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Thread: .22 Pistol Advice

  1. #1

    Default .22 Pistol Advice

    I'm considering getting a new .22 pistol. It would be mostly used for plinking, throwing it in a backpack on a long hike, and keeping it in a survival bag on the boat.

    My question is this: Auto (Ruger Mk II) vs. Revolver (some kind of Smith)???

    I've read that some people have put around 10,000 rounds through their .22 pistol, which I think is definately achievable with a .22. So, which one would hold up better in the long-run...an auto or a revolver? I know that revolvers tend to be more "reliable" (less moving parts), but people don't usually put that many rounds (thousands) through their revolver. I want whatever will last the longhaul.

    Thanks for all of your advice and personal experience!

  2. #2

    Default It depends

    I've got an old Ruger MkII that's easily got 10,000+ through it. It's got the short, heavy target barrel. No hitches, while friends with the most recent stainless version have lots of glitches.

    I've also got a Smith stainless 4" revolver on the J frame. Can't remember the model # because I haven't seen it in a few years. My son-in-law likes it so much he's been keeping it on a long term "loan." It's also on the far side of 10,000. Reliable as can be, too.

    For me the tradeoff between the two is between bulk/weight and shooting ease. The Ruger is lots bigger and heavier, but easy as pie to shoot well. The Smith is tiny and light, but really sensitive to how you hold it and squeeze the trigger. Do your job and it's as accurate as the Ruger, but let your mind wander and your shots will wander, too.

    For a survival bag, I have no qualms about recommending the Smith stainless revolver due to its size and finish.

    I've got lots of other 22's but the two you cited are in fact my favorites. That's why they have so many shots through them!!!

  3. #3
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    I currently own a bunch of .22 handguns. They include the Ruger Mark II, S&W 617 and 41, Browning Buckmark, a S&W
    22A and a Walther P22. They are all great choices and each have + and -'s.

    The one that is my favorite to plink with is the Walther. It is simply a blast! Once I found the correct ammo for it it has feed and eject perfectly and is more accurate than I can hold it. It is also very light weight.

    Even though the 617 is a revolver I would never sell if I had to pick one to put in a survival bag I would choose the Walther due to its size and weight and it's reliablility.

  4. #4
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    I have and old model Ruger single six flat top with a 10" barrel that for survival is my first pick for a pistol to "take along". Only because it shoots like a rifle. I have a model 17 that is good, 6" barrel. S&W model 41 is I believe to be the best auto loader I have ever used 7 3/8" barrel. I've never had a chance to shoot the Walther P22. I would sure want to try it before I made up my mind of which to buy.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  5. #5

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    I currently own two .22 handguns, a 4 3/4" barrel Ruger Mark II and a 4" ten shot S&W 617.

    Both are great fun to shoot, and both are reasonably accurate. The Ruger is a little easier to carry, and the S&W is a little more accurate.

    It's a matter of whether you prefer the auto or the revolver. I like both, and so I have one of each.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob C View Post
    I currently own two .22 handguns, a 4 3/4" barrel Ruger Mark II and a 4" ten shot S&W 617.

    Both are great fun to shoot, and both are reasonably accurate. The Ruger is a little easier to carry, and the S&W is a little more accurate.

    It's a matter of whether you prefer the auto or the revolver. I like both, and so I have one of each.
    That's funny...these are the two I was thinking about. I have also consitered Smith's 3" kit gun. In regards to reliability (for short and long-term), which one would you recomend? My main concern is the one that will still hold up with lots of rounds through it.

    I already have the Walther P22, which I like, but I was looking for something different.

    Thanks everyone, for your input!

  7. #7
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've had two ruger 22/45 (mk II version) The first was a 4" blued, and it was 100% reliable. Accuracy was good but not great, and I didn't care for the neutral balance, so I sold it. I got my wife a ss 5 1/2" bull barrel, that is very accurate, but with some ammo it will jam.

    A good auto or revolver will hold up fine to 10's of thousands of rounds. 22 lr just doesn't put that much strain on a well built gun. What it really comes down to is what type of gun you prefer, or if it's a practice gun for a full size round, what type of gun that is. Say you hunt with a da revolver, well get a good da 22 rf, if you hunt with a sa revolver, get a single six.

  8. #8
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I've owned a fair number of 22 pistols over the years and all of the better ones will last your lifetime and likely more. I'd advise to stay away from the cheap ones (S&W 22A I won't repeat that mistake) and my preference is a revolver of some type.

    I currently have a Ruger SP101 in 4" (now discontinued) and a Kimber 22 on a 1911 frame. The 22 Kimber is scary accurate but needs HV ammo to cycle reliably- it doesn't carry well for me in the field but makes great practice for a 1911. The Ruger digests everything. I've had several S&W revolvers on J frames (all excellent) in .22 and .22 Mag. I've also had a couple of Browning Buckmarks that were pretty good for the cash.

    For hunting and field use don't overlook the Single Six. For a reasonable cost you get 100% reliability and a .22 Mag cylinder to boot. In a longer barrel version you might very well replace a rifle. A good friend has one with a very long barrel (probably 7.5") and it has killed more hares than I'll likely ever see. Another good version is the Bearcat but the lack of adjustable sights seriously limits its potential.

