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Iver Johnson TP22

2012 November 21
by gunsmith
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Bond is back!  If Skyfall is not the best Bond film ever it certainly is one the best in a long, long time and today’s review focuses on the Iver Johnson TP22 which is a clone of Bond’s iconic pistol; the Walther PPK.  I am at the stage of life now where handguns I did not have the opportunity to pick up when they were new can sometimes be found in the “Used” gun case at my local shop and such is the fortune that prevailed a couple of months ago when I stumbled into Bill’s Gun Shop in Robbinsdale, MN and found the TP22 which is chambered in 22 Long Rifle.

The TP22 is a dead ringer for the Walther PPK whose heritage goes back to 1928 when Walther introduced the slightly larger model PP.  Not long afterward they shortened the grip frame, barrel, and slide and produced the PPK which was certainly more comfortable.  Both models were originally produced in .32 ACP caliber but the .380 ACP or 9mm Kurz (as it was known in Germany) soon followed.  I have owned four PPKs in my time including a 1966 West German made PPK which predated the Gun Control Act of 1968.  After the GCA they could no longer be imported because of their size until Walther mated the shorten barrel/slide of the PPK to the larger grip frame of the PP and called it the PPK/S.  I have owned three of those; one imported by Interarms and two built by Smith & Wesson under contract with Walther.  All four of my pistols were in caliber .380 ACP and all were extraordinarily accurate. 

Walther did produce both the PP and the PPK in .22 Long Rifle and if you are lucky enough to find one expect the price tag to be well over a grand.  A quick internet search finds the PP model in 22LR going for $1295, $1299, $1500, and $2395 for an engraved boxed limited edition. .22LR PPK pistols are found with prices of $1695 and $1995.  So finding a used Iver Johnson TP22 for over 85% less than the going price for a .22 caliber Walther seemed like a bargain!

One of the interesting things I found was that Iver Johnson’s advertising completely omitted any mention of the fact that the TP22 was clearly patterned after Walther.

If there is any difference between the Iver Johnson and the Walther it is the sights.  The sights on the TP22 are smaller than the Walther and while not great, they were usable with the understanding that this is not a target pistol.

Below is a copy of a review of the TP 22 at the time it was first manufactured.  Although the name of the magazine was cut off by whoever posted the copy of the review I tend to think it my be from the “American Rifleman” published by the National Rifle Association.  By the way, if you’re reading this and you are not a member of the NRA it is time to pony up.  The second amendment would be completely ignored by many in today’s government if the NRA was not there to constantly remind them of the rights afforded by our founding fathers and the Constitution of the United States.

Strangely enough this magazine review also makes no mention of the obvious similarities in appearance and design to the Walther PPK.  The article does come to the same conclusion I found with the TP22:

  1. Fun pistol to shoot!
  2. As accurate as you would expect a small pistol of this type to be.
  3. Is ammo sensitive.  If you find one of these pistols buy many different 50 round boxes of ammo and select the one that gives 100% reliability and the best accuracy.

The Iver Johnson TP22 breaks down exactly like a Walther PP, PPK, PPK/S.  First remove the magazine and double check the chamber to make sure the pistol is unloaded.  Then pull down on the front of the trigger guard.  This unlocks the slide which can then be pulled back and up before sliding it forward and off the barrel.  Once the slide is removed the recoil spring can then be taken off the barrel.  Reassemble in reverse order remembering that the tightly coiled portion of the recoil spring goes on the barrel first.

My go-to holster company, Remora, has a small size that fits the TP22 to a “T”.  The little Iver Johnson PPK-clone is ready for pocket or inside-the-waistband carry.

Galco B919H inside-the-waistband holster provides deep concealment.

CCI Mini-Mag 28 Feet 

Federal Spitfire 28 Feet 

CCI Mini-Mag at 21 feet 

CCI Stinger at 21 Feet– The Stinger was a very accurate round unfortunately it could not cycle the action turning the TP22 into a Single Action Pistol

CCI Velocitor at 21 feet 

Remington Yellow Jacket at 21 Feet 

Remington Cyclone at 21 Feet

Of the rounds I tried I like the CCI Mini Mags & Velocitor along with the Remington Yellow Jacket ammo.  

This is a fun gun that is best enjoyed outdoors with action targets such as aluminum cans and spinners.  And let’s face it…it has that cool Walther PPK look with a budget price.

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Author: Average Joe

Iver Johnson TP22

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