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View Full Version : Help choosing a .22 pistol


Caribouriver
12-29-2010, 10:30 AM
What I would really like is a 1911 and, more than likely, will have one someday. Cost of ammo is a factor in this purchase and the fact that I am teaching my daughters and someday my grandchildren how to have fun shooting safely. So, the .22 for starters. What do you suggest? I hear good things about the reasonably priced Glock like polymer ISSC M22B with 4" and 5-1/2" barrels ($240-270 @ J&G) and like the steel and look of the Ruger Mark III or 45/22 for more than twice the money. Do any of you have these or other candidates and can report in with your impressions? I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

Swoop
12-29-2010, 10:31 AM
Get a 1911 that is affordable and plan ahead to get a .22 conversion kit so you get the best of both worlds.

Quinc
12-29-2010, 10:35 AM
I have a buckmark and it within the first magazine new shooters are hitting targets with it. Its the most accurate handgun I have had the pleasure of shooting. You could also get a 1911 and buy a .22 conversion kit for it.

Conversion kits:
http://www.palmettostatearmory.com/pistol-accessories.php

BamBam-31
12-29-2010, 10:36 AM
I have a few .22lr pistols: The Ruger 22/45 Mk. II and Mk. III, the Browning Buckmark, and the Sig Trailside. Of the three, by far the one I shoot the most is the Browning Buckmark. It has the best out-of-box trigger and overall ergonomics. Mine also has a 7.25" TacSol barrel. The Rugers are far more upgradeable with aftermarket parts, but if that's not your thing, the Browning is best from the get-go. All are more accurate than most will hold, btw.

XDseb
12-29-2010, 10:37 AM
As far as 22 pistols go, my research tells me that if you can get past the looks, Rugers are the best. I owned a Sig Mosquito and although it was a very visually pleasing weapon, it only functioned properly with one brand of ammo...CCI mini mags. this was not good enough for me as i wanted something i could rely upon to shoot any brand of ammo since for a long time, mini mags were not available anywhere i looked. after a while i decided the Sig was not for me, so I sold it. If I was to buy a .22 semi-auto pistol again, I will only look at the Ruger line of 22's. hope that helps.

XDRoX
12-29-2010, 10:43 AM
Can't really go wrong with any of the classics:

Ruger MkIII
Ruger 22/45
Browning Buckmark


Less popular, but still really good IMO:

Beretta Neos
Walther P22

Heiko
12-29-2010, 10:50 AM
As far as 22 pistols go, my research tells me that if you can get past the looks, Rugers are the best. I owned a Sig Mosquito and although it was a very visually pleasing weapon, it only functioned properly with one brand of ammo...CCI mini mags. this was not good enough for me as i wanted something i could rely upon to shoot any brand of ammo since for a long time, mini mags were not available anywhere i looked. after a while i decided the Sig was not for me, so I sold it. If I was to buy a .22 semi-auto pistol again, I will only look at the Ruger line of 22's. hope that helps.

Exactly! The Rugers are not the most tacticool looking pistols. My Ruger 50th Anniversary Mk II looks like it did, well, 50 years ago but it is a great shooter and I've never had a problem with it. The Rugers are one of the benchmark .22 pistols and you can't go wrong with one.

I was also intrigued by the Sig Mosquito because it looks like a P226, only scaled down. They aren't very expensive and the draw of shooting a Sig on the cheap was appealing... until I shot one. I had nothing but problems with the two kinds of ammo I was using. The gun was freshly cleaned and oiled but neither the Federal nor the Winchester ammo I was using worked. Like the post above states, this gun needs Mini Mags. Also, the trigger was awful. I really did not like the Mosquito.

Stick with Ruger or the Browning.

