A possible cause of jamming in the P22 - Pistolsmith

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Old 10-11-2004, 11:18 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2
A possible cause of jamming in the P22

G'day all. First let me say that as I do not yet own a P22 I am unable to test my "possibility" about what could be causing the cycling jams reported on this forum. I saw and fell in love with the P22 this weekend, and I intend on purchasing one ASAP (hopefully within two weeks), and I'll then be able to test my theory personally. Secondly, I have little experience or knowledge with/about European automatic pistols (I prefer the Colt M1911 .45 auto or Ruger .44 Magnum wheel gun), so if the statements below are inaccurate, please pardon my ignorance. With that said, here's my question for all the P22 owners on this forum, both those who have experienced problems, and those that didn't-

When firing, did you have your arm fully "locked out"? Was your arm-elbow-wrist stiff and locked, grip firm and tight? Or loose and limp, grip soft?

My duty weapon is a 9mm Glock 17, and it occurs to me that there are several similarities between the Glock and the P22. Both are of European design (not a slight, just a fact). Both use a polymer frame and are therefore relatively light weight (as compared to an all metal Colt M1911 or Ruger MKII). And both cartridges are relatively underpowered (the .22 cartridge of course due to it's size).

My firearms instructors were adamant about, and repeatedly instructed/warned us to fully "lock out" our arms and use a firm grip when firing the 9mm Glock, else a short/incomplete cycle of the slide and jam was likely to occur. Now I never experienced this (though others in my class did), but it certainly sounds like what some forum members are reporting.

The P22 (and the Glock) is a European design (again, not a slight, just a fact), very light weight, and uses a very "weak" cartridge. I really can't discuss/debate European vs. American auto pistol designs, but I think the Colt M1911 or Ruger .44 automag for example are a much more simple, functional and less complicated design than the "elegant" and "deliberate" European designs. The P22 has a polymer frame (as does the Glock), which of course is durable and lightweight. However, this lack of weight, or heft (compared to a Colt M1911 or Ruger MKII) may be in fact hindering the recoil/cycling. The P22 doesn't have the weight of a solid metal frame to push against to aid in recoil/cycling. And finally, the "weak" .22 cartridge, coupled with the design and light weight of the gun may not have the power to function correctly if the shooter isn't locking out their arm to provide the required resistance for the slide to recoil/cycle properly.

Some posters have reported no problems at all, regardless of ammo used, some have reported problems with certain brands of ammo, but said when they switched to a different brand the pistol functioned fine, and still others have reported problems no matter what ammo they tried. I'm not denying there are differences in the various brands of ammo. There are. But I wonder if the shooters who reported no problems regardless of ammo used are using a "good" stance, firm grip, arm locked which would aid recoil/cycling? And if the shooters who reported problems with some brands of ammo were using a "bad" stance, weak grip, arm loose which would hinder recoil/cycling? And then switched to a more "powerful" recoil producing cartridge, enough to cycle the slide even though the shooter continued to use the same stance, weak grip and loose arm? I don't know all the in's and out's of reloading, ballistics, physics, etc; but a heavier bullet with "X" amount of powder will produce more recoil than a lighter bullet using the same "X" amount of powder, correct? And adding more powder to the lighter bullet will produce more recoil, right? I see that there are several bullet grain weights of .22 ammo, so I am assuming that there are also different powder grain weights too. So by switching to a more powerful cartridge, this perhaps would have overcome an improper stance. And for those that reported problems no matter what ammo they used? Well, I don't know. Are they perhaps just using really bad (shooting) form? That not said as a slight, just as a possibility.

A .45 or .44 mag with their lusty recoil will cycle/function even with the loosest, sloppiest grip. Heck, you could hang it off a finger and fire it and they'd still work (cycle). But the little .22? Perhaps it needs some help in this case (P22). Shooters, are you using a correct stance, grip, etc. when firing the P22? If not, for those that have had problems, next time you shoot your P22 make a conscious, deliberate effort to use a firm grip, and lock your arm and wrist. And I'd then be interested to know if the same problems are experienced. As I say, when I get mine I'll be able to test this idea/theory myself.

I read with interest (almost) all the posts about this little pistol. All the praise and complaints, problems with feeding, cycling, magazines, roughness, etc. But nowhere (maybe I missed it, sorry) did I see mention of using a good shooting stance with firm grip and arm locked out. Could this then be the problem?

Submitted for your consideration and as food for thought.


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Old 10-15-2004, 09:53 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 23
I had a P22 for a while and had all the problems associated with the firearm. To answer one of your questions, I even had cycling problems while bench testing the weapon, with both hands on the pistol, arms locked, I was seated, and the pistol was braced against a sandbag.

Some P22s work perfectly fine. Some are finicky. Most require high power ammo on the order of Mini-Mags or Stingers. IMHO a "plinker" should work well with cheap, bulk ammo. My gun did not.

On the other hand, my Firestorm FS22 will feed most anything, with only the occasional hiccup. It works admirably as a plinker.
Old 10-28-2004, 04:47 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3

Whats up! I've had a p22 for a couple months now, and I have not experienced any of the problems that I have heard so much about. I did have some misfires while shooting federal bulk ammo, but I would say no more than 3 throughout the few thousand rounds I have put through it.

Also recently added a red dot scope which was supprisingly accurate.

Needless to say, I have not seen any feeding problems.
Old 01-07-2005, 11:23 AM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 7
No problems with the P22 so far

I just got my P22 a couple days ago and I've already put 550 rounds of cheapo $8.96-a-box Remington ammo through it without a single jam. Just bought a box of inexpensive Federal for the same price at Walmart and am about to give that a try tonight. But so far, none of the problems people talk about with this pistol have occurred in the first 550 rounds. Keeping my fingers crossed for the next 550 though!
Old 01-12-2005, 10:07 PM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 13
Good comments, however I would comment that your comment about limpwristing and "lusty" cartridges may be somewhat faulty.

Keltec produced a .40 version of the P-11 (the P-40). It was a failure, from a sales perspective because so many of the pistols jammed because of limpwristing.

This is a .40 S&W coming out of a light pistol (14 oz unloaded weight, less than 20 loaded). I have a P-11 in .40 and one in .3576 SIG and believe me, that slide slams back hard enough to make this a mighty uncomfortable piece for many.

Even after many hundreds of rounds (and my pistols were hand-fitted ny Keltec's Gunsmith personally.), someone may limpwrist with it occassionally and end up with a jam. (I don't have this problem, fortunately).

This type of jamming is a function of the design of the pistol and the relationship between the design, springs, the hold, and cartridge power IMHO, not simply cartridge power.

Limpwristing upsets the timing balance of the slide speed and ability to eject the shell in the "window of time" between the cartridge extraction and the opening of the port.

BTW, one of the ways that autos are modified for ejection problems is to modify the ejection port. by widening and lengthening it.

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