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Old September 16, 2012, 04:55 PM   #1
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.22 handgun, any recommendations?

im looking for a .22 handgun just for fun plinking and some small game hunting. i like the browning buckmark and the sig sauer 1911-22 but im not sure what one is better or if anyone has a better recommendation, looking to spend around $400
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Old September 16, 2012, 05:28 PM   #2
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Ruger Mark 3, 22/45 both great guns. Also check out Buck Mark, Beretta Neos, S&W 22a. Then pick the one that fits your hand and price range.
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Old September 16, 2012, 05:47 PM   #3
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I love the Ruger MK's. Very customizable. Have you considered buying a fullsize 1911 and get a conversion kit for it? It would be more expensive that route but then you have 2 guns lol.
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Old September 16, 2012, 06:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BoogieMan
Ruger Mark 3, 22/45 both great guns. Also check out BuckMark, Beretta Neos, S&W 22a. Then pick the one that fits your hand and price range.
Some good ones right there!
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Old September 16, 2012, 07:24 PM   #5
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Love my new 22/45 !! It is amazing.
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Old September 16, 2012, 07:53 PM   #6
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For "plinking" and "small game hunting" you can't beat a Ruger MkII or MKIII. Mount a red dot scope on one of those and your search is over, it will last several lifetimes. Good Luck.
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Old September 17, 2012, 08:31 AM   #7
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I was faced with this exact decision about a month ago, and am now sitting happily with a S&W 22a 7" barrel model, also came with the 4" barrel, i totally lucked into this one, a guy had gotten it as a gift and a local shop owner knew i was looking for one, so while it was technically used, it had never been registered with S&W so i was able to still get the lifetime warranty. As well as the extra barrel, and paid $260 total. it was purchased one month before i got it, and had never been fired. even had the factory box

what helped me make up my mind on what to get was, first i looked up youtube videos on the cleaning and breakdown of all that i was interested in. (S&W 22a, ruger mk 2 or 3, browning buckmark, and beretta neos) once i was satisfied with that i called around to local ranges and was lucky enough to have between 2 different ones, rentals of all 4 of those guns that i could try, after shooting them all i decided the 22a was for me.

each has advantages and disadvantages, for the 22a its biggest 2 disadvantages are, its super picky on the ammo, and doesn't want to feed hollow points at all with a full mag, it will feed them fine if you fill to 8 not 10 rounds, but 10 will cause the bottom 2 to catch on the magazine release (its at the front of the grip, instead of the top) but i fixed that on mine with some cell phone screen protectors, i cut them into small strips and placed them over the area that has the mag release, so it provides a smooth surface, and now hollow points feed just fine. i ended up finding that winchester m22 ammo works fantastic with it, have shot 500+ without a single issue, and i can get 1000 of them from walmart for $45. if you dont find the right ammo for it, it will give you all manor of issues, from where it wont even cycle on stuff like federal, to the already mentioned not feeding on hollow points, i also hear it has a break in time, and after the parts are worn a little it will be able to use different ammo. its other disadvantage is, it has a plastic recoil dampener inside the slide that they recomend replacing every 2000-3000 rounds, but everywhere i have read about that, if you call S&W they will ship you some for free, and give you 2 extras with it. if you wanted to buy them, they are about $2 each, you will spend way more then that on cleaning the gun for that many rounds. the slide on it is hard to pull back, or at least my friends seem to think so, i never noticed, but i also do a lot of wood working and lifting 16' boards of oak pretty often, might have something to do with that.

for its advantages, its just as accurate if not more so then any of the others, but i also feel this is highly subjective, a lot of how you shoot a gun is how it feels in your hand, if the grip is to small, or to large, or the angle is to steep, or shallow, the balance could also be to much to the front or back, it wont feel good, or right.

