Walther SP22 M3 range report
Just got back from the local pistol range after shooting my new Walther SP22 M3. I purchased the gun after seeing what I consider to be a spectacular deal for a 'ray gun'.
After having received it and initially looking at it, I was in love with the weird, space-age look to it. My initial impression was that it was a very nice looking and well put together pistol. Contrary to the P22, which I consider to be a bit small based on size and feel, this thing is sized for a person with a decent sized palm / grip. It just felt good in hand. Nice size grip, nice feel, nice look.
I cleaned it as indicated prior to the initial shooting following the manual's direction. Admittedly, I felt that a variety of things were missing from the directions so I called Walther, (really Smith and Wesson) and asked for clarity on a few things. One of which was the simplicity in the take down. Step 1 - remove the top aluminum housing. Step 2 - clean. Just seemed too simple. S&W said that it was as far as I had to go for cleaning (contrary to a Ruger Mark III where an engineering major seems to be necessary in comparison). Bore snake, easy clean, lubricate with a light gun oil all metal to metal contact areas,........... go shoot already!!!!
Well, I loaded the darn thing with standard, cheap-o Walmart .22LR as a baseline. The initial trigger feeling was long take-up, instant resistance, and a bit of overtravel. The trigger pull needed was minimal and instant. To get the second shot initially away, there was a bit of reverse travel needed but it was light and crisp to again fire. Quite a different feeling from my Ruger Mark II target and Beretta 87 but still very nice. The sights are a little different in that the wide rear gap and minimal front gap took some getting used to. Luckily, the front sight is 3-way adjustable so I played with it to get the widest version possible.
I shot about 100 rounds getting used to the feel. I REALLY liked it. Not one issue other than the fact that the trigger safety can be somewhat easily engaged and the gun stops to shoot. Just make sure that you depress the trigger fully from right - to - left and it'll shoot. Another thing that I noticed is that this pistol ejects the spent bullets like no other gun I own. It throws them out violently and if there's a nearby wall, expect a hot peace of brass to come at you. So, I just moved further into the shooting lane to avoid the rebounds.
The pistol feels light in hand. Remarkably, there was pretty much no muzzle rise that I could really feel throwing me off from the second shot. Yes it's a .22LR but there's always at least a little flip. Being as light as it was, there was surprisingly nothing noticeable.
I tried some Federal, Remington, CCI, etc. and the pistol did not fail to shoot and shoot well. I got out my bags and pistol rest and tried to do some accuracy tests. At 15 yards I was easily shooting sub 3" groups. Felt great about the purchase!!! Can't wait to get more acclimated to the trigger.
The M3 allows you to adjust the trigger for pre- and post-travel as well as trigger pressure needed supposedly. I started to play around with each. After about 450 rounds, I had run out of bullets to finalize the adjustment (admittedly the entire time wasn't spent adjusting.......... there were quite a few sessions of just shooting up stuff and having fun). The trigger is tremendously better at this point but I'll need to do more adjustment to find what I like best. There's a really nice reset sensation right now that I don't want to mess with too much but I want to see if I can reduce the reset distance a little more.
All in all, it is a terrific purchase and I am pleasantly surprised by its quality feel and capabilities. Thank you Walther for making the Logan's Run gun of my dreams. For the price I paid, I feel like I have a pistol worth several hundreds more and that can compete with my Beretta 87 quite well.
A word of warning though, for those of you who, like me, are used to shooting with a thumbs forward grip, you will be punished by this gun if you try that with the SP22. The charging tabs are situated beneath the barrel and directly in front of the trigger. If you don't mind your thumb, it'll get a nice jolt when you shoot. Thankfully I was only 'nicked' a couple of times and didn't get a direct hit. It would have REALLY hurt.
Scale of 1 - 10.............
Currently an 8 with a great potential for a 9 with some more adjustment.