How to Break Down a Walther PPK to Clean It

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After James Bond's Beretta 418 snagged in his holster and nearly got him killed in "From Russia With Love," Bond was issued a Walther PPK. The sleek, trim handgun became as much a part of 007's refined persona as his penchant for vodka martinis. Introduced in Germany in 1931 by Carl Walther, it was designed as a low-profile sidearm for plainclothes federal police detectives. The .380-caliber, semiautomatic PPK features standard double-action/single-action operation. It has a 3.3-inch barrel, fixed sights and a six-round magazine. It weighs 20.8 ounces. Now produced solely by Smith & Wesson Inc., under license to Carl Walther GmbH, the Walther PPK is disassembled for cleaning by following the manufacturer's recommended field-stripping procedure.

Rotate the safety decocking lever on the left side of the slide into the down (6 o' clock) position. The red safety dot should not be visible.

Point the firearm in a safe direction and remove the magazine by pressing the magazine release button just behind the trigger on the left side of the gun.

Verify that the chamber and magazine well are clear of ammunition.

Hold the pistol firmly in one hand, bracing the trigger guard with the index finger. With the other hand pull down the front of the spring-loaded trigger guard, pressing it sideways with the index finger to prevent it from springing back into the frame.

Pull the slide all the way back until it unlocks from the slide rails and the rear of the slide can be lifted off the end of the frame. Ease the slide all the way forward and off the front end of the gun. Maintain a firm grip on the slide while it moves forward to prevent spring tension from ejecting the slide and causing damage or injury.

Remove the recoil spring by pulling it off the front end of the barrel. After cleaning, reassemble the PPK by reversing the field-strip procedure.

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