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Discussion Starter #1
Let me start out by saying I love Walthers and own 2 which have been great and I know the G22 in not made by Smith and Wesson.
I thought the G22 would be a nice addition - a great plinker.
I live just 15 minutes from Smith and Wesson so bought mine at their store. As my post explains, the G22 experience has not been a good one...

To:
Michael F. Golden, Smith & Wesson President and CEO

Dear Mr. Golden:

I am no stranger to firearms – my father taught me how to shoot at the age of 6. I am also no stranger to mechanical systems.

On October 31, 2006 I purchased a Walther G22 (PW006297) at your store on Page Blvd. I then bought time at your range and started to acquaint myself with the G22. It began to malfunction immediately. The magazines, when placed in the gun, would allow bullets to pivot upward which would get dented by the slide when it traveled forward. The cocking lever would not stay back most of the time. The gun failed to fire now and then despite the firing pin striking the primer area on the bullet. 

To me this was an unsafe gun and after 100 rounds I returned to the counter and asked for a different gun. I was refused. I was told by the salesperson that the gun needed to be "broken" in. To me this seemed ridiculous and I asked to see the manager. A man named Ernie was introduced to me. He took some CCI ammunition from behind the counter and I accompanied him back into the range. He fired the gun 30 times and had 3 malfunctions –– the same type of malfunctions I had experienced. He told me the magazines were defective and replaced them with 2 used magazines from the tryout G22. He also told me the reason for the other malfunctions was because the gun was dirty and hadn't been cleaned properly before use. In addition he remarked that 22 ammunition was unreliable -- rimfire. I accepted his expert opinion and took the gun home, read the instructions, and cleaned it thoroughly. I found no excess of grease or oil in the gun, only powder residue as one would expect from approximately 200 rounds that we had fired.

I returned to your range about a week later and fired the gun again. This time with only 2 failure to fire incidents which I attributed to ammunition. The slide still failed to stay back after the last round fired, most of the time. I told your range attendant that I was still have problems with the gun. I returned home and cleaned the gun.

About a week later I took the gun to an outdoor range. I placed the magazine in the gun, pulled back the slide, and let go. The slide detonated the first round before it reached its fully forward position. I was hit in the face with debris (mostly my safety glasses and cheek) and the bullet lodged at the opening of the barrel. Rather shocking. I placed the gun back in the case and returned home. I removed the bullet from the chamber and inspected the gun - I could see nothing out of the ordinary and attributed the problem to bad ammunition. I knew of "slamfires" with other guns but have never experienced them, however, I doubted this was a slamfire.

A few days later I took the gun back to the outdoor range. Once again I loaded the magazine into the G22. I held the gun away from me, pulled back the slide and let it go. BANG! Same experience as last time. This time the brass shell fragmented – a piece cut my hand slightly. Again the bullet was stuck in the barrel.

12/1/06
I left the G22 "as is" brass and all, and brought it in for repair to your roosevelt Ave location. I filled out the repair form at the guard house and left. A week later I was called by one of your people telling me the gun was ready. 

12/8/06
I went to your Roosevelt Ave location to pick the gun up. The guard had trouble finding it as no paper work was attached to the case. I recognized the case and gave him my copy of the original form which he was able to match with the serial number. He remarked that the paperwork had been lost. I left with the gun and no explanation of service. I must also note that the foam lining in the case had been pulled free from the case and now "floated" instead of being attached with adhesive.

In hindsight what I did next was not wise. 

12/9/06
I was taking a very good friend's 12 year old son out for his first shooting experience and I took the G22 with me, along with another firearm. I was obviously less than confident about the G22 due to its past malfunctions but believed your service department had fixed whatever problem(s) it had. Big mistake. We went to the outdoor range and I decided to fire the first 50 rounds myself to make sure the gun was OK. The gun loaded fine and this time the slide stayed back after every last shot in the magazine. It seemed like the gun had been fixed. We switched off shooting the gun. At about the 118th shot, when it was Michael's turn (12 year old), the gun malfunctioned again - the slide detonated the bullet prematurely. Smoke from the malfunction made Michael cough a couple of times. He was scared but unhurt. I inspected the gun and found the bullet stuck in the chamber (see attached photo) and the brass still in the breach area. I put the gun in the case and knew this was a seriously defective weapon.

12/10/06
I returned to your store on Page Blvd. with the gun and told Jay Bathgate of the latest malfunction. I asked for a refund OR a new gun. I was told that I had to deal with customer service. I was also told that the manager, Peter Boruchowski, would call me Monday morning about this matter. I then said I didn't want to leave with the gun and Mr. Bathgate said they couldn't take it back and that I needed to return to the Roosevelt Ave location which I did and is where I left the gun. It may be important to note that before I left your store Mr. Bathgate removed the brass from the gun and unfortunately lost it on the floor. There were many shells, including a live round, on the OFFICE floor of the Shooting Sports Center facility.

