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Old January 11, 2009, 09:46 PM   #1
Shane Tuttle
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Thoughts on S&W 22A...

My wife attended a basic gun course today for a refresher and to take a girlfriend of hers for her first time (hopefully to convert her to being a gunowner).

During the firing session she had the chance to fire a S&W 22A and several other guns in different cartridges. She REALLY liked the 22A. I have no clue on the history of it regarding reliability, accuracy, etc.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...egory_rn=15710

So, it looks like a .22lr pistol is in the near future for us. Here's my parameters:

1. Will be used for plinking and an occasional varmint such as rabbit or squirrels.

2. It will NOT be used for home defense.

3. Obviously, reliability is what I want. It would be nice if it eats anything I feed it. But I understand that most .22s are finicky.

4. Priced under $350 delivered. I've seen the 22A model #107426 around sites for about $250. Factoring in shipping would be about $300. Gave about a $50 buffer for competitors' prices.

5. I don't want to buy used. The only exception is if it were a used one owned by a fellow TFL member with an established rep. Also, it would have to be VERY gently used. Other than that, I want new.

6. Don't want Ruger Mark II. Grip angle isn't desired. Don't want Mark III, either. We want something differerent that isn't owned by everybody and their dog.

So, what say you? Is the 22A up our alley? Or do you have other suggestions that I need to consider?
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Old January 11, 2009, 11:23 PM   #2
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If you don't want a Ruger, then I'd say the 22A is a great gun. I was looking at it myself. Then I asked an acquaintance who worked at S&W for his opinion. He said to get the Ruger. That's what he did.

But I can certainly agree with your sentiment to get something a little different from everyone else. I can relate.
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Old January 12, 2009, 12:28 AM   #3
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I just bought one today and tried it, the 1st 50 rounds or so i had some jams and spent casing hanging but i just keep on shooting until it runs smoothly , I have owned several rugers and other 22lr but never a smith so hopefully it will run smoothly from now on..




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Old January 12, 2009, 01:01 AM   #4
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My neighbor bought a 22A with a red dot optics on top for $260 out the door. Fires great, and where the red dot is, the bullet goes. Now if you are looking for another nice 22lr pistol, the SIG Mosquito is a really sweet little gun.

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Old January 12, 2009, 03:14 AM   #5
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Go to Rimfire Central for opinions, or just look around at posts there.
If my memory serves me correctly, the general consensus is that the 22a isn't a target/bullseye gun, but is a reasonable plinker. There have been minor reliability issues. Apparently, frequent inspection of slide recoil buffers is recommended.
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Old January 12, 2009, 08:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
22a isn't a target/bullseye gun, but is a reasonable plinker
That depends on the definition I guess... My 22A will shoot 1/2 groups at 25 yards with a scope. With a red dot at 15 yards it make a ragged hole. This is with the short barrel. I have yet to put the 7" barrel on it... Hasn't been a need to be more accurate.

The most accurate .22LR pistol I've ever shot. And I've tried the Ruger.

Jamming... Mine took a couple hundred rounds to calm down. It really likes brown box RP ammo and Federal Automatch. Jams constantly with Rem Golden Bullet.
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Old January 12, 2009, 11:01 AM   #7
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S&W 22a

Have owned a 22a for 4 years. Has a seen inch barrel. Have NEVER had a complaint with it. Love where the mag release is located (have small hands). Accurate and easy tool free takedown. Reliable too.
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Old January 12, 2009, 11:25 AM   #8
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Bought my 22a for $150 used and use it in matches on Tuesday nights at my club. GREAT GUN. Bud's Gun shop had the target model for $220 last week. Sometimes Bass Pro has the model with the silver frame for $199.
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Old January 12, 2009, 04:51 PM   #9
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Mine has been great. It took a few boxes of ammo to find out what to feed it, but as long as it's the high velocity stuff,CCI Minimag velocities, it's great. very accurate.
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Old January 12, 2009, 07:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vitz
I just bought one today and tried it, the 1st 50 rounds or so i had some jams and spent casing hanging but i just keep on shooting until it runs smoothly , I have owned several rugers and other 22lr but never a smith so hopefully it will run smoothly from now on..
It's ironic about your post. I haven't seen much regarding the 22A here on TFL since I've been here. Then, after I posted my thread I checked again on the search and your thread popped up just hours before mine. Quite the coincidence...

