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Old February 9, 2020, 06:55 PM   #1
guitar1580
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Deciding on a .22LR semi auto ... Walther, Bersa, Ruger

Hi folks. I’m mostly into revolvers, but have lately been wanting a .22LR semi auto for occasional plinking. It will be my first semi auto, and I am planning on eventually getting a suppressor for it.

I first took a liking to the Ruger Mark IV Target, but after looking around, I think I may want something a little smaller.

I’m leaning toward the Walther PKK/S .22LR. Not sure yet if I like the black or the nickel finish.

I’ve also been checking out the Bersa T22M, which seems a bit similar to the Walther.

I’m aware of ammo feeding issues on some new guns, especially during the break in period (which is one reason I like revolvers), so I’m prepared to contend with that if need be.

That aside, if anyone has experience with the 3 models I’ve mentioned, please share your thoughts, likes, dislikes, etc.

I do like Smith & Wesson, when it comes to vintage revolvers, and was reading a little about the S&W 10201 Victory .22LR, but have heard some bad things about quality control in recent years, and again, I’m leaning toward the smaller Walther.

Maybe there are other models in the 3 to 400 dollar price range that I haven’t yet seen, as I’ve just yesterday started the search. Any thoughts and suggestions will we well appreciated.

JT
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Old February 9, 2020, 07:19 PM   #2
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Be careful on the Walther. There are two versions of the PPK being produced for the US market.

The latest is being made in a US Walther factory, producing the centerfire variants of the PPK. These appear to be very well-made, and currently run somewhere around $800.

The other version is the PPK/S rimfire variant, produced by Umarex (maker of airsoft guns) under license from Walther, and is made from a zinc alloy. They were introduced at a high price several years ago, but have come way down and now sell in the mid $200's. They may (or may not) work reasonably well in the short term, but please understand what you are looking at.

IMO, Walther has done serious damage to its reputation. Imagine if Colt re-released the Python as a zinc DA revolver.
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Old February 9, 2020, 07:29 PM   #3
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Not a Mark IV, but I used to own a Ruger 22/45 Target. It was very accurate, and reliable as long as I used CCI high velocity ammunition. It wasn't reliable with anything else. Magazines were stupid expensive, and available only from Ruger.

Did I mention that I hated it? It shot well, it was accurate, but I could never bring myself to like it, so I sold it.
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Old February 9, 2020, 07:36 PM   #4
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You are correct, Metric. These .22LR models I'm looking at in the $300 range are the zinc alloy frames. They are made in Germany, but are under the licensing agreement, as you said. The reviews on them seem to be pretty positive, but when you get down that low in the price range, you know something is going on.

Most major American guitar companies do the same thing. They all have a less than half price version that is assembled in Korea, Mexico, Japan, or Indonesia. Some of them are actually very good for the price, but you really have to evaluate them individually to get a good one.

I'm not really looking to spend 6 or 800 on a .22 at this point, and it is not really going to get a lot of use, so I guess I'm evaluating & trying to find the best of the low cost models. Thanks for your comment.
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Old February 9, 2020, 07:39 PM   #5
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Just saw your comment, Augila. I've heard the magazines for the Walther are nearly impossible to find in stock right now too, so that is something to consider.

What do you think made you hate it?
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Old February 9, 2020, 08:03 PM   #6
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Have you checked out the SR22? I have one and it is very reliable and surprisingly accurate.
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Old February 9, 2020, 08:04 PM   #7
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One that is worth consideration in the $300 range (on e.g. gunbroker) is the current crop of Israeli surplus Beretta 71's. These were made in the late 70's or early 80's, as a serious .22 pistol. If you go this route, make sure the *factory* mag comes with the gun (factory Beretta mags are ridiculously expensive, and some have been known to ship their 71's with an aftermarket mag and keep the factory one).

I purchased two of them, and they are the most reliable .22 pistols I've ever shot. I'm guessing they didn't do much in their time in Israel, but they are now doing their part to make a dent in the local rabbit and snake population.

Israel was not kidding around with these things: https://www.tactical-life.com/firear...mossad-22-lrs/
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Old February 9, 2020, 08:15 PM   #8
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I have not checked out the SR22 much yet. In the past, I've tended to stay away from polymer frames, I guess because I'm a traditionalist, and was mostly interested in pre-1980 S&W revolvers, but I'm not totally opposed to the idea. I do like Ruger and their reputation.

