Walther P22 Yea or Nay?

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Nov 28, 2003
Tampa Bay area
I have a 12yo son who has and shoots (supervised) a Ruger Bearcat .22LR regularly. Recently he's been asking for a Walther P22. I just got the 2004 Walther catalog that shows a "P22 Set II" which is the shorter barrel P22 with a factory installed and calibrated (15m) laser that I know he would love to have, but I've heard and read that the P22 has a history of reliability problems. I'd like to get my son the P22 Set II, but I don't want the headache and frustration of an unreliable pistol. Is the P22 still problematic/unreliable? Has Walther addressed the P22 reliablity issues? Any opinions on getting this P22 set-up for my 12yo? TIA

I have heard nothing good about those... that being said, they are the most adorable looking gun out there. I have wanted one every since I saw them. Especially with the short barrell. Major cute!
Early on they had some feeding problems which they fixed with an improved mag design (part no. should have an -A suffix). Also, P22's seem to be finicky eaters, especially during break-in, with a strong preference for the hotter high velocity (e.g. CCi Minimags/Velocitors, Win Super-X, PMC Zappers) stuff. I have the 3.4" version with about 800 rnds thru that has smoothed out nicely once I cracked the code on the ammo. Mine has a good rigger and is accurate enough for its size, all 'n all, a fun little gun. I'd give it a B+. HTH
They are good little guns. Do a search here and you will find other threads on them, one just a few days ago. I've had one for over a year and never had a single problem with it. It is a great gun for a beginning shooter.

As for the laser, that would certainly appeal to a 12 yr old, but please make sure he knows the gun's not a toy.
Having beat on P22's early on and even returning one for a refund, I am now the proud owner of a 2 bbl (short and long) P22. :D I love it and even have it set up with a dot sight. Even my non-shooter friends like to shoot it- a few have been converted... It makes a great training gun, and it is my most fun shooter.

Just remember nero, it's not a toy; it feels and looks like it could be, but it's still a weapon. As long as you keep that attitude instilled with your boy, go for it!
I was the proud owner of two P-22's. I purchased them because I thought the guns were the perfect size to teach my boys to shoot (nice and small).
I would stand behind them clearing round upon round of failure to fire, failure to eject, failure to feed, and so on and so on.......
The THIRD time I sent the guns in S&W finally said, "You know what, these guns really don't feed any ammo other than CCI minimags.", which I had been telling them all along. Not to mention the safety that would spontaniously engage, nor the barrel screw on the 5 inch model that would loosen after every 100 rounds or so.
They sent me two new guns which still don't operate near as well as my Ruger MK II (It's too heavy for my boys I have a big old red dot sight on it.) I still shoot the P-22's with them but it pisses me off that I have to feed them premium ammo(expensive) for a cheap plinker .22 (especially at the rate my boys can go though it)

So in closing if you want to have a cheap .22 that will only eat one type of expensive ammo or stand behind your son and clear malfunctions at the rate of 3-4 per magazine, get one, heck, be real smart and get two like me!

Can you tell I'm disgruntled?

Seriously, these are the two guns I have ever thought about selling. I follow the belief that you keep all the guns you've ever bought 'cause if you sell one you will live to regret it. (I sold one and I did! Besides, my boys have claims on every one of my guns already)
The DA trigger pull averages 468 pounds.

If you get one, be sure to get some anabolic steroids from your local baseball player so you can pull the trigger.

In SA, it's a fun gun when it runs right. Not one of your more accurate .22s, but fun.
The Beretta Neos costs the same and is a MUCH nicer gun that doesnt require premium ammo to function reliably if at all.Youre taking a big leap of faith when you buy a P22.;)
Haven't had any recent problems with the P22, other than what appears to have been break in issues, a 200 round break in seems to help. It hasn't jammed that I can remember recently, but some American Eagle bulk pack gave us the fits with non-firing primer hits. Hasn't happened with some Remington stuff though.

The Neos has been good too, other than the sight adjustment screw that disappeared after I got the red dot sight. Gotta call Beretta since they never responded to several e-mails. S&W on the other hand responds very quickly to every e-mail I have sent them.
Now, with a broken-in, scoped P22 http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=848665 , I go 500-800 rounds between cleanings because the scope has to be removed for detailed cleaning. When extremly dirty and shooting bulk-pack ammo it may misfire once and fire on a subsequent DA pull.

I have over 2000 rounds through mine and find that any HV ammo works. CCI minimags are good, mainly because it's clean stuff, but any HV works it fine.
I initially put 500 standard velocity rounds through mine, and it was terrible. Then I noted in the manual that it required high velocity ammo. After 500+ rounds of that, it is much much better, and almost completely reliable now.

I was a little ticked that I had to buy more expensive ammo, but then I realized that a brick of std vel. stuff was $8, and a box of Remington Lightning was only $10, so it's not that bad. It will run on less expensive cartridges than mini-mags. Now I am quite satisfied with the little thing.

Also, CCI Stingers through a 3.5" barrel=FUN! :D

Had one .. sold it ... got another.

I had an early model, and it had few if any feeding issues over about 1k rounds. Sold it ... missed it immensely as I find it a very fun little shooter, great for working on technique. I put a range report up on here last year ... you could prob find it.

Bought a NEOS, sold it instantly. I bought another P22 just last month after trying out many other .22 semis. The only other one I liked was the beretta 87 cheetah. The most "real gun" .22 semi out there.

I have put about 800 rds through my new one, an all black, short barrelled version. I wish I new about "The Set" I would have gotten one of those.

I have had few issues with mine because I always feed .22lr HV rounds for the first 500 or so rounds. I actually thought 22s needed breaking in with HV rounds was common knowledge, I cant even remember where I picked this up in my youth. Aquila and CCIs worked best for me. Then I shoot bulk pack but I like to shoot HV stuff anyway, it is still cheaper then anything else.

There are more accurate and more reliable .22s out there (A sw617 comes to mind ... hahahah) but there are few that are as fun to shoot, great for training and CCW if needed.

i've never been able to get my p22 (5 inch barrel) to get decent groups. in fact, other experienced shooters cant either. i take that back. others have gotten good groups with it, but abou 4 inches low and 2 inches right of POA. none of the front sight posts help, and the windage adjustment is set all the way over to one side. about the only way i'd get what i wanted out of it would be to put a red dot scope on, but i'm having too much fun with my ruger mk2.

sure its a little more money than the p22, but it hits what i want when i want.
Kodiak, that is gray. (some day I'll improve my digital photography skills)

It was a special that one of the stores had in this area in grey with both long and short barrels. The scope mount I picked up later.
500 round break in seems about right my wife loves mine.The 5" barrel gave alright patterns .Check other posts about cleaning as it can be a pain to get that spring in:cuss: :banghead:
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