Rifleman Review: Walther Arms WMP

posted on July 10, 2024

It's a difficult task to build a reliable semi-automatic handgun chambered for the notoriously inconsistent .22 WMR cartridge, but Walther Arms seems to have done it with its WMP. Check out our full "American Rifleman Television" Rifleman Review segment above to see the details on this handy, easy-to-shoot, reliable, rimfire pistol.

"In the rimfire ammunition world, one of the most popular options is the .22 WMR or the .22 Magnum, but there have been some issues when it comes to making reliable handguns chambered for the .22 WMR," American Rifleman Executive Editor Evan Brune said. "It's a difficult cartridge to make a reliable handgun around. And one of the most successful recent launches in that line is what we have right here, which is the Walther WMP or Walther Magnum pistol."

Left side of the Walther WMP pistol.Designed with a straight-blowback operating system using a fixed barrel, what gives the Walther WMP the extra force needed to keep the action closed during firing is the additional pressure provided by the external hammer. As the slide builds up the force needed to overcome the spring pressure from the hammer, chamber pressures drop enough to allow for safe cycling. Additionally, Walther built in a number of features that make this handgun particularly accessible for every kind of shooter.

"One of the really nice features about the WMP that makes it truly accessible Is that it has bilateral controls nearly everywhere," Brune said. "You've got your bilateral slide stop levers on each side. And then, what Walther has on this is what they call their Quad Release System. So, Walther, like a lot of European companies, has been bouncing back and forth between the paddle style magazine release that you see here on the bottom of the trigger guard and the push button magazine release that you see right here to the rear of the trigger guard. Well, Walther's decided, 'You know what, we're just gonna give you everything.'"

Magazine-release controls and trigger on the Walther WMP.

That accessibility extends down into the magazine as well, which features an ambidextrous sliding lever that allows shooters to relieve the magazine spring's pressure in order to drop in rounds. Two magazines ship with each WMP.

"This is a very solidly built magazine. And really when it comes to rimfire pistols, the magazine's where it matters," Brune said. "It's heavily built. It's got a 15-round capacity, which is more than we're used to seeing in rimfire handguns."

The Walther WMP's magazine standing on a table, with the WMP pistol in the background.

Additionally, on its website, Walther provides a comprehensive list of tested ammunition that's known to cycle reliably in the WMP, saving owners from having to conduct exhaustive and expensive testing on their own.

"All in all, for a durable, dependable, reasonably priced, rimfire pistol chambered for the popular .22 WMR, it's hard to do better than the Walther WMP," Brune concluded.

Walther Arms WMP Specifications
Manufacturer: Carl Walther GmbH (Germany)
Action Type: blowback-operated, semi-automatic, rimfire pistol
Chambering: .22 WMR
Slide: aluminum
Frame: polymer
Barrel: carbon steel; six-groove; 1:16.5"-twist rifling
Magazine: 15-round detachable box
Sights: polymer; drift-adjustable U-notch rear, fixed fiber-optic front
Trigger: double-action; 3-lb., 13-oz. pull
Width: 1.5"
Weight: 28 ozs.
Accessories: owner's manual, hard case, extra magazine, three optic-mounting plates, lower rear sight, lock
MSRP: $549

To watch complete segments of past episodes of American Rifleman TV, go to americanrifleman.org/artv. For all-new episodes of ARTV, tune in Wednesday nights to Outdoor Channel 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. EST.


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