View Full Version : larger size 22lr semi-auto

September 11, 2011, 10:17 PM
Hello all - I had the opportunity to shoot a Walther P22 at the range today and had a really good time with it. I don't own a 22lr semiauto and think I may want to start looking for one. The only thing the lacking in the P22 was a little size for my hands. Does anyone have some advice for a larger frame 22 semiauto that would be good investment?


Aguila Blanca
September 11, 2011, 10:24 PM
The Colt/Umarex Tactical .22 1911-clone is a full-size copy of a 1911, if you want a bigger gun.

Investment? You must be joking. No .22 plinker handgun is an "investment."

September 11, 2011, 10:37 PM
If you REALLY want to shoot .22 in a semi-auto pistol, Ruger makes the 10/22 in a pistol frame...you can swap the stock to whatever you want. The Ruger Mk-I, II, III can all be decent plinkers and if you get excited about competing with a .22, there's a zillion mod barrels out for them now for competitive shooting.

My personal preference; put a .22 conversion on my 1911 (more for low cost plinking over any other reason). At the end of the day, swap back to my .45.

September 11, 2011, 11:14 PM
Welcome to the forum.

If you want a full slide type pistol, the new Colt built by Umarex in Germany looks to be a good choice. Also the Chiappa 1911-22, although it has received mixed reviews.
If you don't necessarily want to keep with a full slide model, the Ruger MK series, the Browning Buckmark, and the Beretta Neos are all good choices.
If you've got the " big bucks" there is always the $1100 S&W Mod 41!:D

September 11, 2011, 11:28 PM
Ruger MKII/III is a good selection; I really want to get my hands on the MK III Target model.

September 11, 2011, 11:33 PM
Take a look at Gunbroker.com and check out the Beretta models 87, and 76.

The 76 was their first serious target model, the 87 comes in both a Traget and Cheetah version. The Cheetah version would make a nice practice compliment to the other Cheetahs that are chambered in .380 and come in single stack and hi-cap models.

The model 87s are on the pricy side usually at $700+ although if you watch better deals do come along. There is one right now that has me looking, comes with a scope and some extras.

The 76s are more in the $300 - $400 dollar range and are much harder to find in good condition.

The Rugars are solid, the Berettas are just less common although they are terrific guns.

September 11, 2011, 11:34 PM
Ruger 22/45, Ruger Mk II or Mk III, Browning Buckmark or a 1911 with a .22LR conversion kit.

September 11, 2011, 11:46 PM
If you already shoot a centerfire semi-auto, you might want to consider a 22 conversion kit if one is available for your pistol. It's a win-win situation.

The S&W Model 41 is a relatively expensive high quality target 22lr pistol that offers beautiful full-sized grips. This one 'can be' an investment.

As other have said, Ruger MK models & Browning Buckmark can probably fill your hands as well.
Some shooters prefer the 'older' Rugers over the newer ones.

The newer High Standard 22lr pistols have mixed reviews, but the older models are really nice pistols.

chris in va
September 11, 2011, 11:48 PM
Huh. Everyone mentions the Rugers and whatnot but the CZ Kadet is the most 'normal' handgun in 22. No plastic, aluminum frame, weird grip angle or otherwise unrealistic weight difference.

September 12, 2011, 07:38 AM
But like chris in va stated,,,
The CZ-75B Kadet is a great pistol.


I own this gun,,,
It's my favorite .22 pistol of all.

There are also the "Classic .22" pistols from Sig Sauer,,,
A bit less expensive than the CZ-75B Kadet,,,
But a very fine pistol none-the-less.


The true beauty of these pistols is that,,,
They can be converted up to a centerfire cartridge.


September 12, 2011, 08:04 AM
browning buckmark is my favorite, but the ruger mk3 is nice too.

September 12, 2011, 11:22 AM
Ruger MKII/III is a good selection; I really want to get my hands on the MK III Target model.

I have a Mark III Target (5.5" bull barrel in stainless steel) and it is far and away the best .22 pistol I've owned or handled (including Ruger Mark Is and IIs, Browning Buckmarks, and Berretta Neos, among others).

