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Discussion Starter #1
The only problem is...I don't have any subsonic ammo. But, I can probably find some and there is work to be done beforehand.

Chemrat22 asks why I can't make a P22 reliably fire subsonic ammo. The reason I can't in a stock pistol is the ammo just doesn't produce enough blow back energy. But if I modify the pistol :eek: I might be able to make it work. I only have two pistols I can get my hands on at present and that should be enough. A new Q model and an older one with perhaps 20,000 rounds through it. Two parts will be modified.....recoil spring and hammer spring. Nothing else that I can think of.

First I will remove the guts of a pistol...the Q model... hammer, sear, trigger bar and magazine. Then fasten the frame halves together. I will then install the slide with the new and old recoil springs. Tie a loop to the sight and measure the amount of pull required to move the slide to certain points. One, far enough back for the breech face to get behind a rim in the mag and one all the way back but not hitting the take down lever.

I will do this will a well lubricated barrel sleeve, guide rod, frame and slide with CLP and then dry moly powder. Then my idea will be to start removing coils from one of the springs...probably the old one which I assume will be weaker to begin with. This will have to be tested with subsonic or target ammo. Clip by clip of the spring until cycling is adequate. If the spring gets too short....the hammer spring will have to be adjusted. There is no clip by clip of it. I have to over wind it and then measure pull....no scientific method here that I know of. Also need to read up on the manufacture of springs.

Ideas welcome. Too hot outside to do anything, might as well sit in the A/C and play with guns. M1911
 

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Discussion Starter #2
OK, OK....so this isn't all that easy to do. Shad-up back there MG Mike...:) I hear you laughing. Old P22 has a 4 1/4" recoil spring...but it is softer just a bit. New Q model has a 4 1/8" recoil spring but is slightly stiffer.

Below is a chart ( if I can figure out how to type one) of attaching my Lyman trigger pull with a loop of tennis shoe string off some old New Balance running shoes. It doesn't stretch. I looped it over the sight and hooked the other end of the loop over the arm of my pull gauge. I marked the slide at a point where the breech face moves appx 1/16" behind a rim (assuming that if the slide can be blown back that far a round will be picked up. Also the spent case will have hit the ejector. This point is where the back edge of the slide catch notch is 1/2 way across the slide stop arm notch. All parts removed from the frame. Frame placed back in the grip...no trigger, no stop arm, no ejector....nothing but the extractor left on the slide and the breech block.

Fully rearward takes the rear of the slide stop notch appx 1/8" to the rear of the slide stop arm cutout so I stopped my fully rearward movement when the slide notch reached the rear of the stop arm cutout. There is but appx 1/4" difference between the two.

I tested pull averaging 10 pulls several times....dry pistol (washed out with Gunscrubber), moly powder, CLP and keep all you old folks happy...some Hoppes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I can't believe I did this....Logged all my measurements, timed out and lost them....Bet I will record them on paper next time. Two springs, two sets of measurement averages, 4 lubricants and two pull lengths.....:(

Oh well, it was fun the first time...wonder if it will be as much the second time. In the meantime perhaps someone can figure out how to convert the energy of the various rounds HV vs Subsonic to pounds so I will have a clue as to how much a recoil spring should be reduced. M1911

One thing I should point out regarding my pistol. The rear of the breech block has been filed down along with the safety drum. The P22 has never really had an issue with the slide being blown back far enough for for cocking and ejection unless the rounds simply weren't powerful enough. Which of course is what this thread is about. That breech block and safety drum mod was to stop the slide from hanging up on the way forward when the recoil spring simply wasn't powerfull enough to drag the breech block forward across the hammer tip, strip a round from the magazine and chamber it. That mod freed up the slide on its way forward. Moving rearward...the slide still had to cock the hammer and while the mod probably reduced drag a little in that direction...a little is all.

Where I'm going with this is that I can clip coils from the recoil spring to reduce the springs compressive strength and not have to worry about needing that strength for shoving the slide forward. On a stock pistol I think you are going to run into problems with the weaker recoil spring closing the slide. Now, if Walther were to redesign the safety drum and breech bottom....things would be different....or, simply build and allow us some aftermarket spring sets. When you change one thing....you might have to change other parts to work in concert with your first change. Ah, the fun of it all.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Again.:rolleyes: ...I'm dropping some of the measurements, dry gun which was better than some of the lubes and CLP which didn't perform as well as Hoppes.

New spring from 12/2012 Q model 4 1/8" long.

