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Discussion Starter #1
We've just traded a Kar for a Walther. (Sounds better when you say it to people who don't know guns. You get some really incredulous looks.). Anyway we've just put our first couple of boxes of rounds through the Walther. It is a brand new gun so I expected it to require a break-in period but didn't expect the problems that we had to be so persistent.

The biggest problem is the feeding of rounds which, too often in my opinion, resulted in incomplete feeds from the magazine to the chamber with the bullet impacting the top of the slide before it tipped down and entered the chamber. Pulling back on the slide usually tipped the cartridge enough for it to go on in but it's a pretty stiff action. Since this is going to be my wife's primary gun I don't want her to have any problems as she doesn't have the strength in her hands like I do to clear a misfeed like this easily. I've always had the habit of giving the back of a newly filled magazine a few whacks in the palm of my hand to help align the cartridges in it and I did this all the time with this pistol but the occasional jam still occurred.

The second problem was when we tried to remove the magazine while it still had rounds in it and after a round had been chambered. The next cartridge in the magazine would move a fraction of an inch forward, following the cartridge above it, so it wouldn't clear either the bottom of the ramp for the chamber or the wall of the magazine chamber Not sure which. After working with the magazine for a long while you could finally get it out but it took a lot of attempts before it did. We found this out when we loaded a round into the chamber and attempted to withdraw the magazine to add another cartridge to it so there would be 8 rounds in the pistol with one ready to go. With such a stiff spring I thought this best for my wife.

Just wondering if this is common until the pistol is worn in or do these problems persist for all time? I've also just begun to reload for the .380 and put a few of my reloads through this gun. Even so, as problematic as finding .380 ammo and it's components is I don't want to waste too many rounds trying to wear the gun in if that won't cure the problem.

Thoughts?
 

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My only experience with a .380 was the brief time that I owned a S&W Bodyguard. I never had any of the problems that you encountered, just didn't care for the trigger. It functioned flawlessly, but I wanted a little bigger caliber and settled on a Kimber Micro nine. You might see if your spouse likes the little Kimber, or it's Sig competitor...little more Ooomph, and about the same size, maybe a little larger than Walther
 

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I only have one 380, and that's a Bersa. I can't say that I've had any of those problems.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
The main reason for downsizing (the Kar was a 9) was because I wanted, mainly, the double action/semi auto function for her plus I've always admired the de-cocking function on the safety. I don't think you can find that combination on any other than a full size pistol and those are considerably more difficult to hide in her purse. We had to really work the safety lever for a while to get it to loosen up. One criticism I have on the Walther's manufacturing process is they need to spend more time polishing their components for smoother functionality out of the box.

Howlin' - is your Bersa a copy of the Walther? Several other companies make almost exact copies of this model and are just as good.

Re: triggers - my favorite trigger was on the Luger. It was a good, wide interface with your finger and the release was exceptionally crisp. The only other firearm I remember that had a trigger like that was an uncle's Remington 600 he'd bought in the 60s. One of my favorite guns but it would make your ears ring for quite a while with that short barrel.
 

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@Qyatburp Yes, it's the Bersa Thunder, a copy of the Walther. About the only thing I can say against it, they could've spent a little more time polishing edges. Other than that, no complaints.
 

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I've got the cousin to yours - a PPK in .380. Mine was made by S&W for Walther. I've fired mine maybe 300 times. Most of my ammo has been either my reloads (100 grain flat nose) or 95 grain Red Dot SD ammo. S&W did a good job in fit and finish. Mine happens to be stainless steel.

No problems with the magazines. Two came with the pistol and I bought 3 more. You might have some stiff mag springs. Try loading them full and let them sit loaded for a week or so. That might ease some of the tension in the springs. If you are still having problems, call a Walther rep. There was a recall on PPK pistols, and they were great to deal with. I don't know if S&W still makes these for Walther or not.
 

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I would not have expected that from a Walther. I too have a Bersa Thunder 380 and yes, they are a knock off of the Walther. I've not experienced any difficulty with mine. I also have a CZ-82 and 83 and no difficulties there either.
 

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My father bought my mom a really fancy PPK and was going to have the recoil spring lightened up. That thing is stiff and not easy for the unfamiliar to rack. The gunsmith told him that they really shouldn’t be messed with as it would cause cycling issues. Wonder if someone changed out a spring. Before I looked into that I’d try all the other suggestions you’ve been given.
 

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GUNZILLA
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Now this is only hearsay and what I have read, but my understanding is that the issues you are having are very common for your pistol, which is a shame, you would think that such an expensive gun would have better reviews. When I was in the market for a .380 that was the first gun I wanted to buy, but after reading a multitude of negative replies from owners I went in another direction, besides I could not fit into my tuxedo anymore.

