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New PPK/S

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by Partsproduction, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. Partsproduction

    Partsproduction Tillamook Oregon Active Member

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    Well, I got my NIB Interarms PPK/S today. Still has the cosmoline on it! I doubt anyone would guess why I bought it, no, I wasn't convinced by all the internet talk about how superior the Interarms pistol is compared to the S&W one.

    I bought it to do a side by side comparison of the two, from a machinist's viewpoint. Right off the bat I saw a negative, the grips are two piece but they join at the back, I prefer my S&W because it's easier to swap out grips, or make your own.

    But the main item I want to look at is the safety, because of the S&W recall. Some folks are saying that the newer pistol has a weaker safety, I doubt it. Why? Because I found a gunsmith book written in the early seventies that talks at length about how weak PPK safeties are if you allow the hammer to actually drop against it, that they broke quite often.

    I suspect (But don't know yet) that the S&W safety is identical. Of course I'll be looking at whether or not the Interarms safety is cast or machined from barstoke, but suspect it's cast. At that point, if they are both cast, and the section measurements are the same the only difference would be metallurgy or quality inspection.

    My belief, until I prove otherwise, is that the times we live in are much more brutal from a liability standpoint than when the Interarms pistol was made. I believe S&W was advised by their lawyers to do something to "close the window" on that.

    I'll let you all know soon.
    Parts
     
  2. bersaguy

    bersaguy Oregon Member

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    Parts,
    I will be interested to hear the results of your analysis when it is completed.

    Thanks for posting this topic.
     
  3. Partsproduction

    Partsproduction Tillamook Oregon Active Member

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    Thanks Bersaguy,

    I've never really understood the recall, and found this video tonight that shows a PPK/S being taken off safety, then the hammer is pulled back and released and the gun fires. It may be a redesign flaw, I'll check both guns for that as well. It looks though that the guy didn't pull the hammer far enough back to catch the sear, and most semi's would do that.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cmo6DenNVGo
     
  4. Partsproduction

    Partsproduction Tillamook Oregon Active Member

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    Well,,,,,,,,It's a PPK, not a PPK/S. :eek:

    I'll still look over the safety parts to see if there is any difference and report any other differences in quality.
     
  5. Searcher451

    Searcher451 Oregon Member

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    The topic has been talked about for months and months on the Walther Forums. If you want some insight, you can check this thread:

    http://www.waltherforums.com/showthread.php?t=10989

    Hope it helps.

    The bottom line seems to be that the S&W guns have legitimate problems, S&W won't say exactly what those problems are, the "fix" that S&W is providing is problematic on at least some of the guns that have been returned, other guns that have been shipped in for the recall and then returned have come back damaged, it has taken up to 6 months to get many of the guns "repaired" and returned, etc.

    The German-, French-, and Interarms-made PPKs, by the way, never had documented problems with the safety mechanism or hammer block. If you want to sell your NIB Interarms after your inspection, let me know. I just bought one to replace my S&W and might well be interested in another.
     
  6. GED

    GED North Idaho Active Member

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    I'd like to be next in line after Searcher......
     
  7. Partsproduction

    Partsproduction Tillamook Oregon Active Member

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    Sorry, that is not true, As I mentioned I read a gunsmith guide written in the 70's that talked about how weak the safety is and how they often broke and what could be done to fix them. I don't believe Interarms was making PPK's that far back, so we are talking about at least one documented report.
    Parts
     
  8. Searcher451

    Searcher451 Oregon Member

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    Well, I know of no recall instituted by either Walther or Manurhin, and I personally know of no instances of reported breakage of the safety design on the guns, and I've never read or heard about any such issues. Could it have happened? Sure ... anything is possible. If it did, was it a widespread issue? I wouldn't think so, despite the gunsmith report that you reference here. Can either of us prove our contentions? Probably not, though I'd like to see the report you mention. I'm not saying that you are wrong, PP -- far from it. But I'd be interested in seeing the report, given the current S&W recall and the lively discussion that it has generated among many generations of Walther owners who still shoot their originals without incident or problem, me among them.

    The Interarms guns, by the way, use the exact same safety design as the Walther and Manurhin models; that is to say, it's the original from the Walther plant. S&W changed the internals and has had nothing but issues since.
     
  9. Partsproduction

    Partsproduction Tillamook Oregon Active Member

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    I'm not sure, but I don't think you would have 25 or 30 years ago. The liability monster has been let loose on all of our industry and has raised prices across the board for American goods.

    The book I cited is J.B. Woods "Trouble shooting your Handgun", starting on page 8. In fact the weak safety is the only fault he finds with the design other than the questioning the wisdom of a hammer drop safety. He also has seen problems with the loaded chamber indicator.

    A salient point from the book that one might well take with any PP, PPK or PPK/S;

    "There are two ways to make this sort of breakage unlikely. When the hammer is cocked, and you operate the safety, always ease the hammer down gently with the other hand. Another way is to simply have a gunsmith remove the sear trip from the pistol so that the hammer will not automatically fall when the safety is applied."

    Now, considering that he was definitely speaking of European Walthers this would be a good practice for any owner to follow.

    I'm not sure I understand why the recall was announced, from an engineering standpoint I mean. Was it the weak safety? Or was it something else? (Liability monster?) That's part of what I want to find out. (When I get time)

    I personally prefer the lengthened tang, as even with that it rips my hand up when the slide comes back. Two parallel bloody gashes!
    Parts
     
  10. Searcher451

    Searcher451 Oregon Member

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    Hey, Parts, thanks for that good follow-up. It's interesting, to say the least.

    You have to wonder how much empirical evidence he had to cite that issue -- if, in fact, it's an issue at all (and I'm not indicating here that I doubt his observations, though I do doubt his conclusion). In all the time that I've been a moderator on the Walther Forums, I've never seen a single report on a failed safety on a German- or French-made gun, nor on an Interarms model that I can recall. And the topic has been a hot one for the past year as the S&W recall was announced and then kicked into high gear. Could it happen? Sure ... anything mechanical can break. Is it a weak spot in the design? I can only say that this is the first time I've ever heard that, from any source, and I've been around Walthers for more than 40 years now.

    As to the S&W recall, it's interesting that the company has never announced exactly what the issue is and has, in fact, flat-out refused to supply the necessary parts so that the repairs can be made. The best guess? A fault with the hammer block and the firing pin, but that's all it is: a guess. And based on the few actual reported cases of problems with the guns, the best speculation is that this, for the most part, is a CYA/lawyer-driven recall. But then, what isn't these days?

    Thanks again for filling in a piece of the puzzle for me.
     
  11. Partsproduction

    Partsproduction Tillamook Oregon Active Member

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    Well, I'm totally blown away by what I've learned tonight about the "problem" in the Walther forum. I've looked high and low and had not seen anywhere near so much info.
    Now I'm thinking that I won't bother inspecting and measuring the safety parts, since evidently I was operating on the false idea that the guns were identical internally.

    Thanks Searcher!

    A side issue is that now I'm not likely to sell the Interarms PPK. :D
     
  12. Searcher451

    Searcher451 Oregon Member

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    Parts: I'm glad to see that you joined the Walther Forums; happy to have you on board there. You might have noticed that some folks already have weighed in on your report from the Woods book, which is doggone interesting at a minimum. I'd sure like to find a copy of that book.

    In any event, by all means hang onto your Interarms PPK. When you compare it with the S&W model, it's the difference between gold dust and barkdust.