Help me pick a .22LR plinker for fun


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BlisteringSilence
January 20, 2006, 10:00 AM
I have recently come into an earmark that will allow me to purchase a new .22lr plinker. So, I come to you knowlegdeable folks, hat in hand, for advice. I have the following weapons in my price range:
Smith and Wesson 22A
http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/107412_large.jpg
Browning Buckmark Camper
http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/images/051379m.jpg
Beretta U22 Neos Inox
http://products.berettausa.com/images/immagini_maxi/JU2S60X_S_maxi.jpg
Ruger Mark II or III
http://www.ruger.com/Firearms/images/Products/93L.gif
or
http://www.ruger.com/Firearms/images/Products/260L.gif
Walther P22
http://www.waltheramerica.com/images/firearms/P22_N_3_sm.jpg
Sig Mosquito (though this is a little high in the price range)
http://www.sauer-waffen.de/uploads/pics/mosquito_03.jpg

In addition to these, I am open to any other suggestions you may or may not have. Ceiling is hard at about $350, so give me what you've got. And no, I'm not buying a 1911 or a glock, so don't even go there. I have one of each, and have no desire to acquire more of either. :neener:

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MCgunner
January 20, 2006, 10:07 AM
Ruger

JohnMc
January 20, 2006, 10:12 AM
CDNN has Trailsides pretty cheap. 4.5" barrel ones for 299.99

Dave Dembinski
January 20, 2006, 10:24 AM
In all honesty, as a plinker any of those will probably make you happy. Some will feed and eject more reliably, but on the range this is nothing more than a nicety.

That said, I've owned a Buckmark, which I sold only because a friend had gotten into shooting and needed a .22 to cure a nasty flinch his 1911 had caused. I had a Buckmark Plus Nickel, which IIRC cost me a couple dollars more than you are willing to spend. It was nickel-plated, obviously, and came with rosewood grips and a fiber-optic front sight. Nice trigger, though it wasn't adjustable, and it fed reliably after I broke it in with a couple hundred CCI Mini-Mags. The front sight was honestly a bit too thin for my tastes, but it sure was visible!

You can get aftermarket barrels for the Ruger and the Buckmark in the interests of improving accuracy or having a gun with a bright red barrel. Actually, aftermarket for the Ruger is fairly extensive. Volquartsen makes a bunch of replacement parts for it, and I believe Marvel makes a different trigger. There's a ton of different grips and grip styles, and some interesting things you can do on your own to it. I really can't speak to its function since I don't own one, but I will say I'm going to Gander Mtn after work to buy a MkII. I miss having a .22 and figured I'd try and see how the other half lives. ;)

Dollar An Hour
January 20, 2006, 11:36 AM
I had a MarkII Ruger for years, it was a good gun. I want a Buckmark now, something different.

The world seems to be split 50/50 on Ruger/Browning pistol question. :)

stevelyn
January 20, 2006, 11:40 AM
Buckmark.:cool:

ruger357
January 20, 2006, 11:45 AM
Another vote for the S&W 22A.

TexasRifleman
January 20, 2006, 11:48 AM
What do you guys think of the NRA/JMB commemorative Buckmark?

Some guy has one for sale for $469. Seems a bit high, but it is a neat little gun.

BryanP
January 20, 2006, 11:54 AM
Of the guns you listed I'd go with the Buckmark. Then the Ruger. What I did choose for myself was a Ruger 22/45 like this one:

http://www.ruger.com/Firearms/images/Products/88L.gif

BillinNH
January 20, 2006, 12:11 PM
Have you considered a used gun for a plinker? You can get a High Standard Sport King or similar model in very good condition for about $150. They are excellent shooters and have very good ergonomics. Just an alternative suggestion. Colt Woodsman is also a desirable used gun but pricier.


In addition to a Sport King, I have a Walther P22 with the 3.4" and 5" barrels and it performs well for me, especially with the long barrel.

Bill

Northslope Nimrod
January 20, 2006, 01:13 PM
I love my Buckmark....but those Mosquito's seem cool. The Buckmark may make a better target pistol....but the Mosquito looks like it would holster better for hikes etc.

IMO the Beretta Neo is very awkward. Hold one and try to manipulate the safey....it is weird.

Ruger would be fine too. I have no experience with the S&W.

dasmi
January 20, 2006, 01:30 PM
Ruger.

