Bersa thunder .22lr vs Walther P22?


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ryno31
January 4, 2013, 04:59 PM
Hello all. I've been in the market for a decent .22lr pistol for a few months now and I saw a P22 at the local box store today and decided to go home with it (after also pondering the sr22 and bobcat) I figured if its a Walther the quality has to be decent so it seemed like a safe buy. That lasted until I got home and did some further research (I know I should've researched first!) and read that the gun really isn't even made by Walther it's made by a company called Umarex that specializes in paintball equipment?! I also read that the slide is made out of some kind of zinc mystery metal and that there have been all sorts of other QC related issues (it didn't help when I discussed my purchase with a friend of a friend who said his P22 is now a paper weight because of an issue with the hammer). I know that many times you only hear the worst of the worst on the internet so I was hoping to hear from some fellow forum members about their experience with the P22. Also, the Bersa .22 is about $60 cheaper and seems to have very solid reviews, anyone have any experiences with this pistol? Being that I just bought the P22 this morning and haven't fired it yet I'm thinking I may just return it and order the Bersa online. Thanks for the feedback in advance.

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Fryerpower
January 4, 2013, 05:11 PM
I've shot a Walther P22 5-6 times in the last two years. I've put at least 500 rounds through it and have had almost no issues. I use CCI miniMags. The only issues I have seen is when you shoot >100 rounds in one range trip without cleaning the gun. The slide kind of goes in slow motion back to shut again for the next shot. I don't know how quick of a clean could have fixed it, but we stopped for the day and did a full cleaning once we got home. No issues the next time it was used.

It is fun to shoot but does require higher priced ammo to make it function correctly.

There were some issues with early magazine designes, but I have not had a problem with any of the 4 I use.

Jim

usp9
January 4, 2013, 07:26 PM
The P22 I bought was a disappointment. It wasn't all that reliable. Accuracy was OK, but the gun just didn't work for me. Quality seemed to be low. I wanted it to work but it didn't.

I'm no big fan of Bersa, but the BT22 I bought about a year ago has fed and fired all but one round. It likes hotter ammo, mini-mags for example, is accurate enough and takes down better than the Walther.

I'd maybe wait to see when the new Walther PPK/S comes out. It may be the better choice of either.

ryno31
January 4, 2013, 08:03 PM
At this point I'm leaning towards just returning it tomorrow before I go shoot the Stevens 300 Savage Arms .22 I also bought today (I have no worries about that one). It seems like people have either had great experiences or were very less than satisfied with the P22. If I'm gonna pay $350 for a .22 I would hope the slide would be made out of different material than my Jennings .22. Maybe that's what most of the sub $400 pistol slides are made of or maybe it's all just hit and miss and in the end you get what you pay for. I believe getting my money back and sitting on it for awhile till something better comes out and when I can throw a little more money at it might be the best idea. I'm pretty new to the .22lr pistol and it seems like a different world when I'm used to shooting 9mm and .45, the expectations may be a little different? I know there are some fine quality target pistols out there by Ruger and Beretta but I'm not really into that style of pistol.

meanmrmustard
January 4, 2013, 08:38 PM
Neither.

SR22, Ruger

MICHAEL T
January 4, 2013, 09:31 PM
Bersa over the walthers

MedWheeler
January 4, 2013, 11:33 PM
I just picked up yesterday a FEG (imported by Interarms) Mark-II AP-22. This is a Hungarian-made pistol based on their .380 model, also dubbed the Mark-II, and is solid steel in construction. It's a "loose" facsimile of the Walther PPK-series. I haven't gotten to try it out yet but, from what I read here on the 'net, I should be well pleased with it for the two bills I paid. Maybe you might spot one of these.

Kiln
January 5, 2013, 01:48 AM
I've owned a couple of bad guns in my day but the Walther definitely takes the cake for me, bar none, the Walther P22 was the worst firearm I have ever owned when it came to reliability.

Every magazine would yield malfunctions of multiple types. If I could even get 8 rounds off in a row I would count myself lucky and I wasn't lucky enough to get that many off in a row very often. The gun was kept squeaky clean too, as are all of my firearms and I tried multiple generations of magazine with the same issues.

The thing is that it is unlikely that the store will take the gun back without significantly lowering the amount of money you'll get (gun shops will only pay trade in on pre owned guns whether they've been fired or not) or refusing to take it back outright (many sporting goods stores won't accept returns at all) depending on where you bought it.

