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Maruzen Walther PPK/S New Version
I decided the other day that I wanted a “Last ditch” pistol, should I run out of ammo in my AEG and managed to get through the five magazines for my 1911 or encounter some technical failure that couldn’t be fixed in 30 seconds. Hell I’m a collector…what do I need an excuse for?
So I began shopping for something that was essentially a pocket pistol. I came up with four contenders:
- WA 1934 Beretta
- Maruzen PPK/S
- Marushin COP
- Marushin Derringer (6mm version)
I liked the COP but I began to dislike the idea of having to bother with separate and more the expensive 8mm ammo for it. The Derringer and COP seemed like a good ideas but they really were last ditch-last ditch even if the 6mm Derringer holds 8 rounds I also felt that it might be a bit too small and thus "fiddly" in the field. Not something that would fill you with much confidence.
I was going to go with the Beretta 1934 it seemed ideal but it was out of stock when I was placing my large order so I opted for the PPK/S instead.
I wasn’t expecting a lot, I just needed something that could put some rounds down in someones general direction. When I opened the package I was quite pleasantly surprised with the quality and feel of the gun.
Build Material: ABS plastic
Ammo Capacity: 22 rounds
Operation: Gas Blow Back
Metal Parts: Trigger, safety catch, mag release, hammer, hammer/trigger internals, magazine body.
The PPK/S is not your James Bond gun; he used a PPK – which very very very nearly the the same thing. Put the PPK and PPK/S next to each other and they're almost identical so you can still play 007 with it though... no one will know, shhhhhhhh.
The PPK was developed in 1931 and the PP was developed in 1929. The PPK is just a smaller version of the PP.
The PPK/S is fatter and slightly longer in the pistol grip (PPK/S holds one more round than the PPK); it is the slide and barrel of the PPK mounted on the PP frame. This was done around 1968 to circumvent the US Gun Control Act, sale of the PPK/S was restricted to the USA.
The PPK/S is available in various calibres the popular being 9mm Short (.380 ACP) taking 7 rounds in the magazine and in .32 with 8 rounds in the mag.
Left hand side features the Walther logo with “Made in Japan” underneath - instead of the real-steal "Made in USA". Next to the logo is “Carl Walther Waffenfabrik Ulm/Do” and underneath that is “Modell PPK/S Cal 9mm kurz/380ACP”
Both Pistol Grips feature the Walther logo.
Right hand side, underneath the ejection port is the serial number “ME500602” no idea if this is unique but I severally doubt it. Near the muzzle reads:
“Licensed Trademark of
Carl Walther GmbH Germany
J A S G 6mm Maruzen”
The Magazine features the same on both sides: the Walther logo and underneath “Cal. 6mm BB”
The Maruzen PPK/S operates like the real thing; it's a Gas Blowback, the trigger is double action – so no need to cock the hammer for that first round.
The safety catch is nice because it’s also a decocker. With the hammer back, putting the gun to safety will cause the hammer to fall but not go all the way forward.
Moving the safety to “Fire” will release the trigger and reset the hammer – ready for that double action trigger. The following picture shows the flow from cocked, to safe to ready again:
You can decock the hammer yourself but as you return the hammer you must take your finger off the trigger. I strongly recommend you use the safety/decocker for this.
What’s nice about the PPK/S is the hammer; once decocked it doesn’t rest directly on the magazine’s valve, meaning a knock or pressure on the hammer won’t send a BB down the barrel. No need for messing around pulling the mag out, dropping the hammer and reinserting the mag - as is required by so many pistols out there if you want to make the hammer safe.
When the mag is empty the slide will lock back. There’s no external slide release, the slide lock is spring loaded so when you insert a fresh mag you just pull back a little on the slide and it will release.
It’s not a hard hitter, rather low powered with an average FPS of 230 using 134a and 0.2g BBS. The gun can’t really handle Green Gas – something I’ll mention later.
Although it’s so low powered one charge of 134a into the magazine is enough to fire off (sometimes) over 60 rounds depending on temperates/cool-down effect etc etc. I just had a go, constant firing, it ran out of gas on the 3rd mag (same mag used) with 3 rounds left in the gun. Cool-down is quite minimal.
The sights are a little off you need to aim a little high. I fired all 22 rounds at this 10cm x 10cm (~4"x4") target that was 2.5m (~8 feet) away and as you can see it’s shooting a bit low – I kept the sights on the bullseye.
Here I drew two more naff 10cm x 10cm targets, topped up the mag with gas and fired 5 rounds at the bull, I refilled the mag again for the second target:
It seems to stablise in accuracy after it's let off a few rounds, I believe this is to do with the recoil force of the slide (something I shall go into more detail later) being reduced because theres less pressure in the mag, in other words the excess gas has been shot off.
