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Old January 29, 2013, 12:20 AM   #1
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Need .22 handgun suggestions

Tax season is quickly approaching, which means it's time for a new addition to the collection. I'm strongly considering buying a .22LR handgun, whether it is a semi-automatic or a revolver I don't know yet. I really don't know much about .22 handguns though.

If you all could give me some experience/suggestions on what I should look for, your favorite model, and why, maybe it'd ease the decision making process a little bit. I'm not new to guns, or handguns, just don't have a .22 handgun yet.

Some specifications.

I do have pretty small hands, men's size small or medium in a glove if you know about what that's like, so trigger reach is pretty important.

I'd like to spend $350 or less.

Other than that, I'm open to suggestion.
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Old January 29, 2013, 12:40 AM   #2
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For a first .22 handgun I'd suggest a Ruger MkIII or 22/45....or Browning Buckmark Camper.
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Old January 29, 2013, 12:45 AM   #3
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mkiii or single six convert.
Rugers:SR1911 CMD,MK 3 .22lr 6",Sec. Six '76 liberty .357 4",SRH .480 Ruger 7.5",Mini-14 188 5.56/.233 18.5", Marlins: 795 .22lr 16.5",30aw 30-30 20",Mossberg:Mav. 88 Tact. 12 ga, 18.5",ATR 100 .270 Win. 22",S&W:SW9VE
9mm 4",Springfield:XD .357sig 4", AKs:CAI PSL-54C, WASR 10/63, WW74,SLR-106c
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Old January 29, 2013, 01:53 AM   #4
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While the Buckmark and Ruger suggestions are solid, something like the Ruger SR 22 is more in line with a centerfire pistol design. It really boils down to whether you like more of a target/paper punching pistol or a fun can plinker with 'combat' handgun ergonomics and controls.

Personally I found my friend's Walther P22 to be a lot more fun than the two 22/45's I had. The SR22 is simply a higher quality version of the Walther.

My CZ Kadet is a great target/plinker/trainer but they don't make them any more.
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Old January 29, 2013, 07:07 AM   #5
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The usual suspects are all good. Ruger, both revolvers and semi, are good, as are all of Smith & Wesson's offerings. Colt and High Standard, though long out of production are good choices, again both companies made both. Dan Wesson revolvers are some of the best 22's ever made. Browning semi-autos run neck and neck with Rugers in most threads and for a good reason. They're at least just as good. Harrington and Richardson made a number of inexpensive 22's that are still inexpensive and fun if you want to look for them.

Personally, I like all of them and have owned most of them. Right now I've got Rugers, Dan Wesson and High-Standard.

One other bit of advice I always offer. I never look at new ones. I'm always prowling the used section looking for good buys. Example...I found this one, a Ruger Standard semi from 1960, with the box, just after Christmas for less than $200.00 out the door.

Deals like this are well worth looking for.
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Old January 29, 2013, 08:42 AM   #6
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My CZ Kadet is a great target/plinker/trainer but they don't make them any more.
They still make the conversion kit.

A CZ Kadet is an excellent .22 pistol to have. Its very accurate, easy to shoot, easy to take apart and clean, and well made but exspensive compared to other 22 pistols. The conversion kit alone would take up your entire $350 budget.
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Old January 29, 2013, 09:25 AM   #7
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Normaly I recommend the 22/45's but with your small hands I think you'll be limited to the models that DO NOT use the 1911 grip panels. 22/45's are not known for fat grips and some even complain about them being too small/thin but once you slap on the 1911 panels it really fills them out. Just about right for my large hands but with small hands you'll want to watch out.
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Old January 29, 2013, 10:49 AM   #8
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I've been very happy with my Smith & Wesson M&P 22.
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Old January 29, 2013, 11:05 AM   #9
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it really depends on what you want the gun for....
target or hunting, id lean towards the ruger mk and the browning buckmarks

if you want something to run drills with to simulate shooting your larger guns, then the sr22 or one of the 1911 style 22s
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Old January 29, 2013, 11:32 AM   #10
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The Beretta Neos is often overlooked, perhaps because people think it is funny-looking, but underneath its questionable styling is a very reliable, accurate, and enjoyable pistol. Everyone who shoots mine likes it.
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Old January 29, 2013, 01:38 PM   #11
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Ruger SR22 fits like a glove, and comes with 2 mags and 2 handgrips (1 large and 1 small). I love mine it has an attached barrel which gives the feel of a larger caliber gun with the cost effeciency of 22 rounds. It has a 3 1/2" barrel but it is very accurate even at longer distances. The M&P 22 is a full size gun, comes with only one mag., and costs more. Last night I was shooting a tennis ball on a string @21' and hitting it even as it was swinging from previous shots. My targets @ 33' are just as tight grouped as @ 21'. I replaced my guide rod from the plastic original to a stainless steel one from for $15 with shipping, and it works awesome. Feed issues from bulk ammo have not been a problem for me because I always depress the mag spring lever and tap the rounds to the back of the mag before releasing the tension (like military training with an M-16 mag). I never have feed issues and I routinely use different types of cheap bulk ammo. This is a fun gun to shoot and my 7 yr. old is able to reach the trigger without any issues and he even hit the tennis ball last week with it. Go Ruger! I picked mine up for $319.00 with soft case, 2 mags, trigger padlock, 2 handgrips, and 2 extra mag plates (for larger grip). All you need are bullets and your ready to go.

