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View Full Version : Best CA-approved .22LR revolver?


Wombats Are Dangerous
04-26-2012, 11:03 PM
Hey gang! Wanted to get everyone's thoughts on what they felt was the best .22LR revolver on the market today that's on Kalifornia's DOJ roster?

I have two 9mm pistols listed for trade in the marketplace, but I'm debating selling them for cash outright to get into the nicer revolvers.

I've seen a lot of rave reviews for Smith & Wessons, but is there one specific model that seems to outclass the others? I'm not brand loyal, but the S&Ws come up the most in other forums.

No brand wars, please! I just want some good, honest input from guys who shoot them. I have a completely open mind about it.

(For reference: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=563542)

AragornElessar86
04-26-2012, 11:36 PM
Just picked up my SP101 and if it shoots as good as it feels and looks, there's nothing that even comes close. I hear the smith 22s are good guns, but to me they feel cheap and look ugly. The Ruger is heavier, which I like, and has a longer barrel, so it's better balanced. The double action pull is quite hard, but it has a nice definite stop right before it breaks where you can easily hold it until you're ready to actually shoot. The single action is nice and crisp, if a little heavy. But I don't mind a slightly heavy trigger as long as it's crisp, which this one is.

760knox
04-26-2012, 11:48 PM
This works well for myself and for the GF, I have the combo setup. http://www.heritagemfg.com/site/index.cfm?CFID=28205000&CFTOKEN=2e1068f119d9f075-F2C37CD0-09E3-3C7C-171773276CF6A7A4

KandyRedCoi
04-27-2012, 1:10 AM
http://www.heritagemfg.com/site/details.cfm?image=RR22MS6AS_lg.jpg

MyOdessa
04-27-2012, 3:53 AM
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=520012
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=563738

Wombats Are Dangerous
04-27-2012, 9:02 AM
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=520012
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=563738

Sorry, man. I should know better than to not search first.

Wombats Are Dangerous
04-27-2012, 9:05 AM
Just picked up my SP101 and if it shoots as good as it feels and looks, there's nothing that even comes close. I hear the smith 22s are good guns, but to me they feel cheap and look ugly. The Ruger is heavier, which I like, and has a longer barrel, so it's better balanced. The double action pull is quite hard, but it has a nice definite stop right before it breaks where you can easily hold it until you're ready to actually shoot. The single action is nice and crisp, if a little heavy. But I don't mind a slightly heavy trigger as long as it's crisp, which this one is.


I was targeting that specific gun very high on my trade list, but doesn't seem like many people have them or want to get rid of them. It's pretty much exactly what I was looking for in a revolver, but I can't buy it new for another 28 days because I just bought another gun. I'm stuck in that stupid 30-day wait period, so I can only do PPTs for now. :mad: Buys me time to sell my guns for cash though, then I might just pick it up when I'm out of this wait period.

Drop us a range report when you get to shoot it! Would love to hear how that little beauty treats you!

Wombats Are Dangerous
04-27-2012, 9:09 AM
This works well for myself and for the GF, I have the combo setup. http://www.heritagemfg.com/site/index.cfm?CFID=28205000&CFTOKEN=2e1068f119d9f075-F2C37CD0-09E3-3C7C-171773276CF6A7A4

Helloooooo, cowboy gun! :p

Looks super fun! Single-action only, right? You have to cock it each shot? For the price I see these for, could be a whole lot of fun range time. Hmmmmm... :shifty:

AragornElessar86
04-27-2012, 3:22 PM
My caution against single-actions is just the loading and unloading process. With larger calibers there's more purchase for you to grab the round and pull it out, but with a .22 my fat fingers have trouble. That's why I like the DA.

SoCal Bob
04-27-2012, 4:13 PM
These are just my thoughts.

For double action you are looking at S&W (most commonly the 617 which is pricey), Ruger SP101 (not quite as pricey and built like a tank) and Taurus (less expensive but some have had issues).

For single action you are looking at Ruger (decent prices, turn up often in the for sale section and built to last two lifetimes) and Heritage (not as well built as a Ruger but are usually fairly inexpensive and people seem to like them).

I'm not sure about the Taurus but most of the rest are available at Turner's, sometimes on sale.

cnj
04-27-2012, 5:14 PM
These are just my thoughts.

For double action you are looking at S&W (most commonly the 617 which is pricey), Ruger SP101 (not quite as pricey and built like a tank) and Taurus (less expensive but some have had issues).

For single action you are looking at Ruger (decent prices, turn up often in the for sale section and built to last two lifetimes) and Heritage (not as well built as a Ruger but are usually fairly inexpensive and people seem to like them).

