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Old 02-08-2020, 10:13 AM
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Default Need .22 semi-auto recommendations

A female friend of mine is looking for a semi-auto, in .22LR. This would mostly be a plinking/range (out to 10 yards) gun. Everyone has warned us to stay away from the Walther, but other than that, there are a bunch of choices out there. My range does rent guns, but I'd like to narrow down the list of possible guns. $10 a range gun can get spendy, if we try to shoot everything they have. She had a Beretta 71, which was just about perfect, for her, but she had to give it back to her Dad. Eventually, she'll end up with it, so she doesn't want to "duplicate" that gun. She had no problem racking the slide, on that one, and I enjoyed its ease of field stripping, for cleaning purposes.
Looking for something similar. What do you guys and gals recommend?
Thanks,
George
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:27 AM
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What’s wrong with the Walther? My P22 works great.
Have you considered the ruger mark series or is that out of her price range?
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:30 AM
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This:

Buck Mark CAMPER UFX 22LR 5.5B
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:31 AM
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Nobody warned me about Walther?....On of my favorite .22 pistols is a Colt Government Model .22 made by Walther/Umarex. A friend bought a Berretta Neos and likes it. The Browning Buckmarks are generally fine guns too
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:34 AM
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For the stated purpose I don't think you could ever do any better than a Browning Buckmark or Ruger Mark 4 for a Semi, tons of great revolvers available as well.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:37 AM
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3 different salesmen at 2 different stores said the Walther P22 was prone to jamming. I have no personal experience, with any Walther model.
Thanks for the suggestions, and keep 'em coming!
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:43 AM
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I had a SW compact 22 and it was very reliable with multiple ammo brands (at times a rarity with 22ís) and at short distances was a fun plinker. Just not the most accurate gun, makes sense with shorter barrel etc.

I own a Buckmark, great gun but does not break down easily for cleaning. To me that is its only downfall, well that and it runs mini mags far better than other brands so it is a little finicky.
I also own a SW Victory and love it. Just as accurate and fun to shoot as the BM, but is very simple to take apart for general cleaning. And comes std with some nice features. So the Victory may be my suggestion based in my experiences anyway
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:44 AM
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Browning Buckmark
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:46 AM
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Take a look at the Colt Woodsman and itís various spin-offs as well as the High Standard models.

The quality of these guns is unmatched by contemporary offerings and they are a real delight to shoot.

You wonít get a warranty, but you donít need one on these guns: theyíre dead on reliable unlike many of the current production offerings.

These guns can often be had for quite reasonable prices if you shop around.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:48 AM
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Ruger MK series.
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:17 AM
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I went with a Browning Buckmark not because its a better gun then the Ruger it's just a whole lot easier to disassemble.
I also so have a Ruger SR22 which is a nice compact .22 and functions surprisingly well with most ammo. The SR22 is the treaded model and is amazingly quiet when suppressed.
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:25 AM
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Used: S&W 622 or 422
New: Ruger Mk 3 or 4
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfors View Post
3 different salesmen at 2 different stores said the Walther P22 was prone to jamming. I have no personal experience, with any Walther model.
Thanks for the suggestions, and keep 'em coming!
Every .22 rimfire handgun ever made will display some sensitivity to ammunition. Not every ammo brand, type, or production lot will function equally in all handguns. Semi-autos are more sensitive than revolvers.

I have owned a dozen or more .22 handguns over the years. Every single one demonstrated a clear "preference" for ammunition brand and type. Every time I acquired a new .22 I always tried it with several different ammo brands and types to determine which provided best function in that handgun.

I would never condemn any .22 pistol until I had tried it with at least 5 or 6 different types of ammunition.

For the purposes described some of the best choices (in my opinion) would be the Ruger (Mk I, II, IV, 22/45) or Browning Buckmark series. Good proven designs, plenty of accuracy for the purposes intended, and lasting value with very good residual value and demand in the event you ever want to sell or trade.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:34 PM
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Another vote for the Browning Buckmark. Great pistol! I have two.

