New Toy

Rimfire Fun

Sorry for the interruption in posting.  Life happens, and we had a bad storm in Connecticut as well.

I was looking for a .22 handgun that I could use for cheap realistic practice.  Since I already have a target pistol, this one was supposed to be a stand-in for a carry gun, with light weight and decent sights.

I considered a Walther P22 (which is actually made by Umarex).  The rear sight of the P22 is adjustable for windage, but the only way to change elevation is to change the front sight.  While they apparently modified the magazines to improve feed reliability, I still do not trust a gun with its slide made of Zamak.  So the P22 is out.

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Another contender was the S&W M&P22, which, while it has an aluminum slide, is made by the same company that makes the P22.

The other option was Ruger’s new SR22.  Since I was able to find a SR22 locally and try the grip for comfort, I decided on the Ruger.

The gun comes with 2 different size grips.  I put the larger one on and found that it made the SR22 fit my hand just right.

The 2 magazines come with 2 floorplates each: a flush-fit one and one with a little finger groove on the front.  When loaded, the magazines stagger the top few rounds.  That was apparently one of the fixes that Walther had to make on their P22 magazines.

The sights are good, very visible with a wide rear notch that approximates the rear sight of a Glock.  The rear sight is fully adjustable as well.

The SR22 is a DA/SA pistol.  The DA pull is pretty heavy and creepy.  The SA pull is much lighter but a little vague.  The manual safety also functions as a decocker.  There is a magazine safety as well, which probably hurts the trigger action.  I wonder if it can be disabled like the SR9C mag disconnect.

The manual warns that subsonic and standard-velocity ammo might not have the energy to cycle the slide.  I tested the SR22 with 4 kinds of high-velocity ammo: Federal Champion bulk 36gr copper-plated HP, CCI Blazer, Federal Gold Medal HV Match (1200fps) and Federal Lightning.  All of the shooting was done in SA mode, since the gun was in SA mode if you chamber a round.

This SR22 liked the HV Match ammo the best.

Federal HV Match @ 50′

I had 2 FTF (the only issues during the test) with the Lightning ammo using one magazine, but no issues with the other magazine.

Despite the trigger and the short barrel, all but 3 rounds of the 180 that I fired were in the black (which was 5.25″ diameter) when firing at 50′.  Not a tackdriver but certainly the equal of typical defensive pistols.

In all, I am happy with the SR22 and its performance.  I plan on shooting it a lot, so I will provide updates if anything unusual happens.

Ruger is supposed to be coming out with a longer threaded barrel for the SR22.

Some people dumped on Ruger for “copying” the Kel-Tec P3AT and PF9 to offer their LCP and LC9.  And the SR22 might be called a derivative of the P22.  However, there is no shame in taking a good idea that some other company executed poorly and perfecting it.  And Ruger’s decision to offer better versions of those three guns benefits the shooting community.  The market liked the concept of all three guns, and now consumers can choose between the original versions and Ruger’s interpretation of them.

UPDATE:

I took the SR22 apart to clean it after a session at the range, and the barrel (which is supposed to be fixed) fell off.

Upon close examination, the barrel screw and its lock washer were gone.  They normally fit into a hole ahead of the trigger (but inside the trigger guard), and hold the barrel in place.

I am not sure when it happened.  I don’t remember feeling it fall out, and it wasn’t inside the travel case or my range bag.

Ruger is sending me replacements free of charge.

UPDATE 2:

Replacement screw and washer arrived (2 of each, actually).  I installed them using Blue Loctite, and the first session at the range didn’t loosen the screw.  So far, the problem is solved.

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