Gun Review: Interarms Walther PPK/S


(This is a reader-submitted review as part of our gun review contest. See details here.)

By Adam Prestopnik

Bond. James Bond. The faux British accent didn’t even sound right inside my head as I spied the little Walther sitting under the glass at my local gun store. I’d been searching for a replacement Walther PPK or PPK/S since trading in my .22 version during the ammo shortages of recent memory. This time, however, I wanted a man’s caliber. Or, you know, a .380 for my man-purse.

The example sitting before me turned out to be a used PPK/S in 9mm Kurz (.380 auto for those of us of a less Teutonic bent) manufactured some time in the 1970s by Interarms. Having spent some time looking for a replacement PPK/S I snapped it up.

The PPK/S, though a derivative of the venerable German PPK, was made intentionally for the U.S. market to comply with the Gun Control Act of 1968 that made a regular PPK too small to import. The PPK/S essentially takes the slide and barrel assembly of the small PPK and marries it to the longer grip of the larger PP. The downside is a slightly larger gun, with an upside of one additional round in the magazine, bringing the total to 7+1.

Next time you see an aging hippie gun grabber from the 60’s, make sure to thank them for helping to introduce one of the most popular pistols of all time to the U.S. market. They really enjoy that.

Benefits of the PPK/S are of course the small size, about 6.1 inches long (though with a substantial unloaded weight of 1.4 pounds).

Reliability is a perceived selling point of these pistols– the original PP series pistols were first produced in 1929 for the German police, so there’s been plenty of time to get everything completely mostly right. In general, this is a gun that will always go bang when you pull the trigger.

The cool factor is undeniably a big deal with these guns. And if you’re worried that a PPK/S won’t satisfy your need to live vicariously through a fictional, martini-swilling POM (Prisoner of Mother England), rejoice! Daniel Craig uses a PPK/S in both Quantum of Solace and Skyfall.


The Interarms produced version of the PPK/S differs a bit from original German made guns and the contemporary firearms that were produced under license by Smith & Wesson. The biggest difference comes in the design of the beavertail. On the Interarms version the beavertail is relatively short. I didn’t realize this was any different than any other version until two years into owning the gun. One day at the range I experienced slide bite for the first time. It was fun.

With the Interarms pistol, anyone with a larger hand (or in my case simply a fat, doughy hand) will experience the webbing between their thumb and forefinger slipping over the top of the beavertail and experiencing first hand the joys of being run over by a piece of steel traveling at 25 feet per second. No, it doesn’t hurt very much, but your accuracy goes down the toilet when you start to wince right before every shot. Luckily, a fellow enthusiast victim makes a beavertail extension that works great if you have this problem. These are available for about ten bucks on eBay.

So, how does it shoot? In a word, great. The gun is always more accurate than I am, and once you get used to the surprisingly high felt recoil of a .380 in a small, but heavy frame, it becomes a breeze. In the ease of use department however, the pistol suffers from three mild, but annoying flaws.


First, the double action trigger pull is 17 pounds. That’s a hell of a pull, and good luck having your first shot land anywhere near where you’re aiming on a quick draw. After that, single action settles in, is crisp, and feels great. If you take your time with the double action pull it’s possible and actually quite rewarding to see the round land where you aimed. If finger aerobics aren’t your thing, you can always just pull the hammer back for the first shot and save your workout for the gym.

Second, I think the recoil spring on this gun might have come off the suspension of a tractor trailer. Seriously, this thing is stiff. The blowback design of the gun requires a stiff spring, but racking a round into the chamber is doomed to failure if you don’t do it with gusto. Then again, this pistol is only 40+ years old, so I’m still really just breaking it in. I’m sure it will loosen up some in the next 40 years. For those of you who can’t wait a lifetime, reduced weight recoil springs are available from several suppliers.

