More Ammo or New Gun?

We just ordered my wife a S&W 43c 22LR revolver. She has been keeping one of my J frame airweight 38 spl revolvers. She grips it well, plus she’s good with the DA trigger, but the recoil is just too much for her small hands. She can get off a good first shot but I’ve always been worried there’d be no hope for good follow up shots in any decent time. She doesn’t like shooting the 38 special at all in the little airweights.

We had rented her, and subsequently bought, a M&P 380 EZ, but that’s a pretty large gun as 380’s go. In working it, she found that her grip wasn’t consistent, and it was just too big and awkard for her very small hands. Plus it was too much for her to conceal on her person, so it was a purse gun at best.

Now we’re really hopeful on the 22 revolver. She’s going to use it as her main SD gun, with the Federal SD 22LR ammo that is tested to 13" in ballistics gel with a 2" barrel. With 8 shots in the cylinder it could be a nice, small lightweight SD gun that eliminates the reliability concern with 22 autoloaders. I’m looking forward to practicing with her, I’ve got bricks and bricks of 22LR ammo I’ve bought over the years, some of which had the wrong profile for reliable feeding in my 22 rifle. Now we’ll have a gun for her to play with. Its like free practice with all that spare ammo, and I expect she’ll want to go shooting a lot. :grinning:


Pewpewpew. I love suppressed rimfire. Its the absolute easiest platform for new shooters. Only downside is you gotta clean the supressed ones religiously.

Ruger mk4 tactical and silencerco osprey micro. Alao known as “the ugly brick that doesnt fit holsters”


…said by ALMOST nobody’s Wives ANYWHERE!
(unless she’s a Gunner too!)…
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


Let’s just say, I married above my pay grade!


Yes you did Brother, yes you did.


Consider getting (or loading yourself) som “light” .38’s. You can get recoil in a standard airweight down to basically .22 levels by launching a 148 gr wadcutter at 600-650 fps. Taught wife and a couple other ladies to shoot J frames that way. The ONLY downside I see to the .22/.22 Mag revolvers (43C. 351, 317) is the tend to have a pretty high trigger pull so the hammer will really Smack those rimfire rounds, and that can be off putting to some. My sister in law couldn’t master the trigger on my 351PD, but she does fine with my 438 (which has a sweet DA pull less than 2/3’s that of the rimfire. Light loads and she’s good to go.

BTW, no report of shooting the Browning 1911-22 because the range I was planning to rent from is closed until further notice due to ventilation issues. HVAC repair parts are on order …

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Buy a new caliber firearm and you have to buy the new ammo to fit.
This can end up being a rabbit hole, no?
OTOH I think everyone deserves to own a .22.


I did try some light 38 loads, but still, the 8 shot 22 with the Federal Punch ammo seemed like a nice option for her, especially given the really light weight of the gun and what a lady has to deal with concealing under Florida summer clothes. We got the gun today and I’m happy to say the trigger is fantastic for a DA 22 revolver. It feels very much like my well broken in 38 DA J frame. I expected a heavier, notchier trigger, but couldn’t be happier with the little 43c.


I came across an attractive deal on a Browning 1911-22 Black Label in a color combination that has been discontinued. Since I like the discontinued colors, the reviews I’ve read being very positive, the lack of availability in the used market, just general impatience, and the range being closed, I decided to forgo the rental stage and just ordered one. It should be in my sweaty little hands sometime next week.


The FFL called and said the Browning 1911-22 Black Label has arrived. I grabbed some 22LR snap-caps and headed over. When I arrived he wanted me start filling out paperwork, but I wanted to inspect for any issues before the transfer. I did a visual QC, and not that I perceive using it, noticed it has the optional Picatinny rail. I politely asked if they had any problem with me loading a couple of snap-caps to test the functionality of the safeties as well as dry fire in the corner. He announced to everyone they were about to hear a snap-cap go off. They all said no problem. I confirmed function of the grip safety, the thumb safety, the no magazine safety, and finally pulled the trigger. The trigger is what you expect from a 1911and it tested between 4 to 4.5 pounds when I got home. While at the FFL, I also checked proper function of the disconnect. Satisfied everything worked properly, I started filling out paperwork. I was told several times they had ever had anybody bring in snap-caps in before. I pointed out this is a rimfire and I was taking no chances with damaging the chamber nor firing pin dry firing without protection. If it had been a center fire, then I would not have bothered with loading snap-caps.

I had noted the action of the slide was really stiff at the FFL. The magazine took more effort than I felt like it should to insert as well. Once home I disassembled it and cleaned all the factory grease out with alcohol. The internal build quality seems really good. Was slightly disappointed the recoil guide rod is plastic and the recoil spring is not flat wire. Once everything was clean and dry, I oiled and reassembled. It now handled like a different gun, everything moves smoothly and effortlessly. The magazine insertion smoothed out after a number of cycles, but I removed the magazine release assembly to inspect for factory grease - none was present. I figure the spring needs a few more cycles to loosen up, better to have it tight than falling out on its own!

The three dot sights are nice and bright with the rear sight adjustable for windage. Thankfully I don’t have big paws because the 85% size grips provide plenty of vertical real estate, but the horizontal real estate is noticeably reduced for the support hand to get a lot of purchase on. This probably won’t matter in actual use, but I have a backup plan to swap out the flat mainspring housing for an arched one if I’m not happy after shooting it as is. The flat mainspring housing is one of the upgraded features of the Black Label so arched mainspring housings are available.

