Remarkably, the 22LR round has passed the test of time because of several good reasons. But the round’s staying power is primarily because of its impressively low price and nearly nonexistent recoil. There’s no breaking-the-bank issue, so there is no wonder why many want to own at least one of the best 22LR pistols, or best 22 pistols, for short. While there are different types of firearms that use 22LR rounds, pistols are great options. In fact, you can be well-impressed by their versatility and accuracy.
Discovering what makes 22LR pistols great is quite an interesting topic to learn. That said, let’s dive better into knowing that. Scroll for more.
What Makes 22LR Pistols Great?
Like any other firearm, 22 pistols range in a wide array of designs, prices, sizes, and purposes. Because of that fact, there are 22LR pistols suitable for every shooting category—this is the primary reason why they are great. Generally, 22LR pistols stand out in four major categories: target shooting, hunting, training, and concealed carry applications.
The best role for most 22LR pistols is actually target shooting or plinking, by extension. What makes them go-to companions for target shooting applications is that the cartridge is superbly cheap and pleasant to shoot. Additionally, the pistols have an impressive weight that is advantageous in terms of reducing fatigue when shooting. That’s why many 22LR pistols also naturally fit a place for casual and competitive target shooting purposes.
Generally, most 22LR pistols are often outfitted with optics. This is wonderful news if you want to have a firearm that is easy to shoot and can help you achieve exceptionally accurate shooting results. Surely, there is no question about the suitability of these pistols for target shooting.
Like target shooting applications, 22LR pistols are also go-to companions for hunting adventures. They also excel in small game hunting and even in pest control tasks. Greatly, small calibers excel in these applications. The experience when hunting using a 22LR pistol is usually centered on a fun challenge. You can expect that the firearm can humanely and effectively take rabbits, squirrels, and similar small game. If you have equipped yourself with a 22LR pistol that has exceptional accuracy, you’ll be good at hunting.
Moreover, some specific 22LR pistol models are incorporated with bipods and magnified optics. They are fantastic shooting accessories great for longer-range engagements on smaller targets. With that said, it is better to choose a model that has fine optic compatibility and accepts bipods.
Since 22LR is a highly affordable round, it makes sense why it is popular for training in shooting. In fact, you can experience some real training experiences without costing your arms and legs. You won’t even have to endure buying the round in bulk. Essentially, firearm companies have been releasing a wide variety of pistols that replicate popular firearms.
As popular firearms are replicated, you can expect that the firearms market is full of them. They feature similar ergonomics, holster design, and even magazine capacities. More than that, they have the duplicated look and feel of larger caliber centerfire guns. The bottom line is that 22LR pistols allow cheap training. So, no excuse not to improve your skills.
There is no doubt that the accuracy and power of the 22LR round make it deadly. Due to that, describing it as an optimum choice for concealed carry application is somewhat of a stretch. Still, being a small caliber projectile controls it, causing it to lack penetration and expansion properties. Truth be told, it has the tendency to experience failure compared to centerfire rounds.
Interestingly, the 22LR round provides enough power that produces no recoil, which makes the pistol very lightweight. While 22LR pistols are not the perfect option, they can still impress you in more ways than you can actually imagine. In terms of high suitability, 22LR is definitely the go-to choice for shooters with arthritis or hand strength issues.
8 Best 22LR Pistols
Similar to other types of firearms, 22 pistols have their fair share of advantages and flaws. But they stand out with their impressive versatility and high affordability. Hence, it is not surprising that you are interested in getting one of the best 22 pistols. The question now is what is the best choice to pick. Well, there are overwhelming choices in the market today, making it too daunting to check them out yourself.
Luckily, this guide has compiled some of the best 22 pistols worth buying in the market today. Take a close look at each of them below.
1. Ruger Mark IV 22/45 Lite 22LR Pistol
Sporting a cool design, the Ruger Mark IV 22/45 Lite 22LR Pistol is an excellent choice that will let you enjoy a 22LR shooting experience. Not only does it look one of a kind, but it also exhibits high durability. In fact, it boasts a sturdy receiver that is constructed from aerospace-grade aluminum. Thanks to the material, it looks high-quality and can have a long lifespan. The receiver is also ventilated, so you can expect the pistol to be extremely light.
