Squibs in my PPK

Geo765

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I need some advice regarding my pistol. Thank you in advance for your help.

Some years ago, I bought a new Smith & Wesson-made PPK in .32 ACP. The recoil spring seemed overly stiff. I couldn’t remove the slide without using the edge of a table, and pushing down hard.

The gun was mostly a safe queen, but while shooting it a while ago I had a squib. The bullet was stuck in the muzzle, half in the barrel. I pushed it out, checked the barrel, then finished shooting. There were no other problems. I was using factory ammo.

I decided to replace the recoil spring with one from Wolff. The slide was much easier to remove.

Two weeks ago, I was shooting mixed brands of factory ammo when I noticed I was getting some “spit back” on my face. Then I got another squib, this time half way down the barrel. Again, I pushed it out, and everything looked OK. This happened after about 140 rounds. I stopped shooting the PPK.

Yesterday, I was determined to find out why this was happening. I used only Remington ammo, and shot slowly. There was much less spit back, no squibs, and only some failures to feed near the end. I fired 142 rounds. I did notice some of the ejected cases had blackened sides. I noticed this two weeks ago, as well.

My question is, what caused the squibs ? Is the Wolff spring too weak? Is it the ammo? I foolishly threw away the OEM spring.

Thanks for your help.
 
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BTSDOG

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A river runs thru it........
Squibs are generally caused by a lack of or no powder in the case. There is not enough velocity created to push the bullet all the way through the barrel. As for spit back to your face, it’s either the round not fully chambering,(not enough head space) could just need a real good cleaning, or it could be an ammo problem. Try a good quality ammo, and if that doesn’t work, try a stronger recoil spring. And if all that doesn’t work, have a gunsmith check it out.....JMO
 

92G

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blowback pistols will always have a stiff recoil spring. it's by design. on a blowback pistol I would not mess around with recoil springs other than replacing them at specified intervals. while the mass of the slide is responsible for keeping the action closed, unlike a browning tilting action the spring also plays a role in this. the slide cycles somewhat violently and needs a strong spring to both avoid excessive frame wear AND ensure the pistol goes fully into battery. if you were having spattering it was either unlocking early or not going fully into battery. both are not ideal.

in general a blowback pistol is going to require a specific range of cartridge momentum and dwell time to ensure reliable and safe cycling. a delayed acon (e.g. tilting, rotating barrels) will be more tolerant of weak or hot ammo. for these blowbacks once I find an ammo that runs well I try only to use that. underpowered ammo will usually suck. the value of a blowback pistol is that we learn to appreciate the beauty and genius of Browning's tilting action.

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squib is separate issue and 100% ammo related. I would not shoot any more of the ammo giving you squibs and if factory ammo would reach out to manufacturer.
 
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cockpitbob

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S&W is really good about fixing the crap they sometimes ship. I'd call them. Most likely they'll send you a shipping label and you'll get a good, safe gun back in a few weeks.
 

Geo765

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Thanks to everyone for the advice. I’m thinking the slide is unlocking early, before the pressure drops to a safe level, due to the recoil spring. I’m going to try a new factory spring and stick with domestic ammo in the future.
 

Uzi2

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Springs have nothing to do with a squib.

A squib is a round with too little or no powder that usually doesn't cycle the action and usually leaves a projectile in the bore.
 

PATRON

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Like stated try new ammo,then get rid of that S&W crap.
 

45collector

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Agreed. The S&W-made Walthers seem to be plagued with issues. If you really want a decent PPK, get an Interarms import or earlier. If you can find one, a Manurhin PPK is just as good as a German marked one, but usually go for much less money. Much like an Argentine "Sistema" 1911A1 is pretty much the same gun as a WWII vintage USGI 1911A1, but at a fraction of the cost.
 
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I have a S&W PPK/s in .380, it runs like a sewing machine and aims like a laser, one of my favorite pistols. Some say it's outdated and heavy but I like the design and heft. I bought it only a couple weeks before the recall went out and didn't have the chance to use it as of yet. It was so new that I happened to be on Smiths website putting my claim in on a two free mags with purchase offer when the recall went out which was a good thing as it became first come, first serve and got my shipping label. The recall spanned 5 or 6 years of production and was delayed a couple months due to parts shortage.

Not that this has much to do about squibs but prior to buying it and from my readings and such, it seemed like most issues centered around the feed ramp. I had the intent to polish mine but when the recall went out, I figured I'd ask Smith to polish the ramp while it was there so I wrote a note asking so. When it came back with it's dot, the ramp looked like a mirror. It has never failed to function in any manner no matter how lightly it is gripped.

As for the OP, something is amiss with yours by having to push it against a table to break it down. They are a little stiff but nothing as you described, I would suspect the recoil spring you got originally was to heavy or has an extra coil or two. Did you compare it to the replacement prior to ditching it? As for the spitting, it sounds like it's not going fully into battery then again, 150 rounds between cleanings is a bit much for it as they run best a little wet and relatively gunk free. A simple wipe down and bore snake at the 100 round mark may help. I like using Brownell's friction defense as a lube on my centerfires. On pistol ammunition, I generally stick to what the gun was designed to use at it's inception as in like 230 grain FMJ for my 1911 .45 acp's, I stay with 90-100 grain FMJ and preferably of European manufacture, specifically, S&B, PPU in a pinch, they run hotter then the US. One other thing I do when I have my tumbler out is I'll put a few bricks of .22's through it and some .380's for about a half hour each loading in corn cob. A quick batch rolling on a rag and the .22's get a blast of remi-dry lube. Makes the rounds really slick.
 
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