ArmedBear
January 20, 2006, 05:29 PM
Ruger. I really like the 22/45, though it's ugly. Adjustable sights and a heavy barrel are my preference. Dry firing doesn't hurt it, and you can go a few bricks between cleanings if you wipe the heavy gunk out.

I'd avoid the S&W. Dry firing does hurt it, and dry-fires do happen while plinking, especially with neophytes. Also less tolerant of fouling.

Walther P22s need to be tightened up with a screwdriver occasionally, AFAIK. Otherwise, people like 'em.

Buckmark Camper is a nice gun.

I have a Ruger 22/45 with a 6 5/8" slab bull barrel and adjustable sights. Love it for me, and as a training gun. That long barrel helps me to diagnose and correct shooting problems.

StrikeEagle
January 20, 2006, 05:50 PM
Have you considered a Single Action revolver for 'cowboy western' fun? :)

Ruger Single Six should satisfy, as should this which intrigues me:

http://www.uberti.com/firearms/stallion.tpl

StrikeEagle

LJWebster1
January 20, 2006, 06:02 PM
My Walther P22 is great fun, but picky with ammo. I can fire Remington Golden Bullets and CCI Blazer and not much else. Also, on ammo, stay away from Remington Thunderbolt. They tend to lead up your barrel.

ArmedBear
January 20, 2006, 06:10 PM
Have you considered a Single Action revolver for 'cowboy western' fun? :)

Ruger Single Six should satisfy, as should this which intrigues me:

http://www.uberti.com/firearms/stallion.tpl

StrikeEagle

This might intrigue you even more.

http://www.iar-arms.com/model1873/frontier.htm

That One Guy
January 20, 2006, 06:15 PM
I have the standard Ruger with fixed sites and I love it. I've had it for about 12 years and it's the pistol I always line up anything new I get against. I can outshoot a lot of people with a lot more expensive pieces with it. Mine was origionally $200 even, I don't know what they go for today.

kasTX
January 20, 2006, 06:52 PM
Since you already have a 1911, have you considered a Marvel conversion kit? Yeah, they are pretty expensive (around $325 last I knew) but the one I have is EXTREMELY accurate. Gives you practice with the 1911 to boot.

Reliability has been very good. Feeds, fires and ejects the cheap stuff just as well as the expensive stuff. I have thousands of rounds through mine and it still looks/shoots like new.

Only down side is that you can develop a blister reloading the magazines to full 10 round capacity - the spring is pretty stiff and you only have the small button to push on.

ArmedBear
January 20, 2006, 06:56 PM
For $325, you can get a Ruger 22/45 Mark III that has the same grip angle and balance as the 1911, though.

It's something to consider.

If you have two guns, you will have a better time shooting with a friend. You can switch between guns while at the range. You can teach someone else to shoot, while getting a little target practice yourself.

On the other hand, a .22LR 1911 is a nice gun to shoot.

Father Knows Best
January 20, 2006, 07:17 PM
Buckmark or Ruger if you want a stand-alone .22 for that price. That S&W is one ugly pistol, and the Beretta Neos looks like something my 6 year old would play with. The Neos also doesn't have a very good rep. Both the Ruger and the Buckmark are time-tested classics.

Another option is a .22 conversion kit for a 1911, if you already have one in .45ACP. I have a Kimber Rimfire Super, which is a blast, but is a bit pricey.

EddieCoyle
January 20, 2006, 07:34 PM
I recommend the Ruger. I had a MK II years ago and sold it, then bought a MK III last year. I like the MK III's mag release (in the "normal" place on the grip) much better than the one on the MK II (It's a Euro style mag release on the bottom of the grip).

It shoots great and like That One Guy posted, I use mine as the "standard by which all other handguns are judged." Standing, with a one hand grip and the stock sights, I can put all ten shots into an area about the size of a silver dollar at 25' without trying hard.

Some will say that they're difficult to take apart for cleaning. They're not difficult, just different. Once you get the hang of it they come apart and go back together pretty easily. Not that I take mine apart than often. I usually just go at it with brake cleaner and a old toothbrush without stripping it. I'll take it apart and give it a real good cleaning after 1000-2000 rounds.

It has been totally reliable as well. The only time it ever failed to feed was when one of my friends (a new shooter) had her thumb behind the bolt, preventing it from fully cycling.

