Wanting a 22lr, torn on options and in need of opinions


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trickyasafox
January 26, 2013, 06:44 PM
All~

I am in the market for a new 22lr revolver. I am torn on a number of features, and would like to put it to the 'the road for some advice.

I want this 22 for plinking and small game hunting, but wouldn't mind terribly if I could drop it in a jacket pocket either.

The small game hunting to me, means no DAO hammers - eliminating the Ruger LCR in 22lr, which would probably be the best pocketable gun. It does leave a taurus 94 in the contest, but reviews on them have been. . . . mixed.

throwing all hopes of pocket carry aside, I could go with either a Ruger single 10 or sp101 in 22, both of which would be great choices, with slight preference going to the sp101 for ease of loading.

Sure I'd love to save 50-100 bucks and go with the taurus, but I am just a touch apprehensive as I have never had the chance to hold a taurus revolver. Are my fears based only on internet conspiracy, or are there some issues with their rimfires?

Ruger is a tough brand to beat for a 22, but selecting a model that satisfies all of my wants and wishes is, as of yet, not feasible. Ideally, I'd get a snub'd sp101 variant - but I don't think ruger will bother with that market and canabalize the LCR's post.

thoughts and opinions?

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wrs840
January 26, 2013, 06:52 PM
A used S&W 617-1 (circa 1994 6” full-lug bbl, Stainless K-Frame, six-shot) ended up being one of my favorite firearms I ever purchased.

bigtubby
January 26, 2013, 07:15 PM
A nice vintage S&W model 18 would be on my list 4" barrel and very accurate. Personally I would only buy a Smith in .22 and it would be a K frame

22-rimfire
January 26, 2013, 08:04 PM
My suggestion is that you find a S&W M63 (Steel J-frame DA). The current ones are 3", but the 5" barrels were discontinued a couple years ago. There are also older M63's that are 4" around. Saw one in a gunshop a month or so ago for $300 and I was very tempted, but cash supply was low. The M63 would probably be about perfect for your needs. The 5" is too long to put in your pocket.

The other nice 4" is the Colt Diamondback (DB) or the old Colt Trooper in 22LR. Both will be pricey with the DB being the most expensive.

The new Ruger SP-101 would work for your purpose as well.

robowo
January 26, 2013, 08:10 PM
I have a Ruger Single Ten that I use for hunting and plinking. My wife has an SP-101 22.

Either is an excellent choice for your purposes. It really comes down to personal preference. The SP-101 is quicker to load as you mentioned but I find the Single Ten has some advantages for me. I find that the Single Ten taking more time to load is not much of an issue. For plinking, I'm not in a big hurry, my wife and I enjoy shooting for a couple hours at a time when we shoot on our home range. For hunting squirrels and rabbits you seldom get more than one or two shots anyways. With practice, the Single Ten can be loaded quite fast. The loading gate is wide enough to load 2 rounds at a time and I can load it pretty quickly. The Single Ten has a lighter, smoother action than the SP-101. This is even after I installed a Wolff reduced power hammer spring in the SP-101. The revolver had too many misfires with the 9 lb and 10 lb springs but works flawlessly with the 12 lb spring. My wife likes it much better. The stock spring is rated at 14 lbs. My Single Ten has the stock springs in it and is so smooth and light that I see no room for improvement. YMMV. I also like the way a single action revolver naturally points, it feels like an extension of your arm. I love the fiber optic sights on the Single Ten, while the SP-101 has just the front fiber optic sight. I find, that for me, the Single Ten is more accurate of the two. I routinely shoot at .410 shotgun hulls at 10 yards offhand and hit 7 or 8 out of 10. Poker chips at 10-15 yards is also fun.

If you have the opportunity I would try shooting both of them and see which you prefer and which you are more accurate with. Hope this helps you and if you have any specific questions, I'd be glad to answer.

witchhunter
January 26, 2013, 08:51 PM
I have a Smith mdl 63 4". I bought it to carry in the woods when fishing etc. It is sweet little peice. I found a 651 .22 Magnun 4", This one lives either on me or in my backpack. I take my pack everywhere. The magnum is enough more cartridge than the .22 LR when you need it. But I used the .22 LR for years, it shoots great.

berettaprofessor
January 26, 2013, 08:59 PM
+1 on the model 63!

CajunBass
January 26, 2013, 09:04 PM
Look in the used section and think outside the box.

