Pistols22

Pocket Pistols with Factory Lasers: Walther, SIG, and Ruger

Lasersights on handguns are common today. Scan the used-handgun case at a gun shop, and more than likely youll find a rig that the former owner customized with a laser sight. In the new-pistol case, you will also see factory-fitted laser sights on handguns. We were interested in how factory-fitted lasersights would affect our judgment of three previously tested 380 ACP pistols, the Ruger LCP, SIGs P238, and Walthers PK380. The Ruger earned an A- grade in the June 2008, and the SIG notched an A- in the June 2010 issue, and the Walther got a B-, also in the June 2010 issue. The lasered versions of those handguns are the Ruger LCP-LM No. 3718 380 ACP, $443; SIG Sauers P238 Tactical Laser No. 238-380-TL 380 ACP, $829; and Walthers PK380 With Laser No. WAP40010 380 ACP, $489. Would the addition of a laser sight change our mind about the pistol? Would the addition of a laser bulk up a pocket pistol with a gadget? Would the laser be an asset or a detriment to an already fine pistol? The three pistols spanned the spectrum of action types.The Ruger is a DAO (Double Action Only). The Walther PK380 is a traditional DA/SA (Double Action/Single Action) pistol, where the pistol can be fired DA and subsequently fired SA. The SIG, SA only, was set up like a mini 1911. These pistols are made for close work, so we tested for accuracy at 15 yards with open sights, but were more interested in using the lasers in unconventional shooting positions, much like you might encounter in a real-life confrontation with a bad actor. Our goal with these lasered pocket pistols was to quickly project the red dot on target and punch holes in targets efficiently and effectively. We used D-1 tombstone-style targets with a 4-inch-diameter X-ring and an A-ring and B-ring at 8 inches and 12 inches, respectively. The rings are visible at close range - about 5 yards, but beyond that and depending on your eye sight, the rings are undetectable.All three employed red Class IIIa lasers. The warning label was blatantly affixed to each laser. Dont point the laser beam in eyes, as permanent eye damage can result. (Never mind the damage from a 380 slug.) Laser beams can reflect off certain surfaces like TV screens, mirrors, glass, etc. Make sure you test the laser of an unloaded weapon so you can experience how the laser beam can react. Also note that laser sights should also be removed when cleaning the weapon, as oils and solvents are not good for the lasers electronics.As in any test, we focused on the major areas of importance with these pistols, such as reliability, concealability, shooter comfort, and accuracy. But because of the lasers, we zeroed in on how the optics affected handling, printing, and other carry issues.

1911 Replica Rimfires: GSG, Umarex, and Browning Compete

One reason to produce rimfire replicas of military weapons is to help familiarize the shooter with how each gun operates at a fraction of the price of buying and feeding the corresponding centerfire model. If this isnt fun enough, then consider the history and the innovation that each rifle offers the shooter ahead of simpler rimfire designs. We last tested military-replica semiautomatic rimfire rifles in the February 2010 issue (Tactical-Style 22 LR Carbines: Ruger, S&W, Legacy Duke It Out), with the majority of the roster being taken up by the AR-15 design. In this test we will evaluate only one such rifle, Mossbergs $276 715T Tactical 22. Our second replica rifle represents a bygone era and the third a modern design. Our old-timer was the $399 Citadel M-1 22 Carbine made in Italy by Chiappa. The $609 German-made ISSC MK22 Desert Tan rifle with folding stock was a replica of the SCAR (Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle). Both the MK22 and the M-1 Carbine are imported by Legacy Sports International of Reno, Nevada.For accuracy tests, we fired from the 50-yard line with support from the Caldwell Tack Driver sandbag rest. Test ammunition was the same 40-grain assortment we used the April 2012 test of more traditional semi-automatic rifles. Two rounds featured copper-plated bullets. They were CCIs Mini Mag and CCIs AR Tactical 22 ammunition. We also fired Federals Auto Match rounds, which launched a lead solid bullet. We also tried a variety of hollowpoint ammunition to assess versatility, but elected to fire shots of record with our roundnosed selections so we could compare results directly with our earlier tests.Each one of our test guns arrived with open sights. In fact, the MK22/SCAR offered two aiming solutions in one set of fold-down sights. We wanted to know how well all of these sight packages worked. In addition, each rifle offered a way to mount a scope. We wanted to know how efficiently this option could be accomplished and its effect on accuracy. We began our accuracy tests using only the supplied open sights. Then, we mounted the same variable power 1-4X power scopes used in last months rimfire rifle tests. Firing only the most accurate round per each gun, we then recorded additional 5-shot groups from the 50-yard bench. All three rifles fired at least 300 rounds over three days of testing with no more maintenance than an occasional spray of Rem Oil into the chamber and on the bolt. Lets see how they scored.