41M
12-29-2010, 10:50 AM
I have numerous variants of the older Sturm, Ruger Mark II and 22/45 that I have enjoyed for years and used in introducing others to shooting. Since you are looking towards a 1911 type pistol in the future, you might want to consider the polymer framed 22/45 versions. They have the same approximate grip angle as a 1911 and on some models the grip panels can be replaced to one's liking. If you plan on teaching others, I would consider a .22 revolver. Something with sights that present a good sight picture and a barrel in the 4 to 5 inch range provide a good platform for starting new shooters.

Can't buy anything here
12-29-2010, 10:59 AM
Good advice all around...I went through this a few years ago and finally added a Model 17 too my wish list...hard to beat a classic Smith for plinking...on a side note, this was a gift from a few gentlemen I met on the Smith-Wesson forum for my son when he was born 2 years ago.....two of them live in northern Cal and even drove down to give it to him...and one of them is a member here....:)



http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e249/sipowicz/P1030693.jpg

Coded-Dude
12-29-2010, 11:06 AM
http://cdn5.thefirearmsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/72002-tfb.jpg

I'm gonna wait for this guy to get released......

morrcarr67
12-29-2010, 11:06 AM
Get a 1911 that is affordable and plan ahead to get a .22 conversion kit so you get the best of both worlds.

I was gonna say that. :D

morrcarr67
12-29-2010, 11:09 AM
My favorite "Old School" .22LR is any of the Colt Woodsman's, they are all listed as C&R and are roster exempt. You could find some nice ones for $450 - $600.

TMC
12-29-2010, 11:13 AM
http://cdn5.thefirearmsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/72002-tfb.jpg

I'm gonna wait for this guy to get released......

Where did you see that?

Spyder
12-29-2010, 11:16 AM
I like that M&P22!!! When? Where?

Coded-Dude
12-29-2010, 11:16 AM
I got the pic from here: http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2010/12/20/sw-mp22-22-pistol/

However, the gun was brought to my attention by someone else on this forum(i think it was this one). I believe the gun comes out sometime early next year. Haven't found it on the official S&W site yet...still looking.

Coded-Dude
12-29-2010, 11:21 AM
I have seen a few posts on other forums talking about a Smith & Wesson M&P 22LR pistol (built on the M&P 40 frame); Budsgunshop even has one posted on their website (listed as out of stock). A lot of forum posts were speculation and a few posters said the listings were photoshopped. So, I called Smith & Wesson customer service and asked them if this was a real product or a hoax. Here's what he said:

The M&P 22LR pistol model# 122000 is a real product. It has an anticipated release date of early February 2011, but as with anything that the ATF is involved in, we can't set that time frame in stone. The rep did say that from everything he has been told, things are still on track for the February release date.source (http://gunrightsradio.com/forums2/index.php?topic=5482.0)

Still not sure if Feb is the concrete date(or whether or not it will be on the CA roster), but it is coming out.

Caribouriver
12-29-2010, 11:25 AM
I never thought of the .22 conversion kit for the .45. GREAT IDEA! Does anyone have any experience with a satisfactory combination? Would a .22 conversion shoot as accurately as the Ruger. Or is it a major compromise to get two for 1.5X the price of one? I know nothing about how well he conversion kits work and which ones work best. Great info gentlemen. Thank you. Martin Retting is the closest to me. Is there as good as anywhere?

xMAC1x
12-29-2010, 11:32 AM
Ruger Mark lll I shoot the hunter real nice gun. & 20.00 for 500 rounds my son can shoot, all he wants.

sigfan91
12-29-2010, 11:36 AM
If at all possible, get a Ruger Mark II. If you must get brand new, a Ruger Mark III will do. These guys will eat just about any cheap, crappy, bulk ammo.

Ask yourself, what's the point of getting a 22 plinker if it only works with expensive CCI minimags?

Gary13
12-29-2010, 12:22 PM
I have a buckmark and it within the first magazine new shooters are hitting targets with it. Its the most accurate handgun I have had the pleasure of shooting. You could also get a 1911 and buy a .22 conversion kit for it.