Quote:
Originally Posted by INGunGuy
Now if you are looking for another nice 22lr pistol, the SIG Mosquito is a really sweet little gun.
Duly noted. I'll take a gander at them. I don't know much about them either. I shot a friend of mine's 41A. It was a dream to shoot. Then I found out how much they were. I almost choked...

Quote:
Go to Rimfire Central for opinions, or just look around at posts there.
Is that a forum or a web address for .22s?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnLizCas
Have owned a 22a for 4 years. Has a seen inch barrel. Have NEVER had a complaint with it. Love where the mag release is located (have small hands). Accurate and easy tool free takedown. Reliable too.
She has small hands, too. The ease of takedown seems to be a plus, also. I can't stand trying to takedown Ruger MkIIs and IIIs...
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Old January 12, 2009, 08:37 PM   #11
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Tuttle, the Sig is junk(trust me) The DA trigger is HORRIBLE, and the SA isn't much better. The ONLY advantage to the Sig is the threaded barrel.(but in Iowa, that's no biggie for you) The slides are a Zinc or a Pot metal....They do offer a Sig226 .22lr, as a better(more costly) Sig alternative.

If I were to do Zinc, look at the P22, my wife loves hers. They are zinc as well, but have a better trigger. Another advantage to the P22(and Mosquito as well) they are hammer fired, Not many .22lr SA like that.

Now as far as the S&W 22a's go, I highly recommend them. I had the 22s (steel version) And it fed everything quite reliably. In the accuracy dept. it ran CIRCLES around my Ruger MKIII. Smith has an awesome warranty, and definitely take care of their customers. The only "gripe"(if ya want to call it that) is, they use this stupid little recoil buffer that needs to be replaced every so often. I called S&W and they sent me 5. All it really does is make takedown a PITA. All in all not a bad gun for the money

Another gun I'd give a hard look is the Walther SP22. It's about as obscure, but it's Walther entry into consumer target pistols. It's a unique, MODULAR gun that has interchangeable back-straps. One frame will host 2 or 3 different barrel lengths, and offers quite a few options. Back it with S&W warranty, and ya just might be pleasantly surprised.


or I'm wrong(take it for what ya may)
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Old January 12, 2009, 09:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Another gun I'd give a hard look is the Walther SP22.
You're not talkin' about the P22 are you? You know, the one that looks like the miniature version of a P99?

I've heard these are jammomatics and aren't worth the trouble. Again, it's an "I heard"...
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Old January 12, 2009, 09:24 PM   #13
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No the SP22, and the P22 are 2 TOTALLY different creatures. Although my wife's was Flawless, I have sold it to get her a Buckmark. She's an accuracy buff, and the P-22 is just for fun. I was also afraid it's days were numbered and it would suffer a catastrophic failure in her hands.

This is the SP22: http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore...SP22_Flyer.pdf
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Old January 12, 2009, 09:30 PM   #14
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I was also afraid it's days were numbered and it would suffer a catastrophic failure in her hands.
You're spooking me here. Are you saying it was accurate, but not reliable?
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Old January 12, 2009, 09:30 PM   #15
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My dealer has 2 SP-22's in stock, both in the $300 range. Considerably more than the S&W, but IMO appears to be more gun.

One thing I forgot to mention is...the rail on the top of the S&W is proprietary, and (this from S&W) "we designed it, then made NOTHING to fit it" Occasionaly you may find something that works, but it just raises the optic that much further. If you had the right size scope you could make the rings work(I suppose) Otherwise you'll need to machine the rail, and re-paint it, to make something work.
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Old January 12, 2009, 09:34 PM   #16
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Just remembered a funny story about my 22a. I've had it for 2-3 years now and usually shoot it every time I hit the range. I remembered the other day that awhile back I had read a post about the recoil buffer wearing out. Haha... The guy had said that there were three buffers included in his case.

I had mine apart and thought "lets have a look see". Sure enough, there was a small Manila envelope behind the foam lid liner. The funny part is there was also a spare magazine! You don't know how many times I've almost ordered one and I freekin had one the whole time!!!!

The rail on top... My Bushnell red dot fit fine...