I picked this one up a week or two ago for less than $175.00 at the LGS. It's a High-Standard Sentinel R-106, DA/SA, with a 4" barrel. The cylinder holds nine rounds of long rifle ammo. The grips are plastic, the frame is aluminum. You pull the ejector rod out to swing open the cylinder, then push it to eject the empties. A nice, solid, good shooting revolver that's about the size of a "K" frame Smith & Wesson, only lighter.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b292/CajunBass/handguns/100_0478.jpg

BYJO4
January 26, 2013, 09:20 PM
I would want at least a 4" barrel for range use and any type of small game hunting. To carry, I would buy a good holster. As to brand, thats up to you but I prefer S&W model 17 or 617.

md2lgyk
January 26, 2013, 09:22 PM
If you can find one, there are a number of H&R .22 revolvers that might work for you. I used to have a 904 and often wish I'd never sold it.

weblance
January 26, 2013, 10:52 PM
I have a Single Ten, 2 Single Six convertibles, a S&W 317 3", S&W 617 4", SP101-22, Taurus 94 2" and an LCR-22. Stay as far away from the Taurus as you can. The triggers are terrible, and the quality control is staffed by, well... no one. If you can find one in stock, look it over really well, and know how to check out a revolver for problems. You can have 2 Taurus 94s side by side, and one will be good, and the other one will have issues. If you cant afford any of the Rugers or S&Ws, look to the used market. If you can afford, and find the SP101-22 or 617, buy one. The Single Ten or Single Six will be easier to find, and are excellent, if Single Action isnt a problem for you. The S&W 317 is a neat little revolver, and the aluminum construction is truly remarkable, but I have an issue with the Fiber Optic front sight. It has a rounded top, and the rear is a "V" notch. Its a very accurate revolver, but because of the sights, difficult to shoot accurately. I have changed the rear sight to a white outline square notch, and am in the process of finding a standard front sight for it. It kinda sucks to have to change things on a $700 revolver, but once I get it to my liking, there is nothing like it. The SP101-22 is probably more durable because its all steel, but at 10 oz, the 317 is by far the lightest 22 revolver there is.

22-rimfire
January 27, 2013, 11:16 AM
Hard to beat the S&W M17 or M18, or current M617 in 4". They just are larger than the J-frame M63's. But they tend to have a better trigger overall. I suppose you could pocket carry a M18, but to me it is something that merits a holster.

I really like the Ruger Single Ten and I suppose I would like the Single Nine in 22 Mag. You just have to decide about SA and the size. The Ruger Bearcat is a much smaller SA 22 revolver that may fit your needs if smaller is that important.

In semi-auto, I have been very pleased with the Ruger SR-22P. It is very pocketable, but still big enough to shoot comfortably. But I don't know if it fits into the "hunting" catagory. Seems more of a plinker to me, but very reliable.

murf
January 27, 2013, 11:53 AM
ruger bearcat!

murf

MaterDei
January 27, 2013, 11:56 AM
Bearcat is OK for plinking and certainly small enough for any pocket. Hunting though? I find the sights leave a lot to be desired. YMMV

murf
January 27, 2013, 12:15 PM
that all depends upon the nut behind the trigger!

murf

kbbailey
January 27, 2013, 12:26 PM
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=326100985

Something like this would be hard to beat imho. I'm a big .22mag fan.

bikerdoc
January 27, 2013, 12:38 PM
I have a Sentinal snub =175
A bersa auto 250
Heritage Rough rider 150
Ruger 22/45 265

There are bargains out there

CraigC
January 27, 2013, 12:43 PM
For any kind of small game hunting, I want at least a 4" barrel. A short barreled K-frame or Single Six/Ten would be ideal. Enough length/heft for hunting but small enough to carry easily. The Bearcat is another option. Mine is certainly accurate enough for close range small game and the sights are more than adequate but they take some discipline to shoot accurately due to their small stature.

highpower
January 27, 2013, 01:03 PM
Look for a used Single Six convertible, the .22 mag would be better for hunting due to it's greater range and power + you can use regular .22's for plinking. I seldom buy new guns as I find there are a great many used firearms out there that can be had for a fraction of the cost of a new one.

Two years ago I bought this Single Six as part of a package deal along with a .357 New Model Blackhawk. I paid $225 for the pair which I thought was a pretty good deal.
http://highpower.smugmug.com/Firearms/Ruger-Single-Actions/i-pdWgMCK/0/XL/IMG_1863-XL.jpg

PO2Hammer
January 27, 2013, 02:44 PM
I would keep an eye on the used gun market.
There seems to be a lot of revolver trade ins at my LGS as people clamor for autos before the sky falls.
I found a nice used SP101. 4", 6 shot, low profile windage adjustable sights (all steel), half lug (saves a few ounces).
The low profile sights are nice, I can slip it into a pocket and put my thumb on the hammer to draw and it won't snag on the sights. A dab of hot pink nail polish makes the front sight nice and bright.

stanmo
January 27, 2013, 03:01 PM
Sounds like you want the M63

http://i721.photobucket.com/albums/ww215/MotownStan/IMG_0289sm_zpsa59dc37b.jpg

PO2Hammer
January 27, 2013, 03:59 PM
^^^
That would work too.
Nice gun.

