Walther has always been able to capture a cool factor in its guns. Perhaps that’s why the PPK ended up as James Bond’s preferred sidearm for all those years.
In more recent times, the German gun maker has undertaken an intriguing project, producing rimfire models of historic tactical firearms. From Uzis to M4 Carbines, Walther has a load of iconic pistols and rifles all chambered in .22 long rifle.
The company’s most recent edition to the collection is its take on a firearm from another Teutonic gun maker – also known for producing some slick wares itself. A .22 long rifle version of Heckler & Koch’s G36 joined Walther’s rimfire family at the 2015 SHOT Show and appears to be dead on.
The G36 is not as well known as some of HK’s other firearms, such as the one it replaced as the Bundeswehr’s (German Federal Defense) main service rifle in the 1990s – the G3. But the .223 Remington/5.56x45mm has seen its share of action in around two decades of use.
Walther’s .22 take on the original should get purists’ hearts a thumping, given the attention to detail. But it’s more than the rimfire rifle’s aesthetics that makes it intriguing. The gun’s action is also pretty nifty.
Like the HK iteration, the entire bolt-carrier group – including charging handle – moves on Walther’s version of the G36. It seems like a nice touch, for those shooting for authenticity in their plinkers.
The similarities between the original and .22 caliber don’t end there. Some of the other features the 5.56 and .22 G36s share include a folding stock (Walther can fire folded too), three-pin assembly using HK pins, brass deflector, bolt hold open and ambidextrous safety and charging handle.
The charging handle is especially intriguing, no matter if you’re talking about HK’s or Walther’s version. The handle is on top of the receiver and flips to one side or the other, depending on the shooter’s preference. When firing, it is conveniently tucked away on top of the rifle’s receiver, so its reciprocation doesn’t get in the way of shooting.
Walther’s G36 comes with a muzzle break that can be removed and the barrel has a 1/2″x28 thread. This is standard for rimfires and allows for the addition of nearly any suppressor. The gun is a straight blowback semiautomatic and has 10-, 20-, and 30-round magazines available.
The Walther rifle has a fixed and hooded front sight and an aperture rear that is adjustable for windage and elevation. The rifle has an 18.1-inch barrel, weighs 5.1 pounds without a magazine and is 37.8 inches in overall length with the stock unfolded and 28.2 inch with it folded.
As a sidenote, the length of the Walther G36 are only about an inch shorter than the first iteration of the HK original.
Walther’s new .22, however, does run a bit more than most rimfires presently available on the market. But, for those who pine tacticool in their plinkers, the G36’s MSRP of $599 might not be too steep.
Walther’s HK G36 Specifications
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Mag Capacity: 10/20/30 rnds
Weight with Mag: 6.74 lbs
Overall Length: 37.8 in
Barrel Length: 18.1 in
Front Sight: Fixed Front Sights
Rear Sight: Adjustable For Windage & Elevation