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Old December 26, 2012, 12:21 PM   #1
thirdgen
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Smith & Wesson 22 A vs. Ruger Mark III

Anyone have experience with the Smith? Is it in the same league as the Ruger? I was gonna get the Ruger when I stumbled upon the Smith.
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Old December 26, 2012, 08:58 PM   #2
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Both are good. The 22a is slightly more forgiving on ammo and is much easier to disassemble. I like the appearance of the Ruger better and doesn't require the replacement of a plastic recoil buffer periodically. Both are more accurate than the holder.
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Old December 26, 2012, 09:52 PM   #3
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The Smith has a really nice trigger, it's easy to disassemble, and the bolt area is open on both sides so it's easy to tell whether the action is clear from a distance. It's designed such that the barrel can be easily replaced without gunsmithing, although few 22A shooters seem to attempt this, presumably because the barrels are supposedly quite expensive. Finally, it has a ready-mounted scope rail out of the box; only a few MkIII variants come with one pre-installed, and it was not included with a few models the last time I checked, although it's been a while.

The main disadvantages of the Smith are the large and bulbous grip, a few cheap touches, fair-to-middling fit and finish on the cheaper versions (at least the ones I've examined), and a peculiar mag release button that's notoriously unkind to shooters with long fingernails. The plastic recoil buffer requires replacement every few thousand rounds; replacements are quite cheap, but some people seem to dislike this on principle. Finally, it has relatively little aftermarket support compared to the Ruger.

FWIW I went to a show a while back with the intention of buying a 22A, but came home with a Ruger MkII. Although both work well for punching holes very close together on distant pieces of paper, I ultimately bought the Ruger because it has more of a "Real Gun" feel to it.
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Old December 26, 2012, 09:56 PM   #4
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I have the Ruger MK II and I love it, very accurate and no picky about which ammo I feed it. I have shot a friends 22A and its a nice gun, but I prefer the Ruger MK II. I do noit find it very hard all to take down and clean.
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Old December 26, 2012, 10:09 PM   #5
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I looked at the Ruger and went with the S&W. The main factors for me were the $$ and the grip. I liked the feel of the grip better than the Ruger. I have really enjoyed it.
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Old December 27, 2012, 02:55 AM   #6
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For a while I had a Ruger MKII target and a S&W 22A. I found that I shot the 22A at least twice as much as the Ruger so I traded the MKII for a MKIII 22/45. Still shoot the 22A more but the Ruger is set up for speed with a trimmed barrel and porting so they both fill a different niche. Actually the 22A fills 2 niches since I have a 5inch barrel with a red dot for plinking and a 7 inch with a 4X scope for squirrel hunting. I don't plan on getting rid of either.

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Old December 27, 2012, 06:00 AM   #7
Hal
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The Ruger is rugged and tough and the S&W is a POS.
One extremely accurate POS - but - a POS.
(I have two Mark II .22/45's and a Mark II "slabside" also.)


I have the 22/s, which is the stainless version of the 22/a.
My setup is similar to OkieCruffler's w/the red dot and scope on those barrels.
I also have a 5.5" Bull barrel w/open sights.

The S&W will outshoot anything in .22 in my safe from a rest - including the rifles.

On the plus side, the S&W has a lifetime warranty should any of the cheesy parts break.
The irony is that my "rugged Ruger Mark II "slabside" is the gun that's got three broken parts & the POS S&W only has a chewed up plastic buffer.....go figure....
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Old December 27, 2012, 09:18 AM   #8
Rjeezie
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Ive been looking at these 2 for a 22 pistol (as well as the Buck)... It also seems like the Ruger is pretty customizable... I'm leaning towards the Ruger
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Old December 27, 2012, 10:09 AM   #9
carguychris
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Quote:
Ive been looking at these 2 for a 22 pistol (as well as the Buck)... It also seems like the Ruger is pretty customizable...
Regarding customization, one important thing about the Ruger is that, unlike the 22A and the Buckmark, the barreled receiver unit is the serial-numbered part and is therefore legally considered to be the firearm. If you want to swap barrels, additional units require FFL transfers for interstate purchase and sale, they can't be mailed by non-FFLs, and they may be subject to in-state registration and transfer requirements where applicable.

The Buck and the 22A are designed in such a way that the barrel can be changed without affecting the serial-numbered frame, so there are no extra legal hoops to jump through. Barrels can be bought and sold without FFL transfers and they're mailable.

One thing I forgot to mention about the 22A is that the scope rail and sights are integral with the barrel unit; look closely at OkieCruffler's picture. The nice thing about this design is that the barrel can be swapped without having to sight it in afterwards.

