Suggestions on .22 plinker


December 16, 2010, 03:28 PM
I'm looking for a .22 revolver to improve my overall shooting techniques. I would probably prefer a single action, but would not be opposed to a DA if the trigger is manageable.

I assumed 4-6" bbl would be most common. But I'm open to suggestions.

Don't really wanna spend more than about $500. But the cheaper the better.

Accuracy is really my prime objective. If it has the option to mount optics later on that would be sweet.

Thanks guys!

P.S. I should mention this will be my 1st revolver. And Ive only previosuly fired 38 snubbies. As I'm an auto guy. So dont be afraid to dumb it down for me lol

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December 16, 2010, 03:44 PM
Look for a Used Ruger Single Six..... Accurate Shooters and You will Never Wear it Out .....:)

December 16, 2010, 03:46 PM
If you are interested in a Single Action and this is your first revolver, there is only one gun for you in my mind.

The Ruger Single Six

Well within your budget
Built like a tank
Great resale value
Many come with a .22 Magnum Cylinder

If you find one you like, I wouldn't be afraid to buy used, even one 30-50 years old. Scratches give character. Like I said, they are built tough.

Here's mine:

Rimfire Central has a good sub-forum for te Ruger Single Six with lots of info.

December 16, 2010, 03:47 PM
sagebrushjim beat me to the punch! Great guns!

December 16, 2010, 03:55 PM
Yeah look no further than the Ruger single six. You cannot be in a huge hurry to put tons of rounds through the things but they are great shooters and they will last forever.

4v50 Gary
December 16, 2010, 04:08 PM
I like DA revolvers better because they allow you to practice DA shooting. Personally, I would prefer a used S&W or Ruger (but Ruger doesn't make them anymore). Forget trying to find a used 22 LR caliber Colt DA revolver. I almost never see them (but was lucky when my buddy put my money down on a Colt Diamondback 22 LR years ago).

December 16, 2010, 04:20 PM
Fredie, that is a gorgeous gun. I've been looking at the single sixes for a while. And it sounds like they are an incredible bargain.

Anyone have exp with the Taurus tracker 700? There one on GB that looks neat.

December 16, 2010, 04:28 PM
0ne from 1955, a 3", the other from 1956, is a 4" - both have aluminum frames and coil springs, and both are still great plinkers. I found them in the same shop, about 2 years apart - each was around $140.
H&R / NEF also made some good plinker .22 revolvers that can still be found for very little money.


December 16, 2010, 04:38 PM
Ruger Single Six or a Ruger Bearcat. Have both love both. Great value for the $ too.
Love that Stainless short Bbl. SS.

December 16, 2010, 05:17 PM
I'd love to find a Ruger SP101 .22!!!!!
The wife has a .357 w/2 1/4 barrel and I'm wanting to get one too now!
We do have a Ruger Mark III .22 Semi Auto and you may want to consider one of them.

December 16, 2010, 06:51 PM
If You don't mind older revolvers Colt Frontier Scouts are out there. I bought this one 3 years ago for $350 ( M-I-L bought Me the grips for x-mas 2 years ago ) . Good shooter...WVleo

December 16, 2010, 06:54 PM
The Single Six's are the way to go if you want a SAA style gun. They may cost a bit more than some of the other lesser known SAA style .22's but they've got a reputation you can't argue with.

But for me .22 is a caliber that begs to be shot a lot. And frankly the SAA style of clearing and re-loading would drive me batty. And this is coming from someone that really likes his SAA cowboy action center fire guns. Nope, for me a swing out cylinder is a must for a .22 plinker. And if that cylinder comes with more than 6 holes in it then so much the better.

If you think like I do then a great way to go, but pricey, would be a S&W 617 ten shot gun. But if you come across a 17, early 6 shot 617, 63, K22 for a price you can live with then you can't go wrong as they are EXCELLENT shooters.

