The .22 Long pistol (shortened as LR) has the record of being one of the most popular of rimfire ammunition in the world.
Introduced as early as 1884, the .22LR still sees massive use, and .22LR pistols are still bought today.
If you’re looking to invest in a .22LR pistol, you might be confused about what to look for.
Fortunately, this article will detail all you need to know about the .22LR, list the best ones, and help you with finding quality .22LR benchrest scopes.
What Are the Specifications of the .22LR?
The .22LR is a .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.
Designed by Union Metallic Cartridge Company, the diameter of the bullet is around 5.7mm and features a rimmed, straight case.
These projectiles are available from 30 to 40 grains. .22LR ammunition features a thin copper plating to reduce barrel wear.
It is effective for around 130 m. The recoil produced by this projectile is low, making it ideal for beginner firearm training.
What Are the Uses of the .22LR Pistol?
The .22LR pistol is a versatile firearm and has several uses. Their uses consist of:
Training and Beginner Courses
.22 LR pistols are recommended for many beginners or are used in many beginner firearms training courses.
They have a short effective range, not too expensive, and most of all, have little recoil. All these are important characteristics of a beginner-friendly firearm.
Vermin or Pest Hunting
These pistols have enough firepower to easily kill most vermin or pests. They can kill small game like coyotes. As a result, they do see some use for small game hunting or pest extermination.
Being a pistol naturally lends it to be helpful for self-defense.
Top 5 .22LR Pistols
Ruger is a popular name in the firearms world, and it is a good idea to start with a brand that promises reliability.
The Ruger SR22 is a hammer-fired pistol that features both double and single action. It is a very reliable and easy to use .22LR pistol and is a good pick for many beginners.
The first thing you might notice is how amazing the gun looks with a smooth polymer frame.
It is constructed out of glass-filled nylon, and the barrel is constructed out of stainless steel so that it is resistant to corrosion. Topping it all off is the matte black finish, which makes you feel like you’re in a spy movie.
Yet, the Ruger SR22 isn’t all about looks as it features an ergonomic design that makes it a great pick for newbies. It features a crisp and responsive trigger for single action and an ambidextrous thumb safety so it can be used by both left and right-handed shooters.
Featuring reliability, good accuracy, small recoil, and very friendly design, the Ruger SR22 deserves a spot on this list for how easy it is to pick up and use. If you want to practice your shooting, the Ruger SR22 is a great pick.
It is light and compact, with the only issue being that the magazine needs a bit of an extra push to stay locked in place.
- Great aesthetic and sleek look
- Ambidextrous thumb safety so can be used by both left and right-handers
- Features three-dot sights to help with aiming
- Light and easy to use
2. Walther P22Q
The Walther P22Q is an amazing .22LR pistol that features everything you could ask for. It is also a hammer-fired pistol that features both single and double action. The P22Q is light and compact, making it easier to carry around.
This makes it a prime choice for self-defense along with the responsive trigger for single-action mode.
A polymer is used to construct the frame, and zinc alloy is used for the slide.
This gives it an incredible aesthetic and pleasing look.
It also features replaceable grips that allow for a customized approach to improve user experience.
There is an accessory rail for scopes and Walther’s own laser for the P22.
Two of the most notable aspects of the Walther P22Q is its great accuracy and near lack of recoil.
The autoloader paired with the 3.4-inch barrel allows successive shots with very little variance in accuracy. The minimal recoil helps to make this operation even smoother.
Adding on to the features that make it such a great pistol to pick up on is the ambidextrous safety. All this is offered at an affordable price.
The Walther P22Q is light, compact, accurate, and very reliable. The one thing you should take note of it is that you need to break-in the pistol before it starts performing at its best.
- Great accuracy
- Minimal recoil allowing for successive shots
- Has a specially made sight for it which makes aiming even easier
- The magazine is easy to lock and load
Next in the list is Smith & Wesson’s SW22 Victory. It differs from the previous two pistols. It features a stainless steel design and is a single action. The grip is made out of polymer, allowing a smooth and comfortable hold on the gun.
And the SW22 has a very ergonomic handle due to the chequered texturing on both the front and back. A notable aspect of this gun is the detachable and customizable barrel.
It is very easy to disassemble and reassemble it as it comes with a necessary hex wrench for dismantling. This also makes it easier to keep clean and maintain.
The stock barrel itself is good and provides a great deal of accuracy, but the option of switching barrels makes this a versatile pistol.
