Gun Review: Walther PPK/S .22

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Dr. No was the first James Bond movie but the sixth book. In it Bond (James Bond) begrudgingly exchanges his .25 ACP Beretta for a Walther PPK chambered in the much more powerful .32 ACP, described as having “delivery like a brick through a plate glass window.” [Click here for the clip.] The PPK was available in .380 as well, but that wasn’t a popular or well-known caliber in Europe. Although the Mossad are still partial to .22 for close range wet work, one assumes most people would buy a pistol chambered in the relatively small caliber for newbie instruction, target shooting, and plinking fun. Walther’s PPK/S .22 allows you to do this with 007 style . . .

New for 2013, the Walther PPK/S in .22 long rifle is very much like the centerfire PPK in almost every way, from controls to weight and size to machining, fit, and finish. With millions of casual 007 fans out there, I must say that I think it was a great idea to offer the PPK in this chambering, which makes the pistol and the shooting more affordable and likely more fun. It’s certainly better for introducing new shooters to the sport, as recoil from a straight blowback .380 can be pretty stout.

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In The Box

The /S version was created by Walther to meet the new ‘sporting purposes’ importation requirement under the 1968 Gun Control Act. ‘S’ stands for Sport, and the frame is taller – i.e., the grip is longer – than the standard PPK. That actually makes the pistol a bit more pleasant for target shooting and plinking, as your otherwise-dangling pinky has a home. Probably a good choice for the .22 version, which I’d assume won’t be a popular CCW option where the extra size or weight would be less desirable.

In the black plastic Walther case, along with the PPK/S, is a 10-round magazine, a gun lock, an owner’s manual, warranty card, an NSSF safety pamphlet and a ziplock baggie with some parts and tools in it. Included are two replacement front sights – one taller and one shorter than the sight installed on the gun – for adjusting point of impact for elevation, a thin punch for pushing out the pin in the front sight, an Allen wrench for adjusting the rear sight for windage, and a wrench for removing the barrel nut. All in all pretty good kit, although I wouldn’t mind a second magazine. They’re available online for around $28.

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Although it has been quite a while since I’ve handled a centerfire PPK, it’s my understanding that the controls on the /S are identical. The magazine release is a thumb button high on the left side of the frame behind the top of the trigger guard. The slide-mounted safety flips up for ‘fire’ and down for ‘safe.’ That’s the opposite of most guns with frame-mounted safeties, but is the norm for guns with slide-mounted safeties – neither the location nor the operation is something I’m used to.

The safety is also a decocker, and pushing down on it safely drops the hammer. Unlike a lot of pistols, the slide can be racked with the safety engaged. Doing so automatically lowers the hammer as the slide comes forwards. Oddly enough, upon doing this or upon decocking, the trigger remains in the more rearward, single action ‘staged’ location even though the hammer is now down, and then the trigger springs forwards to its double action position as you flip the safety up to ‘fire.’ Some complicated German lockwork must be going on inside there.

The slide locks back on empty, but there’s no external slide lock/release control. You’ll have to insert an empty magazine if you want to lock the slide back. To release the slide, either eject the magazine and then pull back and guide the slide forwards, or insert a full magazine and slingshot it (which will chamber a round, of course).

Fit and finish on my nickel-plated version is quite good, with my only nitpick being the font and/or sharpness of the roll marks on the slide. It isn’t the same as on the centerfire version here. Slide-to-frame fitment is decent, machining and apparent parts quality (hammer, sights, safety, trigger, etc) are all very good, especially for a .22. Lots of metal, and very little plastic other than the grip panels. It feels like a real pistol, rather than like a reduced size, reduced quality, more plastic, lighter weight .22 version of a real pistol, of which plenty options exist.

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With that said, I don’t know what the slide or frame are actually made of except that I’m fairly certain it isn’t steel due in part to the impression I get just from feeling and tapping it and from the fact that it doesn’t attract a magnet (and I don’t believe it to be stainless steel). The breech block insert appears to be steel, as do most of the small parts and controls mentioned above. No further conjecture from me and I have not heard of any durability issues, but I bring it up due to some folks’ concern over zinc alloys and “pot metal” slides cracking in some .22 pistols. So far so good here, but I only have just under 300 rounds through my example at this point – mainly due to trying to conserve my dwindling .22 reserves.

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Field stripping is accomplished just like Bond’s PPK. Pull down on the hinged trigger guard, pull the slide all the way to the back and lift it up at the rear, then guide it off the front of the frame. The recoil spring uses the fixed barrel as a guide rod. That’s it! Field stripped.

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At the front of the barrel, a nut can be unscrewed in order to remove the barrel from the frame. However, a more common reason to remove that nut would be to install a thread adaptor. For instance, to effectively extend the barrel out the front of the slide and provide 1/2×28 threads for mounting some sort of muzzle accessory like a compensator, fake suppressor for the easy secret agent look, or real suppressor to more fully satisfy your inner Bond. Thread adapters for Walther’s P22 fit the PPK/S just right! I just picked up a Tactical Innovations one at my local gun store where I then shot the video below, but these guys also have some cool offerings.

 

On The Range

In the video above, you’ll see that it had a few hiccups right off the bat. My PPK/S apparently wanted a little bit of a break-in period and also benefitted from some lube – it came pretty darn clean of anything from the factory. You can actually see it getting better and better during that first range outing, and a couple hundred rounds later it cycles more reliably than it did then. That said, it still definitely prefers more powerful ammo (100% reliability so far) to weaker bulk box stuff (still has some failures to eject or to fully cycle the slide far enough back). With a suppressor, it ran the Winchester bulk with near perfect reliability whereas it would still suffer about one stoppage per mag without the can. I believe that a lighter mainspring (hammer spring) would also cure it of its dislike for weaker ammo while still providing solid primer strikes.

Now, some of it was my fault. Or, if I really felt like it, I suppose I could try to blame it on the design of the gun, but it was actually more of a training issue. You see, the slide is quite tall and has ‘skirts’ that cover the sides of the frame all the way down to right along the top of the trigger guard and along the top of the grips. It’s lower, as compared to the mini beavertail frame extension, than I’m used to. Basically, the only exposed frame is in front of and behind the grip panels (front- and backstrap, mostly).

All of this meant that I sometimes rode the slide a little bit, whether it was with a thumb or two on the side – a thumbs-forward grip does not work here unless you ‘fly’ them off to the side – or with the web of my shooting hand on the underside of the cycling slide. Although I never suffered painful slide bite, I could tell that it was contacting or rubbing on my right hand. With weaker ammo that was barely cycling already, any friction on the slide was a deal breaker. I actually think this gun might be shot best with a single hand, making sure not to hold it too high up on the grip due to how low the sides of the slide actually hang.

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Aside from struggling to remember to modify my normal shooting grip, shooting the PPK/S .22 was a real pleasure! Recoil is minimal and absolutely controllable due to the weight and construction of the pistol, but it still offers enough kick and feedback to be a lot of fun to shoot. I have some heavier, all-steel .22 LR pistols that barely move when you fire them, and the PPK/S gives you more of the sensation of shooting a ‘real gun’ than those do.

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Despite the short barrel and short sight radius, the pistol was very accurate for me for plinking purposes. The steel sights are sharp and there is plenty of light around the front blade to help with quick acquisition. If the front blade had a dot or was otherwise not the same solid black as the rear sight, my rested target accuracy would have been better. I found the factory-installed front sight to hit right where I wanted it and the rear sight required no adjustment either.

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The trigger in single action is pretty good. It’s fairly short with just a little creep before the break and, as far as DA/SA guns go, I’d say it’s up there in the good+ to almost-very-good category. There’s a couple millimeters of slack that you don’t have to repeat if you ride the reset, which gives enough of a ‘click’ feel that doing so accurately is pretty easy. Walther states 6.6 lbs for the single action pull but I was consistently measuring much closer to 5 lbs. The overall shape and contour of the trigger works well for me. I really wouldn’t change anything in the SA trigger pull category here at all.