They're cheap too. Get one and you won't be disappointed.

ArmedBear
January 20, 2006, 07:39 PM
I recommend the Ruger. I had a MK II years ago and sold it, then bought a MK III last year. I like the MK III's mag release (in the "normal" place on the grip) much better than the one on the MK II (It's a Euro style mag release on the bottom of the grip).

It shoots great and like That One Guy posted, I use mine as the "standard by which all other handguns are judged." Standing, with a one hand grip and the stock sights, I can put all ten shots into an area about the size of a silver dollar at 25' without trying hard.

Some will say that they're difficult to take apart for cleaning. They're not difficult, just different. Once you get the hang of it they come apart and go back together pretty easily. Not that I take mine apart than often. I usually just go at it with brake cleaner and a old toothbrush without stripping it. I'll take it apart and give it a real good cleaning after 1000-2000 rounds.

It has been totally reliable as well. The only time it ever failed to feed was when one of my friends (a new shooter) had her thumb behind the bolt, preventing it from fully cycling.

They're cheap too. Get one and you won't be dissapointed.

The 22/45 is not hard to assemble, as long as you follow the instructions, which are not complex. Sequence is important, as is the angle you hold the thing. If you don't follow instructions, you are in for some frustration. But I wouldn't call the process at all difficult.

Furncliff
January 20, 2006, 08:02 PM
I love the Hi Standard Supermatic my dad left me. Everyone who has used it has become fond of it, it's easy to be good with it right from the start. They are pricey (used). There are a few like the flight king, sport king and some of the earlier models will fit into your budget. Check Guns America to compare prices.

I found this on G.A. too:http://images.gunsamerica.com/upload/976460697-1.jpg

Buckmark Pro Target $389. Also saw some sweet used Buckmark Challengers in the $ range.

borrowedtime69
January 21, 2006, 12:25 AM
my advise is to go with a Ruger MK II, either in the standard form or in the 22/45 configuration. i own 3 MK II 22/45 and love them all. its easy to find spare parts, if they were ever to break, lots of aftermarket stuff to get for them. they are built like a tank and last forever. if you get a 22/45 MK II, you can improve the grips by putting some 3M grip tape on the front of the grip.

http://www.hunt101.com/img/344483.jpg

Good luck. -Eric

CAnnoneer
January 21, 2006, 12:44 AM
Ruger. Otherwise, Buckmark.

22-rimfire
January 21, 2006, 12:51 AM
My vote is for a Ruger Mark II or III with the 5.5" bull barrel. I have a Mark II, but am considering another one to get the drilled for scope feature for a red dot. If you don't like that one, I'd go with the Buckmark as my second choice if economics rule the choice. Smith Model 41 would be a wonderful plinker though if you can stand the price tag. I have a High Standard Victor that shoots really really good. It is a little picky on ammo, but very reliable with the copper coated federal rounds.

kevin387
January 21, 2006, 01:03 AM
I have a Ruger Mark II that is easily one of my favorites. I would highly recomend one. It is SS with a 5 1/2" barrel. I prefer the Mark II too the MarkIII because of the magazine disconnect and chamber indicator. YMMV

BamBam-31
January 21, 2006, 02:38 AM
Well, I really have to jump in and shout, "TRAILSIDE!!"

I have the Ruger 22/45, and it's an excellent choice for a plinker. Some complain that it's difficult to disassemble, but I disagree. Once you know it, you know it. Plus, there's lots of aftermarket stuff for it (like www.solow.com mounts ;) ).

I've handled but not shot the Buckmark. Feels like an excellent pistol, better ergos than the Ruger. I'm probably going to end up with one.

The Trailside, however, is the best bang for the buck right now. They're being discontinued by Sig for various reasons, so you can get one at a closeout price that's prolly cheaper than some of the NIB prices for the Rugers and Brownings. The Trailsides used to go for $400+. I have a Competiton model with an Ultradot on it, and it's pretty darn accurate.

MCgunner
January 21, 2006, 10:28 AM
Of the choices, I voted Ruger. However, I really, really prefer .22 revolvers. I have an EXCELLENT Rossi M511 Sportsman that'll shoot groups with any of those guns out of the box and I have really fond memories of my Uncle's nickeled S&W K22 Masterpiece. Man, you talk about your sweet revolvers!!!!!! I'd love to find one like that one for a decent, affordable price in good condition.

