Best 22 cal Pistol

I am helping my brother-in-law find a good hand gun in 22 cal. My BiL is older (in retirement), hands aren’t as strong and eyes are fading. He has a bunch of wheel-guns and small pocket guns that just shoot like crap - primarily because they weren’t used and maintained well over the past 20 years. After shoot some of my modern handguns, he is very much interested in getting some more modern as he was able to handle and shoot it a lot easier. He wants something he can cycle easily (which is why I’m looking for a .22), has a mag with the assist level to help load the rounds, and eats ammunition, not choke on it. Any suggestions from those with experience on a particular model/type?

For light weight, I love my Ruger SR22. and he gets a choice of colors! If he wants full size, Beretta 92FS .22lr is superb.

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Maybe have him rent the M&P Shield EZ in .380 or 9mm. I know the .380 doesn’t have much more felt recoil than the 22 does, as that is the handgun I bought my daughter. The .380 EZ that is. She likes to shoot the .22 first and then use the .380 after.

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Price range?

I would take a look at the Ruger Mk IV series and find the barrel length and weight that best suites him.

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All characteristics you are looking for could fit in M&P9 2.0 EZ Shield… but this one is 9MM.
But if you want to stick with 22 I like these:

  • Walther P22Q
  • M&P 22C
  • Walther Colt 1911A1 .22 (If you want 1911 style)

I believe most of manufacturers offer .22 version now, so definitely you will find something you (or BiL) like.

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If he want’s mag fed Ruger.
If he wants a wheel gun, Ruger.

Ruger OWNS the 22 market for hand guns and dare I say rifles in the semi-auto realm, the 77/22 isn’t shabby either for a bolt gun.

As with all things .22 LR, clean the action NOT the bore.

Cheers,

Craig6

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Glock 44 is .22 cal, light weight, light recoil…also available with threaded barrel

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More on this, please. I always clean both…when I clean, which isn’t often.

If you want a “target” pistol, something a little heavier and with a longer barrel… Ruger MkIV, S&W Victory (I have it, love it), Browning Buckmark.

If you want something that runs like a modern semi-auto, the new Glock 44, Taurus TX22 (I have it, love it), S&W M&P22. Walther, Beretta, etc all will usually have a 22 that is similar to their mainline firearms.

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Bought a Glock 44 a few weeks ago… it is now my favorite of several Glocks I own. It’s just plain fun.

… and it does have mag assists for super easy loading/unloading.

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I have this Ruger SR22 and a few others mentioned by others but the absolute best, smoothest handling and easiest to operate slide is my Browning 1911-22. It wasn’t cheap but OMG, cycling the slide is like glass.

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22LR ammo is notoriously dirty as quite often they use “filler” for case volume. That’s those annoying little yellow or grey balls that you find in your action after shooting a 22LR. When you get into the high dollar $10/box stuff there is less of that and it shoots cleaner. There is no secret that I don’t clean my bores until accuracy suffers on my big sticks and on my 22’s I have 2 that are “still in testing” one is my 1922 Springfield MK-II and the other is my Kimber G-82. Both are north of 4,000 rounds and the only thing down the bore has been a chamber scraper and boolits. I had previously cleaned both to within an inch of their lives to get totally down to a “fresh bore”. The 1922 provided me with a 1.25" group at 50 yds after the cleaning which previously was sub 1/2" after ~300 rounds. The Kimber gave me 2.75" groups after similar sub 1/2" groups after ~200 rounds.

It took both rifles north of 200 rnds to get back below 1" and the better part of 500 to be what they are now, Cold Bore Shot +5 into 3/8" or roughly .4". When the loose nut behind the trigger is doing his job I have had groups as small as .2" as recently as their last firing. The last time the G-82 was out (it has a 2-7X scope) I had multiple groups that you could not push a 30 cal boolit through. Sadly I don’t think the 1922 will come out much any more as I can’t see the front sight but I am playing with readers so I may drag her out just to see.

Cheers,

Craig6

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I only clean the bore when I notice accuracy dropping off.
The lead .22 is a heeled bullet with plenty of bore preserving grease or wax, depending on the make, that doesn’t harm anything until it builds up and that usually takes several hundred rounds down the spout. Then remember to give the chamber a scrub while you’re a it.

I’ve had excellent results with my GSG Firefly (formerly SIG Mosquito). It’s a little picky on ammo, but will gobble up Remington Thunderbolts all day long. Fun to shoot, cheap to shoot. Wish it had a little more “oomph,” I would love to CC it!

Thank you all for the recommendations.

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Let us know what you decide to go with.

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My first semi auto handgun was a Ruger SR22. Its a 22lr comes with 2 10 round mags. that are easy to load. Fits just right in the hand and shoots great. Got it this past Apr. 2020. A good hand gun.

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I’ll tell you what, Phoenix arms hp22. I bought this gun for my wife and it cycles through well, it shoots well. I personally put 500 rounds through it in one sitting and it was cycling great. The only thing you have to do when you get the gun is put some as good slide lube on it. Other then that it’s an awesome gun.

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I shot mine for the first time last weekend with let’s just say different results. Maybe I’ll try your lube solution.

When I first got it, it was very stiff. So I put some slide lube… the red stuff… Racked it a few times and good as gold. I also don’t recommend Remington bullets. I had a box of thunderbolts that I was shooting through it and let me tell you it would not cycle the things. Grab the box of Winchester and it shot like a dream. All together I think I put 5 thousand rounds through it and everything seems to be working great on it.