What are some of the cheap(er) 22 pistols that work well?


November 15, 2012, 02:20 AM
Let's say, $300 and under.

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November 15, 2012, 02:59 AM
I'm a fan of the Browning Buckmark Camper. Pretty straight forward little pistols and mine has been freakishly accurate right out of the box. I actually have managed to ring a steel gong at 200 yards. It has also been completely reliable. All around a great fun and accurate little piece.

November 15, 2012, 03:18 AM
Ruger has a few. The 22/45 and mkIII come to mind, as they are much like the buckmark. If you have a FFL who does not gouge just because something is hard to get the SR22 could be had for under $300. Also less conventional, but I have seen the charger for under $300.

November 15, 2012, 03:36 AM
From personal experience, the following three will put very nearly every round where you aim. All prices are what I found on a quick look today on my LGS website, and have been pretty stable over the past couple of years (when I bought these).

Beretta Neos ($250 at the LGS). Did have some initial jamming problems, but eventually got around to ammo that it likes. Likes its lubrication - more so than the others I've shot methinks. Bulit in Weaver rail that I put an inexpensive red dot on. Simple, simple, simple to take apart and clean.

Ruger 22/45 bull barrel ($280 at the LGS). At times a little finnicky on ammo but again eventually found what it likes (most stuff). Came with a Weaver rail that can be mounted with screws (included). Not the easiest to take apart and clean (and some would consider this a serious understatement).

Ruger SR-22 ($300 at the LGS; was $325 when I bought it - grrrr). Seems to eat anything; I found the looseness of the mags (i.e. the bullets sit kind of in a crooked line in the mag) disconcerting at first, but it always goes bang and with anything I've fed it so far. Easier by far than the 22/45 to take apart; not as easy as the Neos.

Don't have any personal experience with, but have heard OK things about the S&W 22A ($270 at the LGS) and Browning Buckmark ($320 at the LGS).

Your mileage will almost certainly vary.


November 15, 2012, 03:39 AM
Ruger 22/45 MkIII has treated me pretty well.

November 15, 2012, 04:41 AM
Ruger MkIII or 22/45
Browning Buckmark

All excellent pistols. I don't own the SR-22 and can't recommend the Neos, not in the same class as the above.

November 15, 2012, 07:07 AM
What I have observed at my club shoots is that once you get away from Ruger (22/45, MkIII) and the Browning Buckmark, reliability with bulk ammo decreases. CCI Stingers seem to make any pistol run reliably.

Whatever you buy, keep it lubed.


November 15, 2012, 07:29 AM
Cheaper to purchase, cheaper to operate or cheaper overall?
I'd suggest the SR22 as the answer.
Sure others may be cheaper to purchase but require higher cost ammo to operate reliably. Shoot enough and the total cost of ownership of the cheaper gun will soon exceeeds that of the SR22.
IMHO the cost of ammo is a vital factor. You can cover the cost of a gun with the money saved in ammo costs depending on your shooting volume.

November 15, 2012, 10:10 AM
My Neos suffered from the occasional FTF and it was not ammo specific. I don't tend to run anything especially wet but I gave that a go just for fun...no dice. Tore it down, very simple as noted, and had a careful look at the magazines and feed ramp. Using a small round file followed by 600, 800 and 1000 grit I carefully broke the bottom edge of the feed ramp at the barrel throat. Just a tiny, smooth radius and it has run everything since.

It's a neat little pistol but it will require a bit of work including a trigger job (did that at home as well). Those two issues aside, I had to LocTite the rail pins and the magazines could use some sort of base pad for easier insertion (they're slightly recessed).

Most reviews I've read did not mention feed problems or the roll pins walking so I cannot say those are common problems. Mine was purchased for my son (and his brother and sister when they're ready) and is well sized for small hands but does fine with my larger hands. Very accurate and fun to shoot.


November 15, 2012, 10:38 AM
My Ruger MkIII has been a flawless camp pistol. I took it apart once, though. No thanks. I'm just going to do the Gun Scrub method until it NEEDS to be taken apart.

