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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've chosen my Walther P22 over my Ruger SR22, reliability is a bit better and the grip and trigger are much better. So, I've decided to trade my Ruger towards a new toy. Think I want to get a target pistol in .22 caliber. My choices are Browning Buckmark, S&W Victory, or a Ruger Mark IV, the 1-3 series are too hard to disassemble and reassemble.
Given you wealth of knowledge and experience with pistols, can you give me the pro's and con's of each of the above 3 choices, and feel free to add any other target pistols I don't know of. Thanks in advance .
 

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The P22 can beat them all

I have competed against the Browning Buckmark, the S&W Victory and the Ruger Mark IV, as well as the Pardini SP, Walther SSP and GSP, Hammerli 280 and Hammerli SP20 RRS, FAS 607, Benelli 95 at al with my Walther P22 5" barrel (Target version) and have them all humbled more often than I can remember. The little P22 was and remains my sole handgun as I learned to shoot with in in 2001. I wouldn't swap it for anything else. Apart from a weak slide that tends to crack on occasion, the P22 is hard to beat. If one takes the time to learn how to shoot it (off hand that is), it will not disappoint. Just stock up on spare slides and off you go. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Crete, that's quite an impressive array of firepower you listed. I never thought of getting a 5" barrel. Can I purchase just the barrel and I believe there is some sort of a frame extension I could mount and convert my P22, or do I have to buy another pistol.?
 

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The P22 was designed to accept either barrel and at one time you could purchase the two barrel combo outfit. The pistol regardless of barrel length is the same. To put a 5" barrel on you remove the slide, unscrew the barrel nut, slide off the barrel sleeve, work the barrel out the rear of the pistol. To install the 5" barrel you work the barrel in from the rear until it is seated against the frame, install the longer barrel sleeve being careful to index the little recess at the rear of the sleeve with the knob on the frame where the rear of the sleeve fits. This is true for both sleeves. Then install the barrel nut and tighten. The pistol will fire perfectly fine at this point but Walther provides what they call a stabilizer that fits over the exposed end of the longer barrel. It clamps on and allows you to move the front blade an extra inch or so forward for a longer and better sight distance. I find the stabilizer adds to the accuracy of the pistol.

Not too long ago I clamped the 3.4" and 5" barrel pistols in a mechanical rest and fired a variety of ammo at 25M or 82'. The 3.4 was good for 3" groups at best even with pretty high end target stuff. The 5" was good for 5/8" groups. Then I fastened in a bull barrel MK III and it was good for 3/8" five round groups. Both of the last two were pretty accurate.

With regard to what pistol to purchase...you might look at the long barrel SR22 if you want more accuracy and a light weight pistol. You can also purchase a MK IV lightweight that is accurate and it is light. The Buckmark and MK IV and Smith are sort of a toss up. All are heavy, very solid, very accurate and I would say it is shooter preference and how they fit your hand. These pistols offer good solutions for red dots, scopes and plenty of aftermarket parts, triggers, etc. You can sometimes find a range that allows you to rent these various pistols for a $10 cleaning charge...or if you have a buddy you can borrow his/hers. The Browning takes a bit of effort to break down, the older MK II and III took magic to get them back together. Not sure about the new Smith. Rimfirecentral, a gun forum dedicated to .22 rimfire has sections on all of these pistols and you might read some of the threads there.

The MK IV is really easy to break down and reassemble but there is an issue with the barrel becoming loose. There are several solutions and one co manufactures an adjustable pivot block/pin with set screws to further lock the setting. Don't know what it costs but it seems to be solving the issue until Ruger gets with the program. You can get pretty long barrel target barrels on all of em. Try to shoot these pistols to see which one fits your hand better. Crete might be able to make the P22 keep up with them but I can't and if you ever get into shooting from a bench against guys with long barrel, heavier, steel pistols with scopes, etc.......you are going to be hurting. Off hand...that is largely shooter skill. I do find I can hold a light pistol with a good trigger more stable for a longer time if it is light like the P22. Again, Ruger makes a longer barrel SR22 but you will have to purchase a new pistol. With the P22 you can get the long barrel and stabilizer for about $100. There is very little aftermarket wise to add to the P22. No rear sight, trigger groups, etc. Crete and I seem to be able to make them run fine but Crete doesn't have a slide and hasn't had one for over two years.....so I'd just ignore him. :) 1917



Above is a 2007 framed pistol with the old P99 style grip. It has a Q slide and Q style stabilizer. This picture was taken after firing the pistol 2,000 times with no cleaning or lubing... the only issue being that the stabilizer worked it's way too far forward although the pistol continued to fire reliably. But the stabilizer needed to be back within 1/8" of the end of the muzzle. Recently a new Q model grip landed in my mailbox and is now installed on the pistol. I'll do a thread on this one day soon. The internal frame is still at new factory specs after 40K or 50K rounds. Thank you dry moly powder. The pistol was purchased as a 3.4" model. I have changed a few things on it but do run an absolutely stock hammer on it with no issue....hammer face that is. The primary hook has had the height lowered substantially, the angle of the hook changed resulting in a no creep 2.25 lb trigger. The sear face has been undercut and polished as have the primary hooks and sear faces. The hammer strut has been removed along with the mag disconnect safety. This no longer allows a DA trigger but I use this pistol for 25M shooting. Without the DA hammer strut the trigger resets in 3/16". The trigger has an over-travel stop and a pre-travel stop. Total trigger movement about 3/16". The picture above shows the trigger in the max forward position. There is no strut attached to the hammer to pull the trigger rearward when the hammer is cocked. The bottom of the trigger is resting against the JB Wled stop. I've been through about three mainsprings and one sear spring. Recently a captive QD recoil spring assembly landed in the mailbox too so I drilled out the guide rod hole to 1/4" and installed the new assembly with O ring...and began shooting. I have a picture of the O ring after 2,000 rounds....it was still performing but just barely. 1917
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
1917-11, I think you and Crete have talked me into buying the 5" barrel and stabilizer for my P22, and skip the expense and risk of jumping into unknown territory. If I really enjoy the modded P22, then I'll consider getting a real target pistol. Still going to trade in my SR22 though, what to get? Thinking of a .380 semi-auto again. I had a Glock 42, great gun, just boring. Maybe a Bersa Plus , or a Smith EZ. FYI- Ebay has the barrel and stab for between $100-150.
 

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Great decision

The Walther P22 (5" bbl) was my first handgun in 2001 and I learned to shoot w/it.

Now, any other handgun seems easier for me to shoot, which translated into plain English means that the P22 accomplished its role as a trainer as it can teach the shooter a thing or too.

It has a heavy trigger that breaks all over the place. One must concentrate not to release it too soon or make the mistake to pull it, instead of gradually allowing it to break.

The result is most rewarding.

Because of its lightweight it jumps in the hand (offhand). Allow it to jump. Don't restrain it. It needs a gentle hold, whereby all the support comes from the middle finger grasping the grip, gently. The trigger finger must be wrapped around the trigger blade and the non-stop and gradual squeeze ought to be done straight backwards. It should go off when the shooter leasts expects it. By the time one realizes that the shot was fired the target is hit, so keep your eye on the front sight ONLY, not the target. Use the interchangeable front sight #2 for 10 yards and the #3 for 20yards, or thereabout. The #4 is for 25 metres (82 feet), or a bit further away.

All in all, I'm addicted to my P22 and I would't swap it any time soon (Itried and failed to like any other model I was presented with). :rolleyes:
 
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