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Choosing a .22 Autoloader

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by esswiz, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. esswiz

    esswiz Member

    I'm looking for a little insight regarding .22 autoloaders. I want to introduce my kids to handguns in a safe an simple manner. This is to reduce if not remove the fear and social stigma that the public schools and others have been pushing. I have been doing quite a bit of looking, probably to much, at .22 autoloaders. I'm dealing with 8, 10 & 13 year olds, so size and weight of the firearm are points of concern. Also, two are left handed and one is right handed, if this makes a difference. This is not meant to be a serious target shooter, but rather a "plinker" that is a fun learning tool that is easy to maintain. I have looked seriously at the Walther P22 due to its grip size and weight. The local dealers have told me that early on this gun had some bugs, but they have all been resolved. I have also recently come across the Beretta Neo which is very cool looking and has a nice sized grip, however it is quite a bit heavier. The Buckmark, MarkIII, Sig trailside & misquito grips are to large for the kids in my opinion. Are there other's that I should be looking at? If anyone has experience with both the P22 and the Neo I would be very interested in your findings.
  2. BamBam-31

    BamBam-31 Well-Known Member

    Hello, and WELCOME TO THR! :D

    I think it's great what you're doing. Dunno much about .22 autos with smaller sized grips--wish I could help you there, but I can't. I've only owned the Ruger 22/45, Sig Trailside, and CZ Kadet, and they're all fantastic shooters.

    Why not a revolver? Fairly straightforward operation, available with smaller frames and grips, and great teaching tools (you can load every other cylinder to test for flinch).

    Anyways, good luck in your search. Can't wait til my two year old is old enough! :)
  3. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Well-Known Member

    I've got a P22, and have put about 2500 rounds through it of varying brands and types, and they have all worked fine. I used mostly the bulk Federal Classics from walmart. I would call my P22 very reliable and a lot of fun to shoot. I know others have had issues with certain types of ammo. If you do get one, buy a couple 50rd packs of a bunch of different brands and try them out to see what works best.

    And no matter what others tell you the P22 itself is not "crap" or "junk". Yeah some people had some issues in the past, but that's mostly due to ammo choice. and there are just as many people, like me, who's P22s have worked great.
  4. GunNut

    GunNut Well-Known Member

    While at first glance the P22 would seem to be the best as far as size, I just can't get past all of the bad things i've heard about the gun.

    I would go for a Ruger 22/45, then they'll be ready to step up to a real 1911 down the road.:D

    USAFA06STX Well-Known Member

    Out of the two I prefer the P22 because it looks more like a "real" gun. Most of the problems I have seen with the P22 are ammo related. For whatever reason the Remington bulk ammo seems to cause more problems than other types I've tried. I have not had any problems using CCI Minimags or Federal bulk packs.
  6. kokapelli

    kokapelli Well-Known Member

    I can only tell you of my experience.

    The P22 I purchased is long gone, because____

    It was too ammo sensitve for my taste.

    Accuracy was mediocre at best.

    The front end was constantly loosening up.

    It just felt more like a toy than a gun in my hand.
  7. Northslope Nimrod

    Northslope Nimrod Well-Known Member

    I have these:
    1. P22 - Fun gun....works great....but not built to last forever IMHO. I had a hammer spring break but S&W fixed it within 10 days....no cost...not even shipping. It is quite loud.

    2. Buckmark Micro - Should work with small hands fine. Great shooter. Not that heavy.

    For kids, I like LONGER BARRELS. The shorter the barrel, the more likely they are to point it in an unsafe direction. Even three inches makes a difference in my opinion.

    I think a slightly heavier gun will be more pleasant for them to shoot. Check out the smaller Brownings.
  8. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Well-Known Member

    Claude Clay

    S & W 422 adjustible rear sight, 6 inch , shares mags w/ the model 41 , standard or light weight & around $200 used in vg condition. very well made & accurate. also 4 inch but i like 6 for the longer sight line.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  9. SolaScriptura139

    SolaScriptura139 Well-Known Member

    I just bought a P22, and I love it. About 500 rounds through it with CCI Minimags and Remington Golden bullets, no problems at all. I currently open carry it until I can get a bigger gun in the fall (I know, you shouldn't use .22 for SD, blah blah blah). It accurately reflects in function many normal centerfire autoloaders. I don't think it's very loud, but my last gun was a ported XD-9 (huge difference when I went shooting with the guy I sold it to).