September 12, 2011, 11:37 AM
So you want to buy a quality .22 pistol?

These are the 5 most common target style .22 pistols out there,,,
Any one of these 5 will give you many years of excellent performance.

I've not listed them in any order of preference.

Browning Buckmark (http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/family.asp?webflag_=006B&catalog_=B&content=Buck-Mark-Pistols) = Great pistol but I found the grip to be funky.
Ruger 22/45 (http://www.ruger.com/products/2245/index.html) Mk II or MK III = Great pistol with a 1911-ish grip.
Beretta U22 NEOS (http://www.berettausa.com/products/u22-neos/) = Great pistol with a very slender grip.
Ruger Mk II or MK III (http://www.ruger.com/products/markIII/index.html) = Great pistol with a luger-ish grip.
S&W 22A (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_765494_-1_757765_757752_757751_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y) = Great pistol with a very fat grip.

Any of these will serve you very well,,,
They are all reliable firearms that aren't ammo picky,,,
Rather than sweat over which one is better, get the one that fits your hand.

For those who want a non-target style DA/SA .22 pistol,,,
That is a reliable shooter but at an affordable cost,,,
There are two that consistently get great reviews:

Bersa Thunder 22 or the Firestorm 22 (http://www.bersa.com/skin/frontend/blank/theme063/images/media/BersaCatalog.pdf),,,
Virtually identical pistols made by the same company,,,
These pistols are very similar in size and shape to a Walther PPK.

Two other pistols I will mention out of fairness to their brand names,,,
The Sig-Sauer Mosquito (http://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductList/pistols-mosquito.aspx) and the Walther P-22 (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=13152&storeId=10002&categoryId=43804&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=43326&top_category=43326&training=) are pistols that get very mixed reviews,,,
People who own them either absolutely love them or adamantly hate them.

The main concern of these guns is that the slides may (and sometimes do) crack under normal use,,,
Both have slides made of Zamak (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamak) which is a Zinc alloy,,,
Commonly called "pot metal" or other bad names,,,
I can not verify or deny these assertions.

Then there are the high-end (high dollar) models.

CZ-75B Kadet (http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/cz-75-kadet/) - With the exception of the Kadet having adjustable rear sights,,,
It is virtually identical to the CZ-75B in 9mm.

Sig-Sauer Classic .22 (http://www.sigsauer.com/Products/ShowCatalogProductDetails.aspx?categoryid=6&productid=262) - There are 3 models to choose from,,,
They start as a full frame .22 semi-auto that is convertible to their centerfire counterpart using what Sig calls the X-Change Kit,,,
They are the only production pistols that are designed to convert up to a centerfire pistol.

Beretta 87 (http://www.berettausa.com/products/87-cheetah22lrblued/wood-8rd/) - The .22 counterpart to the Beretta 84/85 in .380 ACP.

Last but not least are the .22 Mouse Guns.

Phoenix HP-22 (”http://www.phoenix-arms.com/Products/HP22A.html)
A small inexpensive .22 pistol that people either love or hate,,,
The main gripe is too many California lawyer features,,,
The little pistol has too many safeties.

The Taurus PLY (http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=695&category=Pistol&toggle=&breadcrumbseries=).
A very small semi-suto pistol with a polymer frame,,,
It is based on their Model 22B (http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=80&category=Pistol&toggle=tp&breadcrumbseries=SF1) Beretta copy,,,
Very lightweight and easy to shoot,,,
It has a very nice grip.

I own, shoot regularly, and give a personal recommendation to these .22 pistols,,,
These six are all reliable shooters that aren't ammo picky (for me) at all.
Bersa Thunder 22,
Beretta Model 87,
CZ-75B Kadet,
Beretta NEOS,
Ruger 22/45,
Taurus PLY.

I also own a Phoenix HP-22,,,
It quit working after 150 rounds,,,
Two trips back to the plant in California.
As far as a functioning pistol goes, Mine is a very cute paper-weight.