That’s it for initial observations. The indoor range is still closed, so actual shooting will have to wait. Here are a couple of photos comparing the length of pull, sight radius, and overall size to a Springfield EMP4 9mm 1911:


Absolutely beautiful new piece of hardware you got there! I’m green with envy. Its funny about the snap caps. When I went to pick up my wife’s 22LR revolver that I mentioned above, I asked the shop owner if I could buy a box of snap caps, as I didn’t have any at home to bring. She smiled and said, “yeah, no one ever asks for those, but you’re right to use them.”

Enjoy your new pistol.


:flushed: I don’t even take them out of the box at the LGS. I get it bagged up as soon as I can. :flushed:
I get it though, fortunately I haven’t had any problems with new stuf… Yet.

This was an internet order from Bud’s Gun Shop. Bud’s advised me to throughly inspect before the transfer took place. If I rejected it prior to transfer, then Bud’s would replace with another. If there is a problem after the transfer, then I would be working with Browning for resolution.


Excellent write up. A great read and I’m not really a 1911 guy, but after reading that I might change my mind.


Finally reviving this thread with a range report …

The indoor range I normally frequent has been under renovations for a long time now. The estimated reopening is 2 weeks from now every time I call to check. It’s getting close to cooling down enough to go to the outdoor range(s) in Okeechobee, but not quite yet. So, I got my stuff together and drove 45 minutes to another indoor range to give it a go. I took the Browning 1911-22 4-inch barrel Black Label, an AR with a brand new Labor Day special VG6 Epsilon muzzle brake to try out, and a pair of Wiley-X Sabre yellow tint shooting glasses my son just bought for me.

Upon arrival they wanted to discuss and inspect what I brought to shoot. Specifically, they were concerned about my AR ammo because they have had problems in the past with green tip 5.56. I showed him my magazine(s) loaded with 55 grain FMJ. He said his insurance would only cover ammo procured from them. The cheapest they had was $15 for 20 rounds. Not wanting to unload a magazine and pay that price to try out a muzzle brake, I took the AR back to the car.

Upon return from the parking lot, they asked if I needed target(s). I said no, my son gave me a 50 pack of Splatterburst for Father’s Day. He looked at them, shook his head and said you can’t use those here. They don’t meet the minimum size we require, we can sell you Silhouette target(s) that you can shoot the bottom only, our motorized target system has been shot too many times, so we don’t let anybody shoot anywhere near the cable/target clips. You can flip the target upside down and shoot the head to have 2 bullseye to shoot, just not both at the same time. If it had not been for 1-1/2 hour round trip of driving, I probably would have gone back home, but I persevered. I asked if there was an RO – “no RO, we use cameras to monitor the range” – Okee-dok-kee.

I put on eyes and ears and went to the Lane 1 shooting line, clipped on my “correct” size target, and started looking around to figure out how to send the target out to 5 yards. I spotted a toggle switch just above knee height – push it left and target returns, push right and target moves away. No distance marks on the floor, ceiling, nor floor, so I just took a WAG and got ready to try out the Browning 1911-22. I brought 100 rounds each of CCI Mini-Mag 40 grain CPRN, CCI Mini-Mag 36 grain CPHP, and Remington 36 grain CPHP. Both CCI flavors are new, the Remington ammo is at least 40 years old. I shot a 10+1 magazine of each ammo with zero drama. This is a photo of the target after the 1st three magazines:

One stovepipe on the 2nd magazine of the 40+ year old Remington ammo was the only hiccup the Browning had. Bottom line is I am very pleased with the handling, the trigger, and performance of the Browning 1911-22. :+1: I’ve just got to get a couple more magazines!

I had brought a Springfield 1911-9mm, just in case, and decided to flip the target over for an upside down head shot. The three white dot sights on the Browning were easy to see with the Wiley-X glasses. The Springfield has a red fiber optic front sight. The lighting was dim enough I could not see the front sight at all. I changed to a clear pair of glasses and could kind of pick out the outline of the front sight. Not to miss out on a training opportunity I decided to practice instinctive shooting, i.e. don’t look for the sights, just shoot where muscle memory tells you to. I was happy all shots landed inside the head silhouette, but predictably (for me) there was a greater distribution to the left side. One more comment about the range, I have always liked the smell of gun smoke, but the fragrance was a bit strong, even for me. :slight_smile:

Edit: One unexpected part of shooting the Browning was a muzzle flash - not enough to be distracting, but noticable just the same. Maybe the combination of dim lighting and smoke made it noticeable? Maybe it is because the 22LR is designed for a rifle barrel and this is common with the shorter barrels of 22LR pistols?


Congrats on the new pistol, i’m glad it worked well.

That range sounds terrible though :wink: Dim, poor ventilation, wonky rules, no RSO…

Do you recall which brand had more muzzle flash? I’ve used both the CCI models you mentioned (but not the Remington) shot out of 4"(?), 6" barrels and rarely see a muzzle flash. But the ranges i use are either outdoors or well-lit indoors.


Thanks Harvey, good to hear from you :+1:

They were all pretty much equal. Interesting I did not notice any flash on the 9mm shooting Winchester 115 grain White Box - almost out of my $0.16/round 9mm :slight_smile:


That seems like more of a :frowning::frowning::frowning: than a :slightly_smiling_face: to me.

I’m nearing the end of my .15 and .16/round 9mm as well. Soon each shot is gonna be in the .25 to .30 range :moneybag::dollar::frowning: