I have owned a number of .22 hand guns, I currently own 8, have owned 3 others I have since sold. I posted a similar review of these guns a few months ago, but I have since added to this collection so thought I would update.
I have about 400+ rounds through this gun currently. There is A LOT to like about this gun – 1) threaded barrel with included adapter, 2) 16 round capacity magazine, 3) price, 4) reliability. So far I have been very impressed with this gun. But it has not been flawless. The one issue I have that is gun related and not something I could contribute to the ammo I am using, is that the rounds sometimes will slam into the front of the mag vs being fed into the chamber. This causes the bullet to be deformed and unable to be chambered. Not sure what is causing this. But it has happened <10 times in the 400+ rounds I have through it. Usually it’s the first bullet, which I’ve solved by making sure that last bullet is seated all the way back, but it will sometimes happen part way through a mag as well. If anybody has any experience with this I would love some feedback. But the grip feels great, the gun feels great. I see myself owning a 2nd one if they come out with some good colors. If I could get one in bright green, pink, blue, or purple I would own a 2nd one for sure. Accuracy out of the box is OK, I need to spend some time and adjust the sights.
Browning 1911-22 A1 Compact-
They say it’s 85% size, but it feels even smaller. It is reliable, but I don’t enjoy shooting it that much. It is SMALL. But otherwise it looks and feels like a pretty traditional 1911. I think if I had smaller hands, it would be a lot more fun to shoot. I need to get my wife out and get her take on it. It’s kinda expensive though… If I had gotten the full sized model, I might be able to justify it more, but this one is for the smaller handed people. I am not thrilled with the plastic guide rod, but the gun otherwise is all metal and it does look sharp. Mine only came with one mag. Normally I buy additional, but unless the wife or my kids fall in love, a one mag gun it will remain. Accuracy out of the box is very good.
The other guns I currently have:
Walther/Colt .22 Long rifle 1911. This is one of the ones in my top list for sure. It has proven to be very reliable, and being a 1911, it fits my hand exactly how I expect it too. It looks good, feels good, and shoots good, and can be fitted with a suppressor with a simple common adapter (the one for the P22). Downsides are mags are kinda pricey and hard to find, and when I’ve been shooting A LOT (like 500 plus rounds) between cleaning, it will start to go back into battery slowly. It was worse when it was new, and hasn’t been an issue in a while. maybe just the break in period fixed that. but I also don’t go that long between cleanings if I can avoid it, I also have a new recoil spring on order, and will follow up once I’ve had a chance to shoot a number of rounds with it. after market support is just OK, several parts from normal 1911s will fit, but not everything. I have several thousand rounds through it.
Update: New recoil spring didn’t seem to do much, I cleaned it really well, and I probably just needed to clean it better or something, it runs great again. It is a cheap gun, for sure. But with how much fun it is? I’d buy another one in a heartbeat. Still one of my favorites, and I’ve been doing reliability testing again, and it has been great.
I own two Mark IV 22/45 lights. The sliver in the picture is the older one, the purple one is newer. The silver one has been a bit problematic when it comes to being reliable. Not bad, just picky about ammo and required me to buy more expensive ammo. The purple one has been flawless, I have many thousands of rounds through both, I like them for their overall design, and feel. they are meant to fell more like a 1911 in the hand (hence the 45 in the name). and they do. This is the other contender for a top spot in my favorite’s list. Suppressor ready, looks interesting and fun, accurate, and HUGE aftermarket support. The downside really has been with reliability on the silver one, and I keep pinching my fingers on the god damn ears…
Update: not really much more to report. The mark IV 22/45 is kinda like the Miata of the car world. It’s kinda the answer to everything. It’s what I would recommend every single time to somebody looking for a .22 to buy. Reliable? Check. Customizable? Check. Availability? Check. After market support? Check. Great customer service? Check. I mean, just about anything and everything you could want to (legally) do to a gun you can with a Mark IV. And they are coming out with new colors and designs all the time on the lites, so you can really get something almost custom if you want.
