Walther P22 owners have long awaited a reliable high capacity magazine. Until now, the temperamental P22 has stubbornly refused to operate reliably with even standard capacity 10-round aftermarket magazines, let alone an extended magazine. But thanks to the introduction of an all-aluminum, 45-round drum magazine for the Walther P22, the long wait is over.
Even Walther had a tough time working out the kinks that kept the P22 magazine from feeding rounds reliably. It wasn’t until the introduction of the second generation magazine that featured, among other improvements, a slit in the side that allows rounds to sit staggered that the magazines were able to feed ammunition reliably. If the manufacturer had a tough time getting working through issues, you can imagine how aftermarket magazine makers are fairing. The answer is not so well.
The inability of the market to introduce a reliable standard capacity magazine made the prospect of a high capacity product somewhat of a pipe dream. Aftermarket followers have been available for some time, but these modified pieces of plastic only increase ammunition capacity by two rounds (even though they’re advertised as increasing capacity by three rounds). It’s better than nothing, but a 12-round capacity is a little less than what Walther P22 enthusiasts were hoping for.
Enter the 45-round drum magazine. It’s a big leap to go from nothing to 45 rounds for such a small pistol, but it’s been done and done successfully. A high capacity drum magazine is now available from a limited number of distributors including SpentBrass. The price tag of the magazine is a little hefty at about $170, but it’s built to last.
Manufactured using machined aluminum components, the drum magazine will probably outlast your P22 pistol. The drum operates on using the same principals as the old Thompson 45 caliber machine gun. Rounds aren’t stacked on one another. Instead, they’re neatly arranged around a sprocket and fed up through a factory Walther magazine tower to ensure reliable feeding.
The use of the factory Walther magazine tower is the key to this extended magazine’s success. Not to discredit the ingenuity of using a drum to feed .22 caliber rounds, but the reliability and performance of the factory magazine seals the deal.
The failed ejections and feeds that the P22 experiences are often a result of poor back pressure rather than a magazine issue. Anyone using a P22 with a 3.4-inch barrel is advised to use a barrel adapter and pressure booster to help rounds feed reliably. This is also true with the P22 high capacity drum magazine.