More Ammo or New Gun?

Let’s face it, gas is never going to be 25 cents a gallon again, and ammo prices probably are not going to dip significantly lower than they are today. I am struggling with the trade off between buying ammo to feed what I’ve got, or buying a 22LR pistol to reduce ammo expense in the long run.

My biggest concern with going the 22LR route is negative training, particularly the recoil reduction. I can do dry fire with current guns and CO2 BB pistol shooting in the back yard. Is the addition of a 22LR really worth the non-recurring expense?

Yes, I do know the answer is get both, but pockets aren’t as deep as I would like.


If you already have a Co2 bb pistol, then a .22 is kind of redundant, isn’t it?
OTOH a .22 conversion unit, or duplicate of your EDC in .22 is really a pretty slick addition and can certainly reduce your range ammo bill.

So it depends.


For $130.00 I bought my sister this Rough rider (6) rounds. pretty cool, decent price, She went back
to my little Taurus G3c (12) rounds , She likes the stopping power of a (9) w/ the Sig ‘V’ Crown and I got this pistol back! Cool deal. There is also a Heritage (10)
rounder for about the same $$$$$. You really don’t have to settle/either or ammo/gun @ these prices.
I have a cool sister!

Have a safe 4th


Yes indeed, I am already downselected to either a Browning 1911-22 or a Colt/Walther 1911-22. I plan to rent a Browning towards the end of this week. I have not found the Colt available to try out. The tradeoffs between them are the Browning is half the weight, so should closer emulate the recoil of my 9mm and 10mm 1911’s. The downsides are it is 15% smaller and twice the price of the Colt.

Not really, the BB pistol velocity rolls off after each shot and it is dramatic towards the end of the bottle. The trigger is the definition of what you aren’t looking for in a 1911 :slight_smile:


I chose .22LR route.
Because I’m 1911 / 2011 guy I made it as close to reality as possible and bought 22 conversation kit for my pistols. The same weight, same grip, same trigger.

Training with the same platform is a must. I don’t care about recoil. Recoil always happens after the shot and has nothing to do with accuracy. With good built-in technique with .22LR, adding the recoil aspect during 9 mm shooting takes only few rounds to master bigger round.


I, too, am wrestling with whether to buy a 22LR pistol. I’ve been fooling around with my brother’s 22 pistols and while they are fun to shoot, they are notoriously unreliable – ammo sensitive, lots of light primer strikes and various malfunctions – and I’ve found them to be frustrating. So, I’m skeptical of their utility as a training platform (unless you want to practice clearing malfunctions).


If you go with reliable solutions and good quality.22LR ammo, you will get almost the same low malfunction rate as with 9 mm.
I owned M&P 22 Compact which got me hard time till the moment I took care of it and polished every part that ammo touched. Since that I had maybe 2 - 3 malfunctions during few months.
Now with 1911 conversion kit (Marvel 1911-22) I don’t have problems at all.
I strongly recommend “high velocity” .22LR rounds to avoid ammo related issues.


I went with the .22 lr route as well. At the time (3 years ago) .22 was more available than any of the other calibers, so it made sense.

Now I warm up with it when I go to the range. I also shoot it at longer distance than my 9mm, 40, and 45.

I started practicing shooting off hand with it due to the light recoil.


I would probably go the .22 route if you can get a pistol that is similar enough to your regular carry and/or home defense options. It is closer to reality than airsoft or dry fire (though I still use both of those regularly with dry fire counting for about 80% of my trigger pulls).

With ammo prices the way they are I have become very focused with my live fire time with my defensive firearms. I’m usually only shooting 50 rounds a session now doing specific drills. But I like taking a .22 along for some added fun as well as practicing different techniques like shooting on the move. I can cheaply work out the kinks with the .22 and then confirm with my standard option that the skills translate to the more capable platform.

@Mark697 I have been spending a little more for my .22 ammo lately to avoid reliability issues. I can’t remember the last time I had a malfunction with CCI mini mags or velocitor ammo. Though the .22 pistol and rifle I have do pretty well with the cheaper stuff as well. Provided I avoid Remington .22 ammo which I haven’t used in over a decade due to very poor reliability issues.


I like to see more stuff in my safe, I’d buy the new gun.


I would love more guns in my safe, however, with only two hands…
I prefer more ammo! Without ammo, I have paperweights!
In addition there’s a slight chance there could be another slump in ammunition manufacturing!
I’m not happy with my current stockpile!


It’s like having three cars, you can only drive one at a time, but without fuel you’re not going anywhere, in any of them!
Thankfully, my wife keeps nagging me to buy more ammo, almost daily!


What make and model .22s are you shooting? Some are prima donnas; others are as reliable as electric clocks. Also a history of abuse (dry firing rimfires) or allowing tight “match” chambers (common on high end target pistols) to foul, will screw things up pretty quick.

I too bought a22LR thinking I would shoot it more and save some money. I found that unless you also want to train racking the slide to fix stove pipes, miss fires failure to feed issues don’t. I only use it to plink around for fun.


How many guns do you have? How much ammo do you have?

Let’s phrase it this way: Is there an articuable job you legitimately have for a firearm, for which you do not currently own at least two? If so, consider a firearm.

Do you have enough ammo that you could shoot as much as you deem necessary for yourself to maintain an adequate level of proficiency for at least X years? With X being 2 years unless you have reason to put a different number there. If not, consider ammo instead.

If nothing jumps out to you as obvious, you can probably freely choose either. Flip a coin and what you want it to land on when it’s in the air is what you do.


Thankfully, my wife keeps nagging me to buy more ammo, almost daily!
Same here, guns are paperweights if we don’t have ammo.


A .22 handgun is not just a great training tool, it’s the best training tool you can have. I train ALL new shooters with Glock 44s. I keep 4 of them in my training range bag to lend out to students that show up with guns they show me they are not ready to handle like the lovely lady who had never shot a gun in her life and showed up to train with me with a Glock 23 (40S&W) because her husband thought that saving money by buying a police trade-in cheap was preferable to outfitting his wife a more suitable firearm for her capabilities and training level.

I’ve mentioned this before but marksmanship fundamentals are: grip, sight picture, stance and trigger control. Recoil management happens AFTER the shot is fired and it’s a separate skill that while incredibly important has nothing to do with accurate shooting. It has to do with faster recovery for follow up shots.

So when we teach new shooters I strive to minimize the distractions of noise and recoil from teaching accurate shooting. For that a .22 is about as ideal as it gets. And I have HUNDREDS of successful cases and ZERO failures to prove this point without a shadow of a doubt. I have even “fixed” military and LE shooters with decades old bad habits by taking away their service weapons and bringing them back to fundamentals with a .22 handgun. Love the face full of smiles when they consistently start drilling the center out of the target. When they go back to their service weapons the transition is basically seamless if you take them through a few basic drills to help them apply what the just learned.

As has been mentioned, if you can mimic your SD preferred platform that is best. That’s why I have the Glock 44s, but I also have 1911 conversions and .22 revolvers in the training inventory.

And BTW once you find ammo they “like” .22 pistols are VERY reliable, even though they tend to be more finicky about cleanliness and lubrication. You just have to work with them to keep them running right.


That is something I had not thought about. It’s like a lot of things - hiding in plain sight but obvious once brought to your attention. Looking forward to trying out the Browning Wednesday.

I have a grandson turning 1 year old next week. Having a 22 pistol available when he is ready will be great to enjoy with him.


It’s something to really look forward to and an excellent tool for training kids. Excellent pick!!!


If you see the same statement from two people… that means it’s something to be taken under consideration. :wink:


Touché :+1:

Sometimes it takes a double tap to register :grinning: