The first generation Walther P22 was my first pistol. I bought it on price and the Walther name. I shot thousands of rounds through the gun — when it worked. To say my P22 was unreliable would be like saying TTAG tells the truth about guns . . .
That P22 was picky about ammo. CCI mini mags were the most reliable, but still not flawless. I had to keep the pistol spotless; the slightest bit of carbon on the firing pin would cause light primer strikes. A tiny bit of carbon on the slide rails would cause ejection and feeding issues.
Even so, I loved my Gen1 Walther P22. It was comfortable and accurate. More importantly, it was my first.
When Walther announced the new P22 QD, I had to have one — even though the list of improvements to its predecessor’s 15-year-old design was short. Specifically, Walther . . .
Made the grip stippling more aggressive than the previous P22s.
Added a decocker safety.
Replaced the fly-across-the-room spring with a capture recoil spring.
One thing that hasn’t changed: its low price. My local gun store had a P22 QD on sale for $229.88, some $70 off MSRP.
Smith, Springfield and GLOCK have all moved towards more hand-friendly designs. Meanwhile, Walther’s been carving a niche in the market with their ergonomic excellence. The budget-friendly P22 QD is no exception; it’s a remarkably comfortable gun to have and to hold.
Even in my large hands the pistol is comfortable. While the gun comes complete with a larger back strap, I didn’t feel the need to install it.
Like the original, the frame is polymer and includes a three-slot Picatinny rail.
The slide’s machining is top notch, featuring front snout serrations for your cocking and press check needs. The P22 QD’s even, non-slip finish is even more appreciated.
The Walther P22 QD’s ambidextrous thumb safety blocks the firing pin and decocks the pistol.
The hammer won’t stay cocked with the safety engaged even if you attempt to cock it manually or by racking the slide. Yes, the slide can still be manipulated with the safety on (for safe loading and unloading).
We haven’t dinged RF’s garage floor to test it, but an additional internal safety should prevent the pistol from firing if dropped.
The P22 QD wouldn’t be a Walther without a great trigger (another selling point vs. GLOCKs and GLOCK-a-likes).
The P22 QD’s unusually wide trigger has a typical Walther pull: short and smooth with a clean break. It takes 11 pounds of pressure to actuate the trigger in double action, four pounds in single action. The reset is short and well-defined.
The P22 QD’s trigger is head and shoulders above its price point peers.
Walther includes three polymer front sight posts of varying heights. As with my original P22, the sights literally snap into the slide.
If your point of impact is high, snap out the front sight and replace it with the taller front sight. If your shots are low, swap for the shorter sight.
As you’d expect, I had concerns about the sights popping off or coming loose. This never happened after thousands of rounds in my original P22, nor after I fed the P22 QD some 500+ rounds.
The traditional 2-dot sight setup at the rear is windage adjustable.
The pistol comes with two, 10-round magazines featuring a finger rest. Additional magazines run $33 each when purchased from Walther’s website (about $28 on Brownells).
The P22 QD’s magazines drop free via a trigger guard-mounted paddle release. There are naysayers but I really like the design. It’s ambidextrous and you can ditch mags without shifting your grip.
While the original P22 required high velocity ammo to run semi-reliably, the new model cycles subsonic ammo without complaint. A discovery that backs-up Walther’s claim that the new P22 is suppressor-ready. Speaking of which . . .
You need to buy a $20 adapter (like the factory one above or various ones on Brownells) to attach a suppressor to the P22 QD barrel’s M8x75 threads.
To access the barrel’s threaded portion, you have to remove the slide (the threads don’t extend past the slide). Using the wrench provided with the gun, you can then remove the thread protector.
You then reinstall the slide and screw on the factory adapter — which extends past the slide. Attach your can and go about your business quietly.
Disassembly is easy: eject the magazine and clear the pistol. Pull the takedown latch down.
Move the slide to the rear and lift up. Slowly move the slide forward and take the recoil spring out. Reverse this process to reassemble the pistol.
To remove the barrel, unscrew the thread protector and pull the tube off the barrel. Now you can slide the barrel to the rear and off the frame.
Accuracy? Let’s just say at this price point the Walther is accurate enough for plinking and training. I was happy enough with this five-round group of American Eagle at seven yards.
Federal Premium Hunter Match was also acceptable. All of the ammo I tried produced close to the same level of accuracy.
As for reliability, the new P22 QD is significantly more reliable than my first-gen version. That said . . .
Jeremy and I did run into some issues during the first 200 rounds, using CCI Mini-Mags. We experienced a few failures to feed. I wasn’t that concerned; some pistols need a bit of breaking in to run reliably, especially .22s.
But we also experienced an issue I hadn’t encountered before.
After pulling the trigger, the round fired and the slide would move all the way rearward. At which point it would come forward a few millimeters, then stop. Then, when the trigger was released, the slide would cycle forward, pick up another round, ready to fire.
This only happened five times during the first 200 rounds.
This was such an unusual malfunction we tested my gun against a TTAG T&E P22 QD. We couldn’t reproduce the malfunction. And after 500 rounds through both pistols, the failure-to-immediately-return-to-battery issue disappeared. I did, however, continue to experience occasional failure-to-feed issues with my P22 QD.
Again, the more I shot the pistol the more reliable it became. During my third range trip I saw two failures-to-feed out of about 100 rounds. It may improve further with additional rounds.
The new Walther P22 QD is an excellent handgun for shooters who want to master their trigger press. It’s a highly ergonomic suppressor host and a budget-friendly first gun. But I wouldn’t rely on the P22 QD for self-defense — until and unless Walther improves the gun and/or you can find ammunition it’ll run with complete reliability.
Specifications: Walther P22 QD
Caliber: .22 LR
Capacity: 10 rounds
Barrel Length: 3.42 inches
Overall Length: 6.3 inches
Height: 4.5 inches
Width: 1.1 inches
Weight With Empty Magazine: 17 ounces
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style * * * *
It looks like every Walther except 2/3 the size.
Ergonomics * * * * *
Small pistols are rarely comfortable in my large hands, but the new P22 feels great.
Customization * * *
Several slide/frame combinations are available. Black, FDE and Tiffany Blue frames are available. Slides are either anodized black or nickel. Walther makes lasers specifically for the P22. Holsters and magazines are readily available.
Accuracy * * *
It’s accurate enough for a satisfying day’s plinking — and that’s it.
Reliability * *
The gun has issues.
Overall * * *
The new P22 QD has its sibs’ most excellent trigger and ergonomics. It’s an excellent plinker, but not reliable enough for self-defense.