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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys, we took my wifes p22 out to shoot today and after firing the first round the hammer would go back like it is supposed to but then drop back down sometimes I'm assuming to the halfcock position. I tried both mags and made sure they were fully seated and still had the issue. I was thinking it might be a weak spring or could it also be that the hammer itself is damaged or wasn't made correctly. This is a new gun not used. Anyone else have this issue? And if so did you get the problem solved and how? Due to lupus this is my wife's chosen carry gun and we really need it to be working properly.
 

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Hello guys, we took my wifes p22 out to shoot today and after firing the first round the hammer would go back like it is supposed to but then drop back down sometimes I'm assuming to the halfcock position. I tried both mags and made sure they were fully seated and still had the issue. I was thinking it might be a weak spring or could it also be that the hammer itself is damaged or wasn't made correctly. This is a new gun not used. Anyone else have this issue? And if so did you get the problem solved and how? Due to lupus this is my wife's chosen carry gun and we really need it to be working properly.
Charlie, after reading your post again it appears you are saying something a bit different than what I assumed the first go round. What I am now seeing is that when you fire, the slide moves rearward, the case is extracted and ejected. A new round is stripped and chambered but the hammer is not being caught by the sear in the primary hammer hook. If so, fortunately the secondary notch is catching the hammer. If this is the case you need to call Ft. Smith and stop firing the pistol until it is repaired.

If the pistol is not firing when you pull the trigger...and is being caught by the sear in the secondary notch then the previous response applies. If the sear isn't catching the hammer that is much more serious. It is possible for these short barrel pistols to short stroke with weak ammo. A short stroke is when the ammunition isn't powerful enough to blow the slide all the way rearward. That usually results in some type of misfeed though. Unfortunately most semi auto pistols require a locked wrist and a firm grip to cycle properly and this might be a problem for your wife regarding her health issues. A revolver does not have this problem.

If you remove the slide, you can easily see the sear and hammer hooks. They will both be on top of the lower portion of the pistol....but fixing this is something best left to Walther. You should not be able to cock the hammer and press it off the the sear with your thumb nor shake it off by banging the pistol pretty hard on a folded up towel on top of a table either. If the hammer slips off or isn't caught at all the pistol could go full auto....A present it sounds like the secondary notch is doing its job and catching the hammer. How old is the pistol? The two letter code on the right side of the ejection port will tell you. BD for example is a 2013 pistol, BE, a 2014, BF a 2015 model, etc.

The newest pistol is a QD model with a captive recoil spring and a decocking lever which is operated by the safety. On the one I have, Walther has lowered the height of the primary notch by about one half of what it originally was. I presume this was necessary for the the decocking to work. It makes for a better trigger....as long as it works properly. 1917



On the older pistols the sear and hammer hook engagement looked like this. Notice the height of the hook in relation t the nose of the sear.



Here is a picture of the sear engaging the primary hooks on a stock QD model. As you can see Walther has changed the profile and lowered the hook height. Proper engagement of these two parts is essential for safe operation of the pistol. If you remove the slide you can have a close look at these parts. The sear is spring loaded to rotate toward the hammer at all times. There is a left and a right side to this particular sear/hammer set up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
The pistol was bought new just recently. I'll strip it down in a bit and have a look to find the year and take a look at the hook. But yes essentially it fires, ejects, loads a new round, the slide closes, then the hammer sometimes falls to the half clock position actually pretty regularly. I didn't realize it was doing this until my wife asked me to shoot it and knew something wasn't right. Thank you for all of the info I will post later about what I find, but it sounds like its going to be a bit past my experience to fix it and will have to go back for repair. Oh and as for .380 we've tried a couple. A kel tec and older ruger not the lcp and recoil on those were horrible for such a small round. Not sure I could get her to even try another. 380 but maybe if I choot it first. I've shot full house. 357 that didn't have as much felt recoil as that kel tec. Pretty sure the really narrow gripped .380's are a no go.
 