22 LR Semiautos: Walthers P22 Versus the Similar Ruger SR22

In a February 2006 test of four handguns, our Idaho staff called the Walther P22 22 LR No. WAP22003, $301, an "Our Pick." The test team said, "We liked this little .22 pistol immensely. It was completely reliable in our limited shooting, and shot very well, with many five-shot groups going around an inch at 15 yards. The impact could be fine-tuned as necessary by changing the front sight. The windage was slick and handy, we found, and adjusted with relative ease.… We think anyone in need of a fine little .22 pistol that works every time and doesn't bust the bank need look no farther than the short-barrel P22. We thought it was an ideal fun gun, one we'd take in the backpack and not even know it's there." Then, in the May 2010 issue, we wrote, "Our Team Said: The unanimous decision was that the P22 was the top performer in our tests.…"

This is a difficult trick to manage for any handgun, because differing ammo selections, test conditions, individual pistol variations, and matchups can magnify the flaws found in any product, making it hard to get a top grade again and again.

But when a gun does that well over time, it can serve as a benchmark against which to test newer products, which in this case is the Ruger SR22PB Model 03600, $399. Like the Walther P22 WAP22003, now $379, Ruger's SR22 is full of angles and bumps and slots, but not so many serrations. The top of its anodized slide was smooth and semi-gloss, instead of the Walther's dead-flat black with longitudinal serrations. What would have impressed us mightily is if Ruger (or Walther) had attempted to copy the original Walther PPK for the 22LR, and brought it off nicely at a good sale price. No one makes that gun today, so far as we know. (If Ruger or Walther decided to do it, we suspect a great many fans of James Bond would buy the guns just for the fact that they look like the famous PPK. And if this hypothetical gun were far more accurate than either of these two test guns, we'd beat a path to the maker's door and buy one for ourselves.) But that veers off our current topic, which is pitting the two similar 22 autoloading pistols head to head.

We acquired a new Ruger and borrowed a locally owned, new-condition P22 for this test. We tested with five types of ammunition. These were CCI Green Tag Competition, Eley's Match EPS, CCI Mini Mag solids, Winchester Power Point HP, and Federal Classic High-Velocity. How does the new Ruger stack up against the Walther P22? Let's take a look feature by feature:

Lightweight, Very High Capacity, Pistols from Kel-Tec and FNH

In March 2005 we looked at the FN FiveseveN IOM model pistol (hereafter referred to as the 5.7). At the time, there was nothing else on the market to compare it to, so Contributing Editor Roger Eckstine covered it as a one-gun "Range Bag" report. In that review, he said, "Designed as a companion to the FN P90 Submachine gun, the FN Five Seven pistol is a lightweight polymer pistol chambered for 5.728mm ammunition. The 5.728mm round features a necked-down case similar to but smaller than the 223 Remington round…." That report continued, "Initially, sales of the Five Seven pistol were intended to be limited to military and law-enforcement [IMGCAP(1)]personnel because the 5.728mm ammunition is available with armor-piercing bullets. However, the FN Five Seven pistol is now available to civilians.

"We loaded our 10-round magazines with the FN-supplied 31-grain open-tipped FMJ rounds and headed to the range. We found the FN Five Seven to be a very lightweight pistol, weighing only 21 ounces unloaded. To house the overall length of the rounds, the grip was longer front to back than those found on most pistols, making it a little harder to connect the hands when using a two-hand grip. Right-handed shooters had to work a little harder to get their thumbs around to press the magazine release. In fact, the safety release and the slide-release levers were in opposite positions from what we are used to. The slide release was to the rear, and the ambidextrous thumb safety was located above the trigger so that the shooter had to use the weak-hand thumb or trigger finger to operate the safety. All levers were polymer, just like the frame and top-end shroud."

And the money graf from the original report: "Buy It. We're not entirely settled on the fight-stopping capability of the civilian-issue 5.728mm ball ammunition, but we feel FN did an excellent job of bringing together design features such as a fine trigger, manual safety, a first-class accessory rail, ease of maintenance, and foolproof accuracy in an ultra-lightweight package."

Well, that was then, and this is now. In the last year, Kel-Tec CNC Industries of Cocoa, Florida, has brought out the PMR-30, chambered in 22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire, a gun influenced by Swedish designer and Kel-Tec founder George Kellgren's Grendel P30 22 Magnum autoloader. But even the P30 was predated by earlier 22 WMR autoloaders by AMT (the AutoMag II is now made by High Standard) and Excel Industries (MP-22, www.ExcelArms.com). All in, the PMR-30 is slightly lighter than the 5.7, and it has a 30-round magazine, 10 more than the FN's 20-rounder. They both fire 40-grain projectiles of nearly the same diameter, but at different velocities. Before we get to the guns, let's examine how the cartridges compare.

Smith & Wesson Vs. Ruger: 22 LR Wheelguns and Pistols

The International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association (IHMSA) recently instituted a new division aimed at attracting more shooters competing at a maximum distance of 100 yards or meters. As explained on the www. IHMSA.org website, the rimfire arm of the Practical Hunter division is open to 22 LR handguns only with open sights, optical, or red-dot scopes. Competitors can shoot from any safe position they choose, including prone. New shooters may use a sandbag or mechanical rest to support the gun.

We decided to review some of the guns that would be a good choice for competing in IHMSA's Practical Hunter rimfire division. For quick reference we opened up our DVD copy of the Firearms Guide 2011 database ($40 from www.FirearmsMultimediaGuide.com) and found almost 80 pistols and revolvers that would be eligible to compete, along with their specifications and schematics. Economy was the goal, but we didn't want to buy the least expensive gun and risk outgrowing its capabilities. We were also split over choosing a revolver or a semi-automatic pistol. So we chose two of each.

Our revolvers were the Smith & Wesson 617 double-action revolver with single-action capability and Ruger's New Model Single Six Hunter. The Smith & Wesson was a smallbore version of the L-frame 686 revolver, and the Ruger was the smallbore brother to the New Model Super Blackhawk Hunter single-action revolver. On the pistol side we decided to stay with the same manufacturers. The Smith & Wesson Model 41 has been in production since 1957. The Ruger Mark III Competition is the latest version of the popular pistol that often comes to mind when shooters talk about target shooting.

Since accuracy was the primary concern, our test procedure was simple. Firing from a bench we would shoot the best groups possible. For support we chose the Caldwell Matrix shooting rest with the rifle extension removed. Augmented with sandbags to support the shooter's head as well as his arms, the only thing moving was the trigger finger. Most full-size pistols are tested from the 25-yard line, but the nearest steel silhouette was going to be 50 yards away. Even with the fine target sights found on each of our handguns, it was our opinion that 50-yard shots would require a scope. All four of our guns came with accommodation for mounting a scope, but with the extraordinary winds that were blowing, we were afraid that conditions might trump even the best optics. Finally, we decided to test from the 25-yard line with the supplied open sights.

The first gun we tested was the New Model Single Six Hunter, and here is why. The Hunter is a convertible model that comes with two cylinders, one for chambering 22 LR and the other for 22 Winchester Magnum Rifle. The WMR bullets are a little bit wider (.222 vs. .224). According to a Ruger representative, the bore would favor the wider magnum rounds, but we should be able to find a number of 22 LR rounds that shoot very well in the Hunter nonetheless. After trying several different rounds of 22 LR in the Ruger revolver, we chose the three most accurate rounds. They were CCI's new high-velocity AR Tactical rounds, CCI Standard Velocity ammunition, and Lapua Midas Plus. All three were topped with 40-grain roundnosed bullets. Regarding velocity readings, the pistols were fired over the chronograph five times. The revolvers were chronographed according to their full cylinder capacity, six shots from the Ruger and 10 from the Smith & Wesson 617.

