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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,


I just purchased a new P22 CA (Currently in the 10 day waiting period for CA) and I have a few questions. If anyone can help me out I'd appreciate it:


1. I've read that the P22 has had quite a few design flaws. Have these been addressed by Walther or is the version of the gun being sold now pretty much the same as it's always been? Another way of phrasing the question would be whether or not everything in the P22 Bible still applies to the newer versions of the handgun.


2. Are there any modifications I should do right out of the box on a new P22 to avoid premature wear or damage?


3. Does the rear sight still drift on newer versions?


This will be my first Walther. I was looking for a good, compact .22lr pistol and the choices in CA are extremely limited.


Thanks in advance!
 

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Welcome silky. There have been some changes to the pistol since the early model. The first carried P99 design themes. The ones beginning in 2010 or 2011 follow the PPQ (Q) design theme. With the Q style the pistol got a beefier slide, more slots in the rail, etc. The feed ramp machining was perfected some years ago. The latest pistol, the QD has a safety lever de-cocking system and a captive recoil spring assembly. Mine ran 100% right out of the box but I still made a few changes....trigger bar ears smoothed up for example.

CA might be different.. Walther had to work out a special deal with them way back. On those pistols the barrel nut which holds the barrel tight in the frame cannot be removed. It has no lands and is red loctited on. Basically all this does is mean you can't easily swap between the 5" barrel and 3.4" one. Or, install a suppressor.

I'm not sure the newest P22 designed for CA comes with the new captive spring or the de-cocking levers. Someone recently said CA law doesn't allow changes to approved firearms. But a lot of the little quirks have been resolved. The pistol still needs to be held firmly and high velocity ammo used. CCI Mini Mags and Rem Golden bullets work fine. Less powerful ammo still won't reliably cycle the slide. 1917
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the reply!

Yes, our laws are stupid. The CA version can only change cosmetically or it will need to be re-introduced with microstamping. Since no firearms use microstamping that means we're experiencing a slow-paced ban on handguns. So this means that whatever year the P22 CA was introduced is the way that it has to stay internally. Anything more than a cosmetic change requires it to be reintroduced to the list as a new firearm and meet the current (unrealistic) standards of certification.
 

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If your new pistol doesn’t have the captured spring from the factory, get one. There are a couple of outfits that make them. Use good ammo such as CCI Mini Mags, Remington Golden.
 

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I'm wondering if it is legal for a resident of CA to modify a pistol. For example the barrel nut is pretty easily removed and one with wrench lands can be installed or, so can a thread adapter. The new captive spring from Walther can be installed in any P22 as long as the guide rod hole is drilled out very slightly to 1/4". The breech block/safety drum with decocking lever I'm certain will fit all P22 slides...but, the QD pistol comes with a very short primary hammer hook and I think that is because the lever acting on the drop safety could not press the front arm of the sear down far enough to release the hammer for de-cocking. Fine with me....I've been lowering mine for years for a better trigger with no creep....but, are these kinds of things allowed in CA ? Can an owner modify his/her own pistol. Regardless, the P22 you get should run fine as long as you use ammo that is powerful enough to cycle the slide and hold the pistol firmly with your wrists locked....as you should with any pistol.

The P22 has never had a drift adjustable rear sight as such. Their is a threaded loop on top of the slide. A small machine screw is attached to the left side of the sight and turning the screw moves the sight left or right for windage. Elevation is determined by front sight blades of different height. I usually run #2. These haven't changed since day one. 1917



The above picture shows the difference in the guide rod hole on the muzzle of a P22 slide. The new one is on the right. You can easily drill out the old ones so the new captive assembly will drop in....but, you can't go back to the old system once you do.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks again for the replies, really appreciate it.


@1917: We can legally modify our firearms. In the case of the P22, I can't expose the barrel threading because that will turn it into an "assault weapon". In California, we have to choose between the 5" or 3.4" glued versions for that reason. As long as I don't modify the pistol to the point that it's considered an "assault weapon", it's perfectly legal. So changing out internals with upgrades is perfectly fine.


We can also build our own firearms but if they were completed after July 2018 they need to be registered and receive a serial number.


