Thursday, June 18, 2009

Things I Don't Get.

1) Why does my Marlin Papoose have a magazine safety? I had never really noticed this before, until I stripped it for cleaning, reassembled it, and went to function-check the gun and was rewarded by a complete absence of clicky noises when the trigger was pulled.

Magazine safeties are silly and of extremely dubious utility on pistols, and utterly pointless on rifles. Especially on takedown .22 rifles that are pimped as emergency guns for the outdoorsy crowd. If you're in some hypothetical wilderness survival situation and lose your magazine, you'll be reduced to trying to beat small game to death with the buttstock, which will almost certainly expend more calories than you'll get out of a squirrel or rabbit.


2) How come the only .22 pistol on the market that is deliberately designed for small hands is such a ruptured ball of crap? Seriously, the idea behind the Walther P-22 is great; it's small and light and sized perfectly for teaching children to shoot, but if you put a serious number of rounds through it, it will be reduced to scrap before your kid is old enough for a driver's license. For the same money you could get a vastly superior Ruger or Browning, but those are sized for adult hands.

It would be awfully disappointing to be teaching your kid gun safety and marksmanship with a P-22, only to have the zamak slide separate and undo all that money you'd spent on orthodontics...

29 comments:

Dave Markowitz said...

Can the magazine disconnect on the Papoose be disabled?

aczarnowski said...

Maybe there's a 22lr conversion kit for the 380ACP version of the P-22? Wait. What?

Ken said...

Opportunity, she knocks.

Anonymous said...

The Walther P22 is designed for small hands? Tell that to my wife who can't reach the trigger on the P22. Well, if she unwraps her hand from the grip, so that her thumb knuckle is on the backstrap, she can reach it, but that's not conducive to accuracy or recoil control.

She got a Beretta NEOS on which she can actually reach the trigger with a firing grip.

theirritablearchitect said...

Almost ashamed to say it, but the "small hands trainer" is exactly the reason I purchased the Walther.

My only consolation on the apparent lack of durability is that I don't ever feed it anything other than softball stuff. Mine's not really a picky eater at all, so specific loads aren't required to make it cycle, thank gawd, and it seems to do just fine on standard velocity stuff and some of the more mild pistol practice fodder.

It'll make a neat paper weight when it's through it's useful life, doncha think? :)

Frank W. James said...

How about the Sig Mosquito? Which is the same chassis, but with different 'furniture'.

Why didn't they take that design and make it in aluminum, or better yet steel? (My guess is because the parent German company Ultramax (?) DOESN'T work with those materials. The Mosquito is a definite 'contract-out' pistol for Sig.)

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Don Gwinn said...

Wait, if I buy a P22 for my kid, is it going to fall apart on me? I hadn't heard this. We borrowed a P22 from Oleg a couple of weeks ago and Kane fell in love with it. No good?

The trouble is, as you say, that he loves the Ruger, too, but it doesn't fit his little hands at all. It's just huge on him.

Vlad said...

The Mosquito is also plagued with problems. Its very picky about ammo, and all the mags need a bit of tunning to make it work. My wife got one for her small hands, it it fits her well, but it took me forever to make it work right. Also plastic front sight flew off never to be seen again, Sig is shipping me 3 spares.

Even with small hands, a Ruger may work, I think they make aftermarket grips thiner then the factory ones, my wife is 5ft nothing with very tinny hands and she can shoot my Mark II with the factory plastic grips.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

I took a good hard look at the 3 broken slides from the 3 broken range P22s. Yes, 3, and all broke in exactly the same place.

A crack starts at one of the forward slide serrations and propogates upwards under fire until there's not enough metal left to resist the bending moment from inertia and spring tension. Then *pop* off comes the front inch or so of the slide.

If Walther changes the mold a weee bit to not have the serrations cast in all the way to the bottom of the slide's sides, there'd be no problem at all. The way it is now, you've got a reasonable material put together in a way to absolutely guarantee stress risers and eventual failure.

Anonymous said...

