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most reliable .22 semi-auto pocket pistol under $200

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by USAF_Vet, Jan 8, 2013.

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  1. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    Provided Uncle Sugar gives me back a little of my hard earned money this year instead of keeping it all for himself, I'm looking to splurge a bit.

    Times are tough and ammo is expensive, so I'm looking for a little .22 rimfire pocket pistol for a range toy/ plinker that is reliable enough to toss in my pocket as a back up gun.

    Now as I said, times are tough, so I'm looking to keep costs reasonable, like a $200 top limit.

    I would also entertain a .22LR revolver, provided it's not one of the single action NAA ones. Not a fan of the design/ ergos.

    Please don't post things like "if you saved a little more..." or "for only $XX more you could get..." as it really isn't pertinent. I know whats out there in the $250+ range. If I was willing to drop $250+ on a new pistol, it wouldn't be a .22 rimfire.
     
  2. speedway

    speedway Member

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    I had a Beretta 21a in .22lr that was extremely reliable. Fun little shooter.

    They can be had for under $200 used all day long.
     
  3. toivo

    toivo Member

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    I agree that a used Beretta is your best bet. You could get a new Taurus PT-22 for that much -- I have one that works pretty well -- but I would still give the Beretta the edge on reliability.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  4. Steve H

    Steve H Member

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    For under $200 I'd have to go with a used 21A also.....too bad you cant add a bit more$$$
     
  5. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    For more $, i could and would get something else in a center fire cartridge.

    I'll keep my eyes open for a used Beretta 21A.

    Any recommendations for a factory new .22 pocket gun in that price range.

    I've handled the Taurus, not bad and more or less what I'm looking for.
     
  6. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    What are you planning to do with a .22 pocket pistol? Why that size?

    For around $200 you can get a pretty nice used .22 that is up to serious varminting or paper punching. None of them are much good for self defense, unless you're attacked by straw men.

    Reliability with .22s is as often as not, a function of the ammo used, rather than the gun. .22 ammo is notorious for bad rounds.... due to the complexity of making rimfire ammo work.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  7. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    I use my rifles and/ or shotguns for varmints and punching paper.

    I have several ideas of what I'd use it for:
    1) to back up my 9mm when I carry.
    2) as a primary carry in weather when concealing my 9mm isn't quite so easy. Which won't be often since I can usually get away with wearing a jacket for 8-10 months out of the year in Michigan.
    3) inexpensive plinker/ short range paper puncher.
    4) it's kid sized, and my step son wants a .22 pistol for when we go to the range. It's a lot more fun than plinking with his Cricket. Also, my step daughter is a bit recoil shy and has refused to shoot pistols at all because of it. A kid sized .22 pistol might help alleviate that fear.
    5) I want one. :)


    I'm aware of the reliability issues associated with .22 rimfire ammo, and have ammo I use for punching paper and plinking, and different ammo I use for hunting and/ or defense.
     
  8. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee Member

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    A little Beretta

    The 21A is in a class all by itself. The Taurus is ok but DA only. The 21A is SA/DA and a better finish. A fun Pocket Pistol, but good for no better that 7yds. BTW, for ammo stick with either CCI Stingers or....gosh I can't remember:banghead:. The higher velocity stuff. Good Luck!
     
  9. TennJed

    TennJed Member

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    I got a Beretta 21 that is great. Eats all ammo. Find a used one and you are good to go
     
  10. mg.mikael

    mg.mikael Member

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    ---
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  11. grandpa1466

    grandpa1466 Member

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    The Taurus PT-22 is fine. I got one for my wife and one for my 80-year-old mother. Mom can't rack a slide and wife doesn't want recoil, so it was ideal for them. Not much knockdown, of course, but the short barrel makes it extremely loud, and if that noisy thing was going off toward me and with its big muzzle blast, I would be trying to be elsewhere pretty fast. We have both the polymer and steel versions. The only rounds that fire completely reliably in them are the CCI Mini Mags; everything else has misfeeds with every magazine. The long trigger pull is maybe not so kid-friendly, but it is a very good gun all in all.

