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View Full Version : Looking for a .22 with which to train my friends at the range


Luieburger
08-02-2011, 7:44 PM
I've been taking people to the range who have never shot before and they keep coming back and bringing new friends with them. I don't have a .22 pistol, and that is pretty much mandatory for anyone who wants to teach new shooters. I've been borrowing my friend's P226 .22 slide conversion kit, and last time one guy was nice enough to offer his .22 revolver (He's on this forum regularly, so he's probably reading this post). Despite the generosity, I really do need to get my own .22.

Here are my requirements:


Cheap - I don't want to spend a lot. I'm not looking for a competition pistol or a range queen. I'd like to get one of these used too, so maybe something that wears well.
Easy to clean - My dad has a Colt Match Target that he used to teach me pistol shooting, but it's a pain to clean. I need something that I can easily take care of.
Not too heavy - Some of the folks that I train get tired when holding a heavy pistol in front of them. .22 is so light on recoil that it's ok if it isn't a heavy target pistol.


I'm tempted to make auto pistols a requirement because that's all that I own, but who knows. I might decide to get one .22 auto and one .22 revolver so I have more to train with and more variety.

Thank you all for your suggestions!

Edit: Why am I not just getting a .22 conversion kit for my P226? I figure I can get a cheap .22 for about the same price as the conversion kit. I bought the P226 to shoot 9mm.

JanG
08-02-2011, 7:48 PM
i like my s&w 22a. only been through less than 1k rounds though. since you already have a 226, sig mosquitos are liked a lot too as are walther p22s, although i've heard they're a little sensitive when it comes to ammunition. my coworker has a phoenix arms hp22 and it's served him well with target shooting, but chokes up if you shoot too fast.

rgs1975
08-02-2011, 7:56 PM
S&W K22 Masterpiece or any of it's several variations in the model number range. They made about a gazillion of them so they're not even that hard to find in California. It's not what I'd call real heavy but it's not light either. The shorter barreled ones I guess would be a little less weight. They're perfect for beginners. I always try to start beginners with a revolver. Plus, with some good honest wear you'll get one without breaking the bank and have a great looking work horse.

JeremyS
08-02-2011, 8:00 PM
Conversion kit for your existing gun would be nice. It also doesn't count as a firearm so you can order it online and have it shipped to your house... no FFL, no fees, no tax, etc.

Other than that, I'd say get a gun with normal controls so people learn where the mag release, slide lock, safety, etc are on most semi-autos. Sig Mosquito would be cool since you have a full size. A 1911-22 would be nifty.

Gts408
08-02-2011, 8:06 PM
Ruger pistol or rifle.... can't wrong with either.

shooting4life
08-02-2011, 8:26 PM
Can't go wrong with a s&w 17 or 617. Here is my 17-6

http://i630.photobucket.com/albums/uu30/shooting4life/IMG_2764.jpg

Luieburger
08-02-2011, 8:36 PM
my coworker has a phoenix arms hp22 and it's served him well with target shooting, but chokes up if you shoot too fast.

That phoenix arms hp22 is looking very tempting because of the price. You get what you pay for I expect. Maybe I'll get two? ;)


Sorry to all the guys who suggested various fine revolvers, none of them were even below $500 :(

Edit: This one is tempting, but still a bit more than I want to pay for a training pistol. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAol2bA8W5s&feature=channel_video_title

Voo
08-02-2011, 8:39 PM
Ruger pistol or rifle.... can't wrong with either.

+1

Ruger is outstanding for their low cost .22's

Capt.Dunsel
08-02-2011, 8:56 PM
When I teach new shooters I start with an older single action .22
When they get the basics down move to a Rossi 971C dbl action revolver in 357 ( shooting 38 spl until they feel ready to try 357 mags)
After mastering that one they move to the Browning Buckmark after that
they get to move up to my 1911 ( if it fits their hand she is a double stack pre-ban) , TC Contender in which ever caliber they wanna try ( 45/70 is FUN they only fire that one once)

So getting a 22 in a revolver gets them the basics and is a fun gun so is the Buckmark ( but loading 1 round at a time till they catch on gets boring)

My sons learned this way as well as the folks in the classes I taught ( yeah used to work for a LGS but working there took the fun out of it)

unusedusername
08-02-2011, 8:58 PM
Get something super cheap to train new people so you don't have to care when they drop it on the concrete.