The trigger in double action is crazy heavy. It’s super heavy in the centerfire PPKs as well. Walther says it’s 17.5 lbs. DA and I measured that amount exactly once. It was between 17 and 20 lbs on other tests. I believe the gun was consistent, but I just struggled to hold the darn thing still and keep the gauge on the same spot on the trigger each time while pulling that hard.

There’s the exact same amount of slack in DA as in SA (possibly it’s moving a firing pin block out of the way if it has one, but I’m not diving into the mechanics of this gun), and the overall DA pull is consistent – no stacking. It’s a bit gritty, but not horrible and I’d expect it will smooth out with time (assuming you ever pull the trigger in DA).

Bottom line: it isn’t actually physically difficult to pull the trigger with your finger – at least not for me – and it certainly ups the safety factor if you chose to carry the gun in DA with the safety disengaged. My accuracy in DA was just fine and I attribute that to the consistent pull right up to the break.

I thought the location of the mag release would be weird but it wasn’t an issue at all. That and the safety work just fine. The safety has nice, positive clicks at either end and smooth travel in between. The decocker function is easy to operate. The magazine drops free, empty or full, and loads easily even without one of those thumb button things that you see on many .22 LR pistol mags.

The lack of an external slide lock is not an issue for me as I have become quite used to my Beretta Nano, which is my EDC tun and has no external controls whatsoever other than a mag release. I could see this being slightly annoying if you’re using the PPK/S to introduce new shooters to pistols, however. You’ll need to keep an empty mag handy or you won’t be able to lock the slide back on command.

Conclusions

Bottom line: this is a really fun gun at the range. A good trigger, excellent accuracy, good reliability with quality/stronger .22 ammo (solid primer hits, btw), good ergos and overall solid, quality feel and heft make it a pleasure to shoot. It’s definitely a nice looking gun, too – anybody can identify it as the James Bond gun. “Cool factor” is there in spades, but in a caliber that’s easy to shoot, afford, and enjoy.

I believe there are a couple of .22 LR pistols in the same price range that are more reliable and accurate, but they don’t generally operate the same way as a centerfire or look much like a ‘normal’ pistol. For instance, a Ruger Mark III or 22/45 with their internal bolts. GREAT guns, but I find it easier to teach new shooters on something a little more ‘standard.’ Assuming our number one goal here is fun, I’d put the PPK/S .22 near the top of the list.

My personal experience with semi-auto .22 LR pistol reliability when the whole slide reciprocates isn’t great – I typically expect at least some ammo sensitivity. The PPK/S appears to cycle better than average now that it’s been broken in and I have learned to keep my grubby mitts off the slide. While plenty of other options compete on price and reliable cycling, the real deal steel feel of the PPK/S and the James Bond cachet give it something extra. Especially with a can on the front!

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Specifications:

Length:  6.1”
Barrel Length:  3.3”
Height:  4.9”
Width:  0.98”
Weight:  24 oz
Capacity: 10 rounds of .22 long rifle
Trigger Pull Weight: 17.5 lbs DA, 6.6 lbs SA (as stated by Walther. SA ~5 lbs as measured)
MSRP: $449 Black Finish, $469 Nickel Finish. Typical retail price $346 and $376, respectively (see GrabAGun, KYGunCo, etc)

Ratings (out of 5 stars):

Accuracy: * * * *
Given the small size, short sight radius, and black front sight I was much more accurate with this pistol than I expected to be. The fixed barrel certainly shoots straight, and I think the mechanical accuracy potential of the thing is way higher than I could get out of it.

Ergonomics: * * * *
Frame fit and angle are nice. Trigger is nice. Controls are fine, although I’m not a fan of slide-mounted safeties. Easy to manipulate the slide. Overall, comfortable and very good ergos for a sub-compact.

Reliability: * * * *
Four stars only in a comparison against my experience with direct competitors, meaning sub-$400 semi-auto .22 LR pistols with reciprocating slides. Some distaste for light-loaded ammo. 100% reliable with stronger stuff. Overall, I think it’s a tad better than average for a sub-compact .22 of this sort.

