Saturday, June 21, 2008

Equipment Review: Walther P22

I purchased a Walther P22 about 6 months ago. My original plan was to use it for concealed carry. I can see the emails coming already..."Are you kidding, a .22lr for personal defense". I don't live in Iraq and 10 rounds of CCI Mini-mags in the chest will ruin most people's day. I did change my mind and I purchased a S&W M&P 9c for CCW. (So please, please don't bother sending me the emails I mentioned above...thanks!)

The P22 is a nice an compact gun. It is also well built and feels good, despite being small, in my fairly large hands. The gun comes with a case, second back strap, 2 magazines and a tool needed for reassembly of the pistol when it is stripped.

I really like this gun but there are several negative points I need to point out which may or may not be deal breakers for you.

1.) This gun is finicky about what kind of ammo you put in it. It choked on Remington Thunderbolts and Remington SubSonics. It has been feeding the Federal ammo I have pretty reliable. It is hands down a tack driver and 100% reliable when using CCI Mini-Mags (which are more money of course). I also noticed that when using the Remington ammo there was lead buildup in the barrel which is a pain in the ass to clean out. I do not have that problem with jacketed ammo only lead.

2.) The magazines are expensive for a .22 - I have seen them for as much as $35 each, the cheapest I have seen was $24 each.

3.) The gun is a bit of a pain to reassemble when broken down (until you get used to it...I can do it quickly now). They include a small plastic dowel to help manage the spring when reassembling the slide...this in my opinion is stupid...I should not need a tool to do this.

The gun is fun to shoot and it's one of the few guns I have my wife will shoot (the 10/22 is the other). She hates the recoil on the bigger guns. The gun is accurate as well...good groups at 7 and 15 yards rapid fire. I did have some accuracy issues when using the Remington ammo, the lead was building up in the barrel and some of the shots appeared to hit the target while tumbling...leaving an elongated hole. No issues when using the jacketed ammo with this pistol.

Here are some specs from Walther's site:
Model-: P22
Caliber-: .22LR
Barrel Length: 3.4"
Dimensions, L/H/W: 6.3"/4.5"/1.1"
Weight (without Mag): 15.1 oz.
Sights: 3-Dot adj.
Magazine Capacity: 10 Rounds
Trigger: DA/SA Trigger
Weight: 11 lbs./4 lbs.

The safety is ambidextrous and the magazine release is built into the trigger guard. The pistol is double action first shot...single action after that. The trigger pull is pretty crisp and feels good in my opinion. The gun definitely fulfils the "cool factor"...mine is Black and OD green, they also make an all black model. It looks basically like a shrunken P99 in .22lr caliber.

Overall it is a fun gun to shoot. If I had to do it over again I may have given the Sig Mosquito a look or maybe just went with a Ruger...the pistol is not a bad one and has proven pretty popular with folks. If you in the market for a .22 pistol I would suggest going to your local range and renting one to try out for yourself before you make a decision.

...that is all.

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  1. They are a great lookin pistol in my view. If I come across a good deal on one in the future I would grab one. Thanks for the review.....

  2. They just didn't "feel" right to me. Great to see you like yours.

    Try some CCI Blazers if you get a chance. They are coated lead, but I haven't had a leading problem in anything I ve shoot them it.


  3. I was looking at .22 auto's but I got gifted a .22 revolver. Old and not expensive but it is a .22 rimfire and it goes bang.

  4. I have put the no holster clip on mine and carry it as my concealed weapon 75% of the time. (.40 S&W Glock the other 25 %) Some folks have given me a laugh over carrying "just a .22" until they see this little tool in action. It is super acurate in rapid fire mode and is very capable of hitting 2 liter pop bottles at 50 meters.
    As for ammo, I have never had a malfunction using the Aguila 30g Supermaximum Hyper Velocity's and only one malfunction with CCI's.(gun has seen thousands of rounds)Totaly agree with avoiding the un-jacketed ammo for any gun.

  5. I owned my for 2 months. It served a purpose of getting my wife comfortable shooting and certified. Put about 500 rd through it. After cleaning a couple time I could see the wear and tear on the slide and what a piece of crap it was. I talked to the Walther service dept. and they referred to the slide as pot metal. The trigger bar ears have ruff edges that cut into the slide and could be prevented with a little care on the part of the factory.

    It served a purpose and I was able to trade it off for the better built gun. I choose a Beretta.

  6. It's good to see someone's got their head on straight about 22's. Yeah, they're not a 45, but I can't believe how many people get all snotty and indignant about them. If they're so harmless, hand one to your 6-year-old. Oh you'd never do that? Gee, is that because they're lethal?

    That being said, I got a p22 with factory laser for my wife. I like it. She loves the heck out of it. It's pretty accurate and it delivers Winchester Super X shells flawlessly once we got it oiled up and dialed in. My biggest issue with it (besides the tiny little slide rails) is its impractical size. It's almost as big as my snubby 9mm. If you're going for concealed carry, you might as well get a bigger caliber. If you're married to 22lr, you might as well get one of the many smaller guns available. Or if you don't mind carrying something bulky, you might as well get a target 22, which gains you excellent accuracy.
    Anyhow, my wife digs it. I sure don't regret buying it.

  7. Mine is awsome love it. CCW can't even tell its in my belt. So light.

  8. Im thinking about buying on of these i have many rifles and shotguns never owned a handgun before would this be worth the money and the value for a starter gun?

  9. Anon,

    If you just want something to plink with get a Ruger 22 or a Smith & Wesson 22A.

    I wouldn't recommend this as a first gun to be honest.