If I were you I would just take the Walther out and try it with some decent ammunition. Despite my horrible experience with the same gun, there have been lots of minor improvements over time to the Walther P22, and I have known a couple of people that like theirs.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If the lemonade sucks, get rid of it at the depreciated value and call it a lesson learned.

In my opinion, the Ruger MK series are the best budget .22lr pistols ever made so if you decide to trade it in this is what I'd recommend.

weblance
January 5, 2013, 01:51 AM
Neither. SR22, Ruger

I have both, the SR22P and the Bersa Thunder 22. I have had more Failure To Feeds with my Ruger, than the Bersa. I have shot both extensively, and IMHO they are equals. I like both, and I am a Ruger fan. I only see one advantage to the Ruger, its now available with a threaded barrel. If you decide on the Bersa Thunder 22, It will serve you well for many years to come.

Fryerpower
January 5, 2013, 01:59 AM
I must be shooting the magic one off of the production line!

The only other issue I have (see post #2 above) is that the safety is backwards from my Makarov. I sometimes put it on safe and pull the trigger. You get a click as the hammer drops but no bang. I makes you think you have a dud in the chamber.

Jim

ryno31
January 5, 2013, 02:27 AM
If the store won't accept my return at full price (which I now suspect they won't) I will heed the advice of making the best of the situation. It's just a shame to me that there are guns out there being made with the stamps of proven companies but which aren't being truly produced by those companies, with the exception of Ruger. I know the gun I bought is pretty much brand new off the line with the test fire shell included in the case being dated 12/06/2012 so I suppose I'll put my hopes in the suspicions of many on the Walther forums that the newer slides have been beefed up but that Walther (Umarex) isn't saying anything due to liability issues haha! I'll see what the store says tomorrow morning and if its not what I want to hear then I'll run the crap out of it, hope for the best, and post a review of my own. Thanks for the feedback from everyone, this forum is definetly my go to place for questions and concerns.

Kiln
January 5, 2013, 02:35 AM
Good luck, I genuinely hope it works out for you. I really enjoyed the ergos and looks of the P22, it just felt nice in the hand and didn't shoot bad either accuracy wise.

The issues I had were common at one time but I read a lot more positive reports on newer P22's so maybe you'll be alright.

Make sure to take a couple of different ammo types, even good .22lr pistols can be picky about what they'll feed.

ryno31
January 5, 2013, 03:19 AM
My positivity lasted a grand total of 15 mins. I'm trying to assemble/reassemble it and at this point I'd rather videotape myself throwing the gun into the pond behind my house and then send the video into "Walther" or Umarex's design department and congratulate them on making such a high quality Jennings/Bryco. Buyer beware I suppose. I'm through with anything Walther forever. I realize they make some pretty good guns but this p22 is a sham and they know. Kiss it Walther.

Kiln
January 5, 2013, 04:13 AM
My positivity lasted a grand total of 15 mins. I'm trying to assemble/reassemble it and at this point I'd rather videotape myself throwing the gun into the pond behind my house and then send the video into "Walther" or Umarex's design department and congratulate them on making such a high quality Jennings/Bryco. Buyer beware I suppose. I'm through with anything Walther forever. I realize they make some pretty good guns but this p22 is a sham and they know. Kiss it Walther.
Walther is owned by Umarex, they don't have a choice. Umarex can stamp the Walther name on any gun they like now.

Either way, reassembly is fine as long as you use the little black tool that comes with it to slip into the recoil spring and guide the rod into the slide.

There are lots of videos if you're having trouble.

ryno31
January 5, 2013, 04:38 AM
I've been trying to get this thing back together for the better part of 2 hrs. I've watched every youtube video I could find and read multiple posts on other forums about how to reassemble it. I'm doing it exactly how everyone else has done it and I've double checked everything within my limited reasoning that could be causing the issue but the slide refuses to go forward and when it does go forward and I try to rack the slide it stays stuck back like you've fired the last round out of a mag but the slide release is inoperable in that position. It doesn't seem to sit flush on the frame but its lined up on the back grooves back by the hammer. I'm just done with it at this point. I'm taking it in to a local gs in a few hrs in pieces and if they get back together and functioning I'm gonna hope to get 50% of my money back or make a trade on something else without having fired a shot.