I'm not sure about the Taurus but most of the rest are available at Turner's, sometimes on sale.

That sums it all up.

SnWnMe
04-27-2012, 5:50 PM
Smith: Nice trigger out of the box. A smooth steady DA pull with no stacking (Colt) or obvious hesitation zone (Ruger) at the end of the stroke.

Ruger SP: That loooong dead zone at the end of the trigger stroke ruins these guns for me

Ruger LCR 22: The BEST double action trigger out there. Smooth and even throughout until hammer drop. However, it is only available as a snubby.

1970gmc4x4
04-28-2012, 12:47 AM
Helloooooo, cowboy gun! :p

Looks super fun! Single-action only, right? You have to cock it each shot? For the price I see these for, could be a whole lot of fun range time. Hmmmmm... :shifty:

They are cheap because they are made cheap, could be fun at the range, but i wouldn't plan on shooting it everyday, they won't last like a ruger single six. Or a smith if we are talking double action which is faster and easier to reload and you can shoot it single action. But it won't have the cowboy gun look. But seriously be wary of the heritage, do some research, i've seen one that was worn out and it wasn't that old, a ruger or smith you could shoot as much as you want and still have a nice gun to pass on through your family. Also value, a cheap heritage won't hold its value like a ruger or smith that will go up.

rogervzv
04-28-2012, 2:43 AM
....a ruger or smith you could shoot as much as you want and still have a nice gun to pass on through your family. Also value, a cheap heritage won't hold its value like a ruger or smith that will go up.

+1 ... for Single Action I would go with a Ruger Single Six (if you may want to also shoot WMR) or a Ruger Single Ten. These are beautifully made firearms that will become family heirlooms.

For double action the Ruger SP101 or the S&Ws are the only way to go IMO. Some people prefer the triggers on the S&Ws.

Wombats Are Dangerous
04-28-2012, 11:11 PM
Appreciate the advice, everyone! Definitely targeting either the Ruger or S&W double actions. Tough to find in the used market in San Diego.

I'll grab on of those Single Sixes or Single Tens if I see one.

The Ruger SP101 is right around the same new retail value as my Sig SP2022, so it'd seem like a fair trade, but I have yet to see one come up for trade in the Marketplace.


+1 ... for Single Action I would go with a Ruger Single Six (if you may want to also shoot WMR) or a Ruger Single Ten. These are beautifully made firearms that will become family heirlooms.

For double action the Ruger SP101 or the S&Ws are the only way to go IMO. Some people prefer the triggers on the S&Ws.

AragornElessar86
04-29-2012, 9:54 PM
Here's my range report on the SP101:
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=566413

DO IT! You won't regret it.

Wombats Are Dangerous
04-30-2012, 10:35 PM
Here's my range report on the SP101:
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=566413

DO IT! You won't regret it.


Aragorn, I made the mistake of going to Iron Sights and renting the Smith and Wesson .22 they had in the case. Guess what I'm jonesing for now?

I was teaching a new shooter for her first time and she was punching 2" groups with it at 7 yds.

I'm going to go back later this week to rent the Ruger to see how it compares, but man, that S&W is slick.

AragornElessar86
04-30-2012, 11:43 PM
Aragorn, I made the mistake of going to Iron Sights and renting the Smith and Wesson .22 they had in the case. Guess what I'm jonesing for now?

I was teaching a new shooter for her first time and she was punching 2" groups with it at 7 yds.

I'm going to go back later this week to rent the Ruger to see how it compares, but man, that S&W is slick.

How about a meetup to save you the rental fees? Pm me if you're interested.

Jack L
05-01-2012, 6:40 AM
Ruger or Smith as others have said.

My neighbor shoots the single action cowboy handguns, left or right hand and rapid fire. These cowboy shooters are excellent marksman. So, double or single action, it’s up to you. Buy both!

.22’s are by far the most fun to shoot in my opiion. Shoot for hours on the cheap! Little to no recoil, ear plugs instead of headset (you can then wear a cowboy hat for shade) and children and the wife loves them too.

charlie9996
05-01-2012, 12:03 PM
I have a Taurus 94 i purchased in 1989 ($199) and a Smith and Wesson 17 purchased in 1990 ($279). The Taurus is fun for short range shooting, not too accurate though. The Smith and Wesson is a great gun but I would not purchase either today at their current prices.

I enjoy shooting 22s. The Ruger SP 101 22 and the Ruger Single Ten are both on my wish list. Like Jack L said, buy both

jazman
05-01-2012, 1:43 PM
I have a S&W 617 10 shot 4 inch. Outstanding gun all around. Great trigger, well balanced with full lug barrel. You just can't go wrong with one. I like Ruger also, but I think the 617 is the better gun.