Anyway, I now have a spare new mag and the recoil buffer was looking tired so i swapped it out. I think it had 2,000 rounds of wear.
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Old January 12, 2009, 09:37 PM   #17
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You're spooking me here. Are you saying it was accurate, but not reliable?
Surprisingly accurate for a 3.4" barrel. I had read (and saw pix) of premature wear on the slide. I believe she had close to 2500 rounds in hers, and I saw what I thought, were wear marks.

I figured we had tempted fate long enough. I like my guns, but love my wife, so I erred on the side of caution, and sold it.

It really sucks too, because Walther is really onto something with these guns. I just wish the slides were of aluminum, instead of Zinc. I won't de-ride the gun, I'd like to have another. I'm just holding out for a better built gun.
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Old January 12, 2009, 09:40 PM   #18
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My 22a:

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Old January 12, 2009, 09:41 PM   #19
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Tuttle,
I would also HIGHLY recommend this model: http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...10&isFirearm=Y

If you go the S&W route(which isn't a bad way) Most of the others are a painted gun, this is the "cadillac" version. I handled one at my FFL's and it's a real nice looking gun, and the Hi-Viz sight is an added bonus.
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Old January 12, 2009, 09:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
I would also HIGHLY recommend this model:
That looks exactly like the model I was looking at, but has a Full Length Sight Bridge with Integral Weaver Style Optics Mount instead.

Might be the better way to go for possible future scoping, yet still have the stock Hi-Viz front sight.

Quote:
I had read (and saw pix) of premature wear on the slide. I believe she had close to 2500 rounds in hers, and I saw what I thought, were wear marks....I just wish the slides were of aluminum, instead of Zinc.
That kinda bugs me. I think any well made .22 should last much, much longer than 2500 rounds without premature wear. I mean, I'm not wanting a Ruger MkII, but they are barely broke in at 2500 rounds.

I know Zinc is the cheap way to build a gun (Hi-Point). But, do you see this as an issue in a low recoil gun?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspector3711
I had mine apart and thought "lets have a look see". Sure enough, there was a small Manila envelope behind the foam lid liner. The funny part is there was also a spare magazine! You don't know how many times I've almost ordered one and I freekin had one the whole time!!!!
That's hilarious! At least you can look at it as a late Christmas gift.
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Old January 12, 2009, 09:59 PM   #21
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Quote:
But, do you see this as an issue in a low recoil gun
The sad part is; The recoil wasn't doing as much damage as the slide's motion reward. There is a little "hump" that was wearing down.

Hard to explain without photos...either way, no bueno man, no bueno.
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Old January 12, 2009, 10:08 PM   #22
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I won one in a shooting match last year. After reading that there's some plastic buffer thing that wears out regularly I dumped it for something else. It looked like a kids toy and felt like it too. Probably an OK plinker but for serious accuracy or durability I'd look elsewhere. And this is coming from a guy that owns more S&W's than anything else.
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Old January 12, 2009, 10:22 PM   #23
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Quote:
Probably an OK plinker but for serious accuracy or durability I'd look elsewhere. And this is coming from a guy that owns more S&W's than anything else.
Got any suggestions?
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Old January 12, 2009, 10:24 PM   #24
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45 shooter, read up... The 22a is one seriously accurate handgun. The plastic piece lasted me for 2500 rounds and I had 3 more in the box. When I have one left I'll email Smith and they'll send 3 more for free (for life). You should have kept the 22a. I've shot the Buckmark and the Ruger and my 22a shoots tighter groups. People win matches with these.

Durability: There are people that have 10's of thousands of rounds through their 22a's. If your slide is wearing send it back to Smith, thats abnormal unless it wasn't properly lubed.

I won't ever need another .22 handgun. That doesn't mean I won't buy a second one someday though.
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Old January 12, 2009, 10:43 PM   #25
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I have a 22A I recently bought.

The only thing i do not like about it is that the Firing pin is Softer than the Hammer and mine has already worn down to the point (on the hammer side not the chamber side) where it misfired on average of 3 out of 10 BULK ammo casings. This bothered me so I fixed it by adding more metal to the rear portion with my Mig welder, which also is soft and slowly wearing down, but it's still shooting all but 1 or 2 in 50 rounds with the cheap bulk ammo.

I just ordered a new one for a few bucks, maybe it will last longer.
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