Gun of the week #21: 1960 Interarms Walther PPK/S (updated with video)


New to me, 1960 InterArms Walther PPK

Every week (when I publish)I feature a gun from my collection. This week it is a mint condition InterArms 1960 Walther PPK/S that I bought off a local NH vendor off I have been looking for another PPK for a few years.  My first handgun was a newer PPK/s made by S&W in Maine. The gun was one of the one under a recall for a defect.  I never did get it fixed.  The gun did not shoot well and so I traded-in to a local gun store ( I think the gun barrel was out of spec and and slightly warped). I was a big James Bond fan growing up, which is why my first handgun was a PPK. So anyway, I was browsing Gunbroker last week and found one with no bids and 1 day remaining.  The price was $550, for a mint vintage InterArms PPK/s with the original box and paperwork. It was a steal and since it was over 50 years old, I used by C&R for an easy pickup from the local home based FFL dealer.  It shoots well and I now am using this as my summer concealed carry piece.  I carry the Beretta 92 in the months where we wear more clothing in New England. You can see all the previous gun of the week posts here.


Gun came with original box, export paperwork, original factory target , warranty card and manual.

Video of my shooting it at the range
This is the first time I shot this gun. This video was of the 3rd and 4th magazines I shot in the gun.

The PP and PPK
Walther introduced the PPK in 929 and the PPK was introduced in 1931; both were popular with European police and civilians, for being reliable and concealable. During World War II they were issued to the German military and police, the Schutzstaffel, the Luftwaffe, and Nazi Party officials; Adolf Hitler shot and killed himself with his PPK (a 7.65mm/.32 ACP) in the Führerbunker in Berlin. Moreover, the Walther PPK (also a 7.65mm/.32 ACP) pistol is famous as fictional secret agent James Bond’s signature gun in many of the films and novels: Ian Fleming’s choice of the Walther PPK directly influenced its popularity and its notoriety.

The current James Bond holding a PPK

The current James Bond holding a PPK

The most common variant is the Walther PPK, the Polizeipistole Kriminalmodell (Police Pistol Detective Model), indicating it was more concealable than the original PP and hence better suited to plainclothes or undercover work. Kriminal refers to the police detective (criminal) division.Sometimes, the name Polizeipistole Kurz (Short Police Pistol) is used; however, the accuracy of that interpretation is unclear. The PPK is a smaller version of the PP (Polizeipistole) with a shorter grip and barrel and reduced magazine capacity. The PP and the PPK were among the world’s first successful double action semi-automatic pistols that were widely copied, but still made by Walther. The design inspired other pistols, among them the Soviet Makarov, the Hungarian FEG PA-63, the Argentinian Bersa Thunder 380, the Swiss SIG P230, the German Mauser HSc, the Spanish Astra Constable, the American Jennings J-22 and Iver Johnson TP-22, and the Czech CZ50.

Post War
Walther’s original factory was located in Zella-Mehlis in the state (Land) of Thuringia. As that part of Germany was occupied by the Soviet Union following World War II, Walther was forced to flee to West Germany, where they established a new factory in Ulm. However, for several years following the war, the Allied powers forbade any manufacture of weapons in Germany. As a result, in 1952, Walther licensed production of the PP series pistols to a French company, Manufacture de Machines du Haut-Rhin, also known as Manurhin. The French company continued to manufacture the PP series until 1986. In fact, all postwar European-made PP series pistols manufactured until 1986 were manufactured by Manurhin, even though the pistol slide may bear the markings of the Walther factory in Ulm, since German law lets manufacturers use the final assembly point as the place of origin.

US Manufacture
Ranger Manufacturing of Gadsden, Alabama was licensed to manufacture the PPK and PPK/S; this version was distributed by Interarms . This license was eventually canceled. Starting in 2002,Smith & Wesson (S&W) began manufacturing the PPK and PPK/S under license. In February 2009, S&W issued a recall for PPKs it manufactured for a defect in the hammer block safety.

Walther has indicated that, with the exception of the PP and the new PPK/E model, S&W is the current sole source for new PPK-type pistols.


Difference between PP and PPK
The PPK/S was developed following the enactment of the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA68) in the United States, the pistol’s largest market (Hogg 1945:164). One of the provisions of GCA68 banned the importation of pistols and revolvers not meeting certain requirements of length, weight, and other “sporting” features into the United States.

The PPK failed the “Import Points” test of the GCA68 by a single point. Walther addressed this situation by combining the PP’s frame with the PPK’s barrel and slide to create a pistol that weighed slightly more than the PPK. The additional ounce or two of weight of the PPK/S compared to the PPK was sufficient to provide the extra needed import points.