Some budget priced plinkers that may or may not work out to having good tight groups would be the 9 shot options from H&R and Hi Standard. I owned or own an H&R922 and a Hi Standard Double 9. I don't know if it was me or not but the recently aquired S&W 17 shoots much tighter groups than I can manage with the 922 or D9. The D9 had (it's been sold very recently) the advantage of having a SAA like grip. And really the double action pull on it was so horrendous that in reality it really should be treated as a SA gun anyway. The 922 is slightly better in the DA pull but it's still not as nice as the DA pull on the S&W.

Cost wise the H&R and Hi Standard options can be had for half or less of your budget if you're patient.

There's also the Taurus 94. Those that have good ones love them. But the quality of the new ones seems to be hit and miss. But if you can solve any teething troubles that occur early on then they seem to be good enough guns and last for a long time.

December 16, 2010, 07:03 PM
If you shoot or plan to shoot, double action revolvers, I'd buy a double action 22 revolver. The Smith Model 17 or 18 comes to mind, but will likely exceed you budget slightly. Saw a slightly used Smith 617 for $500 a couple weeks ago at a gun shop. It was priced right but not everyone will spend $500 on a 22 revolver, even a fine one.

The least expensive Colt is generally the Trooper Mark III. It is a very good revolver and came in 357 mag, 22LR, and 22WMR.

Most of the inexpensive double action 22's have very strong (read heavy) triggers and are not very suitable for practice for DA shooting. But you can shoot them single action and save the DA for times you want to shoot it that way.

December 16, 2010, 08:14 PM
If you can find one, the High Standard Double Nine is DA and (at least mine) is surprisingly accurate. The added bonus is that mine came with both.22 and .22 magnum cylinders which makes it that much more versatile. Just a thought....


December 16, 2010, 08:18 PM
The Charter Arms target pathfinder might be worth looking into. It won't break the bank, and the brand is "good enough" according to most owners. The newer ones and the originals from a few decades ago are the best, while the ones in between have a bad rep.

December 16, 2010, 08:28 PM
Heritage Roughrider is similar to the Ruger and also made in the USA

December 17, 2010, 12:30 AM
Thanks everyone for the replies! Very helpful!

BCRider: I didnt realize the ruger single six had the cylinder flap? Thank you for pointing that out. I love the look of the gun and I've read nothing but good things about them. But I can't imagine having reload with that method. I shoot several hundred rounds per range trip.

I'm gonna have to google those smith models you mentioned. As I'm not familiar with them.

Here's the Taurus model I was looking at.
They make a 9 shot variant as well.

December 17, 2010, 12:43 AM
Also check out the smaller frame S&W...model 34, 63.

I have a 4" 34 with target grips that is very enjoyable.

December 17, 2010, 01:14 AM
Colt made a Diamondback in .22 lr but they are pricey.

December 17, 2010, 07:56 AM
Go ahead and get a Single-Six. That's what you'll end up with anyway. I'd look for an unmodified, "three screw old model" myself, but I wouldn't turn my nose up at a New Model either.

Yea, they're slow to load and unload. So what? You in a hurry to shoot up your ammo? :D

December 17, 2010, 08:19 AM
since it is not a defense handgun, the slow reloading just makes the fun last longer :D

December 17, 2010, 08:57 AM
since it is not a defense handgun, the slow reloading just makes the fun last longer

Actually, unless you have a 22 semiauto with dozens of preloaded magazines ready to go, I've not noticed much, if any speed penalty in my SAA-style Heritage over my sister's Ruger Mark II when you have to stop and reload the mag.

Granted, a swing out cylinder revolver is faster than either when loading from loose cartridges. But I quite enjoy the process of cocking my Heritage's hammer back to clicks, loading/unloading one at a time.

Here's the Taurus model I was looking at.

If going with a Taurus .22, I think the Tracker is probably your best bet. I've not heard nearly as many horror stories with them as I have the 94s. Like another poster said, good ones are much loved by their owners. But there are quite a number of lemon 94s coming out of Tauri's doors - I was the unlucky recipient of one such turd.