Third, this gun is a bit of a picky eater. If you peruse the forums you’ll find about a 50/50 split on folks who say their pistols eat anything and folks who experience the issues I have. If the ammunition is round nose jacketed you’re fine. It doesn’t seem to matter what brand of ammo or bullet grain you use. Round nose FMJ will work just about every time. Flat headed rounds will cycle, but expect to have a failure to feed where you’ll need to send the round completely into battery manually every few shots. Hollow points aren’t even worth talking about in my experience, but if you carry this gun defensively, spend some quality time making sure your carry ammo actually cycles. Taking special care when cleaning the feed ramp will also help.

Since owning this pistol I’ve put a few thousand rounds through it of varying types. 95 grain Fiocchi FMJ seems to cycle well, as does 95 grain Federal American Eagle FMJ.

For this review’s range test I used a mix of Fiocchi, Federal and a Bulk Winchester White Box of 95 grain flat head rounds from 20 feet. After shooting about 200 rounds I had a few expected failures to feed with the Winchester rounds, but good luck with the others with no issues. The gun is always more accurate than I am with the exception of the heavy double action trigger pull. Shots from double action are noticeably right for me, while single action is essentially dead on.

While the pistol has a few eccentricities on the range, if you use the proper ammunition and remember that the spring is a fighter, you’re in for a pleasant shooting experience with a looker of a gun that’s bound to get a few jealous stares or some friendly conversation.

Where I live, in the People’s Republic of New York, the seven round magazines are not considered ‘high capacity’ (anything over ten rounds for those of you in the United States). For such a small gun, and with one in the chamber, that’s still a decent amount of lead to send down range before reloading considering how old the design is. If carrying chambered makes you nervous, the pistol’s combination decocker/safety might make you feel more comfortable. That, coupled with the heavy double action trigger pull, means this gun is not going bang unless you want it to go bang. Additionally, holsters of every design are readily available for this pistol. Finding the proper carry rig for you won’t be a problem.

Fit and finish on the Interarms pistol is great. All the parts fit snugly, the action is smooth and the quality is high. Both of my magazines are original, and they still function flawlessly. The only low point is the stock plastic grip panels. Functional, but after 40+ years they’ve smoothed out to the point where my purchase on the pistol is hard to maintain – something I can’t blame anyone for. Luckily, grips for this gun are plentiful and come in a seemingly endless variety of woods, resins, rubbers and fine engraved ivories, golds and silvers if you’re willing to shell out a bit extra.


Disassembly is simple, but if you aren’t familiar with the design it may confuse you at first. You must first pull down on the trigger guard, which actually pulls out of the frame (similar to the Makarov design) and then move the slide back and up. This seems very difficult at first, but is much less awkward once you’re used. Pulling the hammer back first makes life much easier. From there, everything is set up beautifully for cleaning. The barrel, which is not removed from the frame, is easily accessible, and the recoil spring and slide are the only two components other than the magazines that detach from the frame for normal cleaning.

Reassembly is simply the opposite procedure.

With the proper ammunition this is a great little gun. While I have since replaced it as my primary carry pistol, many still carry these daily. As a range toy this fits right at home in my collection. Interarms examples of the Walther PPK/S are easily found for a price between $400-$500 or lower, and despite a few flaws, are a version of this pistol I would highly recommend.

Specifications: Interarms Walther PPK/S

Caliber: .380 ACP
Slide Material: Steel
Frame Materials: Steel
Overall Length: 6.1″
Slide Length: 5.6″
Width: 1″
Height: 4.3″
Barrel Length: 3.3″
Magazine Capacity: 7 rounds
Trigger Action: DA & SA

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability: * * * *
This gun still goes bang when you pull the trigger 40+ years later. As long as you use the proper ammunition you’ll never have a major problem.

Accuracy: * * * *
The first double action pull will go wild if you aren’t careful. After that, it’s smooth sailing.

Ergonomics: * * *
The gun itself is a joy to hold, but that short beavertail will leave you with a chewed up hand if you grip to high.

Customization: * *
You can switch the grips out and replace some springs and other internal parts, but do you really want to change up the Bond gun? What’s wrong with you?

Overall Rating: * * * *
These guns are well made, fun to shoot, and easily found for a fairly low price.


