.22 LR handgun questions (Walther P22?)

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Jun 16, 2006
I am looking to buy a cheap(er) .22 LR handgun so I can get the woman used to operating a handgun with something "tame". I see alot of people talk about the Ruger MK II and obviously, Ruger's reputation precedes them. However, I am really liking the Walther P22 both because the price is right ($250-350 brand new depending on options) and it seems to offer "alot" for a .22 handgun.

I'm not looking for a target shooter/competition per se, just a good all around and reliable handgun.

Will I be happy with the Walther P22?
friend of mine shot one and said it was unreliable and inaccureate. if i were you i would just look into a .22lr conversion kit for a handgun you already have. same money, better training value
i hear they are alright now but i think the early production p22s did have some problems.. not sure though as i've never shot one.
What would a good yet affordable .22 pistol be then? A gun is pretty much worthless if there is a chance it may fail on you while using it in my opinion.
There seem to be a lot of people who've not had good luck with the P-22 commenting on them in internet forums.

Mine has never given me any serious trouble. I kind of assume a .22 LR semi-auto handgun is not going to feed as reliably as a certerfire pistol, but I've not had any more FTFs with the P-22 than with other .22 pistols I've owned or used. I've had a few friends who owned them as well -- two guys had no complaints, one guy had a weapon that could not fire an entire magazine without at least one stoppage every time.

The issue may have been early versus later production, as someone suggested. I'm not sure, but in any case the P-22 seems to be a weapon which will either be a solid performer for you, or very prone to problems.
Well, people are more likely to voice their opinions when they are of negative experiences and not positives. I was told by someone who owns one that they love theirs *shrugs*

I've never seen/shot a P22 that worked reliably (or was accurate).

Decent 22s worth considering
Ruger MkII/MkIII
Browning Buckmark
Sig Trailside (discontinued so beware)
CZ Kadet
I have a P22 and I find it to be a great little pistol. Its not as accurate as my friends Ruger 22/45, but its a lot smaller than it. It is accurate enough for plinking and training a new shooter. Mine is just as reliable as the Rugers also.....ie..they all jam up sometimes.

The only real problem mine has is if I "slap" a mag in the well to hard, the top round will pop out a little and wont feed into the chamber. Its not a bad jam, all I have to do is tap on the back of the slide and it will go into battery.

It doesnt like Remmy Thunderbolt at all. I feed it a steady diet of Federals or CCI and it has no problems with those.
My wife and I looked at the P22 for our kids (and my wife liked the feel of it as well) but we decided to go "cheap" and are picking up an S&W 22a
5" barrel, easy to take down and we've heard it's more accurate then then P22, You might consider checking them out as well.
They run about $189-$199 around us.
I have a Browning Buckmark and am not very impressed by its acuraccy or reliability. However I also have a $120 Phoenix Arms HP22 and have nuthin but good to say about it. The HP22 has about 1000 rds. through it, and it's only malfunctioned 3 times, all with a 1985 box of federal lighting ammo. I am selling my expensive, unreliable Buckmark, and keeping my cheap, super reliable Phoenix.
The P22 has a purpose in my collection. I bought it to be a fun plinker that I can carry on hikes (lightweight and small, yet big enough to shoot accurately).
I am suprisingly accurate with it. I have taken squirrels at 20 yards. It has been 100 % reliable with Remington Golden Bullets but not that reliable with Federal Bulk box from Walmart.

For a reliable range gun....I would recommend:
1. Ruger
2. Browning Buckmark (mine has been reliable if clean)
3. CZ Kadet

Plus, these listed guns will have less recoil. But darn, my P22 is way fun to shoot!!:)
I have to agree with Nimrod on all accounts Remington ammo works well in mine also. One point no one mentioned to me (and I could not find in the manual) is that regular gun oil is bad for the P22. I use Remington Dry Lube now. Since the switch the gun is cleaner and works far more reliably than before. I have the long and short barrels for mine and now just use the short barrel. There is a negligable difference in MV and accuracy between the two barrels. Taking off the little weight at the end of the longer barrel just gets to be a PITA after a while for no appriciable gain in performance.
And for those having issues with their (or friends) P22, switch to the dry lube before you toss the P22 in the trash, you'll be glad you did.

I have a P22 with the shorter 3.4 inch barrell and it is as accurate as I need it to be at about 20 yards max. It is picky on ammo. Mine does not like any bulk ammo, but works well with CCI stingers and Mini-mags. It also like the American Eagle brand ammo as well. There was one other type that it shot fine, but I can't think of it right now.

The P22 also has nearly identical ergonomics to the P99. If you want to upgrade to a 9mm or 40 you would already be used to the mag release postion, etc...

I have a P99 and love it very much alot.

