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Is a .22 Pistol really any good for practice.

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by GoInnaWoods, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. GoInnaWoods

    GoInnaWoods Member

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    Hello,

    I am looking to get my first handgun - gonna be a full size, then maybe a subcompact down the line once I feel ready for CCW (FWIW I have some experience with shotguns/bolt guns from when I was a teenager, but it's been a while, and I am be not means "any good"). I have been to the range a few times to test out different rentals, but I still haven't been able to decide what kind of action/model is best for me. I am considering getting .22 pistol to start (Ruger/Buckmark), but I am unsure if this is a good idea. On the one hand, it will be a couple hundred dollars less, and I can get a couple thousand rounds of .22lr on the cheap and practice shooting and handling. On the other, it's a .22, so I'm not really building any tolerance/transition skill and the gun will have a very different grip and controls then anything I end up with for self-defense - it is a cheaper route, but even $600-700 (gun+mags+ammo, etc) for no real gain seems like a waste? Any thoughts?
     
  2. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    If your goal is a CCW gun that's what you should invest your time and money in.
     
  3. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    A. 22 pistol is great for honing shooting skills. Any trigger time is better than no trigger time.
     
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  4. GoInnaWoods

    GoInnaWoods Member

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    It is, but interested in shooting in general. Essentially, I figured a might get a .22 eventually, so maybe I should just start with one, and make use of the cheaper ammo to practice?
     
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  5. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    Cheaper yet would be a pellet pistol. There are some good ones out there. Or you could purchase a CCW pistol and practice dry firing. I use a laser cartridge for dry firing practice in my CCW pistols. Practice is always good no matter which method is chosen.
     
    JohnBiltz likes this.
  6. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    You really need to learn to make the first shot before you worry about the next one and a 22 is great for that.
    If you want similar controls you could do M&P 22 and M&P 9/40/45 or something similar
     
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  7. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

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    I think so.
     
  8. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    There's really no reason not to start with a .22. Sure, you won't learn much in the way of recoil control and follow up shot placement, but that can come later once you get all the fundamentals down. The cost will let you put a ton more rounds down range, and that will build your confidence. Then you can go on your way to get a self defense pistol. Plus, assuming you like guns, everyone need a .22 pistol and rifle in their collection anyway in my opinion.
     
  9. Drail

    Drail Member

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    A .22 will at the very least teach you how to use sights, trigger control and follow through. Once you get that down you can pick up any handgun and hit with itIf you can't then you are doing something wrong and need to correct that. I taught for the NRA for years and we always started with .22 Ruger MK lls. Every student who learned to hit with the .22 had no trouble hitting with a .38 revolver or a 1911 - within an hour or so. You are overthinking this......
     
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  10. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    for what you'll pay for a decent .22lr handgun you can buy a lot of 9mm cartridges assuming your handgun goals are ultamently Self Defense.
     
  11. djont57

    djont57 Member

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    Get the .22 you won't regret it. If you have kids or grandkids; you can also use it to teach them how to shoot.
     
  12. pintler

    pintler Member

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    "On the other, it's a .22, so I'm not really building any tolerance/transition skill"

    I disagree. The fundamentals of pistol marksmanship - grip, sight alignment, and trigger control - are the same regardless of the gun model. Those are easiest to learn on a 22 because the reduced noise and recoil are less of a distraction from your marksmanship. The fundamentals you learn with a 22/45 will directly apply to a Glock (M&P/Sig/1911/K frame/...).
     
  13. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Get a .22 be it the Ruger Standard Model Mark whatever, Browning Buck Mark, classic High standard or Colt or even the S&W plastic Victory, (But notice what I put first) and get some instruction and shoot a lot and pay attention to what you are doing and the results. Even a short class like the NRA First Steps (Handgun) can really help a new handgun shooter. Notice none of the .22 handguns I mentioned are "compact." Learn to use a holster gun before you even consider a pocket pistol.

    Initially, as in until you are hitting what you aim at near enough every time, avoid the tactical , action, combat crap. Shoot AT something smallish AND HIT IT. then worry about hitting it fast and often while not in the best stance. But learn to control the handgun first.

    Be honest with yourself about your performance.

    -kBob
     
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  14. Odd Job
    • Contributing Member

    Odd Job Member

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    I'd love to have a Ruger mkiii, but because of restrictions in the UK I can't.
    Fired those in the US and love them!
     
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  15. Drail

    Drail Member

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    +1 on kBob's post. I have been shooting Mk lls since the 80s and currently have three of them. A good .22 WILL teach you everything you need to learn, trust me. I shot nothing but .22 pistol at cans at 50 yards for a whole year until I could hit them every single time before I ever shot a .45 ACP. or a revolver. And when I finally did shoot a .45 ACP I had no trouble hitting cans at 50 yards. The basic trick to shooting is to concentrate INTENSELY on that front sight and don't press the trigger until the sight picture is perfect. The rear sight and the target can be a little out of focus but the front sight must be crisp and held on the center of the fuzzy target. Stare at that front sight until you can see the molecules in the steel. Don't jerk the trigger - just press it straight back. One of the best things about starting with a .22 is it will not cause you to flinch and THAT is a very tough habit to break.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  16. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    That's true. Cheap practice 9mm is about $0.15/rd right now, vs. $0.05/rd for .22lr these days. If you assume $350 for the pistol you need to shoot 3500rds of practice ammo to hit a break-even point.