Customize This: * *
As far as I can tell, the only aftermarket option that exists are thread adapters that are technically sold for the P22, but fit the PPK/S .22 perfectly. These would give you the ability to mount compensators, flash hiders, fake silencers, real silencers, and other silliness onto the barrel. Normal PPK/S grip panels won’t fit, and I can’t seem to find aftermarket options. Same for sights. At least not yet… (I believe the gun has been on the market for about 8 months). Most holsters for the PPK should work.

Fun Factor: * * * * *
I’m James Bond, beotch!

Overall: * * * *
A fun-to-shoot .22 option. Decent gun to teach first timers, but interesting and accurate enough that you won’t get bored with it either.

58 Responses to Gun Review: Walther PPK/S .22

  1. avatarHinshelworld says:

    Pretty cool! I’d buy one

    • avatarShadi says:

      Seriously? A $350 pot metal gun with a 20 pound trigger pull? No thanks. I owned a P22 (two of them) and both had cracked frames around the 3000 mark. S&W told me that 3000 rounds was the limit for the P22. I know plenty of people have P22′s with double that round count, I’m just sharing my experience. I figure the Pk22 is just as much a POS as the P22.

  2. avatarOddux says:

    While the reliability part makes me kinda sad, that’d still be an awesome plinking pistol.

  3. avatartdiinva says:

    If I had a PPK I would buy one as training tool. As a 1911 fan boy I have the GSG/SiG 22 version for that reason. Back in the days when I could get a brick of golden bullets for $20 it was a great training pistol. (My 1911-22 hates Winchester bulk as does my Nano) However, unless that is your reason there are other 22lr pistols that are better choice just for shooting.

  4. avatarRoll says:

    Damnit, another one for my want list…suppressor was bigger than the pistol lol!

  5. avatarJeff says:

    Thinking about buying one because the PPK ergonomics are VERY close to the CZ-82s I own and carry.

  6. avatarLeadbelly says:

    How can you compare this to other pistols without even mentioning the Bersa Thunder .22? At least a hundred dollars cheaper and twice the gun: better trigger, manual slide release, alloy frame, steel slide, click adjustable rear sight, etc. The double action trigger pull is about half the pull weight of the Walther!

    • avatarJeremy S says:

      Good question! Mostly, I forgot about it. Some of that may be that I actually have precisely zero experience with Bersa, whereas I have handled and shot most of the other pistols I listed near the end as competitors. I don’t know how the Bersa would stack up. Maybe that makes sense for a future back-to-back comparo. There is a nickel version for about $300.

      Of course, if you’re a James Bond fan something that looks mostly similar still isn’t a PPK. From a purely functional standpoint, sure, maybe the Bersa is an alternative but then so is just about any other pistol. If you want the PPK look, there’s no substitute for a PPK!

    • avatarKCK says:

      Because we’re not talking about better.
      We’re talking about a PPK

    • avatarsquashpup says:

      Have to agree with Leadbelly. I love me some Thunder .22.

      If you want cachet and wow factor, definitely go with the Walther. If you want a gun that is basically the same layout, with quality materials and manufacturing, and a great (some even say better) trigger, at a big savings, get the Bersa.

      Personally, I have the Bersa. But, some people want “the James Bond gun”. As nice as the Bersa is, 007 never had one.

  7. avatarChris Mallory says:

    You are right, the Euros didn’t like the .380. They much preferred the 9mm Kutz or the 9 x 17.

    • avatarJeremy S says:

      Haha ;) …the vast majority of the PPK’s made in .380 auto or 9mm corto or 9×17 or whatever you want to call it were exported to the U.S. market. A rose is a rose, right? By any name, at least for much of the PPK’s early few decades, Europe wanted it in .32 (and sometimes .25, apparently). A .32 cal PPK worked for Hitler in his final moment.

    • avatarKCK says:

      I thought 9Kurts was .380ACP

      • avatarjwm says:

        9×17 is .380 acp. Kurz(unsure of proper spelling) is german for short. 9 short is .380 acp also. As is 9 korto, again my spelling may be off. Korto is Italian I believe.

        For generations the .32 acp was pretty much standard as a police caliber all thru Europe. It was also used heavily by various militaries around ww2. The official pistol caliber of the Italians during ww2 was the .380 acp.

