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Old December 10, 2012, 02:15 PM   #1
8bit
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Help steer me in the right direction (.22)

Looking for a bit of advice. Here's the deal. I only recently (this past year) got into shooting in any serious kind of way. My first purchase was a Model 10. I wanted something simple, yet effective (enough) for home defense.

I'm loving the gun. The problem is this, .38 SPL ammo cost is keeping me from shooting as much as I'd like to. As a beginner, I need all the practice I can get. I'd also like to dip my toe in the water with semi-autos. So that's what has led me to decide my next gun should be a .22lr pistol.

Basically I'm looking for advice on what to buy. I'm not looking to go over $350 if at all possible. As of right now I have a few in mind:

Beretta NEOS- This seems to have it all, almost. Easy field stripping. Not too finicky with ammo. Good shooter. VERY low cost ($236 @ Bud's). Only problem is it's ugly as sin (and I'm even a sci-fi guy).

Sig 1911- Slightly more than I'd prefer to spend ($368 @ Bud's). But a good looking gun at a decent price. I've read good things about it.

Chiappa 1911- Love the price ($238 @ Bud's). But have read VERY mixed reviews. Some like 'em, some say they're junk.

Ruger Mark III- This seems like the best choice of the bunch, all things considered (price, function, reliability). The only thing that's scaring me off is the notorious difficulty of field stripping.

The Chiappa is in last place right now. I'd rather spend a little more for better quality. But the price is keeping it in the discussion for the time being. If the NEOS was a little prettier (or, um, pretty at all) it'd be the hands down decision. But really I'm just looking for something to practice with to become a better shot, so maybe I shouldn't be too worried about looks.

Or should I just get the Ruger and take a few days to practice/learn the takedown? Are there any other .22's in my price range that I should also be considering?

Thanks in advance guys!
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Old December 10, 2012, 02:32 PM   #2
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My experiences will be from hands-on experience except for the ones I've noted!

Beretta NEOS, I know nothing about, except that it's a tough one to swallow in the looks department. HURL!

Sig 1911 is actually a GSG 1911-22 that is branded by Sig with Sig grips and more finish options. It cost a bit more than the GSG, but other than looks, it's NO different. My GSG has been a phenomenal buy and I'm over 4,000 rounds since I bought it in early April, 2012. I currently own 8 rimfire handguns and this one has been with me on 95% of my range outings this summer. I could say more good about it, but I'd ask you to search this specific pistol or search my posts on it.

Chiappa -- I've inspected and toyed with most of their offerings except the new Beretta 92 rimfire copy. I've had the chance to shoot the Rhino. It's my opinion that this company makes nothing that is worth my money. My gun dealer grabbed the 1911 rimfire you are considering and watched parts break off of it while shooting. He fixed it with JB Weld. We laugh & laugh at these products. I wouldn't recommend one to anyone.

Ruger Mark III -- some folks have had good experiences, but I will bet my entire life's accomplishments on the following advice: spend as much or even MORE money for a clean, lightly used Mark II. It's so, so, SO much better a pistol. Again, I can get in to all the details but I've done them before, please search my posts. (I don't have the time today to do it) The brand new Mark III that my shooting buddy bought simply does -NOT- run properly and hasn't since day one and he's done nearly 2,000 through it in attempts with all kinds of ammo. My circa '94 KMK-512 however might literally be the single best firearm that I own if we can all agree about what makes something "the best." It's reliability, build quality, accuracy, trigger, function, this pistol continues to amaze me and the round count must be approaching 10k.

The procedure for taking it apart and putting it back together is almost like a "rite of passage" and it frustrates many people, but it's just not that hard if you can follow directions or have someone show you how it's done. I had my share of trouble 15+ years ago until I read, then re-read the manual, and then did it a few times.

