Favorite .22 Pistol?


February 5, 2004, 08:44 PM
I am thinking about a new .22 and would like your opinions. I have owned a Ruger MKII and a S&W 422, but traded both off. I didn't like the way they balanced.

If you enjoyed reading about "Favorite .22 Pistol?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Standing Wolf
February 5, 2004, 08:58 PM
It might be worth you while to think about barrel weights.

February 5, 2004, 09:17 PM
I'm partial to the feel of my Browning Buckmark, might try handleing one in a store sometime.

February 5, 2004, 10:09 PM
I am with Nick. My Browning Buckmark is sweet. It points well for me, shoots better than I can aim it (which ain't sayin much) and is reliable as all get out.

Craig M. Arnold
February 5, 2004, 10:40 PM
Another vote for the Buckmark. I have two of them and they are great. I think the best bang for the buck in .22lr. Very accurate and I have never had a jam in either one of mine and one has over 15,000 rounds through it!!!

February 6, 2004, 01:12 AM
The Ruger .22 autos come in a variety of shapes, sizes & weights:

- Standard "Luger" cant grip.
- 1911 type grip.
- Blue & stainless finishes.
- Tapered & bull barrels in a variety of lengths.
- Numerous fixed, adjustable, optic, lazer & scope sight options.
- Numerous grip options.
- Refined trigger accessories.

And these are all "off the shelf" type items. Add to that custom work that is available from several gunsmiths.

I can't imagine you couldn't find one that feels good to you. Certainly more options & accessories than ANY other .22 auto in production.

About the only negative is they all utilize a common action - enclosed bolt & internal striker type hammer. If you are looking for an exposed hammer, DA/SA or DAO trigger or a traditional slide set up - you'll have to look elsewhere. Like a center fire to rim fire conversion kit (many of which don't work too well) or .22 versions of centerfire pistols (generally pretty expensive). The Browning Buckmarks are great pistols - but they are basically a 1930's design - with options and available accessories far more limited than the Rugers.

February 6, 2004, 01:32 AM
I like the Ruger MKII in the 6.5" barrel length with a standard barrel not the target one and the Ruger Single Six. I haven't shot a Bearcat, but they look neat, only you can't shoot .22 magnums out of it.

February 6, 2004, 02:07 AM
Browning Buckmarks for me as well.

The 4" Micro just sits right in the palm and points very natural for me.

The 5.5" Standard has just enough muzzle heaviness to be noticeable.

The 5.5" Target is more muzzle heavy, as preferred by a number of Bullseye shooters.

The 10" Shilhouette has a wooden fore-end for a reason! :D

February 6, 2004, 02:20 AM
I've owned and shot other 22s but I still like my Woodsman the best.:D

February 6, 2004, 02:29 AM
I'm with Nick96. The Rugers offer so many different configurations, it's hard to believe you can't find one that balances well in you hand. There's also more aftermarket stuff for Rugers than you can shake a stick at.

It's cheap, more accurate than me, and a hoot to shoot. I like mine:


February 6, 2004, 03:12 AM
Sig P210-7. OTherwise, I really like my Browning Buckmark. Great gun for the money, reliable and accurate, super light trigger. Kind of a pain to clean though.

February 6, 2004, 12:43 PM
The Ruger that I had was the 4" version of the standard MKII. My son has a six inch 22/45 and it does balance better, but I really do not like the grip. My friend just bought one of the new Baretta's and it feels okay. I might just look at the six inch MKII. They are sweet shooting guns.

I have and old High Standard .22 revolver that my dad gave me when I was a kid. It has had thousands of rounds through it and I hate to keep shooting it and completely wear it out.

February 6, 2004, 12:59 PM
What did you not like about the balance?
-If the guns were too nose-heavy and you were mounting optics anyway, then you can maybe mount the optics back over the end of the gun. I have fired one Mk II with a field scope set up like this and while it was a bit bulky, I did like the way it felt more than mine did (that has a red-dot mounted on a generic drill/tap weaver rail, a bit forward).
....I find that most typical field guns are balanced about right with a small/thin barrel, but when you add a long and/or thick barrel they end up way too nose-heavy.

Ala Dan
February 6, 2004, 02:05 PM
Hey-Hey Hey Paw Daddy,

My favorite .22 LR caliber self-loader might surprise you;
cuz now days its gett'in kind'a rare:

Colt Match Target Woodsman

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

February 6, 2004, 02:35 PM
Remington rolling block, but unfortunetly they haven't made it for 100years.