  1. avatar jwtaylor says:

    POHM. Prisoner of Her/His Majesty.

    1. avatar Apresto says:

      Spent some time down under. They said POM for Prisoner Of Mother England there. Don’t know why it didn’t have an E. (Or maybe it does and I spelled it wrong).

      1. avatar RogUinta says:


    2. avatar 16V says:

      Interestingly enough, those acronyms came long after the word “pom” or “pommy” was in use. The best origin story I’ve read is that it’s a NZ or OZ contraction of “pomegranate”. which kinda sounds like “immigrant” and the residents weren’t too fond of the Brits showing up.

      (I got interested in the etymology when the Burt Munro character in World’s Fastest Indian used the word.)

      Oh, PPKS. Had one for decades. Not gonna give it up. Ancient tech, but quality.

  2. avatar DetroitMan says:

    Nice review. I have shot a few of these and always liked them. If I stumble across one at the right price, it’s going home with me.

  3. avatar Custodian says:

    This review doesn’t stir me and I’m certainly not shaken. A Bersa costs less, keep the money that woulda been taken.

    I happen to prefer the Walther knock-off, the South American Bersa (originally Bersa 95 in .32acp) Thunder .380.

    They fixed the slide bite issue, too.

  4. avatar Specialist38 says:

    I love steel Walthers.
    Feeding hollowpoints was always an iffy situation and you had to make sure your pick would feed.
    The accuracy of these pistols is stellar. Fixed barrel and precision machining.

    “Similar to a Makarov” – Actually, the Makarov is similar to a Walther. The PP/PPK design was one of the copied formats in the pistol world. Feg, MKE, Polish P64 – all copies of the PP platform.

    I would not feel unarmed with a PP, PPK, or PPK, or PPKs.

    1. avatar Apresto says:

      The Makarov comment was just to compare it to another common firearm people may be familiar with. In my opinion, Makarov actually improved the take down part. Examples I’ve used lock when you pull the trigger guard down. My Walther requires you to keep downward pressure on the trigger guard while you take it apart.

      1. avatar PeterK says:

        Yeah the mak has enough wiggle that you can lock it outside the frame. Doesn’t surprise me that it didn’t start that way in the pp.

        1. avatar Apresto says:

          Hmm. I wonder if it’s intentional then or a happy accident?

      2. avatar BLoving says:

        Try this:
        Hold the pistol in your shooting hand, trigger finger alongside the trigger guard.
        Pull the trigger guard down with your other hand- when it clears the frame, push the guard sideways with your trigger finger; there should be enough play in the guards hinge for you to hold it out of the frame likethis while your off-hand pulls the slide back/up/over the barrel.

  5. avatar gman says:

    I have the Bersa Thunder equivalent which has yet to let me down. Accurate, reliable, and is inexpensive.

  6. avatar Joe says:

    My experience with a Smith PPK version is pretty similar to yours. Sexy little beast, but with some real drawbacks. I had to do some work to make mine function consistently, including polishing the feed ramp and changing out the recoil spring. I also swapped out the garbage mags and got some from MecGar.

    Mine won’t eat most hollow points, with the one exception being Remington Golden Saber’s. Those have mostly round heads so they might work for you. However, I’ve read they are old technology and you don’t get the same performance as modern hollow points. I figure they’re better than nothing.

    One thing to mention is the sights. They are tiny and have very little room in between the posts. This can lead to great accuracy, but good luck finding them quickly in any self defense situation.

    I strongly recommend changing out the plastic grips. I found some phenomenal wooden grips from an online retailer and they totally change the feel of the gun.

    As strange as it is to say, I feel a bond to my PPK after all the work I put into the gun to make it function consistently. It’s my favorite range toy and will be the last gun I sell.

  7. avatar =BCE56= says:

    My early 80’s Interarms PPK/s is flawlessly machined. It is usually stoked w/ Magsafe and HydraShock, practice with any FMJ. It functions with all ammo I have tried, but chokes on Blazer aluminum.

