I may finally get a .22 pistol


January 22, 2003, 02:40 AM
I never bothered buying a .22 handgun. I wasn't a big fan of the caliber in my rifles or when I rented a handgun and 9mm is plenty cheap to get in enough practice.

However, I am starting to feel the need for a .22 for when I just want some really cheap play time. I may get a target type gun, a revolver or even a little .22lr pocket pistol. It isn't really for practice time since 9mm and .38 are cheap enough, just for cheap fun. I'm almost leaning toward a little pocket pistol to maximize the fun part out of this puny caliber. A friend had a .25acp Beretta Jetfire once that was amazingly accurate for its size so I may not totally lose out on accuracy anyway. Of course, there is something to be said for a more accurate gun too and I do love revolvers so either a target type gun or revolver are still on the table as options.

Unfortunatly, I didn't get one before MD's new lock law went into effect and I'm probably a month off (maybe two) so I doubt any "pre-lock" guns will be around so it has to be from someone with built-in locks.

That basically means a Taurus, a Walther P22 (I think), or a S&W unless I can get something used.

What are your suggestions? I'm not counting on buying used (prices may be out the roof on used "pre-lock" guns soon anyway).

I'm primarily thinking about a Taurus PT22 (pocket gun), Taurus 94 revolver (with either a 4" or 2" barrel), Walther P22 (because of the complicated take down and reassembly I wasn't sure about them before but now they are one of only a few options), or a S&W 22. The S&W is the only traditional target type .22 available.

If I can find a used (or better, new) "pre-lock" gun I may consider a Ruger MkII (though they don't necessarily do that much for me I know they are great guns, very accurate and priced well) and I'd love a Beretta 21 Bobcat.

I put it to the field for ideas and comments both about types (pocket gun just for fun, revolver, more traditional target gun) and models (primarily stick to those most available now in MD).

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Ted Bell
January 22, 2003, 09:32 AM
I am enjoying my P22. I started a thread about a feeding problem it was having from slide lock. I tweaked the follower a little and haven't had a problem since.

As for take down and reassembly, takedown is a breeze. I will admit to having problems reassemling the gun the first time, but once you know what yuo are doing its OK.

As you point out, shooting .22 is very nice on the wallet :D

January 22, 2003, 10:46 AM
Just picked up at P22 in Maryland, myself (on 01-03). AS far as I know, I don't think the integral lock on the Walther has been approved. Had a blast shooting it last weekend, just a couple hiccups. Keep in mind, all used guns (made before 1-1-2003) are still legal to purchase, so you may want to check the next gun show if you'd like a Ruger Mark II, etc. Good Luck!

January 22, 2003, 11:07 AM
I've been shooting 22lr more & more over the last few months. Good cheap fun & trigger time is trigger time, right?

January 22, 2003, 12:41 PM
I have both the S&W 22A and the Walther P22. I've had some minor reliability issues with the 22A and none with the P22. I prefer the P22 as it is way more fun. But the 22A is noticeably more accurate. I just bought 500 rounds of "match grade" Federal ammo and it cost me $18. :what: In the world of .22 guns that is a lot of money. I normally use Remington bulk stuff for half that price.

January 22, 2003, 01:41 PM
You can shoot 10 times as much for the same cost. Make each shot count, and that will make you a pretty good shot.

I have:

S&W 422
Ruger Gov. 6-7/8
Buck Mark
Beretta 21A

I f I was only going to have one, it would be the first one I got, the Ruger, but with a four or five inch bull barrel.

Good luck and good shooting.

January 22, 2003, 01:52 PM
I'd like to recommend a Ruger .22 pistol in any of its variations.
A few months back I bought my wife the P-4, the blued .22/45 with a 4" bull barrel and adj sights. I think it was $239 or so.
She loves it, and I covet it!
So much so that just yesterday I traded some stuff for another .22/45, this time I got the "Great Eight" version, slabsided 8" blue barrel with adj sights. $269.

Both of these guns shoot very well. I like cheap ammo, and currently have been buying the 550's of Rem. Golden bullets for $8.99. At 10 yards I can make dime-sized one-holers with either gun, and at 20 yards I have had some right around an inch.
The better groups at 20-25 yrds are with Rem Target and Green Tag. At the 10 yard mark it doesn't seem to matter whether I use MiniMags, Goldens, or the good stuff.

