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View Poll Results: Which gun?
22/45 with 4" barrel, adjustable sight 19 45.24%
22/45 with 4 1/2" barrel, fixed sight 4 9.52%
Get a longer barrel for some reason 8 19.05%
Doesn't really matter 0 0%
Buy a whole other gun 10 23.81%
I'm asking the wrong question 2 4.76%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 30, 2009, 07:39 PM   #1
Kleinzeit
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Buying a Ruger 22/45 - But which one?

Hi folks. I'm new to handguns (took NRA Basic Pistol course last weekend) and I'm looking for my first purchase. After reading a lot of opinions, my thoughts are going this way:

1) Narrow my choices down to a .22 because:
a) I can get a decent practice gun cheaper;
b) cheaper ammo means more time at the range;
c) easier to develop marksmanship;

2) Narrow down to Ruger or Buck Mark because there are so many people who are so damn passionate about these .22s;

3) Narrow down to Ruger because I'm on a tight budget and they seem to go for about $100 less than the Brownings;

4) Narrow down to 22/45 style because I would like my practice to be readily transferable to a larger caliber gun later on;

5) Narrow down to the shorter barrel lengths for the same reason.

Now, if you have any objections to this train of thought, I'd like to hear what you think.

If not, my question concerns the 4" and 4 1/2" Rugers. The 4 1/2" has fixed sights; the 4" has adjustable sights, but a shorter sighting radius, and I'm wondering if it maybe also has a lower intrinsic accuracy for being so short. So, how do I choose between them?

So that's a long question and maybe I'm coming at this all arse backwards anyway. Maybe the feel of the gun is more important than all this. I dunno. Share your wisdom with me! Thanks.
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Old January 30, 2009, 07:53 PM   #2
Delaware_Dan
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Have you felt the gun in your hands? I didn't really like how it felt, but the MKIII felt perfect. Try before you buy if possible.
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Old January 30, 2009, 09:43 PM   #3
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MkIIs (in blued steel or stainless) cost a few bucks more, but are an actual steel gun that will hold it's value.

If you want the Glock of .22s, buy a 22/45. If you want the 1911 of .22s, buy a MkII (or a MkIII if you can't find a MkII, but be prepared to deal with magazine safety, loaded-chamber indicator and certain "fitting" issues...do a search)
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Old January 30, 2009, 10:34 PM   #4
sophijo
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22/45

Did you realize that the frame on the 22/45 is "plastic" and certainly robust. I, however, have an irrational preference for steel; MKII, III.
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Old January 30, 2009, 10:43 PM   #5
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i own a 22/45 and absolutely love it. i would like a mark iii, but the 22/45 is doing me well. oh, it was the right price too.
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Old January 30, 2009, 11:40 PM   #6
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If you haven't checked one out yet, I would recommend checking out the 22/45 Hunter. It has a heavy fluted barrel and fiber optic sights. Pretty cool looking. That is the one I am considering picking up in the near future.

They make a short barrled version and a long barrel version. Here are pics of both.


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Old January 30, 2009, 11:55 PM   #7
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The 22/45 has the same grip angle as a 1911, but that doesn't mean it feels anything like a 1911. I don't really think you're going to get used to shooting a regular Mk III then be shooting at the clouds when you pick up something with a different angle.

A lot of people like the 22/45, but you certainly want to pick one up first. I personally think it's an extremely uncomfortable gun to hold. The grip is a total box -- no contour to it at all. It is also very skinny. So it's like holding a skinny sharp-on-the-edges plastic box in your hand. It just feels like some bizarre uncomfortable toy in my hand.

The regular Mark III feels very good in the hand. It's a kinda similar grip angle to a Glock. You don't hear about people who shoot Glocks being unable to shoot other guns, do you?

Also, I'm confused about why you think a shorter barrel on the .22 would make your practice "more transferrable" to a larger caliber gun. The .22 LR is (obviously) a rifle round, and its performance is severely crippled the shorter the barrel gets.

To me, the Mark III with a 5" barrel is an extremely accurate, comfortable, and fun gun to shoot that I probably shoot more than any other gun. I'll go to the range and go through a couple boxes of 9mm or .45 ammo, then when I'm done with that I always grab my Mk III and run the target out to the far end of the lane and shoot bullseyes for at least 30 min. Do I think the experience with the Mk III carries over to other guns? Well, it does and it doesn't. I think a general comfort with firearms and how to handle them will apply to any gun. Do I think the shape of the gun matters? Not really. If anything, you should probably be shooting something with a similar trigger/action to what you want to shoot in a higher caliber if you really want the practice to carry over. Heck, those Ruger 22s don't even have a slide; how much are they really going to feel like another gun?

If you really think this whole "carrying over" thing is important, you should probably just get a .22 conversion kit for a larger caliber gun.
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Old January 31, 2009, 09:59 AM   #8
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Thank you all for your thoughts so far.