    The Ruger MK II is good but I'd wait on the MKIII as its pretty new. A MK I is a really nice piece but getting hard to find.

    The .22 Airlite is a 3" version with adjustable sights is featherweight and accurate enough for most field use.

    Sorry for the lenght but there are a lot of neat pieces in this category! You'll surely find something you like.

  9. #9
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default My favorites...

    Are the little S&W 63, the Stainless Kit Gun on the J frame with 4" barrel. Lighter than that is the little 4"S&W 422 that has been absolutely reliable for me, and I spend a lot of time checking to see if it's still in the holster, it's that light.
    The revolver's advantage is that it's reliable with ANY load that you put in it, from CB caps to the hot LR rounds. Semi's, well, can be pretty picky about what you feed them. They'll go bang as a single shot in a pinch, but trying to clear one for a second shot when that fool hen you've picked out for dinner is clearing the country can be a hassle......

  10. #10
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Those Ruger pistols are nice and last a long time.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  11. #11
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    I doubt you will ever be able to wear any high quality 22 handgun out, either revolver or auto.


    My own experience is with a Smith K-22 made in the early 70's. It was my Dad's first, and I shot it a ton then, and a ton since I traded him out of it 20 some years ago. I have, conservatively, shot well over 200k rounds thru it, and no issues. Cleaning under the ejector star with a toothbrush every couple thousand rounds is about all the truly needed maintanence required. I had another Smith K-22 years ago that had tighter chambers, and needed the chambers brass brushed out about every 500 or so rounds to keep from having sticky extraction. Chambers can be polished out to alleviate this if you end up with one with tight chambers.

    The old K-22 is still remakably accurate. 1 1/4" groups @ 25 yards isn't hard.

    Way back in my Jr high and high school days, I, with various friends, would go thru a 500 round brick each on a saturday afternoon, and sometimes 2 each at our place along the river.

  12. #12

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    Thanks everyone for your responses. I think I'm going to go with a revolver. I like the idea of the Smith Kit-gun .22, because it is so light.

    Thanks again, and if anyone has any additional input, please let me know!

  13. #13
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    The K22 is a super gun but my absolute favorite is the Ruger Mark I or II.

  14. #14
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    I've owned lots of .22 pistols, both autos and revolvers and I shoot them a lot (about 300 rounds/week). As others have said, I prefer revolvers for .22 handguns because they work with any ammo. My autos are all picky about what works reliably. My all time favorite is the Ruger Single Six convertible with both the 22 and 22 mag cylinders. It is reliable, accurate, and versatile.

  15. #15
    Mark
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    I have a Ruger 22/45 5.5" Stainless Target bull barrel scoped, and a S&W 317 (8 round, 3" barrel, Airweight, 12 ounces).

    I'm going to replace the Ruger with a S&W 617. I use the Ruger on ptarmigan, and the trigger sucks. I even replaced the trigger with a Volsquarten model, and it still sucks.

    The S&W 317 is a 12 oz survival gun that is in my daybag wherever I go, but frankly, I don't need it. A satellite phone will get me out of the woods long before I starve...........

  16. #16
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    I currently have several 22s. My first was a walthers 1937 olympic match that shoots better than most rifles. I retired it when the trigger got loose.I replaced it with a ruger Mk1 for 50' NRA indoor shooting. Put a Bushnell phantom 2,5x scope on it. It will easily put 10 shots in a group you can cover with a dime at 50' using good ammo. I also have a ruger single six another Mk1 ,a S&W K22, and a Buckmark. I can't imagine wearing one of these out in a lifetime other than the Buckmark. It is the only one with parts that appear to be made from pot metal and plastic. Most any of these will shoot better than most people can hold them. The revolvers are more versitle with ammo ( shorts,longs, lr,birdshot whatever) the autos load faster and hold more ammo usually.Try to go shooting with a friend that has something you want to try an see what you like. You will be happiest with you like, not what I like. Have a good day and find the one that fits and shoots for you.. rbuck

  17. #17
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    Default 22 pistol

    I have shot many different 22 pistols and revolvers, I currently only own the Walther p22. It is absolutely scary what this light little bugger will do, i.e. hit a railroad plate painted white (the ones that hold down the rail) at 100 yards. No kidding, not 100 percent but about 50 percent of the time, not just me but a bunch of guys at the local private range. Inherehently accurate. Which does not make any logical sense if one were to disassemble the barrel assembly and notice it is nothing but a goofy little tube with a locking muzzle cap.
    This thing will get dirty fast, therefore not operating properly. Therefore, for a real knockaround gun, please just get a revolver.
    I carry the P22 off duty, in the southern woods, which are dry and moderate in temperature, , if I were to carry in the home state of upstate New York or very unpleasant conditions the revolver would be it.
    Cannot tell how many rounds have been shot through the P22 , alot, had it for over six years or more, many people have shot it, it really is great and easy to clean.
    Light, accurate, 10 rounds, double action, safe and compact.
    It is an auto that does not like lint etc.
    Great gun, try it , reasonably priced, only use hyper or hi velocity ammo please when farting around in the wild, at the range, the standard velocity is okay, just expect functioning problems.

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