Last edited by cal10; January 29, 2013 at 01:45 PM.
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Old January 29, 2013, 02:03 PM   #12
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I sold my Ruger Mk. III after one range trip. My dad and I had borrowed a Ruger pistol, thirty years ago, and I correctly remembered what a pain the gun is to reassemble.
My only rimfire pistol is an old Colt .22 conversion mounted on a dedicated frame, and as I'm mostly a 1911 guy, it serves well.
Today, I'd probably buy a GSG rimfire 1911. It can be had with a light rail, and the muzzle is already threaded for a suppressor, if that's important.
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Old January 29, 2013, 02:11 PM   #13
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Kit Gun

Look around for a used S&W Model 34 or 63 Kit Gun-great for small hands-I don't think you'll get one in your price range,but they are worth the extra expense-I also have the 22 WMR Kit Gun which is absolutely the best
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Old January 29, 2013, 02:39 PM   #14
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Although I personally own M&P 22, I would recommend SR22 for smaller hands.

When I compared SR22 to M&P 22, that was the deciding factor, SR22 just felt too small for me. I know it comes with changeable grip, but it still felt quite small to me.

I'm extremely happy with my purchase, M&P 22 is a great, accurate gun and have eaten everything thrown at it with zero issues. However, for your application, I would recommend the SR22 for your size.
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Old January 29, 2013, 03:49 PM   #15
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Check out the S&W .22 target masterpiece family. They're K-frame smiths and with smaller wood grips they will fit your hand.

The newest version the M-617 is a bit heavier.

Go haunt your local gun stores and try them on for size.
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Old January 29, 2013, 03:54 PM   #16
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save up another 300 bucks and get a smith 617. Never have to worry about magazines, easy to clean and maintain and by far the best investment I have ever made in a 22 handgun.

I have had beretta 97's rem 41s, pretty much every auto but a colt woodsman and just have not enjoyed any of them like I do the 617. Just my 2c

You can get a Taurus 94 in your price range and Its a nice gun I still have one but the 617 is worth the price tag.
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Old January 29, 2013, 05:24 PM   #17
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I've got a Ruger SR22. Awesome gun. Shot 500 rounds thru it, no issues. Easy to shoot, clean, and fits small hands very well. I think they're around $300-350.
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Old January 29, 2013, 05:26 PM   #18
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Cant beat either a Ruger Mark or a Buckmark. If your value minded and can deal with a smaller grip than the Beretta Neos is a solid performer.
Probably my favorite gun is my Ruger 22/45, feeds anything and its much more accurate than I am.
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Old January 29, 2013, 05:50 PM   #19
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My father and I have been very happy with the Sig Sauer Mosquito
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Old January 29, 2013, 06:27 PM   #20
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Thanks for all the replies, guys. I am slightly more prone to buying an auto as opposed to a revolver. Seeing your suggestion I'm guessing that Rugers are a preferred option. How's the grip on those? It looks kind of weird, angle wise to me. Also, I've read they're pretty frustrating to disassemble... that could be a factor as well.

A few preference notes as well, how are the price of magazines on mentioned handguns? And I'd prefer a 5 or 6 inch barrel. Thanks!
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Old January 29, 2013, 06:50 PM   #21
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If you're looking for something with a longer barrel, then the Ruger MK series is probably your best bet. They're a little bit above your budget if you're looking to buy brand new, but used specimens should be much cheaper. Used is just fine as these guns are built like tanks.

Mags are usually about $20 a pop depending on where you order them from. I would stick with the factory mags and not cheap out with the 3rd party ones.
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Old January 29, 2013, 06:53 PM   #22
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(I hope you have some ammo... .22's are NOT TO BE FOUND in my neck'o' the woods... Never thought it'd come to this before WW3...)
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Old January 29, 2013, 06:55 PM   #23
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On the topic of deassembly/reassembly, it's just a matter practicing a couple of times. I completely field strip my Rugers after every range trip. It's quite easy after you figure it out. I wouldn't let that deter you from considering.
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Old January 29, 2013, 07:59 PM   #24
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Here’s another vote for the SR22. This is the total package for me. It’s a quality gun that eats all type of ammo reliably, looks great, feels great in the hand is accurate and very easy to break down and clean. I have over 3000 rounds of good and cheap bulk ammo through without a hiccup.
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Old January 29, 2013, 08:02 PM   #25
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Yeah I like the look of the Ruger, and a longer barrel would definitely be something I can appreciate. I'm probably going to end up using it if my girlfriend and I go small game hunting so that she could use my Remington 597.

And to answer that question, yeah, I already have 1000 or so rounds of .22LR. Oddly enough, around here in Northern IL, 12 gauge and .22LR are still in stock pretty much everywhere. I don't think there are that many gun enthusiasts around here, which is why I am pessimistic about looking used. I've browsed local gun shops and Armslist and haven't really came up with much so far.
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