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6 Best .22LR Pistols/Handguns [Hands-On]: Tiny & Awesome

Every gun owner should own at least one .22LR firearm.  The ammo is ubiquitous…and affordable at around 5 cents a round.

.22 Long Rifle can be used for hunting, target shooting, practice, plinking, and even defending yourself in a pinch.  There are even competitions you can enter with rimfire firearms like the .22LR that can be loads of fun.

Subsonic Fiocchi .22LR
There are few things more fun than ripping holes in a target with a .22LR handgun.

Now, we’ve talked about the Best .22LR Rifles before, and I’ve talked about my competition Browning Buckmark before, but we’ve never gone over the best .22LR handguns, other than the occasional mention of things like the awesome NAA revolvers for pocket carry options.

Today, that changes.

I want to go over the best .22LR handguns to own for more than just the purposes of pocket carry.  These guns are perfect for everything from last-ditch survival options to fun range toys.

They’re also great first guns for kids, and wonderful training tools.  And unlike kids, they’re incredibly cheap to feed, with 5000+ round cases regularly coming in under $300 if you catch them on sale.

How to Choose a .22 Pistol

For me, there’s a few things I’m looking for in a .22LR handgun.

First, accuracy.  The humble .22LR is a surprisingly accurate little round at close ranges, so it’s worth getting a gun that can hit what you aim it at.  You’ll have a lot more fun hitting those cans setup on a hill than you will watching shots land juuuuust a hair away from them.

Next, shootability and ergonomics.  I want something that I’m going to enjoy shooting, not something that’s difficult and forces you to be accurate in spite of it.  This is one of my problems with the NAA mini-revolvers.

NAA-22LLR-HG unfolded
Pictured: Neat and convenient, not easy to shoot.

Sure, they’re also surprisingly accurate, but anyone who tells you they’re easy to shoot is lying to you, or has never experienced the wonder of a full-size firearm firing .22LR.

Finally, availability and aftermarket support.  There’s nothing worse than a $200 gun with $50 mags.  I want something that has a lot of support and options available.

As far as aftermarket support, rimfire handguns and rifles (particularly the Ruger 10/22) have a ridiculous number of aftermarket manufacturers making improved triggers, stocks, conversion kits, sights, extractors, magazines, mag releases…the list goes on and on.

And with the low cost of entry (usually sub-$400) to a rimfire firearm, you can experiment a little more and really go all out on the upgrades and accessories, without much worry that you’re going to ruin something expensive.

Best .22LR Pistols and Handguns

1. Ruger Mark IV

Ruger Mark IV
Ruger Mark IV

There are a number of excellent .22LR pistols with designs that harken back to the iconic Luger shape (of 9mm Luger fame).

This design is as robust as it is prolific, and has a long development history that began almost a decade before John Moses Browning’s masterwork, the 1911.

The Ruger Mark IV is perhaps one of the finest examples of this design, managing to capture the classic lines, while updating the older toggle-lock design to a simple, but modern blowback design.

It is a 10+1 capacity, magazine fed gun that is a pleasure to hold and shoot, and the heavy bull barrel makes recoil management a cinch.  If you’re used to shooting centerfire cartridges of any size, this gun is going to feel like an absolute pushover by comparison.

Long plagued by complaints from owners that the Ruger Mark X series was a pain to take down, the new Mark IV solves that problem effortlessly.  

Best .22 LR Semi-Auto
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

In previous models, reinstalling the frame was relatively easy, but then you had to try and finagle the bolt-stop pin back in, and it was a nightmare fit to make a grown man weep in frustration.

Now, press a button on the rear of the slide, and the gun opens up almost like an AR-15, ready to be cleaned, lubed, and reassembled without fuss.

Like the other two Luger-centric pistols on this list, the Mark IV is as accurate as the ammo and your skill will allow, so don’t try blaming the gun for your misses.  Fortunatley, as with any .22LR, practice is cheap, and so is good ammo (relatively speaking) so no excuses.

What’s your take on the Mark IV?

Readers' Ratings

4.94/5 (868)

Your Rating?

2. SW-22 Victory

The SW-22 Victory is the newest of the three Luger-inspired guns on this list, and S&W have approached the design with their typical eye on quality of materials and design.

Of the three, I’d call it the most reliable, even if only by a little bit, especially with mixed ammo.  I was shooting ammo that came from a ziplock bag, several different bullet types and manufacturers present, and I had not the first issue with the Victory.

Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory
Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory

Like the Mark IV, it’s a 10+1 capacity, mag-fed firearm with a bull barrel, typically a 5.5 inch one, but there are a host of options available from Smith and others.

Where it falls short of the other Luger-style guns here is in aftermarket support (just barely) and accuracy, although it’s certainly a close thing and it could very well just have been me having an off day as I only tested it during one range trip following what I will charitably call a late night.

Fortunately for the SW-22, it also has one of the lower MSRPs of any of the Lugeresque options here, so if you’re looking for something that’ll get the job done without breaking the bank, this is certainly a strong contender.

Most Reliable
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The one other thing I’ll note is that Smith and Wesson took a beating for a while on their M&P triggers in their handguns (something that has been rectified in the 2.0 series).  The triggers were not good, certainly not by comparison to S&W’s other triggers, particularly in their revolvers.

The SW-22, despite coming out around the same time as the older generation M&Ps, was not cursed with such an affliction.  

The trigger on this thing is damn good, and while aftermarket options and some carefully applied gunsmithing knowledge can certainly make it better, it’s perfectly adequate for most folks out of the box.

SW22 Two Parts
SW22 taken down

Check out our full review of the SW22 here.

3. Browning Buckmark

Next, we have the final Luger-style gun on the list, and my personal favorite, the Browning Buckmark.

The Buckmark is mostly my favorite because it was one of the first guns I purchased for myself, many years ago, but there are other, more objective reasons as well.

First, it has the nicest trigger of the three out of the box, which for me was big benefit.  I really enjoy a nice, crisp trigger that makes accuracy easy, and the Buckmark certainly has that.

It also has a ton of factory options available, which makes it easy to find the Buckmark that best suits your needs.  

Editor's Choice
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The one area that really drags it down is, well, taking it down.  

To clean the other two Luger knockoffs, you have either a button to push or a pin to rotate, and that’s pretty much it.  Baddabing, baddaboom, you’re done.

The Buckmark requires you to remove the slide bridge which is annoying enough by itself but it also means you need tools, yes tools, plural, to take the thing down.

Tandemkross Everything Kit on Buckmark
Tandemkross Everything Kit on Buckmark

Yes, it’s just two allen wrenches, and no, it’s not particularly difficult, but it is needlessly complicated, and it leaves me feeling guilty every time I take it to the range because I know all that dirty rimfire shooting I just did is going to make my gun a pain in the ass to clean.

Of course, the Buckmark also excels in other areas, and like just about every mag-fed gun on this list, comes in a 10+1 capacity, and like the Mark IV and the victory, it also comes with a 5.5 inch bull barrel.  For aftermarket accessories, I’d have to again recommend Tandemkross, just like I would for the Ruger and the Smith above.

Vortex Venom Mounted on Buckmark
My Fully Upgraded Buckmark

Check out all the best Buckmark Upgrades.  And here’s how it shoots…fully upgraded:

Reliability wise, I’d put it above the Mark IV and below the Victory, and looks-wise, I’d put it at the top of the heap, but you may think differently.  That’s fine, this is America and you’re absolutely free to be wrong.

4. Walther P22 QD

The legendary Walther P22 was noted for it’s awesome trigger, clean design, and tactical styling.  

All in all, it was an excellent little gun save one thing: it only worked when it felt like it, and overly-tight tolerances meant you got maybe one mag of reliable function out of it before it needed to be cleaned again.

walther p22 qd
Come on, don’t lie. That thing looks sexy as all hell.

The new QD model solves this issue, and updates the classic design while keeping the amazingly nice trigger that blows most other factory pistol triggers out of the water.

Best of all, the P22 is a DA/SA pistol so you have that second-strike capability if you have a light primer strike, which is a common issue with .22LR ammo.

