.22lr input


January 18, 2011, 09:52 PM
Hi, everybody!

I am new to the forum and am looking for some input. I currently have a Taurus 941 .22 magnum. I am new to shooting. I absolutely love my .22, and have definately caught the "shooting bug". My husband and I also have a Hi-Point C9 (that I have shot twice and want to spend more time with) and his pistol of choice is his Walther P99 (that I cannot handle).

I know that many people say that a .22 magnum is not a defense weapon. However, it is what I can handle. I am looking into .22lr as it would be much more affordable to purchase bulk ammunition.

I am looking for input/suggestions. I have looked at the Beretta U22, Phoenix HP22, Heritage Rough Rider, Walther P22 (all online). I would like to know from these particular gun owners what they think of the performance of the weapon. I am also shopping on a budget, so I would ultimately be looking for price along with accuracy and customer service of the manufacturer if a need for repairs arises.

Thanks in advance for your replies!

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January 19, 2011, 09:29 AM
Welcome to the forum!

My normal recommendation for a .22LR for new shooters is a double action revolver, S&W model 63 or 617. Unfortunately, they're pricey. There are cheaper alternatives, but the quality is spotty and I can't recommend them.

My second choice is to go to a semiauto pistol, where I think a Browning Buckmark hits the price/performance point. My daughters loved my Buckmark Camper with the fiber optic front sight. Get one, learn to use it and care for it, and it'll last forever.

Best of luck in your new hobby!

January 19, 2011, 10:02 AM
My wife has owned a Browning Buckmark for 15 years and loves it. Be advised that all the .22 semi-autos in our collection - Colt Service Ace, two Colt Woodsmans, several generations of Rugers in various models, and the Browning - are sensitive to the brand of ammunition. The Buckmark works flawlessly with Remington Golden Bullets, but chokes on WalMart bulk pack stuff. So don't be discouraged if you have functioning issues at the start. Try different brands of ammo until you find what works best in your pistol.
While I agree with Ridgway on the Browning, a used Ruger Mark II or .22/45 can be found for reasonable price and are built to last.
Welcome to the Forum.

January 19, 2011, 12:49 PM
Own a Heritage .22lr/.22mag convertible and wish I didn't. It's a very cheap gun and even though I've only put a brick of 22lr through it, it's very obviously not going to hold up. Wish I hadn't wasted my money.

Honestly the .22 autos are the place to go for shooting .22lr. They're not the most reliable, but they are accurate and hit the price point that the quality .22 revolvers miss. I own the Buckmark and love it. Mine eats the cheap ammo and likes it. Rugers are also great.

January 19, 2011, 02:03 PM
Welcome to the forum!

As a revolver guy it pains me to say this but you are probably better of with a 22 auto when budgets are an issue. They are the best value/accuracy for the buck and are overall much less expensive than a comparable revolver.

If possible, try to handle as many pistols as you can to see what balances best in your hand. My wife has small hands but choose the Ruger Mk II bull barrel 22 auto over smaller and lighter pistols. She is very good with it, too.

Just as an aside, last month I got my wife a Marlin 795 22 auto rifle, just for plinking fun. She really enjoys it. It is light, a bit over 4 pounds, and fits her small frame and is surprisingly accurate. They are available from Wal-Mart, Dick's Sports, etc. and between a sale price and Marlin rebate can be had for about $100 NIB. It's no substitute for a pistol but it is inexpensive fun.

Good luck with your search and let us know what you end up with.


January 19, 2011, 02:19 PM
Welcome to a great new sport/hobby that also has real world applications where you live.

A .22LR version of your present gun for cheap plinking would not be a bad idea at all. And if you like the idea of semi autos then I'd suggest looking more at guns which have grip angles that would be more in keeping with guns you'll own in the future. For example, the Ruger Mk III is a superb gun.... but it's got a funky swept back grip angle that does not match any center fire pistol on the market other than antique Lugers. The Beretta NEOS is in this same camp. So this makes such guns a less than ideal option as a practice gun for eventually transitioning to a center fire pistol. And the version that does have a good grip shape and angle (the Ruger 22/45) uses a plastic grip frame so the gun then feels overly top heavy.

