Affordable Suppressed .22LR Pistol Build

.22 Long Rifle has been an immensely popular cartridge.  Its low cost, nonexistent recoil, and high “fun factor"  keep it flying off the shelves.

.22 LR is also a near-ideal candidate to run with a suppressor.  With an already relatively low report, a good suppressor reduces the pea shooter to near Hollywood quiet levels.

Today we’re covering a budget-oriented build for a .22 Suppressor host, the Walther P22.

Now let’s start with a caveat.  I don’t believe that the Walther P22 is the best .22 pistol out there.  Far from it!  But at the price, it is very hard to beat.  Especially when combined with an excellent suppressor like the Maxim Defense DRF22.

Affordable Suppressed 22 Build Summary

Walther P22.22LR Handgun$299.99 @
Maxim Defense DRF22.17 hmr, .22 lr, .22 Mag suppressor$399.95 @
walther p22
Unsuppressed, a good gun. Suppressed, a better gun.

3 Reasons the Walther P22 Makes A Good Budget Suppressor Host

Walther P22

Prices accurate at time of writing

1.  It fits the term “budget" perfectly.

At $299.99, the Walther P22 is one of the least expensive handguns you can get that doesn’t have “Jennings" or “Cobra" on it.

Despite that, they are well made, so long as you get the ones made with the stamp from Ulm (antlers), instead of Köln/Cologne (three crowns).  Ulm is Walther made, Cologne is Umarex made.

The difference in quality is important.

2.  Suppressor mounting is easy (enough).

The only trick to mounting a suppressor on a P22 is picking up a thread adaptor.  The barrel comes threaded for accessories, but those threads are hidden beneath the slide.  The adaptor lets you use a suppressor or muzzle brake.

Dead Air Mask-HD Thread Adapter – Walther P22 – 1/2X28

at Primary Arms
Prices accurate at time of writing

Given that most .22 cans are only 1" in diameter, you won’t need to swap in taller iron sights.

The increase in backpressure on a .22 is much less of a sharp spike than in centerfire calibers, so swapping in a different spring isn’t necessary either.

3.  A good training gun, made better.

All the P22’s I’ve owned or borrowed have been accurate enough.  With CCI minimags they’re also pretty reliable, as .22’s go.

The slide is easy to rack, and the trigger is serviceable.  Recoil is laughably light.  An external safety lever seems to be an appreciated security blanket for most novices and is present here.

All of this combines to make the P22 a great little trainer gun for new shooters, both youth and adults alike.

Walther P22
Suppressed Walther P22

Walther P22 Shortcomings

“You get what you pay for" is an aphorism that holds true in many cases.  When you buy anything gun related that’s “budget", there’s a give and take.

The Walther P22 can be finicky with ammo as mentioned, but not in every case.  This is true of nearly all .22lr firearms.

The P22 is accurate enough but isn’t going to compete with a gun like the Ruger MK IV 22/45.  That’s probably why the Ruger costs double what the P22 does.

The P22 also had a spate of slides cracking, something that seemed more common in Cologne (Umarex factory) made guns than in Ulm (Walther factory).  Thankfully, reports of this problem seem to have died down significantly in recent years.

Running a Suppressor

Which ammo?

Ammunition is usually dictated by the “mission", or the intended target.  With .22lr chambered firearms, there’s generally more pickiness involved as many of these guns simply won’t feed well with one type of ammo or another.

While CCI Minimags are considered the gold standard, they’re also supersonic.  So if you’re working on maximum suppression, there will likely be some trial and error as you find which subsonic rounds cycle best in your firearm/suppressor combo.

CCI 22 Suppressor Rimfire Ammuntion .22 LR 45 gr JHP 970 fps 50/ct

at Natchez Shooters Supplies
Prices accurate at time of writing

Why a suppressor?

You know what helps new shooters perform even better?  You guessed it, a suppressor.  Bringing the report down to near Red Ryder volume levels imparts a greater sense of control and confidence, and also reduces shooter flinch reflex.

That’s not the only reason though, we have an in-depth primer on the 5 Reasons To Consider Using A Suppressor.

But which suppressor?

There’s a massive number of suppressors out there, from a wide variety of manufacturers.  While we have a great discussion about the Best 22 Suppressor here, I’ll cherry-pick the best in that bunch for you.

DRF:22 Suppressor

at Maxim Defense
Prices accurate at time of writing

Maxim Defense DRF-22 Suppressor


  • State-of-the-art MonoKore design
  • Simple 3-piece design
  • Military-grade materials
  • dB averages 114dB
  • Adds 5.4" to the muzzle
  • Specifically designed for .22LR rifles and pistols

Tech Specs

  • Caliber: .22LR, .22MAG, .17HMR
  • Thread Pitch:  ½-28
  • Material Composition: 7075-T6 Aluminum and 6Al-4V Titanium
  • Finish: Black in color Type III MIL-SPEC hard coat anodizing Cerakote
  • Weight: 3.5 oz
  • Length: 5.9" overall length
  • Diameter: 1.0" outer diameter

Maxim Defense 22 Suppressor

If you want a deeper dive into the DRF22 specs and features, check this out.

The Maxim Defense DRF22 is simply built tough.  Titanium and aluminum combine for a lightweight, incredibly durable suppressor that will last many years.  There are plenty of cheaper options, but if you want a can that’s going to perform AND last a lifetime, buy once cry once.

I picked up a couple of discounted .22 cans years ago.  While they’re much better than nothing, they’re simply nowhere near the performance of a state-of-the-art can like the DRF22.  The first-round pop (FRP) is very noticeable on the older cans, while the DRF22 is specifically designed to eliminate FRP.

22 suppressor

The DRF22 is also rated up to .22 mag, in case you want to swap it for a slightly up chambered rifle, or something like the KelTec PMR30.

.22 Suppressor FAQ

How Quiet is a Suppressed 22?

Around 125 dB with supersonic ammo.  This is a combination of ammo, suppressor, and host (gun).   This is a reduction of around 40dB, which represents a major difference in sound pressure levels at the shooter’s ear.

The DRF22 advertises 114dB with Gemtech subsonic ammo.

What is subsonic 22 ammo?

Subsonic .22 ammo is designed to stay below the speed of sound.  Subsonic rounds maximize the potential of suppressors, as bullets travelling at subsonic speeds lack the sonic boom that supersonic projectiles cause.

How fast is subsonic 22 ammo?

Subsonic rounds travel below the speed of sound, which is around 1,125 feet per second.  The speed of sound changes based on air temperature and pressure.

Subsonic .22 ammunition usually has a muzzle velocity between 700 feet per second and 1,080 feet per second.


If your budget allows, there are plenty of great suppressor host .22lr pistols out there.  If you’re on a budget, grabbing a Walther P22 is a great entry level suppressor host, and they usually hold their value very well for resale later.

-Jens “Rex Nanorum" Hammer


Table of Contents

  • Affordable Suppressed 22 Build Summary
  • 3 Reasons the Walther P22 Makes A Good Budget Suppressor Host
  • 1.  It fits the term “budget” perfectly.
  • 2.  Suppressor mounting is easy (enough).
  • 3.  A good training gun, made better.
  • Walther P22 Shortcomings
  • Running a Suppressor
  • Which ammo?
  • Why a suppressor?
  • But which suppressor?
  • Maxim Defense DRF-22 Suppressor
  • Features
  • Tech Specs
  • .22 Suppressor FAQ
  • How Quiet is a Suppressed 22?
  • What is subsonic 22 ammo?
  • How fast is subsonic 22 ammo?
  • Conclusion

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