s&w 22a or beretta neos?


March 14, 2006, 09:21 PM
I think I want to pick up a cheap new .22 to try to develop better shooting skills with. I think I have it narrowed down to one of these two? Anyone with both and a preference for either? Have one and happy/unhappy?

Most importantly if you have big hands, what do you think of them? I have a hard time getting good trigger finger placement without a pretty sizable grip and either will wind up being special order it looks like.

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March 14, 2006, 09:24 PM
For cheap plinker, I would personally look into a Browning Buckmark or a Ruger Mark II/III. I have shot the 22a and was not that impressed it's quality but it shot alright. And the Neos is a bit to radical and unlike any other gun I own in how it feels in the hand...

March 14, 2006, 10:16 PM
I bought one and I regretted it from day one, My example was pure junk misfired jammed stovepiped you name it and it did it, all ammo diffrent mags clean and dirty. But that wasn't the worst, that happened when the little hook at the rear of the barrel ASSY that locks into the reciever broke off, BECAUSE IT WAS POT METAL so back to the factory it went where it stayed for about 3 months. I got it back and while the reciever was fixed it still jammed all the time.

At that point I was fed up so I sold it at a huge loss, I now own a Ruger MkII it's three times the gun the 22A was.

In retrospect I wouldn't have been upset if I had bought a Jennings or a Raven that was built and functioned in such a manner, but a S&W come on.

March 14, 2006, 10:41 PM
A friend and his son that I just got in to shooting picked up a Neos a while back. We've probably put 700-800 rounds through it and it's been very reliable. No experience with the Smith though.

March 15, 2006, 12:44 AM
krochus was this a few years ago or pretty recently? It seems like they've had some bugs that got worked out recently.

The ruger line is certainly the most popular choice but I'm not feeling it. 5.5" 22a is $170, or a 6" mark 3 blued is $222. Saving $50 is nifty, plus ruger went to the trouble of designing the mark 3 adding a bunch of features I don't want and not adding any I would like an improved takedown procedure. S&W has given me excellent customer service and waranty work so I'd definately prefer to give them money unless its going to be a big pile of crap or fit my hand poorly.

March 15, 2006, 06:17 PM
I bought the 22A about 4 yrs ago. I've shot a NEOS and it shot good but the new one that I'ed shot was a little prone to jamming for my taste.

as for ruger reassembly it's as simple as reading the instructions

March 15, 2006, 06:24 PM
A friend of mine has the Neos and he loves it. I have shot it a few times and it shoots good, but I am not all that impressed with it's looks. To me, it looks like a toy gun.

I don't know anything about the S&W. I did have a S&W 422 that I wished I had never traded as well as a Ruger MKII.


March 15, 2006, 07:11 PM
I have a U22, I'm happy with it. Weird looking though. I'd say it paid for itself already in tightening my groups. If you want it to sharpen your skills it'll do just fine. I saw two at a gun shop recently, one new for $299 and one used but unfired and looked just as new for $229. Their warranty applies to the original purchaser only so the $70 may be worth it to you.

I've shot 600-700 rounds through it, no problems. Once and only once did it fail to eject a shell - it came out halfway and the slide closed on it, leaving the shell sitting sideways in the ejection port. When I opened the slide the shell just fell out. That was weird.

Magazines, when inserted, are flush with the bottom of the grip, so you have to be sure to firmly press them upward into the well. If you're accustomed to just slamming in magazines with the palm of your hand you may have to remind yourself to press them in firmly. At least one person posted that he cemented a strip of rubber on the bottom of his magazines to make that easier but I simply adapted.

I feed it the cheapest Wal-Mart stuff I can find.

March 15, 2006, 10:46 PM
My 22a works flawlessly and is very accurate with just about any CCI ammo. It's this one. If I use bottom of the line .22lr it jams. The trigger in mine is really nice. It's a really fun gun. Maybe there are some bad ones out there but mine is a blast.


April 4, 2006, 11:52 PM
I got to pick up and try my s&w 22a last weekend. I was a little apprehensive at first after reading some mixed reviews online. I figure with their customer service if I did get a lemon at least I could get it taken care of with no hassle. Its a cheap little .22 pistol (and cheap is the main reason I want to shoot more .22 so why buy an expensive gun), easy to strip, and a metal frame so I had to get it over a ruger.

