As all of you are well aware, the prices of ammo have been sky-rocketing. To cope with this, I've been searching for a .22 pistol. I wanted a .22 with a trigger like my combat guns (all striker fired) so that my plinking would also be good practice.
The Walther SP22 is the closest thing I could find to a M&P or XD in a .22 (as they don't make conversions). The SP22 is a single action, hammer fired semi-auto that uses a blow-back action. It has about a five pound trigger, with a travel and reset distance very similiar to a striker fired gun.
This gun has tons of customization options. It can be had in a four or six inch barrel. There are two grip sizes, plus a custom match grip. They make a regular & match grade barrel. The barrel is threaded, so you can add a suppressor. You can also add rails easily to mount scopes & lasers. I got the M2 variant, which has a six inch standard barrel. The front sight post is triangular, with three different widths. You can also adjust the sear engagement position.
Enough about the gun; on to the range.
I took 500 rounds of Remington .22 Thunderbolt with me. They're 40 grain 'high velocity' rounds.
As I mentioned before in my GLOCK Report, it's been awhile since I've shot a gun, and I'm definitely rusty. My groups were terrible. I was shooting a 9" pistol target at fifty feet. I was all over the place on the target. As the day wore on, I was able to get some decent groups in the center rings, but never consistently enough to adjust the sights. 'Course, that's why I got this gun. I can afford to burn 500 rounds every other weekend and keep my skills up. The gun ran flawlessly, though I can't say the same for the ammo. I had several (read seven or eight) rounds fail to fire. Good dimple on the edge of the case, even double struck each one.
I was able to bum so Federal ammo off another guy at the range, and put four rounds into a three inch group. Considering my current level of skill, and the fact that I'd run about 400 rounds already (not to mention about 50 rounds through my GLOCK 36), I'd say the gun is accurate. More regular practice and better ammo will prove this for sure though.
The SP22 is accurate, and it fed, fired and ejected 500 rounds of cheap, inconsistent ammo. It is a great .22 analog to any GLOCK, XD, or M&P.
Now, for the bad. The manual only contains about half of the steps necessary to strip the gun. It only gets you as far as taking the dust cover off. After removing the dust cover, the slide comes off by lifting it up over the breech and sliding forward off the guide rod. That's where I got stuck. The barrel sits in a barrel shroud held on with a nut. Once the shroud is removed, you can slide the barrel back out of the frame. Unfortunately, the rear sight is still attached to the frame, which blocks the barrel. The manual does include an exploded diagram, but it looks like it was printed from a 72 dpi .jpeg. A quick search didn't turn up any better instructions, and Walther doesn't have the manual on their sight for download yet.
I'll figure it out, I just didn't expect to have to detail strip the gun just to do a simple cleaning.
One other negative, the dust cover is aluminum with a rough texture. It shows powder residue, of course, and the texture makes it difficult to wipe clean.
Final thoughts: It's a moderately priced .22 with a lot of customization. It is accurate, and reliable (on first impression). It is a pain in the to clean, and is has for documentation. If I find better documentation, or figure it out for my self, I'll post it here.