Rimfire pistols
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:19 AM   #1
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Default Rimfire pistols

Everybody should have at least one in their collection. Over the years I've owned most of the major ones out there. We haven't had a thread like this in a while so I thought I'd share my observations on what I've learned.

Revolvers. The king of rimfire revolvers are either the S&W K frames or the older Colts. I'd love to have a Diamondback but even I won't invest that much. The problem with .22 revolvers (double action) is they are very pricey as there just aren't that many to choose from. I started with a Taurus 94 which was a cute gun but had a really bad DA trigger pull and the cylinder tended to bind if it got the least bit dirty. As I wanted a good one, and couldn't find a reasonably priced used K frame, I broke down and bought a new S&W 617. The real beauty of rimfire revolvers is they will digest any ammo. I picked up 3 bricks of Remington Thunderbolt on a trade and my revolver is the only gun that will shoot this crap. I really wish Ruger would make a rimfire GP 100 - they'd sell like hotcakes. For single action .22s (not my cup of tea) the Ruger Single Six is deservedly the king.

Dedicated semi's. The Buckmark and Ruger Marks are the kings here. I've had a couple of each and it's a toss up over which is better. Out of the box the Buckmark has a much better trigger but the Ruger has a ton of aftermarket stuff available to make it better. Both Buckmarks I owned were extremely ammo picky and would only reliably shoot CCI Mini-Mags. The Rugers I've had worked better with good bulk .22 ammo so I like them more for that reason. Disassembly/reassembly for both can be a PITA but it doesn't take long to break the code. The real drawbak on the new Rugers, the Mark III, is the lawyer crap they included. The mag disconnect is irritating and the loaded chamber indicator can cause feed problems. Luckily - both these features are simple to remove. I currently have a 4" Mark III Hunter in stainless and it's a real fun gun and very reliable now that it's broke in.

Mosquito & P22. Both of these little plastic .22s get a lot of bad press. My wife has a P22 with over 3K rounds thru it and my son has a Mosquito with about the same amount shot - both have been good little guns. Most of the problems with these guns are mag related and the later models tend to work pretty well. These are not target guns at all and they fall more into the plinker category. For the Mosquito, it's critical to match the recoil spring to the ammo you use. They come with 2 springs, one for high velocity ammo and one for normal ammo. Many folks shoot normal ammo with the heavier spring installed and wonder why the gun doesn't cycle reliably.

Conversion kits. I've used conversion kits on 1911s and Sigs and the real benefit here is you get to practice cheap on your platform of choice. For a time I had a Kimber kit on an alloy Tactical Pro frame and it made a very light, very nice shooting rimfire - of course for the $$$ it should be. I know some 1911s are a PITA to get a conversion to work with, I've heard that the Taurus PT1911 can be difficult. Sig makes conversions for their classic P series guns as well as selling dedicated .22 versions of them. I have a P220 in .22 and it's a great shooter. I also have a kit for my 229 (listed for sale actually) and it works great as well.

All .22s tend to be ammo picky (except revolvers) and it may take some trial and error to find what yours likes. I tend to avoid any Remington ammo as I find it is about the worst stuff out there. For break in, many manufacturers recommend CCI Mini-Mags and they work great but are a tad expensive. For bulk .22, I've had great success with the Winchester 333 stuff as well as the Federal bricks - both bought at Walmart.

Yeah, it's 4 AM on Friday and I posting - what can I say as the dog woke me up early to do his business. I also have to post the pic of my 617 as it pisses Tango off because he wants it...

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Old 09-10-2010, 03:24 PM   #2
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...... I also have to post the pic of my 617 as it pisses Tango off because he wants it...
Wow. EXCELLENT post there sir.
I have to say - Tango isn't the only one drooling over that 617, I guarantee you!

I'm a bit lacking in rimfire handguns myself. I've got a Mark III that I gave the full treatment, and a Single Six. My only other is a 10" bull barrel for my Contender.