After trying it out I have to say I'm quite happy with my purchase. I had ran bulk federal hollowpoints and some minimags through it as well a few CB's, colibri's, and a few subsonic rounds through it. The underpowered rounds of course didn't cycle the action but they seem incredibly quiet although thats with ears on. The bulk rounds and the minimags both ran great using probably 150 of the bulk rounds. The only issues I really had is that trying to manually feel .22 shorts out of the magazine doesn't work very well at all. One or two at a time can be fed, but not a whole mag. Sort of expected that. The other problem is if I load a mag to 10 rounds, chamber, then fire, it usually doesn't feed the 2nd round from the mag right. If I load 9 rounds it goes through the whole mag without issue. I didn't even think to try the 2nd mag for this issue when I was there, but I'm sure thats going to be a correctable problem.

Take down is quite easy, the build quality seems much sturdier than I would have expected for the price. The mags do take a good bit of force to seat but a little googling showed thats thanks to a magazine safety that was quite easily removed from under the grips. Now mags lock into place far easier. Its a blast to shoot and I'm sure it shoots way better than me, although hopefully it will help me improve my shooting. The safety is incredibly stiff but thats no big deal to me and will probably loosen up with use. Overall I think its a steal of a gun and don't regret not buying a ruger at all. I highly recommend it.

April 4, 2006, 11:58 PM
This may sound stupid but see if you can handle or shoot each gun before you buy it.

I was dead set on getting a Neos as a cheap .22 and my first pistol. Then I asked to handle one on sale and Gander Mt. and... Just did not feel right, felt werid, "cheap", light, dunno didn't like it. Shot a ruger MKII with a target barrel, like that, feels "right".

My 2 cents for what its worth.

April 5, 2006, 11:51 PM
I've never used a smith or beretta .22, but I own a MK678, it was my first gun.
Shoots flawlessly with roundnose ammo, and I can put rounds through a ten inch circle@100yrds

But I wouldn't reccomend a MKIII, too much safety crap where it was never needed. If you go ruger, get a used MKII.

Good luck shopping!

Edit: i have huge bony hands, and the ruger feels great.

April 6, 2006, 12:38 AM
For anyone who's looking for a nice .22LR range plinker, I'd recommend a Walther P22. They can be had for under $300, and are a "blast" to shoot. :p

August 30, 2006, 11:45 PM
The UT range might be buying a couple new pistols this year, since the owner of two of our four MkIIs wanted his stuff back.

We currently have 2 MkII, a Hi-Standard, an Olympia, a S&W 22a, and a Buckmark.

Surprisingly, the 22a might be our most popular model. People don't seem thrilled about it on THR, but it's held up great with minimal cleaning, cheap bulk .22, clumsy undergrads, etc.

I was thinking about putting a Beretta Neos up as a potential candidate for a replacement; seems to be in the same price range as the S&W. I've heard a ton of mixed things about the P22, so not sure there. Taking a hard look at the Advantage Arms Glock upper, or a complete CZ Kadet, but not sure whether those take bulk ammo, and whether the accuracy is far inferior to Ruger/Browning target-type pistols.

Just wanted to see, half a year later, if anyone had more to add to this discussion. Is the metal quality in both the 22a and the Neos that bad?


August 31, 2006, 12:28 AM
My 22a is still going strong. The only mods I've done so far include plucking the magazine safety out as I mentioned earlier, and more recently I added a couple pieces of grip tape to the slide. Reaching around the rail to pinch the slide and rack it got annoying after a while if my hands were sweaty, the tape lets me get an easier grip on the slide and rack it overhand if I want.

I'm still not feeding it anything special either, just bulk federal stuff.

August 31, 2006, 08:51 PM
7000 rounds thru my Neos and no plans to get rid of it. Had a broken extractor early on but got it fixed by Beretta for no charge.

September 1, 2006, 06:40 AM
I have a 22A1, it runs like a top and it's the easist to breakdown and clean .22 I've ever seen.

Very reliable, too. I don't clean it much, just squirt some CLP in the action and it just keeps running. Eats everything but el-cheapo plated bullets. Really really likes Wildcats, of all things - stupid accurate with them.

September 1, 2006, 07:17 AM
I looked at all the .22 autoloader pistols an d went with the rugar mkII I bought mine used at a pawnshop and have had no trouble have had it about 8 months and have put around 2000rds through it and no problems other than ammo related.

