Because 22LR is so popular, it’s no surprise that there are a large number of handguns chambered for this cartridge. Instead of trying to evaluate every 22LR handgun on the market, we focused on seven of the most common picks. The Heritage Rough Rider was the wildcard in the bunch, which was added for amusement.
Narrowing down the field means that a lot of handguns were excluded from our comparison. It’s not because we dislike your favorite handgun; rather, we just didn’t have enough room on the list. However, we did try to obtain a wide range of goods for this list, so it should be regarded as a standard for the market.
Why Do You Need A .22 LR Pistol?
The .22 Long Rifle is a very small cartridge that isn’t often used to shoot squirrels and rabbits. It may seem odd for someone to choose a pistol over a bigger caliber, but if you’re willing to branch out, the .22 LR handgun could be ideal for you.
.22 Long Rifle pistols can teach you a lot about shooting, ranging from the fundamentals of pistol training to getting started in competition to simply have a good time at the range. They’re also great for teaching young or inexperienced persons of any age the basics of safety and marksmanship.
Revolvers are a classic and reliable choice. Semi-automatic .22 LR pistols are fantastic for the Steel Challenge or getting started in USPSA. Revolver .22 LR pistols are the ideal teaching tools for a novice shooter because they’re both exciting and educational!
The Best Seven 22LR Pistols
The Taurus astonished us in our testing with outstanding overall value. Typically, Taurus isn’t the first name that springs to mind when it comes to quality, but it’s obvious that the Albany, New York conglomerate nailed this one.
To begin with, the precision of this pistol is exceptional. My best shot was 0.575 inches at 20 yards, which was better than any other gun in the group. The sights, while not the greatest of the bunch, performed adequately enough.
The Ruger MK series (Pronounced mark) is named for its 22 LR chambering. Since 1949, the various MK series versions have hopped around, with several transformations.
If you’re interested in learning more about Ruger’s history, check out Google Ruger Hand Drill to see where he got his inspiration.
The MK IV is the most recent version, and it includes several improvements that were much appreciated. This entails simple field disassembly of the firearm by simply pushing a button.
S&W SW22 Victory
The SW22 Victory costs $390 and offers a lot for that price. Overall, we think this is a fantastic gun because of the outstanding accuracy, exceptional construction quality, decent trigger, and regular feeding. The sight also seemed to work well. The grip on this weapon felt odd in the hand, and one thing we thought it might improve was the grip. The gun is a hefty weight.
The Victory is built of stainless steel, which is a good start. This is a solid alternative that provides the gun with a strong, beautiful finish that should last through frequent usage. The blowback mechanism is quite easy to use and functions effectively. The Victory is a thrilling example of S&W’s long history in the 22LR market, and it’s the company’s most powerful production-model handgun to date.
The fiber optic sights on our test pistol performed very well, and the fine nature of the sights served to improve accuracy, putting it ahead of many of the other handguns on the table. The trigger was also nice, but there wasn’t much else to say other than it accomplished its purpose.
The SIG P938 set a high standard for micro 9mms, and the little gun turned out to be a resounding success for SIG. It’s only natural that a 22LR version should follow.
The Micro 1911 by SIG was the perfect housing for our favorite rimfire round, and the design resulted in one of the tiniest and lightest 22LRs on the market.
This little fella is a lot of fun to shoot. However, there’s also a longer barrel version with a length of 4.1 inches. The longer barrel gives you a greater sight radius for more precise shooting.
The first two guns on the list might be termed ‘targets,’ but for number five on our list, we go back to a more classic semi-auto. The Walther name is well recognized for producing self-defense weapons, but they also produce the PPQ 22LR variant. This gun has average precision but a fantastic design to make up for it.
The PPQ is a fantastic design. The slide release, for example, is ambidextrous, making it suitable for southpaws. This gun has enough heft that it handles well while shooting and fits comfortably in the hand. Furthermore, field disassembly and cleaning this weapon are straightforward.
KelTec is often mistaken for the Florida man of the gun business, with their unusual designs. As a Floridian and KelTec owner, I say it as such. The CP33 from KelTec is a great example of its quirky design approach.
I’ve never seen a quad stacked magazine in a gun before, and especially not one in a handgun. But here we are.
The name CP33 is more than a label. It symbolizes the capacity of the weapon. You won’t need to reload with 33 22LR rounds in a quad stacked magazine.
Glock is a popular brand among American shooters for centerfire handguns. The Austrian name is well-known for producing high-quality weapons at reasonable costs. The Glock 44 is a 22LR pistol that aims to uphold its reputation, but it falls short in several areas.
The G44’s trigger is particularly hefty at 7.5 pounds. This would be considered rather extreme for a 12 gauge shotgun, especially a tiny 22LR pistol! To make matters worse, the travel on the trigger is unusually long. A drawn-out, heavy trigger pull is inconvenient at the very least, and it can cause accuracy problems. This was certainly the case with the G44.
The G44’s accuracy is below average. When compared to less expensive alternatives that shoot considerably tighter clusters, the G44 fails in this area. A more responsive trigger would go a long way toward tightening up the group, but I think it would still fall far short of being a good shooter.
To know more about Rimfire vs. Centerfire: Which One is Better click here.
Thomas Boseman is the author of Pawnbroking.com. A pawn shop owner by day, blog writer by night. When not writing, he enjoys exploring the outdoors with his dog, Roman. Thomas received his bachelor of arts in film from the University of Arizona. A Brooklyn native, Thomas is a lover of filmmaking, motorcycle, and coffee.