Wombats Are Dangerous
05-04-2012, 10:59 AM
I have a Taurus 94 i purchased in 1989 ($199) and a Smith and Wesson 17 purchased in 1990 ($279). The Taurus is fun for short range shooting, not too accurate though. The Smith and Wesson is a great gun but I would not purchase either today at their current prices.

I enjoy shooting 22s. The Ruger SP 101 22 and the Ruger Single Ten are both on my wish list. Like Jack L said, buy both


You guys are terrible for my wallet! :D

Cactus_Tim
05-04-2012, 1:17 PM
I bought the Ruger SP101 22LR last month and have been shooting the heck out of it.
Haven't tried the S&W but I can say the Ruger has exceeded my expectations.

cudakidd
05-04-2012, 3:31 PM
S&W 617. For any kind of competition with Rimfire Revolver, it is THE gun used.

There is a reason, higher quaility, better trigger, better ergonomics. And the S&W Performance Shop can't be beat for support and aftermarket work!!

mine below, after some work done and bead blast finish...crappy pic I know!
http://i384.photobucket.com/albums/oo284/cudakidd/CIMG4298.jpg

decepticon6551
05-07-2012, 6:39 AM
S&W 617. For any kind of competition with Rimfire Revolver, it is THE gun used.

There is a reason, higher quaility, better trigger, better ergonomics. And the S&W Performance Shop can't be beat for support and aftermarket work!!

mine below, after some work done and bead blast finish...crappy pic I know!
http://i384.photobucket.com/albums/oo284/cudakidd/CIMG4298.jpg

Agreed, my brother has a 617 & it is a laser beam. Not only that, but any rounds our other rifles & pistols refuse to cycle, we pick up off the bench and feed them to the S&W. It has NEVER failed to fire anything, even those spit out by 10/22, MP15/22, P22, and countless others.

b.thomas
05-08-2012, 8:47 AM
Smith and Wesson 617
Ruger single six
Ruger 101
These are the only three i would even consider! :cheers2::D

The Right to Bear Arms
05-08-2012, 9:11 PM
I'll bat second behind 1970GMC 4x4. Ruger Single Ten ! I prefer the case hardened look but I can work with nickel. I've got the Heritage entry level wheel gun but leaning towards moving up in price point and branding in order to secure my " .357 " Cowboy gun. A whole nother story.

RBA

ps. I don't think the Single Action Western Style of shooting gets enough press. So Bravo to any and all Calgunner's who do it. The Semi Auto's may have slick marketing and great crop of shooters. But, skilled Wheel gunner's are own their science and art form.

Wombats Are Dangerous
05-08-2012, 9:28 PM
I'll bat second behind 1970GMC 4x4. Ruger Single Ten ! I prefer the case hardened look but I can work with nickel. I've got the Heritage entry level wheel gun but leaning towards moving up in price point and branding in order to secure my " .357 " Cowboy gun. A whole nother story.

RBA

ps. I don't think the Single Action Western Style of shooting gets enough press. So Bravo to any and all Calgunner's who do it. The Semi Auto's may have slick marketing and great crop of shooters. But, skilled Wheel gunner's are own their science and art form.


To be honest, I'd take any of the Rugers if anyone made me a trade offer for my Sig SP2022. For some, I'd definitely add cash. Have yet to get a single revolver offer. Lots of entry-level .22 semi-auto rifles, but no revolvers yet.

I'm trying to hook up with Aragorn up there to try his Ruger SP101, but honestly, I'd take any Ruger .22LR wheel gun in trade for the Sig. The amount of trigger time I could get in with a .22 revolver over a 9mm semi would make me a much better shooter overall.

PanaDP
05-08-2012, 9:51 PM
I'd have to say a 3-screw single six.

KandyRedCoi
05-08-2012, 11:23 PM
that bead blasted 617 is awesome...need better pics asap

usmcchet9296
05-09-2012, 1:47 PM
Just reciently got this but so far Im luvin it.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7189/6968530452_3378429c2a_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jhermesmeyer/6968530452/)
Smith and Wesson 617-6 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jhermesmeyer/6968530452/) by usmcchet92_96 (http://www.flickr.com/people/jhermesmeyer/), on Flickr

Wombats Are Dangerous
05-15-2012, 9:03 AM
Just reciently got this but so far Im luvin it.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7189/6968530452_3378429c2a_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jhermesmeyer/6968530452/)
Smith and Wesson 617-6 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jhermesmeyer/6968530452/) by usmcchet92_96 (http://www.flickr.com/people/jhermesmeyer/), on Flickr

I rented one of these a few weeks ago and it felt great! The weight made all recoil completely negligible.