  8. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

    Interarms was an awesome company. So many great European designs!

    For more info, check out my review of the Star Firestar! (Shameless plug)

  9. avatar jwtaylor says:

    The PPK, along with the Colt 380 Government (M) were two of the guns I owned for their cool factor, and happily sold for their not so good at anything factor.

    1. avatar Harry P. says:

      I have an Interarms Wather…pretty gun, but the only hollow points it’ll eat are Remington. Even then, I worry about it. The weapon is too unreliable to carry for defense. I carry a small hammer-less .38 S&W, and a Sig Saur P230. The little wheel gun is awesome…kicks like a mule, but I know it’s going to shoot every time. Same with the Sig. Same basic design as the Walther, but MUCH more reliable. I can put anything in it and it will eat it up.

      1. avatar John Putney says:

        Try some hogue grips adm less than +Pm ammo.

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    Yes, you can buy the Bersa version of the PPK. You can also buy the Toyota version of a Porsche. And the Jos. A. Bank version of a Hickey Freeman suit. The possibilities are endless for the value buyer.

    1. avatar Scott says:

      But the Bersa doesn’t choke on hollow points. I know, I have one.

    2. avatar IdahoBoy says:

      I second that. The Bersa does not choke on hollow points. It has a more linear feed mechanism than the PPK. I have owned several, traded several, and always come back to it after trying other things. It also has a really smooth double action trigger, and a good single action trigger as well.

  11. avatar Pwrserge says:

    Great review. I have a more modern S&W version and have seen most of the same drawbacks. It will feed Hornady Critical Defense just fine, but most other hollow points keep the slide from going completely into battery. The biggest problem I have with the design is the sights. In low light conditions, you’re not going to see them. Worse, there’s no way to replace them short of heavy duty machining that I hesitate to do to an otherwise perfect gun.

    1. avatar Apresto says:

      Absolutely. I stopped trying to shoot it at dusk.

      1. avatar John Putney says:

        Kinda of a reverse Dracula?

  12. avatar jwm says:

    In the late 80’s surplus West German police PP’s were sold off here for less than 200 bucks. Holster and 2 mags came with it. .32 acp.

    Sleek is a word that comes to mind with these guns. Not chunky or blocky. And they feel of quality, not polymer.

    My walthers are long gone. I replaced them with a Makarov. Same gun. Just a Russian twist to the theme.

  13. avatar DCJ says:

    I have had one for 30+ years. Carried in all sorts of manners and locations. Yes, it is heavy but also solid. I am one of the lucky 50% I suppose as mine always goes bang with any type of ammo. Funny thing, I recently bought a Taurus TCP also in 380 for those times when I need something much more pocket friendly. I always feel a little less than adequate with the TCP, I never felt that way carrying the PPK/s.

    I don’t know what is the double action trigger pull but I know it is well withing a minute of bad guy at reasonable engagement range. The biggest drawback I have found is magazines. One of my original magazines has gone missing and replacements are stupid money. $40+…wtf?

    Even though they are old guns, they are great guns. Always cool, always work. Even non-gunners understand when you tell them it is a “james bond” gun. Don’t hesitate to get one if it appeals to you.

    1. avatar Apresto says:

      Funny, I also picked up a TCP for the same reason and I have the same feeling about it vs. the Walther.

      1. avatar John Putney says:

        Got my wife a TCP. Still trying to find the right ammo to make it go boom every time.

  14. avatar Gilbert says:

    I have a German PP in .380
    Bought in 1979
    Really nice pistol.
    Think I paid $ 299.00 for it (I think – it was a while back)

  15. avatar Sammy says:

    The safety design is useless, seconded by 17-lb trigger pull. Nice toy but would never carry it

    A Shield is a much better option for carry.

