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Stuck between two .22 pisols. Need help deciding. (Firestorm or Ruger)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by leukoplast, Jul 30, 2008.

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  1. leukoplast

    leukoplast Member

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    Ok, over the last few weeks I have been actively looking up .22 pistols trying to decide whats going to be best for me. I keep going back and fourth between the Bersa Firestorm .22 and the Ruger 22/45 MarkIII (between the P4MKIII model, and the Hunter model with smallest barrels possible). I read reviews and postings of each gun and they both are great little pistols that offer high reliability and satisfaction. So here is a breakdown of what I like, and what is on the fence.

    Bersa Firestorm. (click thumbnail for bigger pic)
    [​IMG]

    Pros:
    - Nice and light weight (about 19oz) and fairly short length (somewhere between 6 and 7 inches overall), which would work great for CCW or just casually taking it with me on walks, fishing trips, or whatever. Overall, its very compact and small.

    - I really like the build of the pistol. Its small, compact, simple and just neat. Kind of James Bond style.

    - Ease of cleaning. Breaks down in seconds for very simple cleaning. No tools required.

    - Double action trigger with decent 'pull' pound rating.

    - Visible and manageable hammer.

    - I haven't held it yet, but it appears to be a comfortable hold with the rubber grips and anatomically set finger grooves

    Cons:
    - Only high velocity ammo can be used. So this virtually eliminates the idea of using rounds such as CCI CB that are very quite good for 'backyard stealth plinking'. Or even other, slightly lower velocity rounds for whatever reason I would want to use them.

    -Not many 'colors' available, so for the most part its quite plain looking.

    - Expensive clips, and only ships with one.




    Ruger 22/45 MarkIII. (click thumbnails for bigger pic)
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Pros:
    - I absolutely LOVE the way this gun looks. Both from a 'paint job' perspective and overall looks. It just seems like a rock solid gun that's fun to hold and shoot. Overall, I like the look and build of this gun best.

    - More options available for ammo use. And while the CCI CB rounds may still fail to work the autoloader properly, at least I am not limited to only the most high velocity ammo like the Firestorm.

    - Extras, extras, extras. There is a lot of truly great attachments that I could get for the gun. And its great for customizing.

    - 2 clips ship with the gun, and I really haven't checked up on it much, but I am assuming clips are cheaper than the Firestorm clips.

    - Larger consumer experience with the gun. Basically meaning more people know, and use this gun than the Firestorm. So that = more support in forums and more overall tips and tricks.

    - Made in the USA. While not a tie breaker in terms of what gun to buy, but in this day and age its good to support products made in the good ol' US of A.

    -Excellent name in firearms. Pretty much everybody and their mother has heard about Ruger, and knows they are of very good quality.

    - From what I have been reading, its very accurate.

    Cons:
    - Hard to take apart/put back together. This is one of the biggest problems for me, as I am new to guns altogether and have no experience whatsoever in taking them apart/reassembling. And this is quite a problem for many people.

    - Seemingly not small enough to CCW or as a carry/stow when I need it kind of deal. This is actually another major deciding factor for me.

    - Not double action. This is a feature I would like, but not sure if its a must or not.

    - Heavier than the Firestorm. (Varies around in the 29-35oz)

    - Length, a inch to two inches longer overall than the Firestorm.


    So my questions are, is the 22/45 still pretty small? (with smallest barrel possible). would I still be able to easily carry it? And how does it do with lower velocity ammo such as the CCi CB's?


    Main deciding factors for me:

    - Needs to be small, easily carry in virtually anything.
    - Easy to clean and reassemble/take apart
    - Would like to be able to use low velocity ammo for 'stealth' shooting.
    - Looks/build

    So as you can see, both guns offer exactly what I want, just split up between the two. And I have to figure out what I could part with and what I couldn't. I have came to the conclusion a few times that I could always buy the Firestorm first for a good beginner gun, then purchase the MKIII at a later date. But then I think about how great the MKIII looks and how its so customizable. I am quite torn here.
     
  2. Funderb

    Funderb Member

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    I'd go with the ruger.
     
  3. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck Member

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    I have no experience with the Bersa.

    I love my Ruger MkIII 22/45. Mine is the 5.5" barreled version.

    Not sure that it's exactly a great CCW choice due to the size to power ratio (larger size gun, small round).

    It can be a bear to strip and reassemble. That being said, keep the manual open in front of you and follow the directions exactly. You should then have no problems. That being said, you really don't have to take it down after every shooting. I just boresnake mine and spray it out with synthetic safe gunscrubber. Then I tear it completely down about once every six months or so depending on use.

    I'd lean toward the 4" barrel version of this gun for your purposes.
     
  4. viking499

    viking499 Member

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    I would also go with the ruger.
     
  5. leukoplast

    leukoplast Member

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    I know for the most part people will recommend the Ruger due to its known quality. But mainly its the difference in size that's stopping me from going out and buying it right now.

    Anybody own both that could do a side by side comparison (picture would be great) and give their opinions?
     
  6. FourNineFoxtrot

    FourNineFoxtrot Member

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    Disclaimer: I have used neither gun, so it's probable I don't know what I'm talking about.

    If I were choosing between these guns (which is possible, as my next gun purchase will probably be a .22 pistol), the primary question for me would be: "What am I going to use this for?"

    If I were getting a plinking/practice gun only, the Ruger is almost certainly the better gun in terms of quality, probably accuracy, and (from what you've said) ammo flexibility. The Bersa is pretty cool, but being limited to high-end ammo removes perhaps the greatest advantage of .22s: Plinking on the cheap.

