Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Best first 22LR Pistol?

Hi there,

Excellent blog and thanks for all your posts.
 I am about to buy my first gun, although I have experience on and off with guns for several years. My question is which one do I buy from the set below. I would like to by a .22 pistol which will last a life time. The guys at the club swear by the Hammerli. It took about 2 years to get to the permit for a .22 and it will take me 6 months to buy other guns so at the moment I would be just happy with a .22 pistol... I was also looking at the Ruger II but these have really sparked my interest. They are all about 800 Euros.
Money is an issue but i prefer to buy something new which I know I will break rather than discovering bad surprises later.
What do you think ?

It really comes down to what you want the gun for.
If you want to practice target shooting then Hammerli is one of your best options. If you go for Hammerli, I’d go for the X-esse with the short barrel, which looks like more of a practical gun rather than a pure target shooter.
 Hammerli X-Esse

The Ruger Mark III is a very accurate gun as well but would do well as a “jack of all trades”, being very durable in its stainless steel version, with a longer bull barrel it can be very accurate, so you can do some target shooting (although not a target gun like the Hammerli), you can do plinking and small game hunting.

The Ruger Mark III 22/45 is also a good choice, lighter (polymer frame) and more compact in the shorter barrel versions.
For a small tough 22LR pistol, I like the Bersa Thunder 22, which is a copy of the Walther PPK. Nice little “fun gun”, that is compact DA/SA  and pretty accurate in spite of the shorter sight radius.

Walther PPK/S
It comes down to what you want. Hammerli for target shooting, Ruger for reliable, general purpose gun that will last a lifetime, Walther or Bersa for  a little solid pocket gun that works pretty well too but not as accurate or as solid as a stainless Ruger. 
Remember that each gun likes one kind of ammo. Try different brands and weights to see which one you gun likes best before stocking up on ammo.



Anyone said...

About using the .22 pistol for hunting - don't. Just my opinion but we can go to resale shops and find .22 rifles for very little and they don't usually need a permit. I bought my last one for $25 at a pawn shop and it shoots much better than any pistol.

Get the 22 pistol for what pistols do best and do your rabbit and squirrel hunting with a used rifle.


Anyone said...

I think the advice about a gun preferring one ammo type over another needs to be revised for the severe shortages that we have seen for about 5 years now. I would suggest finding what you can in the volumes that you need for practice and hunting/protection. Then dial the gun in for that ammo. If yours shoots a Remington Thunderbolt best but the only thing on the shelf is CCI, what can you do?

Anonymous said...

I have owned the Bersa .22 and the Ruger Mark II and the Ruger Mark III 22/45 and all have shot well. However, the Bersa would only cycle with premium high velocity ammo like CCI Mini-Mags or Velociters, which are more expensive and right now very hard to find. The Rugers on the other hand would cycle with any .22 LR ammo, cheap big box ammo or expensive high velocity ammo. For that reason, I sold my Bersa, gave the Mark II to my brother, and kept the Mark III 22/45 for myself. - Steve

Anonymous said...

Some solid choices there - I've never shot the Hammerli (in fact never seen it) but the other two I've had some good experiences with. I definitely 2nd the Ruger reliability.

But you sometimes wish you could switch barrels for versatility, and the Browning Buck Mark has the ability to do this easier than the Ruger. The Ruger's barrel is permanently attached to the receiver.

And revolver's should not be counted out for long term use - no magazines to lose or get damaged. The Ruger Super Single-Six is reliable as an anvil. And the revolver makes the point that Anyone does above - automatics can get finicky on ammunition, revolvers, just gobble it up. They are a little more bulky, especially around the cylinder.

Anonymous said...

I have a Bersa 22 and she is great. since it's pretty new, only hyper velocity ammo cycles flawlessly, but i do shoot some std 40g ammo occasionally and she's getting broken in. I know a guy that has the same pistol and his is older and cycles everything pretty well.

keep shooting!