The great thing about the Ruger .22's is the wide variety of specs you can choose from, scads of aftermarket parts, thousands of used models available in the under-$200 range, simple operation, every smith out there knows how to work on them, and so on....

I still love my S&W revolvers, especially the .22s, but I'm convinced it's hard to beat the Ruger .22 auto for general fun-gunning.
:) -Kframe

Jim K
January 22, 2003, 02:11 PM
I also recommend the Ruger. The Standard Model MkII is fine, but my choice for a few dollars more would be the 5" heavy barrel. There are still quite a few around in MD and will be for a little while longer, but don't delay if you want a new one.

Don't go with anything in .25 Auto, as you have the worst of both worlds, expense and low power.

And avoid the .22 pocket pistols, even if you can find one. If you can carry (unlikely in MD), you want something with more power; if for plinking, the good .22 autos will be much better.

Also, don't overlook revolvers. There are a fair number of used Rugers around, single and double action, as well as the superb S&W K-22 and Kit Guns.


January 22, 2003, 02:11 PM
Just got into the .22 pistol realm myself (Ruger MKII Slabside). Definitely some good cheap fun. Great practice. I would also see what you could get a used MKII for...allthough a friend of mine has a P22 and it's a load of fun.

January 22, 2003, 02:35 PM
Frogs. It gives them a sporting chance. Also good for making noise.

Also, cheap practice with a short radius small auto, like a P32, NAA, Seecamp, etc. I didn't discover this utility until I had the Beretta 21A.

January 22, 2003, 04:04 PM
I love my Buckmark. Fits my hand well, super accurate, great trigger, and not a nightmare to take down. If you can find one, grab it. It's worth it...:D

I think politicians need a safety lock more than guns... :cuss:

January 22, 2003, 04:56 PM
I have been a confirmed 22lr/22mag. addict since God knows how long.
You cant go wrong with any 22lr IMHO.

January 22, 2003, 05:03 PM
I'm sure that there is still an ample supply of pre-2003 new .22s in Maryland. Personally I've only bought two new handguns since the stupid case fingerprinting law went into affect. I have a Ruger Mark II 678G (my personal favorite), Buck Mark Pro, Beretta 21A, Ruger Single Six, and my old H&R 929. The Mark II & Buck Mark are both tack drivers. The 21A is finicky with ammo so be prepared to use some higher price brand like CCI Mini Mags or CCI Stingers. Also forget about using the sights on the 21A. I normally only use the .22WMR cylinder in my Single Six but it gives you an additional option to shoot. My H&R 929 is as accurate as my Single Six. I've seen them for under $150 at some local gun shops. The Timonium show is 2/7-2/9 & I'm sure there will be plenty of .22s on sale there.

January 22, 2003, 07:39 PM
There is an easy way out here...Do you have a centerfire auto pistol ?? Well there are 22 conversion kits for most of them..I have one for the 1911 made by Cienier and think it is great..It is not a match gun but it is accurate enough for everything except
formal competition.. The kits are rather inexpensive,about $200
will get you most all,and without the agravation of a new handgun purchase..
Did I say that I like mine,it gets used more than everything else.
550 rounds of 22lr for less than 50 rounds of 45..
Can't beat that with a stick..

January 22, 2003, 07:45 PM
.22 pistol you buy. Just buy one. As you say, they are (disregarding the initial purchase price), lots of cheap fun. They are usefiul, too. Target practice, etc. It doesn't matter, on that level, which one you get. Any of the ones mentioned will work. Given your location, you are somewhat limited, but you can still get something that is not too pricey, will work, and is fun and cool.

No "toolbox' is complete without one.

January 22, 2003, 09:39 PM
Well, since you're asking about pocket guns I won't try to talk you into anything else. The only Taurus I own, and will most likely ever own, is the PT22. I bought it some years back under the advice of a gun shop owner I trusted, when like you, I wanted a .22 pocket pistol.

