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"best" .22LR semi pistol for familiarization ?

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  • "best" .22LR semi pistol for familiarization ?

    greetings peeps, back on AW with a question and I realize how long it's been since I last got on (2020 ?) Sad to see some of the old crew has passed on and activity is sparser than it used to be. Here's something to brighten someone's day: want some information.

    We now live in a handgun-friendlier state and are looking to acquire a few handguns. (Couldn't be bothered in NY with all their permit crap.) The mission will be building operating skills in prep for target practice and home defence. IDPA if I gain enough skill, but that's not a consideration right now. "We" is me and my adult female partner, both without significant physical debilities. No kids in the house.

    I've been shooting larger-caliber rifles (like 54R & .308) for 20 years and am comfortable with recoil (like in a Mosin or 1894). On occasions that I've used other people's handguns (9mm & .45) obviously having the thing go off in your hands is different from having it stuck in your shoulder, but I didn't find recoil a particular obstacle. Partner will be a little bit more sensitive to that, also to weight (strong but she complained about holding up an 8lb rifle for too long).

    So: as a first handgun I'm thinking about getting a .22LR semiauto pistol. Mission:
    1. training gun. Learn the standard semiauto pistol principles of operations (POPS) by shooting. More on that below.
    2. learn basic shooting of a semi handgun without the impediment of recoil (particularly for her).
    3. have some fun. A launchpad to larger caliber semi pistols.
    4. potential home defence weapon for her if she can't get used to recoil of heavier cartridges. I know the arguments about stopping power. There is also a deterrent component. If there's a home defence theory conversation in this item, I'll be glad to hear you point that out, but please let's take it to a separate thread, I'm focused on items 1-3 whether the .22 has home defence application or not. Training first.

    I've sussed out some manufacturers and models. Surprisingly everything runs about $500. Longer barrels are better as a basic principle of existence but only a secondary consideration here.
    ruger SR22 in 4.5" barrel
    SIG 322
    Walther various
    Beretta M9/FS92 variants in .22LR
    Glock 44

    Now into the grit:
    I like the Ruger SR22 because it gives the DA/SA experience. I'm not limited to SA-only. DAO is interesting but apparently rare except for LEO issue (so, 22LR availability ?). Also, having an exposed hammer similiarly gives more diversity. I expect to learn to manage different firearms with different operating principles by default, so I have no desire to home in on a single manufacturer's POPS and ignore everything else. There's a sentimental attraction to Ruger MkIV because it's handsome and comfortable, but the difference from centerfire semi pistol operations rules it out. Same for Browning buckmark.

    All this said, do you have any suggestions for particular pistols to choose for these purposes, or comments/criticisms of how I'm thinking about this ? Glad to hear them. We're not novice shooters, we need to learn to apply our shooting skills using handguns. So focus on models that give a well-manufactured, reliable experience of the standard POPS, rather than ones that are focused on engineered-in accuracy, will be particularly appreciated (we expect to engineer the accuracy into ourselves just like we have with rifles).

    Thanks all, hope I gave you something fun to think & write about for the afternoon
    Last edited by bxn; March 4, 2023, 20:07.
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  • #2
    The Taurus tx22 would be a good trainer if you are looking to buy a G series pistol. It's not the most accurate pistol I own but it's been reliable and comes suppressor friendly.
    The Chiappa 22 version is a good analog for the Beretta 92. The only problem I've seen is one of the magazines is not reliable.
    I have a 22 conversion for a full size 45 witness. Lots of fun and so far reliable.
    While I don't have one, a 22 conversion for a 1911 or a Glock would allow you to practice with the same frame and trigger pull for muscle memory.
    Finally, I've had good results with Blazer 22 ammo. It seems a little more powerful than other bulk 22's. It operates the slide on the witness much better than Federal bulk ammo.

    I hope this gives you some ideas.