My Walther/Umarex PPK/S .22 is a great little gun. Often found on sale quite cheap. But it does prefer high velocity ammo. Mine is accurate and runs perfectly on cheap old Remington Thunderbolts.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:44 PM
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I just bought a Taurus TX 22, excellent pistol for 250 shipped. 16 round mag. Feels like a full sized H&K. For the money its the one to get. I see you are in CO. tx22 comes in a 10 version

I also bought the LCPII in .22. easy to operate and take down but not easy to load the mags or shoot as the TX22. sights are pretty tiny and are part of the slide

Last edited by Sgt911; 02-08-2020 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy52 View Post
I went with a Browning Buckmark not because its a better gun then the Ruger it's just a whole lot easier to disassemble.
I also so have a Ruger SR22 which is a nice compact .22 and functions surprisingly well with most ammo. The SR22 is the treaded model and is amazingly quiet when suppressed.
MK4 is just a button now
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:47 PM
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Buckmark. Easy to fieldstrip. I've never felt the need for complete disassembly. For a true nightmare, try disassembling a Ruger Mk I. I've got a Colt Woodsman and a Targetsman and while they're great pistols, they're way too (IMO)expensive for plinking. High Standards are also good, but depending on the model, range from somewhat expensive to very expensive when you can find them.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
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For a true nightmare, try disassembling a Ruger Mk I.
Ruger .22 pistols are quite simple to disassemble and re-assemble after you have done it a time or two. That they are not is one of the great myths of Gundom. All you have to do is read the directions and keep the hammer DOWN (uncocked). YouTube is full of videos showing how to do it. There is a little doohickey available to help re-assembly that you can buy, but it isn't really necessary.

This is one of the better videos. Takes me about 30 seconds to disassemble and reassemble a Ruger. I have timed it. I would, without any hesitation, recommend getting a Ruger (new or used) as a first .22 pistol.

Last edited by DWalt; 02-08-2020 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:58 PM
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I would also recommend the Ruger Standard Model in the newer MK series. The original requires three hands and the vocabulary of a Chief Petty Officer to reassemble unless you know "the trick". When you only disassemble every few years it's easy to forget "the trick" until after you've used the vocabulary.

But for plinking at ten yards it's hard to beat.
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:14 PM
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I've got no experience with the Browning Buckmark, but a lot of folks here seem to think highly of them. However, I own and would recommend the Ruger Mk4 Target with the following caveats:

Pros: moderately priced; accurate; easy to take down & clean; many after-market options for grips, sights & magazines.

Cons: requires Volquartsen (or TandemKross) trigger upgrade for match accuracy; requires replacement of firing pin (Mk2, VQ or TK recommended) to eliminate probable firing pin breakage; some people have reported loosening of the barrel-to-frame pivot requiring replacement of the original flexible grommet/buffer.

I would recommend also the Ruger Mk2's but they're a pita (...in my opinion) for reassembly after cleaning. Most owners, however, eventually get over this annoyance and regard them as superior in many ways to the Mk4's and Mk3's.

-S2
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:31 PM
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Definitely going to look into the Ruger Marks and Browning Buckmark. I’ve let her shoot my M18 (“trigger too stiff”) and my High Standard Supermatic (“too front heavy”). I’m thinking, if a Ruger, she’d probably prefer a standard barrel instead of a heavy barrel. She hates the trigger on her LC9 (I do too!) and loves the trigger on her Model 10 (a previous LE weapon that was well used and well maintained). I think a striker fired gun is not going to make her happy.
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:50 PM
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Go Ruger. They come in all barrel lengths and weights and several frame weights too. I like the latest edition with push button take down. Mine is the heavier all steel hunter but she would probably like a lighter version.
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:54 PM
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since she hates the trigger on her LC9. Maybe a different tack, a sig 938 with a conversion kit for 22LR.
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Old 02-08-2020, 02:00 PM
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Any Browning or Ruger model would be a great choice. If you do opt for a Ruger, get the MK IV for the simple fact that it's stupid easy to field strip compared to earlier MK models. Below are 2 of my favorites. A Browning Buckmark 5.5 Field, and, a Ruger MK IV 22/45 Lite. Both real nice .22 pistols, and, although the Browning seems to be a bit more accurate than the Ruger, the Ruger is a bit more 'customizable' if you decide you want to.