September 1, 2006, 10:24 AM
We sell Brownings and Rugers and Beretta Neos and 87 and S&W 22a and 41 and Walther P22.
After years of selling all these .22s I settled on a Model 41 Smith.

Our customers are always the most happy and satisfied with the Rugers, the Brownings, and the Model 41s.

If you plan on keeping the gun then consider one of the last three options.

September 17, 2006, 02:03 AM
Does anyone else find it annoying that the original poster of this question asked about the Neos and 22A, and people are going off on tangents about the Ruger or the Browning? He didn't ask about those two. If he wanted advice on .22 plinkers in general it would be helpful. But he didn't.

I own both a Ruger and a Browning and am looking to add a third (narrowed it down to a Neos and 22A) so I did a search for the terms '22A' and 'neos'. I saw this thread and thought it would be helpful, but it seems I have to sift through the thirty 'no, get THIS one instead' replies to find the two or three replies that actually compare the Smith and the Beretta.

September 17, 2006, 12:09 PM
I have to admit that yes I do find it annoying even though the other choices may be better options and I am one at fault for professing that opinion.

Of the S&W 22A or the Neos I would choose the Neos.
It seems to be the more accurate and more reliable of these two choices.

B yond
September 17, 2006, 04:08 PM
I'm a satisfied owner of a s&w 22a. I've put a cheap ($17) red-dot sight on it and it's a tackdriver at 50 yards. the only problem I've encountered is magazine-related jamming caused by a burr on the inside of the magazine where the cutouts are for the magazine release. Sometimes the tip of a JHP will catch and cause a FTF. No problems with unplated ball ammo.:)

Here's a link to the United States Rescue and Special Operations Group:
They recommend the 22a/22s for a survival weapon. I'd be a little worried that the recoil buffer would poop out on me in the middle of the woods. (They're easy to change and s&w will send you extras for free)

Great range gun though.

September 17, 2006, 08:23 PM
I picked up a 22a a few weeks back. I thought about the Neos, but went with the 22a because it had the better trigger. My first choice would have been the Buckmark, but I didn't want to fork over that kind of cash.

After putting about 500 rounds through the 22a I haven't had one problem. I take that back, it doesn't always lock back on the last round, but that seem to be a break in issue because the more I shoot it the less it happens. Off hand the gun is pretty consistent and accurate, it shoots better than I do. First chance I get I'll try it on a rest. The only thing I've done to it is put a scope on it that I picked up from Sportsman's guide. (http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=277919) The scope says Guide Gear in the add, but it turned out to be a Barska. I like it. So far I'm not regretting buying the 22a over the Buckmark, doubt I ever will, but that's not saying that I won't get pick one up in the future.

BTW The last time I went to the range there was a guy out there with his daughter (10) shooting a .22 Rifle. I let them run a few mags though my 22a and when they gave it back to me he said that his daughter was telling him that they had to get one too.

September 17, 2006, 08:30 PM
Does anyone know what kind of rings that being used in this picture or have any suggestion of what it might be, or what might work?


September 17, 2006, 08:34 PM
I have owned both the 22A and the Neos. Both are incredibly easy to take down and clean, both were very reliable. I did sell the 22A (to fund another project). I still have the Neos. With the rail, adding a cheap red dot makes either gun a very accurate shooter for olde pharts like me.

Personally I liked the grip on the 22A marginally better, but easily can recommend both. I had -0- failures with about 7500 rounds on the Neos and maybe 1000 on the 22A (other than ammo issues).

I have not researched mag availability recently, but there was a time not that long ago where getting some at a decent cost was iffy.

I checked CDNN today and the 22A mags were $22.99 and the Neos at $9.99.

September 18, 2006, 12:30 AM
I bought a 22A when they first came out. Since then, it's taught countless people the joys of shooting, and has made cheap practice for me. The grip angle isn't as severe as either the Ruger, Browning, or Beretta.

However my 22A (standard aluminum frame, not the steel one), has reached it's end of life. It's had well over 60,000 rounds through it.

The frame, where the slide rides, has peened and gouged beyond repair. If I knew this would occur, I would've shelled out some more money for the steel version, if it's still available.

The mag release is in a funky place. The standard rubber grips feel great, and have held up better than the rest of the pistol.