There are a bunch of used ones in the classifieds.

esartori
08-02-2011, 9:00 PM
I say a mk ii or iii. But I'm not sure if they meet your requirement of "easy to clean"

DaveFJ80
08-02-2011, 9:24 PM
GSG 1911 .22LR pistol is a great trainer gun. It doesn't jam or FTF/FTE with the right ammo. Exact same size & feel as any other full size 1911. I've set mine up with a cheap NcStar laser and got that sighted in. Now my 'gun noob' friends have something easy to practice with and get used to. I still show them the basics and using the 3-dot sights. But the laser helps them with stance, grip, and trigger control, as they can see the light moving around while they shoot.

But either way, any .22LR pistol will be a great trainer pistol.


Cheap - mid/high $300's range right now, depending on the stores in CA
Easy to clean - breaks down like any other 1911 and is very easy to clean
Not too heavy - not heavy at all, but it has good weight to it still.


http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e51/mugenef8/FIREARMS/GSG_1911/Training/GSG_Laser1.jpg

InGrAM
08-02-2011, 9:27 PM
GSG 1911
Sig mosquito
RUGER 22/45

Look around. You will find something.

Mister BLASTEE
08-02-2011, 9:35 PM
Walther P22

JeremyS
08-02-2011, 9:44 PM
Sorry to all the guys who suggested various fine revolvers, none of them were even below $500
If you're thinking about a .22 revolver, there are certainly a lot of them on the market for under $200. ...Heritage, Charter Arms, EAA, Legacy International, and more...

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/index.php/cPath/577
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/index.php/cPath/802


People want to shoot a semi-auto though. They see it in movies, it's cooler, etc. I'd probably go that route for the purpose of showing people a good time on their first shooting expedition.

SMR510
08-02-2011, 9:52 PM
My friend has a Sig Mosquito and I think I may pick one up in the near future as a cheap trainer. He broke it in on minimags like recommended but last time we went to the range we were shooting bulk ammo (100+ rounds) and did not have one problem. There are tons of reports of problems with bulk ammo and the mosquito so Im not sure if he just got a good one or what but his is a great little shooter.

That said, that GSG 1911 has caught my eye as well so I may keep my eye out for one of those if I keep hearing good things.

The great thing about those two is that they have more standard pistol controls on them so it would be easy for someone to transfer to another pistol after learning on one. I personally just hate the look of the rugers even though everyone says they are the best.

Iskra
08-02-2011, 9:59 PM
Colt Frontier Scout FTW.

Its a revolver, so no nonsense about mag capacity or safties. Its a gun, keep it downrange and always assume its loaded. 'nuff said. It shoots .22LR so you buy and shoot the same ammo you plink with - you can teach your buddies about rifles at the same time with your .22LR bolt gun, right? And in 4-5" BBL lengths, its very easy shooting you can handle all day.

I taught both my boys handgun safety on the Frontier Scout when they were about 9 years old. ANYONE can shoot it. And besides the practical stuff, its a freakin' Colt. Sam Colt invented the sixgun and the lines and curves are still sexy 170 years later. Any gun newbie will think its more fun to grip and rip than some generic black semiauto.

Fishslayer
08-02-2011, 10:16 PM
While the Ruger 22/45 is a pain to strip for cleaning, you don't really have to. I (and many others) just run a brush through the bore, douse & scrub what we can reach, blow it out & oil 'er up.

I will say that the controls are like no others. No slingshotting the slide, the safety is awkward. When the weapon is new they are also VERY stiff.
But mine is tack driving accurate & boringly reliable with Federal bulk.

Maybe a used MKI or MKII?

People badmouth the Mosquito. My wife loves hers. It's extremely reliable with Mini Mags or Remington bulk. Cleaning is a snap. The trigger is heavy (read "safe for n00bs"). I snagged hers when they went on sale for $300. Mags are $30-$40 a pop though & I'm told you MUST use the genuine SIG metal mags.