    1. avatar John in AK says:

      I’m puzzled why you find the PP series safety system useless. The gun is designed to be carried hammer down/round chambered/safety OFF, relying on the stiff DA trigger pull, the inertial firing pin return spring, and the hammer block pin and plunger (that prevents the hammer from contacting the firing pin unless the trigger is fully pulled, safety on OR off). The gun CAN fire, as can any gun with an inertial firing pin with no blocker, if dropped on the muzzle from a distance. However, that’s rather rare; Most handguns, and that includes the PP series, are rear weight biased and tend to hit the ground on the hammer (they rotate as they fall–try it, with an UNLOADED gun over a soft surface).
      When using the decocker aspect of the safety, the safety barrel as it rotates places a solid piece of steel between the hammer and the firing pin before the hammer can fall completely; It also wedges the firing pin firmly in place with a cam slot that rotates over cuts in the pin itself, fully preventing the firing pin from moving at all. And, it disconnects the trigger bar from the sear completely. On ‘safe,’ there is no way for the hammer to touch the firing pin, and no way for the firing pin to hit the primer. The gun also has a loaded-chamber indicator.
      All of that sounds fairly useful to me.

      1. avatar Bill Mah says:

        Excellent comments. I fully agree with your analysis. I’ve carried one for years (since 1995) with a pachmyer grip and use Hornady critical defense loads. I have a S&W M&P Shield 9mm that is also a very nice gun, but I carry the Walther just because of the safety components you’ve listed here. There is no safer gun to carry with a load in the chamber than this Walther. When the gun was new, I also had a few feed issues that had me lose confidence in its ability to be trusted. Those issues disappeared after 300 rounds of break in. The Hornady round is designed so the hollow point is no longer hollow, allowing the round to chamber correctly each time. Very reliable, very safe, very accurate and totally dependable. I can afford the most expensive of weapons, and have many in my collection. In my opinion, no amount of money can equal the dependability of this 80 year old design.

  16. avatar Kendahl says:

    I’d rather have a PP for its longer barrel. Otherwise, it’s a classic gun.

  17. avatar KevinVT says:

    I probably don’t need another blowback operated pistol….except a PP (Walther or Manurhin)…and maybe another Mak…and maybe another Czech something…

    But I do need a martini (gin, dry & dirty)

    1. avatar jwm says:

      .450/577 martini can leave you shaken and stirred.

      1. avatar David says:

        Well, it recoils “some.” After owning a .300 Weatherby, .375H&H, .416 Rigby, and .458 Winchester Magnum, probably not THAT bad.

  18. avatar PeterK says:

    “Next time you see an aging hippie gun grabber from the 60’s, make sure to thank them for helping to introduce one of the most popular pistols of all time to the U.S. market. They really enjoy that.”

    HA! Awesome. Great review.

  19. avatar strych9 says:

    Great review. I’ve thought about picking up a PPK/S on and off for years but every time I see one I feel it’s over priced. Apparently the dealers think that the Bond factor is worth more than I do.

    1. avatar Stan says:

      Saw one in Kommiefornia (Los Angeles) for $1000. Talk about over priced.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        I’ve generally seen them around $475 used and $600 NIB. Everything is expensive in Cali.

  20. avatar Geoff PR says:

    A 17 pound trigger pull on the first round qualifies it as acceptable for appendix carry, in my book…

  21. avatar Nigel the duelist says:

    Owned one for many years before I retired. Ankle gun.

    Ran incredibly well, but, IMNSHO, it had two issues:

    (1) Serrations on the slide would saw up the web of my hand whenever I was shooting it. I don’t have a big-beefy hand either. Choking down on the grip just made it feel awkward.

    (2) (By today’s micro gun standards) WEIGHT. Heavy little monster. Never flung out of ankle-holster though (even with lots of running about chasing people).

    Sold it after I retired to someone else who still has it as their ankle gun today. Like my Sig P238 and Shield much more now. 🙂

  22. avatar Neil Harris says:

    I had a German made PPKS purchased new in 1978.
    It never fired more than three rounds of any ammo without jamming.
    I shelved it and finally sold in 1993.

  23. avatar John Davies says:

    This was my first carry gun and I could not get rid of it fast enough! Endless issues! Color me completely unimpressed with this POS. It’s only redeeming factor was that it did look nice.