If you're looking for a small-framed .22 handgun to teach a child how to shoot, why not a Ruger Bearcat? Yes, it's a single-action sixgun, but it's certainly small enough that many children and women with small hands could easily shoot it.

If you're wedded to a .22 target pistol, though...I don't know what to tell you. I myself was intrigued by the Walther P-22, and almost bought one until I started hearing about all the problems people were having with them.

And the zamac slide. Part of the Walther mystique is that they're quality guns. Zamac is the sort of thing I expect from Jennings or Raven, not Walther.

--Wes S.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Dad's Ruger Mark I is one of the first pistols I ever shot, when I was about 7 years old. As I was growing up I never had a problem with the grip size.

My Mark III also fits perfectly, and I have small hands for a man (i.e., I checked the size of my ex's engagement ring by trying it on - we wore the exact same ring size).

If they do make thinner aftermarket grips, that's probably the best bet. It's a proven reliable pistol, and the best investment I've ever made.

the pawnbroker said...

last i heard the p-22 was contract-built by s&w...is that still the case?

i sold a bunch of them and buyers seemed happy with them, but i was out of the gun business before the complaints that a better model designation would be pos-22...but they were cheap enough to replace and use the old one for a parts gun when they went bad; i guess like everything else they're not so cheap anymore.

as for fun s/a 22's that fit a smaller hand, don't cost much, and have some decent quality and a bit of history to boot, some of the old hi-standards are hard to beat; you can still pick up a decent one for about two bills. most of them are not pretty but being pretty (ugly) myself, i take that as a plus.

jtc

tomcatshanger said...

I had a Sig Mosquito. Probably the worst gun I owned next to a Commercial Chiense Tokarev in 7.62x25mm & 9mm.

I still feel guilty about selling the Mosquito, that just means someone else got it.

My wife has a P22. I'm still trying to get her to shoot something else, I've tried tweaking it, it just doesn't get better. The slide will hang in mid stroke for no apparent reason.

It will NOT go through a magazine without a failure. It's hard to treat it like training when the damn slide just stops moving halfway over the magazine.

Yank the mag, cycle the slide a few times, put the mag back in, cycle the slide, and it'll shoot again.

randy said...

My daugher started out at 6 with a borrowed Ruger MK II and "we" got a Browning Buckmark a couple of years ago. She's never had any problem with firing either with a two hand grip.

One of those YMMV things I think.

Jeff said...

Ruger 22/45 MKIII The grip is VERY slim and tiny. Definitely smaller than a P22.
Put a Gemtech OASIS or a TacSol upper and a can on and its the perfect thing for teaching youngsters/newbies how to shoot. (Once you strip the Mag Disconnect out of it...)

I'm annoyed to hear the papoose has a mag disconnect, is there a way to take it out?

BryanP said...

If memory serves, Bersa/Firestorm makes a .22lr version of their .380. That might make a good choice. Granted, it won't be quite the target gun the Ruger or Browning is, but it might be worth checking out.

theirritablearchitect said...

"Zamac is the sort of thing I expect from Jennings or Raven, not Walther."

And I'd suspect that the reason is the design parameter. The .22lr (excluding the fireball thrower specialty loads) just doesn't have enough oats to warrant using a steel slide, in their books. I'd put money on it. Knowing the slide was pot metal didn't deter me from trying it, and oddly, the gun's been trouble free enough to make me not regret its purchase, though the retaining pin at the rear of the slide is a pain to keep its designated location.

That aside, you're right. Any company willing to put together a product with a decent name brand associated with it should be aware of the phenomenon of stepping on their own schwanz, but then again, Walter wouldn't be the first company to do so, and certainly has plenty of company in the firearms industry.

WV: judicate, I shit you not.

Kristopher said...

Ya know ... the old Jennings .22lrs weren't all that bad.

Pot metal, yes ... but designed to deal with it.

They wouldn't do catastrophic failures ... they'd just slowly get looser and looser, until you threw it away after maybe a few thousand rounds.