There are a number of inexpensive SA .22 revolvers. Might be safer for a total n00b. Nothing like seeing somebody catch a piece of hot brass & spin away from the line with a cocked & ready semi auto. :eek:

Luieburger
08-03-2011, 7:48 AM
If you're thinking about a .22 revolver, there are certainly a lot of them on the market for under $200. ...Heritage, Charter Arms, EAA, Legacy International, and more...

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/index.php/cPath/577
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/index.php/cPath/802


People want to shoot a semi-auto though. They see it in movies, it's cooler, etc. I'd probably go that route for the purpose of showing people a good time on their first shooting expedition.

Thanks! Those are priced well. Again, I only expect to get what I pay for.

I'll put those on my list.

PandaLuv
08-03-2011, 7:58 AM
I got my conversion kit for my p236 for $240 OTD, but I wanna sell it at some point and get a gsg1911, since it pits wear and tear on the frame.

So I definitely reccomend a GSG1911, it's fairly cheap, accurate and just a fun gun. It has the same feel, weight and ergos(for the exception of the magazine disconnect) as any 1911s.

JTROKS
08-03-2011, 8:33 AM
Get a six shot revolver and tell them to make their shots count in double action. Sometimes a semi auto makes new shooters feel rushed to break the next shot.

iareConfusE
08-03-2011, 8:50 AM
Easy to clean and disassemble? Beretta Neos. I heard the S&W 22A is also easy to disassemble and clean. Buckmark and Ruger might not be as simple to take apart, but are known to be better made than the Beretta or S&W.

wu_dot_com
08-03-2011, 9:28 AM
if you want an old school work horse pistol, look no further than the high standard dramatic that im trying to sell.

though its not the top of the line HS in its time, the build quality of that entry level gun is still better than most entry level choices out there today.

that gun was build back in the good old days where craftsmanship and quality actually mean something.

the gun is capable of holding close group if you know what you are doing. it also have the pioneer design that the beretta Neo follows. despite its age, the gun still have a space age look to it.

the handle of that gun have a very aggressive angle. surprisingly, it actually made the gun easier to shoot because it locks your wrist down like a Olympic target pistol. on top of that, the handle is made of phenolic resin. unlike the cheap polymer material they use today, the phenolic resin is dense and durable.

if you are willing to drive down, i can take $50 off of my asking price.

Ubermcoupe
08-03-2011, 9:51 AM
First .22 pistol I learned on was my old mans Ruger MK II. Durable as heck, great adjustable target sights, low recoil, heavy barrel. Even got my wife to shoot it well.

Next preference is the S&W 617 .22 revolver. It eats EVERYTHING and wheel guns are always a little more fun! ;) Not to mention that noobies (IMHO) should learn wheel guns, helps proper technique and such.

My newest .22 is the GSG1911. The real reason for this was it's full sized and uses all the same gear I have for my set up. and with the kimber 1911/22 conversion going for about the same It was a no-brainer for me. Yea it was a little more with tax & fees but I get another pistol to shoot instead of taking time to switch slide, and so my buddies arenít beating up my good stuff.

GSG might be hard to find but you canít go wrong (at least I havenít) with a semi-auto ruger 22 or SW .22 wheel gun.

The hardest part of the semi auto will be keeping the magazines loaded for your friends :thumbsup:

NytWolf
08-03-2011, 10:13 AM
I've been inclined to get airsoft pistols. You can find metal ones that are pretty much replicas of the real thing.

ldsnet
08-03-2011, 11:27 AM
I use my S&W 622 for that purpose. Lightweight, crisp trigger, and the longer barrel really helps sight picture/accuracy issues.

I think I paid $200 for it NEW 20 years ago. One piece tear down for cleaning. Grips and controls like a 1911 without a hammer (its enclosed in the frame).

The 2206 was a heaver piece with target sights on it (and wood grips, mine are plastic).
they made plenty of like models over the years. 422, 622, 2206 are all the same type/design, the model 41 is different, but uses the same magazine.

