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Old March 26, 2005, 02:04 AM   #1
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Most Accurate "Value" .22LR Target Handgun?

Lets say that you wanted to buy a new .22LR handgun (either pistol or revolver) for target work only with the restrictions being that:

At least relatively speaking, inexpensively priced (I think that's my word of the moment, along with "value" ).
Preference for shorter barrel length.
As accurate as possible.

What would you choose and why?

Last edited by Jelly; March 26, 2005 at 03:09 AM.
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Old March 26, 2005, 03:30 AM   #2
chris in va
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Here's my limited experience. First handgun I bought was the Ruger MkIII 22/45 4" barrel. It was a good piece to learn on, especially since it jammed so much. Accuracy with the iron sights was frustrating to work with.

Enter the Mk II 22/45 in 5.5". Suddenly I was driving nails at 15 yards. I really feel barrel length plays a very important role in accuracy, both in stabilizing bullet flight and sight radius. For example, my short KelTec P11 isn't very accurate past 5 yards, but I can hit a paper plate reliably at 20 yards with my CZ 75BD without really concentrating much.

I lucked out and got my MKII for $199 on consignment.
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Old March 26, 2005, 06:40 AM   #3
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When talking "target accuracy", you have to pay a bit more. My Browning Buckmark is an okay plinker, and fun to shoot. But I like the old classics and lucked into a nice 6" Smith M17-3 - day&night difference! It puts the Buckmark to shame.
A little big with the 6" barrel and big Pacmeyer grips, but in 4" and standard grips, it would fill your bill for a good informal 'target twentytwo'.
You might check out Smith&Wesson's current M617 line.
"The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!"
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Old March 26, 2005, 06:54 AM   #4
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You need to define "target work" more.
(Also I know you're in the market for a 9mm and a .357 too so i got a little *carrried away* - hope you don't mind all the hot air )

A true "target .22" and "inexpensive" are mutually exclusive. Be ready to pony up between $750 and $1200 for an entry level - off the shelf - target gun.

- The Russian TOZ35M @ ~ just over $1000 MSRP is considered by many as the best value out there right now. It's reportedly every bit as accuracte as Hammerli's which sell for twice that amount.

- The Smith and Wesson model 41 is pretty much the defacto "target .22" standard by which most others are judged. A very good used one can be picked up for around $750. Last time I looked, new ones are going for around 900.

- High Standard - various models. The decent ones will start just shy of the Smith 41 in price, with better ones running slightly more than the TOZ35M.
A decent one would be a Hamden mfg. Citation. Used they go for ~ $400 to $700. Hands down, bar none,,, older High Standards simply have the finest trigger to ever come out of a factory. End of discussion.
Please note - I no longer recommend a High Standard. They are excellent psitols. I consider them to be one of the best guns ever made. The problem with them is pricing. They seem to have been discovered,,word's out on how good they are,,and the current prices reflect that. Prices have doubled/tripled and quadrupled on some of them in the last 3 years. As with anything else that happens too, the chance of getting burned on a bad one increases also. They are best left to the more savey buyer.

The above are true "target .22's"., not plinkers. The S&W is the only one that will use any and all ammunition. The others will work best with only sub sonic match grade ammuniton. In the case of the older High Standards, any use of high velocity or hyper velocity ammunition can and usually will result in a cracked frame.

- Browning Buckmark 5.5 Target or Field. Around $500 or so new.
see Browning's website for details.

- Sig Trailside - Around $450 or so new. Large following of satisfied users. Personally I don't care for them,,,but that's just me.

- Smith and Wesson Model 617 revolver. New ~ 400 something. Mine was kind of a disappointment and a lemon. It was a very accurate and good
shooting disappointment and lemon though. Firing it single action, it was capable of keeping up with a Model 41 in the accuracy dept. 4" and 6" barreled models and 6 and 10 shot variants are available. Great gun if you like round frame, 10 shot, gritty double actions with a great single action trigger. Add another 100 to get rid of the gritty D/A. A big plus for a 4" 6 shot 617 is that it offers a low cost ammo alternative to a S&W K and/or L frame .357 Mag, like a model 66 or 686.

- Ruger Mark II - particularly the "slabside". Box stock they are ok. Add a Volquartsen Ruger Mark II and 22/45 Accurizing Kit ( )
for ~ $80 to the price and you have a very decent gun. Alas,,it's still a Ruger at heart though.