  11. I am buying one tomorrow, not only for it's compact size but also for it's factory threaded barrel. I'm sure with the suppressor it will gain the added accuracy I'm looking for. Besides it's one of the only 22. cal. pistols that feels right in my grip.

  12. Everybody talks about knock down power in a handgun for self-defense use. Get a large caliber hand-gun like a .45 or something. If I can bust a DEERS HEART with my Walther P22 at 50 yards, its just as good as a .45.

  13. Had one. Liked it, especially when I had a P99. Sold/traded both and a Beretta 87 Target - bought .22 conversions for my CZ85 and for my S&W 1911PD. I like getting trigger time on large bore guns at .22 prices and don't regret the change.

    The P22 was a lot of fun, however, and surprisingly accurate.

  14. Bought one a year ago and have had some trouble with hanging when using CCI stingers. I think they don't have enough power at 32 grain to make it cycle. I have not tried mini-mags but will do so soon. It is an accurate little sucker and just right for me as my hands are in bad shape. I use it for protection from dogs mostly.

    One issue that a fellow from Montana suggested is that this pistol would function better using graphite for a lubricant instead of oil, especially in cold weather. I would imagine that the pistol would need to be cleaned to remove all oil before using graphite but I have not talked to a gun repairman about it yet. Your thoughts please,

  15. I own one of these for a couple of reasons. First, they are cheap to target shoot. Two, it feels similar to my other guns in my hand (S&W .40, XDm 9mm). Three, they are fun to shoot and yes they are accurate.

    Coated rounds are the only way to go. I have had issues with Remington rounds as well... CCI has worked really well for me.

  16. Walther p22 with the "L" in the serial # is the model they fixed many issues & problems.

  17. My wife and I get our Ccw at the same time. I got her a p22 because she didn't like the bigger guns. She worked at a 24 hour emergence vet office. One night in 2008 they had 2 tugs come in, one had a hand gun. They demanded drugs. The lady that worked the front desk came running in the back yelling "they have guns". My wife grabbed her p22 out of her coat and stood by a door way looking at the entrance between the waiting area and the treatment area. When the door opened she seen a large crome pistol. She did a double tap and his gun went off. The second punk took off running out the door. They left the guy laying on the floor and locked themselves in the back and waited for police. When the police showed up they reviewed the recorded video, the young man that was shot rolled on the floor for less then 30 seconds before he died. He took one shot to the heart and one shot 2 inches higher in the upper lung.
    I hear all the comments saying not to use a 22lr for personal protection but something is better then nothing. This is proof that a 22lr with cci stingers WILL kill you. I tried to talk to my wife into a 380 after this incident but she said she will never use another pistol for Ccw. The owner of the vet clinic did not fire my wife (everyone always asks that question) and he now has a Ccw because of what happened.
    With the right ammo the p22 is reliable, accurate, easy to conceal, and if needed it is lethal.

  18. Cabela's $299 1/1/13 - 1/30/13

  19. if you research 22lr ammo you will see that cci stingers are actually longer than long riffle and may be why this gun doesn't like them. if you buy a colt m-4 mock up in 22 it has a big warning not to use stinger and why.

  20. I just bought one today on a whim. Been looking at .22lr pistols but really wanted a Ruger SR22 or Smith & Wesson M&P22 but can't find either anywhere right now.

    Put 20 rounds through it then cleaned out all the factory oil. Looks promising. Had one fte with 40gr federal bulk. I'll try to be proactive about the trigger bar ears causing wear on the slide, thanks to everyone who pointed that out.

  21. I spent 3 years in the Army in the 60s and I was a member of

    the base pistol team back in the day. Since then I've only

    fired a hand-gun occasionally at a range. I do a lot of

    backpacking and would like to do some plinking while I'm out

    there. So I'm thinking Sig -220, Walther p22, Browning

    1911/22, Ruger 22/45-al, etc. I went to a local

    gunshop/range to try these out. Of course I was using their

    cheap ammo. I got a lot of no-fires, jams, and even some

    refusals to chamber a round. My style of shooting is to aim

    carefully and to fire one shot at a time. The gun shop guy

    said one of the reasons these small guns jam so much is

    because they should be fired tactically... or rapid fire. He

    fired a couple clips with only a couple mis-fires, which he

    said were the ammo. Am I wrong to think you should be able

    to fire these small guns slowly and carefully, without


  22. I have just learned to shoot and love the p22. It is picky about the ammo. We discovered there is a magazine problem not the gun. I have 3 magazines and 1 shots great. The other 2 do not always feed. My husband took some measurements and looked at the way the ammo is placed in the magazine. And did a lot of research on the problem. That is how we discovered that it was a magazine problem and not the gun.
    I have tried some other guns and do not like the recoil. Some guns I can't even rack the slide.

  23. love this post, I have a walther p22 and a ruger 10/22 as well, ive been thinking about upgrading to a heavier hitting gun but I think I might regret it, my walther has never misfired if i feed it CCI's and its my favorite concealed carry around town. the only time I feel uneasy with my walther is in the woods with the bears :s . might as well be a bb gun.

  24. I've had my P22 for about 8 yrs with no issues as long as I use high velocity ammo.(Recommended) Stay away from foreign ammo. They are not always reliable. I see this a lot at the range where I work as a RSO. As to the issue with re-assembly of the operating spring, which has a tendency to bulge out of line, I shove a section of cleaning rod or small dowel in the front of the slide and the spring stays in place. The little plastic guide that came with the gun for this purpose is a waste of time. It needs to be twice as long. I've occasionally let shooters on the range fire it and everyone seems to like its feel.