Okay, I know it's a POS, but I need advice from Phoenix Arms HP22 owners


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MCgunner
June 13, 2011, 05:50 PM
This thing is NOT a defensive carry, okay, never, but what it is is an inexpensive plinker that's amazingly accurate, like 2" at 25 yards accurate with the 5" barrel, an inch larger groups with the 3". I've carried it a lot afield as a kit gun, killed lots of snakes and such, a few rabbits with it.

Anyhow, the recoil spring wimps out about every 500 rounds and needs to be replaced. I bought this thing 20 years ago, about, when I had my FFL, just out of curiosity. Then I got the 5" barrel when I determined I liked the gun. Anyway, the springs I get from gun parts inc are too long, have to be trimmed. I'm wondering if Phoenix Arms did a redesign or something and now has a longer spring fitted? I guess I should contact Phoenix Arms, will probably do that, but thought someone out there might have noticed this or have some knowledge.

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MedWheeler
June 13, 2011, 09:53 PM
I have no knowledge, but I do have one of these guns, and find it to be a good shooter as well. However, I don't think I've gotten that many rounds through mine yet (only had it maybe two years, and have a bad habit of taking too many guns with me each shoot session.)

MCgunner
June 14, 2011, 07:40 AM
Well, I have probably only about 3K out of this gun. It's had 6 springs in it as I recall and they go about 500 rounds each. It was a very early production example. The original slide cracked. I sent that in and Phoenix sent me back a redesigned one that didn't have the weak spot in it where the original cracked. Was all free of charge.

Now, the first few spriings I bought for this thing were just an install and worked fine. Then, I started getting longer springs. I'd put 'em in and the slide would not retract far enough to catch the next round off the magazine OR lock back with the safety. I had to trim two coils off 'em to make 'em work. Just got two more from Numrich Arms, same problem. SO, I was thinkin' this may have been another redesign to fix the spring problem. Not sure.

I'm going to call Phoenix Arms. Their site lists only the phone number, no e-mail addy. They're open 'til two PM west coast time. I'll see what they say.

Walt Sherrill
June 14, 2011, 10:20 PM
Have you talked to Phoenix Arms about the problem? (909) 937-6900 in Ontario, California. They have a website. There only seems to be ONE recoil spring -- it appears that the standard and 5" barrels use the same spring, and from what I can see of the design in the downloadable manual, that makes sense. Maybe there's been a design change, and if so they should be able to tell you what to do. If you're buying springs from Numrich, you may be getting USED springs. Does Phoenix Arms not sell them?

Are the new springs just longer than what was originally in the gun, or so much longer you can't get them installed?

Nearly all (non-captured) recoil springs will be noticeably longer than the current (used) spring before they are installed, but will shorten considerably after a few days. These springs take a "set."

If you can install it without shortening/cutting it, and can rack the slide, you may find that you've been shortening it unnecessarily. Which means it will not have enough "spring power" to function properly after it shortens a bit (a normal change.) Let it set for a few days and see if you notice a difference.

If you can't rack the slide, start taking a coil off, one at a time, until you get it to fit and hand cycle.

MCgunner
June 15, 2011, 03:28 PM
Yeah, I've been getting 'em from Numrich Arms, might not be an exact fit, but I can install them and get the barrel on. However, when I rack the slide, it won't come back far enough to lock the slide back OR strip a round off the mag. I have to trim two coils off the spring to get it to where it will function. Then, it works, at least for 500 or so rounds.

I called Phoenix, talked to some lady. They're going to send me a spring free of charge. I will compare it to what I've been getting from Numrich Arms. I'm betting it'll fit without trim work. :D I'm thinkin' Numrich isn't sending the exact part. I've made 'em work, though.

Hell, Phoenix Arms has a lifetime warranty on these things. I should probably just call them every time i need a new spring. They might actually send me one free each time. I don't shoot the thing a lot, but it sure is a handy little kit gun, smaller than my J frame sized .22 revolver (a Rossi 511). It's neat cause I can just slip it in a back jeans pocket when I'm going fishing or something. I even made a wallet type pocket holster for it. It's WAY more accurate than other pocket sized .22s I've fired, Beretta being the other one I owned. It shoots rings around that Beretta. Amazing considering its cheap construction. It's accurate enough to easily take small game to 25-30 yards. Not bad for a pocket sized .22. I normally shoot my Rossi or my Ruger Mk2 at the range, but once in a while, I'll put that 5" barrel on the HP22 for a session. It's almost as accurate as the revolver, though it can't touch the Ruger (which has a 2x scope on it, a squirrel gun).

almherdfan
June 15, 2011, 03:35 PM
Just went through this same experience today. Got two springs from Numrich in the mail. I tried the first spring and could not get the slide to retract far enough to get the slide lock (safe) up. Tried the second spring with same results. Pulled out the original spring and noticed that the new springs seemed a coil longer.

