Walther P22

Not open for further replies.


Apr 1, 2008
South Dakota
Due to the prices of ammo I have set my sights a little lower than i had hoped. I am looking at getting a .22 pistol since ammo is so cheap and I have been thinking about getting a Walther P22.

Does any one know much about them as far as quality and reliability?

I am open to all comments and opinions.

Early models had definite issues with magazines that led to finicky feeding and a reputation as picky about ammo.

Also the design leads to a lot of friciton of the parts as the slide rubs when cycling, it slows down the slide,causing FTEs and the common fix was to go to higher powered ammo to solve cycling issues. This caused recoil springs to be overworked which led to slide battering and cracking since there is no recoil buffer.
The five inch barrel models have a fake compensator which also contributes to slide battering.

The barrel nut needs to be kept tight, after breaking it in you should check it a few times and tighten it, mine from the factory was not tight enough. Also the fake "compensator" comes loose too, and IMHO the 5" is not necessary, you won't get much more accuracy out of it.

Later models with the -A magazines fed better however Walther messed with the -A mags and managed to screw them up, so the -B mags are the latest and greatest.

If you get a P22 made after 2006 with -A long slot mags or -B mags odds are it will be a very fun plinker.

Don't expect the kind of accuracy that a Ruger Mk or a Woodsman or something like that will get. But it is fun to shoot and I get 3" groups at 25' with it if I do my part, and it's cheap to shoot.

I have over 6000 rounds through my P22 with little maintenance and it works just fine on the cheap Wal*Mart Federal 550-rd boxed ammo.

There are those who hate this gun passionately but I just don't have any reason to complain. After thousands of rounds without cleaning I started having FTF's/fail to go all the way into battery due to the mag being clotted with black crud that got on the bullets, I switched mags and no more problems, a nice thorough cleaning solved my problem and honestly it was easily 3000 rounds without any cleaning or oiling before it hiccupped and I can't blame the gun- I have been shooting the .22's I find on the ground at the range in it, and some are so dirty and cruddy they have to be banged into the chamber. It will also shoot .22 shorts if they are fed into the chamber individually I discovered, after finding a few of them on the ground.

There's a page of mods to enhance the reliability of the P22 out there, or try Rimfirecentral.com for more info.

I got mine for $219 new in 2006 and now they are $319 new, I am satisfied with mine.
I had an early model one. Actually, two, the factory could not fix the first one. Perhaps the newer ones are better, I don't know. I would just say, for the money, there are much better choices in 22lr pistols out there. Browning and Ruger are two that come to mind.

Bests regards.
IMO you can get lots more gun for the same amount of money as the overpriced P22. The P22 looks neat and sexy, but accuracy is middling to poor and it's picky about ammo (which can make reliability very poor). It uses a zinc alloy slide, like a bargain-basement Hi-Point, but at roughly three times the price. A Browning Buckmark or Ruger MK2/3 are built to last and will shoot the pants off a P22, and they're in the same price ballpark.

PS: There are SO MANY P22 threads on THR/TFL these days! Walther/SW must be cranking them out like mad (bet the profit margin on this model is good.)
I had one and sent it back to S&W twice. No fix. Bye Bye p22. There is a forum somewhere on the net for the people that follow them but about all they talk about is ways to keep them shooting.

Browning micro.
they're fun to shoot and i enjoy them out to about 20 yards. then its time to bust out the buckmark or ruger. haha. i don't necessarily think they're overpriced unless you compare them to other pistols that are more accurate. based on design and function alone i think they're priced ok. are you looking for fun or accuracy? or does fun mean accurate for you? the p22 doesn't reassemble as easy as one might think, but its still not hard. and its considerably easier than the MKII or III or a buckmark. the people who responded so far are right though. that pot-metal really is weak and i've seen people post pictures of their broken slides on this board before. do a search for that GIANT p22 thread and you'll get a good idea about ammo. i heard remington is bad for p22s and federals are great. if you don't like the profile of the ruger or browning there's always the sig mosquito for a little more money:)
Bought one for my son to shoot when we go to the range and he loves it, so do I. It's not by any means a tack driver (if you want that, I'd suggest a Ruger Mark II). It's fun as hell to shoot. Just like the real thing, except smaller and MUCH cheaper to shoot.
Since you asked for all opinions I will express mine. The gun is made of junk material! Anyone who buys one encourages manufacturers to abandon expensive materials and gunmaking methods and to find the next way to shave a few bucks off at the expense of reliability. There are many threads in the forums about the P22 breaking the zinc slide between the front sight and the ejection port.
"Modern" doesn't necessarily mean bad or cheap, CNC machines came about in the early 70's and have contributed greatly to lower priced guns with high quality. Some modern methods, like die cast zinc (Which has been around for a long time but just now is starting to show up in better named guns) are no better than they were in the 40's, they are just showing up in higher dollar guns because the American consumer doesn't know about materials. It's part of the dumbing down of America, the guns are still cheap garbage but Americans don't know what "pot metal" means!
If this were just a thread by P22 owners I wouldn't say anything, but since you are considering purchasing one and asked I feel it is criminal to not let you know. I know some will get offended, I'm sorry, I have to speak the truth.
Due to the prices of ammo I have set my sights a little lower than i had hoped. I am looking at getting a .22 pistol since ammo is so cheap and I have been thinking about getting a Walther P22.

