With any number of modern rimfire pistols out there, you know Ruger has an entry in the race-- the SR22. This new and popular .22 is often compared to its closest rival, the Walther P22. With that in mind, we decided to place them head to head and let you be the judge.
Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen, best just called Walther (the 'h' is silent, just so you know), produced has produced this little German .22 for more than a decade, first marketing the gun in 2003. Constructed largely of polymer and MIM (Metal Injection Molding) cast zinc alloys (the barrel and some inserts are steel), the gun is lightweight (under a pound), and inexpensive to make-- which makes it affordable to sell.
However, this same construction method leaves the gun, especially the slide, susceptible to cracks after 10-25,000 rounds. Even with this failure point noted, they are good guns as long as you can find a round that works with it.
Introduced in 2012, the SR22 is officially part of the SR-series pistols by Ruger. With that being said, the gun is both mechanically and ergonomically different from all the other handguns in that program. In fact, it can be argued that the SR22 has the same ergonomics as the Walther. Construction is largely the same as well, with both guns having polymer frames. However, one important difference is that the SR has an aluminum slide rather than the zinc one of the Walther.
Let's take a look at how they shape up when comparing dimensions:
As you can see, these guns are dead ringers for each other when it comes to sizes/weights. The SR22 is very slightly larger, but its an almost unnoticeable difference. When compared price-wise, they both have the same MSRP of $400~ with actual street prices slightly lower.
A good 20-minute comparison by DocTacDad, of course do your own research though
These two guns are very closely matched. A con that both have is that they are ammunition sensitive-- as are most semi-auto rimfires. A positive that they both share is the basic ergonomics and operation. Another is that they support suppressors equally well.
Ruger SR 22 & Coastal Suppressor Range Test - Ryan Michad. You gotta love those suppressed 22s!
Moving from that, the Ruger has a few distinct advantages. One, it has a traditional push-button magazine release rather than the awkward paddle-type mag release of the Walther. Second, the aluminum slide is seen as an improvement over the zinc one (often called pot metal) of the P22.
If you aren't sure of this, just google Walther slide cracks and see what you think. As a comparison, search for the same thing with Rugers.
Moreover, the SR22 is made in America, just saying.
Overall, the choice is yours.
What's your experience with either a SR22 or P22? Tell us in the comments below.