MikeJackmin
January 27, 2013, 04:29 PM
I would not buy a Taurus unless I could carefully inspect it beforehand. Some are quite nice, but too many of them seem to have problems.

A ruger single six with adjustable sights is hard to beat, and they are a good gun to buy used. Unless they have been obviously mistreated, there is seldom anything wrong with them. They are tough, simple little revolvers that won't surprise you.

Bearcats are nice, if you can manage the sights. I love mine but I find it trickier to shoot well, less forgiving of poor technique. Your grip has to be just right, and your trigger finger has to really work independently of the rest of your hand. The larger guns seem less affected by small errors here. However, if you can master it, it will serve you very well.

And old S&W 17 or 18 would be top of the line, but expect to pay more for it, and you'll want to inspect it first if you're buying used. Check crane alignment, and look for damaged screw heads. Inspect the muzzle for signs of wear from overcleaning. I'm one of those who seldom cleans rimfire barrels, cleaning seems to wear them out much more than shooting does.

bearman49709
January 27, 2013, 05:41 PM
I've been buying trading and selling .22LR hand guns for years trying to find the best, S/A, D/A and semi auto. I bought a used S&W 617ND 6" last year and found the perfect .22LR pistol! I haven't shot any other .22 pistol since then and may never.

Hoppes Love Potion
January 27, 2013, 05:47 PM
A used 9-shot H&R or NEF would do the trick. Harder to find would be an older S&W Model 34. Same as the 2" M36 Chief Special, but in .22lr.

btg3
January 27, 2013, 06:59 PM
...slight preference going to the sp101 for ease of loading

Ease of loading doesn't get much better than this...

http://www.gunblast.com/Cliploader.htm








Yes, I know it doesn't work with revolvers ;)

CraigC
January 28, 2013, 11:34 AM
A double action is only quicker and easier to reload than a single action if you have speedloaders. With proper technique, the DA unloads quicker but the SA loads quicker. Net result is a wash.

22-rimfire
January 28, 2013, 01:00 PM
Maybe for you Craig. But for me, unloading is a slow deliberate process with single action 22's and if you aren't paying attention, you can skip a chamber without realizing it. So for a person who does not practice quick loading and unloading with a SA 22 revolver, the DA is quicker, safer, and requires less effort.

murf
January 28, 2013, 01:29 PM
so, what have you decided, mr. fox?

single action revolvers are just as safe as any other handgun, because safety depends upon the nut behind the trigger.

bearcats are not more difficult to shoot, but require a bit different (lighter) grip than most other single actions. the gun weighs only one pound, and if you grip it hard, you will move the sights. it requires a gentle grip for best accuracy. and, i find, the pinky finger under the grip is the best way to hold the gun. sights line right up with this grip.

fwiw

murf

CraigC
January 28, 2013, 01:49 PM
Maybe for you Craig. But for me, unloading is a slow deliberate process with single action 22's and if you aren't paying attention, you can skip a chamber without realizing it. So for a person who does not practice quick loading and unloading with a SA 22 revolver, the DA is quicker, safer, and requires less effort.
Am I the only one that pays attention to what they're doing???


bearcats are not more difficult to shoot
I do find the Bearcat to be more difficult to shoot accurately. Because of its small size and the fact that SA's are more sensitive to grip variations, it took a lot more work to become proficient with it. The sights make it a bit more of a challenge but are easier to use than say, a Colt SAA or replica.

stanmo
January 28, 2013, 01:59 PM
A double action is only quicker and easier to reload than a single action if you have speedloaders. With proper technique, the DA unloads quicker but the SA loads quicker. Net result is a wash.

Unloading = no contest

I have no problem loading 2 at a time in my DA, I can easily load 8 faster than 6 in a SA.

CraigC
January 28, 2013, 02:17 PM
...I can easily load 8 faster than 6 in a SA.
Then your technique could probably use some work.

What baffles me is when you post something that may be a new concept to some folks, rather than asking questions, they just tell you you're wrong. Are we here to learn, or just spew our opinions???