In DA mode, you’ll be dealing with a stiff but smooth 11lb trigger pull, and with the hammer back you’ll get an incredibly crips break right at 4lbs of pressure.

at Guns.com

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Honestly, this is the gun I’d have if I could only own one from this list.  It has a 10+1 capacity just the like the other mag-fed options here, and while it doesn’t have a lot of aftermarket support, it doesn’t need a whole lot.

If you’re going to carry an easy-to-shoot .22, this is the way to go as well as it is one of the more reliable options, while being a reasonable size to carry, unlike the 34-38oz behemoths we’ve covered so far.

Walther P22 Side
Walther P22 Side in OD Green

The slide serrations also make it easy for those with low hand strength to rack in a round, and the sights, while kind of a cheap polymer, are more than accurate enough for self-defense distances.

That being said, the gun is great fun to shoot at the range, and its quite the looker.  Walther certainly didn’t skimp in the design department on this thing.

Walther P22 and ammo
Walther P22 and Ammo

Like most of their guns, there’s a little bit of the James Bond about it, and I really like that.  Plus, it’s usually found under $250 and I’d call anyone charging much more than that a ripoff, so there’s really no reason not to have one.

Check out our full review of the P22.

5. Heritage Rough Rider .22

If you’re looking for something a little more classic, but just as fun, the Heritage Rough Rider is a strong contender.  A single-action six shot like those wielded by your favorite Western heroes, the Rough Rider might just have the best fun-to-money ratio of any gun on the list.

Rough Rider 16-Inch batman
Rough Rider 16-Inch

The single action and loading-gate design means you have to pull back (or fan) the hammer for each shot and load and unload each round individually.  No speed loaders, no slapping an ejection rod to spit all six spent shells to the ground at once.

All in all, it’s a very slow-paced, almost zen experience to shoot one, and you can really stretch a box of ammo for several afternoons at the range.

It’s also a great gun for working on your accuracy as the low round count and almost-but-not-quite painfully slow reload will have you picking and placing your shots carefully.  

Rough Rider 16-Inch Loading Gate
Rough Rider 16-Inch Loading Gate

The trigger is surprisingly good, no doubt a product of the simple single-action design more than anything, but that’s okay.  It’s more than good enough for the gun’s real purpose: having the most fun for the least money.

Yeah, it’ll shoot snakes or discourage predators of the two and four-legged variety, and it’ll certainly make a good training tool for youngins and new shooters, but fun is what this gun is all about.

And the price certainly helps.  You can get fancy commemorative versions, and versions with nice grips, and ones with interchangeable .22 Magnum cylinders, and all that, but the base version, with a .22lr cylinder and a 6.5” barrel will set you back between $100 and $125.

Classicly Awesome
at Guns.com

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Not bad at all, I’d say.

6. Ruger GP-100 .22

Next, we have one of the most legendary DA/SA revolvers to ever exist, the Ruger GP-100.  For a long time, Ruger’s legendarily tough GP-100 was only available in a 6-shot .357 model (which I own and adore), but as of late, I’m seeing more and more .22LR versions on the shelf at my local gun store.

I can’t sing the praises of the GP-100 enough.  Its rugged monolithic design means that it’ll almost certainly outlive you, and possibly your children and grandchildren as well if it’s cared for at all.

You could also probably bury it in the dirt somewhere for the sole purpose of having it dug up 200 years from now, and it’d probably still work (and be of great help to the revolution’s fight against our robot overlords circa 2200).

The .22LR version is a ten shot model available with a 4” and 6” barrel, and its just about as accurate as you could want, something that’s in no small part due to the better-than-average trigger and factory fiber optic front sight post.

It is one of the pricier guns on this list with a typical going price of about $650, which sounds like a lot if you don’t realize you’re getting one of the best, if not the best, .22LR revolver around.

Best Medium Frame Revolver
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Parting Shots

I know there’s roughly a billion other options out there and I can already hear the comments like “what about this Bersa” and “what about that NAA” etc, etc.  Now, I don’t want to discourage those comments (quite the opposite) but I can only make this list so long, and I have to start drawing lines somewhere.