Ricky-Ray
08-03-2011, 11:39 AM
If you already have a p226 then just get the conversion kit for it and your done.

Glock also makes some 22 conversion kits for some of their pistols. That's another option if you already own Glocks.

If you have a 1911 they make 22 conversion kits for them also. I have the Kimber conversion kit for mine and works great.

22 Pistol options:
GSG 1911
Ruger 22/45
Sig Mosquito
Sig P226 in 22lr

Mute
08-03-2011, 11:45 AM
I use mainly Ruger Mk II/IIIs and Beretta Neos when I teach beginners. Both work very well, though any quality .22 will do.

someR1
08-03-2011, 2:25 PM
+1 on GSG 1911 looks fun!

hkdad
08-03-2011, 2:29 PM
Ruger Mark 2 or Browning Buckmark

Wolfhound9k
08-03-2011, 3:43 PM
Ruger 22/45 or Browning Buckmark :)

Both are very fun! very easy to train on, and I bought extra magazines (affordable) so that the beginners can load their own mags behind the bench as they take turns on the .22 =]

these 2 guns above ↑ will also more importantly eat CHEAP Wal Mart bulk ammo too!!! something that other .22s with full sides might have trouble with all the time with crap ammo on the cheap...

CK_32
08-03-2011, 3:55 PM
I think brownings And rugers 22 pistols are as cheap and accurate as they get.

JSolie
08-03-2011, 3:58 PM
Ruger Single Six. New shooters can't go terribly fast with it, and they have to consciously cock the gun each time they want to shoot.

cqbdude
08-03-2011, 3:58 PM
+1

Ruger is outstanding for their low cost .22's

I bought a few Ruger Mark II for that same reason...

They are accurate and fun to shoot..

sammy
08-03-2011, 7:06 PM
Do you own a Glock? If so the Advantage Arms conversion is about the best training tool out there. It gives the user the same grip, trigger and sight picture of the factory Glock. Not to mention it functions just like a Glock meaning slide locks on last round, slide stop and magazine release all work the same.

If you don't own a Glock or want a dedicated .22 the only choice I would go with is a Ruger MKII. They can be found for $200-$300 and you will never wear one out. I LOVE my MK II bull barrel 5.5" target. Got it in around 1990 and have 30,000 rounds through it. Field stripping the gun looks new and has needed no new parts with the exception of a recoil spring every 10,000 rounds.

Just my opinion but stay away from the Browning Buckmarks. I got one and WOW, what a POS. You need tools to field strip but that is not the bad part. To field strip you need to remove a small machine screw that is connected to the rear sight and screws into the aluminum receiver. It is just a matter of time until the threads weaken enough to the point that they strip. A very bad design IN MY OPINION. The Rugers are light years ahead of the Brownings.

Hope this helps. Sammy

edit,

It was a very accurate pistol. I think it has an edge over the Ruger here but not worth the poor design. The Ruger will feed anything where the Browning was a bit picky.

smattenson
08-03-2011, 7:13 PM
I own a browning buckmark and can vouch for it being a good gun. Mine has run fantastic and has great accuracy. I have had no problems with the screws on mine (not saying that some don't, I've heard some do). As well a Ruger of your choice would work nicely too. I've used both and like both but went with the buckmark for how good it feels in my hands. The Ruger will have a lot more aftermarket options but the browning is catching up with a few things coming from tac solutions.

dlouie87
08-03-2011, 7:15 PM
love my buckmark. Still my "favorite" pistol to shoot.

caoboy
08-03-2011, 7:31 PM
Ruger 22/45 here.

Bought it as my first handgun, still own it, and I teach people to shoot on it as well.

It's a pain to break down and clean the first few times, but really, it doesn't need much more than a bore/receiver scrub.

I bought mine for $286 plus fees, I think it was like $334 out the door. You can't go wrong with it.

jakuda
08-03-2011, 8:09 PM
Ruger 22/45. People who complain about not being able to field strip the gun are lazy and really clueless. Get the one with the replaceable grips. I'm one of the most non-mechanical inclined people around and it took me only 15 minutes and a youtube video to figure it out.

xrMike
08-03-2011, 8:51 PM
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/13153

Ruger 22/45. People who complain about not being able to field strip the gun are lazy and really clueless. Get the one with the replaceable grips.