I've also seen one Smith and Wesson kit gun for sale too, but from what I've read, the older Model 34 and 43 are aluminum frames. The resale price on those also seems to be prohibitively expensive for an aluminum revolver. I suppose a .22 won't put too much strain on aluminum, but I think I'd still rather have steel for the durability and weight.

donw
05-16-2012, 6:36 AM
ruger 101 or smith 617

Cactus_Tim
05-16-2012, 7:25 AM
The Ruger SP101 22LR will ping a 4" steel target at 25yards all day long.
It's not even challenging anymore.
I think I'm going to have to step back a bit further and try again.
Or get a smaller target.
What a great gun!

secret.asian.man
05-16-2012, 3:04 PM
LCR

schneiderguy
05-16-2012, 5:29 PM
I love shooting my S&W 63 3"

http://www.budspolicesupply.com/catalog/images/162634.jpg

gunnlover
05-16-2012, 6:06 PM
Funny how no one mentions the Taurus 94. I've got two. They work fine. 4" bbl is the best of you can find one being that its off roster..

cudakidd
05-16-2012, 9:08 PM
that bead blasted 617 is awesome...need better pics asap

Done! Slightly better pics. Note I have replaced the older sight with a first Gen Bushnell holosight due to it's interchangeble reticles-Tombstone for Bianchi in this case. Plus a Brass bead front sight insert and the scope mount is now a see through mount...
http://i384.photobucket.com/albums/oo284/cudakidd/CIMG1677.jpg

m1a1driver
05-16-2012, 9:34 PM
:)
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5155/7208452900_5c6bfc1935_z.jpg

Wombats Are Dangerous
05-26-2012, 4:31 AM
So, I forgot to update you guys on where I was at in my research process.

Aragorn was nice enough to let me take his Ruger SP101 for a spin a couple of weeks ago. What a sweet revolver! It was balanced nicely and could shoot way better than I could.

One big difference I noticed right off the bat was the smaller grip compared to the S&W 617 I rented a few weeks before. I've got big mitts and I never quite got comfortable with the grip.

Aragorn and I were comparing notes about how we felt about the fiber optic front sight too. I personally liked the dot because I learned how to shoot with the three-dot system. Aragorn's opinion was that it detracted from the target-style rear.

After we went over a hundred rounds, and after Aragorn had just put 30 rounds downrange, I noticed the double-action pull got a little choppier. We were speculating that the cylinder wasn't finished smoothly enough and that heat was causing some of the gun to expand a little. That was causing some inconsistency to the pull.

I'm leaning towards the SP101 over the Smith and Wesson right now because of the price. I'm doing some research on bigger aftermarket grips for the Ruger. If I can't find bigger grips, I may just suck it up and put the Smith and Wesson on layaway and pay it off over two months.

I've handled the Single Ten at the store, but I just don't think I could deal with the slow loading and unloading process.

Thanks again for the pleasure of shooting your Ruger, Aragorn!

BigBoyPinoy
05-27-2012, 1:25 PM
SW 617 or newer 63

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/kengulo/Revolvers/a95f24d4.jpg

Wombats Are Dangerous
05-31-2012, 8:53 PM
SW 617 or newer 63


Hey BigBoyPinoy! I almost bought your 63, but decided to put a deposit down on a 4" 617 instead. I just loved the size of the grip. I almost bought the 6" barrel, but it was so nose-heavy that I thought it'd be uncomfortable during a long range session.

usmcchet9296, how'd you get the steel to such a high polish? The 617 at the store was a little dull, possibly from the grease it was packed in.

AragornElessar, loved your Ruger, but you've got to come out and try this 617 when I pay it off. The grip is full-size and the trigger is super smooth.

My first revolver!

BigBoyPinoy
05-31-2012, 9:19 PM
You'll love shooting the 617. Shoot it alot more than the 63, which has been sold ;). Invest on some speedloaders and bullet trays to make it even more fun.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/kengulo/2011-04-23185909.jpg

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/kengulo/2011-06-04130801.jpg

mike in CA
06-02-2012, 1:02 AM
I have a lot of guns, both rifles and hand guns. Of my .22 hand guns, my absolute favorite is my Ruger Single Six in SS. It is a good old Cowboy single action six shooter, but it is more fun to shoot then most of my other guns. Not only is it cheap to shoot, but the gun is very accurate and you get a lot of range time for your ammo. Mine also came with the extra .22 magnum cyl. so for a little more in ammo, you can shoot the Magnum rounds with a very quick change to the gun. It is my go to gun 75% of the time.