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PPK Cycling Issues

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by Frog, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. Frog

    Frog Vancouver, Washington Member

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    I have a 20 year old Walter (Interarms) PPK in .380 Auto. The gun has only had about 100rounds fired through it, mostly because it 'hangs-up' about ever second shot.

    I like the looks and feel of the gun and it fits in my leather peanut bag perfectly for MC carry. So I'd like to keep it.

    If anything can be done to it, I'd like it done in the hopes that it can become a reliable piece.

    Any suggestions or good gunsmith recommendations??

    Thanks,
    Frog.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  2. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    Greetings! I bought a used Interarms PPK around twenty years ago, and I too had "occasional" failures---usually either a failure to feed or a stovepipe caused by a rising fresh round that pinned the eject in the port.

    First, I found that Federal Hydroshocks (now called "Personal Defense" I think) were the big problem. These have a very straight-walled bullet profile with a sharp hollowpoint edge, and this sharp edge got hung up in feeding. No Hydroshocks, no problem. Bullets with a more curved profile feed better. Of course, many people say that full metal jackets are more important for penetration in a marginal caliber like the .380.

    Next, I went on to polish the feedramp and as much of the chamber as I could reach, mostly the roof of the chamber where bullets hang up. By "polish" I mean just that---not a lot of metal was removed. I used "Crocus Cloth", which is like a preposterously fine emery cloth, sold at any hardware store. I folded strips of the crocus cloth over the eraser of a succession of large to small diameter pencils, and the rubber held the cloth to the shape of the barrel and ramp. I used only an "in-out" stroke with the crocus cloth, just like the bullet takes. It only took an idle hour to SHINE up that metal! Since then I have fired many brands of ammo without a single failure of any kind.

    I also recommend a "finger-groove grip-sleeve" like the Hogue Handall to eliminate the classic "slide bite" of the PPK. This allows a tighter grip with the ring finger and keeps the web of the hand lower on the back of the grip.

    The Interarms stainless PPK is a beautiful work of art---and it can be perfectly reliable too with only a little TLC---or maybe a change of ammo?...........................elsullo :D
     
  3. Frog

    Frog Vancouver, Washington Member

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    Thanks elsullo,

    Great lot of info! I'll do it all and let you know how it works afterwards.

    Thanks again,
    Frog.
     
  4. Frog

    Frog Vancouver, Washington Member

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    The round bull nosed Federal caused the cycling problem, so I tried the Hornady 'Critical Defense' ammo.

    Using this ammo, it cycles fine, (spent shell is ejected clean and new round is chambered) but after each round is fired, the slide does not re-cock the hammer for the next firing.

    Any ideas as to what would cause this problem??

    Thanks,
    Frog.
     
  5. CEF1959

    CEF1959 Willamette Valley, Oregon New Member

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    Frog, I'm no gunsmith or expert on PPKs, so this may or may not be helpful. But I used to have a PPK that was obviously very tight when I bought it new. I could tell just by racking the slide. So before ever firing it, I spent an evening with it watching TV one night, and I just fully cycled the slide over and over (unloaded of course). Probably 200-300 times. Never had a single problem with it, while I read about FTF or FTE issues encountered by other PPK owners. My (admittedly layman's) assumption is that these guns are manufactured to close tolerances and need to be loosened up to function properly. Yours sounds like the recoil is sufficient to eject and chamber a round, but not quite enough to cock the hammer reliably. Some people try lighter recoils springs, but I would think if the gun loosens up, the slide would just beat the frame up.

    Anyway, my solution might not solve your problem, but it would be a very inexpensive thing to try.
     
  6. Frog

    Frog Vancouver, Washington Member

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    Thanks, CEF1959

    It may need loosening up. As old as it is, I don't think 100 rounds have been shot from it. Mainy because it's never worked property!

    I'll try the slide break-in manuvers and see what happens.

    Thanks,
    Frog.
     
  7. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    Your recoil spring might be installed backward. My memory is fuzzy, but I think the tightest end goes to the rear and the wider end goes to the front end of the barrel. I can't remember why but it makes a difference in the functioning.

    I'd also try hotter ammunition, which will impell the slide harder, to see if that succeeds in cocking successfully. Google something like, ".380 ammo test" and you will get lots of results to find the highest feet-per-second and foot-pounds-of-energy delivered to choose the hottest ammo................elsullo
     
  8. Frog

    Frog Vancouver, Washington Member

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    Thanks elsullo,

    I'll try those sugestions also.

    Frog.
     
  9. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    go to KTOG.org and look at the fluff and buff.
    KTOG - keltec owners group.

    My 380 had to be sent back twice to correct the type of issues
     
  10. Frog

    Frog Vancouver, Washington Member

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    Thanks markAd,

    Does S & W service the Interarms model PPK?

    Frog.
     
  11. GED

    GED North Idaho Active Member

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    S&W will definitely not service Interarms PPKs-only PPK/PPK/S models
    actually manufactured by them.

    If you are willing to pay-try Earl's Repair Service-he's supposed to be the very best as far as old Walthers-he's also a Walther distributor:

    http://www.carlwalther.com/

    Regarding the recoil spring you might also want to do a search at the Walther Forum-and see what you come up with-lots of info on PPK issues and even worth joining since do you own a PPK:

    http://www.waltherforum.com/

    This forum also has lots of postwar PPK info:

    http://www.p38forum.com/

    (click on "PP & PPK" then "All PP & PPK Postwar")
     
  12. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    I don't know. You ,ay try giving them a call
     
  13. GED

    GED North Idaho Active Member

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    Clarification:

    I assumed-wrongly-that Frog’s question about whether S&W will service a pre-S&W PPK to mean whether they will do this at no charge-for free.

    I just got off the phone with Walther America-S&W and asked the question just as Frog posed it.

    The rep stated that yes, they will service an Interarms PPK –IF they have
    the parts-but they will charge.

    I knew this before I called-this question has been asked and answered on other forums-that’s why I suggested if Frog-or anyone-wants work done on an older pre-S&W PPK-PPK/S and because he or anyone is going to be charged for S&W’s work-he might as well have Earl do it-he’s an expert at repairing old Walthers AND he has the parts.


    Hope this helps.:)
     
  14. Frog

    Frog Vancouver, Washington Member

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    Thanks Pdxppsguy,

    Thanks you very much for your efforts. Much appreciated!

    I'm going to try a couple of other 'treatments' first, but if they don't work, I'll send it of to Earl for repair.

    Frog.