My Walther P22 Review- this little pistol has been a huge hit for Walther. If you look how many variations exist for the P22 alone, you’ll see that Walther released an instant success which garnered a lot of copycats. I was actually trying to find out how many of these Walthers actually sold but never found a decent report. All I know is that it has to be a lot!
The P22 is a small, lightweight 22LR semi-auto, which at the time resembled the P99, but now you can see more similar styling in the Walther PPQ and the new Walther CCP. It’s got an ambidextrous safety on the slide, external hammer and you can also find it with a threaded barrel, if you so desired. Hell, if you wanted to find a pink or purple one it’s seriously no problem. The slide you’ll find in two configurations, being black or nickel (There are colored and stainless slide models floating around now, too). You can find P22 models in seemingly endless special editions, colors, configurations, etc. Here are the full specs from Walther: P22.
First of all, the Walther P22 is very cozy. I am a very big fan of Walther’s ergonomic grips, especially in their releases from around 2008 and later. Is nice (Borat voice). It comes with interchangeable frame back straps, so you can customized its fit. I ended up keeping the original grip as it just sinks into my hand comfortably.
In the box are the usuals- trigger lock, re-assembly rod, one mag and as mentioned, the back straps. You know it is a pet peeve of mine to only have one mag in the box. At least it is stainless, but still…everyone is going to want 2-3 mags for this pistol. Additional mags run about $20-25 bucks, so I guess for a cheaper pistol I shouldn’t complain, but I do. There are some models that ships with two mags, so check it out as you are making your decision.
The Walther P22 magazine is a 10 round magazine, so you can get some good plinking without a bunch of reloading, at least after you buy a couple more mags. You can find these all over the place online.
I had read from others prior to my experiences with the Walther P22 that they were not reliable and very finicky on ammo. While I won’t discount the odd model or one that needs to be sent back, I did not have this experience. I have a few .22’s that are finicky on ammo- unless I use good quality, usually high-velocity ammo. I seem to always have good luck with CCI Mini-Mags and even Remington Golden Bullets on the lower price range. Once in awhile I will get a FTF, but with .22’s I pretty much expect it even once in a great while with decent ammo. Using higher quality ammo, I found the P22 to be reliable enough. Not so much with Winchesters, which is my usual experience with those. So as a range pistol or plinker, you should be fine and if you’re shooting junky ammo, well, just expect some failures.
The Walther P22 is very lightweight and small, so this makes a great trainer or entry level pistol for newer enthusiasts. Being that it is a .22LR, the recoil and muzzle flip is near non-existent and so adds to the easy gradient of learning to shoot for the newer users. Aside from being very comfortable, it is fun to shoot and even more experienced shooters and the pros will have fun with this. Who doesn’t have fun with .22’s? It is also still somewhat cheaper to shoot, though regrettably not as cheap as it used to be. But you can still pick up bricks of 500 .22LR rounds for between $50-80 bucks. Man, I do miss the $20 a brick days…
For a base model Walther P22, you can get into one for under $300. For the nickel slide, 5″ barrels, or any of the other special editions you’ll be looking at $300-$350 range and most likely upwards of $350-400 out the door. Not too bad.
So, I wouldn’t let any negatives on the reliability you may read deter you from this pistol. I find that this is more what type of ammo is being used, and so is more picky. There are other options like Ruger’s newer SR22 or the S&W M&P22, as well. If you’re looking for a tack driver you may look at target pistols like the Browning’s Buck Mark models or Ruger’s Mark III series or similar.
In the case that someone is looking at the Walther P22 for a self-defense or CCW pistol, I am not sure I would recommend it. Without getting into the arguments of what the correct round is for self-defense (I am always of the opinion that any round is better than no round, any firearm is better than no firearm and no one wants to get shot by anything- even a .22.), I would still recommend a higher caliber, personally. At least a .380 ACP and get some decent self-defense rounds. But, in the case of CCW or self-defense this would be small and easy to conceal and would be better than nothing. If you were going to use this as a self-defense pistol, I would definitely make sure you get some good range time testing out various types of ammo to find out which one is friendly for your P22 and cycles smoothly and consistently. I recommend CCI Mini Mags as a first try. I look at the Walther P22 more as a fun range gun, plinker or trainer.
Oh, and I can’t forget for the accessory buffs- it sports a rail for lasers and lights. So, deck it out.
Walther has quality firearms and for what the Walther P22 is and the price, you could do a lot worse. I had a lot of fun with the P22 and for me is a keeper. Thanks for reading our Walther P22 Review! – BGR