Guns and Gear

The Umarex Walther PPK/S .22

Guns and Gear Contributor
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By Will Dabbs, MD, American Handgunner

Every male from my generation grew up with James Bond. The most public of secret agents, 007 always smoked the bad guys, saved the world and got the girl — all in less than 2 hours in the theatrical runtime. He traveled the globe, unraveled the mystery, located the secret lair and smacked the holy bejeepers out of Doctor Evil or whatever other super-villain held his attention at the time. At the end of the movie, he always found himself kicking back in some unexpected locale, pouring a cold one and preparing to do a little industrial-grade suck face with the reigning Miss Uzbekistan.

Did you ever wonder what happened next? I don’t mean after the credits started rolling and the sexy music started, you pervert. I mean after he sent the girl back home to her place, had a good night’s sleep and M gave him a week’s vacation to power down. I think he did what any real man would do.

I think he packed himself some unhealthy food, took the hot girl in tow, and headed to the local range for some recreational shooting. Well, I know it’s what I would do! The big question is — what would the coolest secret agent in the world shoot for fun? The answer to this question is simple — the new Walther PPK/S .22.

Bond likely received his ammo free from MI-6, but I’m sure he wanted to be frugal with Her Majesty’s funds. As such, he could get proper trigger time for mere pennies a round — a big plus. The realization the trigger and layout of the PPK/S .22 identically mirrors its larger-caliber brethren makes it the perfect choice.

Walther produced the original Polizei Pistole (PP) in .22 LR right from the beginning in 1929. Other calibers included: 9mm Kurz (.380 Auto), 6.35mm (.25 Auto) and 7.65mm (.32 ACP). The subsequent PPK sported a near-identical frame but slightly shorter barrel. With a few exceptions, this über-cool little heater in a centerfire-caliber armed Commander Bond, while he was slogging away at his day job.

Throughout the years, .22-caliber versions of this basic design were in great demand as suppressor hosts and plinking platforms. Now Walther is marketing a .22 LR version of the classic PPK — it’s as cute as a button and a blast to shoot.

The magazine release is located in a familiar spot on the pistol, and is easy to manipulate.
However, if you have larger hands you might have some difficulty working it.

A barrel rigidly fixed to the frame makes the PPK/S .22 a prime suppressor contender.


How Does It Run?

In a word, the PPK/S .22 runs swimmingly — with the right ammo. I found the gun to be fairly ammo sensitive, but it ran just fun with loads it liked. Using five different brands of .22 LR ammo, I found the gun had a particular affinity for the Federal bulk pack.

This svelte handgun uses a 10-round magazine, able to drop away freely after manipulating the thumb-activated magazine release. The slide locks to the rear after the last round is fired. To reload, simply drop the empty magazine and replace it with a fresh one. Pull the slide back slightly and release it. You’re now ready to go for another 10 rounds of fun.

For such a diminutive firearm, the PPK/S .22 fits my moderately large hands quite well. Recoil is negligible, but the trigger pull is … interesting. The double-action trigger press is arguably the heaviest I have ever fired. Trust me, this will not go off accidentally in your pocket.

However, single action is a pleasantly crisp 6.5 pounds — just about perfect for a pistol of this sort. The slide-mounted safety lever drops the hammer safely and locks the firing pin. Sights are small, adjustable and snag-free.

The gun is available in either blued or nickel finishes, and the top of the frame is imprinted with a series of grooves designed to minimize glare. As with all Walther, products the fit and finish are flawless.

Next, it takes a suppressor, good plinker and some pics

Disassembly is painless and requires no tools. Be safe: ensure the weapon is clear and pointed in a safe direction, remove the magazine and pull down on the front of the triggerguard while simultaneously retracting the slide. Lift the back of the slide up and off its rails before allowing it to run forward under spring pressure. Remove the spring from the slide and you are done. The barrel is rigidly pinned into the frame.

Additionally, the PPK/S .22 uses the same barrel mounting system as the P-22 and M&P .22, so mounting a muzzle suppressor requires nothing more than an adapter and a can. The only thing cooler than plinking with James Bond’s service pistol is doing the same thing with a sound suppressor attached.

One gripe some might have with this gun is the slide is a casting instead of the classic machined steel of the original. While I prefer the feel of cut steel as well, the slide in a .22-caliber platform is more than adequately robust for the task at hand.

The hammer drop safety is frame-mounted on the left side only.

Thanks to its on-screen exploits, the PPK is synonymous with intrigue and adventure.
Here it’s shown alongside a .22-caliber pen gun.

A family portrait of sorts: the PPK/S .22 (middle) is flanked by the contemporary
PPK/S .380 (left) and an original wartime PPK in .32 ACP (right).

The characteristics of the PPK/S .22 conjure up dreams of living the life of a spy.
You wouldn’t want to be without your passport and some “spending” money, though.
Hey, we can dream, can’t we?


Perfect Weekend Plinker

The Walther PPK/S .22 is an exceptionally neat plinking pistol. There’s countless other personal-defense options in more effective calibers, but should your day-to-day iron sport a single-action/double-action trigger, the PPK/S .22 makes for an outstanding trainer.

Walther has a reputation based on quality, spanning more than a century. Service handguns around the globe have mimicked the trigger design used by the PPK/S .22. While the design is classic — and as a result a bit heavier and bulkier than some of its modern counterparts — the gun feels sturdy and recoil is almost comically nonexistent.

So, if you’re looking for a weekend plinker oozing raw, unfiltered cool, you might want to think about the Walther PPK/S .22. Should you happen to run into some fit-looking guy with a cultured accent and accompanied by a supermodel with a range bag, just smile and nod. Try not to make a fuss or draw any unnecessary attention. Everybody needs a little downtime now and then.

Photos By Sarah Dabbs

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