Most reliable 22 pocket pistol


October 22, 2007, 10:40 PM
First and foremost, the first person who posts anything along the lines of "those things are useless" or "well if you want a POS" is a closet Hellery Klinton supporter.
I would like a reliable small 22LR to play with. I had a Pheonix that worked very well, but I'd like something with only one safety since I plan on using it to practice mosambique drills until my fingers bleed.

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October 22, 2007, 10:53 PM
TRUE pocket .22, the little 5 shot Freedom Arms stainless 5 shot revolver is hard to beat. Never had a mis-fire, if you have average-size hands, you can palm it completely concealed by simply making a fist. A really nice feature is the little notch in between each round, which allows you to seat the hammer without being behind a live round -- just in case you drop it. I love a .45 like most guys... but if you can't dismiss the capability of 5 CCI Stinger hollow points in the palm of your hand or the front pocket of your jeans.

ANY hole in the bad guy will probably take his attention off you by making him focus on the mess all that blood is making on his designer tennis shoes....

October 22, 2007, 11:34 PM
TRUE pocket .22, the little 5 shot Freedom Arms stainless 5 shot revolver is hard to beat

You mean the North American Arms Mini Revolvers don't you:scrutiny:???

October 22, 2007, 11:36 PM
i own a walther p22, its pretty small, kinda sucks to put back together but its a great concealable gun.

Halo is for Kids
October 22, 2007, 11:58 PM
Try these...

I have a 422 that's been reliable, it's the full size version of the
and 2213:

October 23, 2007, 12:05 AM

Gee your son sure has a want list of late. :D

My recommendations from experiences:

Beretta 21A - .22lr
Beretta Minx, .22 short.
This is the neatest thing! Just cuter than all get out. If you can find one, you will have a ball with this reliable, accurate thing. :D

Revolver: NAA Mini, 1 1/8" bbl , .22 lr

This thing just "is". Made like a Swiss Watch, good looking, reliable and just darn handy and too darn fun.

My trick for first time folks, is to have two, shoot both and comment "Sure neat how these speedloaders work".


Jimmy Newman
October 23, 2007, 12:11 AM
The problem with pocket .22's is that in my experience, .22 rimfire ammunition just isn't reliable (even the expensive kind). I have had orders of magnitude more misfires with .22 rimfire than with any other cartridge.

So if I were going to get a .22 with the intent of EVER using it for any kind of carry or defensive purposes, it would be a revolver...

Just my opinion.

Halo is for Kids
October 23, 2007, 12:12 AM
The new S&W 351 is exclusively available in 22 Magnum. MSRP is only $735, but it can be found for $531.57:barf:

If you can live without the Scandium Frame try the 22lr S&W 317 at 10.5 oz. Makes for good jframe practice at a lower price.

October 23, 2007, 12:27 AM
Maybe it's just me, but I can't remember the last time I pulled the trigger on a rimfire and the gun didn't go boom, AND it was due to the ammunition. I know everyone says that rimfire is unreliable, but I haven't seen it be less so than the centerfire stuff I shoot.

My experience with the Taurus PT22 is: make sure the magazines don't get fouled up. All the malfs I experienced with that and the Beretta 21A were due to the rims getting hung up. Also, don't bother with low powered ammo. They seem to feed the higher velocity stuff more reliably.


Halo is for Kids
October 23, 2007, 12:31 AM
They seem to feed the higher velocity stuff more reliably.

+1, That's true for every .22 auto I've had the pleasure to shoot.

October 23, 2007, 01:02 AM
KJeff, you're absolutely correct. I stand corrected.. it's late, a couple of rum & cokes, Full Tilt Poker running in the background and I -did- mean North American Arms. Thanks for the wake-up.

October 23, 2007, 02:09 AM
I like the Walther TPH and the Beretta 21A.

Robert Hairless
October 23, 2007, 02:15 AM
Years ago I was one of those who bought a Smith & Wesson Model 61 (the "Escort") when it first came out. It's a tiny semi-auto. I don't think that it has ever failed, at least not with factory magazines and decent .22 LR ammunition. I still shoot it once or twice a year just for kicks, because I've always liked that little gun, and I keep looking for additional factory magazines for it. The aftermarket magazines are junk.