  24. avatar former water walker says:

    Excellent review. Good to know about guns I have zero interest in…

    1. avatar Whenever The Gray Brick Appears says:

      You should hold an interest in this firearm, as the next skinhead you choose to pick a fight with in a restaurant accompanying your queen and four sons may be semi-legally carrying one.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        potato, you’re the only skinhead here. And you haven’t the balls to stand up to a man.

    2. avatar TMF says:

      Then don’t read it!!! Simple enuff solution.

  25. avatar James69 says:

    I had one of these, never even shot it. Bought for CC but it was so “pretty” I could not bear to scrach and bang it up. So it sat in it’s factory box for several years then sold it for a tidy sum. Mine was marked 9mm Kurz. I think? Had a good solid feel to it AND shiny!

    1. avatar tmm says:

      Right. .380 ACP in the States is 9mm short abroad. “Short” typically in the language of the manufacturer (Kurz in German/auf Deutsch). Except the Brits, who call it 9mm Browning.

  26. avatar Gary says:

    The PPK fired the best single pistol shot of all time. The one that put an end to the life of Adolf Hitler.

    1. avatar IdahoBoy says:

      By his own hand, no less. Shot himself in the mouth. The missus swallowed poison.

      1. avatar TMF says:

        Actually, they bit down on cyanide ampules. But in addition the pathetic corporal accompanied his cyanide cocktail with ventilating his head at the same time with his Walther.

  27. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

    You might want to give the ARX round a try. The performance in gel tests is good with a better wound track than FMJ. I carry it as a 380 anti-animal round when I am in the woods and not worried about bears

    1. avatar John says:

      Not saying the ARX round isn’t good, but against large animals you want heavy for caliber and lots of penetration. Personally I would carry something from buffalo bore.

    2. avatar Harry P. says:

      What do you carry in case you’re worried about bears? .45, .357…bazooka?

  28. avatar RingoMD says:

    Good review. Great little gun but definitely obsolete and relegated to “cool for historical factors” status. I wouldn’t carry one today any more than I’d drag race a Tesla with ’69 Camaro. The S&W shield, Sig 938/238, Kahr CM/PM9, Glock 42/43 do everything the walther does, and do it with higher speed and lower drag. That said, I have one in my gun safe, cuz Roger Moore.

  29. avatar Mapornik says:

    Very Good review. I have one and use it still in my carry rotation. Slide bite is eliminated if you position your thumb to touch the fourth finger rather than the third.

  30. avatar Steve Kreitler says:

    I have one of the clones- a Polish p-64 in 9×18. I love it. Replaced the springs (including the trigger spring, which broke after the first mag), but that’s hasn’t tamed the recoil any. The safety was so stiff as to be unuseable, so I chucked a bit of rod in the drill press and turned a new one- works fine now. It’s a quality gun, and the price is really low.

  31. avatar Jerry says:

    I have a stainless Interarms .380 PPK I bought in 1990. I had the ramp polished and frame “dehorned” when I lived in a state where I could carry. I took it to the range today with Winchester range ammo, Critical Defense, and SIG ammo. I could not get through two mags of any of it without a stovepipe or soft hammer strike. Anyone know a good gunsmith in the Trenton/Philly area? Right now I would not recommend a PPK to anyone.

  32. avatar doug says:

    Try $650 to $800+ In 2016. Just picked up an interarms ppk on gunbroker in like new shape, 2 mags, no holster for $795. Been watching them awhile too. $500 range is going to show serious wear, pitting, bad grips, 1 mag,etc. New ones by s&w new for $650 range online…but no stock anywhere.

  33. avatar Richard Knowlton says:

    I would agree with the comment on higher prices in 2016. It appears there is a licensing issue contributing to the lack of S&W units being produced. Supply and demand at work again. As for the WI hunter carrying a 9mm in the woods unless your close enough to shoot a bear in the roof of the mouth good luck penetrating their tough hide with any successful results, no matter what round you carry. Most agree .44 and .357 mags are prudent rounds and concealed carry in the woods is not an issue.