Delaware_Dan - I know you're right, and I need to make sure I'm comfortable with it in my hand. I'm just trying to narrow things down a bit before I spend a lot of time driving around to stores and gun shows and ranges hunting down items to try out. For instance, I would love to love the Sig Mosquito but I can't, and I don't think I'd waste time looking for one to try. It sounds like a high-maintenance gun that will take a lot of tweaking to work right, and if it's fussy on ammo (as people say) then it might not help me save money.

Thank you to those who've suggested I not exclude the MkII/III.

IdahoG36 - That Hunter does look sweet but it's a little pricey for me at the moment.

orionengnr - you wrote

Quote:
If you want the Glock of .22s, buy a 22/45. If you want the 1911 of .22s, buy a MkII (or a MkIII if you can't find a MkII
Did you mean that the other way around?
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Old January 31, 2009, 10:37 AM   #9
Kleinzeit
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22/45 with adjustable sight vs. MkIII with fixed

Here's a follow up question for ya.

I've noticed in the poll that opinions strongly favor the 4" 22/45 with adjustable sights over the 4.5" with fixed sights. But no one yet has actually expressed an opinion on this in the thread. Just how important are adjustable sights? And does that 0.5" actually make a noticeable difference to accuracy?

I have another reason for asking this now. A few of you have suggested I try the MkII/III. If I did buy a new MkIII, it would probably have to be the Standard (which is about the same price as the 22/45). But the Standard also has fixed sights! Are adjustable sights so important that I should be factoring this in?
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Old January 31, 2009, 10:44 AM   #10
sholling
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A Ruger 22/45 or a Browning Buck Mark would be great choices. They are accurate and reliable and have a similar grip angle and controls with the majority of centerfire pistols. Great choices. I'd look for something with a bit of weight to the barrel like the short barrel version of the 22/45 hunter. And I'd probably go with the adjustable sights but they really aren't that important.

Adjustable vs fixed sights: I've never had to adjust a pistol's sights for windage (side to side) from where the factory set them - but... A 22 is somewhat ammo sensitive in that muzzle velocity of different ammo products is all over the place. That means that at 25yds the point of impact might be low or high depending on how fast the bullet is traveling. Adjustable sights might be a handy thing.
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Old January 31, 2009, 01:35 PM   #11
Kleinzeit
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Thanks for explaining that, sholling.

I'm guessing that if you were prepared to experiment and practice you could just learn to compensate for different ammo by sighting up differently? And maybe if you always tended to shoot certain ammo at a certain distance then you might want to be able to set up the sight so it was spot on for that? It sounds as though I shouldn't exclude fixed sight guns though.
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Old January 31, 2009, 06:37 PM   #12
sholling
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Quote:
I'm guessing that if you were prepared to experiment and practice you could just learn to compensate for different ammo by sighting up differently? And maybe if you always tended to shoot certain ammo at a certain distance then you might want to be able to set up the sight so it was spot on for that? It sounds as though I shouldn't exclude fixed sight guns though.
You're pretty much spot on. For a target pistol I like adjustable sights, for a plinker it doesn't really matter one way or the other. And for a self defense pistol I like fixed sights for ruggedness. Of course with a 22 we're only talking about target shooting and plinking, not SD.

For an informal target pistol I'd look at these...
http://www.browning.com/products/cat...51&type_id=408
http://www.browning.com/products/cat...51&type_id=448
http://www.browning.com/products/cat...51&type_id=407

Or any of these with adjustable sights...
http://www.ruger.com/Firearms/FAProd...es&type=Pistol
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Old January 31, 2009, 07:12 PM   #13
Kleinzeit
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Thanks, sholling. Those are just the ones I've been looking at! I do want to use the gun to develop some basic marksmanship, and given what you said about .22 ammo, it sounds like adjustable sights will probably keep me happier in the long run.
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Old January 31, 2009, 08:27 PM   #14
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22 pistol

The Rugers are great pistols but a real pain to clean and they must be cleaned regularly or they will jam. I prefer a used high Standard type you can shoot them much more before they need cleaning and they are much easier to clean. mine still work great and is very accurate it's over 20 years old with many rounds thru it. Dan
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Old February 1, 2009, 09:32 AM   #15
Japle
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I like the 5 1/2" bull barrel, but the 4" should be fine for your use. Make sure you get the adjustable sights.
Adding a Volquartsen trigger is a good idea. Their comp is pretty cool, too and will fit a 4" bull barrel.

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Old February 1, 2009, 09:57 AM   #16
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I have a Mark II 22/45 and it is a great handgun.

Yes, it does have a "plastic grip" but so does my XD45

The magazine release button is on the side of the grip and not the bottom like the "all steel" Mark II.

I don't know much about the "upgrades" on the Mark III but I'm sure either will do you a fine job.

I have fired a Buckmark and it was a fine pistol also, don't count it out.

I've had my eye out for a used but not abused Mark II "steel" framed for awhile now.