12/11/06
Peter Boruchowski never called me the next day. In fact nobody called me from Smith and Wesson. That afternoon I called your customer service and asked about the gun. At first they told me they had no record of the gun in your system. A few minutes later after some additional conversation and searching I was told that the gun was in the system and being processed.

12/15/06
As I write this I have still received no refund or explanation of the Walther G22 malfunction from any member of your company.

As a corporate image consultant I have been dealing with people at your corporate level for the past 20 years. Your company, Mr. Golden, is in serious trouble. If you can't do the simple things right, you haven't got a chance at the more complex ones.

My experiences as a customer of Smith and Wesson were quite negative. I would not buy another Smith and Wesson product again and I will never trust the opinion of a Smith and Wesson "expert" again. I was lucky that I, or the 12 year old boy in my charge, were not injured by the defective gun I bought from your company.

It's a shame that another American company is heading for failure. Perhaps, if you as the leader of Smith and Wesson had paid more attention to the way in which your employees think, analyze, and solve problems, the situation I faced would never have happened and wouldn't happen to other shooters at some point down the road.

I hope I will receive the refund I am due for this gun.

12/18/06

p.s. I called your office last week to get your direct email address but nobody returned my phone call. I have sent this email to a general Smith and Wesson email address and will post it on several internet message boards in hope that it will get to you some day.
 

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I'm sorry to hear of your trouble. I certainly don't like the service you got from S+W. I've shot 500 rounds so far, and once I had a round pivot upwards and get stuck. Several times I had rounds seat improperly and the slide didn't go foward far enough. I had to force it forward by hand.
Were you using CCI all the time?
They should exchange the rifle, I would insist on it.
 

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Wow, that seems out of the ordinary. I'm sure you'll get a response for sure. If not, I'd write to Walther. They will make things right for sure.

My 2 G22's have performed very well. Never a problem. They are very nice guns. I hope they get you a new one, so you can experience the fun that these G22's give.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your comments guys.

I haven't heard a thing yet and have received no refund. I bought it at the Smith and Wesson store thinking that if I had problems it would be taken care of ASAP - completely the opposite.

When it did shoot it was very accurate and very ergonomic. I put an Aimpoint on the top rail and had just received the laser.

I will definitely write to Walther as well - I understand from another forum that Walther did NOT make this rifle - it was subcontracted.

scphil - sounds like you have the beginnings of trouble with yours - good luck.
 

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I once was told by Earl that the G22 is made by Walther's parent company Umarex..... but am not 100% sure about this as it bears the "Ulm/Do" proofs..... that would be a lot of shipping for Umarex to just proof the rifle... unless Walther makes the barrels and has just the barrels proofed and ships those to Umarex for assembly.
Anyhow... the G22 is a plinker and just that....
I love mine and did some tweaking on my own....
the feedramp is 2 parts which is not great and couses IMHO the feeding problem in the G22.....
the srew that holds the stock together is part of the problem with the striker and the 'hold action open spring"
if the screw is too tight the G22 will not work right.... also the fact that everything inside (but springs) is aluminum isn't helping any when it comes to the lub slection ....
 

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Yes I think I will take it out tomorrow and try different ammo. I was using Remington Golden Bullet, but I heard that for some reason they tend to jam the G22. I'm going to try Winchester.
Write to Walther directly. Try the head office in Germany as well.
 

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I've had great luck with Federal 40 grain ammo. Seems to be the most accurate in mine also, even more so than the special ammo from Eley, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was using Winchester ammo when the problems started. Then I went to several types of CCI but still problems.

I hope Walther recalls these guns and improves reliability and safety.
 

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Archer,

No offense, but I don't see why they need to recall the G22. I've got 2 of them (one of the first and a brand new one) and haven't had any problems. Unfortunately it sounds like you got one that has some problems and I'm sad to see that they aren't fixing the problem in a timely manner for you.

I've also tried the ammo you've tried and I haven't had any problems with those brands either. The Federal 40 gr. gave me the best accuracy.

Keep pestering S&W to fix your rifle or give you a new one.
 

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I put about 300 rounds in today, and got one misfire, and about 3 stovepipes-all with Remington Thunderbolt. In had problems with Rem Golden Bullet too. That's it, no more Remington, too unreliable. And three times the slide didn't stay back with the Remington. Winchesters shot ok.
The guy who owned the range said give CCI a try. Will report back after the holidays!
 

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Does anyone know what happened with the OP & his G22?

I just bought a new one last month, but haven't got to fire it yet. I hope mine works out better than Archer's did.
 
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