        • avatartdiinva says:

          Officers in European armies carried pistols more as a symbol of authority than for military effectiveness. Outside of airborne or other special troops even platoon and company grade officers didn’t carry long guns. A .32 or a 380 was considered sufficient for that purpose. Officers in the US Army through First Wrold War also didn’t carry long guns but they were given a real combat pistol either a Colt SAA or later on a M1911. Platoon and company level infantry officers in the US Army in WWII carried the same infantry weapons as their troops. This practice became standard in all western armies after the war.

  8. avatarStinkeye says:

    Such an elegant-looking gun. I have to admit to a fondness for PPKs and other similar designs (Makarov, CZ-82, Bersa .380, Sig P232, etc). They just look so much more refined than the chunky black “tactical” pistols. Yeah, they’re generally chambered in underpowered rounds, but damn, that whole family of guns sure looks nice. It’s no wonder they chose it for 007′s sidearm.

    • avatarSoccerchainsaw says:

      TTAG done a comparison of these similar models? Even if in .380?

    • avatarjwm says:

      There’s something to be said for pleasing the eye. I only own 2 semi auto pistols. A Makarov, which I truly enjoy, and a Sigma. The Sigma is a fully reliable pistol and I trust it. But it has the appeal of a brick.

  9. avatarBlinkyPete says:

    Great review and very cool looking gun… for whatever reason I’d still have trouble plunking down more than $300 for a .22 pistol. Maybe I’m just being unrealistic.

  10. avatarRobert Ross says:

    I have a Walther PP in ,22, from Interarms, that I bought in the 70′s would the magazines for this gun fit it.? In the first picture what is the round with the grey bullet looks like two bullets on a 22 short case . It is also in the thrid pic just ahead of the muzzle.

    • avatarjwm says:

      looks like a 60 grain sub sonic load. In order to keep the overall length of the loaded cartridge in spec they shorten the case. I wouldn’t think it would work the Waltther reliably. I could be wrong.

    • avatarJeremy S says:

      No, the magazines with this gun are apparently specific to it. Same with the grip panels. From what I have heard, no other mags fit in it.

      That’s an Aguila Sniper Subsonic (SSS). Just picked up 500 of ‘em a few weeks ago. It’s a 60 grain (!!!) .22 long rifle! I think they use a .22 short case and they still manage a pretty standard powder charge. Most subsonic .22 LR is slower because they reduce the powder charge, so it’s also weaker. This stuff is *nearly* full power and is slow mostly because of how heavy the bullet is. It did not reliably cycle the PPK/S .22 but did no worse than the Winchester bulk stuff. They both worked fine with the suppressor though! However, I have the SSS for shooting through my .22 rifles. The vast majority of .22 LR is already subsonic from a pistol (the fps stats on the box are for rifles) anyway so it doesn’t make sense to use it. The CRACK from the bullet going supersonic in a rifle though hurts the point of suppressing it to some degree, so the SSS is great since it packs a normal punch but doesn’t break the sound barrier.

  11. avatarMark N. says:

    Having never read a Bond book, but recalling O’s numerous attempts to get Bond to carry a real pistol with a bit of oomph, perhaps someone could enlighten me as to why this macho man carried such a ridiculously underpowered .32 caliber firearm? As powerful as a brick though a window? I think not.

    • avatarjwm says:

      Because Ian Fleming worked in British Intel during ww2. His experience of pistols was what they were using at that time. Like most Europeans he felt that the small autos were perfectly adequate for the job. And the majority of the time they were. In one of his books, located in the Bahamas or Bermuda bond actually carried a S&W .38. To hear the description you would have thought he was packing artillery.

      With a few exceptions horsepower in handguns is an american thing. Even when the Europeans use the .45/11mm handguns they usually use a short case with a fairly low muzle velocity. I think the .455 webley was at the 650 fps mark with its 265 grain bullet.