Years ago I bought a brand new Colt New Model Service Ace with the floating chamber that was pure perfection. But back then I was still young and dumb and ended up selling it for a song. That is one that still makes me cry today if I think about it.....
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:04 PM   #3
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+1 on that one. That pretty much sums up my experience with the .22LR

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Old 09-10-2010, 06:32 PM   #4
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Great post, Dave.

My Buckmark is now 25 years old and has always been 100% gtg. But I have some old High Standards and they are my favorite pistols. And an old used Sport King can be had for around $200.

My 1911 kit is the Marvel, on a Randall frame. Uses Colt Ace mags and is very accurate and reliable.

Traded my P22, but it was also 100% gtg, and it had a brick of ammo run through it every week for about a year. Neat little pistol, though not super accurate.

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Old 09-10-2010, 07:13 PM   #5
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Dedicated semi's. The Buckmark and Ruger Marks are the kings here. I've had a couple of each and it's a toss up over which is better. Out of the box the Buckmark has a much better trigger but the Ruger has a ton of aftermarket stuff available to make it better. Both Buckmarks I owned were extremely ammo picky and would only reliably shoot CCI Mini-Mags. The Rugers I've had worked better with good bulk .22 ammo so I like them more for that reason. Disassembly/reassembly for both can be a PITA but it doesn't take long to break the code. The real drawbak on the new Rugers, the Mark III, is the lawyer crap they included. The mag disconnect is irritating and the loaded chamber indicator can cause feed problems. Luckily - both these features are simple to remove. I currently have a 4" Mark III Hunter in stainless and it's a real fun gun and very reliable now that it's broke in.

...

I also have to post the pic of my 617 as it pisses Tango off because he wants it...
I've got somewhere in the neighborhood of 5000 rounds through my Mk II, and I love it. It got even better after I ordered a Mk II hammer and bushing, and cut the mag disconnect out of the equation. Without all that junk, I have no problem taking down the whole action after going to the range, and keeping it sparkling clean and well-oiled at all times. I got a new sear at the same time (All the parts came from Volquartsen Custom, and they all work beautifully), which improved the trigger noticeably.

I generally shoot Federal Champion high-velocity ammo. It's dirty, but it's two bucks a box and it shoots well. Only thing that doesn't feed reliably is hollow-point ammo.

And that pic makes me mad, too, old man. =P
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:21 PM   #6
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I currently have a Neos and a Ruger MkII 6 7/8 govt target model.

I had a smith 6 shot K frame M17 K-22 masterpiece with 8 3/8" barrel target trigger hammer and microclick sights. That revolver hands down was the most accurate 22 pistol to every grace my grubby little paws. I lost it to a effing crack head b!tch I was dating in Texas. I am still so pissed if I ever meet her on the street I would curb stomp her to death.

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Old 09-10-2010, 08:26 PM   #7
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I still have an old AMT "lightning" .22LR somewhere; yes, the one from the lawsuit. I always wished it had the bull barrel, but it has the tapered ~6 incher.

I saw an interesting .22 online the other day, but it's a bit outside my price range: Firearms, Guns, Rifles. Grain Valley, Missouri. I guess that "compensator" is mostly decorative.

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Old 09-10-2010, 09:19 PM   #8
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Dang, at 4 in the morning and such good input. Thanks.

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Old 09-10-2010, 09:24 PM   #9
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The classic S&W K frames are really special. About 2 years ago I was browsing in my local gun store and there on the used shelf was a 6" Model 17. This thing looked liked it had been tied to a truck and drug through the mud - but the action was tight. They wanted $300 for it and wouldn't budge a dime.

I left but it bugged me all day so in the afternoon I went back ready to plunk down the 3 bills - they had sold it 10 minutes after I had left in the AM...

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Old 09-10-2010, 10:27 PM   #10
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Hey, what am I, chopped liver?

The GSG 1911-22.

I have fired countless rimfire handguns and this is the finest 22lr pistol I've ever held! And yes, I am a JM Browning disciple but everyone that has shot this gun has either gone out and bought one or sang praises to it!

If you are even considering a rimfire handgun, do yourself a favor and find one of these and take it for a test-drive.





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