That about does it for this one.  These .22LRs are sure to make you smile, and are great for everything from defense to hunting to plinking and target shooting. I own, or have owned all of these save the Victory, and I regret selling the ones I don’t have anymore.  Plus…ammo is cheap and getting more and more plentiful.  Find our favorite .22LR rounds here.

This should about cover any use you should have for a .22LR handgun, but if you’re looking for something specific (how about a .22LR Rifle), or wanting to pick my or your fellow commenter’s brains about any of these guns, or even one that’s not on the list, be sure to drop a comment below!

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68 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Benjamin E. Hays

    I have the Walther P22Q. I went to the range yesterday afternoon and had server failed to fire and extraction problems. It is because of this I looked at your list here.

    I googled my pistol and found out those are common problems. I'm sad to find it on your list of best 22lr pistols.

    August 28, 2021 10:56 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Keith P.

    The Walther P22 does NOT belong on this list. It certainly does not have an "awesome trigger." It's average at best, with lots of creep and overtravel even with some gunsmithing, and a very long reset. And it is extremely finicky about ammo, essentially only functioning reliably with a handful of 36-40 grain copper high velocity loads (CCI MiniMags and Velocitors, Federal Champion, Fiocchi Performance, and Winchester Super-X). It should be replaced on this list by the Ruger SR-22, Taurus TX-22, or even Walther's own PPQ.

    August 4, 2021 11:53 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    'Bad Hand'

    Heritage Rough Rider .22: GARBAGE; 4/6 shaved lead at forcing cone; 4/6 in .22 WRM cylinder FTF (failed to fire); A single action revolver with a 'safety' should have been a 'red flag'; save your money.

    May 28, 2021 3:23 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Nanny wants to purchase a revolver because don't want the hassle of (nor do I have the strength for) a gun with a slip in cartridge. Having said all that and after a little study, I've come to the conclusion a North American 22LR or Ruger have the least kick back and are easier to manage for a Texas granmother. I am, however, open to some suggestions since I haven't the hand strength and will need my grandson to teach me how to shoot this. Also, I am having a terrible finding one of these small revolvers. Of course, when I was much younger I could hunt rabbits on a ranch with a rifle......but no more! Any ideas where these small 22 revolvers can be found.

    January 18, 2021 6:51 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Curtis Stubbs

    Great Article. As a kid, a .22 rifle was what Dad taught you with. Though my father passed when I was 15, I remember ‘safety’ was the topic.....just as it is today. I didn’t see Henry on the list. Also surprised heritage made the list.

    December 21, 2020 11:41 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Yes the heritage is crappy but for $129 it sure is a fun little plinkster. It’s safe, cheap, and fun so why not.

      October 18, 2021 6:08 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Paul Kampner

    If you ever do a followup to this article "6 Best .22LR Pistols/Handguns [Hands-On]: Tiny & Awesome" I might suggest the Glock 44. Sweet performer.

    July 13, 2020 8:08 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ken a saw

    Hey Matt, Thanks for the write up on the 22lrs. I’ve been wanting to get one for practice/plinking but like everything else there’s too many to choose from. This helps narrow it down. I like the Ruger and will start there for comparing. Thanks again

    June 29, 2020 1:11 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Joe M.

    I have several safe queens, some carries, and now have a half dozen .22's just so I can shoot to keep in practice. My favorite turned out to be a Llama XV. (.22) took some internal polishing and a little smithing and she now rock and rolls. Beat out a Ruger 22/45 for fun to shoot and I now carry her concealed. Yeah for the .22

    June 21, 2020 2:08 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ruoyu Li

    why glock 44 22lr available in CA?

    May 19, 2020 9:06 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Kevin B. Campbell

    I just read the review of the glock 44. I have fired several hunderd rounds of CCI standard and CCI mini mags. I also have put about 200 rounds of SK Pistol Match at my club 50 foot range. Contrary to what I've seen on YouTube, this pistol did not explode, the slide did not crack, the extractor did not fall out of the gun.. This pistol fired flawlessly, with no jams, no stove pipes and the accuracy is just what you would expect, not match grade, but close. The big plus is that this is a super fun gun to shoot..