I hope this helps,,,



September 12, 2011, 12:36 PM
Wife owns a Sig Mosquito. Don't love or hate it but she loves it. It is too small for me and I can't hit the broad side of a barn with it but I have fun shooting it. That is my own fault and not the Sigs.
I have been looking for a good .22 handgun for myself and was looking at the Neos. I am personally looking for one that could possibly take a carbine conversion which is why the Neos seemed like a good buy. Not completely essential to me but seems like a great option.
Aarond's quick rundown is excellent and gives me something more to think about now. Thanks Aarond.

September 12, 2011, 12:44 PM
The CZ Kadet is a fantastic .22. I have one, well, I have a 9MM 75B with a Kadet Kit installed, so basically the same gun.

You can't go wrong with a Ruger MKII either.

September 12, 2011, 04:23 PM
Everyone's comments and suggestions are great. I do appreciate and now have many other models to take a look at.

THX> Eric

September 12, 2011, 06:41 PM
Here ya go... Buckmark Hunter with a Burris FastFire dot scope.
Comes in different barrel lengths and grips.
Accurate as all hell and very, very quick follow-up shots.
I'll never sell this gun. If the world ends, it will feed and defend the family for years.
I should get a OWB holster for it. :)


PS... I sold my fantastic little P22 (standard/short) to fund the Buckmark, as much fun as the P22 was I havent looked back for a second.

January 6, 2012, 02:51 PM
Investment? You must be joking. No .22 plinker handgun is an "investment."

I bought my S&W Mod 41 BN in 1981 for $389.....Good investment ? I also bought a Colt Match Target Woodsman in VGC in 1983 for $225

January 6, 2012, 02:55 PM
All of the above mentioned models are good choices.
So, there's no need to choose, get at least a couple of them.
Serious shooters have .22 collections, sooner or later, anyway.

January 6, 2012, 03:00 PM
I have the Sig 1911-22 (same as the GSG).
Full size 1911 in .22lr and best of all, 80% of the parts on the Sig/GSG can be replaced with standard 1911 parts.


January 6, 2012, 03:03 PM
I bought my S&W Mod 41 BN in 1981 for $389.....Good investment ? I also bought a Colt Match Target Woodsman in VGC in 1983 for $225

That isn't even keeping up with inflation.

January 6, 2012, 06:19 PM
So? New one is $1200 or more. I paid $175 for mine in 1973. So, for 1/8 the cost I have a $1200 gun, math works for me!

I haven't posted this in a while,,,

and you left out the benchmark that all those are measured against, the S&W Model 41.

Right size, tack driver (older ones are better, newer ones have the setup to munt the optics). Great site, best trigger of anything other than a Hamerli. A true target 22 vs the rest (and not a bad field carry gun which I did for years)

January 6, 2012, 09:29 PM
+1 for the Ruger MK series or the S&W 22A, I enjoy both.

January 6, 2012, 11:05 PM
I love my P22, but it will never replace my Ruger MKIIs. That would be my first choice.

January 6, 2012, 11:18 PM
Investment? You must be joking. No .22 plinker handgun is an "investment."

Let's give the guy the benefit of the doubt: Perhaps by "good investment" he is referring to something of decent quality that isn't going to fall apart, such as the pot metal Walthers.

At any rate, my Ruger Standard is getting close to 45 years old and has had untold thousands of rounds put through it. I would consider that a "good investment" in a plinker.

January 6, 2012, 11:47 PM
I've had a P22 for several years and really enjoy shooting the little gun. Have put several thousand rounds through it with no malfunctions.

Just picked up a Sig 1911-22 last month. Wanted a 22 semi auto that was a bit larger. The gun feels just like my .45 1911's in all respects except recoil. I am amazed how nice a gun it is for the very modest price. Don't consider it an investment, but do consider it fun to shoot. Worth taking a look at.

January 7, 2012, 12:30 AM
At any rate, my Ruger Standard is getting close to 45 years old and has had untold thousands of rounds put through it. I would consider that a "good investment" in a plinker.

Yep, more than one kind of investment and what the return is!

January 7, 2012, 12:40 AM
Ruger MK II 512 bull barrel - goos (grips aftermarket - good)


Better is the Ruger Government Target Model - barrel (6 7/8")


If you can find one - good luck

January 7, 2012, 06:51 AM
If the world ends, it will feed and defend the family for years.