- Smith and Wesson Model 17/18. Older version of the S&W 617 and in blued steel. Priced ~ $400 and down used, depending on condition. A true target grade gun, made in a time when target grade guns were the norm, and a standard off the shelf item. A model 17 gives up very little to guns running 2 3 , 4 and even 5 times as much. A finish worn 17 or 18, with a $125 trigger job can win you all the free lunches (or beer) you want in those informal "betcha can't hit that over there" type "matches". They've gone the way of the wind these days in formal shooting matches for the most part. Sad. These guns set a lot of the marks today's shooters strive to achieve with the $1K and $2K wonder guns.

- Browning Buckmark Plus - A very nice variant of the Buckmark line. Deep lusterous blued finish, and very well done Rosewood (I believe) stocks. Mine doesn't really shoot any better than the Buckmark Camper ($205) I own,,,but damn,,it sure is purty!!

Speaking of the >$350's.

- Browning Buckmark Micro - My wife loves her's. I do too when she lets me get my hands on it. . It shoots just a tad better than the above Plus and Camper models. That may or may not be an individual gun type of thing. I'm not so sure myself. I've read numerous posts by other Micro owners that also own other Buckmarks. Way to many of them say their Micro shoots a little better than the other Buckmarks they own to dismiss it as an individual gun quirk.

- Ruger .22/45. My personal feeling is that the poly frame on the .22/45 makes it a superior design to it's steel framed Mark II counterparts. By design, the .22/45 and the Mark II both have the same trigger bar in them. The bar on the .22/45 rubs against plastic, and on the Mark it rubs steel on steel. It doesn't take too many trigger pulls to wear a silky smooth "groove" into the plastic. The end result is a real smooth trigger pull that the Mark can't compete with. Smooth beats light any day of the week. A smooth 6 or 7 pound trigger is worlds better than any rough 3 or 4 pounder. $200 to $300, depending on what you want to add to it. The .22/45 will accept the same Accurizing Kit as the Mark II mentioned above. With an Accurizing Kitted .22/45 you'll probably only have to pick up the lunch or beer tab if you run across an old fart with a S&W model 17
*Note about the accuracy potential of a .22/45.
A couple/3 years ago I began the outside season by cradling a penny betwen 3 staples like this \_/ out @ 50 yards (yes -yards not feet). My goal was to hit the penny, firing offhand (no rest/open sights). As the weeks went by, I changed the goal to not just hitting the penny, but to hit it without reloading the magazine. (hit it within 10 shots). By summer's end, I changed it even more, to where I lined up 4 pennys @ 50 yards, and was able to hit all 4 with no more than 10 shots. The gun itself was always up to the task of doing it,,,,even if I wasn't on some days.

Last edited by Hal; March 26, 2005 at 07:47 AM.
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Old March 26, 2005, 07:44 AM   #5
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Best of both worlds. Kinda.

- Ceiner (and Kimber)- Around $300 give or take, depending on the gun you put it on, and the sights on the conversion. The most comon is the 1911 .45acp to .22 conversion. It comes with either adjustabe sights or fixed sights. Mine is the fixed sight version, and it sits atop a Kimber Target model.
Accuracy is good under 25 yards. Nothing to brag about. Mine prefers the CCI Stingers to anything else. Since Stingers are moderatly priced rimfires, and I reload for the .45acp, there isn't a significant cost savings involved. Bottom line is I'm glad I bought the Ciener, but I would buy another one.
Be advised, Ciener customer service is reported to be the worst in the industry. If you have a 1911, and want a lower cost conversion, I'd recommend getting the Kimber. If I'm not mistaken, the Kimber is made by Ciener,,,,but you might bypass Ciener's customer serive.
Some swear by the Ceiner some swear at it. Mine's been 100% from day one. YMMV.
The biggest advantage of the Ciener is that they offer a conversion for Glock, Beretta, most 1911's and variants, and the Browning High Power.

- Marvel.
The targets posted there speak for themselves. One in particular - a 50 yard group of .235 in
(to put that inperspective - that's half the size of the pennies I mentioned above ) They claim 1.8" @ 50 yards with 100 shots. I tend to belive them.
Pricy though about $400 plus the cost of a 1911 that is enough gun to take advantage of that accuracy potential. Nothing against my Kimber (or Kimbers in general or Springfield for that matter), but a stock Kimber ain't gonna cut it as far as taking advantage of that outstanding potential. Figure on using a high end 1911 (Baer/Brown or custom or Colt gold Cup) to really wring out a Marvel.

