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Who likes .22 caliber handguns?

How important are your .22 handguns to you? Do you feel your .22s offer effective training opportunities that aid in your abilities with your center fire self-defense handguns? How much fun are you having with your .22 handguns? Do they see a lot of use? Were you able to use them when .22 ammunition dried up?

Have we taken a look at .22 handguns as a thread topic? Maybe if there's enough interest shown we can make a sticky out of it.

I've shot far more .22 Long Rifle through handguns than I have center fire rounds. The use of .22 handguns has been a boon for me, helping accurate shot placement with all handguns, offering competition fun, plinking fun, hunting fun and countless opportunities to just relax when shooting.

When I get rusty through decreased time spent shooting handguns, it's the .22 handgun that tunes me up to better shoot any handgun.

It would be a big job to attempt to shoot away all the .22 Long Rifle ammunition kept squirreled away here, yet the late dearth of available .22 Long Rifle ammunition did dampen my enthusiasm for just "ammo-burnin' " the stuff. It's again more available in this region so I can relax about consuming it. I find myself topping off supplies though.

What are your favorite .22 handguns? Why do you like your chosen examples and how do you use them? Do you, or have you owned .22 handguns that you didn't care for and why didn't you like them?

Put 'em up here, the good, the bad, and the ugly.


Same ol' photos of same ol' .22 handguns I have here that have been featured here before.

Smith & Wesson Model 17 K-22 Masterpiece 8 3/8-inch bbl. The first .22 handgun I acquired, the sentimental favorite, and still the one most often used. Super accurate, like a little "hand rifle" and with single-action trigger that's like snapping a slender glass rod.



Smith & Wesson K-22 Masterpiece 4-inch bbl. A more recently acquired and handy understudy of the long-snouted one above and perhaps less cumbersome if slightly less conducive to extreme accuracy (probably the shooter), this one was produced in the early 1950s before the numeral model designation of Model 17 was introduced. Excellent trigger, both single-action and double-action. This one's good as an understudy for double-action practice for the fan of the center fire K-Frame Smith & Wesson as a personal defense handgun.



Colt Woodsman 1st Series Target 6 1/2-inch bbl dating to 1928. Purchased new by an old friend of mine some 88 years ago now. There are "no flies" on the trigger of this one. Have shot a bulls-eye match with it. Barrel's a bit light and "whippy" for my taste, but this is the way they were once supplied to the target shooter, prior to Colt's introduction of the "Bullseye" Match Target variant in the Woodsman line.



High Standard SuperMatic Trophy 5 1/2-inch bbl from 1974. Super-accurate and with the finest trigger of any handgun on the place. Grip very comfortable and mimics grip frame angle of 1911 guns. "All dressed up and no bulls-eye match yet attended."
 

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I have a Beretta 22 short semiautomatic and it is accurate until the bullet leaves the barrel. I bought it new 50 years ago and it has sentimental value for several reasons. Ammo is very hard to find for it. I would say nearly impossible. I also have several 22 LR and I think shooting them does improve overall accuracy. I shoot only for home defense at a room size distance. I buy ammo in a block of 500.
 

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I only have two 22 handguns a bearcat and a single six. I have a few 22 long guns and have got 22s for my grandkids. I have six grandkids. 22s are very important to me.
 

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Great photos, Bryan, and a great write up!

I have two 22 LR Beretta Bobcats, an NAA 22 LR, and a Ruger 10-22.

I recently taught two young German boys how to shoot with the Berettas.
 

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Love my Ruger MKII. Had it for about 30 years and use it fairly often when I go to the range. My Dad left me a .22, can't remember what it is off the top of my head. American name but made in Germany. Need to get it out of the safe and see. He didn't shoot it too much, said he needed to shoot CCI singers or it wouldn't function. Last time I shot it the Remmingtons worked fine.

Do wish I still had my Ruger Single Six. One off my more stupid moves to trade that off.
 

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Yeah CWOUSCG, we all have our hall of shame, guns we could a', should a', would a', kept if we hadn't have sent our brains down around the bend.

Always had a hankering for a single-action .22 revolver of my own for some reason. Perhaps because I grew up around my dad's Colt New Frontier .22 with Long Rifle and Magnum cylinders.
 
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Nice pics bmcgilvray. Those two Masterpieces bring back memories.
I learned to shoot pistol with my Grandfather's K-22. It was one of a matched set of Combat Masterpieces. Both with 6" barrels and oversized wood grips in a presentation case with matching serial numbers. One in 22lr and one in 38 special.
My Uncle brought them back with him when he got out of the Air force in 1966.
I made sure that he got them back when Grandpa passed away.

Over the years I've owned my share of 22 pistols. Some nice some not.
Currently I have four. A Ruger Single Six, a Browning Buckmark, an H&R 922, and a Chiapa saa copy.

The Buckmark is a tackdriver and makes a great hunting pistol as does the Ruger.