February 6, 2004, 02:38 PM
Another vote for the Browning Buckmark.

February 6, 2004, 02:54 PM
I think the problem with recommending an old gun is twofold:
1) people unfamiliar with it will worry that something disastrous will be wrong with the one they purchase and it will be expensive or not possible to fix, and-
2) if the gun was so great to begin with, then why aren't they still being made?....

February 6, 2004, 03:07 PM
Put me solidly in the Ruger Camp.

Single Six in .22/.22wmr


I just traded a MarkII for a 22/45. Best thing I ever did. I hate the cant to the MarkII grip. 22/45 feels good.

February 6, 2004, 03:11 PM
I've got a Ruger that I am very happy with.

With that said I've always wanted a Browning Buckmark Bullseye. With the Rosewood grips and the fluted barrel I thinks its one of the best looking guns out there.

February 6, 2004, 04:00 PM
I don't like any of the sub $400 Smith... and I have nothing against Smith 7 Wesson.

The Rugers are nice guns but I wish they'd make the 22/45 in an all steel version. Of the Rugers, I like the 4.5" bull barrel guns the best... They balance the best for me. I'm told the longer tapered barrels are nice as well but have never shot one. The long bull barrel guns are nice for taming recoil (ha! recoil in a heavy barrel 22 pistol!) but they start feeling pretty muzzle heavy after too few shots.

Honestly, I have more experience with Smith & Wesson and Dan Wesson revolvers and 1911 and CZ conversion units.

Ala Dan
February 6, 2004, 04:01 PM
Greeting's DougCxx-

In response to question #2:

The Colt Match Target Woodsman preceeded the
Colt Manufacturing Company by going south. I don't have
specific dates in front of me, but the Colt Match Target
Woodsman went thru 3 generations. The old saying
of "all is well, that ends well" must have come of age
with the departure of the Match Target Woodsman.

I got in on this beauty kind'a late (spring of 76 as my
records indicate), and mine was a 3rd generation. It
had all the modifications and improvements that Colt
had incorporated into this model. My records also do
indicate that I paid a sum of $279.00 + 6% sales tax
for this gem. Try too touch one now for that price!

Its too bad they were dropped from the Colt line; cuz
it would rival the Smith & Wesson model 41 shot for
shot. :uhoh: :rolleyes: :D

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

February 6, 2004, 07:46 PM

I did not like the way the guns sat in my hand. They both had the 4" barrels and they just seemed to not have any weight "forward". I think that maybe the Ruger MKII with the plain 6" barrel will feel better.

Both guns never gave me any problem, but they just didn't feel right.

February 6, 2004, 08:48 PM
I am pretty new to all of this, but the gun that got me involved is the Beretta NEOS 22.cal. Great to shoot, reliable, and kinda cool lookin.

February 6, 2004, 11:37 PM
I would also recommend going with a Beretta...

Of course my own favorite is of a slightly older vintage, that being the Beretta Model 74 with the fully adjustable target sights.

Best .22 auto I've ever owned.

-- BeanTown

February 6, 2004, 11:43 PM
Sold my Ruger MkII Competition 'cause it was just too heavy.

My Trailside's very different in that regard. About as light as I would want it.

I think I'd get a Buckmark if I were looking in the sub-$450 range. Depends on what you want to spend. You can get some neat .22 pistols if you just sell your car...

February 7, 2004, 01:41 AM
Hey, welcome to THR, Beantown!! :D

February 7, 2004, 02:50 PM

February 7, 2004, 11:29 PM
If you want to stay with a wheel gun look at the Taurus model 96 (if you can find one) or the model 94.

February 8, 2004, 01:03 AM
Give me a Ruger.


Have em both, love em both.

Mike Bruno
February 8, 2004, 01:34 AM
I have a Ruger Mark II with bull barrel and find it balances very nicely for me --------I put Hogue grips on which makes it just perfect for comfortable target shooting.......

February 8, 2004, 01:57 AM
I have a Ruger MkII Target with slab bull barrel
It's a special edition model, I believe you can still get one.

I love this gun, the balance is right and the trigger is awesome. Plus it is drilled for scope base, in case you want to put some optics on it. It shoots very accurately.

