Now that I’ve dismissed - at least for now - acquiring the three Grand Power pistols I’d planned for my new, “using” collection - the one iconic addition I want to make is the all-steel, Walther PPK/S. I’ve read that the SLIDES are made in GERMANY, and then shipped to their U.S. production plant in Fort Smith, AR, where the FRAMES are made, and then assembled. Any truth to this - or is this old news - and the newer versions are all U.S./Fort Smith-made? A guess is all U.S.-made, since the latest reviews on it reference a “new” model, and they’re really pushing the all-stainless version. I’ve contacted Walther to find out if a two-tone version can be had on special-order - a carbon slide mated to a stainless frame. They offered a similar option years ago - the last time on their .22 - and Browning used to offer a similar option on their “Hi-Power”, called their “Duo-Tone”. Another guess is that the all-carbon/black versions are German-made, while the all-stainless versions are U.S.-made. Does anybody have the real FACTS, here???
I considered the Walther PPK for a while, but reliability reports were disturbing. I tried a friend’s PPK and found the DA trigger to be awful and recoil too punishing to practice with regularly. I opted instead for the Sig P232 (unfortunately, no longer in production) and am now saving up my Cabela points for a new Beretta X80 Cheeta.
Take a good LOOK at this pistol before you buy it - the rear sight is integral or fixed as part of the optics plate - this is an apparent design-flaw - and these hammerheads want a cool $900 for it! A better choice for a lot less $$ might be one of the two Girsans you should check out. Sometimes competition or greed at some level or another overshadows common sense in the gun business - dipping into nostalgia to charge a premium price for it is OBSCENE - how many makers offer a 1911 clone - which I’ve nicknamed the “Nostalgiasaurus” - and then want you to have to take out a 2nd mortgage to buy this century-old design? Walther specs cite a 14#+ DA trigger - I plan to dry-fire and shoot the balls off it - isn’t that what break-in periods are for?
I know Walter has had issues with American made PPK’s in years past. I think a lot of those have to do with modern large cavity defense ammo, as the weapon was designed to run ball. Many many moons ago my first center fire handgun (1971) was a new West German made PPK/S in .380. I shot the heck out of that pistol and it was flawless with both ball and the only hollowpoint ammo I could find at the time. Never, ever had a hiccup. Cost $125 NEW. I had it a few years and a guy offered me $175 so I sold it-have regretted it ever since.
I purchased a Walther PPK/S made in West Germany while in college. I was engaged in a road rage incident driving from Austin TX to Dallas. Gun waving perps tried to run me off the road. Where was the DPS when you need them. Made it home ok but that’s when I got my Walther. Thankfully I’ve not had a repeat. While small by today’s standard, it is easy to conceal care using a shoulder holster. I have purchased a couple of 9mm Berettas but I’m still rather fond of my Walther.
Now, the slides and barrels ARE made in Germany, then shipped to Ft. Smith, AR, where they’re assembled to the frames made THERE. The new design has a longer beavertail to eliminate hammer-bite, but the safety has been converted to a decocker-safety, which I DON’T like. FYI
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