22-rimfire
January 28, 2013, 02:51 PM
Am I the only one that pays attention to what they're doing???

I am not saying you are wrong with your personal experience as I know from your posts that you are an avid single action shooter. As far as paying attention... well, I do pay attention, but there are times a person may become distracted and "think" you unloaded when you missed a chamber. I know you're supposed to check. But with a single action, that means rotating the cylinder to each chamber and checking versus a glance with a double action.

Of course, you can just shoot them empty every time and if you miss a spent case, no harm done.

mdauben
January 28, 2013, 02:57 PM
I want this 22 for plinking and small game hunting, but wouldn't mind terribly if I could drop it in a jacket pocket either.
You might want to consider the S&W Model 317. Its an alloy J-frame with 3-inch barrel and adjustable sights.

http://aeonarms.com/catalog/images/products/S/SW160221FC_1.jpg
Probably not a pants pocket gun, but certainly a jacket pocket (or cargo pants pocket) gun.

returningfire
January 28, 2013, 03:08 PM
A Ruger Bearcat or a Colt Scout, used. Can't go wrong with either one both hold value and are both quality firearms.

stanmo
January 28, 2013, 07:36 PM
...I can easily load 8 faster than 6 in a SA.

Then your technique could probably use some work.

What baffles me is when you post something that may be a new concept to some folks, rather than asking questions, they just tell you you're wrong. Are we here to learn, or just spew our opinions???

Chill Craig,
I'm not doubting your ability I said I load my DA faster than my SA. If you load a SA faster good for you.
I enjoy my 45 colt SA but, Find loading a SA 22 tedious.

CraigC
January 28, 2013, 07:58 PM
Nevermind.....

BCRider
January 28, 2013, 08:12 PM
If slipping the gun into a pocket is a "must have" requirement then it pretty much tosses anything longer than a 4 inch barrel out of the list. And even a 4 inch barrel is a little long for many pockets without wedging firmly from corner to corner and becoming uncomfortable to carry.

I'd suggest you give up on the pocket'able requirement in favour of a compact holster that easily slips onto your belt or perhaps a paddle style that just slips down over your belt. The guns you could more comfortably carry that way are all the sort which are going to do far better for you during small game hunting. The longer sight baseline will most certainly make the gun easier to shoot accurately.

Note that a short barrel gun will shoot accurately. But it forces the shooter to be super critical of their sight picture. Sighting errors that would be obvious on a longer baseline sight picture could be easily missed when looking over the top of a snub nose length barrel.

In my experience having shot short to long versions I'd say reasonably easy to obtain accuracy starts with guns that have a 4 inch barrel and it gets easier as the barrel length moves on up towards 6 and 7 inches. Although anything over 5.5 to 6 inches begins to get tough to pull from a high on the waist mounted holster unless it's a cross draw or has some of the upper front cut away.

tnelson31
January 28, 2013, 09:08 PM
Ease of loading doesn't get much better than this...

http://www.gunblast.com/Cliploader.htm

I have one of these and never use it.

btg3
January 28, 2013, 09:15 PM
^^^^ I never shoot steel challenge without it. Can I help declutter your gun space?

trickyasafox
January 28, 2013, 10:41 PM
btg3- I live in NY, so using a magazine loader like that could easily put me past 7 rounds quickly whilst in the field and not at an 'incorporated range'. Not to get legal in this thread, but for right now a revolver is a mighty tempting option to those of us in NYS, so much so that I suspect my mkII will be relegated more and more to 'range only' usage.

To murf-

I've handled the bearcats, they are a nice pistol, but a touch small for my liking. I have narrowed it down to the single-10 and the sp101 in 22lr. At this point, I have a slight preference for a sp101, only because I have held other sp101s in the past and they area known quantity for fitting my hand. I have no actual experience with the single 10 or single 6. Hopefully I'll find a shop locally where I can handle them both, and that will be the final determining factor.

I agree that even for my intended purposes, loading and unloading is never going to need to be a 'speedy prospect', and I would be misguided to make my decision on a criteria that really won't impact the intended purpose of the gun.

the price difference between the two is close enough that I will not loath putting down the extra cash for the sp101 if it feels like a clearly better choice.

edited to add- I will admit, aesthetically, the blued single 10 is a hands down winner in my book. That is a sharp looking firearm.

powderx
January 28, 2013, 10:51 PM
I've got several Ruger 22 handguns. Autos and revolvers alike. Stainless and blued. My favorite of them all is the fixed-sight, blued Single Six with 5.5" barrel.

Nostalgia.

