Walther P22 Durability Test

I have (and love) a Walther P22, which I’ve ran well over 1000 rounds through without having a single gun related failure. In fact, I’ve only two failures, and those were both the fault of the ammo I was using. That being said, there are a lot of P22 haters out there, who for whatever reason think that the little gun from Walther is a piece of junk. Their opinion isn’t completely without merit, as the early runs of the pistol did have some quality control issues with the safeties and occasionally the slides.

My particular Walther has experienced neither of these issues, and has even served in a stop-gap role as my carry gun from time to time. In an effort to encourage people to buy the P22 and to silence the haters out there, I’m going to be conducting a durability test on the little gun. I’m not going to immerse it in sand or run it over with my car or anything silly like that, however I’m not going to clean it again until it has a pistol related malfunction, or until I’ve run past 1200 rounds w/no malfunctions.

This in and of itself will be a difficult task for me, as I clean my guns almost obsessively, and certainly clean them after every single range trip. Of course, I’m also very curious about the durability of the little gun and would like to see exactly how well it’s going to perform when it has been all dirtied up by constant shooting.

Here’s the plan for how it will break down. I go shooting every other weekend, so about twice a month. Each time I go shooting, I’ll run 100-200 rounds through the P22, then plop it back into its case. Since even the manufacturer recommends that the P22 only be used with quality ammo, it’s going to get the same ammo I always use, CCI Mini-Mags or Stingers. I could just shoot until it breaks, but I also don’t want to break my favorite gun. What I’ll do is shoot it twice a month for six months (through September) and post bi-weekly updates on the project. That’s 12 outings with the gun, at a minimum of 100 rounds per range trip. That works out to a minimum of 1200 rounds without a cleaning, with a possible maximum of 2400 rounds (if I fire 200 per trip).

Assuming 100 rounds per range day, the breakdown will be as follows:

  • 20 rounds fired in 5 shot strings from a rest to observe accuracy
  • 30 rounds fired off hand, slowfire.
  • 50 rounds fired rapid fire, as fast as I can change magazines, which by the way is so much fun it’s almost illegal.

If I go with 200 rounds, just double the numbers. Each week I’ll report on accuracy or if there were any malfunctions, and if so what caused them. This should be quite fun.