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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. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    These two guns are similar in caliber only. The Taurus is double-action-only, and the Phoenix is single-action-only. The Taurus (PT-22) weighs half what the HP22A does, and the PLY-22 Taurus even less.

    To me, the Phoenix is more "fun", and the PT-22 (and likely the PLY, which I have no experience with), more "practical."
     
  2. Tinker

    Tinker Member

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    USAF Vet,

    (first, judging by your handle, thanks for your service)

    I used to own the little Beretta 21A. Liked it a lot. Regret selling it even though it was particular about the ammo it liked.

    After that one I was in the market for another plinker. A buddy of mine raved about his little cheapo Phoenix HP22. Surprized me, because this guy is what you'd call a high-end gun snob. ;) I borrowed it, ran various brands of ammo through it and bought one shortly after that. That was in 2005. It has been on a diet of cheap Thunderbolt ammo ever since. The only malfunctions I can recall is with duds or when it has not been cleaned in several hundred rounds.

    Honestly, if I had the Beretta and this Phoenix and had to sell one, the Beretta would have to go. No joke.
     
  3. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    The Phoenix HP22 is a decent handgun but is bogged down by the inclusion of so many safeties. It also has a fairly short lifespan due to the thin magazine well.

    These guns are made of zamak so if that bothers you, you'd better look for something different. At the price they go for, they're an excellent value and I'd challenge you to find a more reliable new pistol for $120-$150.

    For limited use, they work very well and function reliably. Long term though you'll most likely have to send it in to the factory at some point to have the frame replaced.
     
  4. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Hey, bringing this back to ask the OP.. did you get something yet?
     
  5. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    Nope.

    I've reconsidered even getting a .22, since I have not found anything that suits my desires.

    I'm now debating between a Charter Arms Southpaw for CCW, or lefty bolt action in .30-06. I think either of those would be more useful and practical than a .22.
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Nothing is more practical then a .22, if you don't have one yet.

    Please reconsider.

    The finest shooters in the world learned to shoot at championship levels, and still practice with .22's to break bad habits.

    rc
     
  7. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    I'd accept donations, but my desires have changed, and there are other guns I would prefer.

    Based on the responses to this thread, I am not going to find something I really want in a .22 semi auto.
     
  8. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I'm a southpaw, too, but a left-handed revolver would really screw me up.. just too used to the "normal" ones.

    I own two Charter Arms revolvers, both Undercover 38 models. One is from 1987, bought the day I was sworn in as a LEO, and the other is from 1966; that one was carried by my dad when he was in LE (and after), and became mine upon his death in 2010.

    They're both good performers. I'd have no issues with Charter Arms, though they did have some bad years through the 1990s, from what I understand.

    The other day, I was eyeballing a really nice stainless "Pathfinder Target" Charter Arms revolver (a .22LR model.) Quite a handsome piece, with a four-inch barrel and adjustable sights. Was pretty tempted. Not badly priced, either, running less than a Taurus 94.
     
  9. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    I think I'd be more comfortable with a lefty revolver because I wouldn't be trying to overcome a lot of habit and muscle memory. The only other revolvers I shoot a lot are Single Action, so I'm used to loading/ unloading a revolver with my right hand and shooting it with my left.
     
  10. EBK

    EBK Member

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    A lot of people bag on them but I have had wonderful luck with my 130$ Pheonix arms HP.22

    I have gone through several bricks (more than 5)of wally world special bulk ammo with no more problems than you would see in anyother .22 firearm (all ammo related IE: dead primers, light loads ETC...)
     
  11. heeler

    heeler Member

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    Late to the party but it's good to see so many people having such great reliability from their Beretta 21's.
    My brother bought one in the 90's and it is a 100 percent jamomatic using all sorts of 22 rimfire ammo.
    And it's heavier than my Kel-Tec P32 and my LCP which either would make Swiss cheese out of it.
    Perhaps his was built first thing on Monday morning.
     
  12. Dentite

    Dentite Member

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    Since you are still undecided I might as well pile on my $.02

    I think you get a big .22LR and a small .380 auto.

    Why? Well I see the .22LR as a target/plinking/small game round. The pistols that allow for accuracy and reliability are generally large pistols with longer sight radii. I chose the Ruger MkIII with a 5.5" bull barrel but you have options out there.

    As for the small .380...you can get a small .380 auto like a Ruger LCP that holds 6+1 rounds that are much better for defense than .22LR. And the modern polymer .380 autos are small...the LCP isn't much bigger or heavier than a Beretta 21. Much better choice for a compact back up/deep concealment defensive pistol.

    Good luck!
     
  13. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

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    I don't know where this rumor about 22 ammo being unreliable got started. Yes, if you count on bulk plinking ammo you are going to have some misfires. But if you use CCI mini mags/stingers or any other premium ammunition you don't have any duds. Anyone that can't afford a box of premium 22 ammo for self defense can't afford to own a gun.

    As for those who say a 22 will bounce off someones skull is planning on a one in a million freak occurrence. They should carry a 20mm cannon to make sure they get the bad guy. Even centerfire rifle rounds have bounced off the human skull. If you watch the history channel for any length of time they will interview someone who survived being shot in the head with a military rifle of some fashion.

    A child can not handle a 380 pocket pistol. Maybe a Bersa Thunder or other heavy 380 with a long barrel. They are all out of his $200 price range. Finding a used Bersa Thunder is no easy task. Plus his girl might not like shooting the 380 because of the report. Young girls ears are much more sensitive than an adult males ears.

    People need to read the OP before responding. I am amazed at how many people don't read the OP before responding.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  14. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Member

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    Well, I'm certainly not a Taurus fanboy, either, since I have one and sold one that I thought junk. But my present Taurus is a PT-22 that I will NEVER sell. It has been 100% with every load and likes Rem Yellow Jackets especially, a round that Taurus recommends against due to it's truncated cone design not being conducive to reliability in the weapon. No matter, it's generally what I use. It's a great piece to toss in a pocket for targets of opportunity while hiking. I've also carried it on occasion as a BUG, but my P32 has taken over that duty. The PT-22 is a fun little piece if you get a good one and mine is stellar. Be aware though, some have gotten lemons, enough that threads on it can be rather lively. I paid 200 bucks for mine several years ago, for my wife that couldn't rack a slide. But she can't use it, either.
     
  15. mje

    mje Member

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    I have a 21a, and while it's a great little pistol it's not my first choice for teaching someone to shoot. That short muzzle generates a lot of noise and blast, and it's difficult to shoot at ranges beyond a few yards. For first-time shooters and youngsters I'd look around for something like a used S&W 22A, or maybe a Heritage single action, or an older H&R revolver.

    I bought my Beretta as a carry gun, but it does have one problem in that role- no extractor. Clearing a misfire involves flipping the barrel open, pulling out the dud, snapping the barrel shut and cycling the action. I replaced it in that role with an LCP that is thinner and lighter.
     
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