Walther G22 charging handles

This was one of those jobs that annoy me. Not the job itself, certainly not the little G22 either. It was the history behind the job that annoyed me.

A customer called to say they had a Walther G22 and the charging handle was falling off every time it was used, OK well not so bad however the history was they had gone to a fairly local shop and purchased the rifle, headed to the range and the charging handle fell off after a few shots. So back to the shop who announced it was not their problem as the gun was second hand so no warranty and by the sound of it, no interest. They dug their heels in a bit so the shop person disappeared off and came back a couple of minutes and announced it was fixed.

So they took it to the range and it fell apart again so it came to me for some care and attention.

The issues were two fold, firstly the thread on the M3 cap-head retaining the charging handle to the bolt was stripped so was never going to hold and had been loctited in place by the shop and secondly the handle should have had a shoulder that recessed into a register to prevent the weight being exclusively against the M3 screw when the charging handle was operated. This shoulder had snapped off so no amount of Loctite was ever going to hold things in place.

First job was machine a bush to suit, I opted for 316 stainless and machined a length to 4,75mm outer diameter with a 3,0mm hole through the middle. This was cut to 5,0mm overall length. The charging handle went into a 4 jaw chuck and a hole bored to accept the new bushing with a tight fit. This was an interesting job as the hole had to be 4,80mm and the charging handle is hard, very hard in fact which explains why the shoulder had snapped off. I used a solid carbide micro boring bar once the handle was clocked into place.


Once done the bush was glued into the charging handle, I wish I had added something for scale with this picture. I used the Colchester Chipmaster for this job as it is pleasantly sized lathe and I do not have to lug 40kgs of 4 jaw chuck around if I need to use it! I always enjoy operating a manual lathe and this machine dating back to 1974 is an absolute delight to use (Unless you want to cut metric threads!)

Once glued it was time for a quick cup of coffee, then it was just a matter of re-assembling everything and the job was complete.

The G22 always comes apart remarkably easily however it is full of linkages and springs and clips and really does need some attention if you intend to put it all back together.

Ah yes, I bet you are wondering why I didn’t just order a new handle from the importers? Mostly because they only imported the rifles and omitted to bring any spares in with them…

On the subject of machining hard things, the next job requires the use of some of these things.

Cubic boron nitride (CBN)Inserts for a boring job.

No, boring as in holes not boring as I really cannot be bothered, in fact I know it is going to be an interesting job and I am really looking forward to it 🙂

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