      • avatarJeff says:

        Americans are fat, and we assume everyone else is fat as well, thus .45 ACP

      • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        My observation on Europeans and handguns is this:

        In general, Europeans don’t know jack about handguns. They’re more of a status symbol to Europeans. When their police want to impress people that they “mean business,” they start packing sub-guns. The Europeans might know how to make a handgun or two, but they don’t know jack about using them. Watching a European on a shooting range in the US with a handgun is either like watching an old lady holding onto an oversized sex toy, or watching some Appalachian preacher handle snakes while jabbering in some alien tongue. Neither act inspires confidence.

        The Europeans have never had the likes of men like Elmer Keith or Jeff Cooper in their midst, men who looked at the handgun and said “OK, it certainly isn’t a rifle or other long-arm, but odds are pretty high that when the first crap hits the fan, this will be the gun I have on my person at that moment. How then, do we maximize the effectiveness of what we have at hand?” Hence Keith’s fascination with the .357, .44 and .41. Cooper turned to the .45 ACP and 1911 and made it go for all it was worth, inventing a whole mindset of pistol combat shooting – shooting to win, not draw.

        • avatarMichael says:

          This comment made me laugh, modern pistol shooting originated from Fairbain and Sykes, two Brits.
          The Walther PPK was, and probably still is a British service issue handgun XL47E1.
          This guy probably thinks the only pistol is the 1911 in 45ACP.
          I like my PPK, and High Power, but nowadays carry a Glock, in 9mm

    • avatarJeremy S says:

      Watch this old video clip w/ Sean Connery talking about the guns of James Bond: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuO34MDezzU

  12. avatarPaul W says:

    If .22 ever stays on the shelves again, I’m buying a .22 revolver and semi auto for practice and funsies. And maybe using it to teach my wife to shoot. This looks like a good option

    • avatarJeff says:

      it sounds ridiculous to even be saying this, but I remember my last few summers fondly. at least once a week I would ride my Honda Trail out to the nearby lake and dump a half a brick or more through my Sig Mosquito, then take a swim.

      this summer, I don’t think I shot more than a single box of CCI. when I first looked at it, I could’ve sworn that it was a bar of gold, then it faded away like a Warner Bros. cartoon mirage.

  13. avatarTim U says:

    I have a PPK/S in .380 and would love to get this…. if .22 LR was obtainable anymore.

  14. avatarBlue says:

    While this pistol says ‘Walther’ on it, it is still just a “replica” as you put it because it is farmed out to Umarex hence the three crowns printed on the barrel. The slide is possible made out of pot metal. I was highly disappointed when I figured this out.

    Ironically, the Walther PK380 is actually recoil operated whereas the PPK .380 is blow back.

    • avatarJeremy S says:

      With Walther and Umarex owned by the same company I don’t know who makes what or if it’s all Umarex. The barrel itself doesn’t have that proof mark on it (it has the Walther logo and “cal. .22 l.r.” on it) but the Umarex proof mark is on the frame. I don’t know if some of the small parts like controls and hammer and whatnot are actually identical to the PPK and get sent to U by W or what… amended the text of the review, though, so it doesn’t make it sound like the gun is made on the same line as the centerfire versions.

  15. avatarSteven says:

    In my experience this is a pointless piece of jammomatic zinc junk.

    • avatarJeremy S says:

      It still runs reliably for me with quality ammo and with Blazer bulk box. Have not experienced a single stoppage with nice stuff from CCI or with that Blazer in a couple hundred rounds. The other stuff is just barely not strong enough and I see like one stoppage per magazine.

      It may be made of some sort of zinc alloy. Hopefully it’s more than strong enough for a .22. Time will tell, I guess. My plastic guns have been fine.

  16. avatarpercynjpn says:

    I wonder if anyone can ever review a PPK without the tiresome and unoriginal references to James Bond – very boring.

    • avatarJeremy S says:

      Yeah, sorry. That crossed my mind before writing it up but I feel like it’s the primary reason somebody would buy this gun over an alternative like, say, the Ruger SR22. LOTS of options in .22 LR pistols, including many in the same size range with standard controls for teaching new shooters that are at least as reliable and often less expensive. Despite being more expensive, I wouldn’t be surprised if this gun outsold the similar looking Bersa .22. Why? It’s a PPK. Why do people care? Because Bond. Maybe I went too far in that direction but it would be a true oversight if it wasn’t mentioned.