Moly.....pick up round......... 4 lb 4.8 oz---------- Full rearward............ 4 lb 15.2 oz
Hoppes......... " ..................4 lb 6.5 oz --------------- "...................... 4 lb 14.7 oz

Old spring, appx 20,000 rounds 4 1/4" long.

Moly.....pick up round.......... 4 lb 0.3 oz---------- Full rearward ...........4 lb 9.3 oz
Hoppes....... "..................... 4 lb 1.6 oz----------------- "................... 4 lb 8.6 oz

Magazine spring :D ..............2 lb 12 oz------------------ "................... 3 lb 6 oz

So, there isn't really much difference between moly and hoppes and to be truthfull, I was tired or cleaning so I added the Hoppes over the moly. Earlier results were similar. A dry pistol isn't far off of these and performed better than a CLP lubed pistol. For me, the moly will be the important one since I run these pistols dry and will continue to do so. Keep the pistol cleaner and absolutely stops were to the slide grooves and rails. Now, what to do with this data. I'm thinking leave the hammer spring alone and see if I can't make subsonics run with modifications to the old recoil spring. cut 1 coil, cut 1more, etc. M1911
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Some ballistics....but for a 10/22, not a P22 which will be slower with less energy. Haven't found a pistol chart yet. Have seen some at suppressor test links. Actual P22 velocity per round, subsonic and HV. Formula is
M x V sq divided by 450400 for foot pound energy. From the 10/22 list:

RGB......36 gr HP...................... 131 ft/lbs
Rem Susonics......................... 93 fl/lbs ( 71% of the energy of a RGB HP out of a 20" barrel.)
Federal 40 gr........................... 140 ft/lb (baloney)
Winchester Super X. 40 gr........ 140 ft/lb (baloney again)
MMags 36 gr HP....................... 135 ft/lb
CCI std 40 gr........................... 100 ft/lb

These were out of 20"/24" barrel

So, I need to find the energy drop for a 3.4" barrel and figure out how to apply ft/lbs of energy to spring strength. Anyone have a clue? If it were straightforward, which I bet it isn't it would seem I would use the old spring weight all the way to the rear....4 lb 9.3 oz or 4.58 lb. I need to remove 30% of that pull weight (????) which would be a new pull weight of 3 lb 3.4 oz. I haven't even considered the hammer in this....not sure I have to. Perhaps the cure for subsonics would be a second, lighter recoil spring. The hammer is still going to have to drive the inertia driven firing pin hard. So....would removing 30% of the spring length get me there or is it a whole lot more complicated? A magazine spring fits in the muzzle cup fine but won't seat in the guide rod hole. Sure lightens up recoil spring pressure. M1911
 

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Apply some Lee Alox bullet lube to any subsonic LRs and they shall cycle the P22 reliably every time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You guys aren't being much help here. Spring inch pounds is what I need to figure out. RGBs really blow the slide back with more recoil energy than required. So, I probably don't need to reduce spring compressive strength by 30%. There are probably better ways to measure spring strength and I can think of a few contraptions but I don't have anything to accurately measure weight applied to compress the spring. I agree it would be nice to be able to shoot just about all .22 ammo in a P22 these days. From my experience much of the ammo just isn't powerful enough and a few others show the potential for leading the barrel. I did find three target rounds. The question is....how much spring to remove. I can't see that hurting anything except the slide will slam rearward with more force with powerful ammo. Again, we probably need two springs. Guess I will see if I can find some subsonics today and begin cutting a spring. M1911
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)


Clipping off the coils does one thing.....you don't need a guide rod for reinstalling the slide anymore. Since I needed to start testing the pistol with some target (weak) ammo I had to put the pistol back together. This means I can no longer pull the slide back without stuff dragging.

I did measure a couple of pull averages as I removed links.

Pulling the slide back to the point the breech face is 1/8" behind rim of a round in the chamber was;

4 lb 3 oz. Clipping the end off the spring, (1 coil) reduced the pull to 3 lb 14.9 oz
Clipping off another coil reduced pull to 3 lb 12.9 oz. I reassembled the pistol and test fired some Wolf match target. No go, caught case between slide and chamber, nose still in chamber at an angle.

Clipped off another coil, pull was now 3 lb 9 oz, test fired again...fully loaded mag underneath for these tests. Better, case all the way out of the chamber but caught by the slide lengthwise and not ejected.

