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Light Primer Strikes and Other Issues with S&W Walther PPK

  1. Hello. I bought a new PPK .380.


    I'm at the range for the first time, I slingshot one in the chamber, take the safety off, pull the trigger, and "click." I look at the round and there is a pretty significant indentation in the primer. I load the round again, pull the trigger, and it goes off.

    The same thing happened 60 rounds later with another brand of ammo.

    This gun is very tight. I have it well-lubricated, but in the first 80 rounds, I had four failures to feed because the rim would not properly slide underneath the extractor. Here is a photo of this phenomenon:


    I suspect the issue with the failures to feed is a break-in issue. I have also started lubricating the extractor.

    My main question is what might be causing the light primer strikes. A knowledgable friend suggested that it may have been marginally out of battery, and it just needs to break-in.
  2. Well I am having similar issues with a Smith Sigma.
    I have had 3 sigmas and ALL have had light primer strikes.
    Usually random, usually when dirty.

    Maybe the problem has went over to the walther line. I had a
    99ol smith/walther that didn't have light primer strikes but did
    have last shot hold open issues. So quality is beginning to get hit
    and miss with Smith autos I think.

    Check the firing pin channel for gunk. I was cleaning one of
    my light firing sigmas last night and a bunch of metal shavings were
    in there direct from the factory apparently. Hope that helps.
  3. +1
    I wish it wasn't true but S&W seems to be living on the laurels anymore and quality has been suffering.
    Their versions of the PPK seem to be especially bad.

    You can;
    1. Send the pistol back to S&W and hope for the best.
    2. Have a gunsmith open the extractor channel slightly and replace the extractor with a German PPK .380 extractor and replace the firing pin spring which is usually too strong & too long to allow a reliable primer strike.

    The light strike issue seems to stem from a safety upgrade S&W did to the PPK series pistols after they began to receive complaints of the gun firing when the safety was moved to the decock position with a round in the chamber.
    Hammer would drop, gun would go boom.

    Breaking in a pistol means to shoot enough ammo that the bore slicks up, the parts settle into place, and the accuracy continues to improve until you hit the sweet spot.
    It doesn't mean dealing with malfunction after malfunction, hoping the guns reliability improves, which usually doesn't happen without some hands on help.
  4. After shooting it, I sprayed the firing pin channel down pretty good with degreaser. After doing this, the firing pin launched a pencil much more consistently.

    I am going to try to clean the breachface and behind the extractor really well.

    It seems like maybe the loaded chamber indicator is causing the problems (it is the pin that stick pretty far out, just above the firing pin hole). Sometimes it blocks the round from seating all the way up against the breechface. You can see it in the picture in the OP.
  5. should of bought a Bersa 380 Thunder. I loved mine but sold it to buy a Glock. :embarassed:
  6. Probably should've.:upeyes:
  7. Thin coat of lube in the chamber and a good coat of lube everywhere else (run it wet)...some pistols can just be tight until worked in. Most never think to put a light coat of lube in the chamber in these scenarios. I was amazed when a couple months ago a fellow member next to me was shooting a brand new .45 Glock and it FTEd at least a hand full of times on a box of brass Remington ball ammo (first box through the gun). Best of luck w/it.

  8. NEVER EVER lube the chamber. It increases the pressure a LOT. The British oiled regular rounds before inserting into the chamber, knowing the oil increased the pressure dramatically. There is a reason they tell you to clean any traces of oil from the bore before firing.

    To the OP: good luck with the Walther. Hope it gets to working right now. If not call S&W up, the couple times I've called they've been great. Good luck.
  9. I don't lubricate the chamber or any cartridges on any of my firearms. Doing so would be dangerous.