December 17, 2010, 09:58 AM
My absolute favorite double action 22 revolvers are the Colt Diamondback and the S&W Model 18 with 4" barrels. Both are similar sized with the Colt being slightly smaller. The Diamondbacks have gotten very pricey with prices frequently over a $1000 for one in excellent condition. You seldom see them in condition under about 95% blue. The Model 18's are hard to find as most people that buy them, keep them for a long time. The Model 17 is usually the 6" barreled version. The 4" S&W Model 617 is a great currently made DA 22 revolver. I like it better than the 6" version. They are just expensive new (and used for that matter), but once you buy one, you'll never look back and wish you bought something else.

I much prefer a DA 22 revolver for general purposes and prefer a 4" barrel for general use. It is easy to carry in a holster in the woods. I like the flip out cylinder for loading and unloading and the double action capability if I choose to shoot that way. I don't own a Ruger Single Six even though they are an excellent 22 revolver because I just don't like to load the little 22LR cartridges one at a time through the loading gate and unload them one at time. I do own a few Colt SA 22 revolvers, but they aren't shooters for me.

I started out with an H&R Model 999 Sportsman which was good for a couple years until I discovered just how much more enjoyable shooting Colts and Smiths are. There is a significant quality difference over the H&R. H&R made quite a few DA revolvers in 22LR years ago and a lot of people really like them from a cost versus performance standpoint. They will have a very heavy DA trigger and in my case I had to keep an eye out for the sights working loose and falling off. I just got sick of that and felt it should not be necessary to lock-tite a rear sight to keep it on the gun.

The current less expensive DA 22 revolvers are the Charter Arms Pathfinder and the Taurus Model 94. I have almost bought both at one time or another and I just keep asking myself why I would spend good money for one of those when I already have better revolvers. At one time, I would buy one just to try it out, but those days are past.

December 17, 2010, 04:10 PM
Another vote for the Ruger Single Six:)

I also have one in Stainless with a 4 5/8 barrel. Careful though........those Single actions will multiply quickly

December 17, 2010, 07:24 PM
No ones mentioned anything about optics options for these revolvers. I'm assuming these pistols should be mechanically capable of 50yd+ shots with reasonable accuracy. Or am I wrong there?

At this point I'm really leaning towards the Taurus Tracker 990. The rugers are beautiful guns but I think my 1st single six will be something in a heftier caliber.

December 17, 2010, 08:13 PM
Another vote for the single-six.


December 18, 2010, 12:24 AM
Get yourself a nice Harrington-Richardson 999 revolver. Lift up the rear sight, the barrel drops down, load and shoot, open it back up, the mty's get thrown out, reload, over and over again!

December 22, 2010, 10:20 AM
Well I went to the range last night and shot a single six. It was not a good night for me period. But it seemed to shoot high past 7rds. Maybe 4" at 10 meters. Groups were maybe 3"-4" at that distance.

It was a neat weapon. Took me some time to get used to the loading and unloading. After 50 rounds I got pretty proficient though. I never did get used to the grip. I have pretty small hands and it still felt like my left hand was almost pointless

At this point I'm questioning the purchase entirely and diverting the funds towards training. It's been about 6 weeks since I last went shooting and it was not pretty.

December 22, 2010, 10:43 AM
At this point I'm questioning the purchase entirely and diverting the funds towards training. It's been about 6 weeks since I last went shooting and it was not pretty.

That's fine...but don't give up on the .22 idea. I think it's the best learning tool/most bang for the buck.

December 23, 2010, 05:47 PM
If you know you're a revolver guy, and you know you want a DA .22, try to make it happen sooner rather than later.

If I had went ahead when I wanted one instead of waiting, I probably would have saved myself at least $200. I also probably could have gotten a Ruger SP-101 in .22, as they were still making them.

I ended up going with a S&W 317, which is a bit out of your price range. I also considered a model 63; would have liked to see it in a 3" barrel, only saw one 5-incher. The 317 is a light gun that admittedly takes practice to shoot well, but I have had zero problems with it.

If you want a DA .22 that is above "mid-grade" (read: Charter, H&R, Taurus on a good day), and doesn't weigh 3 pounds, those two models are about the only game in town from a brand-new standpoint.

I hear a lot of good things about H&R for price vs. performance. I don't think they're available new, and I don't see many at the shows I go to - which doesn't mean they're not out there. Just saying.

If I were to take a chance and really didn't want to cross the $500 mark, I think I would do the Charter Pathfinder. I seem to hear better reports about it than the Taurus 94. I've heard too many "miss" stories on that hit-and-miss model. As has been said, some people love their 94s and you might get a good one. Keyword: might. I have never fired either one of these models.

I think the SA thing would be a PITA to me, I could probably grow to tolerate it but I personally don't want that for a main, every-shooting-trip plinker. For an occasional go at it, that would be fine. Strongly considered the Bearcat and may still get one someday.

Good luck on whatever you decide.

December 24, 2010, 09:47 AM
]IMHO You really can't go wrong with any of these pieces mentioned in these posts.
Since in your post you're obviously quite open minded and looking for a quality plinker. My personal approach would be to haunt the local gunshops, have some brands-models in mind, let them know what you're looking for and check with them often!

It's easy to miss out on a great deal, The good iron goes quickly!:banghead:

In My personal experience, I picked up a Hi-Standard Sentinel Deluxe three years ago, in original box with paperwork for well under $200.00! The sales people know me well, They had just taken it in that day and it never even spent one night in the shop. It's a great shooter that I wasn't looking for but have never regretted. :)

Hoppes Love Potion
December 25, 2010, 08:56 AM
Cheap and accurate SA .22 revolver? How about the NAA Mini Master, a stainless steel 5-shot .22 Mag with a 4" barrel, around $300.

You can also get it in .22LR.

December 25, 2010, 10:49 PM
There are no reasonable priced, dependable, .22lr DA revolvers out there. A good deal on a new S&W 617 is $680. Used S&Ws are hard to find and mostly unaffordable. They have become HOLY relics of the past. They are "PINNED and RECESSED". Now say that again with awe in your voice. S&W fans will pi$$ and moan over the present lack of "fit and finish, the use of MIM parts and the cursed lock". Modern S&Ws are no good. Ruger SP101s in .22 lr, are VERY hard to find. If you find one, it will be priced on the north side of $600. The sights may not be too good, but the SP itself will last for several lifetimes. I've nevereven seen a Colt DA, .22lr revolver.

Avoid the newer Charter Arms DA 22lr. They look good, feel good in the hand, but mine lasted less than 50 rounds. Two chambers were striking the forcing cone. At an angle, even. After the 1st cylinder full, ejection was tough and became nigh impossible. Then something came aloose on the inside!

Taurus 94s should fill the void. But, I know of no one who is happy with theirs. Most of them have had to take a trip to Taurusville. That's in South America. Sometimes it takes a long time to get your gun back from them. Then, sometimes, it still ain't fixed. And, please try the DA trigger pull before buying. The grimace on your face shouldn't be permanent. Replacement spring kits help with the DA pull, but then you will become unhappy, due to light strikes.

The buying public needs, they want, a $300 to $400, .22lr DA Revolver, with a decent trigger pull. Most of us want adjustable sights. Barrel lengths of 2", 3", 4" and a 6" target barrel would be desirable. Maybe even a 5" barrel. If the manufacturer will fix it, if it breaks, we don't care how many MIM parts it has.

So, for now the OP can choose a Ruger SingleSix. A Herritage Rough Rider might even be better than the Charter and Taurus offerings. Good luck.

