Saturday, March 25, 2006

Some Notes on the Walther P-22

I've mentioned my P22 a few times before, I think it's a generally excellent training weapon, it's an ideal platform for a suppressor, and it's just generally a fun gun to shoot.

Hell, Tuesday my friend Ben and I went and taught a new shooter to shoot with it, then broke out the suppressor. It's always fun making grown men giggle with delight experienceing a new toy... and no you sick bastards, not in that way.

Seriously, I can think of no better pistol to begin training a new shooter on. Most .22 pistols have odd looks, or ergonomics that have nothing to do with full sized centerfire pistols, but the P22 was designed from step one to be a trainer; it's very similar to the Wlather p99 service pistol. The only other pistol I can think of that's jsut as good at replicating a full sized centerfire auto pistol (other thn .22 versions of said pistols of course, some of which are great), is the SIG Mosquito, a pistol I plan on buying when funds permit.

Well anyway, Alan over at Blogonomicon has a detailed P22 review up, and I thought I'd share a few points anyone who owns, or wants to own a p22 should know.

First things first, takedown. Alan uses the little plastic rod that comes with the pistol as it is intended, to guide the recoil spring rod into the small hole.

Everyone else has already lost their little plastic rod, so they do this little trick: Compress the recoil spring sliding it down the rod, then slip the front of the rod through the guide hole, and grab it from the other side. Pull the rod tight, and position the slide onto the frame, guiding the rod end into the hole for it in the barrel lug.

It's more complicated and difficult to write it than to do it.

Now, three important notes on the P22.

1. The safety will loosen up and come on by itself over time. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN the screws that hold the safety levers onto the safety barrel. This will split the levers, AND reduce the tension on the barrel making the problem worse. Find the right tension and loctite the screws there, but check them every one in a while.

2. Cleaning... Get yourself some plastic safe but otherwise very strong solvent, a solvent safe container to submerge the gun completely, and a can of compressed airto blow the solvent out again. Trust me, it's the only way to clean the crud out of the little spaces that you can't get to. You literally cannot diassemble this gun far enough to clean it completely.

If you have access to an ultrasonic jewlery cleaner that will fit the frame of this gun, I HIGHLY recommend them. Actually that goes for any gun really. The cheapo plastic department store ones won't do the job though, you need a decent quality one, and they arent cheap.

Once you've dunked and blown, reoil the gun VERY LIGHTLY, because too much oil just invites more crud; and .22lr is some of the dirtiest ammo on the planet.

3. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN THE BARREL NUT. The barrel shroud is heat treated steel, and will actually peen down the key in the aluminum barrel lug mounted in the frame. This is not a replaceable part. Also, try and torque the barrel the same each time. The barrel is held under tension, and varying the tension will vary the barrel harmonics. Yes in a 3" pistol barrel it doesnt make much difference, but hey, every little helps right?

Dont let these points scare you off, or suggest I don't love the gun; I do. It's a great little pistol, and everyone should own one. You just need to know those particular idiosyncracies.