You can't buy the replaceable (cocobolo) grip version in CA, can you? I thought it wasn't on the list...

If I'm wrong I'd like to know because I want to purchase the 22/45 soon, and the cocobolo-gripped version looks so much better:

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/74/products_id/62621

CK_32
08-03-2011, 9:14 PM
Do you own a Glock? If so the Advantage Arms conversion is about the best training tool out there. It gives the user the same grip, trigger and sight picture of the factory Glock. Not to mention it functions just like a Glock meaning slide locks on last round, slide stop and magazine release all work the same.

If you don't own a Glock or want a dedicated .22 the only choice I would go with is a Ruger MKII. They can be found for $200-$300 and you will never wear one out. I LOVE my MK II bull barrel 5.5" target. Got it in around 1990 and have 30,000 rounds through it. Field stripping the gun looks new and has needed no new parts with the exception of a recoil spring every 10,000 rounds.

Just my opinion but stay away from the Browning Buckmarks. I got one and WOW, what a POS. You need tools to field strip but that is not the bad part. To field strip you need to remove a small machine screw that is connected to the rear sight and screws into the aluminum receiver. It is just a matter of time until the threads weaken enough to the point that they strip. A very bad design IN MY OPINION. The Rugers are light years ahead of the Brownings.

Hope this helps. Sammy

edit,

It was a very accurate pistol. I think it has an edge over the Ruger here but not worth the poor design. The Ruger will feed anything where the Browning was a bit picky.

I know 3 people who have the advantage arms kits and say they jam 80% of the time. No matter what ammoyou use. They have a nick name on YouTube for them jamming they jam so much. YouTube it you'll see it

berto
08-03-2011, 9:20 PM
I bought a Browning Buckmark. It's a lot of fun.

doubleactiononly
08-04-2011, 12:46 PM
If it's just shooting fundamentals then I'd concur with everyone above and say go with a Ruger MkII or MkIII. I prefer the 22/45 version for it's more conventional grip angle (conventional meaning similar to a modern combat pistol).

There's also a huge aftermarket for those guns. I would highly recommend getting an Ultimate Cliploader:
http://www.mcfaden.com/cliploader.html

It solves the most unpleasant part of shooting 22 semi's - loading the magazines.

Revolvers are also great - I own several K-22's, but IMO they're more suited to intermediate shooters who really want to improve their trigger pull. I've seen too many beginner shooters who simply can't pull a DA trigger, or who have trouble pulling it and throw their shot. Then they get discouraged and end up not having fun :-(

Sure you could shoot a revolver in SA, but if you're going to do that why not just get a semi and spend less time loading/unloading...

1998 m4a1
08-05-2011, 5:36 AM
you dont need a .22 to train a newbie. 9mm is just fine! I've taught a lot of people with my 9mm's and they at least get a hint of recoil which makes it more fun.

either way, i'd suggest a walther p22. its a great semiauto which looks, works, and feels like a real auto which is what most people will want/end up with. its not as accurate as the others but its plenty accurate for a newbie and its a crap load more fun then a .22 revolver if you like semi's.

Luieburger
08-05-2011, 6:11 PM
I went ahead and got the Ruger Mk3 today for $342 after tax and DROS. Not too bad for CA I guess. If I got one online the transfer fee would have made it the same price.

I think it was a good idea to cough up a bit more money for something a bit higher quality. It doesn't seem super easy to disassemble, clean, and reassemble, but it is definitely easier than the darn Colt Match Target.

cindynles
08-05-2011, 8:29 PM
Buckmark or a Ruger 22/45. They run about the same price but the Buckmark is much easier to diassemble and clean. My Buckmark is not picky about ammo either, it loves the federal 550 packs from Walmart.

http://i557.photobucket.com/albums/ss20/cindynles/IMG_0875-1.jpg
http://i557.photobucket.com/albums/ss20/cindynles/IMG_0875.jpg
http://i557.photobucket.com/albums/ss20/cindynles/IMG_0874.jpg