I tend to not like the Walter P22 just becuase it looks like something that escaped from a bad science fiction movie set. But if you like it there's lots of folks that shoot their P22's and like them. Other cheap alternatives that are suitable would be the Buckmark already mentioned in and the S&W 22A. For me I found that the now discontinued but quite common S&W 422 is a superb gun.

But this IS a revolver forum. So back to wheelguns. If you're OK shooting the .22WMR from the 941 you're not very far from being able to shoot .38Spl from something like a 4 inch barrel S&W model 10 or other K frame gun. Milder loads of .38Spl have more of a THUMP! to them than the sort of CRACK! that a lot of semi auto guns have. That THUMP! ends up being not much more of a recoil shock than the .22WMR.

But part of this is to shoot them from a gun that has a medium amount of weight to aid in soaking up the recoil. And that's where the S&W K frame guns shine over the smaller and lighter J frame guns. Sorry if this K and J frame stuff is confusing but it's easier to call them that than to list all the various model numbers of guns that they sell within each frame style. Good examples of the K frame guns are the Model 10, 13, 15, 19. There's a lot of others as well. And then you get into the K frame stainless steel guns like the 66 and many others. Like I said, it all gets confusing in a hurry so looking for the K frame reference in the gun or looking up the specs on a gun and finding out which frame it has counts for a lot. Having said this I believe that most, if not all, of the smaller J frame guns only hold 5 rounds of .38Spl or .357Mag. So that can be another hint as well. Then there's the L frame which is slightly bigger and heavier again. These are used in the 586 and 686 guns as well as a few others. And not all .38Spl ammo is the same either.

If you can, get some .38Spl in wadcutter target loads and then find someone that'll let you shoot it through their K frame revolver. I think you'll find that it's a light and pleasant round to shoot which will soon have you in love with .38Spl. From there it would not be much of a step up to a medium power load which would be highly suitable for defense yet would not have an overly heavy recoil that shocks your hands so much that it's hard to place your follow up shots. And even if you want to stop at the wadcutter rounds I do believe that you'll find lots here that will say that it's a more suitable defensive round than the .22WMR. It's a lot slower than the .22 round but the bigger weight and flat nose of the bullet will give a bigger wound channel and just plain more of a wallop to the bad guy. And being a soft recoil that hardly lifts the barrel your chances of sucessful follow up hits are magnified as well.

Getting back to the .22LR if you get a chance to get one the S&W models 17, 18 and K22 are used guns that are pretty much the recognized high points for double action .22 revolvers. Their trigger pull and feel are lighter and smoother than any other stock production equivalent gun from any other maker. Because they are so well regarded and sought after the prices even on the used guns will make you gasp. But they really are worth it if you enjoy shooting. And when you look at them as a VERY long term purchase it makes it easier to accept the cost. And with things going the way they are you'll get your money back in full when you sell it many years from now anyway.

Hoppes Love Potion
January 19, 2011, 03:23 PM
Simplest solution is to get the Taurus 94 revolver in .22LR. Same as your 941 except the lower recoil and cheaper ammo will let you practice as much as you want. Everything you learn shooting the 94 will transition to the more powerful 941.

BTW, I think .22 Mag is a very good self-defense round. The low recoil makes it easier to shoot accurately. Also, there are new .22 Mag ammo choices like the Hornady 45-grain "Critical Defense" - it's designed for short-barreled handguns.

January 19, 2011, 03:41 PM
You can never go wrong with a Ruger Single-Six. The new models (actually called "New Model") have a transfer bar, so they may be carried safely with 6 rounds. The "convertible" models come with 2 cylinders - .22LR and .22 WMR (Magnum).

They are wonderful single-action revolvers, and, if you poke around on a few gun forums, you'll find almost universal agreement that owners keep their Single-Sixes for years and years.

The blued models weigh a bit less than the stainless steel versions, but the frames of all models are a bit smaller than the "full-size" Blackhawks (good if you have smaller hands, but fine also if you don't).

Try the rugerforum.com.

Hope this helps -


January 19, 2011, 03:44 PM
Sensitive to the brand of ammunition..... Yes, I have unfortunately already experienced this issue with my Taurus 941 .22 magnum revolver. When I went out to shoot it not long ago (for the first time), I got about 5 shots fired and I couldn't pull the hammer back. My husband (who is much more experienced than I am) looked at me like I was nuts or something because I couldn't pull the hammer back. Sure enough, he experimented with it and found that he could fire a shot or two at most and then the revolver would jam again. No hammer pull, no trigger pull. It was the oddest thing! I never heard of a revolver jamming. That's one of the main reasons I wanted a revolver...because I can only handle a .22 at this point (though I am getting more able to pull the slide fully back on my husband's P99, so there's hope!), I surely didn't want a semi-auto for my primary weapon because I didn't want to have to worry about jamming issues. Boy was I taken aback when my revolver jammed time after time with a certain brand of ammo.

We went out shooting again a couple days later and tried some other brands and found that my gun just doesn't like that certain brand. (When the empty casings were ejected, you could see a small, yet pronounced, bulge by the rim) I called Customer Service for that particular manufacturer and the gentleman I spoke to would like me to send the shell casings back to him along with the rest of the .22 magnum ammo and he is going to replace them with ammo for the P99.

January 19, 2011, 03:52 PM
My wife and I acquired a Firestorm .22 LR that is of the same frame and pattern as the Bersa Thunder .380. Her CCW was the same gun in .380 so it made for a perfect practice gun for her primary.(She has since gone to a 5 shot 9mm Taurus revolver we found as her CCW.)

We have ran a few thousand rounds through the FS .22 and it is an excellent shooter with CCI Mini mags,..and that is all we ever use in it. If you can find one,..it could be a keeper idea as well.

Onward Allusion
January 19, 2011, 03:56 PM
WifeofBleys (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=141219)

.22lr input
I am looking for input/suggestions. I have looked at the Beretta U22, Phoenix HP22, Heritage Rough Rider, Walther P22 (all online). I would like to know from these particular gun owners what they think of the performance of the weapon. I am also shopping on a budget, so I would ultimately be looking for price along with accuracy and customer service of the manufacturer if a need for repairs arises.

The Beretta U22 Neos is a fun, reliable plinker. Some love the space gun design, while others hate it. You can also buy the 4" shorter barrel for CC if you really want a 22LR as a defensive weapon. I love mine...

The Heritage Rough Rider is ok. The sights are not the best and the finish is thin. Also, it is single action and reloading is slow. I like mine...

The Phoenix HP22 (I'm assuming you're thinking about the RangeMaster kit)...is over-engineered with 3 safeties. It's a fun concept - carry and range in one package with swapping of the barrels. I didn't like it, however.

I can't give you advice on the Walther. Never handled or owned one...

January 19, 2011, 04:47 PM
My suggestion is probably a budget buster, but I'll make it anyway; Smith & Wesson Model 63 in 22LR (3" or 5" barrel lengths). I think I'm going to buy one. Haven't bought a new 22 revolver in a number of years and I want one of these even though I need it like a hole in the head.

Semi-autos.... I would look at the Browning and Ruger 22/45 and Mark III. They are as reliable as 22 pistols get and typically very accurate.

Added: By the way, you answered your own question why you probably don't want a Taurus 22 revolver in your second post.

January 19, 2011, 05:01 PM
I got model 63 in snubbie form. I got it when it was cheap. It is very fun & cheap to shoot. Thousands of rounds through it and the worn trigger is buttery smooth. The kids love to shoot it.

January 19, 2011, 05:46 PM
"Simplest solution is to get the Taurus 94 revolver in .22LR. Same as your 941 except the lower recoil and cheaper ammo will let you practice as much as you want. Everything you learn shooting the 94 will transition to the more powerful 941."