Test fired an old Winchester round that normally doesn't do too well....kicked like a Mini Mag or RGB and flew out of there. I expect this will cure softer rounds but is still just a bit too stiff for target ammo. I do not have any Remington Subsonics yet. Clipping the 4th coil appear to have reduced the pull to appx. 3 lb 4 oz but I can't really measure exactly the same as I did before....I can pull to within 1/64" but after that the breech block runs into the cocked hammer. That pull probably is about right. Anyone know how to wind some springs in the 3 lb range, 3 lb 2 oz, 3 lb 4oz, 3 lb 6oz....we'd have a spring for every type of ammo.

With four coils clipped the spring is 3 3/16" long and no accessory guide rod is necessary. I think this recoil spring will handle any of the regular velocity ammo. Target and subsonic....perhaps not yet. It looks like we might need a couple of different weight springs. I think Wolff might be missing a bet here. I contacted them a few years back about all of this......they weren't interested. More work on this when I get some ammo that needs testing.

Oh yeah, the slide has no trouble closing and chambering the first round from a fully loaded magazine. O ring back in and I have the modded breech block on this pistol so that reduces forward drag. This spring might be too light for higher velocity ammo and might put too much stress on the slide hitting the take down lever buffer or not so I will save it for weaker ammo testing. Using old P22 not new Q model. One final note....the spring must be long enough to keep the base of the guide rod in place against the frame. There is still room for clipping coils. Not much point without ammo though. And a 5" barrel and suppressed model will likely behave differently from the short barrel model I am testing. M1911
 

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I think I know why...

Hey 1911,
You really are way ahead of the curve on these p22 handguns, and I think that's the reason you are finding you are getting very little help as you gather your data re: spring ft/lb of pull and and the effects of spring length upon it....very few here understand what the heck you are talking about. Me included for the most part.

I do understand that with each clip of a coil, you are changing the spring "constant", as will each time a spring is subjected to any pull, stretch or other manipulation of the spring. Most times, a simple stretch of a spring only affects the spring constant of a given spring very minutely, although over time the cumulative effects of spring usage is what causes us to have the need to replace the spring.

Although I don't understand all the physics behind what you are doing, it is fairly evident that you do, and I find it fascinating to "watch" you work. Hopefully, you will reach a conclusion that will ultimately benefit us, the user of the p22, in that we won't be limited to one, or perhaps two kinds of ammo if we want our gun to function at a level that is enjoyable, rather than the tediousness of having to hand cycle every other round into or out of the chamber and such.

I still don't quite understand why most p22s have such difficulty with many of the HV ammos out there ... I mean, one would think that Federal X would be powerful enough to cycle through the gun without a problem, but mine chokes on it. I can understand the subsonic rounds just don't have the POW to produce the blowback pressure required to make the gun cycle, but surely most HV ammo would ( and no, I'm not calling you Shirley).

Anyway, I appreciate your taking on this challenge, and if nothing else, it provides you with some interesting data and information to ponder, while providing us with some interesting reading. You truly are the single most knowledgable person I have come across with regards to the p22, since I imagine Walther has a team, with individual members responsible for their own unique aspect of the design and related specs of a particular part, ie. a spring man, a hammer person, a sear person, and so on, which they combine into an overall design - the p22. Maybe one day you will be able to tell us exactly what needs to be done to our pistols to make them shoot whatever kind of ammo we are able to get our hands on, or better yet, tell Walther so that the p22 will be very near 100% right out of the box.

Thanks again for the interesting read, and all the best ... Chemrat22
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the kind words Chemrat22...:)...are you crazy? Physics, you think there is an understanding of physics in this. The only physics I had was in HS and a fellow in my class named Lewis Perdue built an ion engine for the world science fair. He came in second place because they didn't believe he built it. He did, I watched part of it, right in the back of the classroom. Now Lewis understands physics and math. Me, I'm just a back yard, shade tree mechanic. Lewis is a best selling author and the last picture I had of him was at the SHOT show holding a Barrett .50 cal. as he was researching firearms for his books. He stopped in and said hello to the Walther guys for me.....Daniel was there and others.

Powder, that might be the magic ingredient you are wondering about. I was reading about the ballistics of some popular rounds of .22 as fired out of a 10/22 with a 20" barrel. Foot lbs of energy for the 38 gr RGB was 135 IIRC and Federal 40 gr bulk was 140 ft lbs. That might be out of a 20"-24" barrel....but it ain't out of a 3.4" P22. RGBs will walk off and leave the Federal rounds behind.

I can only imagine different powder might be the difference. Perhaps the remington powder burns much faster than the Federal. The longer barrel allows the Federal ammo to achieve maximum speed. I don't know, I just know from my shooting experience and the recoil of Federal ammo vs bulk Remington....the Rem is much more powerful.

