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 The Walther P22 - A Pistol for Learning a Plinking 
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Post The Walther P22 - A Pistol for Learning a Plinking
The Walther P22 - A Pistol for Learning a Plinking
by: Staff Writer

Many things contribute to a successful introduction to sport of target shooting but few are more vital than a responsible, knowledgeable person to show you how to safely enjoy the sport. In second place is firearm that's well suited to a new shooter. Ideally, this firearm should be safe, unintimidating, easy to handle and inexpensive to operate. The Walther P22 that I'll talk about in this article is just that pistol.

The Walther P22 is a small .22 caliber pistol that's relatively inexpensive to shoot and it has many features that make it great for both experienced and new shooters alike. One of the most unique features of the P22 is its adaptable grip. Every new Walther P22 comes with two interchangeable plastic grip plates that attach to the backside of the pistol's frame. One plate has a larger arc to accommodate someone with larger hands, where the other plate is more flat allowing the grip to be changed to fit snugly into a small hand. Since many people are introduced to target shooting at a young age, this is a very useful feature.

The P22's small size and caliber also make it ideal for new shooters. The pistol weighs just over a pound fully-loaded and thanks to its smaller .22 caliber bore, it has a lighter recoil when fired. It's not much fun to target shoot if you can't hit what you're aiming at. Accuracy is another area where the P22 does very well. It's widely considered a “plinking” pistol because it's so inexpensive to shoot, but don't think that it's not accurate. Experienced shooters using a P22 can group shots into an area of just a few inches at 25 yards or more. Newcomers with a touch of beginner's luck and some guidance will have equally favorable results.

Safety is always a top priority for firearms, and the Walther P22 hits the mark in this category as well. The Walther's redundant safety features compliment safe handling and instruction to make the P22 a very safe pistol. The P22 has a manual slide safety, a drop safety, a loaded chamber indicator and a manual key-lock safety. The slide safety is used during operation to reduce the chances of the firearm being discharged accidentally. The drop safety is an “always on” safety mechanism that prevents the firing pin from striking a chambered round if the pistol is accidentally dropped or handled in a rough manner. The drop safety only allows the firing pin to move forward when the trigger is depressed.

The manual key-lock safety allows the pistol to be locked during storage using a key. This safety prevents the pistol from being operated until it's unlocked. Finally, the loaded chamber indicator is a small slot toward the back of the chamber that allows the operator to see whether or not a round is in the chamber without having to open the action of the pistol.

If you're in the market for a great pistol to use to introduce newcomers to the sport of target shooting, or you're simply looking for a new addition to you collection, the Walther P22 is definitely worth a look. Most shooting ranges have this pistol available to rent allowing you to try before you buy. If you do choose to purchase a P22, here are a couple pointers that will make owning and using it safer and more enjoyable.

The Walther P22 is a little picky about ammunition. The best ammo to use is heavy, high-velocity rounds like CCI's Mini-Mags or Remington's Golden Bullets. Even the best quality rounds aren't expensive when talking about .22 long rifle, so don't worry about the P22 braking your bank. If you choose to use low-grade ammunition with the Walther, the pistol may have feed and chambering problems that can be rather frustrating.

The P22 is a small pistol that tends to get dirty quickly. Cleaning the pistol at least every thousand rounds will ensure a safe and smooth shooting experience. It's even suggested that you bring an oil-soaked cloth when you go shooting so that you can wipe the pistol's slide and action down every 250 or so rounds.

The P22 has an inertial firing pin that reseated with a spring. Firing the pistol without a round in the chamber, called dry firing, will cause the firing pin and the rear of the chamber wall to become deformed. This can keep the firing pin from returning to it correct position just past the breach after the pistol is fired rendering the firearm unusable.

Following these three main points will help to make your experience with a Walther P22 an enjoyable and safe one. Remember, guns aren't toys, mechanical safeties are and prone to failing and it's up to you to teach and practice the safe and proper way to enjoy the sport of target shooting.

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Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:21 am
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