According to an article I read, it seems like the CA version is based on the P22Q design and does not have the P22QD updates. If that's the case, it seems like some upgrades worth doing might be:


- Aftermarket Recoil Spring such as:
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1...uide-rod-assembly-walther-p22-stainless-steel


- Add an O-Ring for the recoil spring


- Polish the hammer and trigger ears


Anything else I should be looking at? Thanks!
 

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Walther doesn't expect you to have to do anything. I just have to lay back the trigger bar ears myself. The O ring works great with the old system...but not with the QD captive spring. You can feel the small tip on the hammer catch in the small gap between the breech block and safety drum. You can fire the pistol and see if you have a problem there. If there is a problem it will be the slide getting hung up as it tries to strip a round from the mag and chamber it. All that is required is that a tiny amt of material be removed. Basically just enough to remove the small tip formed by the two angles on the face of the hammer. 0.007" should do it.

I use dry powdered moly as a lubricant....no oil. Oil won't kill it but oil does collect spent bits of carbon and grit and that stuff can be rough on a zinc slide and frame rails. If using oil....I'd recommend something really light like Remington Remoil and blow or wipe most of that off. Firm grip and ammo that is powerful enough to cycle the slide is the key. I like plated ammo over plain lead if I'm doing a lot of shooting. 1917
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the tips, much appreciated!


I typically use CLP for cleaning and lube, but dry lubricant makes a lot of sense. What brand of dry moly do you use? Any thoughts on spray instead of powder?


As for ammo, I've got a couple of bulk boxes of Winchester M22 lying around. I figure I'll give those a shot and see how they do.
 

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A gunsmith gave me the moly 15 years ago....old film canister 1/2 full. He said he got it from a military helicopter pilot/mechanic who said they lubed the control cables with it. I rub it onto potential wear spots with a Q Tip. It won't build up, so no point in trying. I'm getting low on it...it spilled in a previous truck and I lost about 1/2 of it. Still enough for three or four more years. KG industries makes a gun grade moly. Actually there are several suppliers of the technical super fine moly. I never had any luck with the spray on stuff....it has a sticky carrier. What I use is dry powder....looks like dry graphite. You don't need to purchase a lot of it. The guts of a 2007 frame shows no wear on the rails that my micrometer can find....about 50K rounds. See the tread 2,000 round through an old P22 one day.

Don't know about the Winchester ammo. Some Win ammo is the weakest I've ever tried in pistols and one thing the P22 doesn't like is weak ammo. Velocitors, Mini Mags, Rem Golden bullets all snap out of the pistol with much more energy than some other ammo. You will just have to try them. My short barrel QD with a suppressor will cycle CCI quiets and suppressor varieties (710 fps) but of course will not cycle CB caps. I don't think the slide even moves. You can't go by the velocity and energy on the boxes....those are out of rifle length barrels. Not short pistols. ByTheInch site will show how the velocity and energy drops as the barrel gets shorter. One of the test pistols is the 3.4" P22. Why some ammo is faster off the blocks is not known to me. 1917
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The guts of a 2007 frame shows no wear on the rails that my micrometer can find....about 50K rounds.

Can't argue with that! :)


Thanks for all your help. I'll post an update in a couple of weeks regarding the current production CA internals and how the M22 does.
 

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I don't know what was wrong with the first P22 I purchased. It was about a 2002 or 2003 5" model. It lasted 4,000 rounds. There was so much wear to the bottom of the rails that the hammer would lift the slide and it would no longer cock the hammer. So, I reworked the hammer hooks a bit. Then in a couple of thousand rounds the slide stop would not reach high enough to catch the ever lifting slide. So, I filed it so it would reach higher. By 8,000 rounds it was in bad shape again. The entire time I had all manner of problems... I got rid of it and it was good riddance too.

I did some threads and there was a lot of discussion. The slide never broke. It shot accurately...when it shot...which would not be for long runs. Someone said I over lubed it to death. Hmmmmm? How could that be. They said the zinc can't take dirt held in a suspension of oil, that it acts like a lapping compound. Every firearm I had was steel...with no such issues. This would take a new line of thinking. So, I bought another one, a short barrel version and dubbed it the test gun and began testing after measuring every conceivable part of the pistol that might wear....including trigger pull..the works. In discussing the problem with a gunsmith he handed me a camera film container of what he called moly powder. Suggested I try that...and I did.