The .22 LR is capable of feeding without problems in autos, but it's not a reliable cartridge for them. That really doesn't matter since it's not a self defense round, just hunting and plinking, but revolvers get the most out of the .22 with fewer cuss words IMHO.

f4t9r
January 21, 2006, 10:55 AM
My choice : Buckmark
I plan on getting one today !!!!!!!!!!!!

BlisteringSilence
January 21, 2006, 10:57 AM
OK, first of all, I want to thank everyone for their input, you guys have helped a LOT.

As it turns out, my roommate has a Mark II that he was keeping at his parent's home, and one of my other buddies got a Buckmark for Christmas this year. So, yesterday afternoon, I went out to the range to get a feel for each of them. And I have to be honest with you guys, I don't know that I liked the feel of either of them more than the Trailside I held at Gander Mountain.

So, now that I've seen that I can get a trailside for $299 from CDDN, I'm just about sold. I need folks to convince me to either (1) buy it, or (2) why the Ruger/Buckmark would be worth the extra money.

Also, I think that I may put that mosquito on my list for presents to myself. The more I look at it, the more similar it appears to the 229 that I'm about to trade in my Glock for. It would be really nice to have a .22 that will share holsters and ergos with what will become my primary carry weapon.

And no, I have no intention of either ordering a .22 conversion kit for my .45, or carrying it on a regular basis. I'm a big guy, and its just not AS comfortable as my poly-framed friends to carry.

I like the suggestion of the SA revolver (I have great memories of my dad's ruger bearcat from when I was a kid), but its really not what I'm interested in at this point.

So, you guys have your marching orders. Help me out.

BamBam-31
January 21, 2006, 09:01 PM
First, go to www.sigforum.com and read up on the reported problems associated with the Trailside. If you can live with potentially having those problems, the Trailside is an excellent and accurate firearm. Hey, it's based on a Hammerli, eh? ;)

Mine likes CCI Pistol Match best. I've hit my 3" steel spinner at 50 yds. eight or nine times out of ten offhand with my Trailside and Ultradot. People stop and start watching when I do with my Trailside what my buddy does with his CZ 452 rifle and irons.

Mags are expensive (and plastic), but takedown's a no-brainer. Check www.larrysguns.com for parts and accessories (and Ultradot scopes). It's too bad Sig decided to give up the ghost on this one.

BamBam-31
January 21, 2006, 09:01 PM
:o oops. double tap.

Frandy
January 21, 2006, 10:02 PM
I've owned the Rugers (nuthin' to say bad about 'em other than the learning curve for disassembly), a Beretta Neos, which was fun but has too many sharp edges and I didn't like the ergonomics. A Buckmark is a good choice, having shot them, I like 'em. But, I decided to spend a bit more and am very happy with my Trailside. I added the Hammerli Xesse sport grips later.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=32732&d=1134936099

jdwhealton
January 22, 2006, 04:23 PM
I bought my wife one of the Walther P22's with the barrel extension/fake comp and she loves it. I use a Hi Standard Military w/6.75" heavy barrel (1947).

http://members.cox.net/jdwhealton/hs3.jpg

Schwatt
January 22, 2006, 07:15 PM
I went through the same situation last year, and ended up getting the Ruger 22/45. I liked the grip angle of the 22/45 better than the MkII. The Buckmark was nice, but didn't seem to balance well (too front heavy)

edwardyoung
January 22, 2006, 07:44 PM
I would go with a Ruger. But for a fun plinker, consider the Walther with the laser. My brother has one and it is a blast.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=42924540

adaman04
January 22, 2006, 08:44 PM
Ruger Mk III stainless with fluted bull bbl! Then put a red dot on it. :D

R.W.Dale
January 22, 2006, 09:00 PM
Whatever you do DO NOT buy the S&W22a , that is unless you like having a to send handguns back to the factory to have retarded degisn flaws fixed. I had one of these it is by far the worst example of a peice of machinery I've ever owned. I don't think I ever made it through an entire mag without some kind of stoppage. But the worst was when the cheezy little POT METAL top strap that holds everything togeather broke.