It was produced 1970-1973 blued or nickel plated. The frame is aluminum alloy. Here's a photo from a good page on it (

I see them for sale at gun shows and every one I've ever seen has been in at least good condition. Price varies from about $275 up to about $375 on those I've seen. The nickel plated version is at the higher end. One thing to look for is the presence of the loaded chamber indicator and its spring: they're sometimes lost in disassembly. The gun functions perfectly without it though.

(My idea of "decent" .22 LR ammunition is Remington Thunderbolt, by the way. Whenever I say that in front of people who know what they're doing they snicker and show me to the door. But that's what I use. Might give you some idea of the gun's reliability.)

October 23, 2007, 08:50 AM
The afore mentioned Walther TPH. I like it because it has double strike ability. Mine has been very reliable.

October 23, 2007, 08:55 AM
I've always though the NAA mini revolvers were kinda cool......I may just get one to throw on my keychain :neener:

Ala Dan
October 23, 2007, 09:33 AM
Iver Johnson TP-22, if you can find one~? Back in the early 80's, they were
made in Jacksonville, Arkansas; and sold NIB for 'bout $115. Most relaible,
small .22LR auto I ever owned~! :scrutiny:;):D

FWIW, Too bad mine with S/N AE23221 was taken from my wife during
a violent car-jacking on October 13th, 1994. The perp was apprehended, and
its currently doing 32 years in a State Of Alabama pen~!

October 23, 2007, 09:38 AM
My bride and I go thru a 550 bulk pack of .22LR almost every weekend.

We have had a number of rounds take a good primer hit and still fail to fire.

Not every box, but enough to be memorable.

If you are going to rely on .22LR, make sure it's the premium stuff.

Assuming that the premium stuff is more carefully made.

October 23, 2007, 09:54 AM
Most of these .22 pocket pistols are not really any smaller or lighter than a KelTec in .380, but much, much less powerful.

The real exception here is the Mini-revolver. I owned one for years and shot it a lot. I even used it on occasion to shoot rabbits and prairie dogs. They were very tasty.

I'll be getting a new one as soon as the budget permits.

deputy tom
October 23, 2007, 10:27 AM
I like the NAA mini-revolver .22mag. with the convertible .22 lr. cylinder.Nice and easy to carry in a front pocket holster stoked with magnums.Cheap to practice with using the lr. cylinder and bulk-pack ammo.If pocket carry doesn't appeal to you try other methods.YMMV.tom.:cool:

October 23, 2007, 10:33 AM
I have a NAA MINI Mag in .22 mag. Once I put the holster grip on it, I don't do too badly with it. I've learned to ignore the front sight and just put the bore on what I want to hit. At approximately seven yards I can plug that DANGEROUSLY, VICIOUS coke can pretty regular.:rolleyes: :D.
I like the size of the .22mag revolver over the .22 lr. Just a little easier to handle the larger version. I still want to get the .22 lr cylinder for it. Just never get around to mailing it out to NAA. Well built items though.

October 23, 2007, 02:27 PM
A most interesting thread. After getting my CC permit my next thought was what would I carry. I chose the North American 5 shot 22 mag for six reasons:
1) The off chamber safety notch seems the most safe.
2) Being small I can carry it in my front pocket and barely feel it's there
3) Being stainless I consider it merely a pocket ass. like a pocket knife and oil it regularly but clean it rarely (unless shot)
4) At $200 it is cheap but still well made.
5) Cheap is important for another reason, if you must use a gun for selfdefense the police will hold your gun in there property room until they're darn good and ready to give it back. Do you want your expensive firearm sitting in some cop station property room?
6) Lastly, at the short ranges selfdefense happens 22mag will do a lot of damage and the gun is LOUD!

October 23, 2007, 02:32 PM
Nope Steve, this one ain't for the son, this is a toy just for me.:D I had forgotten about the little 22 short pistols, that may be just the ticket.
Perhaps I should have been more specific about my needs. I'm a huge fan of a program on Showtime called Dexter (strange since I watch maybe 2 hours of TV a week). On this weeks episode a guy killed his wife classic Mozambique style, 2 to the chest one to the head. I've always been interested in this style of reactive shooting and thought I'd see if I could learn to do it supper fast. Therefore the NAA minis would not work. Althought they are quite cool. AFWIW, Freedom Arms did make a mini, I had one, but when they had such a sucess with the 454 Casull, they stopped production of the mini (they called it the Patriot). As an interesting side note, the original Mini revolver was made by a company called the Rocky Mountain Arms Corp which was founded by one Mr. Dick Casull.
Now if I was actually considering this as a carry option I'd probably consider the 380, or at least the 32, but I figure I'll stick to my old 45 for toting about.