Both of my guns were made in late 2005 and have been very reliable.
I have (2) .22 Semi-auto pistols: a Ruger MK II (which I think is the staple for .22 autos) and a Walther P22.

I generally shoot only the Wal-Mart Federal 550 pack ammo, and I have nothing but good things to say about both guns.

As long as I keep them clean (which I find to be the main issue with .22 autos because it's SO easy to run 500 rounds through them in no time), they both are very reliable.

The P22's used to have a problem with FTF due to a design issue with the magazines. That has been corrected, and if you buy additional mags, make sure you get the ones with the -A suffix. These are the newer ones that feed reliably.

A good friend of mine has had a Buckmark and a Ruger 45/22. I was not that fond of either one, personally, and neither was he. He has since traded both off. I'm sure that it's just a personal preference, though.
I've tried several small .22 pistols. I bought the Walther P22 short barrel. I'm very pleased with it. Mine likes CCI mini-mags. So does my Ruger SP-101.

Who also has a Ruger MK II Heavy Barrel target pistol. :)
I have two Ruger Mk II's, two Browning Buckmark Target pistols, a S&W 617, and a S&W 41. The Rugers and Brownings can be had used for under $300 easy. In my opinion, I wasn't impressed with the P22 ONLY because it didn't feel right in my hands. I've never fired one. The Rugers can be a pain to take down and clean unless you do it often enough to become proficient with the procedure. The Brownings are easy to take down to clean. Both the Ruger and the Browning are accurate. The 617 and model 41 are higher end guns that are very accurate and consistant, but more expensive as well.

Shoot or at least handle anything before you buy it if you can. Shopping for a new pistol can be fun all by itself.
Ruger is the way to go, but I would go with a one of the 22/45s or whatever they are, that have the cast frames. Much more modern feel and manual of arms. Best of all worlds in other words.

I don't oil any 22lr action, and don't plan to start. I also have never disassembled a ruger 22 handgun...that's what Gunscrubber is for.
I have a friend with the Walther. It did have a problem right out of the box and S&W fixed immediately. It is a good solid little gun.

I have the Ruger 22/45 which shoots so accurately that it makes me look good. Never FTF's. Ever. Of course it weighs about 32 pounds and has more steel in it than my 1911.
Of course it weighs about 32 pounds and has more steel in it than my 1911.
Yikes! You must keep your belt cinched up tighter than Dick's hatband to keep that 32 pound gun from dragging your pants down! :what: :D :D :D

I've never seen/shot a P22 that worked reliably (or was accurate).
And I've never seen/shot one that wasn't reliable and quite accurate with good quality ammo.

'Course, I've only seen/shot one -- mine. I suspect that your experience is similar. :scrutiny:

IMHO, the newer P22s are good woods/plinking guns. They aren't designed to be SD weapons, 'though I wouldn't hesitate to use mine in that capacity if it was all I had. Neither are they as high a quality as Rugers or similar guns. But then, they're nowhere near as expensive, either.
I would go with any of the Ruger .22 auto pistols available on the market. They are extremely reliable and this why Ruger sold millions of them over the 50 years of his company's existence.

I have the Mark I which I owned for 28 years and haven't had any problems with it except for when I used bad ammo. I had a box of Remington rounds which had about 25 duds for the 525 rounds. I fired the pistol for about 500 rounds without cleaning it then 22 years later I continued firing it without cleaning and the gun kept on shooting. I had enough after 1000 rounds and decided to clean the pistol because my hands were getting dirty from just handling it. The dirt did not stop the pistol from firing.

I did try some aftermarket magazines for it which were no good but it works flawlessly with factory mags. My vote goes for the Ruger pistols.
I like my P22 for plinking and carrying in the woods. It is a little small for my big hands, but I can still get along with it OK. I occasionally have ejection problems but it is usually reliable with all kinds of ammo. If I wanted to do serious target shooting I will use one of my Rugers, or my Woodsman Target. I would say that a 22/45 is going to be the closest sizewise to the P22 of the Rugers, even the little short-barreled 22/45s are accurate. I would say that the P22 would have a better cross over of controls than a Ruger if you are planning on upgrading to centerfire later, i.e. DA/SA, exposed hammer. I can't give you info on the CZ or Sigs, but a Ruger is my vote. If you do get a P22 and have problems you can get them sorted out quickly at rimfirecentral.com.

Don't let the rumors of Ruger tear down scare you, I disassembled 3 of my Rugers last night with no problem. You'll only have to do it two or three times and you'll know it by heart.
i've had my p22 for about 3 or so years, and i love it! the ergonomics are great for me (i have small, small hands!). it's a great training pistol. and if you get a few ftf's or fte's, it's a great way to teach how to clear them and move on quickly!:p
That Walther is a great little gun and is so fun to shoot. I think it was more accurate then my 10/22 rifle. There are so many parts and kits and accessories for this gun i would recomend it.
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