Conversion kits:
http://www.palmettostatearmory.com/pistol-accessories.php

I have a Ruger MkIII 22/45 which I like. I will be getting a RIA .45 Tactical soon and was wondering if these kits fit RIA's? Anyone tried?

Legasat
12-29-2010, 12:29 PM
The Browning Buckmark and the Ruger MK II & III are the standard.

You can't go wrong with any of these.

BC9696
12-29-2010, 12:35 PM
http://www.keltecweapons.com/our-guns/pistols/pmr-30/

Light, holds 30 rds and is tacticool taboot.

http://www.keltecweapons.com/uploaded_files/ourguns/gallery/b_15d179e7dd7ca525dc1c44dda16dcdf9PMR4.jpg

http://www.keltecweapons.com/uploaded_files/ourguns/gallery/b_d62e8d550272feb44770bd9bb097c379PMR1.jpg

Want to customize it? No prob.

http://www.keltecweapons.com/uploaded_files/ourguns/gallery/b_0c4b1847817f02d69ef80962408efb0fCIMG2937.jpg

JSpin
12-29-2010, 12:38 PM
i recently bought a buckmark, and i am absolutely in love with it. i rented all of the popular choices, and all goood guns for the most part. the trigger and factory fiber optic front sight on the buckmark are sweet right out of the box.

my dad has a mark 1 ruger that hes had for decades and he still loves it. however, after shooting mine, he said he would buy the browning if he had to do it over.

before buying, i decided i liked the browing best, but if a good deal popped up on a ruger first, it would an easy decision. i ended up buying the browning up in WA state for 340 bucks out the door, which seems to be less than used rugers go for in California. cash and carry with a WA ccw too!

beerman
12-29-2010, 12:41 PM
Ive owned several Rugers and a buckmark...nice guns but, they arent even in the same class as the Smith model 41...the others have been culled from the herd.

badmonkey
12-29-2010, 12:43 PM
I never thought of the .22 conversion kit for the .45. GREAT IDEA! Does anyone have any experience with a satisfactory combination? Would a .22 conversion shoot as accurately as the Ruger. Or is it a major compromise to get two for 1.5X the price of one? I know nothing about how well he conversion kits work and which ones work best. Great info gentlemen. Thank you. Martin Retting is the closest to me. Is there as good as anywhere?

I've got a ceiner 22 conversion that i use with my RIA GI. works with Federal bulk ammo, CCI mini mags, CCI stingers, and all of the 22LR that i throw at it. as far as accuracy, i can't tell you for sure--but it seems as accurate as the gun is shooting .45. I will say that some people have had issues with Ceiner's Customer Service. I haven't had a need to use their CS so it's not an issue for me personally. But i also hear that the kimber 22 conversion is reliable and a good product if you're worried.

most, if not all conversions for the 1911 will come as a slide with an integrated barrel, guide rod, springs, firing pin, etc. you basically field strip your 1911, removing the slide, barrel, guide rod, and springs, and replace it with the conversion. an aftermarket 22 mag usually ships with the kits too. spares are ~$35.

BamBam-31
12-29-2010, 2:10 PM
Having a conversion kit is a good idea because you're training with the exact same platform. However, having two separate guns for the same price (conversion kits cost about as much as an entire basic .22lr pistol) means two people can shoot at the same time at the range. :)

Man, Kel-Tec doesn't hold back when it comes to Tactical Ugly, does it? :D

redcliff
12-29-2010, 2:30 PM
Since .22lr handguns are subject to a lot of rounds fired, it pays to get one that is good quality and will last a lifetime.

The Browning Buckmark, Rugers, S&W Model 41 ($$$), Colt Woodsmans, High Standards and S&W Model 17, 18 and 617 revolvers are all top quality choices with good triggers that will give many years of excellent service and retain their value well.

I greatly prefer the steel .22lr handguns over the polymer and pot-metal less expensive models available.