  34. avatar Austin Powers says:

    I own a S&W PPK/S-1 which I purchased used back in July of 2016 for $500. So far it has proven 100% reliable with both Hornady American Gunner XTPs and Polycase ARX Inceptors.
    Unfortunately, prices have been on the rise ever since it was revealed by Walther Arms that their current production of the PPK(/S) out of Fort Smith Arkansas had been suspended indefinitely due to a licensing issue with their parent company in in Germany.

  35. avatar Wayne Hallem says:

    Have an early 80’s Interarms model in stainless. Like new but the black plastic grips are cracked. Typical problem I believe. Reading this article makes me want to pull it out and shoot it. Details to follow.

    1. avatar Jerry says:

      Walther has a lifetime warranty on its guns. They will probably fix your grips at no charge. I also have a stainless Interarms PPK from 1990 that I had a gunsmith tune in 2003 for regular carry. It started failing to eject routinely. I sent it back to Walther and they fixed it at no charge.

  36. avatar Scott Foster says:

    I just purchased a virtually new Interarms PPK/S stainless .380 for $699. This one has no scratches and looks great since it was only used once and put in a drawer after that. I am waiting for it to arrive. These are getting pricier all the time. I think I did ok on the price.

  37. avatar Roy Odhner says:

    I’m always on the look-out for a new PPK/S review, and this one I haven’t read before. Good review. I enjoy collecting firearms that have an interesting history or design, and the PPK/S has both. I also like .380ACP as a carry caliber. Thus, a PPK/S is on my bucket list of guns to own. S&W now makes the PPK/S, and they’ve made two major design changes: they extended the beavertail to eliminate the slide bite problem, and they modified the design on the feed ramp so that it now reliably cycles most .380ACP ammo. I plan on adding this little gem to my collection, and I just hope S&W or Walther doesn’t discontinue it in favor of some new polymer mini wonder gun thing. The history alone makes it worth continuing this gun – sort of like the 1911 or the S&W Model 10.

  38. avatar Tom F. in Colorado. says:

    Just to clarify something I’ve seen mentioned erroneously a few times here and some other places, it’s not an Interarms PPK(S). Interarms is/was an importer of foreign manufactured firearms based in Alexandria, Virginia. But Interarms never did manufacture any firearms, only imported them. They also imported some other foreign made firearms such as Howa, Rossi and others. So, there is no “Interarms Walther”, only an “Imported by Interarms” Walther.

    My blued Walther PPK/S .380 (9mm kurz) was made in W. Germany by the Walther firearms corporation and then imported into the U.S. by Interarms. So it’s a Walther made by Walther and imported by Interarms.

    In more recent years Smith & Wesson obtained the licensing from Walther to make them in their U.S. plant. But the name Walther still applies, only in this case it’s a Walther manufactured by S&W. FWIW……

    1. avatar Carl S. in Ohio says:

      Hi Tom, I have a PPK/S I purchased around 95-96. On the right side of the slide, it is stamped with “INTERARMS Alexandria, Virginia. On the other side of the slide, it is stamped with “Made in USA”. If Interarms did not manufacture it, do you know who would have? There is no manufacturers stamp on it.

    2. avatar Harry says:

      PPK/S and PPK’s were made by Ranger Arms in Gadsden, AL from ‘78 to ‘99. They were marked “Under license of Karl Walther . . .” and marked “Interarms” (not imported by).

      The German pistols are best, followed by Interarms, and trailed by Smith & Wesson.

      1. avatar ColoCopper says:

        As I mentioned before, Interarms was only a firearms importer… NOT a firearms manufacturer. And that’s all that the Interarms roll stamp on the PPK varieties stood for. Look them up if in doubt.

        1. avatar ColoCopper says:

          Here’s a link to the history and information about the Interarms Corporation. You’ll notice that they were NEVER a firearms manufacturer…. only an importer and distributer of firearms.