    • avatarMichael says:

      Product placement of the PPK in the James Bond movies was probably one of the greatest marketing achievements in movies. I bought a PPK and will buy one of these. They are still great guns.
      If I had the money I would buy an Aston Martin, Ok maybe two, do they make a cheap training car?

    • avatarMichael says:

      Ever read a review of the Smith and Wesson Model 29 in 44 Magnum without a reference to Dirty Harry?

  17. avatarAl Bondigas says:

    Have you ever heard of a SIG, Glock or lowly Ruger that needed “breaking in?” What a crock of crap this is from gun reviewers, always trying to rationaliz

  18. avatarAl Bondigas says:

    ..oops…rationalize malfunctions as something else. Look, folks, this imitation Walther isn’t even made of steel. Probably die cast in a toy factory by people who would rather be making cheese. Get a Ruger, a Buckmark, or a .22 conversion kit for your 1911 but at least get a real gun. Who cares if it looks like something James Bond would carry? He wasn’t real either.

    • avatarJeremy S says:

      I had a $3,000 1911 that required a break-in. A lot of high end guns do and a lot of those manufacturers tell you that and even recommend a specific break-in schedule. I don’t know how else to explain it when my first couple magazines through the gun were a sh*t show and the next couple were much better and then from then on it was running pretty well. It isn’t meant to be an excuse (I’ve put up some really bad reviews on TTAG before, like the ZiP 22, and I would not have held back in this case either). I think I might have avoided the “break-in” if I took it apart and cleaned and lubed it right away — but I knew I was going to review it so I chose to shoot it straight out of the box. Still not sure if that’s the right choice for gun reviews or not…

      I generally agree with you, anyway, on the ‘real gun’ front. I have a 22/45 and a CZ Kadet Adapter (.22 conversion kit for CZ 75′s, and it’s REALLY nice) that aren’t going anywhere. But some people DO care about a gun that looks like James Bond’s and might want to buy one. Does it work? Is it any good? Does it shoot straight? I believe this review is honest and indicative of what most people can expect from it. So, for people considering it, it could push them one way or another depending.

    • avatarRaleigh Gelosh says:

      I just want to say the ppk/s .22 is a good gun. They are made to shoot HV ammo.
      This explains why they don’t always cycle well with cheaper ammo. If you want to shoot cheaper ammo go to wolf’s springs website and order a lighter weight hammer spring. It will lighten the trigger pull and allow the slide to cycle better. Its up to you to decide what weight works for what you want to shoot. Walther made the gun to stand up to hv,and it does. You should never talk bad about something you don’t fully understand. It doesn’t help people that are looking to learn about something. 22 hand guns are pickey . Learn how they work.

      • avatarJeremy S says:

        If that comment, RG, is directed at me, you’ll notice that in the review itself and in some of my comments here I specifically stated that a lighter main spring (hammer spring) should allow it to run reliably with less powerful ammo. BUT… don’t be fooled into thinking that .22′s have to be designed this way. There are PLENTY of .22 pistols that will run with a full range of ammo power levels with NO changes necessary and will be 100% reliable right out of the box. The 22/45 and CZ Kadet Adapter that I mentioned in my comment above are perfect examples. One reason they are able to run light ammo without having to swap springs out is because they’re actually made of steel. There isn’t a concern for the slide hitting back too hard so they don’t have to overspring it. With a significantly weaker zinc alloy frame and slide, this would cause wear and maybe even breakage. So it has to be sprung to be safe with HV ammo (limiting slide/frame impact to a bare minimum) at the expense of working with lighter loads. What you suggest as “normal” is actually a compromise. And NO, I don’t mean to suggest that the PPK/S 22 is a bad gun because of it. I liked the gun. But if you’re forced to go to the aftermarket to buy replacement parts in order to get it to function with a certain type of completely standard ammo then it IS a limitation that this gun has and others do not. Since there are many .22′s that are very ammo-sensitive, like you did suggest, I don’t consider it a huge deal and didn’t knock it many points because of it. I’m also used to that compromise and it isn’t a big deal. Well… it’s more of an issue these days w/ .22 so darn hard to find… nice to have a gun that’ll cycle just about anything.