To me the 22a fit best in my hand, and felt best when shooting, the iron sights on it might have been the best zeroed of the 4 i rented, because it was the only one that i could even hit the bulls-eye with at 75 feet. and that was with the 5.5" barrel version, the 7" is even better. its breakdown and cleaning is absolutely the top of the list in ease, i can swap the barrel in under 5 seconds, and completely tear it down and put it back together in under 30 seconds (granted that isn't cleaning it, but it is super easy to work on) it also has a rail that runs the entire length of the top of the pistol, so if you wanted to put a red dot, or a scope on it, that isn't a problem.

the neos, i just didnt like, it felt very wrong in the hand, and i couldn't hit anywhere close to where i aimed even at 25 feet, it didnt take me long to want to swap that one for the 22a (same range) but i wanted to put a 50 box through each to really test them. and shoot each at 25, 50, and 75 feet

the slide release on it is to far forward to hit with your thumb, you have to either shift your grip where your almost holding it sideways to release it, or use your other hand, and it is so close to the barrel that it will pinch you if your not careful, the magazine release is also oddly placed, and is on the right hand side of the pistol, so you have to use your trigger finger to eject the mag. it was also the hardest to get the mag to seat properly in, instead of just useing the palm of your hand, i had to poke it with a finger because it sets just a little recessed to the base of the grip.

i dont own it so i cant speak to first hand advantages, but from what i have seen, it seems to fire just about any ammo, and isnt hard to breakdown and clean, it seems to be very near the 22a in that reguard, only instead of a button on the 22a, you have a thumbscrew you use to remove the barrel.

the ruger i tried was a mk3, it was on par with the 22a for accuracy, but i was unable to bulls-eye at 75' the grouping was tight though, it was well balanced, and i'll be honest it was between this and the 22a for what i would buy, everything seemed to be where you think it should be for slide and magazine release, and from what i have read, they shoot anything you put in them.

however, the breakdown can be a bit of a problem from what i have seen, on newer ones you might even need a rubber mallet or block of wood to remove the barrel, and you apear to have to be super careful in how you put it back togehter or you can cause the bolt to jam, watch some videos on them and you will see what i mean, but as with anything, once you learn to do it, it wont be that bad.

the buckmark, well, it was pretty much the ruger, so just go back and read what i said, then come back.

I hear that its breakdown is the hardest of the bunch, because it has many screws that you have to remove to take it down. look up some videos on it to see what im talking about.

i picked the 22a over the ruger based on the fact that my larger hands fit the 22a better, and it was cheaper. otherwise i would have gotten the ruger

another thing to check is, what comes with it and how much some of the accessories are, the 22a comes with 2 magazines for instance, so im not sure if the others do or not, and you can get its magazines from midway for $23, but they are backordered for a month or so. it doesnt have much in the way of alternative grips, but S&W makes some wood ones, as well as another company i cant remember the name of right now. and it has 3 barrels you can get if you want.
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Old September 17, 2012, 08:49 AM   #8
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I have a MKIII with a ultradot red dot scope on it and absolutely love it. It is far more accurate than I am and one of the funnest guns to shoot that I have ever owned.

I also have a few ruger revolvers (single six & single ten) that are a lot of fun to shoot but their accuracy does not compare to the MKIII.
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Old September 17, 2012, 09:17 AM   #9
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And consider the single action revolvers. Single Six or Single Ten. Don't forget the hunter model.
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Old September 17, 2012, 09:27 AM   #10
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I can't say enough about the Ruger Mk II. Find a good used one and don't look back.
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Old September 17, 2012, 09:36 AM   #11
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+1 for the buckmark. I recently traded the base model camper for the hunter model. way more accurate than I am and both models have been flawless for close to a total of 10,000 rounds. I certainly wouldn't be afraid to take either along.

My buddy has a Ruger 22/45 which has been just as reliable and accurate.
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Old September 17, 2012, 10:01 AM   #12
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I like the Buckmark. Trigger is outstanding out of the box and it's very accurate. The grips were perfect for my hands also. Great little gun and very reliable with CCI. It didn't like some of the bulk stuff.
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Old September 17, 2012, 07:58 PM   #13
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+1 for either of the rugers...i also have a browning, its a great gun... but my browning will only eat the good stuff. My Rugers (22/25 bull barrel and MK3 hunter) will eat anything,and they just feel better in my hands.. the 22/45 is my personal favorite as it has a very similar feel and controls of a the 1911
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Old September 18, 2012, 10:40 AM   #14
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So you want to buy a quality .22 pistol?

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 = Great pistol but I found the grip to be funky.
Ruger 22/45 Mk II or MK III = Great pistol with a 1911-ish grip.
Beretta U22 NEOS = Great pistol with a very slender grip.
Ruger Mk II or MK III = Great pistol with a luger-ish grip.
S&W 22A = 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,,,
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 and the Walther P-22 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 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 - With the exception of the Kadet having adjustable rear sights,,,
It is virtually identical to the CZ-75B in 9mm.

Sig-Sauer Classic .22 - 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 - The .22 counterpart to the Beretta 84/85 in .380 ACP.

Last but not least are the .22 Mouse Guns.

Phoenix HP-22
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.
A very small semi-suto pistol with a polymer frame,,,
It is based on their Model 22B 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,,,


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Old September 18, 2012, 03:30 PM   #15
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Three Rugers going back 60 years. Same great action, same great quality, same fun to shoot. They do last.

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Old September 18, 2012, 03:34 PM   #16
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Forgot to say that the first one cost $37.50!

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Old September 19, 2012, 04:50 PM   #17
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Buckmark or Ruger (preferably a MKII).

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Old September 19, 2012, 07:07 PM   #18
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Go for a Mark III in stainless. May have to wait but it will be worth it. They are selling faster than Ruger can make em.
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Old September 19, 2012, 09:55 PM   #19
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I just got the Ruger SR22. I'm looking forward to shooting it. I've heard good things.
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Old September 20, 2012, 12:07 AM   #20
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I recommend the Buck.
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Old September 20, 2012, 06:48 PM   #21
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All the usual suggestions are good and have been mentioned. The Rugers, the Buckmark, the Neos. But I just never like the Neos, personally.
My favorite .22 is my Ruger MkII Target 10". Possibly the most accurate handgun I own.
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Old September 21, 2012, 06:52 PM   #22
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I may have missed it, but the Walther P22 is one of the best guns I've had the pleasure of shooting. The older models jam once in a while, but I've heard the newer models don't have that problem as much. They use to cost around $225 and come with a threaded barrel for optional silencer.
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Old September 21, 2012, 08:36 PM   #23
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Aarond nailed it. I prefer the Ruger MK II series. The MK III's are OK too. They are great out of the box, but can be customized with easily available parts from Volquartsen and Clark. Browning Buckmarks are also a soild choice.
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Old September 22, 2012, 03:04 AM   #24
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I own a MkIII.

I've additionally shot a Walther P22. For me I strongly advise the MkIII.

By far my most accurate handgun, in that I am accurate with it!

I initially had quite a few FTEs and jams and stove-pipes. I think that was a combination of newness ammo choice and perhaps there being the LCI in situ. Have shot about 1500 rounds through it by now and removed the LCI and played with ammo choices, it is now far more reliable.

I do think I was a bit unlucky with mine: most seem to have never had any problems, so if the MkIII is a contender don't be overly swayed by my experiences, unless you start finding dozens such cases...
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Old September 22, 2012, 04:13 AM   #25
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I like my 22/45 . I have shot the 22/45 and the buckmark , both seem to work fine . My 22/45 has a polymer frame and grips in one . Meaning you can not change the grips it's all one piece . I put a High viz front sight on it and it works really well but when I put the Red-Dot on it ,holy cow it's accurate and the target acquisition is almost not fare .

The one thing I like about the Ruger 22/45 vs the buckmark is . I can install the rail for a scope or red-dot with out having to remove either front or rear sight . With the rail mounted to the gun and no optics on it you can still use the iron sights .

I helped a buddy mount a scope to his buckmark and we had to completely remove his rear sight to make room for the rail . Now if his scope fails in any way the gun is all but useless with no rear sight . Not so with the Ruger 22/45 . All I have to do is take the red-dot off and I'm good to go .

I paid about $350 out the door ( red-dot not included )

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