Because United States law allowed domestic production (as opposed to importation) of the PPK, manufacture began under license in the U.S. The version currently manufactured by Smith & Wesson has been modified by incorporating a longer grip tang (S&W calls it “extended beaver tail”),[8] better protecting the shooter from slide bite, i.e., the rearward-traveling slide’s pinching the web between the index finger and thumb of the firing hand, which could be a problem with the original design for people with larger hands or an improper grip, especially when using “hotter” cartridge loads.

Morons, Psychopaths and Politicians


The killer in his car. Ironically, I own this same car.

After the slaughter is Isla Vista last weekend, all the same anti-gun people are making the same tired old calls for gun control.  Are these people even paying attention?

I will not use the name of the killer, I just will refer to him as the killer.  The killer lived in one of the most strict gun control states in the country, California.  All existing Assault weapons were registered and No New assault weapons are allowed. You can only buy one gun a month.  The killer bought three handguns over a three month period.  He passed 3 background checks. Use used 10 round magazines because only 10 round mags are allowed.  He had 41 10 round mags in his car.

Before he even used his gun, he killed three with a knife and hit a whole bunch of people with his car.

How the hell is this a gun control issue?

The MDA and Bloomberg anti-guns Nazi’s like California.  They want California laws everywhere.  Well this case proves that strict gun control will not prevent these types of shootings. GUN CONTROL DOES NOT WORK.

Various liberals and anti-gun organizations are calling for more gun control laws.  WHY all the laws they want were in EFFECT in CA and they were INEFFECTIVE.  Are these morons that stupid… If you want to actually stop these type of crimes you need to fix the mental health issues in this country.  The shooters from the last several incidents have all passed background checks. FIX THE REAL PROBLEM of mental illness running unchecked in this country.

Also the issue of some of the victims blaming the NRA is just lunacy.. Again, CA has the strict gun laws.  You want someone to blame, blame the killer’s parents for being horrible parents and the police who had interviewed the killer several times in the previous months.

Brady Center Files Lawsuit against Gander Mountain for Selling guns used in a murder

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Brady Center (For banning all guns) is trying to make legal precedent

On 12/24/2012 a criminal ambushed and shot at firefighters from Webster NY who were responding to a fire.

The gunman, who shot himself at the scene, was identified as 62-year-old William Spengler. He was charged in 1980 with beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer in her home next door.

Spengler served 17 years in New York State prison on manslaughter charges, police officials said. He was on probation until 2006 and reportedly had lived quietly with his mother, who died in October, and sister at 191 Lake Road, along a sliver of land between Irondequoit Bay and the lake.

The families of two volunteer firefighters killed in the Christmas Eve 2012 shootings in Webster and two survivors of the attack are suing the store that sold the guns used against them.

In addition to Gander Mountain Co., the lawsuit also names Dawn Nguyen, who bought the weapons, and the estate of the shooter, William Spengler Jr., as defendants.

Attorneys working with a national gun control group, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, announced Tuesday at the law offices of Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP in Rochester that they had filed the suit on the plaintiffs’ behalf.

The Brady Center argues that Gander Mountain, where Nguyen bought the guns in 2010, should have spotted clear signs that she was making a “straw purchase,” meaning that the weapons were intended for someone else.

The warning signs of a straw sale include the purchase of more than one gun at a time, more than one person entering the store together and transactions made in cash, said Alla Lefkowitz, a staff attorney for the Brady Center.

Freddy’s Note:

Let’s take a minute here.  Did the straw buyer pass FBI instant background check … YES.

Is the store required by Federal law to keep track the relationship of people who enter a gun store together  .. NO

Is the store required to ask the buyer… Why do you want these guns or What are you going to do with these guns .. NO

Is the store required users to buy with credit cards  ..NO

Is it against the law to buy more than one rifle … NO ( Although purchases of more than 1 handgun in a 7 day period requires notification be sent to local law enforcement)

It seems to me that short of using Mind Readers to scan for bad intentions of each customer, that Gander Mountain did not do anything wrong in this case.

On the other hand, I have no problem if the straw buyer, Dawn Nguyen is publically executived in the town square.  I support stricter penalties for actual straw buyers.  Some pontential laws against straw buyers have been written so badly that they would put honest gun buyers in jail. If I buy a rifle for my father, and I give it to him, and my father and I are able to own guns, I don’t think that is a straw buy.  There is a police officer in PA that was arrested by the ATF for doing that very same thing last year.

Response from Gander Mountain
In a statement, Gander Mountain expressed sympathy for the shooting victims and their families. But the company said it had been forthcoming with the investigation, that the sale met all legal requirements and that Nguyen intentionally deceived the store.

“Gander Mountain, as a member of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, is renowned for its commitment to safety, its respect for the law and its good standing in the outdoor sporting community,” the statement said. “We will vigorously defend ourselves in this matter.”