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Old January 18, 2013, 01:00 PM   #1
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New here looking for advice

posted this on a similar forum but looking for all the insight i can get.

the basic question is: are .22 pistols a waste of money?

I am relatively new in the gun scene. Ive shot maybe a dozen times all different caliber handguns and rifles and have taken a handgun safety course. I am looking to buy my first handgun and have been looking around the past month or two at different options. I am into gun ownership because I think it is a useful skill set to have. I am drawn to .22s because ammo is cheaper and I can get some serious time in learning the basics without breaking the bank on ammo.

Now obviously, my buddies think .22s are "wimpy" and want me to err on the larger side. Im pretty sure they are just dullards and I am being logical in my choice. Just wanted to see what the firearm world thinks.

Last edited by AZStudent; January 18, 2013 at 09:26 PM.
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Old January 18, 2013, 01:16 PM   #2
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First of all, I think you choice of words leaves something to be desired. Your wording borders on being offensive.

But a .22 a waste of money? Not likely. I've got two single actions and an autoloader in that caliber. Great for practice, especially if you don't reload your own ammunition. And for casual plinking the .22 doesn't generate so much noise as to get complaints from local residents. And for small edible game, its second to none.

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Old January 18, 2013, 01:17 PM   #3
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First, vulgarity will get your posts banned. Next, a .22 handgun will always be one of the finest investments you will ever make. It is impossible to master the basics of stance, hand position, trigger squeeze, and sight alignment without tons of practice. The .22 is the ultimate master of that field. They are also quite welcome on many hiking, hunting and fishing trips each year. Welcome to our world.

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Old January 18, 2013, 01:21 PM   #4
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Sorry didnt mean to be offensive. By "waste" I meant if Im going to spend $400 or so on a .22 would it just be better to spend an extra hundred or so dollars on a 9mm or something.
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Old January 18, 2013, 01:24 PM   #5
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Good on you for wanting to gain more skill with a smaller and cheaper weapon. I wouldn't recommend a .22 for anything substantial, but if you're just shooting targets to familiarize yourself with handgun. Just remember that familiarizing your self with a .22 is a lot different from familiarizing yourself with a .45. Good luck.
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Old January 18, 2013, 01:30 PM   #6
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It sort of depends on the 22, but a good 22 can cover pretty much all the bases for most people. Most are relatively inexpensive and the money you save shooting one will add up quick. You can learn all the basics with one, especially trigger-control (except for recoil-control - they don't have any to speak of). You can use them for many things, yes even for self-defense as a cc gun (assuming you don't by one of the Ruger, Browning, etc target pistols - and they can be used too in a pinch).
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Old January 18, 2013, 01:47 PM   #7
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Forget what your buddies think or what they want to measure. You can't beat a 22 for working fundamentals.
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Old January 18, 2013, 01:50 PM   #8
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By "waste" I meant if Im going to spend $400 or so on a .22 would it just be better to spend an extra hundred or so dollars on a 9mm or something
My favorite .22 revolver isn't $400 - it's more like $600. No,it isn't a waste. It is a fairly close approximation in size and weight to my .44 mag. By shooting a lot with the cheap .22 ammo, I can improve my shooting with my .44 at a fraction of th cost. It only takes a year or so of that kind of savings to pay for that $600 gun.

One thing new gun owners never seem to realize - the cost of the gun itself is only the beginning. With any significant amount of range time, the cost of ammo will FAR outweigh the cost of the gun.
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Old January 18, 2013, 01:56 PM   #9
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Just realize, currently, .22 ammo is mighty hard to find...

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Old January 18, 2013, 03:11 PM   #10
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I just bought another .22. Very seldom do I go to the range without a .22 pistol in my bag. I also shoot 22 rimfire steel matches in the summer.
I don't know anyone in my shooting circle that doesn't have at least one. You'll never out grow a 22 pistol.
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Old January 18, 2013, 03:46 PM   #11
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I think a good .22 target pistol would be one of the best thing you could do for yourself if you want to learn to shoot handguns and be able to shoot them well.