Ruger Wrangler. – This is a nice, reliable, simple, and familiar gun. I like to take friends/family/strangers shooting. and this is the perfect gun for them. even without having shot a firearm before. people know revolvers, they are not scary. It is also what I like to shoot my crap ammo through. If i get a box that just won’t feed through my other auto loaders, It is fodder for the wrangler. I personally am not a huge revolver person, and even I like to shoot this guy. Down sides? I wish it had different barrel lengths and finishes. I probably would have bought a 6″ over a 4.2″ or whatever it is, and the sights are very basic. I wouldn’t do any competition shooting with it. I have a few thousand rounds through it.
Update: not much to update to be honest. Still a great gun, and a lot of fun to shoot. I have some Remington yellow jacket sitting on my shelf that my auto loaders HATE, that have the wrangler’s name written allllll over them.
Browning Buckmark – I want to love this gun. The trigger feels better out of the box than the Mark IV’s, I feel like it is more accurate. It is also a metal frame gun vs a polymer, so it has a good heft and feel to it. The action feels good. BUT it’s huge downside is the lack of cleaning ability. Seriously go watch some youtube videos on how to clean this gun vs a mark IV… or any other modern gun. It’s a joke. and .22’s are dirty. This gun is too hard to maintain. If you shoot a lot, I would not buy this gun. I really hope they come out with an update like Ruger did that changes nothing about the quality of the gun, just make maintenance easier. I have >500 rounds through it, and it probably won’t get a lot more than that, because I hate cleaning it. it’s really my wife’s gun, and she doesn’t shoot often, so it’s fine for her, I guess.
Update: People HATE me for this one. Some diehard Buckmark fans. I stand by my words, yes you can do some causal cleaning, but I don’t feel like it is adequate. I’ve had some reliability issues with this gun after a thousand + rounds through it. I’ve gotten to where I can clean it OK, but it soured me the first time I tried to take it apart, and I’ve not forgiven it yet. You can hate me all you want, I’m going to ignore your comments, because none of you have shown me how I’m wrong, you just get mad at me. If you have a solid cleaning process that doesn’t require specialty tools, make a video, upload it to youtube and share it with me. A lot of people compare it to earlier Ruger mark versions. Ruger realized the mistake that was and improved the design with the Mark IV, Browning should do the same. If they came out with and updated version that was the same gun, but a simpler takedown, I would absolutely buy it.
Walther P22q (in pink of course) – I got this really for my kids, to have a smaller auto loader for them to shoot with. But it is so much fun to shoot, I find myself taking it out to the range more often than I thought I would. It’s really only downside could be that it might be too small for some people? but it is suppressor capable with an adapter (same one as the colt above), and with its smaller frame size, and shorter barrel, it is less accurate than some of the larger guns (at least for me). I only have about 500 rounds through it right now, but I like it. I don’t love it, but I do like it.
Update: Feelings haven’t changed. Still a great gun. I’ve been taking it on my reliability tests, and I need to stop because it doesn’t care what I put in it, it will toss that led down range. When I tested yellow jackets, an ammo notorious for not working in auto loaders, it ran them without issue, the only gun of 4 I brought with me that day to do so.
Guns I have gotten rid of:
Heritage rough rider – Cheap .22 revolver. Unless you ONLY have $100 to spend on a gun, I would buy the wrangler over this every day, ESPECIALLY if you plan on shooting it often. If you buy a RR because it has a fun pattern or a 16″ barrel, and you never actually plan on giving it serious range time, that’s what ever, but if you want to actually shoot the gun, the wrangler is the better gun. Sold it and never looked back.
Walther P22 CA – This CA compliant P22 was gifted to my wife on our wedding day by my FIL. I hope it was meant as a joke, or he was just oblivious… (my wife’s family still hates me after 12 years of marriage, so who knows). But I hated this gun. I cannot imagine a gun being more unreliable without bordering on unsafe. It couldn’t get through a mag of rounds without 3-4 failures of some kind… To be fair, I did clean it SUPER good the last time I took it to the range, and i was able to put a couple hundred trouble free rounds through it, but I just couldn’t trust it, so sold it.
Dan Wesson .22 Revolver – This was a beautiful double action Dan Wesson Semi Custom .22 revolver. The problem with it, was that it was just TOO big. It was a massive gun weighing over 3lbs, and as I said before, I am not a revolver guy. My wife loves revolvers but physically could not grip the gun, and so we sold it. With the proceeds we were able to fund the purchase of several other guns Including my wife’s S&W 10-5, my first 22/45, and a couple of other guns. (we got a lot of money for that gun).