Category: Handgun reviews

SIG Sauer Mosquito: Another subcompact semiautomatic from Germany

By , August 5, 2010 12:01 pm

(under construction)

The SIG Mosquito is a blowback-operated, semi-automatic pistol based on the SIG Sauer P226 but 10% smaller and chambered for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. The Mosquito is set up with the same decocker and slide-lock as the larger SIG-Sauer pistols, but also features a slide-mounted ambidextrous manual safety. All models have a Picatinny rail on the dust cover of the frame.

With the exception of the slide-mounted ambidextrous manual safety, the SIG Sauer Mosquito handles just like a regular SIG Sauer service pistol. The frame-mounted decocker is placed forward of the slide stop in the same arrangement as a typical SIG Sauer P-series pistol.

Along with extra mags and holsters, factory accessories include a polymer bridgemount that makes it possible to mount a red-dot sight or other scope accessory. Its Picatinny rail makes it possible to mount lights and/or lasers that are available today.

The standard Mosquito model is chambered in .22 LR and has a double-action/single-action (DA/SA) trigger. The polymer frame and small size (compared to the SIG P226) allow the pistol with magazine to weigh little more than 24.6 oz. The overall height is 5.3 inches with a barrel length of 3.9 inches. The Mosquito’s frame has a Picatinny rail, a ten-round capacity magazine, and adjustable sights.

Ruger MK III: Long-time favorite

By , August 14, 2009 12:58 pm

(note: page still under construction!)

The Ruger Mark III is a semiautomatic pistol manufactured in the United States by Sturm, Ruger & Company.

There is a dizzying number of models of this handgun. It would be tedious and confusing to describe each available model; instead, refer to the below table for information on the many models of the Ruger Mark III pistol.

Ruger Mark III Models

Standard * Fixed Fixed 4¾” 9″ 35 oz
Standard * Fixed Fixed 6″ 10¾” 37 oz
Bull Barrel * Adjustable Fixed 5½” 9¾” 42 oz
Bull Barrel * Adjustable Fixed 5½” 9¾” 42 oz
Target * Adjustable Fixed 6⅞” 11⅛” 42 oz
Competition * Adjustable Fixed 6⅞” 11⅛” 45 oz
Hunter * Adjustable High-Visibility Fiber Optic 6⅞” 11⅛” 41 oz

The Ruger Mark III Standard has a tapered barrel in a 4.75″ (121mm) or 6.0″ (153mm) length, fixed sights, and black plastic handgrips. The Mark III Bull Barrel adds a heavier, untapered 5.5″ (140mm) barrel and an adjustable rear sight. The next model in the lineup is the Mark III Target with a tapered 6.875″ (175mm) barrel and an adjustable rear sight.

* The high-end model is known as the Hunter. This pistol features a stainless steel frame and 6.875-inch fluted bull barrel, fiber-optic front sight, adjustable rear sights, and half-checkered Cocobolo grip. It features multiple safety mechanisms, and includes a visible loaded chamber indicator (The first ever included in a .22 rimfire pistol) as well as internal and external keyed locks provided.
* The next pistol in the lineup is named Competition. It too has a stainless steel frame and 6.875-inch bull barrel, and adjustable rear sights; the pistol also has the Cocobolo grip.
* Target is the next Mark III. This pistol has a blued finish, a tapered 6.875-inch barrel, and adjustable rear sights.
* The Bull barrel pistol comes in stainless steel or blued finish. It has a heavier barrel to help the barrel from overheating and to keep recoil down. It has a 5.5-inch barrel and adjustable rear sights.
* Finally, the Standard Mark III has a tapered barrel, black plastic handgrips and a blued finish. It comes with either a 6-inch or 4.75-inch barrel. It has fixed sights.

Beretta U22 Neos: Intriguing modern take on the .22 LR semiautomatic pistol

By , June 24, 2009 5:17 pm

The Beretta U22 Neos is a semiautomatic pistol designed and manufactured in the United States by Beretta USA in Accokeek, Maryland.

Beretta U22 Neos (4.5 barrel, black)

Beretta U22 Neos (4.5" barrel, black)

There are several available models of this handgun. The standard Beretta U22 Neos (pictured to the right) has a 4.5″ (114mm) barrel. Additional models include a 6.0″ (153mm) barrel as well as a 7.5″ (191mm) barrel. Currently, the 7.5″ barrel model is no longer marketed by Beretta USA; this barrel is available as an add-on accessory to the 4.5″ or 6.0″ models. The barrels are easily interchangeable by the user with a single screw. In addition, there is a deluxe model, the U22 Neos DLX, which adds an adjustable trigger for pre- and over-travel.

