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Thread: Ideal .22 pistol for ptarmigan

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    Default Ideal .22 pistol for ptarmigan

    I知 looking to get my first .22 pistol. It would be primarily be a range gun, but I壇 like to take it caribou hunting and black bear hunting for the occasional ptarmigan. I知 looking for something that is long enough to be an accurate target gun, but not so long as to make it impractical for backpacking.

    What do you think would be the ideal .22 for my purposes. I知 thinking a 5.5 inch barrel length is about right. Am I on the right track?


    I kind of like the Buckmark hunter, but I think it may be a bit long for backpacking.

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    That would work fine. I have a Ruger single six convertable, comes with a .22 magnum cylinder as well, with a 2x scope mounted on it for the same reason. I do not know if you have ever tried finding a winter plumage ptarmigan over open sights but, I can tell you that I cannot see them to save my life. With the naked eye, no problem , with a scope, a no brainer. You may wish to consider a scope set up.

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    No, I've only looked for them in summer, I can definately see the benefit of a scope.

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    Ruger MkIII hunter...had mine for years, very accurate with an electronic site. I use it just for the purpose you describe. Down side is that it is heavy...Ruger does make a polymer model that is lighter.

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    My son has a Ruger 22/45 I bought for him several Christmas's back. Its a tack driver. We have cycled 100's of rounds with it over and over with never a jam. I really like the SS also. But IMO any .22 that "you" can shoot well with and fits your budget is a good .22 pistol. Sportsmans has some killer deals at times on Buckmarks. Good Luck on your decision.

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    Ruger MKII Stainless bull barrel with a good red dot sight. Mine goes with me all of the time.

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    Either a Browning buckmark or a Ruger will do fine. Mine is a buckmark with the 5.5 slab side bbl. It rides in a holster for the very same reason you have in mind. I sometimes wish the sights were a little more fine.

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    I use a S&W Model 17 with target trigger, target hammer.

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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    I really like my Buckmark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    Ruger MkIII hunter...had mine for years, very accurate with an electronic site. I use it just for the purpose you describe. Down side is that it is heavy...Ruger does make a polymer model that is lighter.
    I'll second the markIII I also have the walther P22. the walther is a little smaller and has a smoother action but I'm more accurate with the markIII. I purchased mine for coon hunting and both worked well for that purpose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WIsam View Post
    I知 looking to get my first .22 pistol. It would be primarily be a range gun, but I壇 like to take it caribou hunting and black bear hunting for the occasional ptarmigan. I知 looking for something that is long enough to be an accurate target gun, but not so long as to make it impractical for backpacking.

    What do you think would be the ideal .22 for my purposes. I知 thinking a 5.5 inch barrel length is about right. Am I on the right track?


    I kind of like the Buckmark hunter, but I think it may be a bit long for backpacking.
    Hands down, I'd go the S&W model 41 if reasonably attainable within your price-range. Based on exceptional fit, finish, handling and accuracy... be real tough to find a better pistol! My old 7.5" model 41 wears a custom QD set-up w/ Leupold 4x. You can get a nice 5 1/2"

    For most Alaska-type conditions an auto will trump most revolvers for incidental .22 handgun hunting and satisfying session of target shooting. I take a liking to a Medium-frame Double-action Nickel Colt Trooper .22, however it does not compare as a hunting tool to the S&W model 41. I've used S$W 17 (and the likes) they are nice, yet again will not be the hunting tool or target gun that the Auto Model 41 is. I go with 5 magazines.

    I'll also commonly run an old quite accurate Ruger Mark I Target-taper that I put a fine parkerizing job to. I soak 'er in tranny fluid for winter protection and frigid condition multi-day use. She wears a Leupold 2x. Again, 5 magazines. Newer Stainless slab-sided or bull barreled versions like Mark II & III would be very good.

    Not a big fan of the Browning Buckmarks... Not as accurate as the S&W model 41 and not as durable as the Ruger Mark I, II, or III.