meanmrmustard
January 5, 2013, 05:45 AM
I have both, the SR22P and the Bersa Thunder 22. I have had more Failure To Feeds with my Ruger, than the Bersa. I have shot both extensively, and IMHO they are equals. I like both, and I am a Ruger fan. I only see one advantage to the Ruger, its now available with a threaded barrel. If you decide on the Bersa Thunder 22, It will serve you well for many years to come.
This makes one of us. What is the cause of your feeding issue? This is a first I'm hearing.

hq
January 5, 2013, 06:08 AM
I know that many times you only hear the worst of the worst on the internet so I was hoping to hear from some fellow forum members about their experience with the P22.

I bought the target model in '07. So far I haven't encountered any of the problems commonly associated with it on gun forums. That, of course, is just subjective and doesn't mean that they aren't real but the gun itself has served me well and functioned flawlessly with just about any kind of ammo I've fed it. After removing the barrel weight, magazine safety and polishing the trigger mechanism it's actually a very nice little gun. I'd hazard to say one of my favorites, even. Accuracy is reasonably good, it's small and light and the 5" barrel is a definite ballistic advantage over 3.4" one, especially with high velocity ammo.

It's anything but a heirloom gun and initially I was worried about its bad reputation just like you are now. If you like it, keep it; I wouldn't be too worried about possible problems.

Centurian22
January 5, 2013, 06:11 AM
Sorry you are having such issues. I bought a walther p22q lighty used (supposedly 500 rds) and couldn't be happier, yes the re-assembly is a bit of a pain but as mentioned USUALLY with the use of the black rod or a proper sized dowel it works. I have run into this issue you are having and just had to give it the wiggle, jiggle, try again and it usually worked. As for ammo I run mini mags as well, but on a whim tried some 15-20 year old blazer that I have and it ate those up too. Had one odd issue with bulk Win White Box where it would cycle but not pick up the second round from the mag, only ever the first shot and only with WWB. So I just run the mini mags. Half of $350 = $175, heck if they won't give ya that let me know! I might be able to 'help you out'. Good luck!

Davek1977
January 5, 2013, 06:21 AM
It's just a shame to me that there are guns out there being made with the stamps of proven companies but which aren't being truly produced by those companies, with the exception of Ruger Ruger is NOT the ONLY manufactuer who makes their own firearms. I'm not sure what lead you to believe this. While the "Walthers" and some other "copycat" guns have been produced by Uramax, that isn't SOP for most gun makers. I own Marlins made by Marlin, Winchesters made by Winchester, Remingtons made by remington, etc. As always, do your research. I don't care if a gun is $200 or $2000, I'm not buying it based on name or instant appeal. I do my research, Failure to do so is ofgten throwing money in the garbage can, and I can't afford to do that. When i was in the market for a .22 handgun, the Walther was the first possibility discarded. There was virtually NOTHING positve about them out there, and buying one seemed silly after seeing red flag after red flag. Don't impulse buy a firearm unless you are familiar with it!

Kiln
January 5, 2013, 03:33 PM
I've been trying to get this thing back together for the better part of 2 hrs. I've watched every youtube video I could find and read multiple posts on other forums about how to reassemble it. I'm doing it exactly how everyone else has done it and I've double checked everything within my limited reasoning that could be causing the issue but the slide refuses to go forward and when it does go forward and I try to rack the slide it stays stuck back like you've fired the last round out of a mag but the slide release is inoperable in that position. It doesn't seem to sit flush on the frame but its lined up on the back grooves back by the hammer. I'm just done with it at this point. I'm taking it in to a local gs in a few hrs in pieces and if they get back together and functioning I'm gonna hope to get 50% of my money back or make a trade on something else without having fired a shot.
Make sure that you've pulled the slide back all the way and push down on it as you let it go forward. You've gotta make sure that it is actually on the rails of the gun. It is kind of annoying but very simple once you get the hang of it. I will say however that I find the need for tools annoying when it comes to reassembly. Why can't gun makers create a full sized gun that is easy to disassemble/reassemble that is chambered in .22lr besides the Beretta Neos?