      2. avatar ColoCopper says:

        RE:. “PPK/S and PPK’s were made by Ranger Arms in Gadsden, AL from ‘78 to ‘99. They were marked “Under license of Karl Walther . . .” and marked “Interarms” (not imported by)”

        Well obviously an American importer and/or distributer of firearms isn’t importing a firearm that’s also made in the U.S. as more recent production PPK(S) model’s have been. But again, the Interarms Corp. never manufactured a single firearm although they certainly did have their name stamped into many firearms made by others both imported and in the U.S. Some were very inexpensive and not of particularly high quality and others were reliable and fairly well made. And the history of the Interarms founder is an interesting story in and of itself. If you’re interested in it then check out this link to that story:

        1. avatar Andrew says:

          Actually, between 1981 and 1983, Interarms manufactured their Virginian Dragoon in Virginia after production in Switzerland ends.

        2. avatar Andrew says:

          “Interarms also operated a 115 person manufacturing plant in Midland, Virginia, making classic SSA pistols under the Virginian Dragoon label until it closed in 1985.”

          Had they manufactured only one Virginian Dragoon, that is still more than “…never manufactured a single firearm…”

          People are so certain about the bad info they share on the internet Lol. Right ColoCopper?

  39. avatar Greg Bayes says:

    I have a nice Interarms PPK/S serial number 020792. I acquired it used on a trade, if I remember right, in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Can any help me date it?

  40. avatar David says:

    The very late (early 1990s) PPK/S I have is stainless, and also has a much improved frame feed ramp and the barrel is extensively “funneled” (throated). It has accepted the Buffalo Bore 90gr JHP @ 1200fps, and their 95gr JHP at 1150 without issue. The frame and slide are not a continuous ramp as it was on the older Interarms PPK or PPK/S, but it doesn’t matter on my example. It ate the expensive JHPs without any problem at all, no case bulge either even though they are rated +P.

  41. The PP series pistols are not for everyone. I have an Interarms PPK in .380ACP, an Interarms PPK/S in .380, a Manhurin PPK/S in .22lr, An Interarms PPK/S in .32ACP, and a Manhurin PPK/S in .380 ACP. The Interarms guns, made by Ranger Manufacturing in Gadsden, AL used to exact same drawings and specs as the early German guns made before WWII in Zella Mehlis, the Manhurin made guns in the interim, and the guns later made in Ulm. I have zero issues with them, no slide bite, and yes, the .380 guns are snappy as all get out; that fixed barrel really doesn’t take up any recoil; it’s that little recoil spring and your hand that does. Remember, these were made for German men; they expected the shooter to have a firm grip; they did not whine about slide bite. They held the pistol firmly and shot them. The PP was introduced in 1929, the PPK in 1931 and the PPK/S came about as a result of the GCA of 1968…but that’s another topic in itself. Accurate? Oh yes. Aesthetically pleasing? Certainly; I mean; who can look at a Walther PPK and think ”ugly gun”? Hard to shoot? To a degree. One either loves or hates them; as far as shooting them goes. They are MY favorite pistols. I have no issues in carrying one of mine for the purposes of self defense, loaded with 95 Gr (73 gr in the case of the .32ACP) Fiocchi FMJ ammo. I know I am in the minority, but so what? I can hit what I shoot at with any of them and I am satisfied that shot placement with 6 for the PPK (or 7 for the PPK/S) (or 8 in the case of the .32ACP) 1 will get me home alive. And yes, I have other, more modern pistols as well, a Sig M11-A1, a Glock 48, and a S&W 340PD in .357 Magnum for example, and I do carry them. But odds are on any given day I’ll be toting a Walther PP-something IWB in a TT Gun leather KX Lightweight Holster with a spare mag on my weak side. And how else do I carry it? Confidently.

  42. avatar M says:

    Feed it Hornady Critical Defense. They will shoot, not go thru your walls, and cause the maximum damage you can ask of a .380, including going thru denim before opening up in the area of impact. The full metal jackets will feed MOST times but I don’t trust them to stay inside my home if I miss or do near as much damage if I don’t.

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