    How long it will take to reach 3500rds varies wildly by individual. For some people that's maybe 5 range trips, for others it is more than they will shoot in their lifetime. For me, the math favors having the .22lr but for someone else it may not. I have crossed the 10k rds and no longer counting line on several .22lr pistols.

    As others have said, a .22lr is an excellent training aid for shooting in general, and a lot of people consider them fun in their own right.
     
  17. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    Another vote for a .22. Five years ago I was a very poor shot with a handgun. The thing was, I didn’t realize it until I sold a USP .45 to a buddy of mine the spring of that year. His brother came with him to check out the gun since he was more familiar with guns than my buddy. The brother placed 3 water bottles on my shooting range walked back about 50 ft and then popped each one, 3 shots total. I’d have been lucky to hit those bottles at 5 yards with a full mag!

    So I took some of the money I got out of the H&K and bought a Buckmark and practiced, practiced, practiced! Soon 50 ft shoots were nothing, and by late summer I could ping 4” gongs at 50 yards with relative ease. I hadn’t shot any centerfire handguns all summer, and when I finally got one out of my safe I discovered that it had miraculously gotten more accurate just sitting in my safe lol! Now I’ve got a Mark I as well, and those two .22’s still get twice as much use as my centerfire handguns.

    Having something with little recoil allowed me to work on my grip as well, and now I notice that guns that I used to think kicked don’t bother me at all. The flinching issue I had developed has also gone away. So yeah, .22 handgun all the way!!
     
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  18. toivo

    toivo Member

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    That's not necessarily true. A Bersa Thunder .22 is identical in grip and controls to a Bersa Thunder .380. The same goes for a .22 caliber 1911, of which there are many. Rimfire revolvers will be indentical in grip and controls to centerfire revolvers. I think you need to decide what you want to end up with and then decide on the viability of a rimfire analogue.

    Just to toss in an unsolicited opinion, a .22 caliber handgun provides a lot of fun and useful practice even it it is different from your main carry gun.
     
  19. BobWright

    BobWright Member

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    Think of a .22 as dry firing with live ammunition.

    Its low recoil and minimal blast prevents your anticipating the round firing. It helps you develop good habits.

    Bob Wright
     
  20. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    The advantage of a .22 is cost, mostly. Shooting techniques about breathing, sight picture and trigger control are the same with any handgun. They are with a good air pistol too.
    Generally speaking, it's more difficult to shoot a .22 well than it is a .45 too. Best place to start is with a bullseye shooting club. Opens a lot of doors you don't know are there too.
     
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  21. azrocks

    azrocks Member

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    Think... harder...
    A .22 is an excellent training tool, as well as being a lot of fun (and cheap!). It's not something to just start out with either. It will continue to prove useful in honing your skills even as an experienced shooter.

    There's a whole lot to shooting that has nothing to do with managing recoil... sight alignment, trigger control, mental focus, target acquisition & follow-through, etc. The .22 is a great tool for refining these areas & others like them w/o shelling out a ton of money.

    Avoiding the 'flinch' (anticipating the shot), as well as learning to keep your eyes open as the trigger breaks and follow the gun through recoil, are likely things you'll struggle with for some time starting out (things most experienced non-competitive shooters likely still haven't mastered). Using a .22, especially switching between it and a larger handgun, helped me immensely with such issues. The relative lack of recoil with the .22 makes it easy to spot mistakes that you may miss with heavier recoil.

    The ruger 22/45 and its variants would be my recommendation. Not only are they some of the most reliable .22 semi-autos you can find, but they also mimic the grip size & angle of 1911 handguns (and are in the ballpark for everything else). Plus chicks dig 'em.

    I've been shooting all my life and have never outgrown a .22.
     
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  22. Drail

    Drail Member

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    "..plus chicks dig' em..." That right there is all the reason a man needs........
     
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  23. Hoppes Love Potion

    Hoppes Love Potion Member

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    Absolutely get a quality .22 handgun. You will probably shoot your .22 more than any other gun, so get a good one and enjoy a lifetime of cheap, fun shooting.
     
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  24. JudgeHolden10

    JudgeHolden10 Member

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    Have you considered buying a 9mm with a .22 LR conversion kit? I know there's one available for the Glock 19 and the CZ75, and another forum has rumors (more or less confirmed on a dealer's website) that HK is releasing a VP9 conversion as well. That would allow you to practice with the same controls and ergonomics while also cutting the cost of ammunition (at least when .22s are available, which they aren't always around me, even years after Ye Olde Banic of 20something).

    P.S. Bob Wright is completely right. A .22 will help you develop good habits.
     
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  25. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Yes, get the 22.
     

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