Moreover, this 22LR pistol is built with a comfortable, precision-molded polymer grip frame that features a serrated front strap and a checkered back strap for additional contribution to excellent functionality. Meanwhile, the internal cylindrical bolt construction guarantees permanent sight to barrel alignment, promoting higher accuracy potential for a great 22LR shooting experience you actually like. This sounds like a superb advantage if you are looking for a firearm that can help enhance your shooting skills.
Surely, you can’t expect less with this 22LR pistol since it is one of the top models in the market. It is even contoured with an ejection port and easy-to-grasp bolt ears, ensuring durable and reliable operation round after round. One thing is sure; you can be impressed with this 22LR pistol for several good reasons. It is also a bonus that it is designed with ambidextrous manual safety that makes it effortless to put it in a safe position. No need to trouble with switching hands.
Curious about cleaning and maintaining this pistol? Well, no worries about that because it features a simple, one-button takedown. This component ensures quick and easy field-stripping together with a proper chamber-to-muzzle cleaning. No tools are required, and as long as you have the right pistol cleaning kit, you will be good. With consistent cleaning and maintenance, you can expect that this Ruger Mark IV 22/45 Lite 22LR Pistol will last a long time. Hence, giving you more than your money’s worth.
From a sophisticated look, superbly accurate performance, and impressive customizability, it is easy to realize why Ruger Mark IV 22/45 Lite is one of the top 22LR pistol models.
2. Browning Buck Mark 22LR Pistol
With obvious innovation in eye-pleasing design and functionality, the Browning Buck Mark 22LR Pistol has set the bar high and led the industry because of its exceptional accuracy, quality, and reliability. Hence, it is easy to be convinced it is one of the most well-known and cherished 22LR pistols today. That’s why it is definitely worth your time to know more about this incredible 22LR Pistol. So, let’s dig deeper into it.
For starters, this 22LR pistol from Browning is built from a solid piece of aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum alloy. It is a specialized material that is used in every Buck Mark, so it is really a standard. The good news about it is that it has high strength and durability. Additionally, the pistol is CNC machined, which boosts high tolerance for hard use and harsh weather conditions. There is no doubt that it is well-built.
Jam-packed with the hand-reamed chamber, crisp single-action trigger, finely adjustable target sights, and target-crowned barrel, you can expect this Browning Buck Mark 22LR Pistol to come ready for fun straight 22LR shooting from the box. It will never disappoint you with different shooting purposes, definitely giving high value for money. Meanwhile, it comes with the latest grip technology, making it comfortable to use.
Moreover, the combined stylish wave patterns, laser stippling, and finger grooves work together to keep your hand in the right place on the grip after every shot. You don’t have to switch hands when shooting since there will be no trouble with gripping and controlling it. This advantage brings you the ultimate instinctive shooting perks and improved accuracy. That’s why it will be a great shooting companion in terms of honing your skills.
What makes this Browning Buck Mark 22LR Pistol more impressive is that it is designed with textured surfaces. The design makes the pistol highly comfortable and secured in any condition. Together with the narrow profile configuration, this pistol is suitable for all hand sizes. All in all, there are countless good reasons why this one is worth trying. This is the obvious option if you are searching for a 22LR pistol model that won’t disappoint you.
3. GLOCK G44 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
At one look, you won’t instantly see anything special with the GLOCK G44 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol. But when you get to know more about it, you will realize that it is a pure Glock with an innovative design. What makes it best is it is the first hybrid steel-polymer slide chambered for the .22-cal. round. Thanks to its round, it produces naturally low recoil, promoting ultimate shooting control and easier follow-up shots.
Another highlight of this semi-auto pistol is its top-notch compact design and backstrap adaptability. Not only that it is ideal for concealed carry applications, but it is also perfect for almost any hand size. That’s why you don’t need to be bothered checking if this is fit for your shooting needs and liking. You can expect easy familiarization with this pistol in just a few time uses. Sounds fantastic, right?