At 500 rounds...no wear, 1,000 rounds no wear, 10,000 rounds, no wear, 25,000 rounds no wear...all the while I was making changes to the pistol...working on the extractor trying to correct poor ejection direction, etc. All the while the threads kept piling up...then, at about 27,000 rounds the right side of the frame broke.

That ended that one....but Jeff Whitehouse at Smith and Wesson called and said that Daniel Rieger wanted the pistol and would send me a new one. Who is he?, I asked. Chief engineer, Walther small arms. OK, so they sent a mailing label and I shipped it off....they had been following the threads unknown to me. I got the new pistol and began the whole process again.

Back to the moly, shooters have been coating bullets with the stuff for quite a few years. It isn't new. It makes a good sliding lubricant...not so much for pressure like ball bearings create, from what I read. It sticks to metal but will not build up. Apparently it provides a surface of lubricant between the parts that doesn't let the parts touch. This is really beneficial to the P22 in my opinion because the hammer really presses up on the slide as it moves back and forth and when the slide is fully rearward with each shot, hammer pressing up hard and there is only about 1/8" of rail/groove surface contact. So, it is pretty important to stop wear in these two areas. Of course the pistol has a lifetime warranty in the States....but, no use wearing out something you don't have to. 1917
 

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Of course the pistol has a lifetime warranty in the States....but, no use wearing out something you don't have to.

I'm 100% with you on this. If some simple maintenance can prevent a problem, even if it shouldn't be happening in the first place, I'd prefer to just avoid it altogether.



I'm sold on the dry moly, but out of curiosity, I wonder if dry silicone will perform similarly to molybdenum disulfide. There was a poster from Europe on the glock forums a while back who swears by silicone because it lubricates well and doesn't attract dust.
 

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At 500 rounds...no wear, 1,000 rounds no wear, 10,000 rounds, no wear, 25,000 rounds no wear...all the while I was making changes to the pistol...working on the extractor trying to correct poor ejection direction, etc. All the while the threads kept piling up...then, at about 27,000 rounds the right side of the frame broke.

Out of curiosity, 1917, did you have to replace any of the internals like the recoil spring during that 27,000 rounds? Thanks!
 

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I don’t remember. No springs but I might have fooled around with the extractors quite a bit. The old threads are still at rim fire. 100 pages back there somewhere. That was back in 2005 or 2006. I called it the test gun. Under headings like that. 1917
 

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Just an update on the pistol after taking it to the range. I haven't done much work to it yet. Mainly just polished down the hammer so that the slide can cycle more smoothly and replaced the stock recoil spring and guide rod with the Tandemkross captured version.


I put 100 rounds of Winchester M22 through it and these were the results:



  • 5 Failures to fire


  • 5 Failures to extract


  • 15 Failures to load


The failures to extract all happened on the cartridges that failed to fire. These failures were due to the cartridge itself, firing pin indentations were solid. Just dud rounds. The failures to load seem to be due to the slide not cycling properly, likely due to weak loads. A simple tap and rack fixed the FTL's every time. I'll take the gun out next time with high quality ammunition and see how much of a difference there is.


After 100 rounds there is noticeable wear on the slide due to the sharp edges on the trigger bar ears. I'm sure the additional friction there isn't helping the slide cycle properly either. It's probably worth stripping the gun down in order to polish the edges off of the ears.
 

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My advice for (potential) P22 owners -

Buy a PPQ .22 instead.

A few more bucks, but doesn't suffer from the majority of the issue that the P22 does.

The PPQ .22 is underestimated and often ignored in favor of other similar .22s, and should really be more popular than it is. It's the best of its type from my experience.
 

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Just an update on the pistol after taking it to the range. I haven't done much work to it yet. Mainly just polished down the hammer so that the slide can cycle more smoothly and replaced the stock recoil spring and guide rod with the Tandemkross captured version.


I put 100 rounds of Winchester M22 through it and these were the results:



  • 5 Failures to fire


  • 5 Failures to extract


  • 15 Failures to load


The failures to extract all happened on the cartridges that failed to fire. These failures were due to the cartridge itself, firing pin indentations were solid. Just dud rounds. The failures to load seem to be due to the slide not cycling properly, likely due to weak loads. A simple tap and rack fixed the FTL's every time. I'll take the gun out next time with high quality ammunition and see how much of a difference there is.


After 100 rounds there is noticeable wear on the slide due to the sharp edges on the trigger bar ears. I'm sure the additional friction there isn't helping the slide cycle properly either. It's probably worth stripping the gun down in order to polish the edges off of the ears.
Silky, The P22 is notorious for needing a long wear-in period. The more you shoot it, the better it performs. However...

If you read the owners manual, you noticed that it specifically says that the P22 does best with the CCI MINI-MAGS. It took me a while to actually read the manual. I tried out many different types and makes of ammo. All failed to some degree. As a matter of fact, when I switched the Mini-Mags, they did much better, but still not flawless. On the other hand, CCI Mini-Mags do not perform as well as Federals do in my S&W VICTORY. So each gun has its own peculiarities.

The first chance that you get to send you P22 to Walther in Ft. Smith, AR. do so. Seems that the guns that come off the assembly line need some serious adjustments. By the time the Walther repair people finish with it, it will behave itself.

You mentioned that you did some polishing. If you ever send it in for repair, don't admit to that. In fact, deny it as strongly as possible. Modifying your gun is perfectly legal in most cases, but it will void your warranty if they can prove it. I had something like that happen with my P22 at the Walther repair shop last summer, and if it had not been for some great help from one of the leaders on this forum (I won't mention any names...that person can volunteer if they wish) who knew people at Walther, I would have had a $135 repair bill for something that I had nothing to do with, but they claimed I had.

It was a real battle at first, that turned into a very satisfying experience. My gun came back working like it never had before and was returned to me free of charge under the warranty. In the long run, Walther honored their lifetime warranty when they could have stuck to their original decision. It seems that the repair shop manager at Ft. Smith is a very understandable man who will work with Walther owners.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the advice. Hopefully, I've got enough wear and tear on the pistol by the time I send it in that they won't be worried about the hammer :)


I picked up some CCI 36 grain minimags and some remington golden bullets on the way home from work. I'll try them out at the range this weekend and see if they do better than the winchester did.
 

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I expect an ammo change is going to cure most of your issues. Regarding the hammer mod.....I guess I came up with that way, way back. Drew a picture of what to do. The original hammer had a flat face and a sharp tip. That tip would get caught in the small gap between the rear of the breech block and safety drum. In about 2007 Walther finally changed the shape of the hammer face.....not an uncommon design....but, they didn't get the angle right as far as I'm concerned. When the hammer is cocked...the top face of the hammer is parallel with the bottom of the slide. That is on the right track but....when the slide is over the hammer, the slide presses the hammer down appx 0.020" more than when the sear is holding the hammer cocked.

You can smooth this up a bit and do a very neat job of it....or....you can ruin the hammer. Remove too much material and the hammer won't be pressed rearward enough by the slide to be cocked. Then you either have to do sear/hook work or get a new hammer. Below is a picture I shot to illustrate the problem. I didn't attempt to make absolutely certain that the hammer pin was precisely located...more of a take a picture that illustrates what is going on. There is a small tip on the face of the hammer created by the factory reshape of the face. This tip...still catches in the gap. Not as badly as the original.


stock hammer above...



If you are having problems with the slide hanging up and not chambering a round unless you give the rear end a light tap.....carefully and neatly removing that tip will help. Only a very, very small amt of material needs to be removed...just the tip. Some of my old, old pictures show more material removed but that was a different hammer. The white line represents the new face reprofile. All that was removed was the tip. The red circle represents the safety drum and the small arrow points to the area where the slide can hang up. More powerful ammo seems to help here too by giving more momentum to the rebounding slide.

Every few hundred rounds clean your chamber or at least make sure a round freely drop all the way in and fully seats under gravity. If one won't, your chamber is dirty and the round won't fully seat resulting in light strikes, no fires and problems extracting. I recommend using only plated ammo in .22 semi autos....unless you are shooting high end and many fewer target ammo. I have a stock hammer on my 5" target model and the tip doesn't cause issues on it. More blowback and rebound energy I suppose. 1917
 
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