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Old 02-08-2020, 05:36 PM
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thanks for all the help, folks!
I just went to a couple of stores, and checked out some Ruger Marks of varying styles. Once the salesman showed me how easily the Mark IV's disassembled, I was hooked! Also saw some Buckmarks, but didn't handle any of those. I liked the feel of the 4.75" Mark IV and the Mark IV Lite. I showed her some on-line pictures of various Marks. She chose the 4.75" Standard Mark IV, as well as the Lite (in purple, of course). The range has a 6" Standard that she can try out. We'll go from there. I think we'll buy new. $350 for a Standard or $475 for a Lite...seems pretty reasonable for a solid shooter, BNIB, with warranty.
Thanks again for all the comments and suggestions!
George

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Old 02-08-2020, 05:40 PM
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Ruger Mark IV and don’t look back...no question.
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Old 02-08-2020, 05:58 PM
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Looks like she likes smallish guns.

I'd have her try a S&W model 61 escort.
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
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Ruger Mark IV and donít look back...no question.
Or one of the older Ruger semi-autos. For the money, you won't find anything more accurate. You can spend a lot more and get a Woodsman or a High Standard, but they probably won't shoot any better than the Ruger. Regardless, all of these guns hold value well. Another to consider, and I don't think they are too expensive, is an old Browning Nomad.

I bought one of the S&W/Walther (P22?) .22s not long after they came out. Maybe these are generally good guns, but mine was the most inaccurate pistol I've ever owned and I've owned more than a few pistols. It jammed frequently. Sent it to S&W and they fixed the jamming problem. When I asked about the poor accuracy, the S&W rep said "they aren't target guns"; very true statement.
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:04 PM
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My first choice would be a Buck Mark (Camper UFX, Practical URX or Standard URX), second a tie between a Ruger Mk IV (standard barrel) & a S&W Victory 22. If you can rent those three at the range, do that & let her decide. I have one Browning, a Plus UDX, which has been accurate and trouble free for 7 years with no mods or upgrades. My wife also has an older Practical, a Plus UDX, and a Medallion: ditto for those guns. She may find the URX grips a bit friendlier than the UFX grips. I like the UDX best, but those go up one price level.

I have an old Ruger Standard (1951), a 50th Anniversary Mark II, and a Mark IV Target. While they all shoot fine, breaking down & reassembling the old Standard and Mark II is still an aggravation compared to the Mark IV. I can have the Mark IV barrel off, bolt out, and ready for cleaning in 5 seconds if I take my time. Same for reassembly. Simply cannot beat that.

The SW22 Victory is also a nice gun, shoots well, has a smaller grip frame that she may prefer, and has "just right" fiber optic sights. The only problem I've had with that was jams caused by the ejector arm/tab being a touch out of alignment. I found the simple fix on this site (see njsarn's post #30 on this thread: SW22 Victory not ejecting), and it has functioned without trouble ever since.

I would not recommend the Walther P22. We had one a few years back and it was a Jam-O-Matic. Awful little gun. They say it has been improved and current production does not suffer the same problem, but....

Good luck in your search, and remember, it's her gun, so she gets to decide.
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:12 PM
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I also had a P-22. It didn't jam, but was very inaccurate. I got it for a can. I don't know if they've improved them, but I was left with a bad taste.
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:39 PM
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If money is not an issue, an S&W Model 41; otherwise, I am a big fan of the S&W S22, which like the contemporary center fire models, is rugged and accurate to a fault. Underrated then and underrated now.
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:44 PM
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For a lady wanting to shoot, my first recommendation would be a K-22. But since the spec calls for a semi-auto, I would say a M-41. But since its a plinker I would say a Mark-X.

I have a Ruger Standard,a Mark 1, a Mark 2, a mark 3 and a mark 4. When I was just a novice and I had put several thousand down the tube of my Std., I thought maybe I should field strip it, just because. back to the Owner's Manual, follow the directions, and Viola. That was before the internet, and before I knew it was problematic.

