22lr handgun suggestions?

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Oct 28, 2007
I'm looking to pick up a 22 handgun. It will be for small game hunting. I'll also be taking it fishing and camping. Not interested in polymer guns. Any suggestions?
I LOVE my Sig-Sauer P229 Classic in .22LR. Excellent if you want to convert it later to 9, .357. or .40.

Pricey, but one gun can do it all. I carry it as a .22 around the farm/woods, then put the 9mm slide on for home defense and range use. Works great.

Did I mention Pricey??
I've owned and shot plenty 22lr pistols.
I like my Ruger Mark II 7" target model the best. I lost count of how many rounds have been through it, but never had a misfire.... ever. Very accurate.
I put a Hogue rubber grip on it which really helps.
Not hard to take down or clean. A bit tricky getting that last lever of the mainspring housing to line up, but man it is a heck of a fun pistol.

Good luck in your decision making.
Searcher, I've used and shot quite a few .22 handguns. The one I settled on is a revolver, in my case a S&W Model 63. Small compact and very accurate. One advantage of a revolver is the variety of ammo you can use, S/L/LR ( .22 Longs are kind of hard to find any more ) or Cee Bee shells for quite pinking or Frog shooting and even CCI snake shot in snake country. .22 automatics are fine guns, accurate and fun to shoot but you are limited to one kind of shell, 22 Long Rifle. Just my own experiences and opinion.:)
I'd pick a Buckmark followed by a Ruger, or if you can afford it go up to the S&W Model 41.
Trail 22's

S&W 35 (which is a 6" 34) J-frame revolver, or S&W 422/622 if you like semi's. Both are discontinued but nice ones are available on GunBroker.

1. Brownings and 2. Rugers are OK if you must have something new.
I love my 22/45. great ergonomics, extremely accurate, amazingly reliable.

A friend of mine had a S&W target pistol that was as accurate as my 22/45, possibly just a hair more. He couldn't shoot more than a few mags through it before it started getting sluggish. By the time he got to 50 rds it wouldn't run at all until you took it apart and cleaned it thoroughly. That wasn't worth the tiny edge in accuracy to me.

His S&W had a red dot scope, that might have been part of it too. I wish I would have gotten the 22/45 that was drilled for a scope mount.
Ruger Super Single Six,adjustable sights and 22 mag cyclinder. Byron
Budget minded? Go with the Ruger Mark II, hard to beat for quality,performance and accuracy. They are built like a tank and work like a Timex..Stong as heck and take a beating and keep on ticking... spare parts and mags offered up aplenty. Offered in two grip angles, so 1911 shooters can feel at home with the grip, and the standard offering which I have found to be very comfortable and apretty natural pointer for instintive shooting. Great gun

Also, the High Standard Victor, a favorite of Bullseye shooters for decades, the Browning Buck Mark another really fine pistol. All great shooters, all will give several lifetimes of dependable service.
The 22/45 is the version of the Mark II with 1911 grip angle and similar controls (mag and slide releases and safety)
I've got about a dozen .22 handguns - Colt, Ruger, S&W, High Standard but the one I pick up the most, especially when going to the woods, is my Ruger MKII stainless, 5 1/2" bull barrel. It's accurate, just about indestructable and it's cheap enough that I don't worry about messing it up.
I have a Mk. III and enjoy shooting it, but the one thing I wish I'd understood prior to purchase was how much was involved in stripping the pistol for cleaning. For me it usually involves the application of a rubber mallet and some flowery language.
I like the older Smith model 22/17 dash models or Colts or Harrington and Richardson in that order.
For a low cost, reliable, good shooting fun-gun, give the Taurus model 94 a try. I bought mine brand-new in 1990. It is a stainless, 9-shot double action revolver with adjustable sights and a 4-inch barrel

Today, Taurus makes the 94SS4 that is quite similar - and I'm sure is still a good value. They sell brand-new these days at most gun stores for around $350.
TOTL is probably the S&W "Kit" gun - that's the K22. Excellent all around "camp" gun. Had mine for decades. Never loose value. Find a nice used one :)
I'm looking to pick up a 22 handgun. It will be for small game hunting. I'll also be taking it fishing and camping.

I think the Ruger Mark II (or 45/22) or Buckmark would be a very good choice with about a 5-5.5" heavy barrel. I have the Ruger Mark II with 5.5" heavy barrel which would make an excellent hunting gun, plinker, and range gun. You might consider it a tad heavy for taking with you fishing. But it is hard to have one gun that is perfect for all outdoor pursuits unless it's a revolver...

I have a HS Victor and used to carry it hunting or for walks in the woods. I would not recommend it these days for this purpose as there are good alternatives.

I personally would choose a good DA revolver for this purpose. These days I would go with a Smith & Wesson Model 17 or 18, or 617 with a 4" barrel. The current Model 63 (3" barrel or discontinued 5" barrel version) would also fit the bill but would be a better field gun versus a range gun. As a range or casual hiking gun or small game hunting, the larger K frame (Model 17, 18, or 617) is more comfortable. It just weighs more than the M63. I have both of course. :D

You pay more for the good DA 22 revolver, but if you like revolvers, it will reward you with a lifetime of pleasant shooting.
...for small game hunting. I'll also be taking it fishing and camping.

I'd go with a good revolver for these uses, too. No feeding issues; any ammo brand or bullet style is good to go. I suggest adjustable sights, so you can dial in whatever ammo you like.

Ruger Single Six, Smith J or K are all good choices. I am not sure what Charter Arms' quality is like at present. It may be a question worth looking into, for their Pathfinder looks quite practical.

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