In your shoes, I'd buy a used Ruger Mark II or a GSG 1911-22 pistol.
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Old December 10, 2012, 02:49 PM   #3
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the ruger is a great choice. kind of a pain when it comes time to take it apart and put back together for cleaning, but great other than that. i also very much like the browning buckmark.
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Old December 10, 2012, 02:55 PM   #4
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Also consider the Browning Buckmark. They are as accurate, and dependable as the Ruger MK.
Also if you want something resembling a carry gun more than a target pistol the Ruger SR22 is a good choice. I have the similar Walther P22, but the Ruger is an improvement on the design with a slide made of aluminum rather than ZAMAK.
As far as the NEOS goes, my son has one, and really likes it. Accurate, and reliable. I just can't get past the fact that to me it looks like it should squirt water from the muzzle when the trigger is pulled. Just like the Buck Rogers squirt gun I had when I was a kid!
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Old December 10, 2012, 03:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies so far.

Sevens: Yeah, I think I'm going to go ahead and rule out the Chiappa. Thanks for the info on the GSG/Sig 1911. Looks like the GSG can be had brand new for about $330. That might fit the bill perfectly.

Also, I've read some others say the same thing as you in regards to the superior quality of the Mark II to the III. I'll definitely keep an eye out for a decent deal on a used II.

dan & Cheapshooter: I have looked into the Buckmark. I had originally ruled it out because it seemed they typically go for a bit more than I'm looking to spend. But it appears there are some deals to be had on GunBroker. I'll keep an out for those too.

Not really worried about carry-ability with this gun. Just want a decent range gun that will be cheap to practice with. I plan to get my carry permit at some point in the near future and will definitely want something stronger than a .22 for that. So that means yet another gun purchase will be necessary (Welcome to the hobby, huh? ) That's one of the main reasons I'm trying to keep the cost down on this particular purchase. As I'll likely be dropping at least another $400 for a carry gun.

Last edited by 8bit; December 10, 2012 at 03:58 PM.
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Old December 10, 2012, 05:05 PM   #6
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I strongly recommend this:
http://www.ruger.com/products/2245Lite/models.html

The Ruger 22/45 is a terrific gun and the "Lite" model is even better.

Don't worry about taking it apart. The first time is a pain, but they're always tight when they're new. Just follow the directions. I've had Ruger .22 pistols for well over 40 years and they always make me happy.

My current one is a MkII that I've tricked out.

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Old December 10, 2012, 05:16 PM   #7
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Three very good .22LR choices:
1. Ruger MKII or MKIII
2. Ruger 22/45
3. Browning buckmark.

5.5" barrel with adjustable sight would be good; it balances better than the 7 inch barrel and allows plenty of sight radius for accuracy.

4.5 Ruger 22/45 - I do not have, just shot a few times, I like it. If I do not already have multiple browning buckmarks and ruger MKIIs, I would get a 22/45 with the wood grip.
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Old December 10, 2012, 05:18 PM   #8
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Your first gun was a model 10 ..... none of those listed is a good understudy for your DA revolver. You need a DA revolver in .22 for that. S&W k-22?

Quote:
The problem is this, .38 SPL ammo cost is keeping me from shooting as much as I'd like to.
You could reload .38's ..... it's not as hard as learning to field strip the Ruger Mk III (which is NOT hard- even I can strip that thing down to the firing pin and put it back together in under 2 minutes.... all it takes is practice.)......

A hand press kit and a priming tool would set you back like $50 ..... order components in bulk and you can get the cost down to 10 or 12 cents a pop. It does not get any simpler than a low pressure, straight walled pistol case like the .38 special.


Only problem is, if you are like me, reloading will not allow you to shoot as much as you would like to, either: I still shoot everything I can afford to put together!
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Old December 10, 2012, 06:07 PM   #9
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Reloading .38 is a good idea. It's not difficult, just attention required.

If you do get a .22LR Semi-Auto pistol get one that is a clone of the big caliber pistol you're going to end up with. In other words, shop for the big caliber semi-auto then get the 22LR equivalent... THEN get the big boy.

FYI, you get a leg-up reloading the .38 with a revolver... you don't have to crawl around picking up your brass. Always a good thing.
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Old December 10, 2012, 06:48 PM   #10
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Really good input again guys.

Reloading is definitely something I'm interested in. Just not right away. I guess I'm just thinking I need to worry about actually becoming a better shot before I worry about reloading. Plus there's the time involved as you mention jimbob. I have a family and own a business, so free time isn't something I have a ton of very often. 22lr is so cheap, I'd rather just practice with it for the time being.

I won't completely rule out another revolver. I realize the guns mentioned aren't necessarily the best understudies to my Model 10. But I'm really just looking to become a better shooter in general, than I necessarily am strictly with my Model 10... if that makes any sense. Plus I want to move into the semi-auto world soon anyway. The Model 10 was bought because it was the right choice at the time when taking cost, reliability, simplicity, and HD effectiveness all into account.

Don't get me wrong, I still will practice with it and love revolvers in general. I'm just looking to get into semi-autos as well. I took a quick peek at Gunbroker and it seems the K22 is out of my price range anyway. But like I said, I won't rule out a revolver. If I see a good deal on a decent one I'd surely take a long hard look at it.

I definitely appreciate all the feedback though as you guys are vastly more knowledgeable than I and I'm learning a lot.

One more quick thing, anyone have any experience with the Bersa Thunder 22? It's only $275 new and I've heard tons of good things about the 380 version. I know it has a much shorter barrel though and therefore might not be as suitable for target practice as the others being mentioned here.
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Old December 11, 2012, 07:48 AM   #11
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Hello 8. Will also suggest the MKII. Take down problems are overblown. Accuracy will be best.
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Old December 11, 2012, 08:11 AM   #12
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I agree with some of the others. If you can find a used Ruger MK II or MK II era Ruger 22/45, BUY IT. The takedown and reassembly is easy if you follow the manual. The MK III was a step backward, but can be made serviceable if you remove the mag disconnect, and loaded chamber indicator.
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Old December 11, 2012, 11:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Take down problems are overblown.
+1.

Once you get the hang of it, even the MkIII with the "Put your magazine in, take your magazine out Hokey pokey" is not that hard.......

It still would be a poor understudy for your Model 10, though. The light, short trigger on the Ruger would could not be any more different than the longer DA pull of the model 10.

Either find a K-22, or change your centerfire gun.... or handload.
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Old December 12, 2012, 12:17 AM   #14
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Just start with the Ruger and after a few outings with it to the range, you'll be hooked. Then you're just going to end up with the rest anyway.
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Old December 12, 2012, 01:15 AM   #15
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I go for the Ruger, that thing has proven it self over the years. I wouldn't even touch the $262 1911, at that price it just screams "cut corners" Probably break before you hit 1000 rounds.
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Old December 12, 2012, 01:50 AM   #16
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Youtube ninjas aside, do yall think the average shooter spends more time shooting, dis/reassembling, or cleaning a Ruger Mk pistol?

Honestly not trolling here, I was just never good at dis/re my Ruger Mk since I clean well after every shoot.
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Old December 12, 2012, 02:26 AM   #17
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I'll pitch my hat in the ring for a Buckmark. I couldn't begin to guess at the round count through mine in the last 20+ years. Two screw, simple take down. Seems to run with everything from bottom dollar bulk pack to Eley. It's a kick to take the thing squirrel hunting with subsonic rounds.
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Old December 12, 2012, 02:27 AM   #18
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So your going to spend up to 300 something bucks to shoot .22 and then on top of the up to amount your spending at least another hundred buying a case of .22 ammo right? If you have a local gun show I would go and see how much a case of .38 special is. I buy from a source out of Oregon and I can get 1000 rounds of 158grSWC for just under 300.00 dollars.
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Old December 12, 2012, 02:28 AM   #19
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You mentioned the Bersa Thunder .22, which is what I was going to mention as well. This because you mentioned that you were going to go for your CCW and I have read several times that a .22lr in the same size as a carry gun can be great practice.
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Old December 12, 2012, 08:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
I can get 1000 rounds of 158grSWC for just under 300.00 dollars.
Add shipping, and it's around 30 cents a pop.