Thanks for that perspective, Hoppes Love Potion, and thank you all for your input. I am looking into the Taurus 94 .22lr, and actually the price isn't too bad. I found it on one site for $288. I will be looking at our local dealers though, as I am not looking to bring up the price alot with tax, shipping, and FFL transfer fees.

January 19, 2011, 06:01 PM
I have a 94 and love it, I highly recomend a Wolff 6.5lb trigger spring though

January 19, 2011, 07:57 PM

May I ask why you would recommend the new trigger spring? And where would I purchase a new spring? I apologize for my ignorance, but I am new to this whole thing.


January 19, 2011, 10:12 PM
Wolff Gunsprings (http://www.gunsprings.com/Revolvers/TAURUS/SMALL%20FRAME%20REVOLVER/cID3/mID65/dID290)
The 94 comes with a trigger spring that is around 14lbs, as well as a stiff hammer spring needed to ignite rimfire primers, couple that with the inherently bad triggers small frame revolvers have, and it makes for a pretty crappy D/A trigger pull.
The 6.5lb trigger spring makes the trigger just this side of horrible in D/A mode, and fairly good in S/A mode.

the website says they are not for the 94/941 revolvers, they are referring to the hammer springs, a low power hammer spring in these guns WILL cause failures to fire.

In my particular gun, I needed to cut 2 coils off the 6.5lb spring to make it fit, your mileage may vary.

January 19, 2011, 11:30 PM
Hate to say this in the revolver forum, but the Ruger Mk series is pretty much the standard of .22LR pistols and what many other manufacturers have tried to copy over the years.

January 20, 2011, 01:57 AM
My wife has the Neos and loves it.

I shoot the Heritage and its a hoot! I've found it to be a great bargain.

January 20, 2011, 02:10 AM
For me, the novelty of shooting single actions wears out after the first emptying the first cylinder to reload....I don't have a recommendation for a DA revolver, because the only one in .22 that I want is no longer made and is expensive when you find it...However, I go along with the guy that recommended a Ruger MK series. They are tough to beat. I have a couple, including a 1965 MK I Target that still functions flawlessly and shoots nice tiny groups.

January 20, 2011, 02:44 AM
The Walther P22 isn't a bad gun, I've seen teenage girls shoot it with no issues. A search will find many complaints about poor reliability, I've had three guns given to me to test fire that had problems, all were 100% reliable with CCI standard velocity .22 lr.

I've no experience with the Neos. or the HP22.

I would recommend a second hand Ruger Single Six over the Rough Rider. Single Sixes are quality firearms that will not break in a life time of shooting. If you get a convertible then it will have a .22 magnum cylinder as well.

If you can stretch your budget then a used S&W J frame ( blued model 34 or stainless steel Model 63) or K frame (Model 18, 17 or 617) would be my first choice. My Model 18 is my most used firearm and is a perfect understudy to my Model 66 in .357 Magnum.

I am not a fan of Taurus revolvers. Too many of them have problems out of the box. If you can't afford a Ruger or S&W revolver then you are better off going with an auto. The Browning Buckmark and Ruger MKII/III are the two most commonly recommended
as they are reliable, accurate and relatively inexpensive. Either will do, pick the one that points best in your hand as they have very different grip angles.

January 20, 2011, 10:45 AM
One thing to remember, most of the small framed 22 revolvers have a heavy trigger. They are that way for a reason... more reliable cartridge ignition, and safety (aka the manufacturer's safety :) ). Even the DA 22 revolvers that are much healded still have relatively heavy triggers as compared to good centerfire revolvers, but they are normally pretty smooth and you can adjust to them. The best are: Colt Officers Model Match and Diamondback; S&W K-22 series-M17, M18, M617; and I would throw in the Colt Trooper Mark III as falling into the better DA 22 revolvers.

I have never handled a Knorth, but they say they are great (but expensive).

