Opinions large and small, worth everything you pay for them.
The Walther p22 feels comfortable, but I shoot like a blind man on a merry-go-round with it. Then I picked up the Sig Mosquito (in pink even) from the rental counter, and for me it shot like a charm. My wife hate's 'em both though, sticking to her 317 revolver.The Ruger I've held but not fired, it seemed like it was well made and comfortable though.
I have a S&W 22a. Why? Because it was cheap ($199 brand new).Up sides: After figuring out which ammo it likes best (CCI Blazer) I've never had a failure of any kind.Easy to disassemble for cleaning.Built in top rail for optics mount and fully adjustable iron sights.Ambidextrous magazine release.Down sides: ugly as sin. The slots in the top rail are not spaced correctly for any factory red-dot or holo sight that I've run across. You have to machine (or file) an extra slot or two in the right places.Square(ish) barrel precludes the addition of a suppressor without major machining.large grip that feels a bit "clunky" in the hand.The Ambi mag release is in the center of the front of the grip. Strange place for a magazine release that takes some getting used to...which I don't want to do because if I get too used to that, I may fumble a mag change on a carry gun...not good.If finances are an issue (as they were for me), I recommend the S&W 22a. If you've got the money to spend, go with a Ruger or Buckmark.
Oh...it is extremely accurate with its favorite ammo...I failed to mention that.
I've had the exact opposite experience as Chad. The Mosquito I tried was nearly as accurate for me as the borrowed Walther. Both were fun little guns. What do you want it for? The pistol I'd choose for potting squirrels might be totally different than the paper/can/picnic .22. I am shopping for a .22 now, but I'm leaning S&W 617 revolver. Your requirement is for semi-auto so that's out for you.
I picked up a Ruger 22/45 Stainless 5" bull barrel.Nice and solid. Great for pistol practice on the cheap. It's also very accurate even with my lackluster skills. I picked it because it seemed the beefiest - the barrel/upper receiver is one solid piece of stainless. And you can take it apart and put it back together with no tools and no fuss.
Gotta go with the Ruger, myself. Very sturdy firearm. I like the larger calibers, though.
New shooter or not?For new shooters, I really like my Beretta Neos. It's just heavy enough to negate any recoil, good rail which along with the barrel length and flat top makes an excellent iron sight, and it's "techy" looking enough that people new to shooting are a little more willing to pick it up and give it a try. It's a little less "gunish and a little more zapperish, and that seems to be less intimating. Plus, all the indicators are affirmative enough that I can tell what condition the pistol is in from several feet away. (The loaded chamber indicator is pretty huge.)http://www.gunblast.com/Paco_Beretta-NEOS.htmhttp://mrcompletely.blogspot.com/2005/05/beretta-u22-neos-22.html(My sister-in-law loved it so much her first time shooting that she momentarily forgot Rule 2 in her glee, sending my brother to the ground and me to grab her arm and redirect the muzzle. That's a memory to... uh... remember.)
Had a Ruger Mark II for about 20 years. It did pest control on the farm when I had one. It has been the entry to shooting for a great many people. I have no idea how many rounds have been shot through it. It is supposed to be difficult to disassemble and reassemble, so I just haven't. Run something down the barrel and spray the guts with CLP Break Free and just keep on shooting. You can pay less, but I don't believe you can get anything sturdier. It's still real accurate too.
I had to replace my Ruger Mk. II a few years ago. Used in the charity course for violent crime victims, it was the very first gun many of them had ever held, let alone fired.Why did I get rid of it, since it still worked? So many rounds had been put through it that the rifling had been eroded away. Sure, I didn't have to worry about stubborn gunk in the grooves when cleaning, but I still figured that it was time.How many rounds were fired before being junked? There is no way for me to tell for sure since I wasn't counting, but about 50,000. Or more. (Approx. 550 students, 100 rounds per.) I had to change the springs in the magazines four times, but the gun itself was all original parts.Disassembly for cleaning is tricky, reassembly more so. Did Ruger make it easier with their Mk. III? Dunno, since I never tried to clean one. But it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't.Why would I recommend Ruger? Reliability, ruggedness, longevity. Pass it on to your grandkids.
I have a Mk III and personally, I think it is a royal pain to disassemble and then reassemble. I have only done it once, but then I have only owned it for about six months. It is quite sturdy, reasonably accurate and has been reliable so far (~500 rounds through it).If I were to do it again, I would look at something else just because of the disassembly. Yep, whining away here on this end. ;)
"I think it is a royal pain to disassemble and then reassemble. "Can you explain why? PLEASE NOTE: I'm not trying to be snotty about it. I've seen LOTS people talking about the problems assembling it but I've never had any.I've heard some people have had problems getting the hammer strut back into position. I'm wondering if theirs was binding, as mine swings freely and just snaps right in.
I HAD (operative term in England, since REGISTERED guns were banned) a ruger mk1, and I'd love to have another (as target rather than picnic gun).The takedown was a bugger for bending thumb nails backwards, but a simple loop of string got around that problem. Getting the hammer strut back in place was an art I'd forgotten all about in the 11 years since it went to be melted.
Arthur, I think you hit one of the things; sometimes people have a problem getting that strut into place when they push the spring housing in.The other is pulling the lever to release the housing can be a problem for some.
I've had a SIG Mosquito for several years. It's picky about ammo and somewhat unreliable feeding even with ammo it likes. Shoots well when it works, though.
I've got a Ruger 22/45 and like it, except for thorough cleaning. I don't do more than bore snake it very often. I picked it because it was most like a 'real' gun at a decent price--Most .22 autos are either mousegun sized or have an odd grip angle. The .22/45 has an odd magazine angle, but the grip is normal. I'd have to look in my range bag to remember which, but it feeds one brand of Walmart bulk ammo perfectly, the other brand has a fail to fire about every 15 rounds.
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