Training/Practicing With A .22LR Revolver


May 4, 2007, 10:10 AM
I use either a S&W 640 (.38 Special +P) or a S&W 432PD (.32H&R Magnum) as my CCW, and with the cost of ammo rising (just paid over $23 for 100rds of Winchester White box .38 Special 130gr FMJ at Walmart) I'm considering buying a used 2" S&W 34 .22LR and using that to practice my snubby shooting. What I'd like to know is, what you'll think of that idea? Considering the difference in recoil between the cartridges, would I be wasting my time practicing with a .22LR snubby? Thanks.


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sean m
May 4, 2007, 10:25 AM
I think it is a great idea. I currently have done the samething using a Ruger SP101 in 22LR to understudy my SP101, GP100, and Police Service Six in 357 magnum. It helps save on wear and tear of my main guns and me.

May 4, 2007, 10:27 AM
I got an SP-101 in .22 to complement my SP-101 in .357. If you need work on double-action trigger control, it's a great way to practice.

And I had forgotten how fun shooting a .22 can be!

May 4, 2007, 10:31 AM
Considering the difference in recoil between the cartridges, would I be wasting my time practicing with a .22LR snubby? Thanks.

Recoil is what happens after you execute sight alignment and trigger control. If you want to practice shooting accurately (sight alignment and trigger control) then the caliber difference is a non-factor. If you want to practice recovering from recoil for a second shot, then recoil might be a consideration. Out of a snub nose revolver the 40 gr .22LR round has about 30% of the muzzle energy of a 158gr 38 spec round which equates to about 30% of the felt recoil moment. It will recoil, you will notice it just not as much as you notice the heavier 38 round.

May 4, 2007, 10:37 AM
Going to a .22LR version of your CCW only makes common sense especially with todays ammuntion prices.
Allot of .22LR shooting can be done for the same cost of a few thousand centerfire rounds.
In many of the shooting classes I helped teach we would have .22 variants that match the centerfire revolvers or with centerfire semi autos either matching pistols with similar controls or a .22 conversion kit so novice shooters would not develop a flinch or bad habbit.
Anything that allows cheaper range time is a great idea and muscles and hand eye coordination benefit from repetitions.
Many other countries have subcaliber conversion kits or junior versions of their battle rifles for training for good reason.
Practice makes perfect.:)
Go for it!

May 4, 2007, 12:21 PM
I am a firm believer in .22 l.r. - and not just as a cheap alternative. I enjoy shooting and a .22 is not just inexpensive but in most cases very accurate.

Together with my two sons, I have over 70,000 rounds through a S&W M22A.

My kids can easily put 10 rounds into the black of a 25 yard bullseye target, shooting leisurely. I got the gun just to let them get a feeling for the proper timing of shots, learn to shoot from different positions, left hand only, and so on.

In this case, I agree that practice makes perfect. But only good, quality practice does and often the initial instructions help achieve better results faster.

The .22 is an inexpensive training tool and fun at the same time.

May 4, 2007, 12:26 PM
I carry a S&W 638 and I practice with my 317 and the 638. Both have the same grips and fit the same holsters. :D

May 4, 2007, 12:27 PM
There's nothing wrong with using a .22 for practice. Everyone needs to develop the fundamentals, and if you don't, it doesn't matter what caliber firearm you shoot badly with.

At the same time, I encourage you to buy the best reloading press you can afford. You will find the price difference shocking and the quality difference either nonexistant, or shocking in favor of your own handloads.

M2 Carbine
May 4, 2007, 12:30 PM
Good idea.

I do a lot of laser practice with my Crimson Trace laser equipped S&W J Frames.
Even with reloading, the cost of all that 38 ammo is a little high.
I'd like to have a 22 J Frame with CT laser grips.:)

May 4, 2007, 01:27 PM
I don't do much DA revolver shooting, but my Single-Six makes a lot of trips to the range. Cheaper than blazing away with the Vaquero or Blackhawk .357's

$10 buys 500 or so .22's, while that same $10 buys about 25 or 30 cheap .357 loads.

SO, guess which guns get shot more?

Here's a hint...Foggy is a cheap galoot :evil:

May 4, 2007, 02:26 PM
Great idea. In my area used snubby .22LRs are seldom seen in the gun stores though.

May 5, 2007, 12:54 PM
I just picked up a NIB NEF R92 .22 for $120 just for cheap practice/pliking!

May 5, 2007, 01:25 PM
As was mentioned above, recoil is an afterthought to proper technique and form. Practicing with a smaller caliber is a great idea, and usually much cheaper. It makes it even better if you get that smaller caliber in a gun that matches your larger ones as close as possible style, and feel-wise. Just my thoughts...


Vern Humphrey
May 5, 2007, 01:39 PM
My usual carry gun is a M1911 -- in this case, a Kimber Classic. I also have a Colt Service Ace conversion kit mounted on an Argentine M1926 frame, which is the understudy gun for the Kimber. I do a lot of shooting with the .22 conversion kit and it makes a big difference.

While the .22 is not a perfect replica in terms or recoil, etc., there are offsetting advantages, including your ability to call shots better with the reduced recoil.

May 6, 2007, 02:53 PM
Thanks to all for your helpful replies.

Now I've just got to find a used/very good-excellent cond. model 34.


May 6, 2007, 04:45 PM
I have a model 34-1 (4", though) that is a great little gun. Accurate and cheap and gun to shoot. However, it isn't the best trainer for me, because the trigger pull is very different from my "big" gun (a worked over GP100). However, it is still a great gun to work on fundamentals, and it will really boost my ego, because I look like a genius when I shoot it. But then I go back to my 38s or 357s and my groups go to crap. The recoil really does make a difference. And keep in mind, my GP100's trigger is very light, but still tougher to get back on target quickly. Even single-action slow fire I am better with the 34, even though there's more creep and a heavier pull on the 22. Go figure. Great little gun, though.

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