Cheap, easy to shoot, not very loud, negligible recoil, and you can shoot hundreds of rounds for what a box of larger centerfire handgun ammunition cost. You will be less likely to develop bad habits like flinching with the lighter recoil and noise of the .22.

Everyone should own a .22LR or several of them... It is one of the most practical firearms you can own whether you are shooting a handgun or a rifle. Its the easiest ammo to find. There are just so very many reasons for you to own a .22.

The only thing that it isn't better for is being a personal defense weapon, and honestly you are going to be shooting targets and practicing a lot more than you are going to need to defend yourself. Once you are skilled with it, those same skills carry on to larger guns that are better at being a defensive weapon.

And like others have said, try to not be vulgar when writing your post.
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Old January 18, 2013, 04:16 PM   #12
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the basic question is: are .22 pistols a waste of money?
Absolutely not.

Now obviously, my buddies think .22s are "wimpy" and want me to err on the larger side. Im pretty sure they are just dullards
You have such a way with words.

.22 autoloaders are fun.
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Old January 18, 2013, 05:35 PM   #13
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Learning the skills to use a handgun effectively and safely is a very useful and worthwhile pursuit, and a .22 is a fine way to do it. There are many good options available in revolvers and semiautos, at prices ranging from a couple of hundred dollars to .

As far as "wimpy" goes it depends on what you are using it for; for small game hunting, plinking, and target shooting you're probably good to go; for defense against 2 or 4 legged predators, you're likely to want a little more gun. There have been many beasts of both varieties stopped with a .22, but it is not the first choice of most able bodied folks. The discussion of what caliber is needed for this is ongoing. You can read for hours on this forum many threads asking what the minimum is. Many of us would recommend at least .380 in a semiauto, and .38 special in a revolver, although some would find these way too "wimpy". For something that has a lot of power and makes a manly bark, the .357 magnum is a good starting point that will impress your macho friends. It will also be much more expensive and harder to shoot well. Good luck, and welcome to the forum.
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Old January 18, 2013, 05:47 PM   #14
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Sorry didnt mean to be offensive.
Don't be sorry, just delete the offensive word be editing your first post.
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Old January 18, 2013, 06:03 PM   #15
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I own lots of guns and just off the top of my head I can quickly count five .22 caliber handguns, all of which I enjoy shooting as often as possible. In addition to that, I have .22 caliber conversions for several of my larger caliber automatics. I know I'm stating the obvious but I'll say it anyway...shooting .22's are cheap and you shoot them all day long without becoming stressed or tired. Accuracy out of a .22 is just as impressive to me as it is from a larger caliber gun. Great, inexpensive fun, good training and can put meat on the table. I can't see any reason not to purchase a .22 as your first handgun.

I would be willing to bet that those same guys will be lining up to shoot your .22 just the same as if you decided on a larger caliber first. What ever you choose, rest assured that it won't be your last...
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Old January 18, 2013, 08:55 PM   #16
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Less expensive can be good too!

I have two of the less expensive 22LR guns. A Heritage Rough Rider six shot single action and a Smith and Wesson 22A. The Heritage was less than $150 when I bought it several year ago and the S&W was a good buy at $225. Both shoot well, are easy to care for and lots of fun.

And the availability of 22 cal ammo depends on where you live. A local big box hardware store near me has dozens of bricks of 22 cal ammo on it's shelves.

Live well, be safe
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Old January 18, 2013, 10:02 PM   #17
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Generally speaking, many of us start with a 22. It doesn't take long before you want to move up to a centerfire. I had my 22 Ruger three months before I got my 9mm.

Here's another idea. Get a 9mm handgun that strikes your fancy and see if they make a 22 slide kit for it. Sig, Glock, CZ, 1911, Beretta etc.
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Old January 19, 2013, 03:11 AM   #18
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I have not had good luck with 22 autos. I have a couple 22 revolvers that I love. So no I don't think they are a waste of money.
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Old January 19, 2013, 10:05 PM   #19
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As others have suggested, the initial difference in cost of either weapon will soon become a non-factor. Once you own either one, you could shoot the 22 several thousand times or the larger gun a couple hundred times for the same cost of ammo.