If budget concerns over ride your choice, then I would consider the Taurus M94 as it is probably better on average than older DA revolvers such as made by H&R and High Standard. Certainly buying this will be a lot cheaper to shoot than your 22 WMR.

My first 22 revolver was a H&R 999 Sportsman. I loved the thing, at first. I looked at price (as compared to Colt's and Smith's) and general visual appeal and figured a gun is a gun when I bought it. After a couple years of shooting it and putting up with things like powder burns on my hands I took it to a gunsmith for him to "fix it". I realized by that point that the powder burn and some other issues simply weren't "normal". The gunsmith who some might have found insulting, said he wouldn't work on it and if he did, the work would cost nearly as much as the thing cost new. He said buy a Colt or Smith. I finally did about a year or so later and the difference in quality was easily apparant to my novice eyes. I never shot the H&R again and sold it after leaving it gather dust for about 10 years. I didn't like the idea of paying 2x as much for a Colt or Smith revolver, but frankly, it was easily worth it in the long run. I have since bought more than a few DA revolvers made by Colt and S&W. I have absolutely no regrets.

The least expensive single action 22 revolver is the Heritage Arms Rough Rider. Folks say that they are generally accurate, but many say if they had it to do over, they would find a way to buy the more expensive Ruger Single Six. I find SA 22 revolvers a bit of a pain to load and unload. The 22 cartridges are too small to make the loading process comfortable. I shoot for fun and quicker reloads certainly add to the enjoyment. I do like some of the larger caliber SA revolvers where you generally are not just burning up ammo quickly and the slower pace adds to the experience. But I still prefer DA revolvers in general.

The Sig Mosquito is another 22 pistol that has a lot of visual appeal to me. For a few years, they were nothing but jamma-matics overall. I have heard they have worked that out now, hence I would only buy a new one these days.

Same thing about the Walther P22.... early problems, but I believe they have been worked out. I almost bought one equipped with a laser sight because it was just so cool. Backed out at the last minute due to reliability issues that I did not want to deal with to save $100.

The Neos... never shot one. I've handled them. I just lean toward either a Browning or Ruger product in that kind of price range.

If you choose a Ruger semi-auto 22 pistol, go with one with a heavy barrel. They cost a little more, but well worth it in terms of shooting even for walks in the woods.

January 20, 2011, 10:57 AM
Welcome to the forums! I'm a new shooter, too, and the guys here are great and very helpful with information.

As a revolver guy it pains me to say this but you are probably better of with a 22 auto when budgets are an issue. They are the best value/accuracy for the buck and are overall much less expensive than a comparable revolver.

I found this to be so very true when I was shopping for a .22 for practice. Because of the benefits of having the .22 be the same model as my .38 and because of my aversion to flying brass, I made an investment in a Colt Cobra .22 with a 3" barrel. I call her "Miss Daisy".

January 20, 2011, 11:27 AM
Except for the "new" gun break-in, the trigger on the 94 will not be different than the trigger on your 941. A consideration that I have not seen mentioned is that the autos will only cycle with long rifle ammo, you can shoot shorts, longs, long rifle or CB shorts/longs in a revolver. I often use CB shorts in my 94 for "quiet" practice and varmint control. I have a single-six convertable and a Taurus 94 in .22 revolvers. The Ruger is fun to shoot, but I use the Taurus when I go into the woods.:)

January 20, 2011, 12:06 PM
I have moved my Colt Cobra 22 to safe queen status. They are quite nice and hard to find. The finish tends to be a little easy to mess up with use, especially holster carry.

Sensai, good point about the trigger on the Taurus M94. Most of us are comfortable making decisions based on our experience.

January 20, 2011, 12:11 PM
The trouble with that Cobra's frame finish is once the damage is done, you can't refinish it properly. Colt refinishes guns, but not Cobras. They will not remove the barrel from a Cobra because the frame may crack. They pretty much tell you to "enjoy" it as is.

I don't have a .22, but do have an unfired Cobra .38 and a used one. I doubt if I'd ever stick one in a holster for fear of bumming up the black anodizing.