Shooting in the wind required us to wait for calm between gusts. Some of our hold periods took minutes, not seconds. Since both revolvers were shot single-action only, we lost time pulling back the hammer and reacquiring the sights between shots. The pistol tests didn't take as long to complete because during the periods of calm, we were able to put more consecutive shots down range without interruption. This could pay off at a match when trying to beat a time limit. Beyond accuracy, we looked for reliability plus how well each gun lent itself to being shot standing offhand and from other IHMSA-legal shooting positions. Let's start knocking them down.

Smith & Wesson Vs. Ruger: 22 LR Wheelguns and Pistols

The International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association (IHMSA) recently instituted a new division aimed at attracting more shooters competing at a maximum distance of 100 yards or meters. As explained on the www. IHMSA.org website, the rimfire arm of the Practical Hunter division is open to 22 LR handguns only with open sights, optical, or red-dot scopes. Competitors can shoot from any safe position they choose, including prone. New shooters may use a sandbag or mechanical rest to support the gun.

We decided to review some of the guns that would be a good choice for competing in IHMSA's Practical Hunter rimfire division. For quick reference we opened up our DVD copy of the Firearms Guide 2011 database ($40 from www.FirearmsMultimediaGuide.com) and found almost 80 pistols and revolvers that would be eligible to compete, along with their specifications and schematics. Economy was the goal, but we didn't want to buy the least expensive gun and risk outgrowing its capabilities. We were also split over choosing a revolver or a semi-automatic pistol. So we chose two of each.

Our revolvers were the Smith & Wesson 617 double-action revolver with single-action capability and Ruger's New Model Single Six Hunter. The Smith & Wesson was a smallbore version of the L-frame 686 revolver, and the Ruger was the smallbore brother to the New Model Super Blackhawk Hunter single-action revolver. On the pistol side we decided to stay with the same manufacturers. The Smith & Wesson Model 41 has been in production since 1957. The Ruger Mark III Competition is the latest version of the popular pistol that often comes to mind when shooters talk about target shooting.

Since accuracy was the primary concern, our test procedure was simple. Firing from a bench we would shoot the best groups possible. For support we chose the Caldwell Matrix shooting rest with the rifle extension removed. Augmented with sandbags to support the shooter's head as well as his arms, the only thing moving was the trigger finger. Most full-size pistols are tested from the 25-yard line, but the nearest steel silhouette was going to be 50 yards away. Even with the fine target sights found on each of our handguns, it was our opinion that 50-yard shots would require a scope. All four of our guns came with accommodation for mounting a scope, but with the extraordinary winds that were blowing, we were afraid that conditions might trump even the best optics. Finally, we decided to test from the 25-yard line with the supplied open sights.

The first gun we tested was the New Model Single Six Hunter, and here is why. The Hunter is a convertible model that comes with two cylinders, one for chambering 22 LR and the other for 22 Winchester Magnum Rifle. The WMR bullets are a little bit wider (.222 vs. .224). According to a Ruger representative, the bore would favor the wider magnum rounds, but we should be able to find a number of 22 LR rounds that shoot very well in the Hunter nonetheless. After trying several different rounds of 22 LR in the Ruger revolver, we chose the three most accurate rounds. They were CCI's new high-velocity AR Tactical rounds, CCI Standard Velocity ammunition, and Lapua Midas Plus. All three were topped with 40-grain roundnosed bullets. Regarding velocity readings, the pistols were fired over the chronograph five times. The revolvers were chronographed according to their full cylinder capacity, six shots from the Ruger and 10 from the Smith & Wesson 617.

Shooting in the wind required us to wait for calm between gusts. Some of our hold periods took minutes, not seconds. Since both revolvers were shot single-action only, we lost time pulling back the hammer and reacquiring the sights between shots. The pistol tests didn't take as long to complete because during the periods of calm, we were able to put more consecutive shots down range without interruption. This could pay off at a match when trying to beat a time limit. Beyond accuracy, we looked for reliability plus how well each gun lent itself to being shot standing offhand and from other IHMSA-legal shooting positions. Let's start knocking them down.

Colt Targetsman Versus Ruger’s 22/45: Which is the Bargain?

