June 29, 2015, 11:10 am

    I couldn’t disagree more. Although I might have accepted this logic a few years ago, the cost of .22 LR ammo makes it seem like buying half a medium car for the price of a whole small car. I can load 9MM for about what it costs me to buy .22 LR, if I can find it. And then, I’m still stuck with a .22 LR pistol not really good at target shooting nor powerful enough for carry. The cost of an entire second gun to save a few pennies a round when the goal is practicing self defense seems like a half assed solution and a small return on big dollars for most.
    If the goal is defensive carry practice and not just plinking or blasting, one doesn’t need 500 rds. Combine dry fire with practicing with what you will carry using (re)loads tailored to perform as your factory defensive loads in reasonable skills drills and save money while developing better habits and saving. Long range sessions firing high quantities rarely are productive for defensive practice. That type of shooting is useful for action competitors but for most of us ends up with us getting sloppy in our practice and just blasting away, thus wasting money and creating bad habits.
    I’d rather buy a 9MM handgun or even a .380 ACP and a few cases of ammo so I can practice with what I carry. I love my .22s but they no longer make sense while ammo is so expensive and so scarce, especially for defensive and good quality ammo. If you carry say for example Hornady Critical Defense ammo, you can buy the Hornady projectiles and load them to approximate your carry ammo for less than .20 cents a round. With a ready supply of brass and efficient powder, I’m spending between .13 and .16 cents a round to load at home. One doesn’t need expensive loading equipment to load small to moderate quantities of high quality ammo for defensive purposes. And even if one doesn’t want to roll your own or can’t for some reason, a lot of factory practice ammo can be bought for the price of a second Walther PPK unless you just want a second gun for a spare carry, aka New York reload.

  • Craig Ramsey June 29, 2015, 11:09 am

    23 feet is 7 meters. There is an Olympic event (air rifle) at 7 meters and specific targets printed for this distance. But you’re not using those targets. Perhaps the electronic target retrievers were manufactured in Europe and have a built in stop at 7 meters. Only reasons I can think of for your range having a 23 ft distance.

  • Phil June 29, 2015, 9:37 am

    I recently bought 6 PPK/Ss, one for each of my family. They have all worked very well, right out of the boxes. (One exception, my very first round jammed, but has never again. I thoroughly cleaned it before firing, so no idea why.)
    I also must have gotten the last of them. Are they not being made anymore?

    • Phil June 29, 2015, 9:44 am

      I should have added that I am talking about .380s.

    • Wayne A Lincourt June 29, 2015, 12:10 pm

      When S&W first took over the Walther PPK, there were some quality control problems that have since been remedied. Unfortunately, a lot of the problematic guns were sold. That kind of perception problem doesn’t go away for a long, long time because people tend to remember. All I can say is that the two guns I reviewed were utterly dependable. In the case of the .22 it required high speed ammo. Otherwise I haven’t had a problem with functionality. And they were not hand picked test and evaluation guns. I bought them at a local dealer.

    • Wayne A Lincourt June 29, 2015, 12:16 pm

      The PPK/S is still in production in .380 ACP and .22 LR. Go to http://www.gunsamerica.com/ppk

  • Alan June 29, 2015, 9:14 am

    I’ve owned several PPK’s, and all I can say is that although I like them, on average the standard PPK out of the box is abysmal in operation. I’ve sold many that were bad at best.
    Heavy trigger pulls, heavy slide action, and one that required two handed operation to release the safety.
    I would NEVER recommend a PPK to someone (especially a woman) not willing to spend money on an action job and spring kit. Most smaller women couldn’t work the action.
    This is particularly true of the SS version.
    One had a factory DA pull of OVER 16lbs! That’s just stupid. Of several tested from our display cases, many were at 12 lbs.
    I have one now that is beautiful in looks and operation, but only after a spring kit and lots of action parts honing.

    • Wayne A Lincourt June 29, 2015, 12:09 pm

      When S&W first took over the Walther PPK, there were some quality control problems that have since been remedied. Unfortunately, a lot of the problematic guns were sold. That kind of perception problem doesn’t go away for a long, long time because people tend to remember. All I can say is that the two guns I reviewed were utterly dependable. In the case of the .22 it required high speed ammo. Otherwise I haven’t had a problem with functionality. And they were not hand picked test and evaluation guns. I bought them at a local dealer.