K1500
January 28, 2013, 10:53 PM
FWIW, I can shoot a revolver in DA mode almost as well as in SA mode. I would not have a problem hunting small game on occasion with a DAO revolver like the LCR. If it fits your other needs, I would go for it.

murf
January 29, 2013, 12:46 AM
if it doesn't fit, you won't like it. if you don't like it, you won't want to shoot it. if you don't want to shoot it, you won't shoot it.

all these guns will function just fine. so, fit is king here. imop

murf

James2
January 29, 2013, 01:35 AM
Ruger Single Six.

Not really a pocket gun, but you can't go wrong with it.

Pointshoot
January 29, 2013, 09:55 AM
No matter what you decide, I hope you have a supply of 22LR ammo. Its completely out of stock in all our local stores - even little out-of-the-way places that always had it in stock before.

greenmtnguy
January 29, 2013, 12:59 PM
Ultimately, you DO have to handle some and find out what is best FOR YOU. But, my present "lust list" is for a stainless steel distributors exclusive Single Six convertible with 4 5/8" bbl. Sadly, tax season responsibilities must be met first..

btg3
January 29, 2013, 01:00 PM
They haven't stopped making ammo. Demand will subside and supply will catch up. Patience or panic, the choice is yours.

trickyasafox
January 29, 2013, 08:07 PM
22lr is something I thankfully set back in decent supply. Have about 20 bricks for consumption and another 10 in the rainy day ammo can. for every two bricks I shoot, I try to buy three. I don't make a ton of money or I'd try to go one for one, but over the last 5 or 6 years, I've been able to get a bit ahead with this system.

Stainz
January 30, 2013, 07:46 AM
I waited nearly too long to get my first really good .22 rimfire. I was sixty 9/08 when I 'took the leap' and bought a new 4" 617. It required the sale of my beloved Ruger MKII and it's eight mags and scope - a real leap of faith. I had owned a few SA .22's - including an old H&R and a new Ruger Single Six - never very fond of them. Sadly, by this time I had tired of SA revolvers. The DA-capable S&W was an unreal purchase. I have tried to wear it out since I bought it, especially after fitting it as shown below - and - not seen - improving it's DA trigger. The DS-10 speedloader and loading plate - and a stash of Federal 550 packs from WallyWorld - combined to help, too.

http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u307/Stainz_2007/IMG_3904.jpg

That is one fine range revolver - fantastic plinker. I, like the OP, kept thinking how much fun pocket carry would be... of course, not with a huge 617. A 317K was thought to be a good choice... until I shot one at the range. The DA trigger feels stiffer than it likely is due to the very light revolver - a SS version, a la the 63, might be ideal. An elderly good range friend had bought one of the then current production new 5" 63's and only got to shoot it one time before his death. I was able to buy it from his estate (Top, below.). If the OP's local laws require a barrel length of >4" to hunt with, it and the new, actually 4.2" long barrel, Ruger 8X SP-101 are your only choices in a smallish frame. I finally got my currently available 3" 63 (Bottom, below.) 11/10. Both 63's are 8-shooters - and Dave at DS-10 has a speedloader/loading baseplate for them, too - as well as one for the new Ruger. The 4" gun in the middle below is actually a 651 (.22 WMR), but an older production 4" 63 would look just like it (... for reference!). All three have S&W '60 Pro' grips, the 5" 63 has an aftermarket HiViz sight, too.

http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u307/Stainz_2007/003-2-1.jpg

If I could only keep one .22 revolver, it'd be the 3" 63. It is a handy, still pocketable but natural pointing, size. It's DA trigger came better NIB than my 5" 63 - and it's identical lockwork had seen some work - and new springs. The 3" 63, when I A-B-ed with a friend's new SP-101, was tighter grouping and had the far smoother DA trigger, too. The new .22 SP-101's QC and DA trigger are a vast improvement over my older 4" SP-101 .32 H&RM. It would be a nice revolver - if I didn't have my 3" 63. I still suggest the new 3" 63 - and some nicer grips. Sure, it's a lot of money - but it's a purchase you'll make once. Just my humble opinion!

Stainz

22-rimfire
January 30, 2013, 02:13 PM
Sure, it's a lot of money - but it's a purchase you'll make once. Just my humble opinion!

My opinion too.

Theholybull
January 31, 2013, 04:53 PM
I've got a ss Taurus 94 ant it's a really good shooter. I've put 30,000 rounds through it with no problems what so ever. I wouldn't have any reservations about buying one.

GreyCoupe
January 31, 2013, 07:20 PM
S&W Model 17 K-22 Target Masterpiece. DA/SA, with the best trigger on the planet.

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