I've got two springs on the way from Phoenix Arms and am eager to see how they fit. I'll try cutting a coil off the Numrich springs & see if that works as well.

MCgunner
June 15, 2011, 03:36 PM
I think you'll find it takes two coils to get it to fit. Did me, anyway.

PX15
June 15, 2011, 08:16 PM
It's just a POS....

Jesse

MCgunner
June 15, 2011, 09:43 PM
Well, thanks for your constructive input....:rolleyes:

CZguy
June 15, 2011, 10:23 PM
It's just a POS....




:uhoh: Oh come on, there was no need for that. :scrutiny:

Walt Sherrill
June 15, 2011, 10:42 PM
I'm sure he feels better for having written that. <snort>

I wonder if he's ever owned one?

larryh1108
June 16, 2011, 12:38 AM
He's obviously clueless. That's ok, the net is full of that. My HP22a is a great shooter as long as you change the recoil spring every 500 or so rounds. Best $120 I ever spent. Countless hours of fun with any .22 ammo. I haven't purchased any springs from Numrich in a while since their shipping is so expensive... I buy them 10 at a time.

PX15
June 16, 2011, 07:49 AM
MCgunner:

My apologies to you (and the other members) who were offended by my comment.

I was attempting to be funny, agreeing with you that IMO the HP22 was indeed (in my experience) a POS.

I bought a new HP22 years ao, (with the extra "target barrel)it was never, never, never even close to reliable, and no matter how many new springs the Customer Service folks at Phoenix Arms were willing to send me free none fixed the problem.

To the gentleman who commented that if you replace your recoil spring every 500 rounds you'd be good to go?

MY Phoenix Arms HP22 never made it to the 100rd mark without failing....

Hey folks, it's a cheap gun.. That's why the price is cheap, and that's the primary reason it doesn't offer reliability which in turn makes it a very small, door stop at best..

For comparison I have a Firestorm FS22 that I bought years ago.. It still has the original recoil spring after well over a thousand rounds thru it. It is reliable, it shoots every time you pull the trigger, and you can have confidence in it in that you can depend on it, be it as a substitute for your usual self defense carry pistol, or just shooting cans or casual target shooting..

My FS22 cost roughly twice the price of the HP22 and is 50 times the gun.

Unreliability in the HP22 is a known problem, and has been for years and years.

Perhaps the Phoenix Arms co. should spend their money on research and manufacturing a GOOD recoil spring for the HP22, resolving the reliability problem, rather than being so happy to send each customer more free bad ones all the time.

I sincerely apologize for offending those folks with my original post. It was a poor attempt at humor. But I cannot apologize for the fact that the HP22 I had was really a piece of junk, and I'd by lying if I said otherwise..

Jesse

Walt Sherrill
June 16, 2011, 08:44 AM
I think I'd send a "new" spring to Wolff (after calling them first) and see if they can give me a close match from some other gun. I'm sure they can measure the spring and find something comparable (or which can be made comparable with a couple of coils snipped.)

Of course, they might not be willing to take the time. (That's why I suggested calling first.)

Then you'd have a good quality spring to work with.

GLOOB
June 16, 2011, 09:34 PM
Numrich must be getting their springs somewhere else. I'm sure the one Phoenix sends you works fine. I have no problems with them. I've installed a few, but for kicks have been running mine with the same spring for the last 2k rounds without a single malfunction.

MY Phoenix Arms HP22 never made it to the 100rd mark without failing....
PX15: the target barrel didn't quite fit right in mine without some sanding. Also, the extractor doesn't quite fit tight in the examples I've seen. Both relatively easy fixes. The design is quite sound, but the execution is not always perfect with this gun.

MCgunner
June 18, 2011, 08:16 PM
My apologies to you (and the other members) who were offended by my comment.

