Best .22 Pistols and Handguns (in 2019) for Precise Target Shooting

_22-Pistols-and-HandgunsAs the owner of my own collection of handguns, I can tell you one thing for sure: handguns are a gift from God. They are so easy to use and maintain and I especially the amount of variety you can fit in them.

But as with all things, there are a lot of risks. Just last week I canceled a rimfire revolver after one of my friends told me the company was a con. It’s becoming increasingly harder to get a decent product around here. So I decided to hunt through the Internet and search for the 10 best .22 pistols.

Below are my top choices, with the Walther P22 as the top pick. It is a handy little addition. Read on and learn more about .22 caliber handguns and revolvers.

At a Glance: Our 10 Best .22 Pistols and Handguns

What is a .22 Caliber and Why Do You Need One?

A .22 caliber means that the borehole of the handgun measures 0.22 inches or 5.6mm in diameter. A caliber of .22 inches may sound like some ordinary thing. Just remember that .22 weapons can be deadly.

Due to their minuscule sizes, .22 caliber bullets have the highest muzzle exit velocity. This means that they can reach incredible speeds when exiting the gun. A typical 40 grain .22 caliber bullet can reach up to 1,400 ft/s (400 m/s) within no time.

Furthermore, some hyper velocity versions of .22 calibers exist as well. These are the more sophisticated 36-grain bullets which can reach up to 1,800 ft/s. As a result, they cost more. In general, you’ll definitely find yourself using a .22 caliber more often than not.

What are the Benefits of Using a .22 Caliber?

Using any type of caliber can mean a lot for both you and your handguns. There is a lot of difference between calibers. Therefore, a .22 caliber will definitely give you something unique. In general, .22 caliber guns are good because:

  1. They are easier to learn. Due to the ease of use and smoothness of operation, these handguns do not make the user flinch or recoil much. They are great for beginners, as they do not let you create bad unhealthy habits.
  2. They are lower in cost. A typical .22 caliber can cost as little as $400, although the price can go as high as $1,000 or above. This is way cheaper than most other shots.
  3. They are readily available. Finding other types of calibers can be hard. But a .22 caliber gun is the easiest to find on the market. They are the most widespread and most commonly used, so you shouldn’t have too hard a time trying to find the perfect one.

Which Type of .22 Caliber Is Best for Me?

Gun Type

There are multiple different types of .22 caliber handguns. Finding out the right one might save you tons of money and time. First, you need to decide on which type of handgun you want. A semi-automatic would be your best shot since they are easy to reload and hold a lot of ammo. However, they may be more susceptible to jamming. Choose the handgun you need wisely. I recommend looking into the top products to get a clear view.

Revolvers are better since they are more reliable and accurate. However, they may be harder to operate and require you to manually rotate the magazine. What’s more, they also hold fewer bullets than a regular semi-auto. If you ask me, a semi-auto is best for beginners unless you’re used to the revolver.

Ammo Type

Next, decide on what bullet you need. .22 caliber rounds come in three types. The subsonic bullets can reach up to 1,100 ft/s. The high velocity can reach 1,400 ft/s. And the more costly and more reliable hyper velocity versions can reach as much as 1,800 ft/s. The velocity will give you a good idea of the type of ammo which is best for you.

Your reason to use the .22 caliber also comes into play here. Decide why you need your ammo and handgun. Is it for concealed carry for self-defense? Do you want to keep it hidden away cozily in a side drawer? Or do you plan on practicing every day? In addition, many users might even use the caliber for hunting. The .22 caliber is a deadly weapon, so choose wisely.

What are .22 LR Calibers Best For?

There are a number of reasons why you could be needing the .22 caliber. However, they perform differently in different fields. When hunting, for example, they work better with smaller animals as big as coyotes. Larger animals like deer and hogs can be killed, too, but this is something best left for the professionals.

For self-defense, a .22 caliber is the best. It is almost deadly to humans. Moreover, the bullets can reach tremendous velocities and can be very harmful to the human body. If you don’t want to kill the intruder/offender, a shot to the leg or the arm might be worth it. Be careful, however, as excessive bleeding can lead to death.

Rimfire bullets tend to create a greater ricochet. So, this can be as deadly as the original fire. .22 LR calibers are capable of ricocheting even off of water bodies. So be extra careful when operating these. Trust me, you don’t want any accidents.

All in all, I find that the .22 caliber is a great candidate for both self-defense and hunting. For mere recreational shooting purposes, the caliber makes a great round. It has high velocity and great penetration.