In regard to 1911 conversion units and accuracy currently the best is the Marvel Precision Unit 1. It's guaranteed to shoot under 1" groups at 50 yards from a rest. It does away with sloppy slide to frame fit by utilizing a slide contained within the conversion unit which is secured to the donor frame by tightening a bolt which locks it to the supplied slide stop. Mine shoots extremely reliably and very accurately with Federal 525 bulk pack .22lr ammo (NOT Federal 550 bulk pack, there is a difference).

The only downside of the Marvel Precison Unit 1 (or Unit 2 which is slightly less accurate and less expensive) is that it does not lock the slide open on the last shot although it can be locked open manually, a trait shared by several of the .22 pistols mentioned above. However, as the owner of a Colt Service Model Ace that has worn the slide lock notch down twice to the point of not locking open I don't consider that a big deal. I understand Bob Marvel is working on a new unit that will lock the slide open if you wanted to wait for one.

eccvets
12-29-2010, 2:35 PM
I like my p22 and although its not as accurate as some of the others, its a lot more fun and you can pratice reloading your HK's with it.

BigDogatPlay
12-29-2010, 2:45 PM
Hard to go wrong with a Ruger Mark I or Mark II. I'm still not certain the Mark III is really an improvement but most people I know personally who have them, like them. Buckmark is always an excellent value and are outstanding shooters.

I recently picked up an S&W 22A. Still breaking it in / wringing it out but the accuracy out of the box was good... tight groups at 15 yards with only a bit of fiddling to get it onto the bull. I'm still not convinced it's a long term winner but it was on sale for $239 and I couldn't pass it up.

hefedehefe
12-29-2010, 2:48 PM
HP22 is the best .22 you can get. It's got a lifetime warranty and shoots like a champ. I put 3k rounds through it before it stopped shooting, then cleaned it and it was firing even better. I put 300 rounds threw it last night at the range and only had 2 fte. I am very impressed with this $150 .22. I also have the 5" barrell and extention, but hardly use them. People love this small lil guy and it's built tough and SOLID

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa44/smoothinoc/hjrghte.jpg

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa44/smoothinoc/l_bd556e187b534cc1a1e9c4f61e40d303.jpg

Argonaut
12-29-2010, 2:50 PM
I have many 22 handguns including a 22/45 Ruger. I prefer the magazine release on the 22/45 to the regular MK guns. The Ruger is typical Ruger stuff, a little crude with some sharp edges but shoots well. Mine is one of the Stainless steel Hunter series and was pretty expensive. It does have good sights and is reliable. I think I would look for an older quality pistol like a Colt, Browning, High Standard semi autos are world class. Many of these classics have a pretty high price tag but if you are diligent, you can find a deal on a shooter for a few hundred dollars. I have a Erma Luger in 22LR that is a beautiful thing to look at and handle but it is not reliable. One of my favorite is a Stevens Tip up single shot with a 9" barrel and target sights. It is a joy to shoot. A good S&W revolver is always a great way to go too.

shinbone
12-29-2010, 2:52 PM
I'm not a big fan of the aluminum 22 conversion. I think the lightweight slide makes the gun feel completely different. You lose the weight dampening advantage of the steel slide and your front sight will quiver easier. A marvel kit that redcliff mentioned above or the 22/45 are good ways to go. And this is just something to think about; if you have a 1911 with a hand-fitted slide, an anodized aluminum slide might mess up the fit between the frame and original slide.

high_revs
12-29-2010, 2:57 PM
In addition to the ones suggested above (I have a Buckmark) there's always the Model 41. :)

dr_communist
12-29-2010, 4:14 PM
I have 2 .22 pistols. A ruger standard and a Phoenix hp-22a. They are both great but I would stick with the Phoenix.

