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Can shooters and guns get couple’s therapy?

When I went to the range last week to try out the LaserLyte  RSL on my XD, I also brought along a Walther P22 I’d purchased at the same time, earlier this year. My thought was that my wife and I should probably get a .22 pistol for training purposes, for the simple reason that .22 ammo is far cheaper to train with than 9mm of any kind.

And so after I put the XD away with a contented smile, I loaded the ten-round magazine of the XD, sighted in on the blue B-34 target that I’d knocked the center out of with the XD on my first shot, and commenced the most horrible pistol shooting session I’ve ever had in my life.

Folks, when I say bad, I mean bad.

What was wrong with the gun? Frankly, nothing that I could figure out. The sights were decent enough to pick up, the trigger pull was okay, and the Walther was hardly finicky, feeding all 100 rounds of RNL Thunderbolt I brought with nary a hitch. It’s where those bullets went after I pulled the trigger that I still don’t understand.

I was only breaking in the P22 and wasn’t trying to brace myself and shoot for accuracy, but figured that shooting offhand at 15 yards I should be able to keep all rounds center mass.  I couldn’t keep the rounds fired in a pie plate. I couldn’t keep them on the torso. I could barely keep them on the paper. It was humiliating.

I moved the target to the ten-yard line after 4 magazines (40 rounds), and took more deliberate aim. Again, the strikes seemed to wander all over the paper without any rhyme or reason. Up and to the left. Down and to the right. Off-center by four inches. Off-center by 14 inches…

Have you ever watched a NASCAR race where a driver cuts down a tire, and the shredded tire beats the fender into scrap metal while he’s desperately trying to get back to the pits?

Any race where Jeff Gordon cuts down a tire is a good race.

Shooting that pistol felt something like that.

I varied my grip, and my stance, and simply couldn’t get any sort of grouping out of the gun. The grip was a little small in my hands, but we’re talking a .22… it wasn’t exactly dancing around.

I had another 10 rounds left for for my XD when I’d exhausted the .22 ammo,  and put them into a decent group to ally my withering confidence. All struck where I was aiming (or a least as well as they normally do for me).

Something in the mix of me/Thunderbolt/P22 simply isn’t working, and I’m having such a profound disconnect that I’m not sure where to even start trying to diagnose the problem (or problems).

Anyone got any ideas?

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Posted in Handguns.

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4 Responses

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  1. Flight-ER-Doc says

    Try it in a mechanical rest: If it's still FUBAR send it back to the factory. From a rest it should at least approximately group, no matter the ammo

  2. FuneralGuy says

    Gotta be the gun. It's never the shooter ; )

  3. Tomcatshanger says

    make sure the barrel nut is tightened.

    I have about zero use for the P22. My wife's is a piece of crap that will not feed a single mag without the slide hanging up at least once, generally on the 3rd to last round in the mag.

  4. Mike Dikovitsky says

    Many shooters at the U.S. Small Arms Training School have used the P22 without a problem and get consistent center shot hits/groups at 25 yards. We use the Walther recommended CCI 22 mini mag ammo without any problems.

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