October 23, 2007, 03:02 PM
I wondered what the Mozambique style was. You're right a single action revolver wouldn't work for that maybe on a pumpkin but not a resisting human let alone a wife.

October 23, 2007, 08:10 PM
I have a .380 P3AT Kel-Tec too.... but in terms of TRUE, easy concealment (palm-size), the tip of my hat still goes to the .22 NAA revolvers with CCI stingers. Nice thing, ultimately here, is that the buyer has options and is not getting bad advice from anyone (so far). :)

October 23, 2007, 08:19 PM
I would definitely second Ala Dan on the IJ TP-22. I had one back in the early eighties, and it was one of the most reliable "little" .22's that I have ever used. Don't remember for sure what I traded it in for, (might have been a Beretta M21), but that's one I wouldn't mind getting back.

October 23, 2007, 08:21 PM
5) Cheap is important for another reason, if you must use a gun for selfdefense the police will hold your gun in there property room until they're darn good and ready to give it back. Do you want your expensive firearm sitting in some cop station property room?

I want my firearm to save my life if I find myself in a situation where I need it to do so. Cheap is the least of my concerns. A reliable weapon is what I am after. If I had to, I could always replace a firearm while I am waiting to get it back from the police. I can't do that if I am not breathing because my cheap firearm failed me.


"Phydeaux, bad biscuit!"

Vern Humphrey
October 23, 2007, 08:50 PM
My bride and I go thru a 550 bulk pack of .22LR almost every weekend.

We have had a number of rounds take a good primer hit and still fail to fire.
The key to reliability in a .22 rimfire is ammo. And, so far as I know, no rimfire ammo reaches the reliability level of good centerfire ammo.

October 23, 2007, 09:12 PM

Being in the business you are in, your training and all you have seen, you are real familiar with: "It does not always work out that way".
Meaning, it does not matter what is "supposed to" happen , or "has happened" , or anything.

Too many variables in life. Folks die from .22 shorts, and they live after sticking a .357 barrel in the mouth and pulling the trigger on a .357 load.

It was great to see The Escort Pic and some others as well. Thanks! :)

I happen to believe in .22 rim-fire, for a lot of reasons, some are:

-Inexpensive ammunition.
-Less felt recoil
-Introducing new shooters
-Quality Practice to instill concepts and correct basic fundamentals
-Having a .22 rim-fire platform that matches a center-fire platform allows one to do any or all of the previously mentioned.

There are those, that just like to have fun and piddle.
Okie does that.

Okie also knows, as I do there are those that have to dress a certain way, be in certain circles and all.

One of the things about the NAA Mini is the Factory Lanyard ring.
I happen to like the 1 1/8 " .22 lr.

Now me and this bunch I hang with includes ladies. Something I/we have done forever and I shared with them, is wearing a NAA on a lanyard.

Lessons shared, the lady is down, for whatever reason she cannot access a bigger gun.
Hands going places they should not and having another tool in the toolbox.
Bad breath distance and putting a 40 gr standard lrn into an eyeball to stop BG from doing what BG is doing.

Maybe a daughter, working in Doctor's/ Medical clinic. Maybe just the "Chart" girl.
Scrubs, running back and forth, going Gopher stuff too and some wacko sneaks into the clinic. Catches her in the restroom, or grabs her and into a empty room, stairwell.

Your wife is in a little black dress with little clutch purse at the Theatre.
She goes to powder her nose.
Some pervert, rapist - whatever is hiding in the restroom, or near.
One of these Escorts, NAA, 2214, TPH, Berettas ...fits in that little purse.
Its "cute" she likes it, she has shot it.
Stop the threat...

Okie knows this.

October 23, 2007, 09:15 PM
North American Arms

October 23, 2007, 09:34 PM
I think someone has seen thru part of my plan. I don't advertise quite as much as I used to. And even in my part of the world there are those who question certain fashion assessories. I don't like the thought of a 22 for SD, but 2 in the ticker one in the thinker is nothing to laugh at.

October 23, 2007, 09:45 PM

You know how to reach me, and you know how I feel about some things.
You understand the realities of life, and see them everyday, and know my experiences and take on all this.

All I can offer are my experiences and observations, but I am here.

See I was correct from the start, that boy does have a wish list after all. ;)

October 23, 2007, 10:38 PM
I like the NAA minimag with the 1 5/8in barrel as well. Also, just picked up a NAA PUG which is in 22 magnum with 1 inch barrel. Both are great for pocket carry.

October 24, 2007, 12:39 AM
The biggest reliability factor with any 22 rimfire is the ammunition. Rimfire cartridges have fairly high rates of failure compared with centerfire. That is the reason some favor the 25 over the 22LR in spite of the higher cost.

I would pick a revolver over an auto for this very reason. If you get a failure to fire, you just pull the trigger again. Barring that, having an auto that allowes you to double action in the event of a misfire is a darn good idea, IMO.

October 24, 2007, 01:18 AM
Okay, I have to ask. You people who are having problems with 22 ammo reliabilty, What the hell are you shooting? Between my wife, son and myself with 5 different guns we shoot at least 3,000 rds of 22 LR each month. With the exception of wally world bulk 10 bucks per brick crap, I can't remember the last misfire we've had. Mostly I shoot Aguila of one flavor or another, the wife tends to shoot remington target, or my aguila if I ain't looking and she's out of rems. The son shoots CCI.

October 24, 2007, 01:26 AM
I shoot CCI and get 1 or 2 misfires per 500 rounds, which the CCI rep told me is within normal specs. 1% is supposed to be the max failure rate for CCI bulk 22 LR.

October 24, 2007, 04:07 AM
Re: Reliability.

One is supposed to read the friggin' manual of any firearm and this includes the section on Ammunition.

Find out what the gun was designed to shoot, what the firearm was designed to shoot Point of Aim to Point of Impact (POA/POI), with, any WARNINGs of what Not to shoot, and the like.

We speak of shot placement, and how guns are set up for /sights regulated for POA/POI. How the Magazine on a Semi, is part of the firearm, as is Ammunition, therefore all components have to work, to be reliable - which is needed for Shot placement.

Center-fire firearms-
This is what get me.

Folks will spend hard earned dollars, on firearms, some more expensive that others.
Show up at CCW class, training class, competition, out plinking - whatever -and the gun will not run because they are using Inferior Ammunition, to save a few dollars, perhaps even the incorrect ammunition as the WARNING said to not use that ammunition, or they have not tried this ammunition and ...
It is the Mfg's fault of course.

And folks are going to post, .22 lr guns are not worth spit and are not reliable??

Here is my take - again.

Using a Beretta 21A for example. It comes in 22 lr and 25 ACP.

.22 lr is less expensive than 25ACP ammunition.

If a person finds what that .22lr version likes best, in gun and mags, and puts in the time, effort and dedication, to consistently hit a tennis ball on a bad day, a golf ball on a good day...

This is great! That person is one with the gun, it has been checked out with ammo, mags and everything else.
This person can afford a lot more practice, and will therefore shoot this gun more.

25 ACP is going to cost more for ammo, so :
(a) they don't check out everything, not one with the gun, they are not as likely to just go shoot it.

(b) Now lets say a Person does invest the time, money effort with that 25ACP.
Quite an investment, still they did and that 21A in 25ACP is checked out and proven with with loads, mags and the whole bit.

This person has two guns, same platform, just different calibers.
The can continue to do a LOT of quality practice with the .22lr.

It might be a LEO, and one that does /or does not do UC and Dept says NO rimfire for BUGs.
Now it may have changed, still some UC LEOs did not use anything, the Dept issued, as they could not afford to be made using a "Cops's gun".
They were allowed to use say a 21A, just it was not associated like a Colt DS, or Model 36 ...

Back in the day, some used Bertta Minx in .22 short with this mind for Beretta Jetfire which uses 25ACP.

Many fine .22 revolvers were just like the .38spl used by Police Depts.
Just like many today use a .22 conversion kit on 1911s or whatever.

Same reason folks get a bolt action .22 rifle like the center fire bolt action they hunt with.

What good is $2000 centerfire, with all the craftsmanship and all if the person sticks in the cheapest ammo and it does not run?
Same gun and the latest greatest, expensive Ballistic Gel tested ctgs and these ctgs do not run?

Investigate & Verify.

