Running the Walther P22 Q Pistol, Beginner’s Guide ~ VIDEOS

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Walther P22 Pistol
Running the Walther P22 Q Pistol, Beginner’s Guide ~ VIDEOS

USA – -( A. Always observe the Four Rules.

  • All guns are always loaded.
  • Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target.
  • Identify your target, and what is behind it.

B: When in doubt, refer to A.

The recent and ongoing global pandemic hysteria has caused many people to recognize that they cannot rely on the government to provide for their safety. Some states have released felons, including violent sex offenders, while some arrest peaceable citizens for failing to wear a mask. When these newly woke individuals go to a gun store they find the selection is limited. One available gun that was found in a store in California is the Walther P22 [Note California has its own state-specific pistol version.]. The new purchaser of one of these has a steep, but not impossible learning curve toward its safe operation.

Walther P22 Q Pistol

Walther P22 Pistol Right
Walther P22 Q Pistol Right

The Walther P22 Q Pistol, like the historical Walther PPK, and P38, is a double-action/single-action (DA/SA) pistol. To completely understand this type of action, a brief look at earlier single and double action type handguns is in order.

In a single action handgun, the trigger performs one single function. When pulled/pressed, it drops the hammer. An early example of a single action revolver is the Colt 1873. The classic 1911 is an early example of a single action autoloading pistol.

In a double-action revolver such as the Smith and Wesson Model 317, a single pull of the trigger performs two functions; first, it pulls the hammer back, then it releases the hammer. It cocks, then drops the hammer. Many double-action revolvers may also be operated single action by first cocking the hammer, then using the trigger in single-action mode.

DA/SA Auto-Loading

This brings us to the DA/SA auto-loading pistol function. In this type action, the first pull of the trigger will be relatively long. It cocks, then drops the hammer. After the cartridge is fired, the slide reciprocates, ejecting the empty shell, while re-cocking the hammer. Then under spring pressure, the slide slams forward and strips a fresh cartridge from the magazine. The hammer stays cocked until….

The second pull of the trigger fires the pistol in single-action mode. Since the hammer is already cocked, the trigger performs only one function, dropping the hammer. This continues until the magazine is empty or you cease-fire.

If you cease-fire, and there is still a round in the chamber, you have a situation where the hammer is cocked, ready for another single action shot.

From this mode, there are two possible ways to make the Walther P22 Pistol safe. One is to use the safety lever; the other is to carefully lower the hammer.

Perhaps the better way is to manually lower the hammer by grasping the hammer with the non-firing hand, then pulling the trigger and carefully lowering the hammer. Doing so makes the pistol ready for another shot in double action. This hammer down mode is a safe mode for it.

A good reason to avoid using the thumb safety on the P22 is that single action pistols are on SAFE with the lever UP and ready to FIRE with it DOWN. This is opposite from the Walther operation, and if the new shooter later gets a 1911 (or many striker-fired handguns with a manual safety), they would have a safety lever retraining issue [muscle memory danger].

When the magazine is empty, the slide will stay back, giving you the opportunity to remove the magazine, insert a loaded magazine, pull and release the slide, ready to fire again single action. Or, manually lower the hammer as noted above.

Walther P22 Q Pistol Disassembly/Cleaning

All pistols need to be field stripped at times for cleaning. Here is are two videos that is very clear on takedown and reassembly of the P22.

Caution, in the first video this person did violate one of the four rules, though. There is no need to let the muzzle cover your hand when working the slide. Grab it over the top or from the rear slingshot fashion.

For further reading on semiautomatic pistol types, here is a good article from our friends at The Truth About Guns.

The new gun owner can learn a lot from the Walther P22 Q Pistol manual. It is possible to learn trigger control by practicing with some .22LR dummy rounds. But nothing substitutes for getting one-on-one training with a good instructor, which the new shooter should do as quickly possible. As always new gun owners should consider some Legal Protection Services.

Welcome to gun ownership it is great to have you on the team!

Liston Matthews

About Liston Matthews

Liston Matthews has been involved in the gun rights movement since 1971. He was involved in the passage of the Tennessee carry law, and its improvements. He has testified before local legislative bodies. He has contacted politicians and had numerous editorial letters published. He believes that politicians must be carefully vetted at the local level because few change their positions when they move to higher office.

Liston writes his own blog Good Hill Press is an AmmoLand News contributor, and formerly wrote at

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1 year ago

My issue with the P22Q is that it’s fussy about ammunition. The single action/double action trigger pull on this gun is not a problem; it’s relatively light in SA. The hammer/safety issue is not a problem—keep the gun pointed in a safe direction when dropping the hammer. But ammunition that does not feed is frustrating; you have to take the time to try various types of 22 to find the ones that work smoothly. And Walter does make a pistol with a decocker: it’s the P99, not a 22 but a moderately priced 9.

1 year ago

Completely disagree with you, Liston, that the safest method of safing a DA/SA hammer-fired pistol is to manually lower the hammer. As a matter of fact, I think that this is probably the most UNsafe method. Using the decocker function on these pistols is the safest method. The fact that the direction to move the safety lever is different is NO EXCUSE for doing anything unsafe with a gun. You even list the 4 rules of gun safety, then advise those new to guns to blatantly violate rule 3: keep your finger OFF the trigger, and outside of the trigger… Read more »

1 year ago
Reply to  JDL

My preferred method is to block the hammer’s access to the firing pin with my non firing hand, and then lower the hammer with my strong hand thumb. I’ll take a pinched finger over an unintentional discharge any day!

1 year ago
Reply to  JDL

What there’s NO EXCUSE for is this kind of a response. You owe the author an apology.

Before going off half cocked (pun intended) maybe you should take the time to learn the subject first. You just hammered this poor guy for no reason. The Walther P22 doesn’t even have a decocker, it does have a wonky safety and it does require dropping the hammer manually. It’s the one thing I actually dislike about this pistol. It’s hard to believe that a company like Walther would still design a gun without a decocker but here we are.