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An idle thought in .22 caliber

2670 Views 31 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  kansas45
Now that I own three handguns useful for self protection, I'm considering one primarily for fun and as a training aid.

Now that's my primary purpose of course, but let me be clear: every gun I own is all things to me. In other words, I may have inexpensive guns, but none of them are looked at as "range toys". They're all viewed as potential instruments of life saving, and in my view all of them are combat worthy and ready. Even though my P89 is used mainly for practice, it is still a viable self defense instrument and I treat it as such.

I do realize however that .22 LR is not the best choice for serious use. That's why my first gun was the 686. I wanted something more effective.

But I do realize the value of .22 LR and it's possibly my favorite caliber because it has other redeeming features, one of which could be I could shoot bricks upon bricks of cheap .22 ammo and become a more proficient shooter. I am not planning on giving up firing "real" guns at my range outings because I need to be used to the quirks of each gun/caliber I own, but I think I could actually practice more often if I had a .22 pistol.

My favorite .22 handgun I have ever had the joy and pleasure of shooting was a .22 Rossi revolver my father still has. It was the first pistol I've ever shot, and if he weren't so determined to hold onto it I would love to have it, but he's not giving it up. I can understand that; I have a lot of good childhood memories tied up in that little pistol. If I could find a Rossi just like that one I would buy it super fast.

I had thought to see if Rossi still made a model like that one, but alas, they do not.

I'll keep an eye out for a used one I suppose.

In the meantime, I'm trying to look around a little bit and see what's out there. This is one time I'm actually not too worried about whether it's a revolver or an automatic. I am however leaning towards revolver a little bit on this, because in my experience the long, thin .22 LR catridge tends to misfeed an awful lot in an automatic.

I don't need a super accurate target pistol either. I'm thinking around the $200 mark give or take $100 if it's just something really cool, but cheaper is better here. I'm thinking I want to buy a used gun that cost around 300 new, because there's lots of good choices for around 300 new.

But remember how I said every one of my guns is all things to me? I'm most interested to find one which could double more effectively serve as a last ditch concealment piece, survival tool, or last ditch home defense tool than some others could.

The aforementioned Rossi for example would not make a good concealment piece, but its 4 inch barrel and rock solid reliability make it an ideal candidate for a survival tool (killing rabbits and pests) or a last ditch home defense tool (that hollow point coming out of that 4 inch barrel would sure hurt if it hit you in the right place). Those functions are secondary of course.

I've seen I can get a Taurus PT-22 for $189 brand new. It would be very concealable because it's so small, but I'm not sure it's such a great pistol. Don't know much about it and it doesn't seem very appealing either.

Ruger and Smith both make some .22 autos that seem more interesting but I know nothing about how they function in the real world.

I wonder if since Taurus now owns Rossi, if Taurus makes something similar to that old Rossi.

What say you? What's out there that I should look for?

Edit for clarity: I'm considering both new and used.
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Ruger Mark II is excellent ive but 8900 rounds though mine this year with no problems that werent ammo related
I've considered the MkII because if I look for a used one, that's probably what I would find.

I've heard thought that it's got some real sharp edges. Is this true? Or is it just something you have to adapt to?
Only thing was sharp on mine was the fron sight but i put a red dot on it .. Also the hard to take it apart i dont have that problem .. I have a heavy barreld one 5.5 target ..Excellent pistol .. dad has a single six i bought him is a excellent pistol also .. My only exp with a 22 wheelie is this...

Stay away from the smith 2206 uncle has had 2 and delvoped problems at 2k rounds .. as said i have round 8900 though my mark ii i bought last year in feb

Also theres a ton of add ons and match type parts for it if you wnat to go that route
If I can beg another question, how well does the MKII feed? Will it eat anything or do you have to be real particular? I'd be extremely interested in one that could feed hollowpoints. I have a couple of bulk packs of federal JHP .22 LR laying around, and I figure in a pinch it'd hurt like a bastard to get shot with it.

They cost a little more than I want to spend on a gun like this, but the Walther P22's I know in particular seem to be real picky eaters. That and for my purposes, I could buy a pistol that cost $150 less that would be just as useful.
Only ammo i have had problems with is winchester seem not to have enough lube leaded barrel real bad but im not the only one who has had this problem . beyond using winchester ive had no problems..

Again i cant say how much i love mine i shoot it a ton every range visit.
I picked up a Beretta Neos at that same time I purchased my XD40 (better bring the wife something home, you know...)