He didn't steer me wrong. Within it's limits it's a good gun. I've had no problems with it (admittedly I don't shoot it that often), and it turned out to be more accurate than I expected. I've never bothered to shoot paper with it, but a couple of times I've shot metal plates at 15 yards and was surprised to find it would consistently hit the target.

It isn't going to reach out very far, and isn't my first choice for personal defense. However, it's never jammed (yet), hits what I'm aiming at to 15 yards (the couple times I tried), and has been trouble free. I kinda sorta like it.

Disclaimer: I really prefer my MKII or Huntsman at the range.

Marko Kloos
January 22, 2003, 10:27 PM
Everybody needs at least one .22 in their collection. Nothing like shooting all day for less than $10. My current plinking favorite is my Beretta NEOS.

January 22, 2003, 11:13 PM
I'll assure you of this - get a .22 Ruger Auto and you WILL become a .22 convert. In this part of the country you can get a heavy barrel and adjustable sights for under $300 - and a "Plain Jane" model for under $250. Whatever Ruger .22 Auto you get, it will be reliable, accurate, sturdy and cheap to feed.

Don't get a "mini" .22 first. You will be disappointed. Don't get a high dollar target gun first. You will feel ripped off.

Get a Ruger .22 Auto and 1,000 rounds (for under $20) and plink away. Then if you want something more or something less, you'll have a benchmark.

January 23, 2003, 12:27 AM
DO get a .22. DO NOT get a .25

Too many options that are pretty sweet to list. I've had great sucess with anything Ruger, the Buckmarks (have a really old Browning Nomad that's pretty sweet), anything S&W revolvers.

I'd go to a "shop," pick up several, try their triggers (if allowed - move on if not), see how one feels best & buy that one.

.22s are sometimes finickey about loadings. One will like what the next one hates. Be prepared to buy a few different 50 round boxes to see what yours takes to favor. Buy lots of that.

Everybody needs (no, not wants = needs) a .22 handgun & rifle. If not for you, for those you'd hope to help learn the ways ....

January 23, 2003, 04:34 PM
Alright, all of you...I've been pondering a .22 handgun purchase for a little while now and have been leaning toward either a Ruger MkII or their 22/45 model...this conversation's really getting me fired up about making a selection! I'm gonna blame you all if I catch any heat from my wife about coming home this weekend with a new acquisition! :)

January 23, 2003, 04:56 PM
DO get a .22. DO NOT get a .25
Sorry anyone misunderstood me. I have no intention of buying a .25acp. I mentioned the one a friend once had to make the point that a small pocket gun can be a good fun gun sometimes and can be a real surprise when it comes to accuracy.
.22s are sometimes finickey about loadings Tell me about it. One of the big reasons I was resisting a .22 handgun was that I was often frustrated by this particular trait of my 10/22 and Marlin 60. Then again, one of the reasons I'm starting to change my mind is that good .22lr ammo, like CCI Stingers or Mini-Mags, are still much less than 9mm or .38spl.
Everybody needs (no, not wants = needs) a .22 handgun & rifle. If not for you, for those you'd hope to help learn the ways .... This is actually one of the reasons I'm thinking about it. I tried to get a friend who was somewhat nervous about shooting into it and she tried one of my revolvers with light .38spl wadcutters and even that was too much for her and she didn't finish off the cylinder. I don't know if a .22 would have been better since her problem wasn't really recoil but fear of the gun but I figure there are people, especially beginners, for whom a .22 would be a more comfortable starting point.
Well, since you're asking about pocket guns I won't try to talk you into anything else. Well, I'm thinking about both. I just kinda like small guns nowdays and I think a small pocket gun can be just as much fun as a bigger gun sometimes (just not as accurate) and in the case of these small guns I think it could be better. However, I do see the value a larger gun could have as well (though for me it probably wouldn't be as fun). A larger gun would especially be more suited for the situation I mentioned above.
As you say, they are (disregarding the initial purchase price), lots of cheap fun. Actually, even considering the purchase price many are cheap fun. Most decent, non-competition quality, .22 handguns (with the exception of new S&W revolvers) won't really cost any more than a case of .45acp and about two cases of 9mm.
There is an easy way out here...Do you have a centerfire auto pistol ?? One or two, or three, or four... :).Well there are 22 conversion kits for most of them... I thought about getting the Kadet kit for my CZ 75B or a kit for my 1911 but I decided against it. One reason is that many .22 pistols aren't much more money and for me there is something about having an excuse to just pick up yet another gun.
Also, don't overlook revolvers. There are a fair number of used Rugers around, single and double action, as well as the superb S&W K-22 and Kit Guns. I certainly won't. I love revolvers.