  19. avatarObiwan1 says:

    Color me not impressed. Great looking gun, looks light and compact but the FTE on a new gun is inexcusable. Its kind of like the Ruger SR9C FTF issue which in my opinion is a striker pin that is .010 to short. Give me a Browning Buckmark or a MK III anytime. On this one I’ll give them a year. Its not my job to reengineer their gun. I own several 22 walther target barrels. (big thumbs up) but it appears they dropped the ball on this one.

    • avatarJeremy S says:

      Yeah I think the mainspring is too stiff and it provides too much resistance, but only just, to reliably cycle a lot of the cheaper plinking ammo. I’ve had 100% reliability from hotter ammo and the weaker stuff functioned properly with the bit of additional backpressure that the suppressor added. Without that, it still has about one failure per magazine with the cheap stuff (except Blazer, which it likes a lot) — currently that failure is usually the slide not cycling far enough back to strip the next round out of the mag on its way forwards.

  20. avatarjackb says:

    I just paid for a new Walther 22 ppk/s , then was told it cannot be sold in New York State because of the threaded barrel, and cannot put on a fix kit, Illegal under NY Safe Act 2013. I had not registered yet. Anyone else from New York comments.

    • avatarJeremy S says:

      I know some CA folks permanently attached (as per the state’s definition of “permanent” in this regard) the little end cap that you can see me remove in the video where I shoot it suppressed. Same thing on the Walther P22 as on this gun. If you were to JB Weld, actually weld, pin, etc that cap on then it may no longer count as being “threaded.” At least this flies in CA. For most guns an easy solution is just filing the threads down until they’re smooth, but on this gun they’re actually needed to keep the barrel clamped into the frame.

  21. avatarEd says:

    Just picked up the PPKS/22. Ran 300 rounds of CCI mini-mag round nose through it without issue. Nice weight and feel, really a joy to shoot. Sights were right on shooting 4″ steel plates on a Action Target Dueling Tree @ 10yds. I added a little Testers Orange model paint to the front sight. If your looking for a fun plinking option I highly recommend it. Appreciate the great review Jeremy!

  22. avatarpugilist66 says:

    Your magnet must be bad because mine sticks everywhere on my PPK/S 22, except the trigger guard. This gun is exceptionally well made and the only people who seem to dislike it are the “gun snobs” who compare it to their $1200 WWII models. Very nice gun for the money.

    • avatarJeremy S says:

      Hi pugilist. Please don’t interpret my comments on the slide and frame material as dislike for it. I don’t really have anything against zinc alloy for some applications, and a .22 lr gun is often one of those applications where I believe it can keep cost down and still not cause long-term reliability problems. It’s strong enough for the application. I like the PPK/S 22 and this is a positive review. That said, this gun IS zamak / zinc alloy, not steel, and the slide and frame do NOT attract a magnet. You need to be careful, because there are plenty of steel parts on and in the slide and frame. I used a small diameter but quite strong rare earth magnet and made sure to avoid steel inserts like the breech block area and parts like screws, springs, barrel under the slide, controls, etc. With the slide off the frame, there’s plenty of real estate in front of the breech to test without steel in the way (except for the front sight). Really it’s besides the point, though. Regardless of the magnet test I have since confirmed that the frame and slide are zinc alloy. Whether it turns somebody away from the gun or not is their decision… But it’s the truth.

  23. avatarAndy Krueger says:

    I found that if you can find and afford the CCI Velocitor’s that they work 100% and you get a little extra kick in the recoil department plus they sound good when hitting steel plates….might even be good for a poor mans self defense round in a pinch?

  24. avatarFrancis says:

    Greetings.
    Can you tell me how she behaves with Winchester subsonic ammunition?
    That’s the only subsonic ammunition available in Portugal.
    Thank you.
    Regards,
    Francis

  25. avatarTom Harrington says:

    I bought one, and I love it. Offhand groups at 7 yards about 3″, two handed about 1.25″. Fun little plinker, and it feels just like my PPK/S in .380 auto. Now I have to buy another for the wife :)

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