Range time, targets, cleaning stuff etc, will cost the same either way.

The chance that you will get into a self defense scenario is one in a gazillion.

Add all that together and for me, it comes out like - Buy the 22 now. Practice and get good with it. Maybe get REALLY really good with it. Then, down the line, consider buying a bigger gun. You'll probably have a better idea about what you might want then. Maybe you'll have shot several more gun styles and calibers. If nothing else, you'll be very experienced at sight picture, trigger control, range ettiquitte etc.

You'll dig a quality 22, esp a revolver, the rest of your life.

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Old January 20, 2013, 08:32 AM   #20
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I have 45 auto, 45 single action, 357 mag, 38 Special, two 9mm, 380acp and two 22 revolvers. What is currently #1 on my wish list is a 22 Ruger Mark something, not sure exactly which model yet. I had a Ruger standard years ago and had a blast with it. Fun and cheap to shoot. Being good with a 22 is different than being good with other calibers, IMO. Small calibers and larger calibers all have their places in the shooting world. I think any shooter should have at least one 22 handgun and one 22 rifle. I currently have two of each plus some of my Father-in-Laws guns. Waste of money? Not!
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Old January 20, 2013, 08:56 AM   #21
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If you're truly interested in becoming proficient with a handgun, as opposed to just making a bunch of noise, a .22 should always be your first purchase. Your second purchase should be a case (5,000 rounds) of .22 ammo. After you've used up most, maybe all, of the case in real practice sessions you can think about your next caliber handgun.

I have about 100 guns in the safe. I still own, and regularly shoot, my first handgun, a Ruger Single-Six revolver I purchased about 40 years ago. I probably still shoot more .22 rimfire ammo than all all other calibers combined (I reload for maybe 30 or so different cartridges) and I don't think my experience is at all unique.

Your buddies may or may not be dullards, but they're certainly giving you bad counsel in this case.
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Old January 20, 2013, 09:12 AM   #22
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22 is a lot of fun and if it adds to the shooting experience Id go for it... Keep in mind however few people consider 22 a good defensive gun... However if you have a disability that makes it the only choice, its still a gun and has the potential to be lethal.

380 - bottom wrung of self defense and marginal at best
9mm - solid, not the most powerful by any means but a solid SD round
40 - basically the same as 9mm, small differences, more striking power than 9mm but only marginally at best
357 - is a 9mm on steroids IMHO - may over penetrate on occasion.
45 - a lot more round that the others based on sheer mass alone. The down side is you cant generally carry as many rounds and this round tends to be slow.
10 mm - a lot of gun for a newbee - kicks butt - think dirty harry, its not too far off that
460 Rowland -this is a 45 on steroids and kicks 10mms butt... Both rounds however are potent and considerable. This round is equiv. to mid range 44 Magnum
44 Magnum - see Dirty Harry - not a death laser but a whole lot of power.. Can be hand loaded above the level of 460 Rowland
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Old January 20, 2013, 09:23 AM   #23
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I do not think .22's are a waste of money. Just the opposite in fact. I own 6 different .22's at this time. They are by far my favorite caliber. They are quiet, cheap to shoot, and no recoil. What's not to like? You can afford to have a lot of fun with these guns.

The only problem you are going to run into right now is ammo is nearly impossible to find for them. I think this will settle down (at least I hope it does) in the next few months. But here in Utah there isn't a single box of .22 to be had.
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Old January 20, 2013, 09:29 AM   #24
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From my experience, everyone that builds a firearms collection has at least one firearm chambered for .22lr. And, more specifically, everyone who builds a handgun collection will have at least one 22lr handgun as well. That's pretty good evidence right there. It's a handy tool.
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Old January 20, 2013, 10:35 AM   #25
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