I was attempting to be funny, agreeing with you that IMO the HP22 was indeed (in my experience) a POS.

I bought a new HP22 years ao, (with the extra "target barrel)it was never, never, never even close to reliable, and no matter how many new springs the Customer Service folks at Phoenix Arms were willing to send me free none fixed the problem.

Oh, I wasn't "offended", just that I put that "I know it's a POS" in there hoping to avoid irrelavent bashes and hoping to get the info I was looking for, which I have. Wolff, migh have SOMETHING close, don't know. If I get time, I might call 'em.

Anyway, mine works fantastic and even after the spring wears, I can just finish closing the slide with my thumb after each shot, the gun not being totally disabled. I'd dump it and forget about it except for its incredible accuracy, which is VERY useful to me. I have never owned a gun this small that shoots this danged good, at least not until I bought a Radom P64 last year. That one shoots as good as the 3" barrel in the Phoenix Arms. But, the PA is a .22, not a 9x18, and it makes for a better field plinker considering the cost of ammo. I have that Radom in my carry rotation, but that's another subject.

I don't put many rounds through the HP22, but it's there as a choice. I have it out in my camper along with a Ruger 10/22, just in case I wanna do some plinking when i'm out somewhere. :D Good a use as any for it, I reckon. It's the ONLY pocket sized rimfire I've ever fired with 3' 25 yards accuracy. That's reason enough to keep springs around for it. I bought 3 from Numrich some years ago, tried to harden one by heating and quinching it...nope, didn't work. Been told to try quenching it in oil, but I never messed with that. I'm not that up on metalurgy, but hey, the springs were cheap back then. These last two, I paid near 8 bucks a pop for.

Ratshooter
June 18, 2011, 11:55 PM
I read a review of these guns in a Gun Digest IIRC and they spoke highly of the gun. I have looked at them and may consider checking into them further.

I like a good small 22 thats a shooter.

Ratshooter
June 19, 2011, 01:12 PM
Ok I just looked on their website and it says that the 22s are for standard velocity ammo. Have you shot the high speed or hyper velocity stuff in your gun? If you have that may be why your springs are pooping out.

When I saw the standard velocity only rule that sorta made them less appealing. I do like the two barrel set up. I wish you could get it with out the range kit. Most of all I wish they would make the 25 auto with a 5" barrel and adjustable sights. Now they would have something.

larryh1108
June 19, 2011, 01:30 PM
I stick with the bulk pack cheapo stuff. If I want to use the hot ammo then I use a gun that doesn't cost $120. Can't really have it both ways. I do run some CCI Mini Mags thru it from time-to-time but that's as hot as I get. For plinking, shooting beer cans or pop tops or general lazy day shooting you can't beat it.

GLOOB
June 19, 2011, 04:24 PM
Most bulk packs are hi velocity. That's all I shoot through mine. It defeats the purpose to buy a $130 gun and have to buy target ammo for it.

The main thing that can go wrong is the frame can crack. But that area of the frame doesn't do anything for safety or function. So some people are grinding that part of the frame preemptively, to prevent the crack from starting and spreading.

Now, you can eventually shoot the gun loose to where it will no longer function reliably. But by then you'd a paid over 5 times as much in ammo as you did for the gun.

I find mine to be "combat accurate." I wouldn't try to bag a squirrel with one. But I don't do well with a short sight radius, in general. It'll hang with my Glock 27, but it's a far cry from a precision target gun in my hands. Since acquiring a MkIII, I don't shoot it much, anymore.

I personally don't recommend the 5" barrel. Mine took some sanding to get it to fit, and the elevation was off so badly I could have filed the front sight off, completely, and it still would have shot low. Also, it's an aesthetic disaster on a pocket gun with a 2 finger grip.

larryh1108
June 19, 2011, 07:01 PM
Correct. The part of the "frame" that cracks is really an extension of the mag well. It does not alter the safety of the gun. Combat accurate is a good description out of the 3". I never tried the 5". I keep trying to tighten up my groups with the 3" to make me a better shot with my "real" guns. It's great for trigger control and technique. I shoot 100 to warm up then bring out the big lumber. It helps a lot. The cheap, bulk pack ammo makes tight groups nearly impossible.

Robbins290
June 19, 2011, 07:04 PM
I love my hp22. I shoot it weekly.