I love the little gun. It's very accurate, and just plain fun to shoot. I paid <$250.00 for it brand new, and it can be tricked out with all sorts of stuff, including a carbine kit. One thing I was pleased with is that the grip fit my 9 year old's hand pretty well and will be a good tool to use to teach him pistol handling, etc. It has a very heavy barrell and a nice CRISP trigger. Very well made, like most of Beretta's stuff.
Ruger Mk 2

So...with high quality magazines it is a fine handgun.

For a revolver a great little .22 stainless J~frame S&W kit gun would be hard to beat.
There are several exellent .22 on the market.

Any of the Ruger .22 are great. You can get them in a vairety of barrel lengths, styles and blued or stainless. Everyone I have ever shot has been very accurate.

The SIG " Mosquito" is just like any other Sig but about 80 percent size of normal one. Although its a new gun and it dosent likesome types of ammo, reports on it are exellent.

Smith and Wesson has some good .22's. Like the Ruger, its available in about any configuration. Their semi auto is a god little package. Of course if you dont want a semi,they have a good assortment of revolvers in .22

Browning makes a good semi auto. Feels good and looks good.

The Walthers are OK, but as you already noted they can be a bit persnickity to feed.

The Berreta seems like a little handfull for a .22 and they dont seem to be as accurate as a fixed barrel semi such as the Ruger,Browning or Smith and Wesson

Ive had the Taurus .22 and although it was a great little gun with no problems, with that short little sight radius and double action only it was more of a novelty than it was a "plinker". The Taurus .22 revolvers are good, but I would stay with at least a 4" inch barrel if you just want to have fun with it.

Personally, I think the Stainless Ruger semi auto.with a 4" barrel is the way to go. Any semi auto can be a bit tempermental with the ammo. The trick is to try differnt kinds and stay with the one that works the best.

Its much quicker to the event that you do need it for defense...
its flat enough to be easy to conceal if need be...
a stainless one is pretty much maintenance free...
its probably more accurate than you can shoot it...
you can carry several loaded mags in yout pocket
you can buy a used on all day long for around 200 bucks or less...
if you ever want to trade it... they are easy to get rid off...
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I have a Mk2, a 22/45 and a S&W 422 in .22 bottomfeeder variety. I enjoy all of them. I shoot Winchester Dynapoints exclusively in my .22 bottomfeeders, and I have yet to have a malfunction since switching to them. I have a few other .22 handguns, but I rarely shoot them.

If you are ever considering going to a 1911, get yourself a 22/45 as they are set up with all the controls in the same places as the 1911 and the grip is the same as a 1911. Plus, they can be found in the $200 range used in good shape and not much more than that NIB.

The Browning Buckmark is also a good way to go.

AND...priced at less than $10.00 for 500 at Wally World SUPER RELIABLE AMMO!

I have a 22/45 - much as anything because it has a better feel and grip angle for me and - is loosely 1911 controls. There are some sharp edges but they are easily smoothed a tad. I use mine for pin shooting and steel shooting mainly and just plain ol' plinking!

One thing tho - if you get or find one of these or MkII - do consider fitting a Volquartsen extractor - ups reliability a whole heap - particularly if ammo borderline. As long as I keep major crud controlled (and you know how filthy 22's are!) - and, make sure slide stays lubed then it is all but 100%. I have found Federal Champion to be best ammo - not quite as cheap as Fed bulk but from K-Mart $10 a brick - that's still cheap.

For revo - well you might consider a Single Six - maybe find one used. The very early ones tho need carried on empty chamber - later ones are good for fully stoked. Useful option too is having the .22 mag cyl as well - in fact the gun is primarily 22 mag, secondarily 22LR. Only downside for me is fiddle loading/unloading, per any S/A.

Finally - tho beyond your quoted price range ... a Smith K-22 is real nice. In fact IIRC there is an SP-101 in .22 cal as well - I'd rather like one of those.

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Dang it, P95. I wish I had know you wanted a SP101 in .22lr. A guy on Shooters' Legacy that lives just outside of Pittsburg just sold his.
Lee - well, tho it is one I'd like greatly to have, the ''wish list'' contains other things too. So no biggie - it'll help keep my finances on a straighter line! :biggrin:
I hear ya. I had been wanting a 3" K frame with a round butt for quite some time, and I had never been able to find one for sale. While on vacation last week, I met up with a member of Shooters' Legacy that lives near where we were on vacation. He had been tormenting me for quite some time with pics of a nice 3" model 13 round butt. It shoots oh so sweet. He packed it up in my shooting bag when we were done shooting and told me to send him payment when I could. I wasn't about to say no. Now I have it and the 4013 to pay for.
I've had few problems with 22 autos providing that (a) I used plated shells ($9 a brick as opposed to $6-7) and (b) kept them clean.