    March 24, 2020 7:26 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Hi . Do you have a suggestion for a 22 competition pistol for a weak, left handed female? Thank you.

    March 22, 2020 7:57 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Bull o' the Woods

      How about a Heritage Rough Rider .22 LR revolver with the 16" barrel?

      May 4, 2020 2:39 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    We recently launched a brand new ammo search directory. We are currently accepting new ammo retailers to be listed on our website. We are welcoming suggestions and features that you want us to add on the website to make it easy to find ammo faster.

    February 17, 2020 9:52 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Connor Haughton

    How the hell do you leave the TX-22 off of a .22 pistol roundup?!?! Both the ergonomics, trigger, and reliability beat the hell out of the P22 & SR22. 16+1? Enough said.
    The Taurus is a spectacular value and is incredibly accurate, also includes threaded barrel adapter (handy if you're considering a rimfire can).

    I've yet to see any serious criticism of the TX22, other than "it's a taurus". The G2C, G3, and TX22 are all promising signs that Taurus has turned over a new leaf.

    January 9, 2020 1:40 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      I couln´t agee more!! besides all that, the Taurus TX-22 also eats and fires all kind of 22 ammunitions, whereas the P22, ISSC and others are too picky and will only cicle with hot expensive top noch 22. The Taurus just simply eats all kinds, spitting fire with no malfunction. Taurus nailed it for the competition. The G2C is prooved to be better than the other subcompacts ouut there, and costing almost half the price. As a matter of fact, it´s not that Taurus is a budget weapons factory, but the real ting is that the others are overly priced. Simple as that.

      February 26, 2020 12:23 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      slow man

      well said s

      April 21, 2020 6:29 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    One correction. The Ruger MK’ where based off Japanese Nambu not Luger

    November 14, 2019 7:51 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Ammo Man

      Not quite.
      The Luger P-08 was based off the Nambu and the Ruger was based off the Luger.

      November 17, 2019 4:17 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Wrong. Read the book. Based off the Nambu as per Bill Ruger himself

        December 31, 2019 6:34 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    The Commish

    How about the Ruger SR-22. It's a nice compact SA/DA 22 semi & comes with two 20 Rd magazines as well as a decocker that drops the hammer without firing the pistol with a round still in the chamber. It also fires every kind & brand of ammo that you feed it. You can't say that for the Walther, which is notorious for being finicky as to the ammo it will fire & cycle.

    July 8, 2019 12:00 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      The Commish

      Sorry for the typo. The SR-22 comes with two 10 Rd mags & the price is around $300 during June 2019.

      July 8, 2019 12:05 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    22 magnum costs more than 9mm and MUCH more than 22LR, at least around here. That's my only issue with that.

    May 29, 2019 7:11 pm
    • Commenter Avatar


      July 10, 2019 6:31 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Matthew... Walther is now selling a 22lr based on its PPQ platform. Have you had a chance to check it out? I have a PPQ in 9mm and find that it is very reliable and feels very good in the hand. I have a Browning Buckmark target model which is very accurate, but a bit too clunky for my wife to shoot. Would the PPQ be a good choice for a starting handgun?

    March 27, 2019 8:33 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I bought a PPQ M2 22 for my first pistol. Tried the Ruger SR22 and M&P 22. Like the Walther better. Great gun super accurate and 12+1 capacity. Sometimes run close to 1000 rounds before cleaning it. Rarely has issues. Using bulk ammo too. Highly recommend. Great feel in the hand. Just a great overall gun.

      July 10, 2019 6:51 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        Wanted to say thanks fellas. Just what I was looking for!

        Going to pick one up now!

        September 9, 2019 10:14 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Michael Slack

    Hi Matthew, thanks for an interesting read, I have shot most of the pistols you have reviewed and found the S&W Victory to be a great firearm however I am very interested in your opinion of the Beretta 87 as I am very close to purchasing one of these. Looking forward to your comments.........thank you.....Mike

    November 8, 2018 9:10 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mr. T

    CCW: Walther P22 vs Sig P250 vs ISSC M22. Thoughts?