OkieCruffler: Speaking of which, do you mind sharing the amount you paid for the second barrel?
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Old December 27, 2012, 10:14 AM   #10
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I paid $99.00 each for the two barrels I bought for my 22/s some ten years ago.
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Old December 27, 2012, 10:50 AM   #11
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Seems like I paid right around $150 for my 7 inch barrel. Which is pretty steep if you consider I paid $99 for the 22A.
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Old December 27, 2012, 11:05 AM   #12
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The Ruger will be more robust, and just as accurate.
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Old December 27, 2012, 12:05 PM   #13
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The Ruger is made of steel.
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Old December 27, 2012, 02:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
The 22a is slightly more forgiving on ammo
Not true, being that I've experience with both.

I'd say the Ruger edges over many manufactures including the S&W when it comes to action reliability/ feeding/ ejec. etc.
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Old December 27, 2012, 02:12 PM   #15
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Of those two, I'd have to vote for the Ruger Mk III or 22/45. Either one will be more than accurate enough to shoot NRA bullseye, and with care, last a lifetime. If you think you'd like to change grips or internal parts to improve the trigger, than I'd vote for the Mk series. Many more accessories out there than for the 22/45 so far.

The Smith 22A isn't a bad choice, but not quite the equal.
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Old December 27, 2012, 04:59 PM   #16
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Of those two, I'd have to vote for the Ruger Mk III or 22/45. Either one will be more than accurate enough to shoot NRA bullseye, and with care, last a lifetime. If you think you'd like to change grips or internal parts to improve the trigger, than I'd vote for the Mk series. Many more accessories out there than for the 22/45 so far.

The Smith 22A isn't a bad choice, but not quite the equal.
Not much I don't agree with cept one thing.......... There are just as many if not more accessories for the new 22/45's than the standard MKIII. It's what happens when you swipe the grip panels off of one of america's most beloved centerfire handguns.
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Old December 27, 2012, 05:02 PM   #17
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Find a Ruger MKII in good condition and it will last a lifetime, or get a Buckmark. The Smith is OK, but not in the league of the Ruger or Browning Buckmark.
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Old December 27, 2012, 07:26 PM   #18
wild cat mccane
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I have not experience with the S&W 22a.

I will say that many Ruger owners mention that they are more customizable. This is true. However, that adds to the total cost of the gun.
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Old December 27, 2012, 08:25 PM   #19
Buckeyeshooter
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mark iii

Mark iii hands down its a tank shoots everything you put in it and is accurate.
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Old December 27, 2012, 08:57 PM   #20
Hal
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Quote:
I'd say the Ruger edges over many manufactures including the S&W when it comes to action reliability/ feeding/ ejec. etc.
That's not been my experience w/the 4 Ruger Mark I and Mark II that I've owned.
All 4 suffered from the Ruger "after thought feed ramp"...the little piece of the reciever that Ruger stamps out and calls it a feed ramp.
My one .22/45 Mark II is worlds better about it than the other three - but - even it will hic up sometimes on less than 40 grain hollow points.

OTOH - my 22/s doesn't care what it gets fed.
None of my Buckmarks do either, nor does my CZ Kadet, my High Standard or my Ciener .22 conversion.

Having said that.....I like and shoot my one Ruger .22/45 Mark II more than all the other .22 pistols I own.
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Old December 27, 2012, 10:28 PM   #21
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Whats a good price for a used Mark III or a used 22/45?
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Old December 27, 2012, 11:52 PM   #22
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Lots of different varieties out there on both styles, but if you choose the shorter, bull barrel of either one, even NIB the 22/45 should run around $300-325, and the Mk III about $50 more at most. Most of the used ones I've seen recently at gunshows tend to be, IMO, overpriced.
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Old December 28, 2012, 09:22 AM   #23
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I had a Mk II with the pencil barrel but traded it since I wanted a threaded barrel and it was far cheaper to buy a Buckmark whisper that was already threaded. The threaded alloy uppers and/or integral suppressors for the Ruger are awesome but not cheap.

I'm loving the Browning but I've always got my eye skinned for a good deal on another Ruger. I wouldn't even consider a Smith.
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Old December 28, 2012, 09:36 AM   #24
carguychris
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The threaded alloy uppers and/or integral suppressors for the Ruger are awesome but not cheap.
As I pointed out above, one of the main reasons for the high cost is that the upper receiver and barrel unit is legally a firearm. Ruger did not design the Mk-series with easy barrel swaps in mind.

On the topic of threaded barrels... I believe that a factory threaded barrel unit for the 22A would be a great idea and would increase the market potential of the pistol. (S&W Management, Are You Listening?)
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Old December 28, 2012, 09:44 AM   #25
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I've had good luck with the Rugers for years. MK I, II, and III. They all just shoot. I don't believe you can wear one out.

I've been tempted to buy a 22/A a couple of times, just for grins and giggles, and because they used to be fairly inexpensive, but just never could get by the (to my eyes) funny look.
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