January 20, 2011, 12:29 PM
There are a lot of great .22's out there.

I got a S&W 22.A for around $250 nib. Its been
fairly accurate and reliable. Got to love shooting
.22's with the price of ammo now a days ;)

January 20, 2011, 02:19 PM
How about an H&R snubby 922, 923, 929, or 930? 9 rounds of double action Supermaximums isn't anything to shrug off. There's also an Iver Johnson TP 22. The TP 22 was made for higher velocity rounds. It says so in the literature I got with it. It shoots Velocitors like a champ but it won't feed the Supermaximums, though. One can find all of the above very cheaply on Gunbroker et al, especially the H&Rs; there are tons of them floating around for cheap. Below are my 930 and TP 22.



Steve 48
January 21, 2011, 11:55 AM
I have a 22A , 22/45 out shoots all of them.

January 21, 2011, 12:03 PM
Ruger Single Six?

January 21, 2011, 01:15 PM
I considered making the .22 Cobra a safe queen due to its rarity, but I specifically got it for practice (so I would have to get yet another gun for practice) and really enjoy shooting it. Plus, while it is in excellent condition, it's not in new/unfired condition, and that seems to be key for resale to folks looking to collect. I don't carry it so it is usually in a bore store in my range bag. My .38 nickel Cobra is a safe queen, but more because I'm sentimental about it being my first gun (although it is also on excellent condition).

January 21, 2011, 08:28 PM
well, no one here has given anything but good advice
nothing wrong w/ any of the autos named, all are pretty nice plinkers, style and fit is all about personal fit, and yes, the Ruger MKs and Buckmarks will, for good reason, always win on every poll of 22 pistols (semis) on forum polls re: affordable autos that outperform anything but the very pricey prestige stuff

but this is revolver turf, and the lady obviously likes her J-frame size Taurus 941 WMR, and never was anything wrong for a relatively new shooter to get some more of "that", it's how we all get into it, luckier than most if you like your 1st so well as to want another "a lot like that"

I absolutely love my .22,

so.. I won't echo the pitch for S&Ws (model 63 and Ks, even though they are my own very special woobies)... nor knock the Taurus 94 (same gun she owns, but in 22LR instead of 22 WMR) even if generally known to be prone to issues she described

and.. respectfully submit it's a tad too "natural" for us to urge folks quickly into centerfire, but other than 38 wadcutters or 32 S&W long (not real cheapo ammo these days), no small/medium frame revolver really has as low a recoil as a J-K rimfire, not even 38 Ks.. we just don't feel it anymore, most of us not in a very l-o-n-g time,
and BC Rider already named all my personal favorites anyway, as usual
(but she do have a more-than-close-friend to help her into centerfire land, anyway)

so, I will echo the Ruger Single Six, not much pricier than the Taurus 94/941, very similar size/weight, with the option of one with both 22LR and 22WMR cylinders (because she likes WMR, and can do more of that plus a whole lot of 22LR with that with one gun). Let our good friends in the autoloader sub-forum lead her into the 'dark side' of mighty fine auto-pistols I say.

acknowledged, mea culpa, reading a bit in between the lines, maybe too much, but the Taurus 94/941 leaves an enormous amount to be desired in DA trigger mode, but many have been well pleased with them in SA mode, so.. maybe the lady shoots mostly just SA for now, and might enjoy some more of that, before moving deeper into DA and/or centerfire ??
no offense to Heritage owners, but the Ruger will outlast Hertiage by only about a 10:1 lifespan, and will sell used for 3X the price used if/when you don't need it anymore

but if lady wants to go pistola, in 22 rimfire affordable, the S&W 22A worth a glance along with Neos and Walthers, pretty much same class affordable plinker guns.. and a really good condition used S&W 622 would be worth more than a glance methinks, likely not pricey if found, but significantly better than the current crop of affordable

but if going DA centerfire revolvers, re-read BC Rider's post
or if looking for well worth $600 DA 22 revolvers, S&W old model J-63 or old model k-17/18/22

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