February 8, 2004, 04:17 PM
I went out yesterday and shot my son's 22/45 Target. I had forgotten how well that it shot. I just don't care much for the grip. I think that I will check out the Browning and the Ruger MKII with 6" tube.

February 11, 2004, 01:03 PM
I read an article last night on the new Baretta Neos and I think that I might check this gun out. My friend has one, and I fired a few rounds through it, but really didn't take a really close look.

But, it does have the ambi safety and I am left handed so this might work out okay.

Can this pistol fire the hyper velocity .22LR ammo? Does anyone here have one?

February 11, 2004, 01:13 PM
I read an article last night on the new Baretta Neos and I think that I might check this gun out. My friend has one, and I fired a few rounds through it, but really didn't take a really close look.
RawDaddy, my friend purchased one, and I shot it on multiple occasions. Which is often. I rarely say negative things about guns, but this one... In the same price range I would advise you to consider a Ruger. Better sights and a trigger. If you do plan to get a scope for it in the future just get drilled and tapped Ruger. You might pay a little more, but it is well worth it.

February 11, 2004, 02:24 PM
It was asked: "I read an article last night on the new Baretta Neos and I think that I might check this gun out. My friend has one, and I fired a few rounds through it, but really didn't take a really close look."
I bought a Beretta Neos about 6 weeks ago. I think it is a terrific gun, but I grant that I do not have any real experience with the Ruger or Browning Buckmark. I do have revolver experience, and the Ruger Single Six or S&W 617 are also great choices.

As to the Neos....One of the fairly often mentioned criticisms is the trigger. Maybe mine is a newer vintage, or just differences in samples, but the trigger is very nice..consistent and about 4#'s.

The Neos is very easy to disassemble for cleaning...actually, that was one of the strongest features that lead to my purchase. Further, it has a Weaver rail as part of the gun, so adding an inexpensive red dot or other optic is a breeze.

I am not a competitive shooter. I am AARP eligible with somewhat shaky hands. That being said, if I shoot off 50 rounds, about 80% will be in a 3" circle in the center at 50'. Not great by competitive standards, but meets my needs.


February 11, 2004, 05:31 PM
MKII SS 6 7/8 Govt target

February 11, 2004, 05:32 PM
I have an old Browning Challenger III. The same as the Buckmark with walnut grips and 5 1/2 barrel. Nothing (firearms related) feels better in my hand than this gun. I have a Ruger MKII and I like it a little better for other reasons but the Browning is nice. If I could afford it, I would get a S&W model 41.

Roger Williams
February 12, 2004, 12:46 AM
I think that maybe the Ruger MKII with the plain 6" barrel will feel better.

That's what I ended up with! I have owned a Buckmark (liked it a lot!), and my father has the slab sided target model MKII, but I went in search of something that balances better, just like you are looking for.

I handled and shot TONS of different .22's to decide on just the right gun for me. I had plenty of money saved up, so I wouldn't have to "settle" for a gun I didn't want. I wasn't in a big hurry, so I took my time and what I wound up with is a Ruger MK6. (MKII with the 6" tapered bbl and fixed sights) It is one SWEET shooting gun, and it doesn't feel like a cinder block strapped to your leg when you carry it out in the field to plink with.

February 21, 2004, 01:12 PM
:) My favorite .22 pistol is my Browning Challenger, Belgium made in 1965. It is the original challenger, not a II or III. It has the wrap around walnut grip. Sweet little gun and it is worth a bit more than a Buckmark.

February 21, 2004, 01:58 PM

My 41

Peter M. Eick
February 21, 2004, 02:36 PM
If it has to be a pistol then it is my daughters Walther P22T. Nice gun, very reliable and accurate with the right ammo. Her's has a prefernce for cci-stingers right now.

If it could be a hand gun, then it is my Dan Wesson 722 6". Great gun and every time I shoot it, I like it a bit more.

February 21, 2004, 07:06 PM
Colt .22 pistol. Hasn't missed a lick. Easy to care for. Have owned Rugers and they are good pistols, but for me it's Colt.

February 22, 2004, 11:18 PM
I rented a browning buckmark at the range today. It was the 5 1/2" nickel model. By the end of the hundred rounds I put through it, I had already broken several bad habits I've been acquiring because of shooting other guns. Very nice. They had the same pistol for sale in the range shop. If it is still there next week I may pick it up.

If you enjoyed reading about "Favorite .22 Pistol?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!