MCgunner
June 19, 2011, 08:51 PM
Ok I just looked on their website and it says that the 22s are for standard velocity ammo. Have you shot the high speed or hyper velocity stuff in your gun? If you have that may be why your springs are pooping out.

It is CCI Stinger that gives me those 3" 25 yard benched groups and I shoot mostly stinger in the 3" barrel. However, Federal bulk pack shoots best in the 5" and I shoot it routinely in that barrel. Never had a fit problem with that barrel and it came with an extended finger rest mag so that it "looks right" with that mag in it. I like the 5" barrel as it reduces my groups at 25 yards (benched) to 2" and both barrels shoot to POA with the same sight setting IF I shoot CCI Stinger in the 3" and Fed Lightening in the 5", just sorta the way MINE worked out. I suspect they all have different appetites.

If I wear it out, so what? And, they warranty this thing for life, I think. If I can't get another, no biggy. Not like it's my only .22 handgun or that I shoot it all that much. I wouldn't miss it like I would my Rossi 511 or my Ruger Mk2 if I lost them. I don't expect the little booger to last forever, but then, it'll probably last ME forever. It's taken my 20 years to fire up 3K rounds in the thing. I kinda keep it around as a kit gun option when I go fishing, carry it in my pocket, 3" barrel and loaded with CCI Stinger. I carry it condition two. It has a floating firing pin and is safe to pocket that way. I suppose condition three would be a safer way, of course. It's not like I'll need it that quickly, not a defense gun, but I have used it to tranquilize largish black tip sharks while one hand was busy with a fishing rod. Kinda hard to rack the slide one handed, though there are techniques for that.

As to safety, the gun has a firing pin block, but the thing kept turning itself on, so I superglued it, no longer useable. If you put the safety up when the hammer is down, the hammer cannot be cocked, though the mag can then be removed. The interlocks on this thing are strange. But, putting the safety up when it's in condition two is added security IMHO and can still be put into action with one hand tied up fighting a shark or gar or whatever should I need a fish tranquilizer. :D

MachIVshooter
June 20, 2011, 12:03 PM
The design is quite sound, but the execution is not always perfect with this gun.

I've long maintained that I think there would be a good market for a well made steel and aluminum alloy (or all steel) version of this gun, even if it cost 3X as much (A staggering $300 or so).

I love my HP-22, it's a nice shooting, accurate and fun little gun that has been as reliable as other small .22's I've owned (they're all a little finicky). I paid $107 for mine, got the target kit for another $35. As mentioned, they're warrantied, so when I wear it out, no biggie.

I saw this thing in a magazine when I was 12, kinda wanted one ever since. Didn't actually get one til I was 26 and spotted it at a Big-R store when I happened to have a spare C-note on me..

Autopistola
June 20, 2011, 01:41 PM
If they weren't made of pot metal, the worst thing I could say about them is they're a bit finnicky. Mine came with the 5" barrel and mag pinky extension. Suprisingly accurate little thing with terrible safeties (don't use them because it's got a hammer).

Anyhoo, good thread. Mine currently has a cracked slide and lost recoil spring.

PX15
June 20, 2011, 01:56 PM
Just saying..

Firestorm FS22... Twice the price of the HP22, but no cracking slides, bad recoil springs or other issues that are common in the HP22..

Great grip ergonomics, reliability, and surprising accuracy..

Basically it's just a Bersa Thunder 380 (which has an excellent reputation) in 22 cal.

Lifetime warranty..

Jesse
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a73/Laserlips/100_5295.jpg

MachIVshooter
June 21, 2011, 06:26 AM
Firestorm FS22

They're quite a bit larger

PX15
June 21, 2011, 10:48 AM
MachIVs.

True..

Just wanted to mention there is a reasonably priced rimfire pistol that works, all the time. A firearm that IF there is a problem it's a total surprise, not something you were expecting.

Best Wishes,

Jesse

MachIVshooter
June 21, 2011, 11:16 AM
Just wanted to mention there is a reasonably priced rimfire pistol that works

I understand, and there are lots of them out there. They're also all larger. As I mentioned, I've never had superb reliabilty from any small .22. One of the worst have been Walther TPH's: At $500, you'd expect them to work well, but they're parts-breakin', no-feedin' little piles of parts. Had AMT's, Beretta's and several others, all had issues (usually ammo sensitivity).