Over the past few months we have been asked to do matchups involving the great guns of the past. Wild Bunch pistols, the Browning Hi-Power, the Mauser Broomhandle and other types of handguns are always interesting. As a rule, you cannot paint the great handguns of the past with a broad brush, as some were designed to be the best possible, others were made cheaply, and others were made to sell, which always invites compromise. But there was a day when the goose hung high and Gun Valley America ruled the world. The great guns made in Gun Valley by Smith & Wesson, Colt, and High Standard were at the top of the heap, and these handguns of the past always have a following. One reason we are comparing these handguns is because many are still available. If you are motivated enough, you may find a Colt Woodsman, a Smith & Wesson K22, or an original High Standard 22 LR on the used market. The choice is limited, yes—you must take what you can get or what you are able to find.

Colt Targetsman Versus Ruger’s 22/45: Which is the Bargain?

Over the past few months we have been asked to do matchups involving the great guns of the past. Wild Bunch pistols, the Browning Hi-Power, the Mauser Broomhandle and other types of handguns are always interesting. As a rule, you cannot paint the great handguns of the past with a broad brush, as some were designed to be the best possible, others were made cheaply, and others were made to sell, which always invites compromise. But there was a day when the goose hung high and Gun Valley America ruled the world. The great guns made in Gun Valley by Smith & Wesson, Colt, and High Standard were at the top of the heap, and these handguns of the past always have a following. One reason we are comparing these handguns is because many are still available. If you are motivated enough, you may find a Colt Woodsman, a Smith & Wesson K22, or an original High Standard 22 LR on the used market. The choice is limited, yes—you must take what you can get or what you are able to find.

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

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.

Kimber, CZ Compete: 22 LR Conversions for Centerfire Guns

The concept of shooting 22 LR ammo in centerfire handguns goes back a long way. The Germans had a system for the Luger when centerfire ammunition was mighty scarce between the two World Wars. These conversion units consisting of an insert barrel, a different toggle mechanism, and suitable magazines. Insert barrels were also used on the Walther PP at that time to fire a low-power 4mm round, presumably for indoor gallery use. These 4mms were one-shot deals, the round not having enough power to run the slide, so you had to work it by hand. Also pre-WWII or shortly thereafter were some conversions for the 1911 45 autos involving a lightened slide, which predates the Colt Ace conversion with floating chamber. Then the Ace system came along, and it let 22 LR rounds give the same kick to your 1911 as when firing 45 ACP rounds, thanks to a flying breech that essentially amplified the kick of the rimfire rounds to cycle the normal slide. Even more recently a few 22 LR units were made in Germany for the P-38, apparently for police/border-guard units. Like todays units, these consisted of slide, barrel, and magazines suitable for rimfires. Of course there have been many other 22 conversions along the way and were sure we forgot some, but our focus here is on only a couple modern ones.Todays centerfire shooter who wants to save ammo money, or just plain wants to shoot a lot more for the same money, can buy 22 conversions that replace the slide with a more appropriate one, generally of lighter weight. In the case of our two test units for this report, the slides were fitted with excellent adjustable sights and excellent barrels. Changing centerfire to rimfire involved only taking off the original slide and replacing it with the 22 conversion unit, securing it in place with the normal cross pin, plugging in a 22-caliber magazine, and bang, youre done. In a non-exhaustive search we found modern conversions for 1911s by at least four U.S. companies, Kimber, Ciener, Wilson, and Marvel. There are several 22 conversions for the 1911 made in other countries, notably Italy, but we have not seen those here yet. CZ makes one for its Model 75, called the Kadet Adapter, and Ciener also offers one for the Hi-Power. Note that 22 conversions are available for only a tiny fraction of todays vast assortment of auto pistols.For this test we secured conversions for the CZ 75, called the Kadet Adapter ($412), and the Kimber Rimfire Target conversion for 1911s ($330). We have been promised conversions for the Hi-Power by J.A. Ciener, and a new unit from Wilson Combat, but as of our deadline they hadnt arrived. We plan to follow this test report with another, at a later date, featuring the new Wilson, Cieners Hi-Power, and one of the Marvel units. However, all makers report very high sales and relative scarcity of these units, so we wont make any promises as to how soon youll see that next test.We tested with three types of rimfire ammunition that included light target loads, normal 22 ammo, and one of the hotter types with an odd-shaped bullet. They were Eleys XTRA pistol ammo, Federal Classic RN, and Remington Yellow Jacket with truncated-cone, hollowpoint bullets. Heres what these two units gave us.