October 24, 2007, 10:05 AM
One thing no one has talked about when it comes to pocket carry is that the pocket is not an ideal atmosphere for guns or ammo. Sweat, pocket lint,change etc. can cause havoc with a more complicated firearm. Once again the super simple stainless NAA fits the bill, plus the off chamber safety notch could not be safer in the pocket.
Also I made reference in an earlier post saying that I'd sooner have a cheap gun impounded by the police. That caused a reply that a price tag should not be put on self defense, I agree, but no one has suggested that the NAA is cheap junk just simple and inexpensive.

October 24, 2007, 12:02 PM
I have and like a few .22 pistols (Ruger & Bernardelli, to name two). Great sporting arms, but if I were to pick a .22 for serious work, it'd be a revolver, for sure. I have a 4" Taurus and an old 2" High Standard Sentinel (both are 9-shot revolvers), and an NAA mini magnum; I absolutely trust the cycling reliability of all three, even if less than perfectly cleaned & lubed. Even the best rimfire autos are more prone to malfunction, in my experience.

October 24, 2007, 04:24 PM
Pancho wrote:

Also I made reference in an earlier post saying that I'd sooner have a cheap gun impounded by the police. That caused a reply that a price tag should not be put on self defense, I agree, but no one has suggested that the NAA is cheap junk just simple and inexpensive.

Quit using common sense, referring to reality and posting what actually happens in the Real World.

This is teh Intraweb.
Intraweb where everyone has lots of disposable income, custom made guns with the expensive most up to date ammuntion.
They never have to be in any kind of work, or situation, that due to dress, company policy or legal statues prevents them for carrying firearms.

They will never have to drop a gun on pavement, grass, asphalt, by an LEO, nor will they ever have to get onto same ground and extend arms, legs. Never be handcuffed, and never have to wait for officers to straighten out who, is who and what the situation is.

Their guns are exempt from any and all Protocols of any LEO Agency, or Statues of any Governing body no matter how large, or small, that requires Firearms be kept as evidence, and presented at trials, or hearings.

These guns will never be - still IF they were to be held onto for a few minutes, they would be in better condition when handed back, than received.
No scratches, and all cleaned, lubed and in NIB condition instead.

The Deagles are for "bumming" and "running" around in shorts and T shirts or for when these Custom Guns need their 2pm nap, and time to change wonder lube of the day again.

I mean if a 90# Skank can conceal a Deagle in painted on bikini, anyone can...

Pancho, This IS the Intraweb. Get up to speed with what all is going on.


October 24, 2007, 09:08 PM
SM, trying to send you a PM, but it says you're turned off.

October 24, 2007, 11:33 PM
Good Lord! SM what was I thinking. You're right I am new to this Intraweb thing.

October 24, 2007, 11:38 PM
SM, Your earlier Post about proper ammo for any gun brought to mind something in my NAA instructions about not using a certain brand or type of ammo in the NAA. I'm going to have to dig out my instructions.

October 26, 2007, 09:51 PM
The Iver Johnson pt 22 was a grate gun. I deeply regret selling mine. It never had a single malfuntion. At the time i had it i was shooting a lot. Ammo was always fresh.

I bought a Beretta 950 bs from a freind a couple of months ago for $125.00 with a half box of ammo. Its small and hard to shoot but will group very well if you can see the sights. You can also carry it "cocked and Locked" if you want. It scares my nuts when i carry it in my pocket like this.

October 28, 2007, 12:40 AM
My 2 cents:
An H&R DA 922 holds 9 rounds, is dirt cheap and will always work. However, they aren't the lightest in weight. I have a 7 shot DA revolver made by Iver Johnson/US Revolver Co. that's 90-100 years old and it's very tiny & light. Plus, it always works when you pull the trigger. No jams with revolvers.

October 28, 2007, 02:03 AM
.... but in terms of TRUE, easy concealment (palm-size), the tip of my hat still goes to the .22 NAA revolvers with CCI stingers.
Even though Stingers are very good rounds might I suggest CCI Velocitor.