Our Reviews for the Top Rated Products

Our Top Pick: Walther P22

Walther P22Walther is one of the world’s most renowned gun and firearm manufacturers. The P22 is a .22 caliber handgun meant for both training and concealed carry. The pistol is semi-automatic, which makes it perfect for a 10 round magazine.

Key Feature

  1. Best for target precise target shooting as well as concealed carry
  2. The frame is made of 3-dot polymer sight
  3. 4-inch barrel (5-inch version available)
  4. Only weighs 15 ounces

What Other Users are Saying

The frame of the gun is made of a polymer while the slide and frame receiver is fashioned from a zinc alloy. This gives the gun that familiar strong rigid feeling. The P22 also features a thumb safety feature, which keeps the thumb protected from recoil. Furthermore, the barrel is mostly steel, with a barrel sleeve made of the same.

Speaking of the barrel, it measures 3.4 inches in length. There are longer barrel versions as well, which has a length of up to 5 inches. The Walther P22 has the lightest weight of any barrel I’ve seen. Apart from that, the P22 also has a couple of safety features. These mechanisms stop the gun from accidentally shooting, especially if it’s dropped.

Pros

  • Easy to use and hold. Polymer grip handle
  • 4 inches compact barrel
  • Two safety mechanisms for protecting against accidental shoots
  • Lightweight handgun for concealed carry
  • Best 22 pistol for precise target shooting

Cons

  • May need some high-speed ammunition to give a good round

Overall Rating: 4.8/5

The Walther P22 is a definite win for the firearm company. This is my top pick for the best 22 pistol on the market.

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Ruger Single Six

Ruger Single SixRuger’s firearm product line is a sophisticated artifact for the average hunter. Packed with power and speed, Ruger’s Single Six is a sure test of your abilities. This gun is a single action revolver. This means that the hammer is supposed to be cocked after firing each round.

Key features

  • Single action revolver
  • 5-inch long barrel made for target shooting
  • Best 22 pistol with a long barrel
  • Stainless steel construction

What Other Users are Saying

The Ruger Single Six revolver is one of the best handguns for precise target shooting. The frame and internal parts are all made of stainless steel. Subsequently, this helps to prevent corrosion and tarnishing. It also helps the handgun last for longer.

This Ruger product comes with a 6.5-inch long barrel. In addition, the long barrel makes it best for shooting and for target practice. However, it makes it harder to hide or conceal so you might not be able to use it for concealed carry. Nevertheless, the Ruger Single Six is a great option for shooting or hunting.

Pros:

  • Best for hunting and precise target shooting
  • .22 caliber meant for the average outdoor user
  • 5-inch long barrel for more accurate shots
  • Better accuracy. Lowers speed to maintain stability

Cons:

  • Not the best for concealed carry. Harder to fit in pockets and purses
  • Single action. You need to cock the hammer each time

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 

Overall, I would recommend the Ruger Single Six for almost any type of user, although I think it’s best for outdoor users. Indoors, it can be concealed in drawers and dressers.

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Browning Buck Mark Camper

Introduction

Browning’s Buck Mark Camper is the best choice for campers and hunters. It uses a 10 round capacity with a 5.5-inch barrel length. This makes it perfect for the average hunter and wanderer. It’s great for shooting targets accurately and is more suited for deer hunting.

Key Features

  • Matte blue finish makes the design stylish and ergonomically efficient
  • A 5-inch long barrel
  • Can hold up to 10 rounds at a time
  • Has a removable magazine. Easy to clean and dust

What Other Users are Saying

The Browning Buck Mark Camper is the type of handgun pistol that speaks for itself. It is one of the best 22 pistols and has the best value deals. The barrel is a solid 5.5 inches long, making it perfect for the most accurate rounds. The Buck Mark Camper is also a great choice for campers or for hunters who want a quick solution to their empty stomachs.

I recommend the Buck Mark Camper for its accuracy. And I would suggest it best for long-range shooting and hunting. It has a removable magazine, which can fit up to 10 rounds in it.

Pros

  • Smooth trigger. Very easy to shoot and aim
  • Has multiple adjustable target sights
  • 5-inch barrel made for shooting
  • Removable magazine

Cons

  • Not suitable for concealed carry

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

The Browning Buck Mark Camper makes the best 22 caliber pistol for campers, hunters, shooters, and outdoor users.

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GSG 1911 Rim Fire Pistol

GSG 1911 Rim Fire PistolThe GSG 1911 Rim Fire Pistol is a recent addition to the product line. This product features multiple safety features and can be both single and double action. The best part is that the GSG 1911 is smaller than most other models from the same company, so it’s very compact and portable.

