Walther PPK/S and ISSC M22

The Valentine’s Day Airgun

Walther PPK/S and ISSC M22 – A pair of CO2 Models to replace Cupid’s arrow

By Dennis Adler

A Valentine’s gift that is suave, sophisticated, fun to shoot and affordable, a copy of the Walther PPK/S made famous in the James Bond films.

A Valentine’s gift that is suave, sophisticated, fun to shoot and affordable, a copy of the Walther PPK/S made famous in the James Bond films.

OK, I’m not saying this is going to work for all of you guys out there, but one year for Valentine’s Day I gave my wife a hand engraved Henry Rifle with her initials on one side of the receiver and mine on the other side. This is still known around our house as the second St. Valentine’s Day massacre. But let’s just say that you and your significant other share an interest in air pistols, so how about picking two that can become a fun way to learn about shooting. Nothing brings a couple closer together than teaching someone a two-handed hold with a semi-auto pistol, (this goes with the assumption that your wife’s arms are not longer than yours).

The Umarex Walther PPK/S CO2 model was also the very first blowback action air pistol. The real PPK and PPK/S have become synonymous with the Bond films, filling every 007 shoulder holster from Sean Connery’s blue and tan suede rig in Dr. No, to Daniel Craig’s trim shoulder holster in Spectre. (Conney rig by Legends in Leather, Craig rig by Galco)

The Umarex Walther PPK/S CO2 model was also the very first blowback action air pistol. The real PPK and PPK/S have become synonymous with the Bond films, filling every 007 shoulder holster from Sean Connery’s blue and tan suede rig in Dr. No, to Daniel Craig’s trim shoulder holster in Spectre. (Connery rig by Legends in Leather, Craig rig by Galco)

For example number one, I would like to suggest a small, blowback action air pistol like the recently updated Umarex Walther PPK/S. Once again, I have to make a suggestion that using the, “It’s James Bond’s gun” approach only works if your partner likes James Bond films, (the likelihood of this, unfortunately, is about the same as Star Trek), but there is always the honest truth that the PPK/S is one of the most famous handguns in the world and both the PPK and PPK/S have been used by police officers as backup guns for more than 50 years. It is also an ideal first airgun for learning how to shoot and handle a small caliber semi-auto.

The Umarex Walther PPK/S is also something of an historic airgun in its own right having been the very first blowback action CO2 model introduced. That was 16 years ago and the fact that it is still manufactured today says a lot about the popularity of this CO2 pistol.

The latest version looks almost the same, with the exception of having eliminated the CO2 seating screw from the bottom of the grip frame, replacing it with a hex head tool. The Umarex Walther PPK/S has a 3-1/2 inch smoothbore barrel, which, like the PPK/S .32 ACP and .380 ACP cartridge models (as well as the .22LR model), is affixed to the frame and surrounded by the recoil spring, thus making the blowback action airgun identical in operation. The slide also locks back after the last round is fired. Unlike the cartridge models, the Umarex version has a single action only (SAO) trigger, so there is no capability of de-cocking the gun and using the trigger to fire the first shot double action like the real PPK/S. To fire the first round with the CO2 model the slide either has to be racked or the hammer manually cocked. Average trigger pull on the air pistol is a feathery 2 pounds, 5 ounces. Single action trigger pull on a real PPK/S averages 5 pounds, 6.5 ounces.

The newest version of the Umarex Walther PPK/S introduced in 2016 improves on the original design with an integral seating screw for the CO2 and separate hex head tool. The stick magazine’s hold 15 rounds but are a bugger to load, since the follower does not lock down. You also have to hold your finger behind the loading port to make sure the BBs drop inside instead of straight through the other side. Extra magazines come in pairs and are a must for quick reloads.

The newest version of the Umarex Walther PPK/S introduced in 2016 improves on the original design with an integral seating screw for the CO2 and separate hex head tool. The stick magazines hold 15 rounds but are a bugger to load, since the follower does not lock down. You also have to hold your finger behind the loading port to make sure the BBs drop inside instead of straight through and out the other side. Extra magazines come in pairs and are a must for quick reloads.

The grip contour is just slightly longer but very close in size and shape with the finger extension base plate on the 15-round stick magazine. One big operational difference is that the airgun uses a totally different safety design. The slide-mounted thumb safety, copied from the real gun, is cosmetic only. The Umarex has a very nice manual trigger finger safety on the right side of the frame, just in front of the grips. The good point is that it still teaches proper gun handling techniques and how to engage and disengage a manual safety.

This is a very light recoiling gun (even for a blowback action CO2 pistol), with a carry weight of just 19.2 ounces (about 6-ounces lighter than the .380 ACP), so it is an easy first gun to use for learning how to shoot at close distances. A range of 15 feet is about as far as you can step back and still maintain accuracy with this short, smoothbore barreled semi-auto. Velocity with .177 caliber steel BBs is around 295 fps. A sub-300 fps air pistol is really entry level, but still an excellent place to start. With the history of the Walther, it is one air pistol that needs no introduction. As for accuracy, if you can get all or most of your 15 shots in the 10 and X rings from 15 feet, you’re learning how to aim and shoot consistently. With a price of under $80 you’re not spending a lot for this airgun experience.