Of course, I am an Engineer, so maybe written directions come easy. In any event, when I bought my last model, the Mark 4, I was delighted about its easy take-down.

Back to the original subject .......a few years ago the wife decided she wanted to shoot too, so she got her pistol permit and chose a Ruger SR22 as her first entry into the sport. She likes it and she does very well, but the accuracy is not as good as a Mark 4 Target.

Her second entry was a Model 67 4" .38 Spl and that works good as well.

Bottom Line - my suggestion would be a Mark 4 polymer frame - light weight and best of both worlds.
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:47 PM
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If she is wanting a small .22 pistol I can say that I love my Bersa Thunder and it has excellent ergonomics and is quite accurate and fun to shoot. It has an all steel, heavy slide which is very rare on .22 pistols so it needs more powerful ammo to function properly but mine is 100% reliable with cheap CCI Blazers. I recently saw them advertised at a big online gunstore for about $235 which is a lot less than I paid for mine 9 years ago.
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weatherby View Post
Looks like she likes smallish guns.

I'd have her try a S&W model 61 escort.
I got 1. $46.00 brand new including a pistol rug
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:53 PM
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I got 1. $46.00 brand new including a pistol rug
I'll take it
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:54 PM
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Needn't look any farther than the Ruger MK series or Browning Buckmark. They are extremely popular for a reason.
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Old 02-08-2020, 07:18 PM
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Good choice on the Mk4.

I suggest that you get onto Rimfire Central and review the comments regarding her new pistol. Here's a link pertaining to FP breakage from last year: Replace firing pin ??? - RimfireCentral.com Forums

Good luck with whichever one she chooses. They're good guns, but they're not perfect. -S2
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Old 02-08-2020, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfors View Post
thanks for all the help, folks!
I just went to a couple of stores, and checked out some Ruger Marks of varying styles. Once the salesman showed me how easily the Mark IV's disassembled, I was hooked! Also saw some Buckmarks, but didn't handle any of those. I liked the feel of the 4.75" Mark IV and the Mark IV Lite. I showed her some on-line pictures of various Marks. She chose the 4.75" Standard Mark IV, as well as the Lite (in purple, of course). The range has a 6" Standard that she can try out. We'll go from there. I think we'll buy new. $350 for a Standard or $475 for a Lite...seems pretty reasonable for a solid shooter, BNIB, with warranty.
Thanks again for all the comments and suggestions!
George
I have a MKIII 4" blue standard, 6" blue standard, a 6" SS standard and a 4" blue standard MK IV. I like standard. I sold only target model, didn't care for it. I've got one buckmark camper that gets very little use.
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Old 02-08-2020, 07:35 PM
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I have a MKIII 4" blue standard, 6" blue standard, a 6" SS standard and a 4" blue standard MK IV. I like standard. I sold only target model, didn't care for it. I've got one buckmark camper that gets very little use.
Like this MKIII with north of 15,000 rounds. ??


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Old 02-08-2020, 08:27 PM
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If she liked the Beretta 71, then she may want to consider the Walther PP in .22LR, although they are hard to find, expensive and use even harder find and very expensive magazines.

Another better, but more controversial alternative is the Umarex Walther PPK/S .22LR. They get a lot of hate from Walther purists, but I own both a PP in .22LR and an Umarex/Walther PPK/S .22 LR. My PPK/S .22LR actually shoots every bit as well as my PP in .22LR, and it's very reliable with a full 10 round magazine while the PP struggles with more than 8 rounds in the magazine.

It doesn't have the heirloom quality of the older PP due to the Zamak alloy frame, but it's a good use of the material and the rest of the pistol is clearly a PP series pistol. The only difference is the use of a 2 piece barrel with a barrel nut to retain the barrel sleeve.