I haven't had time to go look for ammo yet but I did fire about 20 old rounds of Federal blue box forty grain bulk....$6/500 rounds stuff and some old Winchester copper plated stuff. Five years old or more. These I do not have good luck with. But, they blasted out of there 100% with the lighter spring. Actually, recoil reminded me pretty much of RGBs with a stock spring. There was no doubt the slide was slapping rearward. I expect the answer to less powerful ammo is in the recoil spring. Too bad there aren't any aftermarket springs because what I'm seeing is the shorter spring allows these rounds to run perfectly. At this point I'm not really sure where to go to get any Remington Subsonic rounds. Walmart has no .22 ammo. Academy will get their Tuesday shipment in in the morning but rarely do they get subsonic. Might get 500 rounds of RGBs.

If I had been thinking....I could have clipped 2 coils and tested the pistol with some of this bulk weaker ammo. I did test the pistol with the Wolf target ammo but even with 4 coils cut that ammo won't cycle. I'm not sure how it compares to subsonic ammo.

Just read along and look at the pictures. You will understand as much as I do.....which sets me to thinking...what can I do next......after finding ammo that is......:p M1911
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Heh, heh, heh..... found an old bulk box of Federal Champion. Just fired some of em too. They really kick like RGBs or MiniMags with the shorter spring. I guess if someone had some ammo they are having issues with it not cycling they could cut two coils and see if that helps. Sure is making this old P22 run like it is full of RGBs or CCI ammo. Guess I won't be so picky with what ammo I purchase. Will buy whatever good deal I can get my hands on. This spring will run them I'm thinking. M1911
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Remington subsonics are 38 gr., velocity is 1050 fps and 93 ft lbs of muzzle energy out of a rifle I suppose. Specs don't say.

Wolf match target is 40 gr velocity is 1050 fps which would yield 98 ft lbs of energy. ( 40 x 1050x1050/450400 = 98 ft lb) My P22 with four clipped coils won't quite cycle the Wolf ammo. It appears the Remington Subsonics will be even more difficult to cycle. When I find some I will further my experiments. I'm thinking a weaker hammer spring is going to have to play in the mix for reliable cycling in the 3.4" barrel with no suppressor. I think the weaker spring will accommodate most of the other weaker HV ammo that might not cycle reliably. More test later when I find more ammo varieties. Tough pickings right now if you are hunting specific ammo. M1911
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
From the slide pull measurements I'm calling the recoil spring a 5# spring. The old one 4.5#. Compression of these should be uniform. In other words if I compress the new spring to 1/2 of its free length that should require 2.5 lbs.

Looking at a chart for Remington Golden Bullets the velocity of the round out of a 20" barrel is 1176 fps. The velocity out of a 3.4" P22 drops to 925 fps.

Velocity and energy drop considerably from 36 ( 925 x 925 ) /450400 = 68 ftlbs of muzzle energy vs 110.5 ftlb out of a 20" barrel. This is adequate energy for a stock P22. But how does the subsonic perform. The RGB drops to 79% of the velocity out of a 20" barrel. The Rem Subsonic has a velocity of 1050 fps out of a 20" barrel. So, I'm assuming a 21% drop in velocity out of the P22 short barrel. The 93 ft lbs of energy would drop to 73.5 ftlb of energy if my assumptions and math are correct. So...since the RGBs more than have enough energy for cycling the slide not all of the 93 ftlbs of energy is required but how much is actually required is going to be more than 73.5 ftlb I expect.

I think the Wolf Match Target 40 gr ( 73.5 ftlb out of 3.4" barrel) is going to be very similar to the Subsonic rounds. Only testing will tell as I don't have anything to accurately measure the recoil spring all by itself. The math would say that if 21% of the recoil springs length were removed the spring would match the lighter rounds. In reading some of the information on compression springs it seems trial and error is the most common form of testing. :p

Just how much less than 21 percent of the spring length needs to be removed remains to be seen. Does anyone have any better ideas. Longer barrel models and suppressed models will allow the round to develop a little more energy. M1911
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The math works out to a 3 3/8" spring length. Four coils removes leaves a 3 3/16" spring length. This should be short enough...but isn't for the Wolf. Of course the few rounds I have are 10 years old. I need new ammo. The current spring allows the Wolf case to extract but not quite eject when a full magazine is installed for testing. Just fired my last Wolf Match Target with an empty mag.....almost. Sidewise stovepipe. Another half coil or some fresher ammo and it might cycle. M1911
 

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Spring inch pounds is what I need to figure out.
Close, but I think you mean pounds per inch. Spring constant, k, is the ratio of the load to the deflection. k=P/Δ

What exactly are you trying to calculate?

