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Gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson is recalling two of its popular pistol models due to a worst-case-scenario kind of defect: one that could cause the guns to go off without the trigger being pulled.
According to a Smith & Wesson Safety Recall Notice, the company has identified a defect in certain Walther PPK and PPK/S pistols that could cause a chambered round to fire when the pistol's hammer is lowered, even without the trigger being pulled. Smith & Wesson is advising owners of affected Walther pistols to stop using the guns at once, and to return them to Smith & Wesson for installation of a new hammer block that will remedy the defect.
The recall applies to all Walther PPK and PPK/S pistols manufactured from March 2002 until February of this year. The Walther PPK has gained popularity with handgun owners over the years since being featured as James Bond's sidearm of choice in many 007 films. See the Smith & Wesson Safety Recall Notice for detailed information on the recall, including serial numbers of affected pistols.
According to the Boston Herald, Smith & Wesson’s in-house engineers discovered the problem during routine firearm testing, and the company has received no reports of any injuries caused by the defect. But, the newspaper reports, "Granite City, Ill., police officer Jeremy Hunter sued the gunmaker last fall over wounds sustained in 2006 when his PPK/S allegedly went off on its own," while Smith & Wesson denies any responsibility for the incident.