Stinger numbers are:
1640 fps
191 ft/lbs of energy
32gr GDHP

Velocitor numbers are:
1435 fps
183 ft/lbs of energy
40gr GLHP
(Even though we all know you won't get these numbers from a short barrel, I'm using them for comparison)

With Velocitors you still get a very high velocity bullet with almost exactly as much energy as the Stingers but you get a heavier projectile. IMO the 40gr bullet is better than the 32gr bullet. Stinger numbers are only superior to Velocitor numbers from the muzzle. From 50 yards out Velocitors have superior energy and velocity retention. (even though the NAA Mini is meant for up close and personal work! LOL)

October 28, 2007, 06:28 AM
If you can hit anything at 50 yrds with a mini my hat is off to you. I do know one fella who carries a mini as a BUG loaded with aguila SSS's. He figures that 60gr bullet will give him just almost enough penetration if worse comes to worst.

October 28, 2007, 08:56 AM
J frame S&W 34

October 29, 2007, 09:59 PM
I have a older Bersa (644) that has never misfired, and my wife can take it and shoot it like its a match grade rifle. It has been a great (cheap) pistol

January 4, 2008, 03:10 PM
SM, Your earlier Post about proper ammo for any gun brought to mind something in my NAA instructions about not using a certain brand or type of ammo in the NAA. I'm going to have to dig out my instructions.

From NAA Owner and Instructional Manual:

"WARNING: Do not use any PMC 22 caliber ammunition (Magnum and/or Long Rifle) in
any model of NAA revolvers which may cause a double-discharge (two rounds
simultaneously discharging, one aligned in the barrel and the other out of the batterycylinder)."

I retrieved the above from the NAA website.

I bought one of these .22LR mini revolvers but can't pick it up until March due to gun laws in my state. This should be a great concealable gun from what I have heard and read.

On another matter, it's imperative that one READ and PRACTICE making the gun 'safe', though. Make sure gun is unloaded while practicing. I am going to practice loading and unloading at least ten to twenty-five times BEFORE using live ammunition.
The Owner's Manual is VERY IMPORTANT-more so, IMHO, than just about any other manual for a firearm.

I should think that if one does not use great caution in loading and making 'safe' there is a GREAT potential for AD's (ND's-whatever). It's difficult to think of a gun where that possibility is not greater, IMHO.

But once hammer is PROPERLY POSITIONED on safety notch, leave it there. Be certain cylinder is stationary. No reason to play with the loaded gun by cocking and uncocking with live ammo-unless, of course, you are at the range or in a defense situation.


January 4, 2008, 04:06 PM
I had forgotten about this thread after running into my CEO at the range and having a long discussion about what policy and reality were. But for a short amount of time I did have this little critter.
A few trips to the range cured my curiousity and it got traded off for Contender gear.

January 4, 2008, 04:16 PM
FWIW, I've had a lot more trouble with stoppages due to feeding failures than ignition failure in 'vest pocket' sized RF semiautos. The .22 LR has to be about the worst cartridge to try and engineer a really small pistol for: It is rimmed. It's OAL to diameter ratio makes timing super critical, so even small changes at any of several points in the cycle can cause a malf. Sheesh! In my old Beretta 21A even a different lot of the same ammo could change things enough to start causing problems.

I had the best luck with an old Astra Cub in .22 S. It didn't hiccough unless it got really grungey and ran well with both standard and HS ammo. As long as it wasn't overlubed you could put a couple of hundred rounds through it before it needed cleaning. Not bad for a blowback RF that small.

Loved the idea of the little Walther TPH, but it bit me on the web of my hand every shot. Same thing with the older PPK/PPKs. The 'new' S&W version of the PPK doesn't, but I don't think that anyone has addressed the 'baby' yet.

About the coolest teeny .22 I ever shot was a Casull CA 2000 revolver. A 5-shot, hammerless DAO with a folding trigger that reminded me of some of the old European pocket guns from the beginning of the last century. Unfortunately, by the time I decided to get one they were gone and I couldn't get the one person that I knew who had one to part with his.

January 4, 2008, 04:18 PM
IMHO: The most reliable pocket pistol currently being made is the S&W 317 8-shot revolver.

January 4, 2008, 04:26 PM
Yep I'll agree w/ rcmodel about the S&W317. As far as autopistols go I think the Beretta M70s is very hard to beat. I've had one in .22lr for nearly 20 yrs and feel the M70 series are among the best small autopistols in either .22ir, .32acp or .380acp. Great guns, locked-n-cocked! If you can run across one, get it, you'll not be disappointed, but beware the .22lr magazines are a bear to find!

