Addressing the only complaint I’ve ever had about my Walther P22, TandemKross came up with their “Sentinel” Captured Spring Guide Rod. Now, I’m not suggesting that they did this just for me. The Walther P22 is a very popular compact .22LR pistol. Most are reliable and accurate, and they can be had at a reasonable price, new or used. Operation is simple, and takedown is easy, requiring no tools. But the long recoil spring and short guide rod make reassembly a challenge. For $19.99, there’s an easy fix that takes about two minutes to install.
In the photo below is the factory guide rod and spring, with the “Sentinel” below it. You can see that the factory spring is longer than the guide rod. When trying to reassemble the Walther P22, that spring is just all over the place. It’s like fighting with an angry eel. TandemKross simply designed a “captured” spring that’s retained within a rod that’s closed on both ends. Two pieces are now one.
This is another one of those “takes longer to type than it does to actually do it”. After verifying that the P22 is unloaded, pull down the mechanism inside the front of the trigger guard. Pull the slide back, lift, and carefully bring it forward, watching for the spring to eject and try to hit you in the face. Drop the new rod in, flat end down into the frame. That should leave the end with the little dome facing forward.
With the barrel pointed at an upward angle, place the slide over it, and made sure the guide rod falls into place. Pull the slide back into position, and move the locking mechanism back up into place. If the slide doesn’t want to go all the way back, check to make sure that little locking block isn’t already up. If my explanation isn’t simple enough, this video from TandemKross may help. And even it is only 3:34 long. Yes, it’s that simple.
With the “Sentinel” Captured Spring Guide Rod in place, cleaning is no longer a daunting task. While I can’t prove or disprove the claim that this will improve accuracy, I did my own research before ordering this part. On an independent site, not related to TandemKross, there were 57 reviews, with 4.7 out of 5 possible stars. And 96% stated that they would recommend to a friend. The sole 1 star review was from someone who received a similar, but actually incorrect, part. So don’t take my word, take theirs. Most reported far less jams with the new guide rod in place, which is noteworthy.
On the TandemKross site, there were 185 reviews when I checked. Ferney, from Costa Rica, left a four star review, but his only comment was to ask if they ship to Costa Rica. Three customers had some sort of issue, but that’s why TandemKross offers their lifetime guarantee.
If you have a Walther P22, you probably either love it or hate it. If you love it, you’re going to shoot it a lot, And then hate when you have to clean it. So this product is for you. If you hate it, it may be because either it jams more often than a rimfire should, or you hate cleaning it. Either way, this product is for you. And again, the warranty makes it virtually risk-free. The folks are TandemKross are all about customer service. If something doesn’t work, they’ll make it right.
My own Walther P22 didn’t function any differently, as it was already both reliable and accurate as long as it has a steady diet of high velocity ammo. Maybe because it’s older production? I don’t know. But I do know that assembly after cleaning is easier. So I’d like to thank TandemKross for providing their “Sentinel” for this evaluation. Once again, they’ve made a good gun great, and at an affordable price.
Comments? Questions? Have any of our readers tried the “Sentinel” Captured Spring Guide Rod? Feel free to share below.