I wonder if it is a feeding ramp issue. If the feed ramp is aligned with the bottom of the barrel, the bullet will hit the top of the barrel. The image below shows what I mean with alignment.



If the feed ramp is offset as they are with 1911's the bullet will go inside as the weight of the bullet is foward heavy. Off the top of my head I am not sure how much of an offset it is may be 1/32" but don't quote me on this.


 

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My advice may make you cringe, but I hope you'll consider following it as closely as possible:
1.) Field strip the pistol and clean everything to which you have access. Use brake cleaning fluid, WD-40, or any other aerosol solvent and spray it into every nook & cranny you can find. Look for rough surfaces that might impart "drag" in the slide's motion, especially the feed ramp. Same for the magazine(s) Disassemble, clean, examine for rough spots. If there are multiple magazines, determine if one gives rise to more misfeeds than the other(s), and why. If there are no, or only minor rough spots, go to step 2.
2.) Buy a new magazine and see if it feeds any better. If the source of the problem is not the magazine(s), it's good to have an extra, anyway.
3.) Run at least 200 rounds (300 is better) of FMJ ammo through the pistol, WITHOUT cleaning it. The unburned powder, and associated grit will act as a sort of "jeweler's rouge" on the articulating parts and surfaces within the weapon. It is important the you DO NOT DISASSEMBLE the pistol & clean it until at least 200 rounds have been fired through it. If you don't reload, this can be an expensive proposition, particularly in this market, but I've seen it cure a great many feeding problems that are not otherwise readily detecable.
4.) After 200 - 300 rounds, disassemble and clean the pistol thoroughly.
5.) If functioning isn't substantially improved, look at the feed ramp and have it polished and/or consider having a gunsmith polish the articulating surfaces, or fully disassemble the pistol and check for problems. I've piddled with 30 - 40 "problem pistols" over the years, and this advice has fixed all but two.

Good luck.
 

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I’ve never had luck with any PPK in the reliability department. They have always been finicky for me. It’s a blowback and with that it had to have a heavy spring to delay the slide from opening too soon. If you notice a Hi point they used a heavy slide so as to lighten the spring. You mentioned you wife not being able to rack the slide by hand.
Your options to help with that are twofold. Either buy a locked breech gun or a tip up barrel gun
I have an RM380 that has been a great gun for me. There is also the Beretta Tomcat with a tip up barrel. You don’t need to rack the slide on it at all. Just release the latch, the barrel tips up, insert a cartridge, push the barrel down and you are ready to go
 

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I've always admired that pistol but never did buy one. When I was looking for something for the wife I remember comparing the Walther to the Mauser hsc which fit my hand better. I finally bought her a new pinned barrel S&W model 36 with a 3" barrel in .38 special only to discover that she shot my larger K frame with a smoother, lighter trigger better.

Years later I began to read of problems that both of these autos had. The Mauser seemed to have even more. Yet, the Walther and its copies are still around and still loved by many which must mean that not all of them are plagued with problems. Kosh is probably right on track. I wonder if back in the day when the Walther was originally made if there wasn't alot more hand polishing of the parts by the factory workers to make them function flawlessly. Today, not so much if any.

Have you tried customer service yet? They might polish the problem areas for you. Worth a try. I would have thought a simple search would have turned up how to fix those feeding problems, but didn't find one yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yep, this thread took off and I've been too busy to attend. I thank everyone and will take a look at the posts later on this evening.
 

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About 30 yrs ago I purchased a brand new Walther PPK in stainless, made by Interarms. It was a beautiful little gun & a bit pricey both because it was nice looking & also because it was the gun James Bond carried in the movies. The first time I took it to the range, it fired the first bullet & jammed the next one very similar to the way you described your failure to feed properly. In fact it jammed so bad I could not do anything to free it up. Even the range officer couldn't free it up.

I took it to a gunsmith who got the jam undone. He told me that there was a slight burr on the feed ramp & he polished it off & the gun functioned properly. He even told me he test fired it. I never trusted that gun after that & relegated it to a safe queen.

Fast forward 20 yrs. My stepdaughter came to visit & told me she was getting her concealed carry permit. I told her I would let her shoot several of my hand guns & let her pick the one she felt most comfortable with for a gift. We went to a range. The PPK was among the selection. She picked it up immediately. It fired the first shot flawlessly. It jammed the next feed exactly like it did the last time I shot it, 20 yrs prior. Needless to say she ended up with a stainless Lady Smith. The PPK was the first of any of my guns I ever traded off.

