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Old 08-04-2012, 09:42 PM
The Bolt Man The Bolt Man is offline
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Default S&W Walther PPK-S Quality Lacking

I picked up my new PPK-S last week. It is a blued model and looks very nice. That is as far as nice goes. This is not the fine piece I had expected. Whatever happened to quality control. Has S&W gone the way of their compitition. Let the customer decide if the pistol is worth keeping or get rid of it.

Well, mine goes back to S&W next Monday to see if they can get it right.

My first shooting session went fairly well. The pistol cycled fine with both magazines and accuracy was much like I was getting with my SMC 380 made in Hungary. Some ammo is good and some is not.

I was troubled with a long single action pull with three distintic catches before let-off. As if this wasn't bad enough, additional shooting today resulted in several split cases and darn poor groups. I looked at ammo I had fired a couple of days earlier and found some more split cases.

A close inspection of all the brass fired in the PPK-S shows a sizable bulge of the brass. It is present on each and every round I fired and involves factory ammo from Federal American Eagle, PMC and Winchester. This bulged brass measures.382" to .384 at the bulge.

I then fired the same ammo in my SMC Hungarian 380 and there is no bulge and the brass measures .373" to .375", a full .009" less than ammo fired in the PPK-S. That shouts loudly of a bad chamber.
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:10 PM
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When you say split cases, do they look similar to the attached picture? These were some of the first rounds from the wifes PPK/S, Sellier & Belloit brand, which the cases were on the thin walled side of standard. They would initially get cut while still in the mag by the housing around the firing pin which is semi exposed with a slot. The edges of the slot were very sharp, I performed some stoning work of the slots and the problem disappeared. Some additional stoning and polishing in other areas and the pistol works flawless. The wife will not part with it. Good luck with yours.



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Old 08-05-2012, 11:40 AM
The Bolt Man The Bolt Man is offline
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kcode,

The split cases look similar, but remember, I also have the gross expansion with a bulge.

Later today I will run a couple of magazines of new factory ammo through the PPK-S to see if there are any unusual marks on the brass. I will also be making chamber casts of the PPK-S and the SMC Hungarian to be sure of the chamber sizes.

A weak recoil spring can cause the problem I am having, but the PPK-s spring feels much stronger than the SMC does.

I will post the results of my testing.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:44 PM
The Bolt Man The Bolt Man is offline
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Problem is the chamber is too large in diameter.

I made chamber casts of the PPK-S 380 Auto and my SMC 380 Hungarian.

The SMC 380 measured .378" diameter and the PPK-S measured .384" diameter. That puts the PPK-S a full .006" larger than the SMC making obvious the reason the PPK-S bulges and splits brass and the SMC fired brass is and looks normal.

Now for some troubling information. SAAMI Standards for Cartridges and Chambers has the 380 Auto chamber diameter at .3809" plus .004" minus 0.00". That would mean the PPK-S is near the high limit and may be considered within specifications.

I consider the PPK-S to have a junk barrel that ruins brass, splits many and this results in poor accuracy.

I will be talking to S&W tomorrow to see if they consider this barrel within specifications or not and if they can replace the barrel with one more like the chamber in the SMC 380.

I did run two magazines of new factory ammo through the PPK-S by hand cycling the slide and found no scratch marks on the shell casing.

















s
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:50 PM
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Good luck. I had issues with my 2010 S&W PPK/s. I had many fail to fire, and fail to eject issues. Lots of stove pipes when it did fire. I sent it off to S&W and it took 9 weeks to get back to me (there was a surge of PPK/s' coming in for a recall). It came back with a new top end, but they did a poor job of fitting the new top end to the frame and the rails were all scratched up to heck. The FTF issues were resolved, but there were still a lot of stovepipes (could have been limp wristing...who knows) and they chamber was tight and short enough that it was difficult to build consistent reloads. I ended up selling it at a pretty sizable loss.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bolt Man View Post
.....

I then fired the same ammo in my SMC Hungarian 380 and there is no bulge and the brass measures .373" to .375", a full .009" less than ammo fired in the PPK-S. That shouts loudly of a bad chamber.
I am not being a smarty pants, but are you measuring the bore with an instrument that is accurate at that difference. You are talking about 9 thousands of an inch, which may be beyond the accuracy tolerance of your instrument (of course it may not be). I am just raising that point....

Andrew
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:39 PM
The Bolt Man The Bolt Man is offline
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Andrewb70,

I have a 1" L.S Starrett Co. micrometer, with the vernier scale capable of reading accurately to .0001", that I use for my close work.