January 7, 2012, 06:52 AM
Another vote for the CZ Kadet!

January 7, 2012, 06:59 AM
I have the .22 conversions for both my SIG P220 and my P229... once they're broken in a bit and if they're kept well-lubed they work pretty well, though a bit ammo-picky

January 7, 2012, 08:39 AM
Smith and Wesson M&P 22 is pretty nice. A friend that has a gun range had 2 of them. He said they shot extremely well. Look good too.

January 7, 2012, 08:45 AM
OJ stole my thunder, if you are looking for a .22 with a larger grip you can't beat a Ruger Competition Target
6 7/8" slab side barrel. It comes with the larger wooden grips from Ruger, they are full in size and comfortable. If you prefer a 5.5" bull barrell get the Target model (top pic in OJ's post), the factory grips are thinner Ruger black molded grips but can be easily replaced with wooden target grips similar to Comp Target grips; around $30 for aftermarket. Ruger offers both of these models in their current MKIII series as well as several other NICE pistols that would fit your need - the Hunter model is also very purdy. I prefer the MKII series and for me SS is the only way to go on the Target models. A couple of other considerations when thinking about these 2 models of Ruger are weight and cost; The Target models are going to be more pricey because of the "bells and whistles", plus they weigh 47 oz. For some this may be prohibitive, others don't mind it. If your looking for something light to shoot - both economically and weight wise - :) check out a Ruger Standard. It comes from the factory with black molded grips but those could also be changed to after market target grips and you then have the best of all worlds. Also, it weighs only 35 oz. And don't be afraid to buy a well cared for MKI or MKII, they run forever. This especially holds true if you are looking at it as you said "an investment." It's all about the buy in, getting what you want at the absolute best price possible, so if and when the day comes you want to sell it you can get most or all of your money back. Free fun!! There are so many pistols being made today, therefore, few are going to go up in value, including .22's. So to a degree, it's almost like buying a car, if you buy a new one it is likely to go down in value.

I currently am looking at a Browning Buck Mark, just yesterday I handled all 3 grip options they offer and in the order of size, largest to smallest, they are: (1) URX Standard -Black rubber grip with scalloped finger indents.
(2)Camper- has no finger indents, just a straight forward grip style. This grip is the most common on older Buck Mark models as well. (3) UDX Plus -has finger indents in the front strap of the frame itself with wooden grip panels that match the front strap finger indents. This particular model is very small but for me it fit my hand the best as far as Buck Marks go. I can say none of the Buck Mark grips are as full as the grips on OJ's Rugers.

Both Rugers and Brownings, along with many others, are very good shooters and will give you years of enjoyment. As of me, I like Rugers as you can tell, built like a tank yet very pleasing to the eye. But your question was about grip size and investment, so I hope this info helps. If you have a local gun store that carries ALOT of different pistols go down and hold a few, I'm sure you will find one that feels just right and then it's just a matter of finding one in the price range you want to spend. Good Luck!

January 7, 2012, 09:46 AM
The Ruger MKII series is a great way to go. I've had MKI's before and while very nice guns the MKII's were an improvment. I've tried the MKIII route a couple of times and just couldnt warm up to them. This gun goes to the range once a week along with 10 preloaded magazines and is the first gun out of the bag to get fired. I cant think of a better first semi-auto of any caliber than this gun. I find my Taurus PLY-22 a way to much fun gun and love mine but would only suggest it as a second gun. This week I will be getting the new SR22 Pistol which looks to be a good gun according to Jeff Quin whose opinions I've learned to respect.


Mayor Al
July 9, 2012, 11:22 AM
I recently bought a Smith & Wesson Model 22A First time out of the box it hit our spinner target 18 out of 20 times at 35 yards shooting a 2 handed grip while standing. I credit the gun with much of that superior percentage. The gun just "Feels" right in my hands.

July 9, 2012, 12:34 PM
Sig/GSG 1911-22 is very nice and very affordable. Shoots well and easy to strip for cleaning..

July 9, 2012, 01:02 PM
Get a CZ 75 and buy a Kadet upper, then you will have both a centerfire pistol and a 22lr plinker that is about as close to the real thing as you can get.