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

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by breakingcontact, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Well-Known Member

    Let's say, $300 and under.
  2. average_shooter

    average_shooter Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. firesky101

    firesky101 Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. skeptical_in_Ohio

    skeptical_in_Ohio Well-Known Member

    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.

  5. Inebriated

    Inebriated Well-Known Member

    Ruger 22/45 MkIII has treated me pretty well.
  6. MaterDei

    MaterDei Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. Urban_Redneck

    Urban_Redneck Well-Known Member

    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.

  8. dullone

    dullone Well-Known Member


    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.
  9. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Well-Known Member

    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.

  10. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Well-Known Member

    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:)
  11. j1

    j1 Well-Known Member

    Beretta Bobcat. Very dependable over many years. Does not like HP ammo though.
  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    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.
  14. g_one

    g_one Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Well-Known Member

    I've seen Ruger Mark III variants or Browning Buck Mark Campers on sale for right at $299. Either would be hard to beat.
  16. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    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
  17. TennJed

    TennJed Well-Known Member

    All good suggestions. What is the general opinion on the S&W 21a. It would fall into this price point
  18. Pierce

    Pierce Active Member

    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.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  19. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    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

  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    If you want a pocket plinker, academy has some black friday specials....


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