Cleaning a Walther P22


Make sure the gun is not loaded

The first step to cleaning a Walther P22, as with any firearm, is to be absolutely certain that it's not loaded. To do this with the P22, release the magazine, lock the slide back and inspect the chamber and the action for rounds.

1.) Release the magazine (Images coming soon)
Press down on the ambidextrous magazine release that is located on the bottom-rear of the trigger guard as pictured below.

2.) Lock the slide back (Images coming soon)
To lock the P22's slide back, pull back on the slide with one hand while putting upward pressure on the slide release as pictured below. Note that the slide will lock back automatically when the slide is manually pulled back when the pistol is empty and a magazine is engaged.

3.) Inspect the chamber and the action (Images coming soon)
Inspect the chamber and the action carefully to ensure that there are no rounds present.

Pull down on the takedown lever

The next step is to remove the P22's slide. To do this, pull down the takedown lever that is located just above the front side of the trigger guard on the pistol's frame as pictured below.

Being sure that the takedown lever is all the way down, cradle your hand over the top of the slide and gently move the slide even further back. The back of the slide will pop up allowing you to move the slide forward over the barrel as shown in the picture below.

Note that the takedown lever may be a little stubborn, especially in a newer pistol that hasn't been cleaned before. If the slide won't pop when the lever has been pulled down, jiggle the takedown lever while pulling down on it to make sure that it is fully disengaged.

Remove the slide, pin and spring
When the slide is removed the pin and spring are free to fall and your pistol should be in four pieces like the one in the picture below.

Clean the components

Because the Walther P22 is a pretty small pistol, I like to use an aerosol synthetic safe cleaner with a small straw like the one pictured below to get in the nooks and crannies of the action to make sure everything is cleaned well.

Clean the components of the Walther with solvent. There are two general ways to do this, one of which has a tendency to create a larger mess.

Most people prefer to use a bottled solvent like Hoppe's No. 9 and cotton cloth or pads, cotton swabs and perhaps a toothbrush to clean powder residue. This method is pretty self-explanatory. Just dab the cloth, swaps or brush in a little solvent and gently clean the pistol.

In addition to the step above, I also like to get a little more aggressive by using a synthetic safe spray solvent to blast residue from the action of the gun as pictured below. Be careful, this can get pretty messy and is best done outside or over a large bucket.

Clean the barrel & Chamber

Once the action, slide and frame of the P22 are clean - it's time to run a cleaning rod down the barrel.

1.) Never insert a cleaning rod (or anything else) into the muzzle of a gun. Doing so can result in scratches or nicks that can affect the accuracy of the firearm. Always insert the cleaning rod from the breech.

To clean the barrel of the P22, lightly soak a cotton cleaning patch with solvent and pull it through the end of a cleaning rod like shown in the picture below.

Run the cleaning rod up and down the barrel changing the cotton pad every so often until it comes out clean. Don't run the cleaning rod all the way out the front side of the barrel. Remember, you don't want to insert anything into or pulling anything back through the front of the barrel.

Clean the Chamber

1.) You've already somewhat cleaned the chamber by running a cleaning rod and solvent down the barrel; however, some people like to take things one step further and use a copper-wire brush on the chamber as well. I typically don't do this with my P22 because I only shoot copper-coated Walther P22 ammunition and I haven't found it to be necessary.

2.) If you do choose to use a brush on the chamber, don't force it too far past into the barrel. Forcing a wire brush down the barrel can scratch the rifling in the sleeve and effect the pistol's accuracy.

Oil and lubricate the Pistol

Now that your P22 is all clean, it's time to protect and lubricate the components.

1.) Lightly dab a clean cotton cloth in gun oil and go over the Walther P22's frame, slide and action. Alternatively, you can also use a pre-soak gun wipe like Remington's Rem Oil Wipes. I like to use pre-soaked wipes because they're easier, but they can also get pricey if you clean a lot of guns or one gun often.

Don't use too much oil. A mistake that many people make when cleaning firearms is using too much oil and lubricant. Doing this attracts more residue and causes the firearm to foul quickly.

Reassemble the Walther P22 (Skip this step if you want to do an "Advanced Cleaning")
Your Walther P22 is now clean, oiled and ready to be reassembled. Assembling a P22 can be a little frustrating, especially for first-timers. The big thing is not to lose your patience and damage your pistol. Make sure that you have that little zip-lock bag of extras close by that came with your P22, because you're going to need the little plastic rod.

More to come shortly...

Questions & Comments


On October 21, 2009 Jeremy said:

1.) Never insert a cleaning rod (or anything else) into the muzzle of a gun. Doing so can result in scratches or nicks that can affect the accuracy of the firearm. Always insert the cleaning rod from the muzzle.

Do you mean " Always insert the cleaning rod from breach of barrel not the muzzle

On October 21, 2009 Ben said:

Ah yes, that's exactly what I meant. Thanks for catching the slip, Jeremy. It's been corrected in the text above.

On October 23, 2011 Art said:

Like the cleaning instructions, however, I would like a few photos (as suggested). Othrwise very helpful.

On January 12, 2013 Maxwell said:

Great job on the instructions! I am a "Newbee," have a used P22, and never did this before. Your instructions were perfect, did not even have trouble getting it back together, ie have no "plastic rod." I assume that is used to get the spring back in place in order to slide the bolt back on!?!?

Anyway, just did my P22, Glock 19, AK-47, and two shot guns. Talk about a busy "Newbee!"
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