- CZ Kadet. Whatt'a jewel!! All steel, very well machined, adjustable sights and priced under $300. It's downright impossible to find anything in the current semi auto market that will compete with a CZ75b, and an added Kadet .22cal upper convrsion kit. This really is the best of both worlds, especially for .40 S&W 75b users. Again though, the only real limitation of sorts is the 75b the Kadet is used on. My Kadet unit itself is "more accurate" than my CZ75b. That may be a bit confusing, so let me explain. My CZ75b is one of the Turkish military overruns (the Poly finish) that were on the market a couple of years ago for $350. It's a good (great?) gun, but it's a basic stock service auto. Small sights and fair trigger. It's the trigger part that I believe is the only barrier to making the Kadet/75b a superb close to target grade .22. One of these days, God willing and the river don't rise, I plan on getting a CZ Champion trigger group to add to my 75b. I believe it will turn it into a real contender for " I never believed you could hit that in a million years" title.
Great combination for a new shooter. 9mm or .40S&W punch for a defensive arm, and honest informal target grade .22 in an affordable package.

Kadet conversions sell for around $250. Add roughly $400 for the cost of a 75B.
The only other centerfire/rimfire combo that comes close to that price point would be a used Smith and Wesson model 19 .357 magnum and a used Smith and Wesson model 18 .22 ~ $650 for the pair.

Dark horse. A "Conversion of sorts"

Dan Wesson. The "other" Wesson. The older modles, not the new ones.
Dan Wesson prices are typicaly low. A 99% or better condition Dan .22 can be had for under $250. A .357 Dan doesn't run much more. $600 can buy a .22 and a .357, and often a set of barrels for one or the other.
The term is vastly overused,,,but it really applies,,, The strength of a Dan is legendary. In IMHSA Production Class , Dan's were the ones that held up. Smith and Ruger didn't. Dan's would eat loads that ate the other guns up. Today's Redhawk and a Freedom arms are in the same strength catagory.
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Old March 26, 2005, 10:08 AM   #6
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Buckmark, $250-300 new. Accurate, reliable, and fun to shoot.
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Old March 26, 2005, 10:35 AM   #7
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.22 Long Rifle Target

A Ruger MKll , just plinking, no competition. Cost about $200 and hits where I aim it. I can live with the trigger.

Can also kick where I sit down for trading off the old first Ruger semi-auto I bought at Gibson's for $39.95 brand new but that's a give away on my age and longivity.
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Old March 26, 2005, 12:36 PM   #8
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Thank you everyone for all the replies. Look forward to many more!

I would not be doing any formal competitions, just paper bullseye target shooting with the occasional "who's buying lunch" shoot-off...

At the moment, I'm looking at the Ruger Stainless 22/45 KP-512.

Adjustable Rear Sight
5.5" Barrel Length
9.5" Overall Length
$380.00 MSRP
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Old March 26, 2005, 02:42 PM   #9
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inexpensively priced
A nice used Ruger MK II can be found almost anywhere. Generally in the $200 --> $250 range.

That's a lot lot of shooting value, and a ton of fun...

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Old March 26, 2005, 03:50 PM   #10
chris in va
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Jelly, that's the same exact gun I have. Mine was made in 1995 and had only been shot a few times, so I really lucked out. Like I said it feeds anything I've put in it. The rear sight is fully adjustable and a real pleasure to use compared to fixed iron sights. Right now I have a red dot on the gun like Joe's but may take it off soon.

EDIT: If you look around you can find one much less than the MSRP, probably around $250 or so.
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Old March 26, 2005, 04:02 PM   #11
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Here is my Ruger MKII.

It is one of the finest pistols I have ever owned.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MKII.jpg (19.0 KB, 9806 views)
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Old March 26, 2005, 10:54 PM   #12
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from what I have been told the ruger 22/45 is a good pistol, but stay away from it because you cannot change the grips on it. Which can be very a important factor when target shooting. I shoot the ruger stainless slabside. I like it alot shoots very well. The volquartsen trigger kit is very nice, will give you about 2.5lbs trigger pull. The only downside to the slabside is the weight of the pistol. Is kinda nose heavy. But a good gun to look into. When bench rested I can put 5rds in a nickel.

Last edited by gevaudan; March 26, 2005 at 10:55 PM. Reason: rugers are nice
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Old March 29, 2005, 02:11 PM   #13
Raimundo Queiroz
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In my opinion there is a .22 worth considering - the Colt Match Target.I have one third series made in 1956.Its 6 inch barrel topped with a long eye relief Bushnell Phantom scope make it a nice and accurate firearm.
Raimundo , from Brazil.
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Old March 29, 2005, 07:43 PM   #14
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Ruger MKII will outshoot most people.
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Old March 29, 2005, 09:14 PM   #15
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from what I have been told the ruger 22/45 is a good pistol, but stay away from it because you cannot change the grips on it.
Check this out

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