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The PPKs kick like a mule in .380. The .32 caliber versions are very pleasant to shoot as are the .22 versions of course. That hammer falling is a very dangerous situation....if it can fall when firing then it can fall anytime it is cocked. You cannot rely on the secondary notch catching it. It needs to go back to Ft Smith. All you do is call them up, tell them what it is doing. They will e-mail a shipping label to you. Box it up, unloaded of course... and ship her off. They will sort it out and ship it back, all on their dime. They would not want you shooting this pistol.

If it is the latest pistol, a QD version, I did an assessment thread that should be somewhere in the first two pages here. 98% of it is just like any other P22 but the new one has a captive recoil spring and lowering the safety levers to safe decocks the hammer. Mine functions 100% and the hammer is decocked right when the bottom of the lever touches the rid circle. I've not read too many reviews on the pistol. It appears the recoil spring is exactly the same as the one that has been used for years. It is now fitted to what appears to be a well made steel guide rod. The head on the new system is slightly larger than the hole in the muzzle cup for the old rod and spring. To use the new captive spring in an old pistol...you need to drill the hole out slightly to 1/4". You cannot undo this action and use the old system again.

You can unload the pistol, remove the mag, pull the take down lever all the way down, retract the slide and remove it from the frame. The the sear and hammer will be fully exposed from the top. You can pull the hammer back and have a good look at the sear arms and faces and the primary hook to see if you see an issue.....but unless you are a gunsmith, this one needs to go back home.

Oh yeah the pistol I was referring to is a new Smith and Wesson .380 that is soft shooting and has a slide that requires the same amt of pull to hand cycle as a .22 semi auto. I've looked at them, cycled the slide but have not fired one. The grip is much larger than a P22. More Shield size. 1917

https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/mp-380-shield-ez-0 This one....if you can get past the opening muzak which is horrible.
 

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If you field strip your P22 this is what you will see with the slide off.



On the right side of the picture is the underside of the slide. The safety drum is a the rear (bottom of the photo), then the pinned in breech block assembly. The extractor is shown toward the front. The oval firing pin block sits on top of the front leg of the sear. The decocking lever inside the breech block acts on the oval block to force the front arm of the sear down. This in turn releases the hammer. All of this requires very critical timing of course, the safety drum must be rotated enough to block the falling hammer before the sear releases the hammer.

On the left you can see the hammer and the primary and secondary hooks. In this picture the hammer is fully cocked with the sear fully engaging the primary hooks. Note that there are two arms and two hooks. You could at this point wipe or brush everything off nice and clean, pull back on the hammer and inspect the hooks and rear face of the sear ams. Those two sear arms are what catches the hammer. They must absolutely catch the fast moving slide/hammer securely....every time. Nor should you be able to press or shake the pistol in any manner to cause the hammer to drop. Only the trigger should release the hammer. You can manually decock the hammer as shown by holding the hammer with your thumb while pressing the front arm on the sear down. Do not "drop" the cocked hammer when the slide is not on the pistol...by that I mean, don't let it fly forward. Control the release with your thumb. You can also see the little spring in the center that powers the sear.

You might see something, you might not....the problem may be in the decocking lever....On the old PP pistols there are 9 slightly different shims/internal levers that control precise timing of decocking release of the hammer. Gunsmith work required. Even on this pistol.....Send it back. 1917
 

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Charlie, there is a small chance the pistol is short stroking due to ammunition that is not powerful enough to fully cycle the slide or limp wristing. This pistol runs best in ammo like CCI Mini Mags or Remington Golden bullets. If the pistol exhibits this behavior with these brands and a firm grip then something is certainly off.

The Kel Tec, Ruger LCP and Smith Bodyguard are all very small, very light pistols so in .380 they are going to be rather snappy. What do they weigh....9 or 10 oz. The P22 is 16 oz. I have the LCP and Bodyguard and they don't bother my hand nearly as much as firing a .380 PPK/S. The Browning lock in the others works a miracle. Still, they are very light....great for carry...not so great for shooting comfort. The CCP pistol was designed to be a 9mm carry with an internal gas piston to delay blowback. This allowed a much weaker recoil spring to be used resulting in less effort to cycle the slide. But the pistol has had many issues. It does feel good in the hand....if only they all performed as good as the pistol looks.