December 25, 2010, 11:56 PM
what about the Taurus .22 revolvers? are they of any quality?

December 26, 2010, 11:10 AM
It's at the high end if the price range, but this is what I would get:

I have a Colt Cobra in both .38 and .22lr. I spent more than I wanted to on the .22, but it will pay for itself in a few months with relatively lower ammunition costs. I like having the option to shoot either DA or SA.

Hoppes Love Potion
December 26, 2010, 12:24 PM
powwowell is correct - there is a severe need for a good, affordable DA .22 revolver. I think Ruger could fill that niche with a version of the LCR in .22LR. They could either keep the current frame size and use an 8-shot cylinder, or develop an even smaller frame and create a truly compact 5-shot .22 that would grab a large share of the rapid-growing mousegun market.

Imagine a 3/4 size LCR with that great trigger, weatherproof frame, and swing-out cylinder. Less than 1" wide and under 10oz fully loaded. And because of the low recoil, smaller grips with less padding could be used.

Offer all models in either .22 LR or .22 Mag. Make the little 5-shot with 1" or 2" barrels, and the 8-shot version with 2", 4", and 6" barrels. List them for $400/5-shot and $500/8-shot. They'd sell like hotcakes.

Are you listening, Ruger?

December 26, 2010, 12:54 PM
You might also consider the Ruger SP101 in .22lr. It has a grip that is on the smallish side and they are very well made...

December 26, 2010, 04:42 PM
Ruger needs to make a LCR in .22lr...................:D

December 26, 2010, 04:42 PM
You can still find some very nice H&R Sportsman pieces.
You just have to watch the auctions.
Well built, good shooters, and cheaper than most currently available pieces.

1980 999 Sportsman
2 4"
1 6"
With Jay Scott grips

1980 999 Sportsman
Factory grips

December 26, 2010, 10:46 PM
Taurus 94s should fill the void. But, I know of no one who is happy with theirs. Most of them have had to take a trip to Taurusville. That's in South America. Sometimes it takes a long time to get your gun back from them. Then, sometimes, it still ain't fixed. And, please try the DA trigger pull before buying. The grimace on your face shouldn't be permanent. Replacement spring kits help with the DA pull, but then you will become unhappy, due to light strikes.
I just got a 94, its a great little gun and is more or less ideal in terms of its design for a .22 plinker IMO. It has had a few small issues that Taurus corrected, it took about a week round trip.
The quality of this gun is deffenitly not the best but im satisfied with it for what I paid.
a must do modification is replace the trigger spring (not the hammer spring) with a Wolff 6.5lb one, the D/A pull is still really heavy after this, but better than the stock setup.

December 27, 2010, 09:23 AM
I have a SS Single six. Nice gun. Good accuracy. Very nice for a slow reloading gun. I love to let the kids shoot it. Takes them a while to empty a box of .22.

I recently went on a S&W kick and found a very nice 18 for a lot of $. I could have bought a 17 for a bit less, but I wanted the 4" barrel. Loading it is much faster than the Ruger. Accuracy is very good. Grips are great for smallish hands. I put a Tyler T grip on with the original factory magnas.

I have owned Ruger semi-auto .22s for years. Good grips for small hands. Easy to load with the right helpers and very accurate. For a new shooter I have more people happy with the Ruger semis than the single six.

I also like the .22 conversions for center fire guns. I started shooting a lot of pistol with a CZ 75BD 9mm with the .22 Kadet conversion. Two slides for one frame. Pretty quick and easy to convert. 500 .22 and 200 9mm gave me a full afternoon at the range and really improved my shooting.

My Ruger 22/45 has a weaver rail that attaches to the top for a red dot or other optics. Came with the gun. Easy on and off.

I'm not trying to get you out of the revolvers if that's the way you want to go. I enjoy both.

One of my friends likes the Rugers, Single Six and Black Hawks. He claims he hears the theme music from great westerns playing in his mind whenever he shoots them. YMMV.

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