Is the SR22 threaded for a suppressor?
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Old February 9, 2020, 08:22 PM   #9
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Metric, that looks very interesting, and I'm going to read that article. In general, I do tend to like older or used models.

It doesn't really look like it would easily accept a suppressor though.
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Old February 9, 2020, 08:46 PM   #10
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Why not a Ruger 22/45 LITE. They are excellent 22's. Mine eats all bulk ammo with nary a problem. Lite, accurate, reliable , extremely easy to maintain and it'll take a lifetime to wear out. All for around $450.
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Old February 9, 2020, 09:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitar 1580
Just saw your comment, Augila. I've heard the magazines for the Walther are nearly impossible to find in stock right now too, so that is something to consider.

What do you think made you hate it?
I disliked two things about it.

First, I'm a 1911 guy. I just wasn't happy with a semi-auto that doesn't have a full, reciprocating slide. I replaced the Ruger with a Ciener .22 conversion on a mongrel 1911 receiver. It's probably not as accurate as the 22/45, but I don't shoot bullseye. With .22s, I plink, and the Ciener is more than accrate enough for my purposes and I'm just happier shooting it.

Second, the 22/45 (and all the Rugers up until the current generation, I believe) are a bear to take apart and reassemble. There's an aftermarket kit to address that, but it's not cheap. I wasn't happy with a pistol I couldn't easily take apart and reassemble for cleaning or maintenance.

I have read that Ruger finally addressed the difficulty of detail stripping the .22s, but I haven't ever worked on one so I don't know if that's correct.
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Old February 9, 2020, 09:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
The other version is the PPK/S rimfire variant, produced by Umarex (maker of airsoft guns) under license from Walther, and is made from a zinc alloy.
FALSE!

That was an error featured exclusively on the American website based upon either a mistranslation or otherwise a disconnect between Walther Germany and Walther USA, perpetuated by elitist owners of vintage PPK(/S) which they paid hundreds of dollars more for.

In reality, the Walther PPK/S .22 is made of a proprietary alloy Walther uses for all of their modern rimfire pistols, which seems to be an aluminum alloy considering that it is identified as such on the product pages for the PPQ .22 and 1911 Rimfire.

The Walther P22 has (or at least had) a ZAMAK Slide, but other than that (assuming such is still the case) pretty much all of Walther's other rimfire pistols have aluminum alloy slides of some sort of proprietary composition which they aren't sharing, but seems to hold up just fine considering that there are literally zero reports of slides cracking on any of them.
Seriously, Google Search it if you want, you won't find a single unsubstantiated report of slide failure on the Walther PPK/S .22 or any other rimfire pistols made by Walther, save for old reports regarding the P22. (Heck, I've never even seen so much as a claim of it happening.)

Quote:
IMO, Walther has done serious damage to its reputation. Imagine if Colt re-released the Python as a zinc DA revolver.
Funny that you should mention that for the following reasons...

1.) Walther currently produced a rimfire replica of the 1911 under license for Colt which is constructed from the same exact alloy as the PPK/S .22

2.) If you haven't already noticed, the new Python has been getting slammed lately with unsubstantiated reports of all sorts of issues.

Reproductions of older firearms are almost always met with reports of poor quality or reliability, especially those which vintage examples of command high prices. Care to guess why? Because the last thing that owners of vintage examples want is to have the desirability of their vintage firearms plummet due to reproductions hitting the market for less than the inflated value of their previously out-of-production vintage example.
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Old February 9, 2020, 09:24 PM   #13
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I purchased a Browning Buck Mark Micro a month ago and really like it. American made, adjustable target sights, and comes with two mags. This gun has a lot going for it and is a great value. Check it out it may be what you are looking for.
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Old February 9, 2020, 09:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forte S+W View Post
FALSE!

That was an error featured exclusively on the American website based upon either a mistranslation or otherwise a disconnect between Walther Germany and Walther USA, perpetuated by elitist owners of vintage PPK(/S) which they paid hundreds of dollars more for.

In reality, the Walther PPK/S .22 is made of a proprietary alloy Walther uses for all of their modern rimfire pistols, which seems to be an aluminum alloy considering that it is identified as such on the product pages for the PPQ .22 and 1911 Rimfire.

The Walther P22 has (or at least had) a ZAMAK Slide, but other than that (assuming such is still the case) pretty much all of Walther's other rimfire pistols have aluminum alloy slides of some sort of proprietary composition which they aren't sharing, but seems to hold up just fine considering that there are literally zero reports of slides cracking on any of them.
Seriously, Google Search it if you want, you won't find a single unsubstantiated report of slide failure on the Walther PPK/S .22 or any other rimfire pistols made by Walther, save for old reports regarding the P22. (Heck, I've never even seen so much as a claim of it happening.)