I've never fired a Walther PK 380 but they are supposed to be soft shooters. If your pistol has a malfunction in the sear lock then it is likely other pistols might have the same problem so Walther should certainly look at it. In following this pistol for about 15 years I've never read of sear not catching the hammer before except for possibly an occasional weak round...but usually those don't chamber the next round. 1917
 

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Interesting to see different people’s experience with recoil. As noted in my signature, I have the the P22, PPK/S in .22, PPK in .380, and an LCP. With standard springs, both the PPK and LCP can be a bear to rack the slide, and both can kick like a mule. My impression is the LCP because it is so light and small kicks a lot more. I won’t shoot more than a few magazines at the range. The PPK in .380 can be shot much longer before the hand slaps the brain to stop. Both of the .22’s have virtually no kick what so ever as compared to the .380’s of course.

I did have a similar issue with the PPK .380 with the hammer following the slide. It would happen quite often. Funny thing is that this started after they repaired it for a repeated fail to fire issue . Sent it back to Walther and the fixed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey guys sorry its been a bit since I replied. Its going to get shipped back to walther for repairs. We only ever shoot cci mini mags through it so ammunition should not be the issue. I cannot look it over anymore myself however because I'm currently a gimp. Had a piece of glass at work break, puncture my finger and sever a nerve and had to have surgery to repair it, that was done last Thursday. Thankfully it wasn't my dominant hand but I cant use the left for awhile. Ty for the replies I will update when we get it back from walther and confirm its gtg
 

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Ouch....hate to hear that. Hope your hand heals properly and you regain 100% use. I'd be interested to know what they do to it to resolve the issue. The QD pistol will de-cock a fully cocked hammer if you rotate the safety lever to safe. But if you are firing the hammer should be securely locked in the cocked position until you pull the trigger again or rotate the safety lever down toward safe. Mine de-cocks the moment the lower edge of the lever touches the red circle. As I said earlier, on my pistol the hammer hook height has been significantly lowered as compared to earlier models. It does securely capture the hammer though, manually cocked with the safety lever set to fire, cocked by the slide manually or when firing. This is the first I've heard of a stock pistol having this issue so.....Walther needs to take a look at it. I don't know if there are different shims inside the breech block for fine tuning the de-cocking or not. I have not pulled my breech block out to inspect the de-cocking components yet. Keep us posted if you learn anything....might help some others. 1917
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hello again and sorry it has been quite awhile. I ended up not sending it in. Me and my wife went to a local range for a steak and bullets event and we brought the walther along. One of the guys there took a look at it and even fired it but could not duplicate the issue we had so I took it home and took it apart and deep cleaned it, blew it out with some compressed air, then lubricated it really well. I had an issue with the slide not wanting to go all the way back into battery and failing to extract the rounds handcycling afterwards but I grabbed 100rnds of cci mini mags and shot the hell out of it pretty quickly. It failed to extract the round about 3 times and the slide feels kind of sluggish returning to battery but I had no repeats of the hammer dropping issue so I really don't know. I plan on ordering a tandemcross captive recoil system and hopefully that at least fixes the sluggish slide issue. Just going to keep shooting it to make sure the original issue isn't a problem anymore.
Oh and my hand is fine although sore alot like arthritis or something but I can pretty well use it normally I just don't have but about 50% feeling in my finger. Thank you guys for the help and suggestions along the way. I plan on lurking and reading more my wife shot one of the walther. 380's and likes it alot so that may be a near future purchase.
 

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I agree, the factory spring is what was designed for the pistol. Tell me again specifically which P22 you have. As of recent years the PPQ has been the style theme. These are generally referred to a Q models around here. The very latest Q model is the QD and has two noticeable differences. The recoil spring is captive and with the safety set to safe (flipped down) the hammer can not be cocked and if cocked when the lever is flipped to the safe position the hammer is decocked automatically.