Stripping it Down:
This is an odd one – no idea if the real thing works like this but I wouldn’t be surprised considering how well Maruzen have replicated it so far.
You actually pull the trigger guard down and out from the frame like so:
It’s spring loaded and will attempt to go back into the frame. Then you pull the slide back and up for it to come off:
First the big problem: it can’t really take Green Gas/propane well anything other than 134a not because it'd blow the slide in half after time but because of the takedown system: The recoil is so hard with Green Gas that the slide can cause the Trigger guard to pop out of the frame temporarily and the slide to ride back and off its rails.
Herein lines another problem: taking the gun down is all very easy but the Slide Lock is held in place by the slide and the spring for the slide lock is held in by the slide lock. And it’s such a tiny thin spring...
My big problem was: I was using it with green gas, I fired, the trigger guard popped out, the slide came back, and as it went forward itrode off the rails, the slide lock dropped out and the spring for it shot off never to be seen again.
So I've been forced to remove the slide lock on my PPK/S. With no spring to keep the catch in check its too unpredictable so I took it out – this isn’t such a major issue as the slide still stops when the mag is empty – although this is far from healthy and rather undesirable but at least I know when I can’t shoot anymore.
Also the accuracy when using anything over 134a gas is rather poor, the gun will shoot much lower than normal - this is because the slide hits back with such force it pushes the fixed barrel and chamber down a little - no fancy tilting barrel-Browning System here to tilt the barrel up. Shame really but rather a moot point for a 75 year old gun design.
Another problem I encountered is the hammer; if you don’t pull the trigger right in when firing (if you flick the trigger) the hammer can get caught in what can only be described as "limbo". The slide returns to battery but the trigger has gone from single action to double action and the hammer is forward. Pulling the trigger in this state takes the hammer back a little way but not far enough for it to pass its release point and fire. You have to cock the hammer to get around this problem. Thankfully it doesn’t occur much and is more prominent when the mag is almost out of gas.
At around $98 for such a gun it’s quite good value. It’s small and compact, fits easily into pockets. The huge ammo capacity and the efficiency certainly help to make up for the low power. I don’t consider the accuracy to be a major problem for its role; if I was after this as a primary sidearm that needed to work over range I would be rather upset with it. As it stands it would make an ideal CQB sidearm; it’s fast to shoot and nibble.
The recoil is sharp and crisp – a fast finger will empty the mag in about 4-5 seconds.
Not to mention that is feels good in your hand and the trigger is quite smooth.
Reliability Rating: 89% despite the trouble that can occur with the hammer getting caught in limbo the gas efficiency just boosts this score right up and I've experienced no gas-venting problems that the previous version of the PPK/S suffered from.
Accuracy: 70% the sights are more of a rough guide but it’s a good for instinct-shooting. 2" groupings at 8 feet... maybe I'm just being picky
Efficiency: 99% Can’t get much better than that really; the mag is pretty small compared to most guns too. And with 22 rounds in the mag you can afford to miss a few.
Power: 55% 230fps is around EBB level, far from brilliant but not too naff you’d rather throw a handfuls of BBs at people. The ability not to handle green gas/propane is a major shot to this score.
On a note: I have thought about fitting a screw to hold the trigger guard into the frame to prevent it jumping out on green gas. However I don’t think fair too well for long under constant Green Gas/Propane use.
Aftermarket Accessories available are a metal threaded barrel/chamber and a silencer - sold as a set, a reinforced loading nozzle and tightbore barrel. So not much but then you weren't expecting a lot... were you? However I do remember some mention of a metal slide a frame being made by someone.
Overall Rating: 85%
You want a small pocket pistol? This is not a bad choice at all. I'm certainly glad I got this, its a fun little pistol and I'd be confident if I need to rely on it.
The review above was based on the old non-Movie Prop edition. The movie prop edition is virtually the same except that it features a silver metal barrel/chamber that is threaded to take a silencer (supplied).
I found that the later "Movie Prop" edition to handle propane/green gas better. The old version (which the above review is based on) completely destroyed itself on propane - yeah I kept putting the stuff in - one time I went to reload it bits of metal fell out the mag well, but she kept on firing and in the end only 'died' because the trigger bar snapped. The Movie Prop version didn't pop the trigger guard out has been on a pure diet of Propane since I got it: it's handled it brilliantly, bits haven't falled out of it and has to be one of the best little pistols I have.
134a Green Gas Propane small compact pocket Back up pistol
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