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Old November 18, 2008, 07:44 PM   #1
Join Date: December 2, 2007
Location: Sugar Land, Texas
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Review of S&W 22A-1

I don't post much on this forum but I wanted to share my experience with my newest toy. This weekend at the gun show I bought a Smith & Wesson 22A-1. It is a pretty practical gun: polymer frame, 5 1/2 inch bull barrel from the factory, fully adjustable rear sight, top scope rail. There is not much of a following with these but I found a good deal, $240 new, so I figured I would give it a shot. I tried it out at the range today and it completely surprised me. I was able to hit a 1" grouping at 10 yds, freehand, right out of the box. It is extremely well balanced and comfortable. I fired 150 rounds of bulk .22 ammo through it with not one single problem. It is the easiest gun I have ever taken apart and is a breeze to clean. I don't know why it isn't more popular but I figured I would help out anyone in the market for a new plinker.
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Old November 18, 2008, 10:31 PM   #2
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I did a quick search after seeing this and saw a lot of positive remarks. I have been looking into a 22 plinker I will be loolikng at the 22A-1 now too thanks for your post.
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Old November 18, 2008, 11:34 PM   #3
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Polymer frame?
Pretty sure the A in 22A stands for aluminum.
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Old November 18, 2008, 11:42 PM   #4
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The entire lower portion of the gun, bellow the barrel and bolt is made of some kind of polymer, the barrel and bolt are metal, and the grip is rubber
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Old November 19, 2008, 04:43 PM   #5
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Mine's been great. A real nice shooter and accurate as well.
I grew up in New Jersey, but later moved to Florida and made a complete recovery.
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Old November 19, 2008, 08:31 PM   #6
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I believe the frame of the 22A is aluminum. If you look closely at the model number etched in the frame you will see that the etching goes through the paint to the aluminum underneath.
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Old November 20, 2008, 12:01 AM   #7
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Nice-looking gun!

I always have liked the magazine release location on that gun. It is the best placement I've ever seen. Better than the thumb button on 1911s, better than the baseplate location on Mk. IIs, and better than the lower trigger guard location of Walther P99s.

The triggers are nice too.

I remember reading about this recently, and some folks had problems with them and had to send them back to S&W.
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Old November 20, 2008, 04:04 AM   #8
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I was under the impression the A in my 22A stood for alloy. Perhaps it is aluminum. I can assure you it's not polymer though. The coating on the frame is heavy though and I see how one can get the impression of polymer. The weight gives it away though. It's got heft to it. I love mine. Great little plinker for the price and it has a nice trigger. Not quite Buckmark good but very close. I didn't like the location of the mag release at first but it grew on me.

Edit: Took me about 2 minutes to find this on the net.

"This pistol is distinguished by two features: An integral rail along the top edge of the gun permits easy mounting of optical sights. The gun's alloy frame and alloy-shrouded barrel keep weight light for a full sized pistol."

Further searching led me to find out the alloy is indeed aluminum alloy.
The disarming of the citizenry has always been the mark of the totalitarian government. -Massad Ayoob

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Last edited by packa45; November 20, 2008 at 04:13 AM.
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Old January 2, 2009, 10:26 PM   #9
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Can't sight in my S&W 22a

I got an S&W 22a for Christmas. Cleaned and oiled it. Had it at the range once so far. Had about 8 rounds that didn't fire (even though I could see the firing pin hit the back of the casing). This was out of about 200 rounds fired. Remington "high velocity" value pack, "Golden Bullet Hollow Point plated 22LR.

The more significant problem was I could not get the adjustable sight to aim right. It shot high even when I adjusted the elevation as far down as the screw would go clockwise. It was still shooting high at 7 and 15 yards. A couple of inches high at 7 yards and 3 or 4 inches high at 15 yeards.

Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?
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Old January 2, 2009, 10:37 PM   #10
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dearstie - Good purchase I have had my smith 22A about 2 years now and is my favorite plinker right now. I put a red dot scope on mine and this seems to help me as I get older.
I would suggest next time you can pick up some of the buffer pads either at your local gun store,gun show or order where you get parts. I got some when I was ordering other items from S&W. $2 or $3 for 5 of them.
I change mine out from time to time when I notice it is wearing a little when breaking down to clean.
My daughter enjoys using it on the popper plates at our club range.
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Old January 2, 2009, 10:53 PM   #11
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Buffer Pads?

