The Walther P22 is a semiautomatic pistol manufactured in Germany by Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen. Distribution in the United States is by Walther America, a joint venture with the Smith & Wesson Company.
There are two separate models of this handgun. The standard Walther P22 (pictured to the right) has a 3.4″ (87mm) barrel, while the Walther P22 Target has a 5.0″ (127mm) barrel with a barrel mounted weight compensator that matches the profile of the slide. The barrels are easily interchangeable between the two models, and packages that included both barrels were in the past offered directly from Walther. These combination packages are no longer available directly from the manufacturer, but to make up for this, some dealers do sell a discounted package with both barrels.
Color options from the factory are numerous. The P22 Black is the standard model with a black frame and black (blued) slide. The P22 Nickel has the same black frame with a nickel-finished (silver) slide. The P22 Military has an olive drab frame combined with the standard black slide. The P22 Anthracite/Brushed Chrome mates an anthracite (dark grey marbled with a lighter grey) frame with a brushed chrome finish on the slide.
The Walther P22’s exterior design very closely resembles the Walther PK380, a .380 ACP caliber compact pistol, but is somewhat smaller. Magazine capacity is 10 rounds and is a single-stack design. There is a slide mounted, thumb operated, ambidextrous safety and an external hammer. The magazine release is of a different design than most semiautomatic pistols sold in the United States. Instead of a magazine release button placed on the grip, the P22 has an ambidextrous magazine release lever located at the rear of the trigger guard. Many other Walther semiautomatic pistols (like the aforementioned PK380 and the P99) have a similarly-designed magazine release.
Walther has modified the magazine for the P22 as the original design was somewhat prone to feed failures. The first revision modified the feed ears and added a 3/8″ slot, allowing the rounds to stagger as they approach the top of the magazine. The second revision lengthened the stagger slot to 1″ to further improve cartridge feeding reliability. The third (and current as of 2009) revision has a tall spring retaining nub and is made of slightly thicker steel.
The P22 has a conventional double-action/single-action (DA/SA) trigger, meaning that the first shot may be fired with the hammer uncocked — the double-action trigger will first cock the hammer. The trigger pull in the double-action mode is approximately 12 lbs., and in the single-action mode is approximately 5 lbs.
This handgun is equipped with a magazine disconnect and will not fire unless a magazine is properly seated into the weapon.