Does any one know much about them as far as quality and reliability?

I am open to all comments and opinions.


I got on, NIB, about a year and six months to two years ago.
Iv fired about 3,000 rounds through it over that time. Its probably more than that, but iv lost count.


It shoots both bulk box and CCI mini-mags equally well. Out of those thousands of rounds, iv had 5 or 6 failures to fire from bad primers.

I shot a 550 round box of Remington Golder bullets through it in one sitting. After about 2/3's of the box it had a few failure to feeds. Oddly, the failure to feed was always the second round of the magazine, and the remaining rounds would feed fine. It did this for 4 magazines. After that, i used my finger to wipe off the feed ramp and bolt face, and it fired the remainder fo the box with no problems. Remington is DIRTY ammo, and this is the only brand iv had that problem with. When i striped the gun down for cleaning, you would have though that i dunked the gun in a bucket of gold glitter. Fragments of the brass platting were crammed in every possible location.

When i shoot the Federal lead hollow points (the 325 round bulk pack) the P-22 will occasionally fail to strip the next round from the magazine. This has only ever happened with this brand of ammo.

Winchester lead ball and copper plated run without hiccups. Federal copper plated rounds run without hiccups. CCI mini mags run without hicckups.

I use my P-22 in a local PPC league, shooting mini-mags. It has never failed during while shooting in league, and it has been accurate enough to hit the targets with satisfactory results.


lots of people say that the P-22 is inaccurate. The gun is capable of decent accuracy, but the problem is that it has a mushy trigger. Trigger pull is an important part of accuracy, and the P-22s mushy trigger is very hard to pull without throwing off your aim.

When shooting in double action mode the trigger pull isn't heavy but it is very long. incidentally, the forward travel needed to reset the trigger is small. The first few times i tried to shoot DA I didn't think the trigger was reset, so i let the pressure off of it and re-pulled. It was fine, but it takes a bit of getting used to.


I personally don't think that a .22 should be as big and heavy as a full sized service pistol. This is why i wont buy a Ruger MKII or a Buckmark.

I purchased my P-22 at a gun show for $230 NIB. 3,000+ rounds later I've never had a failure that wasn't due to crappy ammo, and its still going strong. People can look down their nose at me with their $450, 12" long, 4lb .22 pistols and gloat about their "superior craftsmanship" all they want, but at the end of the day I'm the one with the reliable, lightweight, pocketable gun for 1/2 the price.
My friend has one that collects dust because it would never cycle reliably no matter what ammo he tried.

This may sound crazy but think about investing in an original Wolverine. I lucked out recently and got one cheaply. The thing is magnificent. I can't miss and it eats any ammo. It did jam three times at first but it had sat unused for 30 years. After those three FTFs and a few drops of oil, it's been perfect. Plus, it's a good investment.
mr. trooper's experience is very similar to mine.

My P22 has been quite reliable as far as feeding a variety of ammo is concerned. Occasionally you get bad primers, but that's no surprise with bulk ammo. Currently I shoot Remington Golden Bullet bulk packs through it without any trouble. I'm somewhere around 6k-7k rounds through it with no broken parts (including the pot metal slide) and minimal failures.

I don't think mine is the king of accuracy, but it does quite well for such a short sight radius. It's certainly more accurate than most of the people that have shot it. Good enough to introduce people to semi-auto pistols with. :)
Mine is going strong. Use whatever bulk ammo I can find and have had only the occasional misfeed or failure to fire. I'm up to about 3000 rounds through it.
I bought it because all of my other pistols are not cheap to shoot, with my 9mm being the cheapest. I'm not looking to win a trophy with it, just plinkin around and killing varmints for the fun of it. I like the looks of the gun and the only reason I spent $50 more for the P22 over the S&W 22a is because it will fit all of my KT P11 holsters. Did I buy the wrong gun?

again, i think its funny that negative comments are all about "a buddy's P-22", and the people who have put thousands of round through them think they are great.
Dksimon, should you decide to go with it, there's a PDF called the "P22 Bible." It outlines a bunch of things you can do to fix the gun's design problems. They're all pretty easy and require only a small amount of cash to get the needed tools. I'm sure you can find the newer version on Rimfire Central, or PM me for the older version.

I did a basic polish job on my firing pin block and it helped the gun immensely.
I bought one for 200 from a friend who had never fired it. I put it through its paces. I was good about cleaning it. After a few hundred rounds things started to come loose on the gun and the safety would gradually engage itself as i shot through the mag. It was also pretty picky about ammo, had at least one failure in every mag. There might be somethings you can do to fix the gun, if you wanna go through the trouble, go for it. It is a comfy little gun to hold and a fun plinker when it works, also small and light and ive heard of some people given em to their wives for SD. I gave mine to my brother for his bday, I'd rather have a gun that doesnt hiccup as much!
i will add that in all the pictures (3 to be exact) i've seen with the slide cracking on a P22, all those pistols seem to have a compensator on them. this might be just coincidence but it might also be causing the extra stress. yea the material is junk, but i've put many rounds thru the P22 with no breakage or even reliability issues. i guess you just have to know what you're buying and if you buy one you accept the material and assume some risk of damage or injury. if you buy one, use eye protection haha.
Not open for further replies.