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I have recently been shooting this pistol with regularity. I am aware of the slide failures in early P22 pistols, so I am monitoring the condition of the slide closely. I have noticed some light wear at the slide stop and the inside of the bottom front of the slide. At one time, I had modified the pistol with a Tandemcross captured spring, but have since gone back to the original Walther spring and guide rod. I did install a #83 o-ring on the spring and guide rod to act as a recoil buffer. It has been working great with high-velocity ammo but will not reliably function with Eley Club or Wolf Target standard velocity loads. When I shoot the standard velocity stuff, I take the o-ring out.


This pistol shoots great and is very accurate and reliable with the right kind of ammo using either the short barrel or the 5" setup. I want to shoot it a lot more. I would like to know from members on the forum where most slide failures have occurred and what to look for during inspection? I think I am doing the right things to make this little handgun outlast me, but if you have any other suggestions, let me know. One thing I am considering doing is to take the o-ring out and shoot only target/standard velocity ammo. What are your thoughts and experience with this known problem?
 

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I've owned a number of P22s through the years, have fired probably 150K rounds through them and never broken a slide.....but, I let a Member here shoot an old 5" version and the slide broke on the first shot. I had also removed the O ring which I should not have. Ft Smith sent me a Q slide to replace the broken one. As far as I can tell the O ring does not have any impact on the function of the pistol. It simply is a cushion between the lower muzzle cup and the take down lever stop.

If the ammo isn't powerful enough to cycle the slide then it isn't powerful enough. This isn't peculiar to the P22. I would keep the O ring in there and shoot whatever. If the slide breaks Walther will send you a new one pronto.

Failures to the slide have occurred in two spots for the most part. A crack can develop right at the rear of the muzzle cup where it joins the slide. Some have cracked but most just snap right off. It is likely that when one partially cracks the next shot causes total separation. The other spot that I've seen pictures of cracks is right above the slide hold open notch. There is a steel pin inserted into the slide at this point to keep the soft zinc from wearing away due to contact with the steel slide hold open arm. I suppose the steel pin weakens the slide a bit. It will be pretty obvious if the slide has a crack in it. 1917
 

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I should add that most of the cracks have been on the 5" version and it has been long assumed that this is due to a little bit more blowback pressure due to the longer barrel and....the possibility of the end of the muzzle slamming into the rear of the stabilizer. If this occurs the muzzle end of the slide is whacked in both directions and metal fatigue can set in. All you can do here is try to keep a small gap between the closed muzzle and the rear of the stabilizer. I've gone as far as to install an O ring in this location to keep the two apart but if the stabilizer moves it will shove the O ring rearward which eventually begins to interfere with the slide fully closing. Wear eye protection and just shoot the thing....if it breaks, it breaks. Walther has plenty of new slides and I'd ask for a Q slide replacement if it breaks. The casting has been beefed up a bit on those.

Don't order the QD complete slide. That one has a de-cocking mechanism in it and in order for that function to work the hammer hooks were lowered at the factory by 40% or more. It also has the captive recoil spring assembly which requires a slightly larger hole in the muzzle to accommodate the guide rod. It is very easy to fit the new guide rod to old slides though. Simply drill out the guide rod hole to 1/4" and install the new assembly. You will not be able to use the original system again though if you do. There is a thread on that. 1917
 

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Well, the 5" is more accurate but the short barrel fits with the easy going plinker mode of the pistol. If you are plinking the 3.4" barrel is fine. Get into any shooting competitions...better put the 5" barrel on. 1917
 
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