Please don't try to suggest reading to .0001" isn't possible as some doubters have. I worked in final inspection/precison measurement and calibration for five years. I know how to read a micrometer to .0001" and recalibrate it if needed.

Most calipers are not too good for close readings and the plastic ones I have seen are little better than a yard stick.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bolt Man View Post
Andrewb70,

I have a 1" L.S Starrett Co. micrometer, with the vernier scale capable of reading accurately to .0001", that I use for my close work.

Please don't try to suggest reading to .0001" isn't possible as some doubters have. I worked in final inspection/precison measurement and calibration for five years. I know how to read a micrometer to .0001" and recalibrate it if needed.

Most calipers are not too good for close readings and the plastic ones I have seen are little better than a yard stick.
I didn't suggest that it wasn't possible, I was merely noting that the dimensions you're working with are very small. Clearly you have the tools and the skills, so good luck with your issue. Hope you resolve it to your satisfaction. I do believe that S&W is closed for their summer shut down.

Andrew
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:42 AM
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They should fix it. My blued PPK fires anything and everything without a hiccup.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:21 PM
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Sorry to hear of your PPK/S woes. Mine functions very well with all ammo and is my DC. Just wanted to put in a good plug for the gun to keep the world in balance.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:33 PM
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I just sent mine back to S&W to fix the issues with light primer strikes resulting in failures to fire. I only got 100 rounds though it before it went back. What a pile....
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:09 PM
The Bolt Man The Bolt Man is offline
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Failure to fire seems to be one of the more common problems with the PPK. I would think S&W would have designed that problem away, but I guess not. If S&W knows what the cause of light firing pin strikes is due to having to fix a lot of them, why not a fix in the design of the gun.

I suspect S&W and most other firearms manufacturers choose to hold cost down by doing as little quality control and inspection as possible, trusting the high tech machining to hold parts within specification. Nothing is perfect and poor to bad quality parts in guns that go out the door to customers are the result. I believe the firearms manufacturers think a customer that receives a gun that just plain doesn't work or has problems, like most, will get rid of the piece rather than have the manufacturer fix it. I also believe that way of thinking causes that unhappy customer to never buy from that manfacturer again.

Being human, we tend speak out on the forums when we have a gun the has problems. I suspect persons that are happy with their gun seldom post positive comments on the forums because a gun that is free of any problems is what we all expect and that doesn't need to be talked about.

There has to be a lot more happy persons with their firearms purchases than there are unhappy, otherwise the manufacturers would go out of business.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:39 PM
The Bolt Man The Bolt Man is offline
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I can compliment S&W for quick action.

In two weeks I had my PPK-S back after sending it in with a defective barrel. Chamber oversize causing large bulges of the fired casings and about 20% of those fired were split. I also complained about the trigger pull being very disturbing with creep and three catches before firing.

S&W did replace the barrel and the fired casings are now .006" smaller at the expansion ring, but still .004" larger than my cheapy SMG 380 auto. At least the chamber is within specifcation now.

S&W must have figured the trigger pull with all the hickups was within their standards and they didn't do anything with that. I guess S&W doesn't shoot there guns, otherwise they wouldn't like what they send out as OK.

Now I may need some help with disassembly of the pistol so I can do some polishing of the trigger and sear. I don't know if it will ever smooth up enough with use and I probably can't afford the ammunition it would take to do that.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:07 PM
Red Baron Red Baron is offline
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Default PPK/S jams every time I cycle it