If you want a small disposable .22 to train a kid with, $40 beats $400.

OrangeNeckInNY said...

Would running sub-sonic rounds through the P-22 reduce the chance of it blowing up on you?

My brother has one and I linked him to the exploded P-22 awhile ago, and he said he was going to trade it in. Don't know if he ever did, but I got 5000 rounds of sub-sonics for him if the gun will shoot those reliably.

MCSA said...

The Browning Buckmark Challenge has a noticeably smaller grip than the other Buckmarks.

We've used this for out Women's First Time Shooter programs and many have liked it...

Don't know if it is or how much smaller than the p-22...

Assrot said...

If you're going to beat game to death with the buttstock might I suggest a more robust weapon?

I'd recommend a Swiss K31. At almost 9 lbs empty it makes a hell of a whoopin' stick. I've heard it's darn good at driving tent stakes too.

Joe

Ed Foster said...

Hey, don't knock Zamak! It may bite as a firearms construction material, but it casts up into deadly pistol bullets.

Picture a .45acp full sized bullet, weighing about 145 grains, and moving at something like 1,600 fps. Just don't use it on steel plates, as the shattered fragments are nasty at 8 or 10 yards.

Do you think anybody's tried to make a linotype pistol frame?

Frank W. James said...

It's Umarex! That's the German company that manufactures the Walther P22 and the Mosquito for Sig, not the name I posted earlier. (I had a SENIOR moment there.)

Anyway Umarex made their money as a company that made cheap, easy to produce 'gas' guns that look like real pistols for the German civilian market. (It's hard to own a REAL pistol in Germany, but you can buy a gun that 'shoots' an 8mm gas cartridge.) Smith & Wesson does NOT make these P-O-S devices. Umarex does and they also OWN Walther, so that's why they use Walther's name to move this stuff over here using the same junk materials as their gas guns for these low powered .22s. The trouble is, they don't hold up.

Hence the problem with names where you expect more than what you get.

All The Best,
Frank W. James

MCSA said...

I'm not sure, but on the Papoose, the last shot hold open has the magazine safety piece...

To mess with that you need to pull apart the hammer assembly. It is a nightmare...

I've got schematics, and a power point on it, but it is nasty and complicated.

hazmat said...

I had a P22 and got rid of it after 6 months. Got tired of having to hold it with a teacup grip to keep the mag in right. Stupid mag disconnect safety wouldn't engage unless I did. The only other complaint I had about the pistol was putting it back together after cleaning. What a PITA.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

"The only other complaint I had about the pistol was putting it back together after cleaning. What a PITA."

Take slide and spring/rod assembly. Place guide rod into hole in slide, push through to compress the spring, grab and hold the guide rod tightly where it emerged from the nose of the slide.

Now, place slide on gun and get it to it's forwardmost position, set the latch, and let go of the guide rod. If it doesn't seat, wiggle the end until it falls in the hole.

Viola, the easy way to reassemble a P22.

----

Until my first one broke I was getting pretty good at the mechanics of them. I'd removed my firing pin safety, deepened the safety detent hole, peened in the frame assembly screws, blunted the razor-sharp edge of the chamber, and taken a burr off the edge of the disconnector tab of the trigger bar that would have eventually eaten the slide.

And then the trigger bar bent. Sent in for a free repair, got an essentialy new gun back, and I've but 1 magazine through it. I'm not pleased with the overall design.

Kristopher said...

Like I said. If you want a cheap disposable .22 pistol, avoid the Walther brand name and save $360.

joannahurley said...

Well, crap, guess what small gun I bought for my first gun evar? It fits comfortably, though, and has squat-all recoil, which I like. Now, if only I could get something resembling groupings on it! (gonna try those training targets that tell you what you're doing wrong next time)

Bob in Houston said...

And I bought two of the damn things before finding out about the damn pot metal slides, GRRRRRRRRR~!, I wonder if the .380 Version they are going to put out is going to have the same crap material slide? I think its about the same size as the P-22.