The recoil spring should be replaced frequently, ~3000 rounds. The 22A is very susceptible to failure to load/extract if the spring tension drops slightly. This can be offset by using higher powered ammo, but even then the spring should be replaced after a while.

Also, the little plastic buffer that holds the guide rod in place will go dead within 1500 rounds. You can extend the life slightly by reversing it every cleaning. However, it gets chewed up rather quickly. Luckily, S&W should mail you free replacements if you send them unhappy emails.

With that said, after letting it sit for over a year, and after replacing the spring and buffer, the gun still jams. Every shot. With every type of ammo in my possession. It's ready to be retired forever. IIRC, when it was first introduced, I payed $179 new. It was a great investment, though some of the other pistols mentioned will hold up better in the long run.

I have no experience with the neos.

September 18, 2006, 04:15 PM
Hey agony, why don't you call s&w and send it in? My experience with their customer service has been excellent in the past. At the very least they pay shipping so you'll be out nothing for trying.

September 18, 2006, 10:07 PM
When I was looking at .22 pistols, I tried a 22A and a couple of MKII's. The 22A felt and fired (for me) better than the MKII's. I bought the 22A and have not been disappointed in the pistol. Mine doesn't drive tacks at 50 yards, because the shooter can't drive tacks with any pistol at 50 yards, but it cetainly doesn't embarrass me on the range. My 22A-1 was about $175 new and could well be one of the best pistols for the price. I've since bought a MKIII678H and a Single Six. The hard choice when going to the range is which one do I fire first.

In my opinion:
Pros: Price, accuracy, rail for added sights, feel, balance and weight. Easy to stip for cleaning. Great for "loaning" to newbies who are firing loudenboomers the first time out and are getting the flinches from the recoil. Good enough that it doesn't stay at home when and let the "better" pistols have all the fun.
Cons: Open sights on the 5.5" barrel are a bit tough for me to see through my bifocals (a drop of testor's orange solved that). A bit picky on ammo, but once you find the right ammo, accuracy and function are great.

If you are looking for a .22 semiauto in the ~$200 price range and the 22A feels good, then you won't be making a mistake.

My problem is that I only need one more pistol, the next one...

September 18, 2006, 10:16 PM
Agony, mine came with two extra recoil buffers in the box. Unfortunately, I didn't notice the little brown envelope until after I'd ordered a half-dozen ($0.54/ea). Bought a couple of recoil springs and a replacement rod, just to have them. Haven't noticed any problems with failure at 1500 rounds with these parts. Replaced the buffer at about 2500 rounds.

September 19, 2006, 01:25 AM
Hey agony, why don't you call s&w and send it in? My experience with their customer service has been excellent in the past. At the very least they pay shipping so you'll be out nothing for trying.

You know, I never really thought about it. Always a hassle shipping pistols. I think I'll give it a try and send her in, if I ever get off my lazy butt.

September 19, 2006, 01:36 AM
You know, I never really thought about it. Always a hassle shipping pistols. I think I'll give it a try and send her in, if I ever get off my lazy butt.
Well let us know if you try it, I'd be eager to hear how they do. Since they send a shipping label it takes a lot of the hassle out of it for me heh.

December 3, 2007, 04:48 PM
Soybomb - what is the mag safety? send me details at hnre@xecu.net.

I have a 22a and all I have done is polish the throat, and the mold marks on the slide. Over 2k rnds thrrough it since May 07. Had a FTF problem, but the slide follower was broken- replaced at N/C by S&W. Mine loves Federal 550 bulk or even better the federal eagle 500.

Put a wallyworld reddot on it and has been a charmer- many
others have shot it and liked it. Several have gone out and bought one!

December 3, 2007, 04:59 PM
Having talked with various shop owners and gunsmiths.. I would pick the Neos every time, if it was choice between the two. I'm told that far more 22as come back in service than Neos. Also the Neos has the advantage of being so simply modular. Barrel and parts interchangeability couldn't be easier.

Also, I'm about to write up a separate thread for this.. but I have just completed a Neos educational and complete action job guide. You can see that here. I welcome any questions or comments.
http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=320915 -Neos guide

December 3, 2007, 07:28 PM
mobjacker take off the grips and look at the bottom of the magazine opening. You'll see the metal rod the magazine pushes up on to enable the gun to fire. I removed that annoying features by simply removing the rod. It is removing a safety device, consult a gun smith, bullets hurt, etc.

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