October 2007

More .22 Revolvers for the Trail: S&W AirLite Still Our Choice

The $480 Ruger single-action stainless Bearcat and the double-action Taurus 94SS4, $406, both come up a little short when pitted against the AirLite, though the Taurus isn’t far behind.

In our ongoing search for the best .22 handgun for the trail, wherever that trail may take us, we’ve looked at a bunch of .22 handguns and have rejected quite a few. This time we mix the single-action stainless Bearcat from Ruger ($480) with a DA Model 94SS4 from Taurus ($406), and take a look back at one of our earlier test guns from March 2006, the eight-shot S&W AirLite Model 317 ($735) with "HIVIZ" sights. Below, we recap the earlier results from the AirLite first, add long-term results we’ve gleaned about it since our original test, and then mix in facts and opinions about the other two guns to produce grades for the Ruger and Taurus guns.

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