    August 6, 2018 8:38 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      justin Otis

      Walther P22 is fun to shoot but I wouldn't rely on it in a CCW capacity. I find that it isn't reliable enough, too many misfires and fte's for my comfort. I have a P320 and after 2000+ rounds not one issue. I don't have a 250 but they're supposedly the same frame as the 320.

      August 18, 2018 12:09 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        The P22 is the most inaccurate gun I have ever shot in my life. SO much so that with every gun I buy now I look for a performance or competition style because they tend to have an emphasis on accuracy.

        September 3, 2018 7:21 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Paul Forcey

      I am a new gun owner and bought a ISSC M22 (i bought it on a whim and did no research) it shoots well enough but the ONLY ammo it takes without jamming is CCI Mini mags.
      I have tried a dozen different brands of ammo and CCI is the only one it will put 100 rounds through without jamming.

      Luckily enough my boss got me a 10/22 for my birthday and that is working through all the other ammo.

      July 9, 2019 2:51 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Love my Ruger MK IV 22/45 Lite. Threaded barrel so I can just drop a can on it. I did have some jams initially with it, but as I have put more and more rounds through it I have not had a problem. Would love to see them re-engineer the magazine to hold more than 10. But the feeling of the grip is fantastic.

    May 25, 2018 6:07 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mike Villers

      I second the notion of putting out a +10 rd mag! I believe there is a base you can purchase that may be a Volquartsen (not sure on the maker) that adds a measly 1 round making it an 11 + 1. I'll bet there will be some company to put out an extended mag but wouldn't see it past 15+1 less you want the mag to be as long as the barrel being that it is a single stack. Could it be possible that someone like TK or Volquartsen develop something that is a double stack mag with special grips and maybe a little smith work to the bare metal handle to afford the not so much wider set up to afford a double stack since we are talking about the width of half a 22LR? However, you'd think it would have been fine long ago with the M1 or 2 if so.... But they did solve the worst problem with these guns with the single button take down and just as easy reassemble. That was huge for me and the quarter jar for curse words has gathered dust ever since. Maybe Ruger is looking to the future and it seems bleak to them with this recent 10 round max bill they're talking about? Otherwise, I have turned my M4 22/45 Light into a race gun with just shy of 1100 bucks via mostly Tandem Kross and Volquartsen less the racker which I went elsewhere for that juts out one side (left) for much more confidence than trying to put my finger through a ring in a fraction of a second or the cone type requiring perfect grasp and a 45 degree forward angled muzzle break that I compared to both TK's modeks back to back. Trigger pull is at a consistent 2.7lbs and the fore and after travel screws make for a hard to notice movement as an onlooker especially the reset travel... Superb... And that adjective describes the entire MarkIV 22/45 light race gun for one of my favorite events in USPSA / IPSC - Steel Challenges.

      April 1, 2019 11:00 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Roger Thompson

    Please don't reference guns as toys and young adults as kids. Responsible gun owners understand what you wrote. But gives gun haters reference to your writing as a lack of responsibility. PS: Goats have kids people have children.

    April 6, 2018 12:55 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      chris k


      December 10, 2018 3:19 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I'm pretty sure he is not talking about goats OR young adults. He's talking about CHILDREN. YES CHILDREN LEARNING TO SHOOT. My five and seven year old are learning to shoot my Buckmark also, supervised only at all times. For them it is a training tool for my it is a TOY. YES A TOY! I don't hunt squirrels or small game my Buckmark IS a FUN TOY for shooting paper and plinking!

      May 29, 2019 1:17 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Dan Picklo

    I enjoyed your article. Just wanted to throw in a good word for the Smith and Wesson M&P .22 Compact. I shoot 4 to 500 rounds a week though one and I just love it . Performs extremely well. One of my favorite firearms. Will look forward to your future articles. Keep them coming!

    April 3, 2018 2:06 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Matthew Collins

      Thanks for the kind words and the recommendations!

      April 4, 2018 1:32 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I have several 22 LR pistols Ruger Mark 0, Mk III 22/45, and a SR-22. No other make pistols but have always wanted a Buckmark. When it comes to revolvers I have a Colt Frontier Scout, Heritage Rough Rider, Ruger LCR and my newest a Ruger GP-100 4.2", NAA.. With most .22's the sights are fixed, The shooter needs to know where the point of impact is in relation to the point of aim.

    I do like the article and I do have .22 Magnums, pistols and revolvers. While fun to shoot, that ammunition is a lot more expensive.

    April 3, 2018 4:36 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Thanks for the great article. I recently purchased the Beretta M9 in .22LR for my wife to practice shooting - it's also a very nice .22LR. My question for you is what are your thoughts on some of the conversion kits for .22LR - (Specifically the Advantage Arms conversion for the Glock 19/23). I was considering that for myself for cheaper ammo / practice vs. buying another .22LR gun.

    April 2, 2018 10:27 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Matthew Collins

      The m9 in .22 is a great choice! As far as the conversion kits, they can be very particular on ammo, so be sure to test it and find what they like. My AA conversion kit ran best with CCI mini-mags, which are expensive for .22. You may have luck finding a used version of one of the guns listed here for about the same price as the kit. $300 will get you a or a as well, so for the same price as the AA or tactical solutions kit, you'll get something that's going to definitely be less ammo-sensitive than a conversion kit, but if you're dead set on getting the conversion, you can probably find it cheaper if you shop around as well. I know Lone Wolf had them for $250 a while back. Other than the ammo-sensitivity, they run well and obviously expensive .22lr is still relatively cheap compared to 9mm/.40.

      April 4, 2018 1:50 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    The Bersa that easily matches both the accuracy and reliability of the Victory and the Buckmark for roughly $100 less. More than adequate accuracy and 100% reliability with any high velocity .22LR ammo that I have tried.

    April 1, 2018 11:08 pm
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      Matthew Collins

      Honestly, that Bersa got cut because the article was already getting a little long and I don't have as much time at the range with it versus the others. I don't like recommending stuff I haven't used. I'd say for a cheaper option that's not on this list, Bersa is definitely a good place to look. Good call, Tom.

      April 2, 2018 7:57 am
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    Want a real 22? Kel Tec PMR 22 WMR.. Lightweight-13.6 OZ of pure awesome. Tons of fun and comes with 30 round mag. I have 3 mags so 90 rounds of pure accuracy and no stopping the fun. and it's very well priced.

    April 1, 2018 7:31 pm
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      22 magnum costs more than 9mm and MUCH more than 22LR, at least around here. That's my only issue with that.

      May 29, 2019 1:20 pm
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    Frank P Schmitt

    Pretty good gun list for 22lr. However, i have yet to shoot a Heritage 22 that was accurate. My personal favorites are my SMITH 617 (10shot) and Ruger Mk2 678 Gov Target. Both are crazy accurate and fun.

    April 1, 2018 6:53 pm
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    jack burton

    Love my Heritage Rough Rider. It is my favorite range gun when I just want to have a bit of fun. But the Ruger 22/45 in .22LR runs a very close second.

    April 1, 2018 6:30 pm
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    Claude P.

    I own the Heritage Rough Rider and love it. Good price and simple. I was able to buy the unit which has the extra cylinder for 22 mag.

    April 1, 2018 6:15 pm
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    Good choices all... but one of my favs is the S&W M&P 22 compact. Just a fun and comfortable pistol to shoot and work with.

    April 1, 2018 5:51 pm
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      Matthew Collins

      Hey Drew, like some of the other guns folks have mentioned in the comments here, that M&P 22 Compact missed the list because of the article length, and the fact that I just don't have as much range time with it. It's a fantastic option though, and would probably be the .22LR not on the list that I'd be most likely to buy.

      April 2, 2018 8:01 am
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    Grady B

    My first pistol to shoot and now own is a Ruger Mark I, Standard with the 4 3/4 in barrel. It was manufactured in December 1949 according to the serial number. The only problem i have ever had was reassembling it the fitst time i cleaned it. Other than that it has been flawless! Still shoots great. I know i have put over two thousand rounds through it, and no telling how many rounds it fired in the three decades before it was mine.
    My grandfather traded a shotgun for it circa 1960 and I received it after he passed. I don't shoot it very much any more, but when I do, I have Fun!.

    April 1, 2018 5:23 pm
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      Matthew Collins

      That's an awesome story, Grady. I have a similar story with winchester pump .22 my grandfather bought brand new the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor. He said he "had a bad feeling". Over the years, my dad and I have just about shot the rifling out of it several thousand rounds later, but its still one of my favorite guns to own, and certainly a blast to shoot.

      April 2, 2018 8:04 am
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    Eric R

    Nothing better to work on your skills. When I had trigger pull issues, I’d put 100 rounds thru my SR22 st the range before I took my CZ out of the bag....much more economical.

    April 1, 2018 5:01 pm
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    Chip Burnette

    I would include the Ruger SR22. One of the easiest slides to rack, good crisp trigger, and I prefer the grip angle much more than the luger pattern models you apparently prefer.

    April 1, 2018 4:26 pm
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      Good choice.

      April 1, 2018 4:51 pm
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      Matthew Collins

      Chip, the SR22 is another one of those that would have made the list if I'd had another 1,000 words to add, but such is the reality of the internet. It is an awesome option though, thanks for mentioning it.

      April 2, 2018 8:05 am
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    How about the M&P22? I would say it is the best little 22 I have ever shot.

    April 1, 2018 3:57 pm
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    Todd Noebel

    No S&W Model 41? Glaring. Oversight.

    April 1, 2018 3:42 pm
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      Mike Reagan

      I’ve got one I’ve had almost 40 years( damn I’m old!) I don’t know that I’d call it a beginners gun. The price is high, worth every penny, but high. Also you take away the excuses for missing..bad sights, poor trigger, if you miss with one of these it’s all on you.

      April 1, 2018 3:55 pm
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      Matthew Collins

      The model 41 is a great gun with a legendary reputation and something I'd dearly love to own (especially an early post-war model) but it's not something you can just find on the shelf these days, and it's quite expensive. Because of that, I can't recall ever actually firing one, and I don't like recommending things I haven't shot personally. But the thousands of folks who have bought them can't really be wrong, and the gun's rep as a target pistol is rock solid. It's definitely a good choice if you've got the dosh for it.

      April 2, 2018 8:10 am
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    Tim Lange

    My first pistol to shoot was the S&W Victory, then the Browning Buckmark, and now a Ruger Mark IV 22/45 Lite. Had some misfeed issues with the Ruger, about as much as I did with the S&W and the Browning. Have since found CCI runs in the Ruger without issues, over 1,000 rounds without an issue. Of course cleaning is simple so it is cleaned after every shooting session. If the issues can be solved by cleaning, the Ruger wins for me.

    March 30, 2018 11:09 am
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    Nick Poulson

    Thanks for this article. I have the Ruger SR22, as well as the Ruger New Bearcat, and I'd be interested to see how the SR22 stacks up agains the new Walther P22 QD.

    March 30, 2018 10:18 am
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      That would be an interesting comparison.

      April 1, 2018 4:54 pm
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        Great review and as said we all have our different likes which is not a bad thing sense we should choose one that fits us best.I have two SR22 but you perked my interest on the Walter P22 QD so I am going to purchase and compare.Your info on how much I should spend will come in handy.Thank you.

        April 1, 2018 7:24 pm
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    Joe L

    .22LR handguns are a lot of fun to shoot. I have ran into ammo issues when not using ammo marked as pistol ammo as well as some under-powered .22LR ammo (such as CCI subsonic and quiet). I had FTE issues due to the lower recoil not cycling the slide. Same ammo cycled just fine in a rifle. So if you're having issues with you .22LR pistol, I would try different ammo before you blame the gun.

    March 30, 2018 6:59 am
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      Eric Hung

      Good tip, Joe!

      March 30, 2018 9:48 am
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        Joe L correct on all issues.I use CCI Mini MAC, Hollow Point, 36gr, 1260 fps with my two SR22 with no problems.When I use NORMA, 40gr, 1100 fps many problems .Proof that many times ammo is the problem and not the gun.I might just add one thing,check the magazine is not damaged.Again, good info.Thank you.

        April 1, 2018 7:49 pm