Funny that you should mention that for the following reasons...

1.) Walther currently produced a rimfire replica of the 1911 under license for Colt which is constructed from the same exact alloy as the PPK/S .22

2.) If you haven't already noticed, the new Python has been getting slammed lately with unsubstantiated reports of all sorts of issues.

Reproductions of older firearms are almost always met with reports of poor quality or reliability, especially those which vintage examples of command high prices. Care to guess why? Because the last thing that owners of vintage examples want is to have the desirability of their vintage firearms plummet due to reproductions hitting the market for less than the inflated value of their previously out-of-production vintage example.
Interesting. It would be nice if there were a definitive source for this, but Walther's web page unfortunately doesn't identify the alloy, or the actual manufacturer. There is of course a tremendous difference in price (the centerfire model is more than three times the price of the rimfire).

I will be happy to learn the truth on this, and will stop making my above claim without additional verification.
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Old February 9, 2020, 09:40 PM   #15
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If it helps, I have a 2005 P22 with the feared pot metal slide.

Guess what? Looks fine.
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Old February 9, 2020, 10:00 PM   #16
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Both 22 autos I own are Ruger standard models with 4" and 6" barrels. Mine are the older versions with the take down system that baffles some folks. I got my first one way back in the early 1980s with no box or instructions and for sure no internet. It only took a seconds of study and I had the gun apart. Going back together was a little harder but not by much.

Now Ruger sells them with some sort of easy take down system. And you can buy them suppressor ready. And there are lots of after market upgrades if you feel they are needed. I like my Rugers. I have owned several other 22 autos and for me the Rugers just always worked. And they have natural pointing frames that just almost put you on target without even trying.

The Bersa Thunder is also a good compact 22 about the same size as a Walther PP of Beretta model 70/71.

In that link posted above about the Israeli use of Beretta pistols for Mossad use they didn't feel the need for a suppressor. They used lower power ammo and felt that was quiet enough. To read more find the book "Vengence" by Goerge Jonus.
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Old February 9, 2020, 10:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Interesting. It would be nice if there were a definitive source for this, but Walther's web page unfortunately doesn't identify the alloy, or the actual manufacturer. There is of course a tremendous difference in price (the centerfire model is more than three times the price of the rimfire).

I will be happy to learn the truth on this, and will stop making my above claim without additional verification.
E-mail Walther Germany, (https://www.carl-walther.com/service/contact.html) I got this information directly from them some years ago after I had spotted a discrepancy between the specifications detailed on the product pages of their website and their American counterpart.
Ask them if the PPK/S .22 is made of zinc alloy, they'll tell you exactly what they told me, that it's made from a proprietary alloy which is a trade secret, but assure you that it is much stronger than any zinc alloy.

Walther USA has long since edited their product pages to remove all references to "zinc diecast" too, which to me clearly indicates that it was indeed the result or a mistranslation or something.

It's also worth noting that Zinc Alloy such as ZAMAK is substantially heavier than Aluminum, and the PPK/S .22 was designed to mirror the weight of Steel centerfire models, yet Walther had to alter the frame, filling in the otherwise skeletonized frame of the Steel-constructed centerfire models in attempt to get it as close as possible in weight, yet it still comes in a few ounces shy of the Steel-framed models. That in and of itself suggests that it is aluminum rather than zinc.

As for the centerfire models costing 3x as much...

1.) The PPK/S .22 came out in March of 2013 whereas the PPK(/S) .380 only just came out late last year.

2.) The PPK/S .22 uses cheaper methods of production because aluminum alloy doesn't require as much machining as steel, nor does it have to be built as strong because .22LR has much less bolt thrust/recoil force than .380 ACP.

3.) The PPK/S .22's reputation has been tarnished and sales have subsequently suffered due to the very misinformation we're currently discussing. Many folks continue to advise against purchasing them to this very day, just as you yourself have done in this very thread. For reference: the PPK/S .22's MSRP is over $400.
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Old February 9, 2020, 11:04 PM   #18
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I am another 1911 fan with a marvel precision conversion top on it. although mine is not, a threaded barrel version is available. I have had only one ruger that could out shoot the conversion. fwiw bob
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Old February 9, 2020, 11:08 PM   #19
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The fact that 1) Walther will not answer a point-blank question if the alloy contains zinc, and 2) Their sales and prices of the Umarex-produced model have dropped due to claims that it is a zinc alloy should make everyone extremely suspicious.

Does anyone find it likely that their $250 version is made out of a high-quality alloy that they don't want released to the public (despite the fact that it would be trivial for any lab to determine the composition)? So much so that they are willing to suffer reduced sales and price drops, rather than simply state the basics of the metal?

Why do you think they don't want us to know?

When a manufacturer uses quality materials, it becomes a point for marketing, not a trade secret. Especially if they are suffering under misconceptions.

Draw your own conclusions.
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Old February 9, 2020, 11:16 PM   #20
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Check out the Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact.

Comes with a threaded barrel and is very reliable for a .22 semi-auto.

https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/mp-22-compact
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Old February 9, 2020, 11:56 PM   #21
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Bjw741 beat me to it. The M&P 22 Compact is another poly framed option, but it's a good one and can be found for $300 if you shop around. Comes with 2 mags, adjustable sights, and threaded barrel. I have one and like it. I also have a Ruger 22/45 target model. It is very accurate and mine isn't picky about ammo. At $25 each, I didn't think extra mags were too expensive either.
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Old February 10, 2020, 05:01 AM   #22
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Quote:
It is very accurate and mine isn't picky about ammo. At $25 each, I didn't think extra mags were too expensive either.
GarandTd - In that last statement, are you still talking about the S&W, or the Ruger?

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. You have given me lots to think about. I've been looking up all of the mentioned models, and reading a zillion reviews.

A couple of things I've have now re-considered. One, I'm not so concerned with avoiding a polymer frame as I was with something like the .38 spl when they first came out ... and the reason I had that concern was being unsure how they would hold up over time and use. Also the fact that most of my revolvers are pre 1980 S&W pinned barrel models, so polymer was not even in the picture.

I'm also now strongly considering the S&W M&P .22 Compact. I don't really know why I wasn't considering it before. I think I just always sort of wanted a Walther for my collection, and took a liking to it when I first started looking at .22 models.

After looking and reading, I noticed the connection between S&W and Carl Walther GmbH, and Umarex, partially for US distribution purposes. This 2012 article from "The Truth About Guns" site provides some info about the connection and partial separation. Notice this sentence in the article: "Smith & Wesson will continue to manufacture the PPK for Walther Arms, Inc. and CARL WALTHER will continue to manufacture the M&P22 handgun for S&W." It's almost comical. By now, in 2020, it's hard to tell who is licensing who.

https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/wa...wesson-mostly/

I'm not overly concerned about the licensing agreements, and in this low of a price range I'm not expecting $1200 results. I'm really just looking for something to try out with suppressor shooting, and before it's all said and done, I may end up with 2 or 3 different brands / models. At this point, from just reading reviews, I'm liking the S&W, so that is a turnaround from where I was at when I started this thread.

My next step this week will be to visit some LGSs and see if I can get some of these in my hand and evaluate from there.

Thanks again, will update.

Last edited by guitar1580; February 13, 2020 at 12:40 AM.
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Old February 10, 2020, 06:31 AM   #23
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I have the Ruger Mark IV 22/45 Target and it is a very good shooting and accurate 22. I have used several high velocity ammo brands and have had no problems that I can remember. But CCI MiniMags is about the only 22 LR I ever use.

I also have the Ruger SR 22 which, after getting some issues fixed by Ruger, has proved to be a fun shooting plinker. Not super accurate in my hands, but a lot of fun.

I also have a GSG 1911-22. Made by Sig Sauer I believe. Initially it was a PITA until I got the paint off the slide and lower frame and shot it a lot. Still has some failures, but it is heavier than the other two so I can use it to practice for my other guns that are heavier.

Te 22/45 Target has only failed on less than desirable amm.

Now, OP, you got me thinking I should shoot them all a little more....been over a year since I shot either of them, but I have purchased several semis and revolvers in that time frame and concentrating on them.

Good luck in your search.

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Old February 10, 2020, 07:38 AM   #24
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I have a recently made Walther PPK/S 22 and it has been boring reliable and seems to like any ammunition I've tried in it.
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Old February 10, 2020, 08:51 AM   #25
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The new Walther P22qd are much better over the original P22's. You can get them with a threaded barrel too. The SR22 from Ruger is also a nice small .22 that eats everything. And also take a look at a few Browning Buck Marks. S&W Victory are good to go, but you said you wanted something small.
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