The Chiapa is a POS but it shoots where you aim it. I got it used in a trade and kept it as a tractor gun when I found out how well it shoots. The up side is that I don't mind if it gets dinged up bouncing around in a tractor or on my 4-wheeler.

The H&R? It belonged to a family friend and is simply a reminder of times past. It's ugly and shoots like crap, but is not going anywhere except to his nephew when he's old enough. I'll share it along with the memories. Maybe he'll make it his "tackle box" gun like it was for his uncle.
 

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Who likes .22 caliber handguns?
I do!

I have a 1958 S&W 4" Model 18, a 1983 4" Model 17, and a Ruger MkIII 22/45. Every time I go to the range I take one of them with me. They're just plain fun.
 
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I have only a couple...a Colt .22 Scout and an AMC Lightening. they are both a joy to shoot. I never experienced a period when .22 ammo dried up though...other than back in the fall of 1968. My wife really enjoys the AMC. She's been asking me to find a 4" .22 revolver and I decided to keep a watch out for a good cond S&W 17.

FullSizeRender(8).jpg
 

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A 33 year old Single Six and a 26 year old MKII - Thousands of rounds through each one. My son and I have had more fun shooting these two guns then I could describe. I still carry the Single Six with the magnum cylinder when I hike along the river around here.
 

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Yea .22 fans! And thanks for the photos.

Buckmarks are always good. Smith & Wesson Kit Guns are cute and handy (one of the ones I foolishly sold years ago). That Challenger II is nice. Ruger automatics are always appropriate (first Ruger I ever had experience with was a cousin's early Ruger .22 pistol). Even the vest pocket Beretta is a hoot and can provide for good entertainment. I love old H&R's. Would be nice to see a few show up in some photos here.
 
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Bryan, you always strike a vein of gold with your "feature articles"!

I'm a big fan of rimfires and my first handgun was a Ruger MkII target model with the 5-1/2" bull barrel. That one got a lot of use until I moved west, and lamentably it resides in a friend's safe back east along with a few other of my guns that couldn't move with me. I don't have a picture of that one, but it's ubiquitous and mine looks like all the rest. I never used it for any serious target work, but it was a frequent field companion when hiking and deer hunting. Sitting in a tree stand, more than one annoying gray squirrel found out I could shoot minute-of-squirrel head out to 30 yards, and on at least 2 occasions it was used to deliver the coup de grace to deer a hunting partner wounded and chased into nearly impenetrable thickets.

I needed another .22 pistol after I moved west and I tripped over a Ruger 22/45 for a good price at a show shortly after I got here. This one got the benefit of a Volquartsen trigger kit, and recently a grip modification that allowed me to use some classy VZ grips. It's every bit as accurate as the other MkII, but with a more familiar grip angle.



The next .22 handgun was another Ruger, a classic Single Six with a 6-1/2" barrel. This was as close to a gun show bargain as I'll get, since it had a chipped grip panel and the gun wouldn't hit within 3 inches of my POA with respect to elevation. $15 worth of replacement parts from Ruger took care of that issue! My hand is a little big for the grip, but it's such a delight to shoot I can pretty easily ignore that.



Then the double-action revolvers came... more rimfire joy! First, the Model 63 Kit Gun with 4" barrel (3 o'clock in the pic below), which I bought for my lady. This one was pretty minty when I got it, and the DA trigger is a bit stiffer than I'd like, but it's a fun gun and its compact J-frame is a good size for lady and junior shooters. The worst feature of the gun is its rough chambers which make punching out the empties an unenjoyable chore (but it's another testament to its minty condition). I recently did a little Flitz rotary polish job on the chambers but I haven't run any rounds through the gun yet to see if there's any improvement. Lastly, the crown jewel of my .22 handguns is the S&W Model 17, a 1972-vintage K-22 Masterpiece with a 6-inch barrel - fitting neatly between Bryan's short- and long-tube models. This is at high noon in the photo. Would that all revolvers have actions as smooth and as crisp as this one! Every now and then I bring this one to my club's monthly .22 pistol steel matches. I'm not competitive against the automatics, but the admiring glances and low whistles I get make the experience enjoyable.

 

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I have several 22 fun guns. I have a Ruger MkIII, a High Standard Sentinel Deluxe nine shot revolver,a Jimenez,(Yes I said I have a Jimenez). That little cheap gun just keeps on shooting. It is a lot of fun to play with and I take it to the range with me every time I go just in case I run out of ammo for my big, better guns and still want to shoot something. I also have the very first gun I ever bought. A Imperial 22 short that I bought from a guy I worked with when I was a teenager. Paid 15.00 for it. I don't shoot it often because 22 shorts are a little hard to find right now. The plastic grips are held on by duct tape. ( guess I am a bit of a red neck). Sometimes I will just take 22's to the range for a day of fun shooting with no brass to chase.
 
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