Moreover, this compact semi-auto pistol is equipped with the GLOCK Marksman Barrel. If you are not familiar with this feature, it is actually a booster for top-notch accuracy and repeatable precision. Combining an incredibly safe action system, this firearm comes with 3 automatic independently-operating safeties, which gave way to the firearm to have consistent trigger pulls. It is completed with adjustable rear sights that improve focus on shooting targets.
From low recoil, easier follow-up shots, top-notch accuracy, and repeatable precision advantages, this GLOCK G44 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol is an out-of-the-box 22LR shooting-ready firearm. So, it will be nice to get it.
4. Walther PPQ M2 .22 LR 4″ Semi-Auto Pistol
Engineered with wonderful grip ergonomics and texture, the Walther PPQ M2 looks like a modern classic 22LR semi-auto pistol that stands out for its innovative design. Since the best selling point is the grip ergonomics, you can look forward to the experience that this pistol squeezes into your hand wonderfully. In short, it will be very comfortable to grip. It is so easy to make this your favorite pistol.
Moreover, this 22LR pistol is built with a polymer frame, an ambidextrous slide stop, and a trigger guard magazine release. It is also equipped with DA/SA action, which makes it easy to handle with a long initial trigger pull and a shorter follow-up trigger pull. With its double-action designs, you can expect solid control with its restrike capability that solves if it fails to fire. This firearm is not engineered to be complicated, making it one of the best beginner-friendly 22LR pistols you can find in the market today.
Jam-packed with practical features, including adjustable sights, front and rear cocking serrations for easy manipulation and control, interchangeable backstraps, and an almost completely ambidextrous design, this Walther PPQ M2 .22 LR 4″ Semi-Auto Pistol makes a nice beginner-friendly firearm that will let you train cheaply.
5. Taurus TX 22 Semi-Auto Rimfire Pistol
Available in Black and OD Green/Splatter Black Frame, the Taurus TX 22 Semi-Auto Rimfire Pistol boasts impressive versatility. In fact, it makes a reliable companion for plinking, informal target practice, and handgun training. This means that it has great value for money. So, let’s get to know more about this versatile 22 pistol.
When it comes to construction, this rimfire pistol is built with an ergonomic polymer frame combined with a machined, hard anodized 7075 aluminum slide. It is a kind of construction that demonstrates high durability. Ideally, it is great even for hard use and harsh weather conditions. So you can always pick this for regular shooting practice to hone your skills.
Featuring an excellent performance trigger system, this 22 rimfire pistol from Taurus comes with a clean break and a short reset advantage. This perk ensures increased trigger control which makes practice shooting a better experience. Unlike other ordinary 22 pistols, this model is a sure upgrade but won’t cost you much. The most exciting part is that it comes with every feature that boosts its functionality and reliability.
Real talk, no gun is exempted from accidental discharge issues. The good news about this 22LR pistol model is it is equipped with a hidden trigger safety that dramatically increases protection against unintentional discharge, so you can feel safe using it for different shooting purposes. Meanwhile, the manual thumb safety included effectively backs up several internal safety mechanisms. These safety features give the advantage of ultra-safe handling and unmatched reliability, which is worth paying for.
What’s more, this Taurus TX 22 really has everything to be great, despite not being on the pricey side. It has both a fully adjustable rear sight and a fixed front sight that brings intuitive target acquisition to achieve better shooting results. The integrated accessory rail on the frame, on the other hand, will let you attach various rail-mounted tactical lights and laser sights. Therefore, you won’t have to end your shooting adventure when it gets dim.
With how this 22LR rimfire pistol has unmatched reliability, there is no question that it can be a fantastic firearm companion for different shooting purposes. If you want a versatile option, this is the one.
6. Beretta 21A Bobcat Covert Rimfire Semi-Auto Pistol
Searching for a compact and lightweight 22LR pistol? If that’s the case, the search is over because the Beretta 21A Bobcat Covert Rimfire Semi-Auto Pistol perfectly fits the standard. Plus, it is a bonus that it is one of the coolest 22LR pistols you can find in the market today. Its Matte Black Bruniton finish and walnut stock color make the pistol look more like one of a kind. What makes it more amazing is that almost everything about it is made cool.
