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Old September 6, 2010, 07:41 PM   #1
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Range report - S&W 22-4

I took my "new" (recently purchased, mfgd. circa 2005) S&W 22-4 .45 ACP revolver out on Sunday and put a total of 90 rounds downrange at both 15 and 25 yards, consisting of 72 rounds of 230 gr. LRN reloads, 12 rounds of 185 gr. JHP reloads and 6 rounds of 185 gr. LSWC reloads. As a point of comparison, I also took my excellent 6" 686-4 (.357 magnum) and alternated shooting it and the 22-4. The vast majority of shots I took with both guns were DA, although I also tested SA with the new revolver.

Compared to the 686, the DA trigger on the 22-4 is quite a bit "shorter" in travel and somewhat lighter, which will take some getting used to. The SA trigger is extremely light, almost too light. I found several times that I shot earlier than I expected to in DA, being used previously to squeezing the 686's trigger to a very predictable 95% before taking one last aim. The 22-4 doesn't seem to have that same hesitation point that's so easy to find on the 686, or if it has one it's a lot more subtle.

Accuracy-wise, the 22-4 was fine, although with the 4" barrel it didn't give me quite the LASER-like confidence of the 6" 686. Twenty five yards off hand challenged me to keep it in an 8" circle, which is quite easy by comparison with the 686.

I had one unexpected mechanical glitch - after only two shots the 22-4's action became very stiff. I discovered that the extractor rod had loosened, so keeping it tight and not having anything more than my fingers required checking it after each moon clip. I used full moon clips, which I have decided I like very much. Unloading the brass from them was easy after I got home using a small screwdriver to pry out all but the last piece of brass, which is not hard to unload once you can grab the rest of the clip with your hand.

All in all, I was pretty happy with the first time out with this revolver. To be sure, somewhat surprisingly, shooting the N frame 22-4 is quite a bit different than the L frame 686. I think I would rather have the hammer-mounted firing pin of the 686, without it (at least it seems this way), the trigger is "snappier" although I have no idea if it's related to the location of the firing pin or not. I'll definitely check and probably tinker a bit with the mainspring tension to see if I can make the action a bit heavier and more consistent with my K and L frame revolvers.

I would appreciate other owners' thoughts on the trigger travel or action of the newer N frame revolvers and how they compare to the older K and L frames.

Last edited by spacecoast; September 7, 2010 at 07:31 AM.
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Old September 6, 2010, 08:22 PM   #2
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....Nothing compares to older K and L frames. That said, nice pistol. Its on my "some day" list. I carry a 640, and gave up on comparing new and old Smiths.
"An angry prophet, denouncing the hypocrisies of our time"
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