    Single action Rugers or Colts are not much of a hunter's piece in my opinion for striking smaller targets at the more extended pistol ranges. They are fun plinkers! Red dots are OK (most built for rapid acquisition), but nowhere near having a good scope for tighter, consistent groups at the greater than 40 yard distances.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Ruger semi is hard to beat and a older used one is as good as the newer ones. I use a single six fixed sights and will now also be useing a Bearcat thanks to Tailwind
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    By range gun ,do you mean competitive target shooting? If so, you will want an auto, there are several to pick from ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. The Rugers MK I, II and III are all very accurate but need trigger work. The S&W 41 and the various High Standard target pistols are all very accurate and have pretty good triggers as well. I haven't found the Buckmarks to have the accuracy of these others although plenty good enough for hunting and casual target shooting. Then you move up to guns like the Hammerli, Walthers and other serious target pistols. Very nice guns and very expensive but probably not what you want to take to the woods. If your into hunting and casual target work then any of these will work as well as some of the better revolvers such as S&W and Colt DAs. Most of the single actions don't seem to have the accuracy of the S&W or Colt DAs. The revolvers have the advantages of being able to shoot a wide variaty of ammo, CBs, shorts, longs, LR, no powder Agulia and any other form of 22RF made. I find a scope to be a must for me beyond about 20yds and can extend the range on grouse size critters to 50+ yds. With a scope, barrel length doesn't matter. I have two favorites, a Ruger MKI T 6 7/8" with 2.5x scope and a S&W K22 6" with iron sights. A friend has a std Ruger 4" light weight barrel that is very accurate and would make an excellent backpacker pistol.

  14. #14
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    My experience has been with the Jennings pocket pistol, single six, buckmark, and Ruger MK II. Of the four, the Ruger wins hands down. It had a heavy 6" barrel, not the bull barrel, and target grips. The furthest measured shot I made was a running fox at 95 paces. The single six would be next, the Buckmark 3rd, and the Jenning a very distant last. I now own the Buckmark, as I had to sell the MKII years ago. It is a much lighter gun, but not nearly as accurate. The factory sights leave a lot of room for left/right variance. I mounted a scope on the Single Six, and it did ok. I think the main thing with that was I didn't spend enough time shooting it to realize the gun's full potential.

  15. #15

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    The best I've shot has been an old Smith Kit Gun, one of the long barreled ones. I think new ones are sold as model 17 "classics" and are therefore very steep. I've also shot a Ruger Single Six in .22 lr and a Jennings automatic; I found the Single Six to be uncomfortable (I've always preferred the feel of a double action) and that the Jennings was prone to jamming. I also thought the Single Six would be too heavy for backpacking, but I tend to like my gear on the light side.

    Models to I've never shot but have been curious about have been the Ruger Bearcat, Charter Arms Target Pathfinder, and Kel Tec PMR-30. Might be worth a look-see if you come across any.

    For combination backpacking/hunting, I'd probably stick with a small-framed revolver, with about a 4-6" barrel. Go larger & longer than that and it's better for hunting, but then you have more to carry. .22 automatics are okay, but they've never screamed "hunting gun" to me.
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    I find it funny that folks don't see the Buckmark as accurate as the others. I have put several thousand rounds through my Buckmark and it has been a great gun. With a rest I can get cloverleaf groups at 20 yards....how much more accuracy do you need?? We take it to moose camp and have fun shooting M&M's off of logs at 15-20 yds. All this is with a stock gun to boot.
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    A Ruger 22-45 is my recommendation, very reliable and accurate. If you can fit it in the budget a SS model would be ideal. Mine gets a beating in and out of doors in the winter and rain and snow in the summer/fall. If you aren稚 doing a lot of shooting at one time the bull barrel is not needed. I have used the MK 1 and have nothing against it other than the grip angle is not as comfortable.

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    Member H20Dogg's Avatar
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    Mark III Hunter, love it!

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    My smith M22A is growing on me. It choked on a lot of ammo when brand new but w/ a few hundred rounds through it seems to be smooting out. I have run 2 boxes through it w/ no jams at all. Kind of a neat pistol w/ a rail on top from the factory to mount a scope. Pretty cheap as far as 22's go too. I am going to be working on a Ruger MKII that I plan to set up w/ an aftermarket upper, accurizing kit, and a can. That should be about the perfect grouse gun!

  20. #20
    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    I love my rugers,but I love my buckmark a little better and that gold trigger just looks so sexy!

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