.22 LR Handgun Info

By , June 22, 2009 6:13 pm

Walther P22

Walther P22

German-made subcompact semiautomatic
Beretta U22 Neos

Beretta U22 Neos

Intriguing modern take on the .22 LR semiautomatic pistol


Long-time favorite

SIG Sauer Mosquito

SIG Sauer Mosquito

Another semiautomatic from Germany

Smith & Wesson 22A

Browning Buckmark

66 Responses to “.22 LR Handgun Info”

  1. Whaya "Wolf" says:

    Handgun I like is the heritage arms rough rider. Its dependable. and has a good feel in my hands.

  2. age says:

    I can’t make up my mind on purchasing one of these weapons. After holding the Ruger I took that out of the picture. Its between the U22 and the P22. I’m leaning towards the U22 for the accuracy, trigger, and the conversion kit to put a ≈16′ barrel and a stock on it. Any suggestions or comments?

  3. Dharma says:

    i have both and you can’t go wrong with either. For range shooting the U22 is outstanding and the better bang for the buck. A base model where I am is about $269.00 as opposed to the P-22 at $300.00 to $350.00. Also the U-22 that I have has fired over 600 rounds with no FTF and only one stove pipe. That includes some really old (ten years in the closet) Remington ammo. To the best of my knowledge the carbine conversion kit is not legal in the US as it changes the gun from a pistol to a rifle. I saw a U-22 carbine at a gun show two weeks ago and it is sweet but goes for about $450.00.

  4. Jim says:

    You really need to post the Browning Buckmark Target Stainless 7.25 inch fluted barrel as it would have to be the most accurate and well balanced .22 cal at 25 mtrs.

  5. colt jones says:

    To wolfs reply I have had a couple rough riders they feel good an shoot. Good but they have both broke on me an it cost as much to fix em as it. Did buy em but I really like the p22 it feels good an is smooth on draw

  6. Josh says:

    I recently received a new neos and immediately started looking into the carbine conversion kit and cheapest I have found is $210.00 on http://www.auctionarms.com. It is either stolen or straight from the manufacturer. Either way get it for what you can.

  7. CnSTx says:

    The Heritage Rough Riders are junk, they are made for those who cannot afford or do not know enough about guns. If you want a single action 22LR/22Mag buy a Ruger Single Six. The Sig Mosquito is worthless, it comes with two springs for the ammo choices. Beretta U22 Neos is decent – it is not illegal by the way. If you put the rifle stock on it with the pistol barrel IT IS AGAINST THE LAW (Short Barreled Rifle – SBR) make sure when you convert you do it right. The P22 is too light and too short to be of any use. I do not care, nor do many devoted Ruger fans of the California-lawyer friendly-Mark III.
    If you want a real 22, find an older Ruger Mark II target. Don’t waste your time with the 22/45’s get the real pistol with a bull barrel. Good luck finding one, but hold out until you do. Plenty of accessories, easy to find parts and they are cheaper than Sig, Beretta, or Walther (Smith and Wesson). Do not get a Smith & Wesson 22A – they are absolute junk. One pistol that wasn’t mentioned was the Browning Buck Mark, it’s a good pistol and excellent company name. It absolutely does not feed the bulk ammo, you have to feed it CCI Stingers and the top shelf .22’s.

  8. Jubal Harshaw says:

    Couple of basic comments. CnStx is right on. The P22 is a cute toy, but likes to be kept really clean. Disassembly can be a challenge the first few times. Ruger MKIII is a lawyer-designed nightmare. The Ruger MKII is a fairly reliable mechanism, though re-assembly after field stripping can be a test of patience. Browning Buck Mark is in the same class as the MKII, and, yes, it does like the high test stuff. For a throwaway, Phoenix has some junk that you really don’t want to bet your life on. And always remember to check the local rules about concealed carry. Most LEOs get really spun up with .22 and .25 toys, because they can go through ballistic vests, whereas the larger calibers will be stopped.

