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 Fixing a Warn Safety on a Walther P22 
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Post Fixing a Warn Safety on a Walther P22
Fixing a Warn Safety on a Walther P22
by: Staff Writer

One of the biggest complaints about the Walther P22 is that after some wear and tear the manual safety lever begins to drop and engage when the pistol is being fired. In order to fire the P22 the safety lever must be moved upward to disengage the safety. Over time as components begin to wear, the detent balls that hold the lever in place don't sit tightly enough in the detent holes to keep the safety lever from falling and engaging when the pistol is held upright in the firing position.

This problem doesn't occur with all P22s and some pistol owners may never have to deal with the issue. It really depends on how often you're using the pistol and how many times you're clicking the safety back and forth during use. If this does happen to your Walther, there's a pretty easy solution that's not too involved. It does require removing the safety level screw and lightly filing a portion of the safety lever. If you don't feel comfortable with this, it's best to take your pistol to a gunsmith for repairs. If you don't mind getting your hands a little dirty, here's how to fix your Walther's problem safety lever.

The first thing to check is that the safety screws aren't loose and there's no debris caught underneath the levers. Before taking anything apart, use a flat-head screwdriver and make sure that each of these safety screws are snug. Don't put too much pressure on the screws. You don't want to strip them. You just want to make sure they're not loose. If the screws are snug and the lever is still falling, we'll have to look elsewhere for the cause of the problem.

The next step is to remove the safety lever screws and inspect the slide and the underside of the levers for damage or debris. If everything looks clear, you'll need to keep going. If you find some obvious dirt or other obstructions, give the area a good cleaning and then reassemble the pistol to see if the problem is fixed.

If the lever is still giving you problems, it's time to do some light filing. Remove the safety levers again and examine their underside. You'll notice that there's a raised portion in the middle of the lever that sits inside a sunken portion in the slide that when turned engages the safety. You'll also see the detent ball that snaps into the detent hole on the slide to hold the lever in place.

The detent ball is the source of the problem. When it doesn't fit snuggly enough into the detent hole on the slide the safety lever drops. To fix the problem, you need to remove some material from the back of each safety lever so they sit closer to the slide and the detent ball sits deeper in its hole.

To accomplish this use a fine file to gently remove a little bit from the backside of each lever. You want to file the raised portion in the middle of the lever and the areas beside it evenly. You don't want to remove more material from the middle than from the sides or more from one side than the other. If you do, the lever will sit unevenly against the slide or it won't fit snuggly against it which can lead to more problems. Don't go crazy! You won't have to remove much material to get the job done and you can always remove more, but you can't out any back.

Once you've filed a little bit of material evenly from the back of each lever, reassemble the pistol and test the safety. You should be able to feel that the levers snap more aggressively into place and they should no longer fall. If they do, remove them again and repeat the filing process. Again, it's better to have to repeat the filing process a few times than to take too much material off the first time and have to purchase new levers.

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Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:46 am
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