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How to Replace the Recoil Spring in a Walther P22


Walther P22 Recoil Spring Replacement

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This post is about why I had to do some work on my Walther P22 Recoil Spring.  It also shows how to replace the recoil spring in a Walther P22

I am a huge believer in repetition for any physical skill. If you want to be good at something you have to put in the time practicing perfectly. I have heard that to be a master of something you need to spend at least 10,000 hours practicing the skill. Dry firing can be a big part of that time block, but you will HAVE to get out to the range.

I haven’t won the lottery, or invented the next widget so spending 10,000 hours of range time is cost prohibitive shooting centerfire ammunition, but I since still have to practice I decided to try a .22 rimfire.

After hearing a lot of good things about the Walther I bought myself a P22. I was told that it needed a long break in period using premium ammunition and repeated cleanings in order for it to function properly. However, even after firing 500 premium rounds through the gun, I was still having malfunctions with the gun.

A weak grip is notorious for causing malfunctions, so I spent time looking into that.

Not the problem.

Early model P22s had a magazine problem.  The newer (marked with a “b”) magazines have a 1inch slit cut into them for the rimmed cases to stack.  This is also not the problem

Several internet forums state that bulk green box federal rounds are not powerful enough to cycle the gun…


In my search for cheap shooting those 550 round Wal-Mart boxes of ammo is pretty much all I shoot in my .22lr caliber firearms.

Now, that doesn’t help me much – higher velocity .22 ammo is getting expensive – I want to shoot as cheaply as possible so I kept searching for a solution. A gunsmith friend of mine told me that they changed out the recoil spring in later designs of the Walther P22. The new recoil spring is lighter.

I had also read on the interwebz that “cutting a couple turns off the spring” helped – Now I am not willing to butcher my gun by cutting springs – but I am willing to try a new factory spring. I called Walther customer service, explained my problem, and asked if I could purchase a spring. They were very helpful and sent me a new spring at no charge.

The one I received was a bit longer than the original, but it had a lot more “give”.
I replaced the Walther P22 Recoil Spring and as the video shows I was able to rapidly fire the firearm without any malfunctions. I don’t have enough rounds through the gun with the new spring to say the problem is fixed, but I am quite pleased with Walther working with me fix the problem.

As a value added tip for following along this far I am going to tell you an easier way to reassembly the slide back on the frame without using the little tool they send you:

How to Replace the Recoil Spring in a Walther P22

  • Put the recoil guide rod in your palm(non-dominant hand), and insert the spring over it.
  • Compress the spring, once compressed use your thumb and forefinger to grasp the recoil spring and rod. Several inches of rod should extend past your fingertips.
  • With your dominant hand pick up the slide and push the guide rod through the hole in the slide.
  • Grasp the end of the rod with your dominant hand. Once you have a firm grasp (otherwise you will shoot the rod across the room), let go with your non-dominant hand.
  • The Compressed spring should be inside the slide, with your hand holding on to the majority of the guide rod sticking outside the muzzle end of the slide.
  • Guide the slide onto the frame, with the barrel inserted into the slide and slightly extended outside of the slide.
  • Slowly, and carefully release tension on the guide rod so that it retreats back into the slide. Once the guide rod is touching the frame wiggle it until it slides into the detent inside the frame.
  • Let go of the guide rod
  • Rack the slide
  • Press the slide down over the ears in the frame
  • Ride the slide forward
  • Push the locking bar back up
  • Function check the pistol

It takes some practice to do it this way, but it is a much simpler way of doing things.

Understanding the USE of Handguns for Self-Defense

The Gun Digest Book of .22 Rimfire: Rifles ·Pistols ·Ammunition

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