Bottom line? None of them were really any better than the Phoenix for relibility, and certainly not as accurate.

If you want a really great .22 pistol that'll run well and last foreaver, you buy a Ruger, a Buckmark, a 22A, a NEOS or some other larger, high quality gun. But I'll still give the HP22 high marks for value.

MCgunner
June 21, 2011, 11:25 AM
Bottom line? None of them were really any better than the Phoenix for relibility, and certainly not as accurate.

Absolutely....+1 Accuracy is why I keep mine and the fact that it fits a pocket. I can't fit my Ruger Mk2 or even my Rossi 511 Kit gun in my pocket. Most anything smaller is nowhere as accurate.

CZguy
June 21, 2011, 11:35 AM
Bottom line? None of them were really any better than the Phoenix for relibility, and certainly not as accurate.



Yep, that's been my experience as well. I like everything about the little gun, except for all of the safeties.

MCgunner
July 24, 2011, 03:39 PM
I thought I'd repost on this thread since I got my springs from Phoenix Arms some weeks ago and just now sat town to look 'em over close. I compared them to the other spare spring I bought from Numrich arms and best I can tell, the spring wire on the Phoenix Arms springs is smaller diameter. the spring length is the exact same. SO, the Phoenix Arms spring will compress to a shorter length, owing to the smaller diameter wire it's made out of, than will the Numrich Arms spring. I don't know that one is better than the other, besides the fact that you don't have to trim the originals to fit. the Numrich Arms spring has to have 2 coils trimmed off it so that it will compress far enough. Both seem to last me about 500 rounds.

Just FYI, neither hear nor there on the HP22 being a POS or having merit in my collection. :D

larryh1108
July 24, 2011, 06:23 PM
I'll take and use any HP22 or HP25 no one wants. I'll even pay for shipping! I love them.

group17
July 25, 2011, 09:32 AM
Mines been a really reliable lil shooter. I bought it used with both barrels and it eats any bulk ammo I try. The only safety I don't like is the mag safety which can be "fixed" in 5 mins. Phoenix arms sent me new springs for free.
Why buy them else ware? Call it what you want but it's no POS.

EMC45
July 25, 2011, 10:28 AM
My Dad has one. The thumb safety kept coming out of the divot and engaging itself. I JB welded it. I did this because it has the safety by the slide and it never gets used. I shot the most ammo through it and it just sits. The ammo I did shoot through it surprised me. I was very impressed. It has the short barrel on it too.

MCgunner
July 25, 2011, 04:08 PM
If the safety is JB welded, how do you get the mags out? Safety must be one to drop the mag. I glued that ignorant firing pin block into the off position as soon as I got the gun. It kept turning itself on. Perhaps that's the safety you're talking about?

When I pocket the gun in a back pocket in a special pocket holster I made for it, I carry it condition two, hammer down. I don't carry it for self defense, only as an outdoor kit gun while fishing or just outdoors. Hell, I could carry it condition 3, but it's safe in condition 2 owing to the rebounding firing pin. Yeah, the gun is amazingly reliable even with bulk ammo. I had a Beretta that was a TRUE POS. I'd take this little cheap zinc gun 10 to 1 over another Beretta tip barrel. :rolleyes:

GLOOB
July 25, 2011, 04:40 PM
Never, never carry a HP22 (or pretty much any other handgun) in condition 2 on the half cock notch. The hammer has broken on theses guns during normal use, let alone being dropped.

Fixed FP safety and chamber empty is the only way I carry my HP22. But if you feel comfortable in condition 2, I hope you're carrying it with the hammer fully down, at least.

MCgunner
July 25, 2011, 06:32 PM
I carry it hammer DOWN, not on half cock! The firing pin does NOT protrude with the hammer down, floating firing pin. It's perfectly safe carried condition two just as is a series 70 1911. the 1911 if oft carried condition one. I won't do that with a HP22. Condition 3 or 2 is safe. It can drop from the top of the Empire State buildiing and if it hits on the HAMMER, it cannot go off. If it hits barrel first and the firing pin block isn't set, hell, if it IS set, all bets are off, but the hammer cannot fire the gun if the hammer is DOWN.

EMC45
July 26, 2011, 10:53 AM
MCgunner, it was the FP block I was talking about. Pain in the butt! The side safety still works on the frame though. They are a good gun for the money. IF I saw one for cheap local......Hmmmm..........

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