There are several available color options. The standard U22 Neos has a black frame with a black (blued) slide. The U22 Neos INOX has a black frame with a silver (stainless steel) slide. Several grip color choices available from Beretta include black, grey, blue, red, black with grey inserts, black with blue inserts. The aftermarket for this handgun comes through with even more grip color options, including black with red inserts and black with pink inserts.

The design of the U22 Neos is very distinctive, with a ‘futuristic’ look that is very polarizing — most people either love it or hate it. Despite this, many people who cannot stand its looks have nothing but good things to say about how it shoots, especially at its very low price point.

A rail on top of the barrel telescopes back over the bolt and incorporates adjustable sights and a scope mount. Standard packaging includes two 10-round magazines.

The design of the Neos is novel in several ways. The frame of the Neos is a simple rail and the grip is a separate, non-serialized piece. The striker is visible at the rear of the bolt when it is cocked. The magazine release is in an unusual location on the right side of the frame above the trigger guard actuated by the trigger finger of a right-handed shooter or the weak hand of a left-handed shooter. The styling of the Neos was intended to be radical and modern.

Walther P22: German-made subcompact semiautomatic

By , June 22, 2009 7:16 pm
Walther P22 (black, 3.4 barrel)

Walther P22 (black, 3.4" barrel)

The Walther P22 is a semiautomatic pistol manufactured in Germany by Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen. Distribution in the United States is by Walther America, a joint venture with the Smith & Wesson Company.

There are two separate models of this handgun. The standard Walther P22 (pictured to the right) has a 3.4″ (87mm) barrel, while the Walther P22 Target has a 5.0″ (127mm) barrel with a barrel mounted weight compensator that matches the profile of the slide. The barrels are easily interchangeable between the two models, and packages that included both barrels were in the past offered directly from Walther. These combination packages are no longer available directly from the manufacturer, but to make up for this, some dealers do sell a discounted package with both barrels.

Walther P22 (3.4 inch barrel, Nickel)

Walther P22 (nickel, 3.4" barrel)

Color options from the factory are numerous. The P22 Black is the standard model with a black frame and black (blued) slide. The P22 Nickel has the same black frame with a nickel-finished (silver) slide. The P22 Military has an olive drab frame combined with the standard black slide. The P22 Anthracite/Brushed Chrome mates an anthracite (dark grey marbled with a lighter grey) frame with a brushed chrome finish on the slide.

The Walther P22’s exterior design very closely resembles the Walther PK380, a .380 ACP caliber compact pistol, but is somewhat smaller. Magazine capacity is 10 rounds and is a single-stack design. There is a slide mounted, thumb operated, ambidextrous safety and an external hammer. The magazine release is of a different design than most semiautomatic pistols sold in the United States. Instead of a magazine release button placed on the grip, the P22 has an ambidextrous magazine release lever located at the rear of the trigger guard. Many other Walther semiautomatic pistols (like the aforementioned PK380 and the P99) have a similarly-designed magazine release.

Walther P22 (military, 3.4 barrel)

Walther P22 (military, 3.4" barrel)

Walther has modified the magazine for the P22 as the original design was somewhat prone to feed failures. The first revision modified the feed ears and added a 3/8″ slot, allowing the rounds to stagger as they approach the top of the magazine. The second revision lengthened the stagger slot to 1″ to further improve cartridge feeding reliability. The third (and current as of 2009) revision has a tall spring retaining nub and is made of slightly thicker steel.

The P22 has a conventional double-action/single-action (DA/SA) trigger, meaning that the first shot may be fired with the hammer uncocked — the double-action trigger will first cock the hammer. The trigger pull in the double-action mode is approximately 12 lbs., and in the single-action mode is approximately 5 lbs.

This handgun is equipped with a magazine disconnect and will not fire unless a magazine is properly seated into the weapon.

Pistolsmith’s review of the Walther P22

Walther P22 review from Associated Content

Christian Gun Owner’s Walther P22 review review of the Walther P22

Video review of the Walther P22 by nutnfancy at YouTube: