At a bowling pin shoot that I was recently competing in one of the contestants experienced a massive malfunction with a Walther P 22.
The Slide Broke
As can be seen in the photos about a 3/8" piece of the full front end of the slide broke off. It does not appear to have been cracked and finally gave way. The entire break is fresh with no signs of oxidation that would be present if it had been partially cracking over time and then finally failed completely.
The sidearm in question is equipped with the five in barrel and fake muzzle break.
For those not familiar with the Walther P 22 it is available in two barrel lengths; three and a half and five inches. The three and a half in barrel when installed is even with the end of the slide. The five and a half inch barrel when installed extends an inch and a half past the end of the slide. Rather than just having the barrel stick out from the end of the slide Walther design a fake muzzle break that covers that portion of the barrel that extends past the end of the slide. It is there for purely cosmetic reasons.
This particular P22 is 3-4 years old and has had thousands of rounds through it. The owner assured me that it does have less than 10,000 through it though. His son was shooting it when it catastrophically malfunctioned.
The usual complaint I hear and have personally experienced with the Walther P 22 is a roll pin working its way out on the top rear of the slide and blocking the safety from completely engaging. This problem is easily solved with the application of two roll pin punches, one on each side of the pin.
The owner of the offending Walther has since been in contact with the Company and has arranged to return the firearm to them for evaluation and repair. I will try to update this memo when the owner has more information.