Moreover, the trigger action is smooth and responsive, which allows smooth and successive shots.
The safety lever is much smaller than other pistols on the list. You won’t accidentally activate it, but you might fumble a bit initially getting it to work until you’re used to it.
Compared to the other pistols, the SW22 is bigger. This makes it a bit more difficult to carry around and conceal.
Overall, while the SW22 has a few cons, the changeable barrel, ease of use, accuracy, and reliability more than makeup for a few shortcomings and is an amazing choice.
- Interchangeable barrel and wide options such as threaded barrels
- Very easy to clean and maintain
- Has steel fiber-optic adjustable triple-dot sight for easier aiming
- Can be customized since it comes with a Picatinny rail for additional accessories
Your first reaction to seeing the Beretta U22 Neos might have you wondering what sci-fi movie it’s from. The Neos has a very sleek and unique look to it.
And the Beretta U22 Neos’s claim to fame is due to its convenience compared to other .22LR pistols.
The Neos is a single action pistol and has two barrel options to choose from – a 4.5-inch one and a 6-inch one. Both options are reliable, which emphasizes the ease of use of the Neos.
It features a comparatively thinner pistol grip built out of polymer and rubber. The grip is comfortable and easy to hold.
It features an ambidextrous safety so it can be operated by both right and left-handers. The news has one of the easiest to operate slides amongst all the .22LR pistols.
This makes it very fast and easy to lock and load the gun for use. It also has a Weaver accessory rail for scope attachment, which makes the gun a great choice for bench rest shooting.
Overall, the Neos is an amazingly easy to use and accessible .22LR pistol. A disadvantage is that it isn’t as accurate as of the other pistols on this list as it sacrifices some accuracy for ease of use and reliability.
- Easiest and fastest slide to operate
- Ambidextrous safety and responsive trigger make it easy to use
- Has an accessory rail to mount a scope on it
- Adjustable target sights for easier aiming
Ending the list is another Ruger product. The Mark IV started as a passion project and continued to undergo various additions and changes, slowly becoming one of the better known .22LR pistols in the world.
And the Mark IV 22/45 builds of many of its predecessor’s previous designs. Aluminum alloy is used to construct the top half of the pistol while the bottom half is constructed out of reinforced polymer.
The grips are made out of rubber and textured. This results in a comfortable .22LR pistols.
It features a bolt-style mechanism to feed ammoammo into the gun chamber and a spring-loaded magazine ejector for ease of use.
The barrel of the gun is threaded, which allows suppressors to be used along with it. And the trigger is nice and responsive, and also new to the 22/45 is an ambidextrous paddle safety.
The default sights are black, which can be troublesome for some people, but it is adjustable.
There is a wide variety of customization options, which makes this gun popular with enthusiasts. The tubular barrel helps to make consistent and accurate shots.
To summarize, this is an amazing firearm that features all that you need but is on the expensive side.
- Lightweight making it easy to carry and use
- Fast magazine loading system
- Tubular design helps with making accurate shots
- Cheap customization options that give the gun a personal feel
How to Choose the Right Pistol
You might be wondering what to look out for when buying a new pistol. Remember to keep these things in mind, and you’ll make it easier for yourself.
One of the most important things to look out for is how accurate the pistol is.
You will generally want a pistol with good accuracy and is consistent in its shots. And you will also want to look out for what sights the particular pistol has so that you can have an easier time aiming.
If you’re going to buy a pistol, you need to ask yourself how much will you carry it around.
Heavier and bigger pistols are harder to carry around and can prove a burden. If you need to keep the pistol on you for a long time, you will want to invest in a lighter pistol.
Ease of Use
Are you a beginner and want to try your hand at firearms? It’s best to start with a user-friendly pistol. This includes features like minimal recoil and slides that are easy to operate. Some guns will help you ease into using a firearm.
Some pistols offer a wide variety of customization options to enhance and personalize their performance. For some, this might be a bit overwhelming, and they would want to stick to pistols with fewer customization options.
And some people enjoy tuning their firearms to maximize their performance and would want a pistol with cheap and easy customization.
Finally, you should always keep your budget in mind. Pistols and firearms are not cheap, with some models being more expensive than others. Sometimes you might not need all the shiny new features and can perform well with a cheaper pistol.
Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed reading this article and gain insight into the different .22LR pistols to choose from. We feel that this list and the .22LR pistols chosen all embody the best of the particular type of firearms, and they will perform reliably.