This will be long so Im going to keep the backstory short. Ive read plenty of gun reviews but like everything else they rate, accuracy often seems subjective.. Even a firearm at bench rest may produce some tight groups but how does it really compare?
I decided to try a fairly unscientific but still more objective test. I wanted to try the Ruger SR22 and also found a GSG 1911 for rent. I took my Beretta Neos and Heritage Rough Rider with me. 4 different pistols all loaded with .22 LR. For the autoloaders I was using CCI Mini-Mag Round Tips and for the Rough Rider I was using American Eagle Copper Plated Round Tips. I dont want to use Mini-Mags in a revolver, seems like a waste right now.
At the range I tested each gun with 10 rounds at 5 yards, 7 yards, and 10 yards. As a warm-up I fired 10 rounds at 7 yards with each weapon. To reduce the impact of shooter error (Me!) I am going to take off the worst 2 shots from the 3 different sets and also add the best shot from the Warm-Up round. The Warm-Up round was done in a rotation where the 5, 7, and 10 yard shots were all done consecutively one pistol at a time. The targets are numbered from 11 for the bullseye going out to 5 points for the outer ring.
My earlier review of the Beretta Neos can be found here
The Heritage Rough Rider review is forthcoming.
The Ruger SR22 -
I dont like small guns and initially gripping the SR22 made me groan a little because there is the palm overflow I hate so much. Oddly though, I dont mind it because the gun just fits in my hand well. I have the hands of someone over 6 tall and I am nowhere near 6 tall. This means compacts and subcompacts are usually a bit uncomfortable for me. Still not in love with the grip, but appreciate that it still felt pretty good in the hand.
The safety is frame mounted (yes) but reversed (BOO!). Down for safe and up for fire. Despite being almost flush with the frame and rather smallish, it actually engages and disengages easily. I really liked how it functioned, but having it reversed is a no-no. Cmon, Ruger, you almost did this perfectly! At least you gave me a slide release that was easy to disengage and reach.
Ive read a lot of complaints about the SR22 trigger and I will say that double-action pulls are pretty dang stiff but the single-action pull isnt bad. Not great, but not bad. The trigger is not as horrible as I was led to believe, but it is one of the worst double-action pulls Ive ever experienced.
The ATI GSG1911-
I was somewhat surprised to see the GSG is indeed full-sized and not a shrunken down version like the SIG Mosquito. The downside of that is that I get the fun of discovering the slide release is just a little hard to reach and everything seems a little off because of the grips. That was surprising as I have large hands, but the magazine release and slide release were both awkward to use. The safety was also pretty mushy, which is a no-go. This was a rental gun and well worn, so maybe it just needed some maintenance. However, as this is a plinker, the poorly functioning safety wasnt a big concern and it didnt have any issues staying off, just engaging.
Despite my gripes about the mag and slide release, the grip felt very natural and reminded me of the last time I fired a 1911 handgun, which has been some time. It just feels great and it has a nice trigger on it. Honestly, its not that hard to make a decent single action trigger from what Ive seen but I never underestimate peoples determination to screw up something that should naturally be good. Actually shooting the GSG1911 is pleasant. Imagine firing a 1911 but almost no recoil. Really, almost NO recoil. I assume there must be some since the pistol had no trouble cycling rounds.
On the warm-up, the Neos was the only one to score a bullseye but the GSG hit in the 10 ring and the Rough Rider and SR22 both hit in the 9 ring.
5 Yard Scoring -
GSG1911 - 75
Rough Rider - 76
SR22 - 77
Neos - 82
7 Yard Scoring -
Rough Rider - 64
GSG1911 - 71
SR22 - 72
Neos - 74
10 Yard Scoring -
GSG1911 - 59
Rough Rider - 62
SR22 - 67
Neos - 75
Rough Rider - 211 Points
GSG1911 - 215 Points
SR22 - 225 Points
Neos - 242 Points
Accuracy Winner - Beretta U22 Neos
In all fairness, the Neos is my personal handgun and Ive fired hundreds of rounds through it where today was my first time to fire the SR22 or the GSG1911. For that matter, I have not fired a 1911 pattern handgun in over 20 years, though everything was familiar. Like shooting a bicycle or something. The Neos also had the benefit of the longer barrel though that did not help the Rough Rider as much.
The SR22 is a fine handgun, but I would say for sheer fun factor the GSG1911 wins it hands down. Rimfires are good for two things in my world. Fun and hunting critters. The Neos has been an awesome handgun and always highly recommended. It has far outperformed its price point and deserves to be held in the same regard as Ruger Mk.s and Browning Buck Marks. That said, for sheer fun, the GSG1911 just beats the hell out of all of them.
Still, you cant go wrong with any of them. The SR22 is still plenty fun and a great plinker that also might be a little more practical than the GSG1911. The Rough Rider is pretty rough. Ill finish my review later after Ive taken some pictures and fired some rounds with the .22 WMR cylinder.
For overall accuracy the GSG1911 and the Rough Rider look similar in overall scoring. Some of this may be methodology. Taking another look at the targets, if I hadnt tossed out the worst 2 shots or kept more points from the warm-up I think there would be a greater gap. If I had more money it would have been interesting to do another test for 15 yards. Which would be tough for me as I suffer from astigmatism and even 10 yards is difficult for me to see well even with glasses on. The groupings on the GSG1911 are tighter and its a much more consistent gun from an accuracy standpoint. I was actually surprised that the SR22 beat the GSG1911. Going in I would have expected it the other way around.