    As for accuracy, I'm sure it's not as great as the Mark III or Buckmark, but it was pretty good for me. I hit paper pretty decently at 15 yards (I'm still not a great shot, so I think it comes down more to shooter error).

    The P-22 also has many accessories, like the optional 5" barrel, the laser, two different types of mags (one regular, one pinky extension), and a scope mount. The fobus holster's pretty good for it too, which I use, and it has retention.

    I can't say if it's the best for kids, because neither of my two daughters are old enough to shoot. So I have no experience in that aspect. But if you do get a P-22, use high velocity ammo only.
  10. 12many

    12many Well-Known Member

    I would recommend a short barreled Ruger 22/45 (light weight and there is one with fixed sights) or a short barrel buckmark. Kids grow up fast and they will want something that lasts and that they can grow into. Also, it will get used alot, which is great, so you want it to hold up and kids can be rough on guns. Also they will get discouraged if it is a jam o matic.
  11. BADUNAME13

    BADUNAME13 Well-Known Member

  12. DorGunR

    DorGunR Well-Known Member

    I taught my son with one of these.......and I still have it but I may give it to my son as I now have 4 grandkids that will learn to shoot when they are old enough.
  13. Eyesac

    Eyesac Well-Known Member


    I really like the Buckmark or 22/45. I don't yet own one, but it's on my list. I currently own a S&W 22A (I had to choose between the BM and the SW and I wanted the rail) and I've had endless problems with it, none of which I could fix myself (for example the firing pin is only replaceable at the factory). I know for a fact that the Buckmark is easily serviceable. Most .22 Pistols aren't built to last, so serviceability is my only real gripe...
  14. Golddog

    Golddog Well-Known Member

    I've fired a friend's P22 extensively. Even though I was prejudiced against the thing - I hate plastic, it's ugly and feels like a toy, semi-auto .22's are generally of dubious reliability - I wound up loving it. Total reliability, good accuracy, nice trigger, fits all sorts of hands, excellent sights, and absolutely fun to shoot - a perfect starter gun, if you monitor the kids carefully. The comment about about short barrels, especially on lightweight "toy" guns, has to be taken seriously.
  15. bdutton

    bdutton Well-Known Member

    I think thats great.

    I would suggest starting them on air rifle to teach them basic safety and fundamentals like sight alignment and trigger pull.

    Once they master the fundamentals, try air pistol.

    Once they are able to master holding a pistol without the recoil you can try them on the .22 pistol and or rifle.
  16. cpirtle

    cpirtle Well-Known Member

    Check out the Olympic Arms Whitney Wolverine if you can find one in your area.


    I have an original in Nickel from the 50's and they are very cool guns - way before their time, should have a nice WOW factor with your children. Plus they are light weight and with a nice sized frame.

    Aside from that maybe you could consider a Ruger Single Six. I know it's a revolver but it will be more lefty friendly, cannot be fired without pulling the hammer back first and has the Cowboy factor going for it if your kids like that kind of thing. When they are ready to graduate to a little higher performance you can keep the same gun and change it over to .22 magnum for free.
  17. USAFA06STX

    USAFA06STX Well-Known Member

    Have you thought of involving your kids in the decision? They might tend to be more interested in it if they help pick it out.

    Are you planning on taking all three shooting at the same time? If so you may want to invest in a second pistol in order to decrease the down time for the ones not shooting as their attention may wander more (and they may become bored with the idea quicker) if they're spending most of the time not shooting.
  18. Gendaito

    Gendaito Active Member

    one more vote for the P22

    I love my P22. Over 1000 rds in 3 months, and no issues using bulk Federal ammo. It has many of the same features as other semi-autos. The only thing I don't like about it is the magazine disconnect, which could potentially lead to bad safety habits.

    At approx. $250, it's similar in price to the Ruger MKIII and Browning Buckmark, both of which are fine choices as well.

    I have a big smile on my face every time I use it. I just shot a steel plate match this past weekend with mine, and it performed perfectly.
  19. kokapelli

    kokapelli Well-Known Member

    Having never owned a Buckmark, I can't voice an opinion on it, but I have however owned two Ruger pistols and a P22 and I can say from experience that the P22 is no Ruger.
  20. gunsrfun1

    gunsrfun1 Well-Known Member

    I can see why you're thinking of the P22 for kids, it's grip size is definitely "kid-friendly" but was too small for me (I'm not a kid.). I also like the idea of a semiauto for kids, let's them focus on shooting and have more fun. It's a decent gun, go buy it for them, just stick with the 4" barrel; the longer barrel extension is worthless.

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