What do buffer pads do?
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Old January 2, 2009, 11:11 PM   #12
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TGun.. Mine hates Remington goldens, jamorama... Try Peters (brown box), American Eagle, Or standard Federal. I now use federal Automatch.

22A accuracy... Mine will easily shoot half inch groups at 10 yards. My secret? A red dot sight. If you are shooting a 1" group with the 22A it's because you aren't as good as the gun. These things flat out are nasty accurate.

Recoil buffers protect your gun when using high velocity loads. I don't use those load because they are not as accurate.
"If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun." The Dalai Llama (5/15/01, The Seattle Times)
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Old January 2, 2009, 11:21 PM   #13
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Love mine

As long as I keep the ramp clean, it will take anything I feed it. I love it, and it gives me a great training tool for practice.
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Old November 19, 2010, 03:08 PM   #14
Join Date: October 15, 2010
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Follow Up

I also bought a S&W 22a. I wanted a semi-auto plinker but I also wanted adjustable sights. The 22a had everything I wanted and at the best price. I purchased mine on sale at Cabela's for $200. I have also always been a little partial to S&W. My dad owned a K22 and I learned about handguns with that revolver.

Here's mine . . .about 200 rounds so far . . .no problems yet.

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Old December 4, 2010, 07:19 PM   #15
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smith and wesson 22a

I owned one of these back in the late 90's and it was a great little gun, never had a single problem with it. I am now looking at re-aquiring a 22 plinker and this is the gun I'll go with for sure. It's easy to operate and I've never had problems. It's good to see that others think so too. Happy Shooting
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Old December 15, 2010, 05:26 PM   #16
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Too cold to shoot!

To All:

I had hoped to have more range reports for my 22A1 by now but it is way too cold here in Missouri to hit the range.

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Old December 16, 2010, 10:32 AM   #17
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I rented one when I took my CCW class,,,

It was eating cheap bulk-pack ammo very nicely,,,
200 rounds and not one failure of any kind.

The only thing I didn't like about the gun,,,
Was that it had a very fat grip.

Other than that I found it to be a fine shooter,,,
At 15, 10, 7, and 3 yards I kept all 200 rounds in a 2" circle.
For me that was phenomenal because I'm not a real good shot with a pistol.

All in all it's a very nice handgun,,,
There's a young lady who goes to my range,,,
She consistently pops beer cans at 50 yards with hers.

I hate her by the way.

Caje: The coward dies a thousand times, the brave only once.
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Old December 16, 2010, 11:17 AM   #18
Misssissippi Dave
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I didn't care that much for the grip on mine. It was easy to fix that problem. I like shooting this pistol much more then the BuckMark Camper. CCI SV seemed to give me the best groups so far. I still need to try a few other rounds to see if it will improve any more.

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Old December 16, 2010, 01:04 PM   #19
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A few years ago, I bought my son a Mod 22 to shoot with me, while I shot my Mod 41. It was great fun competing against each other, until he started getting better scores than me. After about six months, we traded pistols, and I was able to start beating him again. We swapped back and forth awhile. It wasn't long before the Mod 22 proved to be the better of the two () The last time I saw that 41 was at a gun show.
READY on the "LEFT!"....READY on the "RIGHT!"...PULL!
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Old December 17, 2010, 03:14 PM   #20
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Put a simmons red dot on mine and wouldn't hold a zero. Turns out the integral mount was loose so after a couple drops of medium strength threadlocker problem solved.
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Old December 17, 2010, 06:39 PM   #21
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So far my 22A can't hold a candle to my 2206, but I have a couple of more brands of ammo to try out yet.

"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most." A. Brilliant
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Old January 8, 2011, 10:56 AM   #22
Join Date: October 17, 2010
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In my experiences with them the Golden ammo did jam all the time, I found myself having to change out the plastic piece that the slide spring pushes against pretty ofter to keep it from jamming. I did not have near the issues with CCI MiniMags. I had a Burris red dot on the last one I had and it was the most fun pistol I have ever shot.
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Old March 3, 2011, 04:14 AM   #23
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22A vs 22A1

Hi. New member here. What's the difference between 22A and the 22A-1? How can i tell which is which? any markings to look for?
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Old March 3, 2011, 07:19 AM   #24
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Put a red dot scope on it and have a fun and INEXPENSIVE time at the range. Really like mine.
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Old March 3, 2011, 07:26 AM   #25
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I think they're way cool!
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