Key Features

  • Very compact and extremely portable
  • Best for shooting and aiming
  • Used by law enforcement
  • Has multiple safety features

What Other Users are Saying

The GSG 1911, although new to the market, is an excellent choice for the starters. It is small and handy and fits right in your waist belt. However, concealed carry can be a bit difficult, since the barrel is about 5 inches long.

It is also a good candidate for accurate shooting. It has a black anodized finish, which makes it all the more sturdy and strong. The weight is just 34.4 ounces and the gun itself has a capacity of 10 rounds.

Pros

  • Best 22 pistol
  • Black anodized finish gives it strength and durability
  • The outside covering is made of synthetic polymers
  • Easy to hold and aim

Cons

  • Not meant for concealed carry

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 

A very good candidate for precise target shooting, I recommend the GSG 1911 for users who love pointing and aiming. It is best for shooting long range targets.

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Ruger SR22 .22 LR

Ruger SR22 .22 LRThis is the second product from Ruger that makes its way to the list. Ruger is, as stated before, one of the world’s leading brands in the best 22 pistols. This is the Ruger SR22, a crisp and smooth operating handgun made for the shooter’s comfort.

Key Features

  • Compact 3.5-inch barrel
  • Strong black finish
  • Best for EDC. A single stack magazine gun
  • Made for concealed carry

What Other Users are Saying

The Ruger SR22 has firmly defined itself as the one and only embodiment of quality and assurance. Unlike most other semi-automatics, the Ruger SR22 is adapted to work with most types of ammo so you won’t have just one ammunition that you can use.

Apart from that, the material used is mainly polymer. The entire unit weighs only 1.09 pounds, making it extremely lightweight. This makes it perfect for concealed carry and for long-range shooting.

Pros

  • Has a compact 4-inch barrel
  • Best for concealed carry as well as outdoor use and target shooting
  • Smoother operations than other firearms
  • Lightweight and easy to carry

Cons

  • Reliability is not guaranteed. Little to no safety mechanisms

Overall Rating: 4.3/5 

I personally recommend the Ruger SR22 for long range campers and hunters and for concealed carry. I suggest this piece for female users, in particular, as it will fit neatly in their purses.

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Walther Colt Govt 1911

This is the second Walther handgun that I’ve reviewed. Well, what can I say? I’m just so intrigued by this company. This colt uses a barrel of about 5 inches, which is a moderate length for most Walther guns. It also has a 12 round capacity.

Key Features

  • Can carry up to 12 rounds
  • The matte black finish gives a perfect look
  • A 5-inch barrel

What Other Users are Saying

The Walther Colt Govt is a great example of what the best 22 pistols look like. It uses a moderately sized 5-inch barrel. This makes the shooting smoother and pulling the trigger becomes a breeze. The matte black finish gives the gun a great look, although it may hinder durability.

The best part is that there’s a Picatinny rail at the bottom of the frame. This is where you can comfortably attach accessories like flashlights and pointers. The price is also the best deal.

Pros

  • Best pistol for shooting and target practice
  • Uses the full power and velocity of the ammunition
  • Adjustable sights give the handgun intense accuracy
  • A great choice for indoor use

Cons

  • Not suited for concealed carry
  • Matte black finish hinders durability

Overall Rating: 4.2/5 

I would personally recommend the Walther Colt Govt best for hunting and shooting. But for concealed carry, the Colt may not be your best shot

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Ruger Mark IV

Ruger Mark IVYet another great product from Ruger has been featured in this list. What can I say? I just have nothing as reliable as this. The Ruger Mark IV is the 4th iteration of the Mark series and is a refurbished version of Ruger’s first handgun.

Key Features

  • Known for reliability, accuracy, and aim
  • Reassembly is extremely trivial
  • Newer models have better safety mechanisms

What Other Users are Saying

The Ruger Mark IV is one of the company’s oldest product lines. And, as such, it is still the most advanced. At present, the Mark IV has a barrel length of about 4.4 inches. This makes the unit very easy to use as concealed carry.

The magazine is removable, and the muzzle is plane. The finish is bi-toned, which is relatively more durable. And the exterior is made of polymer.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Very easy to clean and field strip
  • The best 22 caliber pistol for use as a concealed carry
  • Ships with a couple of 10round magazines

Cons

  • Might have some safety mechanism faults. These have been corrected, but the authenticity of that is unknown

Overall Rating: 4.0/5 

I generally consider the Ruger Mark IV to be a great choice for beginners as well as professionals. But there were some problems, such as the confusing reassembly. Subsequently, this is why I recommend it more for the professionals.