ryno31
January 5, 2013, 08:22 PM
Here is an update to the situation after another 30 mins of wiggling, jiggling, double checking, and borderline shoving the slide back down the rails I gave up. I took into the box store I bought it from this afternoon in pieces and to my surprise they were really cool about it and the manager even agreed with that certain aspects of the gun weren't designed real well. They agreed to give me store credit to use when their inventory rebounded as their shelves are nearly bare right now. I waited for what seemed like 30 minutes while an employee took my pistol into a backroom and I continued to wait impatiently (notice the theme of impatience)for a simple credit transfer, finally the guy at the register said he was going to refund the money on my debit card...I didn't argue. I then promptly went to another sporting goods store and as I was looking over their .22 selection I noticed they had a Beretta 92 M9a1 compact Inox for sale and I knew was in trouble. I then handled a Ruger SR22 and decided to take it home but the thought of that Beretta needing a home couldn't escape my thoughts. I asked to handle the Beretta and that was it....sold. Now before anyone thinks I'm made of money, I'm definetly not and will be definetly signing up for extra shifts at work for the next month or so but I'm very happy with how today went!

Urban_Redneck
January 5, 2013, 08:42 PM
Interesting journey :D

I'm uncertain of the exact relationship Walther has with Umarex, but, I believe they are now in the same building in Arkansas :what:

ryno31
January 5, 2013, 09:11 PM
Interesting indeed...it's pretty crazy how things work out sometimes!

weblance
January 5, 2013, 09:26 PM
What is the cause of your feeding issue? This is a first I'm hearing.

Most of my issues are that the pistol will fire and eject, but then not strip the next round from the magazine. This was with Federal bulk, Federal Automatch, and Winchester 555. It runs fine on Blazer bulk, and of course, more expensive ammo from CCI like Mini Mags and Velocitors. Most SR22Ps run fine on Federal Bulk, but mine does not. I have 5 magazines for my SR22P and its an ammo problem, not a magazine issue. Its also well broken in now, with over 4,000 rounds down range. Its not an uncommon issue, as others have reported the same problem with various ammo types. I simply shoot Blazers thru it now, and it runs pretty well. I have had no issues with my Bersa, it runs Federal and Blazer bulk just fine. They are both good pistols, but neither are as accurate as my Mark II and Mark III Target pistols.

Kiln
January 5, 2013, 11:01 PM
That is the same thing my Walther P22 did constantly. Design flaw?

weblance
January 5, 2013, 11:23 PM
Design flaw for not picking up a round out of the magazine with one brand, but not another? No, I think that certain ammo just isnt strong enough to cycle the action. Maybe my recoil spring is a little stronger than others? It runs fine with Blazers, and high quality ammo, so Im not worried at all. Blazer is good stuff and cheap. I can get the bulk 525 boxes for $16, and Ive got about 10 of those, so Im set for a while.

meanmrmustard
January 6, 2013, 09:51 PM
Most of my issues are that the pistol will fire and eject, but then not strip the next round from the magazine. This was with Federal bulk, Federal Automatch, and Winchester 555. It runs fine on Blazer bulk, and of course, more expensive ammo from CCI like Mini Mags and Velocitors. Most SR22Ps run fine on Federal Bulk, but mine does not. I have 5 magazines for my SR22P and its an ammo problem, not a magazine issue. Its also well broken in now, with over 4,000 rounds down range. Its not an uncommon issue, as others have reported the same problem with various ammo types. I simply shoot Blazers thru it now, and it runs pretty well. I have had no issues with my Bersa, it runs Federal and Blazer bulk just fine. They are both good pistols, but neither are as accurate as my Mark II and Mark III Target pistols.
Wow. I'm not hearing this at all. Mine, several friends, and colleagues who all bought the SR22 rave about its consistent reliability with even junk ammo. I wouldn't call Federal bulk junk, so I'm wondering if this issue isn't more deep seated than ammo related. I only buy CCI because its cleaner, not that it is particularly more expensive or better, that's just a byproduct.

Of course your Target models are more accurate; that's the point of having Target in the name. Your Bersa and SR are meant for fun plinking, and service pistol training. Try drawing your Mk II from deep concealment and do double tap drills. Bet it doesn't go well.

oppie
January 6, 2013, 11:27 PM
The Bersa .22 is a great pistol. I'd take it over the Walther any day. Don't discount the Rugers. They make a couple fine .22's and are American made. That's a +1 in my book.

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