Four .22s for Fun and Practice: We Praise One Walther P22
Waltherís 3.4-inch-barrel P22 has a lot going for it, including light weight, accuracy, and good shooting manners. Itís Our Pick over an older PP, a 5-inch P22, and a pricey PP Sport.
The quest for a small .22 LR handgun can take one to strange places. The first place one might look is in the catalogs of today’s makers, but your first surprise will be that there are not all that many small .22 LR autoloader handguns available. There are plenty of ‘em about the size of a 1911, but it seems the fine small autos of the past are almost gone. Walther offers the fine P22 in two barrel lengths. We looked hard at the longer-barrel version in January 2003, but the shorter version was something of a mystery. Both of these new Walthers had parallels in the older PP Walther, with short barrel and fixed sights, and in the adjustable-sighted, longer-barreled Walther PP Sport. We obtained both the long- and short-barrel P22 (MSRP $301 for either one) along with a copy of the all-steel Walther PP, offered recently by Southern Ohio Gun ($500). Luck was with us, because a staff member happened to own one of the fairly rare Walther PP Sports (about $1100), and made it available for testing. We put them to the test, and this is what we found.