I don't know what the problem was, but I haven't owned a Walther since, & never will again.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Dang! I sure hope this one smooths out. I'd never heard of a Walther jamming like this but the one I'd shot many, many years ago was a large frame 9mm, most likely, and it functioned like a dream brand new. I've always associated the name with the utmost quality. Round nose bullets always seem to function the best in semi-autos and that's what I was shooting at the time. My reloads were hollow points by, I think, Sierra. I'd have to go out on the bench to make sure but, even though they were a thousandth under the full length of the factory loads they had their problems, too. Mainly in the Sig my wife has. Guess it's going to take a lot of ammo to get the bullets dialed in. Maybe we should have gone with the pistols we were looking at with more "experience" prior to buying this brand new one. Just a little "slop" helps things.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Grizzly2 -
No, haven't talked with customer service yet. I didn't register the pistol with Walther when we bought it but may have to. After all we filled out all the paper work and gave everything short of blood to get it even though we both have our CC permits.

Kosh75287 -
I was noticing that my reloads left more residue than the factory loads we were using, no doubt due to the age of the powder I'm using, but otherwise performed pretty well. This should provide enough polishing through the breaking in time to help, hopefully. Both magazines produced the same misfeed problems. The pistol is sitting in its case in the safe fully loaded so perhaps the magazine spring will lose a small amount of tension between now and the next time we can take it out. My wife had a heckuva time filling the mags. Hopefully she won't have any need to refill them if she gets in a bad situation with it!
Coming up with a load that functions equally well in my wife's Sig as well as the Walther may well take quite a few rounds anyway. The Sig was even more persnickety than the Walther.

JonWill -
The Beretta Tom Cat sounds like the old Beretta Jetfire my aunt used to have back in the 60s. I think it was a .22. She left it under the seat of the car when it was going through the car wash and apparently grew legs as they never found it again. Lesson learned.

ms6582 -
In the lower picture on the ramp it appears that there are some ridges that were not polished out. I wonder if this provides just enough drag to facilitate accurate feeding. Just a guess. One would think after so many decades of design and production problems like this would be non-existent.

It's a long shot but I wonder if the Bersa Thunder's recoil spring would fit in the Walther?

Thanks to all!
 

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In the lower picture on the ramp it appears that there are some ridges that were not polished out. I wonder if this provides just enough drag to facilitate accurate feeding. Just a guess. One would think after so many decades of design and production problems like this would be non-existent.
The offset in the lower picture is what keeps the bullet from hitting the top of the barrel and creating that jam. If your pistol does not have that, it could be the root of the problem. Another thing you could try is using needle nose pliers and tinker with the feed lips of the magazine. Maybe opening them up a tiny bit might facilitate with the cartridge being released earlier and the round dropping and feeding into the barrel. If it exacerbates the problem than close the lips a little bit keeping the bullet close to the feed ramp and sliding up into the barrel.

Here is a good article about the ramps and barrels. Though this pertains to a 1911 I believe it could help with your gun.

 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks ms6852. I'll take a look at it.
 
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We've just traded a Kar for a Walther. (Sounds better when you say it to people who don't know guns. You get some really incredulous looks.). Anyway we've just put our first couple of boxes of rounds through the Walther. It is a brand new gun so I expected it to require a break-in period but didn't expect the problems that we had to be so persistent.

The biggest problem is the feeding of rounds which, too often in my opinion, resulted in incomplete feeds from the magazine to the chamber with the bullet impacting the top of the slide before it tipped down and entered the chamber. Pulling back on the slide usually tipped the cartridge enough for it to go on in but it's a pretty stiff action. Since this is going to be my wife's primary gun I don't want her to have any problems as she doesn't have the strength in her hands like I do to clear a misfeed like this easily. I've always had the habit of giving the back of a newly filled magazine a few whacks in the palm of my hand to help align the cartridges in it and I did this all the time with this pistol but the occasional jam still occurred.

The second problem was when we tried to remove the magazine while it still had rounds in it and after a round had been chambered. The next cartridge in the magazine would move a fraction of an inch forward, following the cartridge above it, so it wouldn't clear either the bottom of the ramp for the chamber or the wall of the magazine chamber Not sure which. After working with the magazine for a long while you could finally get it out but it took a lot of attempts before it did. We found this out when we loaded a round into the chamber and attempted to withdraw the magazine to add another cartridge to it so there would be 8 rounds in the pistol with one ready to go. With such a stiff spring I thought this best for my wife.

Just wondering if this is common until the pistol is worn in or do these problems persist for all time? I've also just begun to reload for the .380 and put a few of my reloads through this gun. Even so, as problematic as finding .380 ammo and it's components is I don't want to waste too many rounds trying to wear the gun in if that won't cure the problem.

Thoughts?
Have you tried a new magazine? Sounds like that could be the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
This is a brand new pistol with two brand new magazines. Haven't had time to go looking for more magazines.
 
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