Ok, so last spring, I came across a Ruger SR22 at the local fun store. I've been looking for a compact small frame .22 for my son when he's old enough to safely handle a pistol and the adjustable grips on this thing, light weight and scaled down size made this a pretty good choice. However, I don't want him to get a bad gun so I've been "testing" it for him a bit here. It's been completely reliable with Federal and Remington bulk box ammo with one stovepipe when I intentionally held it VERY loose to see if I could uber-limp wrist it and make it jam up which it did but that has been the only occasion. Accuracy has also been pretty decent for a little gun of its size so I have no complaints in this department as well. I don't care so much for the short rail since a larger light like a Surefire or my Streamlight M3 won't fit so it looks like I will have to look for something along the lines of a TLR-3 or Insight X2 to work with the short rails.
Today I was at the PX at F.E. Warren in Cheyenne and picked up an M&P22 for $336 out the door. I only had this afternoon to fire it and OMG I am LOVING this little pistol! I also picked up 2 boxes of CCI mini-mags to break it in along with a few rounds of Remington Gold Bullet bulk box ammo. I was expecting a rougher trigger than what it has so that was a pleasant surprise. I fired 24 rounds at an empty 55 gallon drum about 50m out with most of the rounds hitting just to accustom myself to the trigger then settled down for 5-round groups at 15m to see how she will shoot. I was not disappointed in that from an unsupported prone, I would estimate that the groups weren't much bigger than an inch. I switched over to my bulk box to see how these would group and as expected, a little larger (about 2-3 inches) and on round 32 is where I had my first stovepipe. I'm not really upset about this though since it hasn't even been broken in yet so I went ahead and fired off the rest of the 200 rounds of mini-mags with no further problems. Afterwards I ran another 24 rounds of the Remington bulk pack ammo through it without any issues so I account for that one stoppage as being fired through a brand new pistol. So much for the good. Now for the bad.
The single dot on the front sight but nothing on the rear is a little odd and may take some getting used to. Some people claim to have swapped out the sights for Novaks used on the M&P9 without issue while others claim that using these steel sights on the alunimum slide may damage the slide so the jury's still out on swapping out sights. Also, while it worked perfectely fine, I thought the magazines were a little sharper and rougher than those with the SR22. It just didn't seem to load as smoothly as the Ruger mags. Which brings me to my next problem with the gun (not so much the gun but the way it's sold) and that it only comes with 1 magazine!
Sorry but this little gun is too fun to shoot to have to reload a single magazine every time. I just placed an order this evening from S&W for an additional 2 mags so I'm hoping they are in stock and come in soon. One other thing I feel could be improved is the safety lever. My CZ, 1911s, Hi-Power, H&K, M&P45 and every other handgun with a safety lever has the pin at the very tail end of the lever. Not so with the M&P22. It's a little farther forward so if you don't make sure you press the safety down on the forward part of the pad, it's not going to move as easily as it should.
So what about the ugly? Well, not much here to complain about other than asthetics. Namely, that freakin huge neon size billboard on the right side of the slide that little Stevie freakin' Wonder could see half ways across the North cattle range!
As if it's not big enough, it's whiteish color against a black slide makes it VERY hard to miss and to me, really just looks gaudy. Again, nothing that effects function, just looks like crap.
My other .22 is a Ruger Mk-II 512 bull barrel. Great gun in that it's reliable, accuracy that will put the other .22s to shame and great sights and trigger but it's also a LOT heavier and lends itself to more of a target and hunting pistol rather than a .22 caliber trainer that the others will do very well. This is especially true of the M&P that mimicks my M&P45 very closely in feel and familiar controls.
Other future options I have been considering is an Advantage Arms Glock conversion on a G19 frame to make a dedicated .22LR Glock. They have a pretty good reputation but they are also harder to come by. One other one I have considered (but generally shy away from when I come to my senses) is the Sig Mosquito. It would be nice to have a .22 with similar handling charcteristics as my full size Sigs without having to go the conversion kit route but I have heard WAY too many problems with their being ammo picky for me to purchase one. One of the big advantages of a .22 for training is the ability to use the cheapest ammo out there without choking and this is something the Mosquito has a reputation of not being able to do. Sure, mini-mags are still cheaper than centerfire ammo but with other options out there like the Mk-II or SR22 (and possibly the M&P22...still pending here) that do eat the cheap fodder without any problems, what's the point to going with the Sig?