Andrew’s Walther P22 and Ruger 22/45 Mark IV tactical
I have two 22 pistols and I absolutely love them. They get most of my trigger time. I have been thinking about what makes shooting 22 pistols such a great experience. I did some thinking and some research. This is what I learned about why owning a 22 pistol is great idea.
Low Cost Shooting
Based on my research, 22LR is the least expensive ammunition. The 22LR is far less expensive to shoot than any centerfire cartridge. It’s even less expensive than any other rimfire cartridges including the 22 short.
As I write this, all ammunition is much more expensive than it’s been historically. However, 22LR is still 3 times cheaper than popular centerfire ammunition such as 9mm and 5.56.
The pistols themselves don’t cost much less than a centerfire pistol. It still takes about $400 to buy a semiauto 22 pistol and $200 to buy a 22 revolver. I recommend a semiauto 22 pistol over a revolver. While revolvers are fun and they can take varmints, they aren’t as good of a training tool. Unless your EDC pistol is a revolver, it’s best to practice shooting, and manipulating a semiauto 22 pistol.
If you own a Glock, then a 22 conversion kit is a get addition to your arsenal. These easy to install kits come with a new slide, barrel, and magazine to make your Glock capable of shooting 22LR. Two companies that make them are Tactical Solutions and Advantage Arms. They cost about as much as a semiauto 22 pistol, but they allow for lower cost shooting with your EDC Glock.
Great For New Shooters
22 pistols are a great platform to teach the fundamentals of pistol shooting. They are often better teaching tools than centerfire pistols. They have much less recoil than centerfire pistols. New shooters tend to be recoil sensitive. New shooters will likely have more fun learning on a low recoil 22 pistol and be less intimidated by the loud noise and higher recoil of a centerfire pistol.
Also, another good thing about 22 pistols is that they are less reliable than centerfire pistols. Why is less reliability a good thing? Because 22 pistols are more malfunction prone, they provide more opportunity to work through malfunctions. 22 ammunition releases much more lead and carbon than centerfire ammunition. This debris build up can cause failures to feed or failures to extract a spent case. These types of malfunctions allow for the practice of the tap and rap procedure. This procedure involves slapping the bottom of the magazine to ensure it’s fully in. After this magazine slap, racking the slide will clear various problems such as a dud round or an unreset trigger. Because of the value in practicing this drill, I don’t always clean my 22 pistols after shooting to increase to odds of having a malfunction.
22 Pistols are Super Fun
Plinking and self-defense drills with 22 pistols is just as fun as shooting a centerfire pistol. While experienced shooters can and should enjoy practicing with their centerfire EDC pistol, 22 pistols still offer a good time. I don’t view 22 pistols a less than my 9mm pistol. Shooting 22 pistols is unique, different, and practical exercise compared to shooting centerfire pistols.
One of the most fun things about shooting 22 pistols is knowing that they are lethal. It’s true that a 22 pistol is not nearly as good as a 9mm for self-defense. However, in a pinch a 22 pistol can quickly put several holes in vital organs or cause instant incapacitation with a head shot.
Small and Light Hunting, Backpacking, and Survival Tool
A 22 pistol is the lightest and smallest self-defense tool on the marketing. As such when weight considerations really matter, 22 pistols fit the bill better than another other option. As every backpacker or hiking knows every ounce counts. Of course, if you can carry a heavy and more capable firearm, then go for it especially in bear country.
While I don’t recommend relying on a 22 pistol for self-defense, it can function in that role. I have studied self-defense shooting videos and one thing stands out. Pistol bullets usually don’t stop attackers because of physical damage. Pistol bullets stop attackers because of the psychological distress of getting shot. When bullets enter an attacker they usually lose interest in continuing their assault. A 22 pistol is just as capable of doing this as any other pistol.
Very Quiet with a Suppressor
22LR is super quiet with a suppressor. Because 22LR contains much less gunpowder than other ammunition, it naturally becomes very quiet with a suppressor. Furthermore, 22LR subsonic ammunition that doesn’t break the sound barrier will not cause a sonic boom. Because of this, shooting suppressed 22 pistols with subsonic ammunition has about the same noise level as a pellet gun. This makes a suppressed 22 the best firearm for low noise shooting.
The video below shows me shooting a 22 pistol with super sonic and subsonic ammunition.