I couldn't think of a better Christmas gift, and I'll certainly add that to the list of things I'm thankful for. Even though these won't be shipping until the first quarter of 2013, and no telling when I might actually physically get my hands on one, I can't wait.
So first of all, go look at this brief Walther made video posted on youtube by Davidson's Gallery of Guns Sneak Peek talking about the impending release of this Walther PPK (it appears to be a PPK/s actually) in .22 L.R.
I'm going to go get on a waiting list, and will deal with one of the larger dealers in Texas as I know they move Smith and Wesson product out the door more than probably any other dealer in Texas. The current relationship between Smith and Wesson and Walther is not clear to me. Earlier this year, they announced that Smith and Wesson will not be distributing Walther guns but will continue to make the PPK and PPK/s in America in .32 and .380.
This new offering, the PPK/s, was announced at a trade show a few days ago. Word of it began to sort of hit the forums the past few days. I've watched the Walther video on youtube several times but I can't really see the details I want to see. Yes, it looks like a PPK, but over on the Walther forum there are some speculating that it might just be a P22 on the inside with a PPK exterior.
I really hope it has the same firing mechanism as the real PPK series.
I'm gonna guess that since the price point MSRP was announced at around $400, that it's gonna be an Umarex product. The US made PPK line goes retail for about $600, less in some places. A German made PPK of "real" specs would go for more than that, way more I suspect. I would think that if it were like a PPK from the days of old that it would go for at least $600 for US built and $900 at a minimum for German made if it was a "real Walther".
I've never understood why Smith and Wesson didn't seek to have the .22 version of the PPK added to their contract with Walther because I think it would outsell the .380 and .32. A real Walther, anyway.
Which being made by Umarex in .22 L.R. is not necessarily a bad thing. Umarex supposedly uses pot metal for slides in some of their guns. I'd rather have a steel slide and aluminum or steel frame, but so far my experience with Umarex as been good.
Shooting many rounds through an Umarex Colt M-4 over the past year and a half with no issues at all using moderate priced ammo left me a believer that a good product can come out of their shop. I do enjoy their line of 1911 "Colt" .22 pistols, but have found function and reliability vary. That's my only concern. Maybe I got lucky with the Umarex rifle.
The new gun shown in the video has a unique looking finish, which leads me to believe it is made by Umarex. There's also a big black space behind the barrel showing via the ejection port when the gun is "at rest" and I wonder what that is. It's a single stack magazine
The safety appears to be the same as on the real PPK, but is not ambidextrous on the video model. I've owned several PPK's made by Smith and Wesson and they have all had ambi safeties, but I can't recall if the Walther Interarms PPK/s in .22 that I had in the late 70's and early 80's had an ambi safety. It seems like it did, but I could be wrong.
Mark Thomas, the Marketing Director for Walther, says in the video the gun is lightweight. Of course, years ago I considered the PPK to be a lightweight gun, but in comparison to the ultra light weight scandium and plastic guns out there these days, it's heavy for it's capacity and caliber.
Even steel guns in 9mm, like the Sig Sauer P938 and the Kimber Solo weigh in at less loaded than the PPK unloaded and shoot a more powerful round. So lightweight is in the eye of the beholder, and we'll have to see what the real weight of the gun is. If it is substantially lighter than the real PPK, then we know it either has an alloy frame or uses a lesser quality of steel if it's an all steel gun.
I've owned a Colt New Frontier Scout in .22 made back in the 60's that had an alloy frame and steel cylinder and it worked fine for years, and is still working fine for the friend who now owns it.
You can read some of the less desirable "what if's" and speculation regarding this pistol and it's as yet unknown composition over at this long post at the Walther forum.
If it functions as well as the new Ruger SR22 pistol, I'll be a happy man.
Mr. Thomas calls it the PPK/s in the video, although the video is titled WALTHER PPK.
Walther made a lightweight version of the PPK, called the PPK/L, in the 50's and 60's. Here a video link to a review of one of these real Walther PPK/L