January 4, 2008, 05:22 PM
Most reliable would be the mini revolvers. I don't think that makes them the "best" though. I like the Walther TPH and the Beretta 21.

January 5, 2008, 02:00 AM
I'm glad to see this thread. I'm kicking around the idea of getting either one of the Berettas or a small SW in .22 cal for a BUG.

Even though Stingers are very good rounds might I suggest CCI Velocitor.

Velocitors-while more expensive than the bulk stuff make an unreliable .22 a very reliable .22 in my experience. I had a Remington 597 that would didn't like the bulk pack stuff, but everytime I pulled the trigger when loaded with Velocitors it went bang, and accurately. Good stuff.

January 5, 2008, 02:51 AM
I had the dual cylinder NAA mini-magnum and it was indeed a lot of fun to shoot. But, it was also impractical for any use other than as a "belly gun". Hard to hold onto and shoot with any reasonable accuracy. I'd be inclined to buy either the Beretta 21A/Bobcat or the Taurus PT-22 pistol new. As for a CC .22Magnum revolver, take a look-see at Taurus' 941. It's a lot less expensive than the S&W 317 but still a sturdy revolver.

January 7, 2008, 03:01 AM
I kick myself about once a month for getting rid of my Beretta 21a. At 10 yards it grouped well enough for defense, it didn't mind some bulk ammo but it really loved CCI Velocitors.
If I come across one again, it will definitely follow me home.

Steve C
January 7, 2008, 03:23 AM
Maybe it's just me, but I can't remember the last time I pulled the trigger on a rimfire and the gun didn't go boom, AND it was due to the ammunition. I know everyone says that rimfire is unreliable, but I haven't seen it be less so than the centerfire stuff I shoot.

You are just not shooting enough of it. I shoot a .22 bullseye pistol league and run about 2000 rounds through my .22's. With match ammo at $7 a box of 50 I'll get a failure to fire perhaps every other year. With less expensive ammo 3 or 4 failures per 500 round brick. I've disassembled many of these and find that the primer compound is either missing or only distributed around part of the rim. This is why if you reload a bad round it will often go off when the firing pin its a different area of the rim. Of the brands I've found CCI to be some of the most reliable with very few FTF.

I have one of the old S&W Escorts like Robert shows but I also have a Beretta 21 that gets carried occasionally when clothing or circumstance doesn't allow a larger pistol. Its usually stoked with CCI Stingers.

January 7, 2008, 11:20 AM
My little pre lock Firestorm 22 (Bersa made) is 100 reliable with Rem Golden Bullet bulk, CCI Mini Mags, WW Wildcat, and Stingers. Federal lightnings were not reliable at all.

This little auto is surprisingly accurate (fixed barrel), feels great, has a very smooth DA pull, but SA is a little mushy. Mags are priced high, but for a lifetime warranty, and $189 paid I have no regrets.

And a review of it from Gunblast:

January 8, 2008, 12:53 AM
i had a Beretta .22 that was fun to carry but i didn't trust it as far as i could throw it - It jammed more then -- well - i would be leary of getting another - iv heard really good things about the taurus version of the 21A - personally i would get a S&W revolver -
or go up to the .380

January 8, 2008, 02:05 AM
+1 on the Beretta 950 in 22 short. Not made any more, but you should be able to find one. I recently picked up a 'Camper' 950 with the 3.5" barrel...for long range shooting. :D

January 9, 2008, 01:54 AM
I have two .22lr pocket pistols. An Iver-Johnson TP-22 & an Taurus PT-22. I really like both. Wish I would have bought several Iver-Johnsons back in the '80s they are good reliable pistols.

I also have a Walther P-22 that is great fun to shoot (especially self-defense drills) but not pocket pistol size. My Ruger MKII and my High Standard are also great to shoot when I'm trying to shoot for accuracy and at target shooting distances.

Someday I'd like to pick up a Walther TPH and maybe a mini .22lr revolver.

January 9, 2008, 05:43 PM
Since this thread started a new pocket pistol has come my way to join my TPH. The new guy is a American Arms PX 22, Clone of the oft mentioned Iver Johnson TP22. It is amazingly accurate, requires a double strike now and again, but is a real hoot to shoot. Here's a family pic.