Happy shopping and shooting.
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Old February 1, 2009, 12:15 PM   #17
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Have owned a mk2 for over twenty years and still love it.Brother in law wanted a .22 so i told him first choice a Ruger.He bought the 22-45 over my objections,and after shooting his and mine several times he came to the conclusion that he likes the mk2 frame better.So if given the chance shoot or at least hold both of them.Cant go wrong with the 5 1/2 heavy barrel.
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Old February 1, 2009, 12:18 PM   #18
hogdogs
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I chose the .22/45 with 5.5 inch length for a bit more accuracy as well as the adjustable target sights. I opted for bull barrel as it most simulates the weight and balance of a full size bigger bore auto loader. one plan for the gun is training my daughter in holding and aiming a hand gun and wanted the heft as a light weight gun doesn't help you learn what a "real pistol" is going to hold like.
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Old February 1, 2009, 03:56 PM   #19
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I have the bull barrell, 5.5" blued, adjustable sights, and love it. Always been just as reliable and accurate as the buckmarks in my family, but I paid half as much. Of course, I did modify mine to accept fullsize 1911 grip panels, makes a world of difference in the grip feel.
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Old February 2, 2009, 03:11 PM   #20
Kleinzeit
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Longer barrels (e.g. 5.5")

A number of you have suggested I consider the longer barrels. The impression I'm getting is that, though the shorter barrels better approximate (a) the look and (b) the sighting radius of a regular (larger caliber) handgun, a 5.5" barrel (esp. bull barrel) is actually going to feel more like a regular gun.

Well, I'm glad I asked. I'm definitely putting them back on my list.
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Old February 2, 2009, 03:19 PM   #21
Kleinzeit
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Jammin'

hunter11 wrote:
Quote:
The Rugers are great pistols but a real pain to clean and they must be cleaned regularly or they will jam.
I haven't heard this before. Do others feel the same way?
I know there are some differences of opinion out there about which is easier to take down (Buck Mark with its screws vs. Ruger with its mysteries) but I guess what I'm asking here is just about how regularly you need to do it. Are Rugers really that much worse?
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Old February 2, 2009, 03:35 PM   #22
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Most .22 semis are very sensitive about getting dirty so keeping them clean is a good thing. The Rugers and Buckmarks are more difficult to break down and reassemble than most centerfire semis but they're not bad once you get the procedures down. I have a MkII 22/45 with VQ internals that is a real fun gun to shoot. It has the 4" barrel and adjustable sights...
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Old February 2, 2009, 03:39 PM   #23
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Now remember, I'm just giving MY opinion here, others may (and probably will) disagree.

I have a 22/45 with a 4" Bull Barrel (known as the "evil plinker")

It has had thousands of .22LR through it and other than some initial "break in" issues it's been a great gun. However, even with work done on it the trigger is, at best, adequate. I have considered putting some Volquartsen parts into it but they'd run me almost 1/3 of what I paid for the silly thing in the first place and it's just a plinker for me so I haven't worried much about it.

Recently I picked up a nice Buck Mark with a 6.75in "challenge" barrel.

It's got a trigger that just about makes you want to cry for joy.

Things I've learned from comparing the two.

1) a 4 inch barrel is too short. I mean it works but down range I can tell that that the longer barrel gives the bullet noticeably more "oomph". I don't think I'd buy a .22 with a barrel shorter than 5 inches now.

2) The Browning trigger is WAY nicer and the design is such that blowback and crud don't fall into the trigger mechanism. Rugers allow blowback crud to gather on part of the trigger mechanism and will build up into a crunchy trigger.

3) The Ruger is far easier to completely disassemble (though re-assembly is a rather unique level of pain-in-the-butt). However the Buck Mark design is such that I think you'd go a long time (I'm talking years here) before you'd ever really need to detail strip it.

4) The Ruger is far more tolerant of dry firing (it has a retaining pin internally to help with this). Dry firing a Buck Mark can damage the breech and is not something you should do to the pistol.

The bottom line is that I won't be getting rid of the Ruger, but I already like the Buck Mark a whole lot better.
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Old February 2, 2009, 08:05 PM   #24
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Quote:
The Rugers are great pistols but a real pain to clean and they must be cleaned regularly or they will jam.
I've owned Ruger .22 pistols since the '60s. I learned the little tricks to get them apart and back together and don't think it's any harder than many autos and nowhere near as hard as most revolvers.

I usually shoot mine until they start to jam. After 2,000-3,000 rounds, crap builds up behind the chamber and the bolt won't go into battery. A quick fix is to scrape the stuff out with a toothpic or something similar and get back to shooting. Then clean the gun when you get home.
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Old February 2, 2009, 08:17 PM   #25
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I have a 22/45 Mk II and enjoy shooting it. Stripping it for cleaning is a difficult the first few times, but once you learn the tricks it isn't so bad. I use the 22/45 less now that I have a Kadet kit for my cZ75. That is an awesome setup.
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