    Quote:
    > 3) inexpensive plinker
    > 4) step daughter is a bit recoil shy and has refused to shoot pistols at all
    > because of it. A kid sized .22 pistol might help alleviate that fear.

    Until you listed those two reasons, I was going to suggest the Taurus TCP 738 in .380. Same price range, good backup gun, pocket- and kid-sized, nice trigger. I carry one every day. The recoil is really minimal, surprisingly, but the ammo is not cheap. Still worth a look, though.
     
  12. TennJed

    TennJed Member

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    I too have never understood the "that is too much for a 22" mindset. For a lot of people a 22 might become the gun that gets the most rounds through it. They are also good guns to become family heirlooms. Teach your child to shoot on one and pass it on down to him/her as their first gun.

    I rather my 22s be of the highest quality they can. My most expensive revolver is a 22 (S&W 617) and my next purchase will be a higher end 22 semi auto (Kimber Rimfire, CZ Kadet, or Beretta 87).

    It takes just as much materials, time, and R&D to make a 22 as a centerfire. Mine see a lot of use and I personally think $ spent on a good 22 is $ well spent
     
  13. hatchetbearer

    hatchetbearer Member

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    I know it's a little out of your price range, but I was at a gun show this weekend and FFL's were selling a Sig Sauer 1911 .22 for $270. you could probably get it cheaper in store.
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I'd have to see that to believe it in this part of the free world.

    The only thing you can get that might work for two bills is a Saturday night special revolver or a piece of crap Jennings.

    If it says Beretta .22 on it and has a spec of finish left on it, you are looking at $250 - $300.

    rc
     
  15. weblance

    weblance Member

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    I have the Beretta 21a and the Taurus POLY PT-22. The Taurus comes in at the $200 mark. It has an extra round over the Beretta and is very reliable. I got my stainless POLY PT-22 for $185. It has much better sights than the Beretta, and a better trigger in Double Action(it is DAO, the Beretta is DA/SA). I have over a thousand rounds thru my Taurus POLY PT-22 and have no reason not to recommend it.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=684625
     
  16. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Get a used Ruger Mk 1,2 or 3 and a bigger pocket.:rolleyes:
     
  17. tuj

    tuj Member

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    just make sure to use good ammo, CCI makes some hyper-velocity HP's that could be a good choice, just check them for feeding. CCI rimfire priming is pretty good (Eley is the best), so you should have reasonably good reliability for a 22lr. Avoid Remington anything; I have had more light-strikes with their ammo than any others.
     
  18. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    Thanks for the extra details.

    Unlike some, I don't really see the effectiveness of a pocket .22 as a backup self defense weapon. An already anemic round -- I know they CAN kill -- is made more so by the very short barrel of a pocket .22. (A small .380 seems more sensible in that role -- and there's almost no concern about ammo reliability. I've shot a LOT of .380 and 9mm Mak, and don't think I've ever had a dud round.)

    For the other uses, and for your kids, a used Ruger Mk II seems the best choice; I bought a very, very nice one recently, for less than $200.
     
  19. 3leggeddog

    3leggeddog Member

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    You may be better off spending the $200.00 on training + some amo! Its better to hit it with your main carry than depend on a cheap back up, if you have time.. No offence meant,justmy opinion.
     
  20. MR2Aaron

    MR2Aaron Member

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    I like the idea of a used Ruger Mark II or Mark III, and a slightly larger pocket. Mine cost about $400 as I recall, but I think they have a model that sells for about $200 brand new.

    My Mark III is a stainless version, with the 5.5" bull barrel. It's a blast to shoot, and has tolerated every brand of cheap bulk ammo I've tried in it. I'm sitting here trying to imagine how one would improve on this, and other than maybe a better front sight, I'm not really thinking of much.

    The less expensive versions appear to compromise mostly on cosmetic features.
     