    • Ron May 27, 2016, 5:42 am

      I am planning to by a pair of Umarex/Walther’s PPK/S in .22 caliber in the near future for my wife and me.
      I was concerned about the 17 lb DA since my wife is very petite and might get discouraged if she has a hard time pulling the DA trigger on her pistol. Then I read your article ( Old School Concealed Carry – Two Walther PPKs ) and the note by ” Alan / June 29, 2015, 9:14 AM”

      Alan JUNE 29, 2015, 9:14 AM

      I’ve owned several PPK’s, and all I can say is that although I like them, on average the standard PPK out of the box is abysmal in operation. I’ve sold many that were bad at best.
      Heavy trigger pulls, heavy slide action, and one that required two handed operation to release the safety. I would NEVER recommend a PPK to someone (especially a woman) not willing to spend money on an action job and spring kit. Most smaller women couldn’t work the action.
      This is particularly true of the SS version. One had a factory DA pull of OVER 16lbs! That’s just stupid. Of several tested from our display cases, many were at 12 lbs. I have one now that is beautiful in looks and operation, but only after a spring kit and lots of action parts honing.

      I was relieved to see where it was stated that you could reduce the DA but only after a spring kit and lots of action parts honing. Sadly no one mention how to go about doing it, or any recommendations for which was the best after market spring kits and which parts of the Walther’s PPK/S needed honing and how to do it to improve this problem. I would appreciate any help or advise anyone could give me on resolving the DA issue with the New Walther’s PPK/S 22.

  • MagnumOpUS June 29, 2015, 6:12 am

    I now have an excuse to buy TWO guns! 🙂

    • D Hicks June 29, 2015, 10:54 am

      Right ! One for each hand.Good article.

  • Will Drider June 28, 2015, 7:15 pm

    Good review of a Classic. I don’t buy the: prepare for a three shot gunfight because it sounds reasonable line of thought and to carry a extra mag in case of a plastic base plate failure. Do drop free mags drop with no guts and no floor plate to pull on? Sure an abused mag can fail but why would you put a beat up mag in your daily carry kit? Searched Web: never been a mag floorplate recall and only found one report of “new” mag floor plate failure. Carry extra mags for what ever reason you want but don’t brand all non metal floor plates magazines as sub standard. You can self impose a floor plate failure by mixing magazine parts. I group cleaned mags from a G22, G23 and G27 (all double stack). Aside from the springs, the followers, floorplates and the inserts were different. All Glock TM but different gen. Inserts didn’t fit inside some, floor plates were loose or too tight. Could wrong parts lead to a base failure? Yes and that would be my fault not the magazines.

    • Wayne A Lincourt June 29, 2015, 12:01 pm

      The base plate failures were, as I suggested, unusual. However, they were not abused or made up of parts from other mags. I agree, that would be stupid. The Glock 19 mag that failed was a stock Glock magazine that came with the gun. Granted, it had a lot of rounds through it but was well maintained. The other two failures were with brand new Walther magazines that came with the new gun. The day they failed the temperature was below freezing. Maybe it doesn’t get cold where you live. Just because there wasn’t a recall doesn’t mean that the magazines weren’t replaced free of charge with all metal mags or that the manufacturer didn’t stop shipping those mags with new guns. The point I was trying to make is that the magazines are the weak point in pistols and you never know what will happen. If you shoot enough in a big enough variety of situations, you’ll find that you run into problems you’d never have thought you’d see. That’s what I meant when I said “shit happens.” Because magazines rarely fail, most people assume they’ll work perfectly forever. They don’t. Springs weaken and lead to feeding malfunctions. Magazines that aren’t properly cared for will get dirty with similar results, etc. And plastic bottom plates sometimes fail. It may be rare but it does happen. Just to be clear, I never suggested that “all non-metal floorplates” were “substandard,” just that all-metal mags were my preference. You can’t always get all metal mags for a particular gun, so use the ones that come with it. Their quality will be as good as the quality of the gun. But knowing a mag failure is possible, I’m always going to carry a spare mag when I carry a pistol. That’s just my preference. You do what you want. Stay safe.

      • aydene militello July 1, 2015, 10:05 am

        I agree that most people don’t consider the mag as a problem maker. Weakened springs are more than likely the culprit. Inspection and cleaning will do good, but in reality, you can’t find any problems other than the ‘feel’ of spring tension.
        Seems to me checking the spring power when the gun is purchased and keeping a record, while regularly checking to see if it decreases is the only illogical solution.
        Yup, always keep a few extra mags in your purse right next to the lipstick.

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