Midway has a sale on ..38 cal 125gr Ranier Ballistics plated bullets 1K for $89 ..... primers are 3 cents/ ...... a penny worth of powder and your own once fired brass and you have ammo for less than 1/2 the price of an internet bulk bargain ....

..... cases will last near forever when loaded at 800 f/sec, provided you don't go crazy with the belling and crimping (and even if you did, you could anneal them).
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Old December 12, 2012, 08:26 AM   #21
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The Ruger is a really good gun, I've shot an older MKI or MkII, really liked it, grip angle was a little different but not bad.

The Walther .22 is not bad, my cousin has one. His seemed to be a little picky on ammo, not too bad. A little smaller feeling for me..

Another cousin has the newer Ruger, I have not been able to shoot it, but it looks and feels real good, also a little small feeling.

I went with the S&W 22A and love it. It feels real good in my hand and shoots great. The take down is not the easiest, but eh, it's not too bad. I think you can pick one up for like $200 used or ~ $250 new. For some cheap .22 fun you can't beat it. It's also not picky on ammo, I've only used the cheapest bulk stuff I can find. Oh yeah, it's also got an integrated rail on the slide for if you decide to scope it or something. That's pretty cool, you may not want to right now, but it's a cool option.

That's another point, if you have to use higher end ammo, like Stingers and Mini-Mags doesn't that kinda negate the purpose of buying a .22?
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Old December 12, 2012, 09:48 AM   #22
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I've taken the NEOS out of consideration. I just can't get past the silly look of the thing. Otherwise, it would probably be the one.

I'm also likely taking the GSG 1911 out of the mix. There just doesn't seem to be the same deals to be had on it that there are with the others.

Now I think its down to the Buckmark, the Mark II, and the Bersa. I realize the Bersa is a bit of a different animal than the other two. But I think it has its advantages as well. I had been eying the. 380 version or maybe a PPK as a first CCW. So the Bersa. 22 would be a pretty good understudy.

Also, I swung by a LGS yesterday and got my hands on a Mark III (not II) and a Bersa 380. The Bersa definitely felt more "right" in my hands. The Ruger wasn't bad by any means though, just preferred the feel of the Bersa. Haven't been able to find a Buckmark in person yet. But Academy's website says "select stores" have it available for $299. I'm going to call the store near me and see if they have it.

Again, handloading is not something I'm interested in doing at this point. I realize it makes a lot of sense from a monetary standpoint. But it would take time I simply don't have much of right now. Hopefully at some point in the next year I can start.

Dan31, yeah I never really looked at it like that. Not a bad idea at all but I guess I'm thinking more longterm (I.E. past the next case). I want something that's going to be a cheap shooter for years and years to come. Plus, once that case is gone it's gone. With another gun I will have something of value. Something I could keep and enjoy for a very long time or sell/trade-in on another gun later.

Thanks again for all the advice everyone.
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Old December 12, 2012, 09:56 AM   #23
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Might want to check out a nice ruger .22 revolver. I always liked .22 in a revolver
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:04 AM   #24
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Quote:
I want something that's going to be a cheap shooter for years and years to come.
Quote:
Also, I swung by a LGS yesterday and got my hands on a Mark III (not II) and a Bersa 380. The Bersa definitely felt more "right" in my hands.
In that case, go with 9mm over .380: if you shoot two boxes a month, you could buy another Bersa Thunder in 9mm with the savings in about 5 years, as .380 factory ammo runs 3-4 bucks more than 9mm.....
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Old December 12, 2012, 01:33 PM   #25
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The answer hasn't changed much in a couple decades - Ruger or Browning. Ruger probably had the lead till it came out with the MKIII. Now the Browning might be the best choice. The rimfire 1911's are wanna-be's and the Noes is an ugly little ray gun. As for the Bersa T22? I have one. Not a bad gun for what it is but it's not nearly as good as the Rugers and Brownings. Not even in the same league.
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