Here’s a duo of entry level blowback action air pistols that might make a fine Valentine’s Day gift. After all men get presents, too!

Here’s a duo of entry level blowback action air pistols that might make a fine Valentine’s Day gift. After all, men get presents, too!

My second suggestion is a little further up the scale for CO2 models, about $10 more, and still a very affordable small airgun for entry level use and target practice, the ISSC M22. Like the PPK/S, it is also based on a real gun, only this one is a .22 long rifle pistol, so you are literally just one step down from the real ISSC M22 semi-auto. The blowback action CO2 version is a 1:1 reproduction of the M22 and is also a fully licensed design, so it bears all of the .22LR model’s markings, including cal. 22lr on the slide, but when you depress the magazine release and a combination CO2 and BB magazine drops out, it’s pretty clear this is the BB gun. It is identical in size, weight, and general operating features and also uses a polymer frame and metal slide and like the .22LR.

The ISSC M22 airgun has a 4-inch smoothbore barrel and blowback action. As a training gun, the slide and magazine releases are identical to the .22LR ISSC M22, as well as Glock semi-autos. Both guns also use a blade-type trigger safety. This is one of the air pistol’s best training features.

The ISSC M22 airgun has a 4-inch smoothbore barrel and blowback action. As a training gun, the slide and magazine releases are identical to the .22LR ISSC M22, as well as Glock semi-autos. Both guns also use a blade-type trigger safety. This is one of the air pistol’s best training features.

It has a blowback action slide; molded-in finger grooved frontstrap, a working hammer, and blade trigger safety. Oddly, for the airgun, the ambidextrous manual thumb safeties used on the .22LR model are non-functional and just molded into the slide like those on the PPK/S. While the Walther has an alternate safety design, the ISSC does not, nor does it need it, since the manual safeties are actually a redundant feature on the .22 caliber version; both guns use a Glock-type blade safety trigger. Although it is not touted as such, since it is a hammer-fired pistol, both the ISSC .22LR and .177 caliber CO2 airgun are very close in design to a striker-fired Glock, so training here is quite a bit broader in scope, as the general layout of the airgun resembles a Glock subcompact, if you overlook the exposed hammer.

Almost a mirror image of the ISSC M22 Gen2 .22LR semi-auto (right) and ISSC M22 .177 semi-auto (left) is a affordable training gun that will give you a feel for the cartridge model (as well as a sub compact Glock) for less than $100.

Almost a mirror image of the ISSC M22 Gen2 .22LR semi-auto (right) and ISSC M22 .177 semi-auto (left) is an affordable training gun that will give you a feel for the cartridge model (as well as a sub compact Glock) for less than $100. (ISSC M22 Gen2 .22LR courtesy of Allegheny Trade Co.)

The ISSC is also a smoothbore BB model with a slightly longer 4-inch barrel. The airgun’s weight is a modest 22 ounces (empty), which is within half an ounce of the .22LR. As for accuracy, the airgun has a number of Glock features, the blade safety trigger, white outline notch rear and white square blade front sights, an identically-shaped and positioned magazine release, and a beveled ledge below the slide release to avoid unintentional contact while firing. Trigger pull on the ISSC averages 8 pounds, 6 ounces fired double action (for the first shot) and 7 pounds, 3 ounces single action thereafter. This is heavier than the DAO Glock trigger, which has an average resistance of 5 pounds, 8 ounces, but you are still learning the feel and operation of a blade safety trigger. With white dot sights and a better trigger, you can also be quite a bit more accurate downrange with the ISSC than the PPK/S, plus you can step back to a proper 21 feet and still get tight groups with an average velocity of 385 fps.

A very authentic copy of the ISSC M22 model chambered in .22LR, the CO2 model fits holsters designed for Glock models like this Level II Galco Matrix for the Glock 19.

A very authentic copy of the ISSC M22 model chambered in .22LR, the CO2 model fits holsters designed for Glock models like this Level II Galco Matrix for the Glock 19.

Another advantage to the ISSC M22 airgun is the use of a self-contained CO2 and BB magazine for quick reloads of ammo and air. The magazines use a separate too, to seat the CO2. The tool is also used to lock the trigger for safe storage.

Another advantage to the ISSC M22 airgun is the use of a self-contained CO2 and BB magazine for quick reloads of ammo and air. The magazines use a separate tool to seat the CO2. The tool is also used to lock the trigger for safe storage.

My best target with the M22 put a pair of 5-round groups at 1.0 inches and 0.95 inches. Another target had10 shots grouped into two 1.5 inch clusters with several overlapping that tore out a 0.895 inch strip in the target. Overall at 21 feet the M22 was easily capable of 1 inch average groups fired offhand using a two-handed hold.

The blowback action ISSC M22 CO2 model has good white dot sights and at nearly 400 fps can punch .177 caliber steel BBs into a pretty tight group at 21 feet. Best 5-shot group measured 0.95 inches.

The blowback action ISSC M22 CO2 model has good white dot sights and at nearly 400 fps can punch .177 caliber steel BBs into a pretty tight group at 21 feet. Best 5-shot group measured 0.95 inches.