I recently purchased one of your Walther PPK/S-1, S/N 46XXBAR, pistols built by Smith and Wesson and have not fired it yet. I have tried to cycle rounds through the weapon by loading the magazine and operating the slide to see if the rounds would chamber, extract, and eject. I have trouble getting the weapon to extract and eject. In checking the weapon I find the "Loaded Chamber Indicator" rides up and over the rim of the cartridge when it is in the chamber. There is a slot in the "Bolt Face" that allows it do this. When I attempt to extract and eject the cartridge the "Loaded Chamber Indicator" seems to push the cartridge downward, pushing it down from the extractor with the extractor then loosing contact with the cartridge before the cartridge is extracted all the way and ejected from the ejection port. This happens every time with several types of cartridges I have attempted to use. As said previously I have not attempted to fire this weapon. This happens EVERY time I try to load the weapon. I am hoping there is a resolution to this problem so I can fire the weapon. As it is working now it appears it is only a “Single Shot” because it will not extract and eject the cartridge. Has anyone else experienced this problem and if so was there a resolution.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:01 PM
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Where are these things made? This doesn't sound like the S&W I know.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:18 PM
shakesisdead shakesisdead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Baron View Post
I recently purchased one of your Walther PPK/S-1, S/N 46XXBAR, pistols built by Smith and Wesson and have not fired it yet. I have tried to cycle rounds through the weapon by loading the magazine and operating the slide to see if the rounds would chamber, extract, and eject. I have trouble getting the weapon to extract and eject. In checking the weapon I find the "Loaded Chamber Indicator" rides up and over the rim of the cartridge when it is in the chamber. There is a slot in the "Bolt Face" that allows it do this. When I attempt to extract and eject the cartridge the "Loaded Chamber Indicator" seems to push the cartridge downward, pushing it down from the extractor with the extractor then loosing contact with the cartridge before the cartridge is extracted all the way and ejected from the ejection port. This happens every time with several types of cartridges I have attempted to use. As said previously I have not attempted to fire this weapon. This happens EVERY time I try to load the weapon. I am hoping there is a resolution to this problem so I can fire the weapon. As it is working now it appears it is only a “Single Shot” because it will not extract and eject the cartridge. Has anyone else experienced this problem and if so was there a resolution.
My s&w ppk/s does the same thing when cycled manually. I have a xxxxBAS serial number. You've probably figured this out already, but when the pistol is fired, the extractor works just fine although the casings seem to fly out horizontally without throwing them backwards at all.

If this issue really bothers you, it's possible to remove the chamber indicator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackBlades View Post
Where are these things made? This doesn't sound like the S&W I know.
My ppk/s was manufactured at the s&w facility in houlton, Maine.

I've never experienced any malfunction beyond the chamber indicator's interference with the extractor when manually cycling rounds. I really enjoy the pistol and think it's one of the higher quality .380acp pistols available. I carry mine daily in a desantis sof-tuck with a round chambered and safety off in double action (I'm a lefty and operating the safety switch one-handed is a pain), because the safety lever/decocker is so stiff.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bolt Man View Post
Failure to fire seems to be one of the more common problems with the PPK. I would think S&W would have designed that problem away, but I guess not. If S&W knows what the cause of light firing pin strikes is due to having to fix a lot of them, why not a fix in the design of the gun.
I've had a West German made PPK since 1967 and have never had a single problem with it.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:52 PM
The Bolt Man The Bolt Man is offline
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As I may have said before. My PPK-S made by S&W is now on its forth barrel. My problems with my PPK-S have all been barrel related. About the worst quality I have ever seen in a handgun.

The fourth and last barrel is tipped down at the muzzle. It caused it to shoot very low and this is a new problem for the gun. I contacted Walther about the problem and they sent a return mailer stating they would replace the rear sight.

Now it shoots closer to the point of aim but the slide is trying to push upward on the barrel near the muzzle of the barrel and the fired brass is getting all beat up, with heavy nicks. This never happened before.

My PPK-S will only group well with Winchester white box flat tipped ammo. All other manufactured ammo and a number of reloads that shot well previously, now group like a shotgun.

I am really struggling trying to decide what to do with my S&W PPK-S, that I consider to be junk. Do I bite the bullet and accept a pistol that will only shoot well with one type of ammo and in the process, beat my brass all to heck, or look for something to replace it. I am working on that.

I purchased a Browning Black Label 1911 380. It had or has a magazine problem causing nose up jams. That appears to be corrected with the closing down of the forward end of the feed lips from .318" to .305". More shooting is needed to insure the problem is corrected, 100%. The gun is reasonably accurate, but I am not fond of the feel of the grip in my hand.

I also purchased a Bersa Firestorm 380. I like the feel of the gun, although it is a straight blow back design and has more felt recoil than the Browning which is a locked breech design and less felt recoil compared to the PPK-S because it is heavier. The gun is reasonably accurate, but I haven't fired it much. Just four different brands of factory ammo and one of my reloads. It is winter here in Minnesota, and temps hanging around zero degrees a lot recently. Not good shooting weather.

I am still waiting for my FFL to come up with one of the Armscor Baby Rock 380's. When, if ever, I receive the Baby Rock, I will decide which of the four 380's I will keep and the others will get sold or traded off.

The PPK-S only has one item that is slightly better than the other three 380's. It is the smallest and most easily concealed.

I hope to end up with one decent concealed carry 380 and one fun to shoot, accurate 380 when my search is over.
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