Another alternative is the FEG AP-22 or the KBI imported version stamped SMC-22. It's a PP clone in .22 LR and they are well made and good shooters.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:28 PM
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I've owned, at one time or other, two Ruger Standard Models and a MkII. The only one I now have is a ca. mid-1950s Standard Model which I bought in near-new condition for $150 nearly three years ago. When I first tried it out, I was amazed at how far off the sights were, over a foot at 15 yards. The rear sight (mounted in a dovetail) was extremely difficult to move to get the windage right and I had to do a lot of hammering on it. Fortunately, it was shooting fairly low also, so it wasn't too difficult to file down the front sight to get the proper elevation by cut and try after the windage was corrected. I surmised that the reason a 50+ year-old pistol was in such good condition was that the previous owner(s) got discouraged and didn't shoot it much because he couldn't hit anything. It had one of the old original magazines, but the follower spring was too weak for reliable functioning - it had probably been stored fully loaded for many years. I tried to locate a new magazine spring, but no luck. I ended up buying a pair of new Mec-Gar magazines instead, and they seem to work fine. I haven't done it yet, but one of these days I plan to buy one of the new oversized aftermarket magazine release latches which are much more easily manipulated than the factory original latch, which is too small.

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Old 02-08-2020, 09:29 PM
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I am surprised there are not more votes for the S&W Victory. Mine has been pretty much flawless and is very accurate. Thin grip probably good for a woman with smaller hands, very easy to fatten them up in a variety of ways.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:04 PM
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I've shot the Mark series and Victories but my favorite .22 plinking gun is the .22 Compact...just a fun gun to shoot.

Small, light weight, no cycling issues with mine, more accurate than me to 10 yards and I picked it up used for $250.

Yeah, not a gun you'll hand down but doesn't make it any less enjoyable for me.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:41 PM
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Ruger MK series- As Eric300 and others have stated work very well. I own MK I, II,III's but would suggest a threaded barrel MK IV since it is much easier to reassemble. Keep them clean, moderate maintenance and the will run forever. The heavier profile barrel seems to to balance the best. If you want a SW an old 2206, threaded, or a Model 41 if price is not a major factor. The reason for the threaded barrel is simple, she may never want a suppressor, but if she does you have save yourself a minimum of $ 125.00 down the road. If she would sell it it is just one more option to entice buyer, as are adjustable sights. Adjustable are not suggested for a hard use duty/combat/carry weapon, but on a plinker it is nice to be able to adjust for ammo and shooters hold. Enjoy. Be Safe,
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:59 PM
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Hands down for me, Ruger MK series.
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:03 PM
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Ruger Mark IV .22-45
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Old 02-09-2020, 12:25 AM
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I've had good luck with my Ruger MKII's and a Walther P22.

Have also heard good reports about the newer Ruger MKIVs but don't own one.
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Old 02-09-2020, 12:37 AM
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I've got a few of the above mentioned choices (Ruger Mk II, High Standard, S&W 22a, an old revolver), ... these are big guns. The Beretta mentioned is a smaller pistol, in line with the PP.

Why not try a different approach (but still in the Beretta line)- a Beretta 21A Bobcat? Smaller, but still very light recoil. And a good, solid little gun
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Old 02-09-2020, 12:50 AM
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The SW22 Victory had problems especially with jamming early on and I did my share of complaining about it here.
I believe the simple remedy has been instituted as the complaints have pretty much stopped.
They are nice guns and easy enough to clean. Take a look at them.
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Old 02-09-2020, 04:12 AM
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I love .22cal semiautomatic pistols and there are so many that can bring nearly endless smiles.

At the end of the day, I believe in one truth and I believe it in all my heart:

Nobody makes any .22 pistol today, nobody, that can compete with the pure quality and craftsmanship of days gone by.

Colt Woodsman or phenomenal Woodsman variant. (Challenger, Huntsman, Targetsman, Match Target)
High Standard
Ruger Mark I, Ruger Mark II
Browning Challenger, Medalist
S&W 41, 46, 2206, 622, 422
Walther GSP
Sig/Hammerli Trailside

There exists no semiauto .22 produced currently and offered new/now that brings to the table what any/all of the above will. And that is where I would direct them if I cared about Ďem.
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