brassburnz
12-29-2010, 4:29 PM
What I would really like is a 1911 and, more than likely, will have one someday. Cost of ammo is a factor in this purchase and the fact that I am teaching my daughters and someday my grandchildren how to have fun shooting safely. So, the .22 for starters. What do you suggest? I hear good things about the reasonably priced Glock like polymer ISSC M22B with 4" and 5-1/2" barrels ($240-270 @ J&G) and like the steel and look of the Ruger Mark III or 45/22 for more than twice the money. Do any of you have these or other candidates and can report in with your impressions? I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

Since you are talking long term investment here, here's another way to look at things. If you can afford it, buy the 1911 of your choice and a match target .22 conversion from Marvel Precision or Advantage Arms. These conversions are match quality conversions that should be able to outshoot a Ruger MK or Browning Buckmark.

I own two Marvel Unit 1's that have factory test targets of less than 0.75 inch at 50 yards. My Advantage Arms conversion doesn't quite have that degree of accuracy. The Marvel Unit 1 is $450 and the Advantage Arms Target is $350.

http://www.advantagearms.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=AASOS&Product_Code=1911Target&Category_Code=

http://www.marvelprecision.com/unit1.php

Add the price of a decent 1911 and you're over $1,000 but you are set for years to come.

Tactical Soluntions also make a target grade conversion, but I've never shot one. If they are like all the other TacSol products, they should be excellent.

DO NOT buy a cheaper conversion from JA Ceiner or even the Kimber conversion. They are plinkers and not target grade conversions. The same is true for the Colt .22 conversion. It was actually designed as a .45 acp training device to generate MORE felt recoil. Accuracy is not that great.

Something else you might want to consider is looking for a High Standard .22 pistol or a Colt Woodsman (and variations, Huntsman, Challenger, etc.). You might be able to find a used one for about the same price as a new Ruger or Buckmark. If you find a very clean sample at the right price, it should actually increase in value as the years pass.

A long while back, I was looking for a .38 Special revolver for my wife. I found a Smith and Wesson Model 15 and Colt Diamondback, both for about the same price. I bought the Colt. Today a Model 15 is probably worth about $450-500. The Diamondback should be worth more. Maybe $600-700.

nweaver
12-29-2010, 4:35 PM
I just went though the same process and am now in the 10-days-CA-wait-period on a Buckmark Camper, after trying out the Ruger MK III, Buckmark, and Neos

I didn't like the maintenance or feel of the Ruger, and the Neos didn't feel good to me, but the buckmark was great.

axhoaxho
12-29-2010, 5:03 PM
What I would really like is a 1911 and, more than likely, will have one someday. Cost of ammo is a factor in this purchase and the fact that I am teaching my daughters and someday my grandchildren how to have fun shooting safely. So, the .22 for starters. What do you suggest?...

If a 1911 is what you would really like in the future, then the Ruger 22/45 would sound like a perfect .22LR pistol for you at this moment.

The Ruger 22/45 is designed to give a similar grip shape, feel, and fire controls (safety, magazine releaes, bolt hold-opens, etc.) as the 1911. So in the future when you move up to a .45ACP 1911, you would feel natural.

I also like Ruger firearms that... they have very reasonable price, and they last for generations. They would be perfect to pass down to your grandkids.

Regards,

Caribouriver
12-29-2010, 5:27 PM
You guys have been tremendously helpful. Please accept my heartfelt thanks. I started off today knowing zilch about .22 pistols and revolvers. I still know nothing. But thanks to you all, I have a good start on the road to learning something.

RTE
12-29-2010, 5:50 PM
I too was going to get a 22lr conversion for a kimber.
For an extra $100 I got a Like new 22/45 6-7/8 slab side and put a red dot on it.
Almost takes the fun out of trying to hit something 50/100 yards away :D

http://www.glamisdunes.com/invision/gallery_imgs/1244660614/gallery_4554_28_9660.jpg

GunDog
12-29-2010, 6:21 PM
Can't really go wrong with any of the classics:

Ruger MkIII
Ruger 22/45
Browning Buckmark


????
See post #9 for a real classic.