The Rugers work well, but I've had nothing but personal bad luck with them. That and I ended up with a Standard (not even a Mk 1) without the trigger fix of the Mk 1, and quite frankly, it's fundamentally dangerous. Chambering a round can and will occasionally (1 in 500 or so) detonate on chambering because there is no intermediary between the physical trigger and its' sear. I can't and won't sell it and I can't and won't shoot it any more. I know the problem's fixed in newer models that aren't from 1954, but....

I've had better luck with modern designs. Despite the space-gun looks, the old lady's Beretta Neos that we've had since they came out has been flawless. I clean it for her about once a season, and her idea of shooting is loading all 4 mags and making cans jump as fast as she can pull the trigger and reload so I estimate 500 or more per range visit. It goes a few k between cleanings and I only touch it when it starts to become a problem or if I'm feeling bored and want to clean guns. It used to need it every thousand or so with lead bullets, but once I switched her to plated....

If I want stupid accurate and one that honestly doesn't care about ammo, there's my evil Commie copy of the Walther Olympia. It'll feed anything and not care and put them in one hole. I have it mostly for the 4H kids but partly for those pesky varmints that you have to discreetly dispatch and be sure where the shell is going is only into varmintland. ;)

The Sig Mosquito more than anything (and I've had one probably as long as anyone in the US now) is a training tool. It's not as accurate as my Olympia clone, but few things are. It's a hair more ammo picky than the Neos, and I feed it CCI Mini-mags almost exclusively. They're 2x as expensive as the normal brick, but I have 1 failure in 1k on average FTF and none FTE or FTL since the gun got broken in, and it goes 1k rounds between cleanings as opposed to 400. They're accurate to a point where you can be a danger to any pop can, AOL cd, or other plinking target out to the 50m berm, and well, it's the only 22LR I actually enjoy to shoot. The ammo is part of the deal - it gives a little more zing and report than the cheap fodder it also consumes. For me, it's a range toy and training tool, but you can have range toys once you hit the 20 or 30 gun mark. Since I hit that years ago, well, I can have a bunch. :)

If I were to pick one as a general purpose last ditch defense gun/varmint/hunting piece, it'd probably be the Olympia. Trigger pull is sinful, clocking in at 2 or so pounds. I warn students and give it to them with a snap cap to illustrate what they're about to learn on. All 8 rounds leave almost instantly if you know where the trigger reset is by muscle memory, and make one very nasty 1" hole out to 15m. I don't want to be on the receiving end of that, and it's accurate enough to pop small critters in the head as long as you can clearly see it.

If I wanted something in the exclusively defensive range, I'd stick with the Sig. I have serious reservations about the caliber, but the double-strike capability of the SA/DA trigger, extremely high quality magazines, and Mini-mags means that I have reasonable faith it'll go off for all 11 rounds. It's accurate enough. It just won't bring home dinner as reliably.
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When I decided that I wanted to buy a pistol soon after my 21st birthday, a co-worker of mine suggested that I purchase a .22LR pistol in addition to a centerfire.

His reasoning is simple. The .22 is cheap to shoot, generally more accurate then a service firearm, and if you take someone else to the range, they can shoot with you.

To that end, as soon as my permits come in (this week, I hope) I'm goign to purchase a HK USP Compact, either in .40 or .45. I'm also picking up a Ruger 22/45 Mrk. 3 w/ the 5.5" stainless barrel.

My co-worker purchased his .22LR, and has just finally (about a year ago) gotten the money together and purchased a 9mm Sig 226. Unfortunately, we live in a state with really restricted CCW, so his decision sort of made sense...

I enjoy shooting the Ruger that my coworker has immensely, and is ultimately why I bought a very similar firearm. The other advantage to the 22/45 is that the controls are located in a similar area to 1911 pistols.

Just my $0.02 :)

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Taurus Mod. 94 4" in .22lr would be closest to the Rossi, looks like it'd be around $275-300 new.

I have a couple of Taurus revolvers, I know some people don't like them, but I've been very happy with mine.
I've got a 22/45 that I love, very accurate and reliable. It's the last thing that a bunch of squirrels have ever seen. I use it to warm up at the range.

Also lots of fond memories of a Ruger Single Six in 22WMR growing up. I've always wanted one of the little Ruger Bearcats as well; there's one more for the wish list!

Oh...the Ruger Bearcat. Classic little old firearm. :biggrin:

The little S&W Stainless kit gun in .22 LR is a GREAT REVOLVER also!
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