  21. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    Buy the 21a. I have a Taurus PT-22 and it is the most worthless piece of junk I own. Its been back to Taurus and it still doesn't work right. I would sell it if I felt like screwing someone over but I don't do that so I won't. It has a permanent place just sitting in my safe. I will probably get a Beretta too but never another Taurus 22.
     
  22. weblance

    weblance Member

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    I want to comment on what Jon_in_wv has said. The original Taurus PT-22 has some faults. The POLY PT-22 is a redesign, and supposedly has fixed the issues of the original PT-22. I have somewhere near 1,600 rounds thru my POLY and have had no failure of any kind. I have disassembled it, and see no signs of wear. I would recommend it with no reservations of any kind. Its a great pistol at the $200 mark the OP has asked us to stay at.
     
  23. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    USAF Vet

    This is a tough one. I think you might even be hard pressed to find a decent used Beretta Model 21A for less than $240.

    You could probably get a Phoenix Arms HP-22 for around $150 although I must say I was a bit amused, and more than a little confused, by someone selling a used HP-22 on Gunbroker with a Buy-It-Now price of $295! This was a used one with the black finish, no box, no manual.

    If you scroll down a few more listings you will find someone else selling one NIB, nickel or black finish, with both barrels, with a Buy-It-Now price of $164. For about $20 more they'll give you an extra mag too.

    Like I said, this is a tough one.
     
  24. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    It's not so much a "it's just a .22, so it doesn't have to be expensive" mindset and more of a "I'm on a budget and want to see if there is anything that fits my needs as well as my budget" mindset.


    Walt,
    I realize the .22 is a last ditch choice. But I'd say its a fair sight better than a harsh glare when Murphy rears his head and breaks my S&W at a most inopportune moment.


    3leggeddog,
    I have put time and money on ammo and training. I've got several thousand rounds down range a a few dozen hours of classroom training prior to hitting the range. Not that further training is a bad thing, or upkeep training on what I already have rattling in the old skull would be a waste of time and money, but I'm at the point training wise where I'm training others.

    While the Ruger Marks are fine guns, they don't fit the size parameters of what I'm looking for. Unless they have a subcompact model I'm not aware of.

    The Phienix Arms HP-22 is, as I recall, on par with the Jennings J-22 as far as quality and reliability go. Is this a correct understanding or have do I have the wrong impression of Phoenix?

    I guess there is not much out there that fits the bill of reliable, inexpensive and pocket sized. I can get 2/3, but as Meatloaf said, two out if three ain't bad.
     
  25. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    I agree that a .22 is probably better than a pointed stick -- but what if the bad guy in question is a Pit Bull or Rottweiler intent on eating your liver for lunch? That may be a more realistic opponent than a person with a knife or gun!

    The larger-caliber pocket guns aren't that much more expensive than the small .22s, but are arguably going to be more effective if it's not a rabbit that's attacking you. Those guns won't be as good for your kids to shoot, but maybe getting them out shooting should not be the primary consideration when you make this choice?

    In some respects, this is an academic/theoretical/theological discussion, like monks arguing about angels dancing on the point of a pin. I know a lot of folks who carry, and have known a few who actually had to draw their weapon -- but don't personally know of any who have had to USE their carry weapon away from their home turf -- and that means I know NONE who have ever gotten so far down that proverbial dark alley as to actually need a backup gun.

    I can see LEOs maybe needing them. They go in harm's way far more often than most of us. State Troopers here in NC, like my son, are on their own while on duty, and backup can be a long time coming, and they have been known to get into tussles with the folks they're trying to arrest... A back up gun makes sense for them.

    A number of NC State Troopers carry a Kel-Tec P3AT or Ruger LCP.... I find that almost unbelievable, as they have to qualify with their backup weapons at 20 yards. (I've had a P3AT and I'm not sure I could reliably hit the target at 20 yards... I could do it with my PF9, however.)

    You've now heard all of the arguments, so you'll be making an informed decision -- but think about that Pit Bull when you go to buy that B.U.G. I guarantee that you will, sooner or later, carry your backup gun rather than your normal carry gun, and when you do, that's probably when the stuff will hit the fan.

    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
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