Another 21 foot target delivered an impressive multi-shot group that tore out a 0.895 inch strip in the target.

Another 21 foot target delivered an impressive multi-shot group that tore out a 0.895 inch strip in the target.

The PPK/S is not quite as accurate and shoots best at 15 feet, delivering 10 rounds with five shots at 1.25 inches in the 8 and 9 rings and five at 1.75 inches in the 10 ring. At 21 feet groups open up to an average of 2.25 to 2.75 inches for 10 shots (and you need to correct POA by holding over about 2-1/2 inches).

The PPK/S CO2 pistol is a little slower with a velocity well under 300 fps, but at 15 feet it can still deliver modest accuracy. Best 5-shot group on this target (total of 10 shots) measured 1.25 inches.

The PPK/S CO2 pistol is a little slower with a velocity well under 300 fps, but at 15 feet it can still deliver modest accuracy. Best 5-shot group on this target (total of 10 shots) measured 1.25 inches.

Neither gun is a target pistol, nor is intended to be, but both CO2 pistols will get you started on the road to training with airguns and learning good firearms handling skills for under $100. Are either of these the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your lady? If she’s into air pistols, I think you’re good, but just to be sure, throw in a dozen roses and a box of candy.

As for the Henry, she really did like it, just not as a Valentine’s gift. Did you know they actually make solid milk chocolate Colt Peacemakers?

A word about safety

Blowback action airguns provide the look, feel and operation of their cartridge-firing counterparts and this is one reason why they have become so popular. Airguns in general all look like guns, blowback action models more so, and it is important to remember that the vast majority of people can’t tell an airgun from a cartridge gun. Never brandish an airgun in public. Always, and I can never stress this enough, always treat an airgun as you would a cartridge gun. The same manual of operation and safety should always apply.

8 thoughts on “Walther PPK/S and ISSC M22

  1. The first handgun I purchased was aWaltherPPK/s .Two reasons . It was and is a great gun , and you could pose with it in front of the mirror , and say Bond , James Bond . I was around 22 at the time . I retired the Ppk/ s and bought one of the first 500 US made Walther Ppk 380s off the assembly line . Had lighter springsinstalled that dropped da to around 12 pounds and the sa to around5 lbs. smoothed the trigger surface , and added a custom ambi safety . It was my carry 380 for years alternating with a Colt Agent38. I am a
    Walther Ppk fan, but would probably go for the ISSC . It is ,except for the non functioning hammer drop , that the airsoft version does have, functions as the actual pistol. It also shoots around 400 fps and as your target shows is very accurate. The Walther is in need of a redesign , to the level of the Makarov Ultra , that replaced my co2 Ppk/s . Co2 containing mag, sharp blowback , 360 fps , approximates the actual firearm with the exception of lacking ada/ sa trigger . I like theco2 typemag system because it more accurately appears as a real size mag . I gave my wife a few to choose from , DanWesson snub ,Colt 1911 , nope , she picked up theColt Umarex nickel Peacemaker.This one feels good . It should be here soon. So it begins


    • This could be the start of a whole new Valentine’s tradition, an airgun and candy. Just a hint for next year, if your wife likes 1911s, you can get a CO2 1911 and a full size milk chocolate 1911. Two absolute wins! Maybe for next Valentine’s day I’ll pair up real guns with airguns and matching chocolate guns.



  2. Regarding your comments on loading BBs into the Walther PPK/S magazine, it’s really not that bad. I’ve had more trouble with some other combination CO2 / BB magazines without a follower hold-down notch. On those the top gap is barely wide enough to push the BBs through and into the magazine, and only with great difficulty. At least on the PPK/S magazine, the BBs go in very easily


    • You are right, there are worse ones to load out there, but not having a follower lock makes it hard. If you get the angle just right, the opening is big enough so you can feed BBs pretty fast with an Umarex speed loader, but it’s a handful compared to other magazines, even stick magazines with a follower hold-down notch. Even so, I really like the PPK/S, and extra stick magazines are inexpensive so I load up three or four extras and I’m good for a short shooting session.


  3. Not a fan of co2 since you have to continue to shoot until the co2 runs dry but this ppks is 1 cool pistol. Planning on buying a ppks stainless 38 when the become available and this little jewel will get me ready for it…Nice little gun.


    • You will like it. Not great velocity and accuracy is about 15 feet but one heck of a lot of fun to shoot. Fits PPK/S holsters a little tight but not a problem. As for CO2, you don’t have to shoot it out completely. When you’re done, loosen the seating screw a little until you hear a hiss. Then loosen it a little more, and let the remaining air escape. It will be very cold air and the CO2 cartridge will frost over, but it will be empty. You can also leave it in overnight and finish shooting the next day and that’s not a problem either. Just don’t store it for any period of time (days) with CO2 in it.


      • Thanks for the info Dennis I was told that when you loosen the screw when done that (all) the co2 will drain and a new cartridge would be needed.. I may only have time to shoot 20-30 shots and hate to loose a full cartridge for just a hand full of shots.


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