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Zappa 04-04-2008 02:47 AM

Phoenix Arms .22
This is a carryover from the thread :
".22's To Avoid" from another section of this forum.

Gunsmokeer wrote:
"The Phoenix Arms .22 semi-auto pistol, which looks good and fits my hand well, and only sells for $125 brand new, is not reliable. And it has some really weird controls and safety features that have never been seen on any other handgun (and I hope they are never used again on any future guns, either).
(P.S. The Phoenix Arms Rangemaster is accurate. It's just not reliable.)

I agree that it looks good, it's accurate, inexpensive, fits the hand well, and the safety features are strange, unnatural and cumbersome. Take down and reassembly can be a real PITA too.
Out-of-the-box, the reliability isn't great, however there are some simple modifications that can be made to make this a much better performer.
I bought one of these on a whim about 10 years ago at a gun show. I wasn't worried about voiding the warranty because it was so inexpensive, I just wanted to make it work better, which I succeded at.
I first dissembled the gun and studied the mechanism to determine how everything interacted. The safety interlocks were the first area to be addressed.
I don't know who designed this ridiculous system, but he should be shot !
With the safety ON, you cannot pull the trigger, cock or lower the hammer or retract the slide. This is mostly normal but it gets strange when you take the safety OFF. In the "FIRE" position the magazine release is locked-out and the mag can't be removed (?). So you must put it back on SAFE first, but when the mag is removed, the safety is now locked on "SAFE" and the slide can't be retracted to empty the chamber (?) You can lock the slide open with the safety on and remove the magazine, but once the mag is removed you can't close the slide again until you reinsert the magazine (?)
This retarded system makes it very confusing and requires several extra steps, in a specific sequence, to unload the gun and make it safe, especially if you still have ammo in the magazine.
The mods I performed make this gun work in a normal fashion that's familiar to users of other semi-auto pistols.
The first thing was to remove the left side grip panel and the safety lever, then file off the lower left corner where it slips in under the mag release button. Now the magazine can be removed regardless of what position the safety is in. The next modification was to bend the magazine/safety interlock up and out of the way, so as not to block movement of the safety from SAFE to FIRE when the mag is removed. The slide can now be retracted with the magazine removed to enable clearing of the chamber, now the safety works the same way it does on any other pistol.
These modifications can be performed in about 15 minutes with a file and a small screwdriver.
DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a gunsmith or a Lawyer. If you choose to do this modification, you do so at your own risk. However, anyone with even the slightest background in mechanical engineering can study this simple mechanism and reach the same conclusion I did.

Chortdraw 04-04-2008 05:32 PM

Thanks for the information. I have one of these and wondered if it could easily be changed. Mine shoots very good and is quite accurate and so far has never failed to fire for me. Very comfortable pistol to hold and feels good in the hand. I sure didn't like all the strange movements one had to go through to make it function.

Shooter973 04-05-2008 03:18 AM

Phoenix Arms 22's....
I've bought and given away about a half dozen of these nice little handguns over the last couple of years.
I've never had a problem learning the controls or putting one back together after cleaning it. :confused:
I like 'em and so do the friends and family that have recieved them for Birthday, or Christmas gifts. They will even feed Win. Expert 22 shells that will choke a 10/22. How they do that is a real amazment to me.:D
Sorry if some of ya have a bit of trouble with them, but for the money they are great. The nickled ones work right out of the box better than the black ones, but after a couple hundred rounds the black ones wear in I guess. Finding a spare mag with the finger extention is a real problem, can't even order them and get'em. :(

rufusgooch 04-08-2008 01:10 AM

I have a phoenix 22, both barrels. Fun and accurate. not a carry weapon but a good range plinker. If you want to spend time at the range and get out cheap this is your gun. I do agree with Frank Zappa; and I did the same modifications to mine after i bought it. I did have to dremel the back side of the grip to clear where i bent the saftey lock out. (I must have bent mine too far.) For the price cannt beat it

rufusgooch 04-08-2008 01:16 AM

Hey Shooter on target sports online has the extention clips for 18 bucks

Chortdraw 04-14-2008 11:49 PM

Where is it listed in the site? I can not find them?

Chortdraw 04-15-2008 04:05 PM

THANK YOU!!, For the information on Phoenix Arms. I'm glad to be able get parts and such for this pistol. I think it is under rated and is a nice shooting gun. Also the fix that Zappa posted is very easy to do and now it works like most of my other guns. Thanks again everyone for the helpful information.

Chortdraw 04-15-2008 07:47 PM

TS online
Called target sports online and ordered all the things I needed. They were very informative and it was a pleasure to do business with them. Thanks again for the heads-up to the site. :D :D :D

Chortdraw 04-18-2008 09:28 PM

Well the parts I ordered came and everything is great. The 5in barrel is going to be a lot of fun. I also got 2 extended mags which make this little gun a pleasure to hold. It was easy to hold and shoot to start with and now is even better. The service was very good and the phone call to them was very informative and enjoyable. I still think this little gun is underrated. :D

maddmaxx 04-09-2009 03:36 AM

Phoenix Arms hp22 hammer remains cocked
I cannot get the hammer uncocked. It springs backwards some more when I pull the trigger, but won't uncock. I have the gun in "fire" position, and the firing pin block is covering the red dot. Anyone know what I'm doing wrong?

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