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S&W 22a

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Jeremiah10:23, Dec 13, 2012.

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  1. Jeremiah10:23

    Jeremiah10:23 Member

    Dec 22, 2011
    West Virginia
    I have come across one of these for trade.

    What is your opinion?

    Any idea how to tell how old it is without calling the factory? (I know they were made from 1980(+/-) until today.)

    Any warnings or problems to look for?
  2. krupparms

    krupparms Member

    Dec 9, 2010
    OR. / State of Jefferson.
    I own 1. It is a great shooter, very accurate. No problems with ammunition. I would give it a thumbs up! Good choice for hunting, plinking & SD if needed. I have not had any problems with mine. If it's in good shape &the trade is OK, I'd go for it! JMO. Good luck &have fun, stay safe! Happy Holidays
  3. tuj

    tuj Member

    May 2, 2011
    Check the chamber for signs of peening from excessive dry-firing.
  4. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    I've had a S&W 22A for about 15 years now and have shot it quite a lot. I usually keep a red dot sight mounted on it and this combination is frequently a favorite with those that I take shooting. It has good features (sights, rail), it functions well, has a decent trigger, is accurate and is priced right. I have never had a problem with mine until just recently when I started to occasionally get a few FTF from soft hits. I think it's ready for a new spring. It's probably my fault from storing it "cocked" instead of not dropping the pin. I don't shoot hyper velocity ammo in it as I'd be willing to bet that this is often a contributing factor in many cases where parts breakage is reported in these guns (as well as many others). All in all I'm very satisfied with it, well worth the $200 I paid for it....
  5. Oldnoob

    Oldnoob Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    It's a solid pistol and worth every penny of $200ish. Only negative I can think of is the fat grip. Which was the main reason I went with Beretta Neos.
  6. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

    Jun 29, 2012
    I hate to be the sour grape in the bunch,
    but I had one of these and couldn't get rid of it fast enough. Its not that it wasn't accurate...it was, but it had several aspects to it that I could not live with.
    It has a plastic "buffer" in the slide that needs to be replaced every 1-2k rounds, or the gun will batter the slide apart. There have been too many 22 pistols that don't have disposable parts for this one to pass muster.
    My 22a was extremely unreliable even when spotless clean. It the only thing reliable about it was its habit of failing to eject every other shot. I had problems with the extractor, and overall showed poor fit and finish and a general lack of manufacturing quality.
    I just plain hated the bloated grips.
    If a person were to find a 22a for a good price (to me that would be under $150 LNIB) that had no feeding issues and a good supply of those dang plastic buffers already included with the gun, it would be a decent plinker.

    This quote from the 22a users manual says it all to me though...

    " Smith & Wesson has found wide variations in primer sensitivity between some brands of .22LR ammunition. Smith & Wesson recommends that before you put your .22LR handgun into regular use, that you fire several boxes of your brand of ammo through it to determine reliability of ignition. If failure to fire occurs, try different types or brands of ammo until a reliable loading is found."

    So even S&W is saying they know they made an unreliable gun.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  7. steve868

    steve868 Member

    May 4, 2006
    I've had my 22A for several years (bought new). Goes with me every other week to the range. Used it with iron sights and red dots, accurate enough for me either way. Have not found any ammo it does not like, with the occasional exception of a bad primer, just like any other 22LR. Grips may be a little too big for some, and after market options are few, so be sure you like the way it feels in your hand.

    As for the buffers, I understand from others that S&W will send them to you if you call and request. After 4+ years I may be on my second or third one.

    I'd have no reservations recommending the 22A to anyone who was interested. All that said, my long out of production 422 is still my favorite.
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