Generally speaking, for a given wire diameter, spring diameter and spring length, a spring with fewer coils will be stiffer.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Close, but I think you mean pounds per inch. Spring constant, k, is the ratio of the load to the deflection. k=P/Δ

What exactly are you trying to calculate?

Generally speaking, for a given wire diameter, spring diameter and spring length, a spring with fewer coils will be stiffer.
It's about time you showed up. Where have you been while I've been scratchin my head on this. Chemrat22 bet me 10,000 rounds of CCI Mini Mags that I couldn't make Remington Subsonics cycle a P22. That is what this thread is about and



I just found some today. Wimpy things with 73 ftlb or lbft of energy out of a P22. I already have the hole planned for all those rounds to go through so I've got to make this work. If you read the thread you will see I've sort of assessed the recoil spring, assessed some of the energy of rounds out of a 20" barrel and then a couple out of the 3.4" P22 barrel. What I'm working on is the recoil spring. Stock hammer spring. This particular spring takes about 4.5 lbs of pull on the slide to move it to the rear, guts from the pistol removed. A new spring in a Q model takes appx 5 lbs.

I've clipped 4 coils off the old spring which was 4 1/4" long and is not 3 3/16" long and takes less pull but that is the entire spring length including the closed ends and no the coil length. I never have been able to solve a fraction with a pyramid in it either. The recoil spring should be a constant, ummmmmmm, ahhhhhhh.....pressure or something. Now the spring can't be too short or the guide rod won't stay in place and it can't be too light or the slide might start moving too quick. I don't know....just making stuff up.. No scientific approach here. Just talk, measure, talk, talk, clip coils, talk, shoot some, talk, look for ammo.......did I mention talk? Now to strap on the ear protection and test some of these things...then talk. M1911
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Just loaded up a mag with the subsonic and fired off 10 rounds with no issues at all. All cases ejected appx 5' to the right. Although these have the same energy as the Wolf Match Target rounds I fired earlier.....73 ft lbs IIRC they didn't have any issues. No slow downs, no weak rounds....the slide moved normally, they felt about like Federal or Winchester rounds in a stock P22. They did not kick back like Mini Mags or RGBs do. This was with the recoil spring with four cut coils. If I were doing this over and with some actual ammo to test with....I think I would cut one coil before proceeding to the next, test fire and proceed from there. Those Wolf match target rounds must have been old and weak.

OK rat22......fork over the 10K rounds of mini mags..... :cool: don't make me come over there.

The next thing to test is these rounds in my Q model P22 with a stock recoil spring. 10 rounds fired, two ejected but didn't press the slide back far enough to pick up the next round. A little too weak for a short barrel P22 with a stock recoil spring.

You guys need to remember that my pistols have the new breech block mod so that once the hammer is cocked the slide moves forward without the hammer dragging on the breech block or safety drum. I expect weakening the recoil spring will lead to a lot of hung up slides if you haven't included this mod. I have lowered the pull on the slide from 5 lbs to 3 lb 4oz I think...something like that, back a couple of pages is the correct pull weight. M1911



]

Breech block mod where the hammer is cocked at the last moment when it briefly rides up on the full thickness breech block then doesn't touch the slide as it moves forward. I know In the picture above the breech block isn't sitting exactly square with the hammer. That is because the breech block is not pinned in. I had simply inserted it into the top of the slide to take this picture. Once pinned down it is square and the cocked hammer no longer touches the filed down portion. 90% of rotating the hammer to the rear is still by the safety drum. The final small amount is by the full thickness of the metal on the bottom of the breech block that sits over the retaining pin hole.



Hammer just moving up onto bottom of breech block for final cocking. Safety set to fire.



Here you can see the gap between the breech block and cocked hammer.



Photo of modification...filed...this area will then be polished because the hammer does run over it when the slide is moving rearward cocking the hammer.


Side profile of the new breech block mod. I say new because for years there was another mod that I posted that might be in the bible but is not as good as this mod.
 

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It's about time you showed up. Where have you been while I've been scratchin my head on this.
I'm a recent mechanical engineering grad. I did spring design for car door handles (torsion springs specifically) during a summer internship, so I learned more about springs than most people would care to :p

You won't be able to much of anything about the hammer spring. Square wire springs produce much more force than round wire springs, and are less economical to produce.
 
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