I don't shoot it that much, and it's mostly for padding my range time with cheap ammo.

Still, very nice shooter and compact:)

November 15, 2012, 10:41 AM
Beretta Bobcat. Very dependable over many years. Does not like HP ammo though.

November 15, 2012, 11:20 AM
I have a Beretta Neos that has been very reliable with just about any ammo I have run through. Has a definite preference for CCI MiniMags and Federal Auto Match.

November 15, 2012, 11:28 AM
S&W 422 & 622. Both can be found cheap and they run great.

You can find a Ruger Mk I or Mk II under $300 and they are great.

November 15, 2012, 11:29 AM
Although I typically stay away from Ruger, it's mostly just due to personal preference. Their guns just don't feel right in my hands and I don't like the way they look - but if that doesn't affect you like it does me then the 22/45 is a good, reliable, gun and for the price you can buy it for it's well worth it.

November 15, 2012, 02:15 PM
I've seen Ruger Mark III variants or Browning Buck Mark Campers on sale for right at $299. Either would be hard to beat.

November 15, 2012, 03:55 PM
Browning Buckmark Camper
Ruger .22/45 low end versions
Beretta Neos
In that order and all new in box.
Lotsa stuff on used gun market with a bit of searching

November 15, 2012, 05:36 PM
All good suggestions. What is the general opinion on the S&W 21a. It would fall into this price point

November 15, 2012, 06:18 PM
I enjoy the Buckmark Varmiter though it is sensitive to the ammo that shoots with the tightest groups. When the ammo selection is determined its a great gun.
Im not sure where you will find one under $300. Check out Gunbroker and most are running between $300 and $400 on up to $800
I did see a pro target Buy Now for $305 but they have a short sight radius which adds to the challenge.

November 15, 2012, 07:19 PM
I bought this for 275 at a gun show, scope, mount, and all. :D Accurate is an understatement. I was going to take off the scope, but after shooting, I decided I'd keep it like this for squirrel hunting. :D


November 15, 2012, 07:25 PM
If you want a pocket plinker, academy has some black friday specials....


November 15, 2012, 07:36 PM
Another Buckmark Camper vote here. Mine eats through the Blazer bulk ammo like a trailer park rush at the local Ryan's buffet. More accurate than I'll ever be.

November 15, 2012, 07:52 PM
I have had my S&W 22a for years and no issues with it. fun little gun to shoot, and mine hasn't been picky about ammo.

November 15, 2012, 08:08 PM
I have the Browning Buckmark Camper and the Ruger 22/45, both have bull barrels...great for plinking and paper killing. Both highly recommended. However, I also have Bersa's .22 pistol, which is comparable in size to their Thunder .380; and just as reliable. Taurus has their PT-22, of which I have owned a few. I'm not all that impressed with it...seems a little too cheaply made...just doesn't have the quality of craftsmanship that I prefer. More recently I've started acquiring .22 revolvers. They are a lot of fun too! Good luck making your decision, and let us know what you decide to get, and how you like it. We all have our experience and opinions, but we'd like to hear yours, when the time comes, too.

November 15, 2012, 08:49 PM
For pure/cheap/accurate fun it's my Browning Nomad ($135) and, I love my NAA .22 1 -1/8" barrel lr ($100) 'cause it always goes bang, it's always on me...;)..and my mind knows it. :D

November 15, 2012, 09:33 PM
The Bersa Thunder 22 is an excellent $300 wonder. Well made, all metal, hammer fired, DA/SA. I also have had lots of fun with my Taurus PLY-22. Priced around $225 in Stainless.

November 15, 2012, 10:01 PM
If you can stretch it out another $20 you can get a NIB GSG 1911-22 and it's both a durable and accurate (to-scale) 1911.

If not, the aforementioned suggestions will likewise make for great performance/fun.

November 15, 2012, 10:09 PM
If you want a pocket plinker, academy has some black friday specials....

I'll say there are some deals there--Do they ship firearms (couldn't immediately determine via a brief overview of their web site)?


November 15, 2012, 11:25 PM
I don't believe they do, but they do have a couple of stores in Southern MO.

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