Kimber, CZ Compete: 22 LR Conversions for Centerfire Guns

The concept of shooting 22 LR ammo in centerfire handguns goes back a long way. The Germans had a system for the Luger when centerfire ammunition was mighty scarce between the two World Wars. These conversion units consisting of an insert barrel, a different toggle mechanism, and suitable magazines. Insert barrels were also used on the Walther PP at that time to fire a low-power 4mm round, presumably for indoor gallery use. These 4mms were one-shot deals, the round not having enough power to run the slide, so you had to work it by hand. Also pre-WWII or shortly thereafter were some conversions for the 1911 45 autos involving a lightened slide, which predates the Colt Ace conversion with floating chamber. Then the Ace system came along, and it let 22 LR rounds give the same kick to your 1911 as when firing 45 ACP rounds, thanks to a flying breech that essentially amplified the kick of the rimfire rounds to cycle the normal slide. Even more recently a few 22 LR units were made in Germany for the P-38, apparently for police/border-guard units. Like todays units, these consisted of slide, barrel, and magazines suitable for rimfires. Of course there have been many other 22 conversions along the way and were sure we forgot some, but our focus here is on only a couple modern ones.Todays centerfire shooter who wants to save ammo money, or just plain wants to shoot a lot more for the same money, can buy 22 conversions that replace the slide with a more appropriate one, generally of lighter weight. In the case of our two test units for this report, the slides were fitted with excellent adjustable sights and excellent barrels. Changing centerfire to rimfire involved only taking off the original slide and replacing it with the 22 conversion unit, securing it in place with the normal cross pin, plugging in a 22-caliber magazine, and bang, youre done. In a non-exhaustive search we found modern conversions for 1911s by at least four U.S. companies, Kimber, Ciener, Wilson, and Marvel. There are several 22 conversions for the 1911 made in other countries, notably Italy, but we have not seen those here yet. CZ makes one for its Model 75, called the Kadet Adapter, and Ciener also offers one for the Hi-Power. Note that 22 conversions are available for only a tiny fraction of todays vast assortment of auto pistols.For this test we secured conversions for the CZ 75, called the Kadet Adapter ($412), and the Kimber Rimfire Target conversion for 1911s ($330). We have been promised conversions for the Hi-Power by J.A. Ciener, and a new unit from Wilson Combat, but as of our deadline they hadnt arrived. We plan to follow this test report with another, at a later date, featuring the new Wilson, Cieners Hi-Power, and one of the Marvel units. However, all makers report very high sales and relative scarcity of these units, so we wont make any promises as to how soon youll see that next test.We tested with three types of rimfire ammunition that included light target loads, normal 22 ammo, and one of the hotter types with an odd-shaped bullet. They were Eleys XTRA pistol ammo, Federal Classic RN, and Remington Yellow Jacket with truncated-cone, hollowpoint bullets. Heres what these two units gave us.

Full-Size .22 Long Rifle Autos: We Love Rugers 6-Inch Mark III

Acquiring a good semiautomatic .22 LR pistol is probably the best way to learn how to shoot a handgun. Some of us went that way (see sidebar) and highly recommend the technique. But not just any gun will do. It has to have some weight, excellent sights, reasonable to excellent accuracy, and a decent trigger. Why weight? There are some nice but very light .22s out there, and the new shooter wont be able to hold them as steadily as a gun with a bit more weight, and may become discouraged.So for this test of three .22 LR auto pistols, we selected three full-size examples. They were the newest version of Rugers Standard, now called the Mark III, with 6-inch barrel ($342), the Beretta U22 Neos with 4.5-inch tube ($250), and the Browning Buck Mark in its Standard URX version with 4-inch barrel ($380). All had ten-round magazines, good sights and decent triggers, and all were hand-filling, good-size guns. Two had adjustable sights. Two came with two magazines. In light of some extremely cold Idaho weather we chose to test with three types of ammunition only. It was Remington Yellow Jacket truncated-cone HP, CCI Mini Mag HP, and Federal Premium Gold Medal target ammunition. How did the guns stack up? Lets take a look.

Gun Takeaway Sweepstakes

If you have read this space for the last couple of issues, you’ll recall that I’ve asked what my fellow gun owners believe would...