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Smith And Wesson Stainless Victory

Smith And Wesson Stainless VictorySmith and Wesson is the third most beloved and appreciated firearm brand on the market. It is a semi-automatic handgun with a .22 caliber. Furthermore, the Smith and Wesson Victory has multiple adjustable sights, making it easier to use and better to aim.

Key Features

  • Easy to clean, dust, and maintain
  • Comes with 5 magazines
  • The barrel can be easily removed as well as replaced
  • Best rear sight

What Other Users are Saying

This handgun from Smith and Wesson is one of a kind. Moreover, it uses a 5.5-inch barrel suitable for over 10 rounds in a row. I personally love how it applies a long rife 22 caliber. In addition, the outside frame has a satin stainless steel finish. Consequently, this makes steel twice as strong and resistant.

I love how it fits perfectly in your hands, although it may not fit snugly inside waistbands or pockets. Still, it’s a great gun for shooting, hunting, and practice. This is by far the best 22 pistol in terms of price and value. For a low price, you get all that you paid for.

Pros

  • Fiber optic front sight
  • Satin stainless steel is stronger than other types of steel
  • Has a 5-inch barrel
  • Single action handgun fit for target shooting

Cons

  • Maybe a bit too heavy for some users (2.25 pounds)

Overall Rating: 3.95/5 

All in all, I would recommend the Smith and Wesson Victory for hunters and campers. However, it’s not safe for concealed carry, and it may be too heavy for people who are not used to it.

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Heritage Rough Rider Rim-Fire Revolver

Heritage Rough Rider Rim Fire RevolverThe Heritage Rough Rider is perhaps one of the best revolvers out there. It features some of the best 22 pistol magazines and is suited for long rifle calibers. Furthermore, the mechanisms work perfectly well, making the shot extremely precise and accurate.

Key Features

  • The 6.5-inch barrel makes the aim very precise
  • The blued finish gives the gun a neat look
  • Weighs only 33.4 ounces

What Other Users are Saying

With a 6.5-inch long barrel, it’s no wonder that the Heritage is pleasing so many customers. Heritage’s Rough Rider is one of the best on the market. It is the best single fire pistol for shooters as well as hunters. The revolver even features a red dot indicator to tell you when the gun is ready. Inspired by the Wild West, this handgun is a far cry from the earlier productions of America.

One other thing that stood out is that this revolver has a hammer block that stops accidental shooting. Consequently, you and your loved ones will be safer and more secure.

Pros

  • Best .22 caliber revolver
  • Long barrel makes aims precise and more accurate
  • Lightweight as well as durable

Cons

  • Not suited for concealed carry as it is not compact enough

Overall Rating: 3.9/5 

Overall, I would recommend the Heritage Rough Rider for users who want to use their gun for long range shooting. It’s not suited for concealed carry, though it can fit in drawers and dressers.

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Beretta U22 Neos Pistol

Beretta U22 Neos PistolThis is a recent addition to the marketplace. Beretta Neos is better known for making magazines. This exclusive pistol is a special find, as it has some of the best 22 pistol features. The parts of the Beretta Neos are made of a steel alloy, while the exterior is a polymer.

Key Features

  • Very flexible as it can be used with a number of shooting techniques
  • Fully adjustable target rear sight
  • An original product that’s made in the USA

What Other Users are Saying

The Beretta Neos is an amazing choice for those on a tight budget. The unit features multiple safety mechanisms. Furthermore, it has a cocked firing pin indicator. This will tell you when the gun is ready. So you don’t accidentally shoot it.

It also has extremely easy reassembly. Field stripping will be easier now, even without any special tools. The rail has both a front and a rear sight, both of which are highly adjustable. As a result, this will make shots much more accurate.

Pros

  • Simple as well as easy to use
  • Polymer grip frame
  • Accidental shooting safety
  • Very easy to clean, field strip, and maintain

Cons

  • Availability is low due so getting spare parts is difficult
  • Durability is lowered so some parts might come loose

Overall Rating: 3.8/5 
At best, I would recommend the Beretta Neos for beginners who don’t want to spend too much on their first gun. It’s not too easy to maintain and keep so it shouldn’t be kept for long term use.

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Check out too our review of the Beretta Nano.

Final Thoughts

The .22 caliber pistol is one of the most sophisticated and deadly handguns out there. And I’m glad that I got to know it so well. As for you, I would recommend taking a look through my top pick, the Walther P22. In addition, this gun is almost parallel to the Ruger Single Six.

The difference is that the Walther is a much simpler device. Furthermore, it is easy to clean, strip, and maintain. The Ruger will tend to be pretty off-setting. Then again, there is no right choice in this case.

Make the choice that makes you happy, and don’t forget to stay safe while shooting!


Check out more pistol reviews here.

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