May 2010

22 LR Semiauto Shootout: ISSC, Sig Sauer, and Walther

Our trio of guns left us pleased, perplexed, and petrified. A Mosquito “bite” caused the Sig to fail our tests, and the ISSC gun had numerous malfunctions. We liked the P22, however.

As ammo prices continue to rise and availability remains spotty, more and more firearm enthusiasts are looking for less costly ways to extend their time on the shooting range. A natural solution is the 22 rimfire cartridge. Besides its cheaper price and greater availability, the recoil-friendly round makes it an excellent choice for those who are new to firearms. It’s also a good choice as a training round for experienced shooters looking to refine their technique.

Some manufacturers have begun to recognize this trend, and have begun manufacturing models designed to meet this new demand. We recently evaluated three AR-style rifles chambered in 22 LR in the February 2010 Issue. This month we decided to look at three semiautomatic pistols which could function as low-cost shooting trainers.

One model, the single-action-only ISSC M22, $400, has been specifically marketed as a training gun. Our other two models for this evaluation were double action/single models: the full-size Sig Mosquito ($390) and the smaller-framed but ample Walther P22 ($400). All three models shared some common features: blowback operated, ambidextrous safety levers, adjustable sights, and magazine disconnects. All three also had internal key-activated safeties. The P22 and M22 had one other thing in common—the same inventor, Austrian designer Wolfram Kriegleder—who designed the P22 for Walther, then later collaborated with ISSC on the M22.

We began our testing expecting it to be a straightforward affair; instead, we had one of the more difficult evaluations we’ve had in some time. You don’t see out-of-battery ignitions very often.

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