DMSHEPARD
January 22, 2006, 10:43 PM
I have two Rugers, a MKII and MKIII and recomend them highly, if they fit your hand. They are probably one of the best platforms to build o later if you want to upgrade later. +1 on looking into trailside, they did discontinue it for reliability I believe, something to do with frame cracking. My P22 is a good gun but not even close to the Rugers accuracy, obviously. They can require some breakin and tweaking. You will find all the info you need at rimfirecentral, and I mean everything. One shooter has over 50,000 though his. The P22 is my "pocket gun" for walks in the woods or informal can shooting.

BloodyRAzorBlades
January 22, 2006, 10:57 PM
I love plinking coke cans with my Beretta 21A bobcat in 22lr. it's a nice gun:)

birddog
January 22, 2006, 11:29 PM
I disagree with the above post about the 22A being a POS. Mine has at least 1000 rounds through it, no problems. I also recently got a Heritage Arms 22LR/22 Mag for 160 bucks brand new. Looks like a Ruger Single Six. Lots of fun and very accurate too. Here's a pic of each.

http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=34408&stc=1&d=1137986675

http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=34410&stc=1&d=1137990461

xd9fan
January 23, 2006, 12:43 AM
just got a Ruger Mark III Hunter......eats anything you give it and fun to shoot!!!

palerider1
January 23, 2006, 12:59 AM
i own a ruger mk III hunter and love it!!!!! retail $569, bought it for $425. go to www.ruger.com to see it.

plinker223
January 23, 2006, 03:58 AM
S&W 22A is a nice little pistol that shoots well. My wife uses one for back yard plinking. Only thing she doesn't like is that doesn't have any real place to grip to operate the slide. The little notches on the slide are too slick and she hasn't the strength in her hands she used to have. I even have a hard time clearing the jams because of the design of the slide.
We tried out a Neos U22 at the gun show this last week end and she found it much easier to operate and considerably more comfortable to hold (22A has the grey/black target grips) I have no doubt she will have a Neos before spring.
I have had Ruger target pistols in the past, they always worked well, as did the Colt woodsman.
Basically buy the best you can afford, what appeals to you both visually and comfort wise, buy a couple of bricks of ammo and enjoy!

aaronrkelly
January 23, 2006, 04:45 AM
Buckmark...

johnnytang24
January 23, 2006, 03:31 PM
I have a Ruger 22/45 and a Trailside. The Ruger was cheaper, and is very nice, but the Trailside has a nicer grip, is weighted better, and the trigger pull is crisper (that and the pre-travel and post-travel is adjustable).

Thanks.

22luvr
January 23, 2006, 04:30 PM
I have a Beretta NEOS U22 with the 6" barrel. After a couple of years of shooting, I am amazed at the accuracy of this thing. I like its modular parts and although some don't like a striker-fired semi-auto, I have no complaints. It would be right in your budgetary price range. Suggestion: Go with the longer 7.5" barrel. With my BSA red dot scope, it will hit anything my 60 year old feeble eyes can see. Take down and cleaning are simple, compared to other .22 semi-autos. Here's mine right here:

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=65596

hurrakane212
January 23, 2006, 05:43 PM
I have a used Beretta (what is now a bobcat) in .22 short, they also come in .22LR. I got it used for 50$ from a friend (the finish was rough). I love this little gun. It holds 7 and has a tip up barrel. Fits in the pocket easily and fits the hand really well for such a small gun.~Nathan

ArmedBear
January 23, 2006, 06:02 PM
The Trailside is a real bargain for a competition-quality target gun, but it's a tad on the delicate side for rough outdoor use. Dry-firing can ruin it.

If you get the Ruger, you can get drop-in high-end action parts, though I don't find them necessary. I might like them, if I pony up for them. It'll never be a pretty gun, but it doesn't mind some dirt or fouling, either, and dry-firing by inexperiences shooters won't hurt it.

Depends what you want.

denfoote
January 23, 2006, 08:14 PM
my advise is to go with a Ruger MK II, either in the standard form or in the 22/45 configuration. i own 3 MK II 22/45 and love them all. its easy to find spare parts, if they were ever to break, lots of aftermarket stuff to get for them. they are built like a tank and last forever. if you get a 22/45 MK II, you can improve the grips by putting some 3M grip tape on the front of the grip.

http://www.hunt101.com/img/344483.jpg

Good luck. -Eric


+1 on the Ruger P4!!

Here's mine!!
I just got through with a very enjoyable trip, with it, to the range, Sunday.


http://usera.imagecave.com/denfoote/P4Ruger.jpg

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