Your original problem sounds like the ammo is too weak to fully cycle the slide. This is common. Try CCI Mini Mags or Remington Golden Bullets. Similar to weak ammo is the problem that limp wristing the pistol will cause. Again, the slide is not fully cycling rearward. When you fire, the extractor on the slide does not extract the round. Blowback gasses from the burning powder shove the spent case out with enough energy to press the slide rearward, compress the recoil spring, cock the hammer and still have enough rearward velocity for the case to bounce off the ejector and out of the pistol. Not having the slide move far enough rearward...limp wristing, extremely dirty, hand dragging on the slide, too weak ammo, etc. can all cause short stroking. Many times the spent case will simply be shoved back into the chamber and then will have to be manually extracted by retracting the slide. It is also possible that the hammer won't be cocked because the slide moving rearward is what cocks it.

You mention having an issue with this on the second round...sometimes. The second round is the second hardest for a pistol to strip from the magazine and chamber simply because it is sitting atop a stack of rounds that have the magazine spring almost fully compressed. So, upward pressure, friction regarding shoving a round out is greatest and a relatively light .22 cal recoil spring sometimes isn't up to the task. More powerful ammo will help here as it creates some rebound off the takedown lever. If you want to feel this take a fully loaded magazine and begin slowly shoving the rounds out with your thumb...as the pressure goes down so does the force required to shove them out. Want an even softer stop for the slide with a rubber buffer bouncing the slide forward....install a #83 O ring over the guide rod and recoil spring and see how that works for you.

One Member here appears to have a bad chamber in his new QD. If so, this is pretty rare from my experience with any Walther firearm including the P22. The pistol is at Ft Smith at present. The chamber was leaving circular indentations in some spent cases and those had to be pressed out with a wood dowel. So, I'm assuming your rounds that fail to eject aren't stuck hard...they simply didn't eject. Short stroking is likely the problem. If I just had to carry a P22 for self defense I would load it with CCI Velocitors...but before I did I would make sure it reliably fired two or three hundred....and I mean reliably.

BTW, if you don't have a captured recoil spring you can get one from Ft Smith, drill the hole for the guide rod out to 1/4" and then drop in the new assembly. It appears to be well made and uses what I measure to be the exact spring that came in the old models. I haven't seen any aftermarket captive springs that are made as well. 1917



The shaft is swaged to pin the bolt in place and the muzzle end is machined from solid bar stock....so nothing is coming loose here. You must make the guide rod hole slightly larger for this to fit the older slides including Q slides...but then it fits just fine. Other manufacturers have to make their captive assembly thinner and lighter because they can't make a product and then ask you to drill on your gun so it will fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It is the newer QD model with the captive recoil spring. All rounds through it have been cci mini mags as I'd already heard about those being what the factory recommend as its what they test them with. I was wondering if maybe the recoil spring might be binding up on the polymer guide rod causing the slide to return to battery slower than what a new spring should and causing the ejector to fail to eject the round. I didn't have to use a dowel rod but I did have to use a q-tip down the barrel to get the round out of the chamber. I don't know I'll see about field stripping it and taking some pictures to post later tonight.
 

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If you have a polymer guide rod it will be the first one I've ever heard of in a P22. A round should freely drop into the chamber. If it won't scrub out the chamber. Blowback gasses are tasked with forcing the spent case rearward with enough energy to move the slide, compress the recoil spring, cock the hammer and still have the spent case hit the ejector hard enough so that it bounces out of the pistol. This happens before the slide begins its forward trip. Going forward the work to be accomplished by the recoil spring is push the slide forward with enough energy to strip a round from the mag and chamber it. Your job is to keep your hands off the slide and hold the pistol firmly.

There have been some reports of the extractor not quite grabbing the rim securely but the extractor isn't tasked with removing a case unless you are manually unloading the pistol. Hand dragging on the slide, wimpy ammo or limp wristing can cause a short stroke in which a case can either turn sidewise and jam, get caught between the closing slide and rear of the chamber or simply shove the spent case back into the chamber. Then the extractor should pull it out of there when you manually cycle the slide. I ran into a number of these this evening while shooting my suppressed QD with a Client at his yard. We were shooting CB's, CCI Quiet and Mini Mags. Those first two won't cycle the slide. Won't even come close. 1917
 
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