January 9, 2008, 05:47 PM
I bought a walther tph some time back. Outside it was beautiful. Inside were more tooling marks than the outside of a russian tank. The chamber was very rough. I polished out the chamber and the only ammo it liked was cci stingers. I paid a lot of money for that gun and it was a piece of crap. About 6 months ago I bought a phoenix arms .22 auto. I've fired it over 500 times with no cleaning and minor lube with zero malfunctions. It's more accurate than the walther ever thought about. The total cost of that pistol was $120. out the door. Granted it's made of cast zinc and I don't expect it to hold up for long term use, but it works just fine.

January 9, 2008, 05:59 PM
Beretta Minx, .22 short.

I had one of those POSs. Okay, they might not all be as bad, but this one wouldn't eject, wouldn't feed, and wouldn't fire any ammo on the first strike. :rolleyes: It had so many problems I didn't know where to start. I didn't try any warranty, just sold it to a dealer at a gun show for 35 more'n I gave for it. I have heard bad things about Beretta customer service or lack there of. Not sure if that's true either as I decided to unload the little POS. Only bought it from a friend because he's not a gun guy, couldn't make it work, and I thought I could. I ain't THAT good with guns, LOL!

I walked away smilin' and the gun dealer was happy. Who ever winds up with it won't be. It sold on its all steel construction and good looks and of course a Beretta can't be bad and it looks good. But, guess what, I have a Phoenix Arms HP22 that is very reliable and cost me less. ROFL Phoenix Arms has fantastic customer service, I know, I've had to use it. LOL All in all, if I had to pick a little hideout for reliability, though, it'd be my NAA mini revolver. If you wanna do something serious with a rimfire and pocket sized especially, revolvers are the ONLY way to go IMHO.

January 9, 2008, 06:47 PM
I have a Beretta 21A Bobcat. Its been 100% reliable so far with CCI Minimags.

January 9, 2008, 10:35 PM
One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was trading my Pheonix for a Charter Arms Explorer. I bought the Pheonix back when they were $79.95 and you could buy the "target" barrel and mag for $24.95. Little thing would eat whatever you fed it and was as accurate as the sights would allow. Made a great tackle box gun. Mine was blued and the only target barrel I could find was SS, so it had that cool two tone effect. I may have to buy another one of those.

Pearl's Dad
January 10, 2008, 11:29 AM
21A here was flawless with any high power ammo, i would sneak a magazine of bulk in there and it would nevr cycle.

works great with a nemesis pocket holster.

January 10, 2008, 12:42 PM
One person's experience isn't decisive - obviously but to share:

1. Taurus PT-22 - beautiful little gun - total jammer
2. Friends' Beretta - also
3. SW 317 very lightweight - terrible trigger
4. NAA Mini - just a last ditch bug. But it can be shot reasonably well for SD. I have the 1 5/8" barrel and shot the TX CHL protocol with it for grins. Got about a 220 ish out of 250. I shoot 250 with a real handgun - :D. However, with my NAA 22S - unbelievably small gun - about 150 - that is a nose to nose gun.

January 10, 2008, 09:05 PM
I've got the following small .22s (not all are pocket guns):

Berretta Bobcat 21a - reliable with most of what I put through it. Primitive sights, but accurate and points well.

Beretta 70s - same as above - this gun is a lot bigger though, the size of a .380. Aftermarket mags will turn it into a jammo-matic and original mags are expensive and rare.

Ruger SP101 - Mine has a 4" barrel but they also made a 2" version. This thing is a small tank, they make their 5 shot .357mag on this frame. Decent DA and SA trigger. Fairly heavy.

S&W .22/.32 kit gun - "pre 34" - mine has a 4" barrel but 2" versions were also mage. Great little knock around gun, decent DA trigger great SA trigger. There was also an alloy one called the model 43.

Ruger Super Bearcat - I've got an old model that has not been converted by the factory. Great little SA gun and a hoot to shoot. The regular Bearcat was an alloy frame and is even lighter. New ones are SS.

If I could only own 2 (don't make me go less than that) it would be the S&W Kit Gun and Beretta 70s. But the Bobcat would be a fine alternative.

You might also want to go the derringer route. I had a friend with an old High Standard in .22lr and another in .22mag. 14lb trigger pull and only two shots, but reliable and pocket sized.

January 12, 2008, 07:27 PM
I agree with everyone about the North American Arms MINI .22 Mag........
Awesome little gun and you'll never know its in your pocket.....

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