    If I were getting what is primarily a carry gun, then I'm not sure. Frankly, I probably wouldn't use a .22 as a carry gun, although that's a personal decision, any gun is better than no gun, and I'm sure someone will come along and be properly derisive of .22 pistols as carry guns soon enough. That said, the Ruger loses the advantage of small size that should be inherent in a .22 carry gun. The Bersa doesn't seem that small, either (for a .22), but it looks a lot more concealable.

    Honestly, I think you might be better served by getting two guns: One to carry and one to plink with. Because neither of these guns will perform really well at both. The Bersa needs higher-end ammo to plink with, so it's not really cheap. The Ruger is too big to CC, or at least, loses the size advantage of CC-ing a .22 pistol.
     
  7. presspuller

    presspuller Member

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    Do what I do when in this same situation.
    Ask yourself if both of them were on the table in front of you and you had to pick one up and take it home NOW, which one would it be. Don't stop to think about, you have already done that. Just pick the thing up.
    Now which one did you pick up?
     
  8. tblt

    tblt member

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    ruger
     
  9. HM2PAC

    HM2PAC Member

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    Ruger.

    Later, get the Bersa.

    You'll then own two .22LR pistols and can give us details on which one you like best.
     
  10. gpr

    gpr Member

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    22lr

    some thing to consider, pt22 or 21a, a little smaller and less weight, much more of a pocket gun....with a 2 3/4 barrel, not a tack driver, but still is pretty accurate....pretty much keep it on a paper plate at 25 feet....JMHO...gpr
     
  11. leukoplast

    leukoplast Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. I am still unsure which one to get though. But after taking FourNineFoxtrot's post into consideration, I am leaning more towards a defensive weapon, and not too much range shooting or plinking. So for that, the Firestorm is probably the way to go. I can always get the 22/45 MKIII at a later date, and I probably will too since it seems like a really great gun for cheap plinking and range shooting.
     
  12. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Member

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    my bersa is 380; ruger is 22 4" mkll bull bbl. ruger is no way small or concealable. bersa is inexpensive, reliable and much easier to conceal. shoot any 22, even cb's--just wont cycle the action.
     
  13. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck Member

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    Indeed, If you're getting the Bersa, get it in a defensive capable caliber. 9mm is cheaper typically than .380 around here too, so keep that in mind when it comes to practice ammo.

    Get the Ruger later for a .22.
     
  14. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Member

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    A .22 really isn't a defensive weapon, unless you're unable to use anything else. No one is likely to volunteer to be shot with one and plenty of people have died from being shot with .22, but more power is generally desirable in a defensive gun.

    I love my Ruger Mark III. Its way too big to carry -- I'd have to wear a hoop skirt to conceal it. But as a plinking gun you pretty much have to get into expensive target guns to beat the accuracy.

    May I suggest you read www.corneredcat.com for a tremendous amount of basic information about choosing the right gun for you. The site is oriented for women, but the information is great for guys too.
     
  15. bestseller92

    bestseller92 Member

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    Get the Ruger.
     
  16. Ng900

    Ng900 Member

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    I should buy the Ruger.
     
  17. nwilliams

    nwilliams Member

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  18. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck Member

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    Everyone should own one. I waited too long to buy one myself.
     
  19. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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  20. Meowhead

    Meowhead Member

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    For backyard stealth plinking you could cycle the gun manually, or just load one round at a time. I'm not sure CCI CBs will cycle the Ruger's action, either.

    Difficulty of reassembling the Ruger is overrated. It's tricky, but carefully following the instructions will help - and if you run into trouble there are even Youtube videos showing the whole process.

    The Bersa would be better for carry, definitely, though .22LR isn't the best choice for a defensive weapon. I hate it when people suggest something completely different in threads like these, but I'm going to do so anyway: how about buying one of those German police surplus P6s for defense and carry, then a .22 for plinking and practice?
     
  21. leukoplast

    leukoplast Member

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    For me a .22 is more than enough for defense purposes. I agree that a higher caliber gun will be more effective, but part of my reasoning for a .22 in defense is my hearing. I don't want to go deaf using a defensive weapon with a large caliber. Because, obviously there is no time to put on hearing protection in that given circumstance. So with a .380 or higher, I would lose crucial hearing that will never come back. Or maybe even worse, go deaf. And I for one and really nit-picky about my hearing. I protect at any chance I can when I think anything is too loud.

    At least with a .22 its not the loudest out there. Sure you still need hearing protection with them, but at least the damage done to my own ears is significantly less than with a higher caliber gun. And .22 is more than enough to stop somebody dead in their tracks. Literally.
     
  22. MAKster

    MAKster Member

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    If you want a gun that will be similar to a service pistol get the Firestorm. The target 22s like Ruger have a very different feel.
     
  23. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    Someone suggested the PT-22 Taurus. Take my advice, DON'T. My wife talked me in to buying one for her. Its complete junk. Maybe you should look at one of the Beretta 22s. I've heard good things about them. Check our Mouseguns.com. They have a lot of info about these types of guns.
     
  24. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Ruger, or Browning Buckmark are the best bets in a .22 pistol. I slightly prefer the Ruger.
     
  25. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    I'm not trying to be funny, but I think the damage your body may receive because the 22 didn't stop the bg maybe far greater than what a larger caliber might do to your hearing.

    As for a 22 stopping a bg "dead in their tracks"! Maybe if you hit them in the eye, but anywhere else with a 22 is iffy.
     
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