Old model P-22 had the handsome features of the P-99
I have to admit being an ardent Walther fan. I’ve toured the Walther factory in Ulm, Germany, and I’ve treasured such pistols as the PP, PPK, and P.38. I’ve admired Walther Target pistols such as the Olympia and GSP. I still believe these are the best pistols of their type in the world. I’ve owned two Walther P-22 pistols and here is my review.
In 2003 I purchased a Walther P-22, a light handy polymer framed gun which caught my fancy. I expected it would perform similarly to my Walther PP .22LR which was made in 1943. In short, the gun did not live up to those expectations. First, the P-22 makes extensive use of polymer, plastic, and zinc. This keeps the pistol light weight and inexpensive.
The gun I purchased in 2003 had several problems, its accuracy was indifferent, during the first range session the safety fell off and was lost. It was never reliable in spite of buying several additional Walther magazines. In 2012 the gun would not function at all. I returned it to Smith & Wesson, Walther’s American partner at the time, for repair. I was informed the frame was cracked and the pistol would be replaced.
New Q series P-22 is much less attractive than the old model.
I felt this was excellent customer service. About 6 weeks later my replacement pistol arrived at my FFL. I was immediately disappointed by the new Q series styling, I found the “stealth fighter: styling on the P-99 and the scaled down P-22, very attractive and modern. The Q series guns look like a failed modern art project. However, the worth of a gun is how it functions. I found the Q series P-22 to be a failure.
Here is a list of the things that are wrong with the Walther P-22.
· The pistol is inaccurate. It performance at 25 yards is abysmal. Usually .22 caliber pistols are usually very accurate, the P-22 is a sad exception. It will not build confidence in new shooters.
· The pistol is unreliable, there is always a failure to fire, failure to feed, failure to eject in almost every magazine. Unlike a steel gun, it cannot break in since polymer, zinc, and plastic can’t rub off edges like two steel surfaces can. The shooter is constantly clearing jams or chambering rounds to get the pistol to shoot. The P-22 is useless as a training weapon for novice shooters, who have no confidence in a continually malfunctioning weapon.
· The quality of manufacture is poor, it looks and feels cheap and chintzy. Zinc alloy is really unsuitable for firearms, especially Walther. The plastic pieces such as the sights and safety are flimsy and will not stand up to daily use. This pistol feels like an airsoft gun rigged to fire .22LR. It was apparently never built to last or preform, so unlike previous Walther pistols.
· The P-22 is the most ammo sensitive design ever made, my two pistols would not shoot standard velocity, and many high velocity brands of ammunition. Given the difficultly in obtaining .22 ammunition, this is a serious problem. The P-22 is simply not worth wasting expensive ammunition on.
· The earlier P-22 looked like the P-99, which was used in several James Bond movies. Although the newer Q series gun has a stronger slide, it does not have the “Bond 007 “ allure for younger shooters.
The P-22 is really unfit to wear the Walther banner. I would sell mine in a heartbeat but I’d hate to see another shooter get stuck. It’s a poorly made toy which shoots live ammo, its not fit as a range gun or for any more serious purpose such as hunting or competition. Avoid this gun like the plague.