I mentioned I was thinking about a Taurus 94. In fact, right now I'm leaning towards a 2" 94 (probably a UL but maybe steel). I had a Taurus 605 that I got rid of because .357 was too much in it and it was heavier than a .38 due to the chambering. I did find that I'm no where near as accurate with a snub as with other guns. This isn't uncommon. So I was thinking about a snub revolver because it will be good practice for when I get a .38 snub, it is a smallish gun (something I appreciate), it has usable sights, and if you can get in enough practice to get good with a snub you'll be accurate with anything (and that part would be far easier with inexpensive .22lr ammo and low recoil).

I'm also considering a Ruger Single-Six if I can find a new one still when I'm ready (they won't have the locks) or if I can find a good used one.

Thanks for all the quick advice. I still am looking for input. Give me ideas I haven't thought of, plusses and minuses of what I have and keep talking me into the .22.

January 23, 2003, 05:51 PM
I've only got two Ruger .22 autos, but have had opportunity to shoot dozens (gunsales/repair job in the past), and none seemed finnicky about ammo.

The two that I've got, although I haven't had them for very long, have collectively eaten 2500 rounds of about five different brands of fodder.
The ONLY malf's I've had were the ammo's fault.
The rim took a good strike, and with each I removed the round and chambered it in my S&W M18, and gave repeated hammer strikes to the rounds. No bang. If ammo doesn't go off in my M18, it doesn't go off at all I've found. (The M18 passed 20,000 a while back.)

So, if you have a Ruger .22 you can probably feed it anything, and if it does bobble, it would bet if not the ammo, there is a burr on the chamber lip or extractor. Of the rare things I've seen go wrong (or come from the factory bad) on these guns, those are usually the culprit.
$.02, -Kframe :)

January 23, 2003, 06:09 PM
I have a S&W 422 in .22lr; and a Beretta 21A in .22 short. That little 21A really stings the hand and is IMPOSSIBLE to shoot with any accuracy at all. This tiny little gun is really a novelty. And if anyone were to offer near the embarrasing price I paid for it, I'd sell the thing. It's just a deadly toy.

I had a 6 7/8 inch barrel Ruger MkII Target which I sold soon after I bought the CZ Kadet .22lr kit to go on my CZ-85 frame. Ruger MkIIs are quirky guns. Many love them. I don't.

S&W 422 is a good inexpensive plinker. You can only get them used anymore. And used is the way you should go with whatever you buy.

Don't forget to consider a revolver. Ruger has a real nice one (forget the model). I shot a friend's and was delighted with the trigger and accuracy. A .22 revolver will not have the feeding/cycling problems you get with autoloading pistols -- no small consideration in a .22lr.

January 23, 2003, 07:54 PM
The only thing I meant about finikey is that some .22RFs like a certain type of ammo. Some will love one, while another abhors it - regards accuracy.

Thass all.

January 23, 2003, 08:03 PM
Labgrade is dead on as far as the accuracy issue (pardon the pun, I had to).

It is common for Brand X to group 1" at 25 yards in this gun, and 3" at 25yds in that gun.
It isn't uncommon at all to find that sometimes a gun will prefer the cheap walmart $8 brick stuff over a $13 box of Ultra Match or Tenex.

But it takes a good gun to get good accuracy out of any brand of bullet.
It wouldn't make sense to buy a Raven or Lorcin or Jennings and hope that if you feed it the Match ammo that it will group tightly.

It takes a lot of "experimenting" to find exactly what your gun(s) prefers at what distances, and that's all part of the fun!!!
:) -Kframe

January 24, 2003, 07:22 PM

January 24, 2003, 07:25 PM
my favorite .22's...and yes I shoot them regularly. (or atleast I did before the divorce clamed them :( :cuss: :banghead: :fire:

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