  9. corncob says:

    Back when Clinton was planning to tax centerfire ammo into extinction, I bought a .22 pistol so that I could keep practicing at a reasonable cost. I settled on a Ruger 22/45 because the grip angle the mechanics are very close to a Colt Govt Model .45 ACP. It’s accurate, as reliable as a .22 rimfire can be, and I have no regrets. Disassembling it for cleaning is a pain, as will the other Rugers, but it is not a problem with a little practice.

  10. FreeRange says:

    I’m very surprised that you don’t feature the S&W Model 41. My Dad and I both own one (I practically grew up with the pistol in my hand) and out of the hundreds of handguns I have owned over 40 years it is still one of my all-time favorites. If you have not had an opportunity to use one I urge you to try one, particularly one from the 70s or 80s if possible… they just feel so smooth. I think it would be valuable simply for the comparison factor compared to your other featured pistols; even though used models still fetch $850-$1000 and may be above most of your readers’ ideal price point… sell all of your other .22s and get a Smith and Wesson Model 41!!

    • Buckeyes Rovers says:

      The first and also last handgun i bought; reliable, friendly recoil, but above all it just gets me those bullseyes everytime!!! Super accurate and friendly to use. Shame on you admin, haven’t you used a model 41 yet??

  11. MKiii4LIFE says:

    Does anyone else here notice the conspicuous absence of anything to do with the Browning Buckmark. The only thing I have seen so far is the picture on the top of the webpage, other than that, there is absolutely no mention of the extremely well made and comparable firearm. For a target/fun shooting .22 that firearm is second in line to the Mark 3 in my book.

  12. baddad12 says:

    To FreeRange: The model 41 is an excellent choice if you want to run high priced ammo. I just got rid of a 70’s pistol that I was going to hand down to one of my sons, but he told me to peddle it because using bulk ammo was a pain. It JAMMED a lot. Super smooth action but not an every day user to plink with.

    • Buckeyes Rovers says:

      A friend and I both have a model 41. His gun only ejected the cartridge 50 percent of the time. He went to the gun shop, they replaced the ejector-spring with a harder spring and now, after 3 months, it hasn’t failed one time.

  13. Lucas says:

    I was at a pistol range and got to fire both the Ruger Mark III and the Browning Buckmark. I found them to be very similar in design. However, when I fired them, I found that the Ruger had a problem feeding ammunition. The Browning had a problem holding onto the magazine. My wife and I both shot them both. We both experienced the same issues.

    I am trying to find a nice little .22lr handgun for my son to plink with.

  14. Houdani says:

    See my other post. The Bersa- FIRESTORM semi-auto pistol is the Unicorn of 22lr’s.You might find this to be an answer to your-[Best 22lr????]., if you can find one. Lifetime – Bersa warrenty,easy function and DA/SA 10-mag.About $260 at Buds, only problem might be a single magazine, so order another [$26] Be alert and be safe.

  15. Rupert says:

    Hey Lucas, I have a rugar mark 3 hunter and it has performed wonderfully for me. I’ve put approx 2000 rounds through it. The only problems I have had is with the often unreliable rimfire ammo (I’ve found federal champion to be the most consistent super cheap bulk ammo). My guess is that if it was a range gun it simply hasn’t been kept in good/clean shape.

  16. Bill Leuschner says:

    I’ll probably get either the Beretta U 22 or the S & W 22a as the price is about the same and what I want to spend. I’ll put a red dot on whichever I buy. I’ve shot the U 22 (iron sights) and its fine for me at this point but my more knowledgable companions say the trigger is is lacking (one shoots the S&W 41). Is the trigger on the 22a any better? Also, I’ve read about the plastic recoil buffer (?) on the 22a possibly needing replacement. Is this really an issue? I currently shoot a MK II and an old S&W revolver, think its a K-22 but is not so marked.

    • Bill Strack says:

      The S&W 22a is the biggest piece of junk I’ve ever owned. It shoots fine, but yes the plastic recoil buffer is a pain. It popped out every time I field stripped it for cleaning and wore out about every 200-300 rounds. I sold mine after a year and would never have another. Best .22 semi-auto I ever had was a High Standard. Best recent .22 revolver I’ve had was a 6 inch barrel Taurus Tracker (1 inch groups at 25 yds)

    • justin says:

      Honestly, if you already have a Ruger MKII and a S&W .22 LR revolver (both excellent guns), why not go for something different like the Walther P22, SIG Sauer Mosquito, or the new Ruger SR22?

      Another interesting option would be the Bersa Thunder 22 (also sold as the Firestorm FS22). It’s a neat little gun with a look very similar to the iconic Walther PPK. They can be a bit hard to track down, but Bersa pistols have mostly great reviews.

  17. So which is it? I am looking to eventually get my son its the shooting arts. I have an XD 40 which is great! Too expensive to plink or teach with. There are so many models out there as you mentioned.

  18. xyzzy says:

    I have a S&W 22a and it has been as reliable as a brick and shoots any ammo I feed it. The plastic recoil buffer does eventually need replacing – I bought 10 of them and a spare recoil spring not long after I got the gun (2 years ago) and I’ve used one so far. I also have a Neos, which has also been reliable and shoots anything I buy, but I don’t shoot it as well as the S&W. I have arthritis problems and the Neos just doesn’t fit my hand like the S&W, and that makes the difference. That makes me think the Neos might be a good choice for a youngster – take him to a store where he can hold one himself. (I found that same fit-in-my-hand [problem with both he Single Six and Heritage revolvers – disappointing as I’d like a 22 revolver.)

  19. gun nut1 says:

    i have a sig Sauer Mosquito and it is so nice 5 in grops at 15 meeters

  20. Bill says:

    Why cany you get a much larger magazine for these 22LR Pistols? It would seam that a 20 or 30 round double stack magazine would be available.

  21. justin says:

    @Bill It is tricky to make a reliable double-stack magazine for a rimmed cartridge like the .22 LR. The small size of a .22 LR cartridge makes it even harder because it has a short overall length, and the rim diameter is significantly larger than the case diameter.

    It is not impossible, however. Kel-Tec has recently introduced the PMR-30, a rimfire pistol that holds 30+1 rounds of .22 Magnum in a double-stack magazine. Kel-Tec is looking to produce a .22 LR version of this handgun with the same 30-round capacity.

  22. David says:

    What are your thoughts on the Browning 1911-22?

  23. Dug says:

    I haven’t tried it out, but kel-tec has come out with a 30 round mag pistol. I’ll repost if I have a chance to try one.

  24. Jesse says:

    Let’s see: I have a Browning Buckmark, Ruger I and II, Bersa Thunder22, Walther P22, Beretta U 22 , H&R 622, Iver Johnson Trailsman 66, Rossi, Heritage RR 22, Taurus UL94. Love them all, super fun to take out and have the family shoot. Browning with Holographic Sight is a blast to shoot, the most accurate of all I own. Rugers …well are Rugers, the standard for 22 autos. Various older revolvers are fun to shoot, hard to clean, but can be picked up cheap at gun shows or the local pawn shop. RR SA can be picked up cheap (Sale at Academy for $99 NEW)-not a Colt or Ruger, but a fun and very accurate gun to shoot. U22 is the favorite of the kids..space gun, target gun at a low cost, put a scope on this thing and watch out. Walther P22 is fun, small, never had a problem with mine -shooting WalMart bulk Feds, pretty accurate once you figure which front sight works best for you. Invest in a Hi-Viz front sight. Only down side is zinc frame, so don’t drop it too much.
    Taurus is a super little gun, just a hard DA pull, SA not too bad: Had some problems with misifires and cases sticking in cylinder; sent back to Taurus and in 2 weeks they send me a new one, super CS and new one works great…hitting about 2k down it. Our CC guns are S&W 642s, so Tarus 94 is a good cheap practice gun that is close in size and feel to the S&Ws. The Bersa…what a fun gun, could be a CC with Mini-Mags, super gun to shoot and my favorite. Mags hard to get. Next one I’m watching for is a New CA Pathfinder, about same size as the Taurus but better trigger, maybe in 22 mag. Have fun with any 22 you can get.

  25. D. Moore says:

    I also own And am equally fond of a p22. Problem is locating a fitted concealment bely holster other than a FOBUS, which I do not like at all. Any suggestions?

  26. SkyL2L says:

    walther p22… vrey comfortable to my hand… and has a good grip on it…

  27. Jiri Krecek says:

    It’s a pity you left out the CZ-75 Kadet. Fits in your hand like a glove, is not very picky with ammo and shoots like a dream. Smooth and accurate. It is a traditional CZ-75 in .22 cal. They also sell a .22 cal conversion kit for CZ-75 9mm, so you can have one gun with both calibers.

  28. Randall says:

    Sounds like many here have preferences for the big names – Bersa, CZ, Walther, Beretta, and S&W. I respect that as everyone has different needs. I am not ashamed to state I recently bought a Heritage Rough Rider. I wasn’t sure what I was going to get at the lower price point, but after about 350 rounds, I can say that Heritage made an attractive, very accurate gun for entry level shooters. Nothing fancy, just a basic revolver that I hope lasts me awhile.

  29. ken says:

    the guns are 09, do ya have anything new ?

  30. Yongjiu Du says:

    what is the model in the very top left?

  31. justin says:

    It is a Beretta 92FS with a .22 LR conversion kit.

  32. Yongjiu Du says:

    Where can we buy this “.22 LR conversion kit”
    and is it easy to put it on the 92FS?

  33. Russell Pederson says:

    Where can I purchase screws for the grips on a Mark 111

  34. justin says:

    Russell, the grip screws you are looking for are available at Brownell’s. Click the “Brownells Ammunition” banner ad at the right side of this page. Once you’re there, at the top of the left column, enter in “Ruger MK grip screws”.

    You’ll see a product, “RUGER® MK I/MK II ALLEN HEAD GRIP SCREWS”. These grip screws also work with the Ruger MK III.

    $9.99 for 4 black grip screws, $14.99 for 4 nickel grip screws.

    Let me know if you have any trouble finding them there.

    -Justin Franks
    Owner, Best22Cal.com

  35. Kevin says:

    David says:
    August 13, 2011 at 12:25 am

    What are your thoughts on the Browning 1911-22

    I plan on getting the compact when it comes out. Hopefully CTC will make laser grips that will fit it. It is supposed to be very reliable. I plan on loading it up with Aguila 60grn subsonic stealth rounds. Very hard hitting and reliable ignition.

  36. Caurie says:

    I am new to shooting, and my husband and I got each other guns for Christmas. A Ruger LCP for me and a Glock 40 for him. I love my little Ruger for what it is – a self defense weapon that has a big bang for a little gun. Being a fairly petite woman – 5’0, 105 – The LCP bruises my hand every time we take it to the range because of the brutal recoil.

    I am looking to get a .22 pistol for more of a range gun and really like the Ruger SR22. It feels good in my hand, and – I’m not sure if this is a legitimate reason – but I like that it resembles a larger version of my LCP. I held several guns today, including the MarkIII, Mosquito, and P22. The SR22 is not one of the ones you really recommend, so should I look at another option?

    I’m trying to learn as much as I can before I make the purchase.

  37. Kevin says:

    @Caurie: Totally legit reasoning for the SR22. The reason it’s not listed above is probably because it’s such a new gun. If it has similar handling as your carry gun, it will be great for training. I have sent many, many thousands of .22 down range. Great, cheap practice.

  38. Caurie says:

    @Kevin- Thank you! I’m so excited to get better and more familiar with shooting, and it looks like the SR22 might be my gun!

  39. Kevin says:

    I’ve got 3 Ruger rifles and wouldn’t hesitate to buy another. I’m sure the SR22 will be a great gun. I’ve got lots of 22’s but my next pistol will the the Browning 1911-22. If I didn’t have my eye on the Browning, I would consider the Ruger.

  40. Bill says:

    Just bought a S&W M&P 22 pistol. Ran over 300 rounds through it last Friday. Not a single FTF or FTE !!!!!! Great gun. Lots of fun and pretty accurate. I used Federal bulk ack from Wal Mart. Will try some other ammo next week end.
    By the way, I have been shooting a Browning Buckmark for 20 years and you cant beat it but because of age and failing hand strenth it is hard to chamber the first round. The S&W is much easier to handle for me.

  41. matt says:

    Cnstx is a moron. Dont base your purchase off a disgruntled wanna be Know-it-all. The heritage revolvers are great, the sigs are great, and the p-22’s are great. Not everyone has the same budget. Some people seem to forget, shooting the 22 is about fun, target practice, or putin’ meat in the cooler. Randall-Rock on with the rough rider!!!! And to all you “forum trollin 22lr experts”, get fudged and go play airsoft at the mall.

  42. Jerry says:

    I’m a big fan of 22 caliber handguns. I have a collection of both handguns and rifles. My wife shoots a Walther P22 and loves it. I shoot a SIG Mosquito. I also have 22LR & 22Mag revolvers in both DA & SA. And several distributor special Mark III target pistols. Bottom-line is …there are a bunch of new 22LR products available. They’re not very expensive. Find one that feels good in the hand and attractive. I’m looking at the SIG/GSG 1911-22LR in dark earth tone to add to my collection. Ruger’s new 22LR product is fantastic if I didn’t already have a P22. Browning’s new 1911-22A1 is a fantastic choice for a lady with small hands. However it’s a tad expensive for what it is. Get one of your choice you can’t go wrong and have fun shooting cheap ammo.

  43. adam says:

    I’m new to shooting. I bought a Taurus 992 22MAG/LR (dual cylinders) with the idea of shooting a *lot* of LR through it. I got it last Sat. Today, at the range at about the 1300 round mark the trigger mechanism broke and I am waiting for my gunsmith to take a look at it. I took the cover plate off and found a pin had sheared off the little doohicky that slides up betweeen the hammer and the firing pin when you pull the trigger to act as a transfer bar. I was not impressed with the quality of the machining inside nor the fact that I found shavings in there. I will get it repaired but I dunno if I will keep it.

    I am thinking of getting a Ruger MK III 5.5″ heavy barrel. I want a gun that will always be more accurate than I am and will happily shoot thousands of rounds of bulk 22LR. I’d be grateful for any suggestions or advice.


  44. J Osorio says:

    I think the Browning and M&P22 deserve their own picture and section.

  45. apiccone says:

    I just purchased the Ruger MK3 Hunter for my wife. I relied upon the “name” of the gun and recommendations from other shooters and didnt do my homework. Had multiple misfeeds (about 1 out of 10). Also has a problem clearing the misfeed as the mag wouldnt eject no matter how hard I pushed the ejector button after fumbling with it it finally released and I was able to clear. Let’s say I am already NOT a fan. I’ll stick to my CZ75 and Taurus 357 – no misfeeds, no jams, no stovepipes – just aim and squeeze. Ammo is more expensive but its better then clearing misfeeds every 10 shots when on the range.

  46. Eric in Ohio says:

    I used to have many 22 long rifle pistols. My mother passed away and my sisters and I needed money to pay for funeral expenses. Its been 6 years and have recovered some financially. What do you guys think between the Beretta neos and the S&W 22a. I had a shot a sig recently and did not like it. I used to have a 22a and a rough rider and both were good. But its been a while and things change. So what is good to buy now.

  47. Eric in Ohio says:

    I bought the neos yesterday. I will give an update after i shoot it.

  48. Eric in Ohio says:

    Tack driver, I can stackem’up, stackem’down, or just make one ragged hole. What ever I want at 25 yrds. It’s a little more accurate than my S&W 22a. I think the trigger pull is lighter on the neos. Excellent buy! So glad I bought it.

  49. Harrison D says:

    I’ve had really bad luck with newer Taurus models, very poor machining, dents and nicks on slide rails and in cylinder detents. Revolver was the 990 Tracker, which I thought would be a good gun. Look closely if you plan to buy one. Best revolver ever S&W 617, but very expensive. Ruger single six is a great single action. Browning Buckmark: had 2; one was great, now belongs to my daughter, the other jammed frequently, due to rough chambering throat. Ruger Mk 1, 11, 111 all good; my favorite is the .22/45. Amazon sells replacement grips (check under 1911 grips) if you don’t like the stock grips; the cocobolo is sure pretty though. I agree, the rugers are tricky to dis/assemble. Hope this helps.

  50. d perdue says:

    no one mentions ati gsg 1911 22lr… sweet gun enough said 😉

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