SAR_boats
12-29-2010, 6:30 PM
With a little help from Volquartsen Custom the Ruger Mk3 is an awesome shooter, the best on the market. It feeds, fires and extracts every type of ammo. BUT, out of the box you will be fairly underwhelmed. Additionally, God help you if you want to swap out barrels, and Ruger customer service is a joke. (seriously, when I talk to a gunsmith who works for a mfr and he says barrels cant be removed from receivers because they are welded together, but cant explain why custom shops can swap barrels there is a problem).

Buckmarks are great out of the box, better than Mk3s, but there is less aftermarket stuff for them, and I've found that they can be a little finicky on ammo.

The Walther (S&Walther?) P22 looks cool with its tac rail and threaded barrel but is extremely finicky on ammo. Clean, dirty, new or broken in, it doesnt matter, FTL and FTEs are common. Plus it is nowhere near as accurate as a Browning, Ruger or High Standard

Don't know much about the Beretta Neos but GAWD is that an ugly gun. WTF were they thinking?

The S&W model 22A is a decent shooter. Definitely not the most accurate thing out there but I never experienced a FTF/FTL/FTE with it.

Personally, I think the S&W Model 41 is way overrated at the prices they are fetching. I think Brownings are better out of the box and are half the price.

And then there is the Ruger SingleSix convertible. Nothing wrong with a SA revolver. They always go bang If I needed an inexpensive, fairly accurate hiking 22 that was dependable, I'd pick this. Plus you can throw the 22 mag cylinder in there for bigger booms.

INJUNTOM
12-30-2010, 12:52 AM
I have a Ruger MKI, and a Taurus 94 9 shot revolver.

Both work good.

BamBam-31
12-30-2010, 10:20 AM
????
See post #9 for a real classic.

Oh, I dunno....the Colt Woodsman recommended earlier is kinda real as well. ;)

BamBam-31
12-30-2010, 10:20 AM
????
See post #9 for a real classic.

Oh, I dunno....the Colt Woodsman recommended earlier is kinda real as well. ;)

uracan
04-30-2012, 8:15 PM
I saw a few references to the Smith and wesson M&P22 pistol. any feedback on that pistol?
I'm on the fence between that and the Ruger sr22 pistol.

uracan
04-30-2012, 8:15 PM
I saw a few references to the Smith and wesson M&P22 pistol. any feedback on that pistol?
I'm on the fence between that and the Ruger sr22 pistol.

Chaos47
04-30-2012, 8:19 PM
Dude.

You just bumped a 2 year old thread to ask a new question...

Try the Rimfire section...

chucksolo69
05-01-2012, 8:05 AM
Have you considered the Browning 1911 .22 A1? I have had numerous .22 handguns. This is my favorite to date. Excellent gun and mine will shoot ANY brand of .22 ammo.

lowend65
05-01-2012, 8:13 AM
If you want to do a 1911 later, do a Ruger 22/45 now.
Dependable design that's true tested and cheap.

The 22/45 was originally designed as a trainer for the 1911. All of the controls are in the same locations and the grip angle matches

Rexquando
05-01-2012, 11:35 AM
I have the S&W .22 A-1 with the bull barrel. It's a fun and accurate pistol but at least one bullet from every mag has a failure to feed which is very annoying.

Arkangel
05-01-2012, 1:31 PM
As far as 22 pistols go, my research tells me that if you can get past the looks, Rugers are the best. I owned a Sig Mosquito and although it was a very visually pleasing weapon, it only functioned properly with one brand of ammo...CCI mini mags. this was not good enough for me as i wanted something i could rely upon to shoot any brand of ammo since for a long time, mini mags were not available anywhere i looked. after a while i decided the Sig was not for me, so I sold it. If I was to buy a .22 semi-auto pistol again, I will only look at the Ruger line of 22's. hope that helps.

My exact experience, now I'm looking for a 22/45.