For starters, this semi-auto pistol is designed as a tip-up barrel gun. In nature, tip-up barrel guns are cool. They can be somewhat weird and awkward-looking for some, but they are sure handy to shoot. As a matter of fact, they are firearms that are especially suitable for shooters with weak hands. Equipped with a threaded barrel and walnut grips, it is well-described as a spy gun—this makes it more interesting.
Primarily, the coolest feature of this 22LR pistol is the barrel unlock or famed tip-up barrel. This feature is designed to freely allow the barrel to tilt up, exposing the chamber. Hence, it permits a shooter to directly load a round into the gun’s chamber. The feature eliminates the need to rack a slide, removing an unnecessary step in operating it. Simply pop it up and pull it out when you encounter a bad 22LR. Besides shooters with weak hands, it is also ideal to be used by beginners.
Another must-know information about this 22LR semi-auto pistol is that it is constructed to be an ultra-compact and discreet pocket pistol for concealed carry. If you are searching for a handy concealed carry gun for everyday use, this one is an obvious choice. Since it is remarkably small and compact, it is no wonder it is easy to shoot. Despite being built in an all-metal frame pistol, it is still lightweight. Therefore, it has limited recoil for a comfortable shooting experience.
Definitely, this Beretta 21A Bobcat Covert Rimfire Semi-Auto Pistol is not complete with manual safety and low-profile sights. These features are a great addition that improves functionality and reliability. It is simply one of the coolest little suppressor hosts available. If you want a cool gun that is easy to operate and carry for concealed applications, this one is an obvious choice to buy.
7. Ruger SR22 Semi-Auto Rimfire Pistol
The Ruger SR22 Semi-Auto Rimfire Pistol is specifically engineered as a low-maintenance, rugged, and reliable handgun. That’s why it is great for concealed carry applications. Of course, it will not be on the list if it is not chambered in .22 rimfire ammunition. So, like any other 22 pistols, this one utilizes common and inexpensive ammo, which makes training cheap. You can train and improve your shooting skills without breaking the bank.
Moreover, this 22 pistol features a highly reliable double-/single-action trigger for dependable shooting, while the frame comes with 2 interchangeable, rubberized grips. Because of the grips, you can expect that the firearm will have customizable and comfortable grip advantages. The ambidextrous thumb safety, decocking lever, and magazine release, on the other hand, are great features that make the pistol ideal for both left-handed and right-handed shooters. So it is easy to familiarize yourself with this.
This semi-auto rimfire pistol is jam-packed with functional features that enhance its reliability and versatility. In fact, it is made to be well-suited for a wide variety of applications, including informal target shooting, handgun training, and concealed carry. It even works as a trail gun. Plus, it is equipped with an integral Picatinny rail on the frame that readily accepts a wide variety of aftermarket tactical flashlights or laser lights. Therefore, it is ideal for low-light shooting situations.
Additionally, the rear sight included in this 22 pistol is adjustable. Because of that, it works great adjusting for both windage and elevation. The reversible blade with 2 white dots brings a custom target acquisition advantage, while the white-dot front sight is easy to adjust and replace. One thing is for sure; this firearm pays special attention to sights and the ability to accept additional aftermarket sights or tactical flashlights.
While the Ruger SR22 Semi-Auto Rimfire Pistol looks heavy, it is actually the opposite. Compared to others, it is purposely constructed from a durable frame and an anodized-aluminum slide to reduce weight. That’s why it has a slim, trim, lightweight final look. For its price, it seems that it is not too much to buy since it is a rugged, reliable, and low-maintenance handgun that is ideal for different purposes. Thus, you won’t be disappointed to try it.
8. Ruger 22 Charger Takedown Semi-Auto Pistol
Out of the best 22LR pistols on the list, the Ruger 22 Charger Takedown Semi-Auto Pistol is undeniably the oddball. Basically, it obviously looks like a Ruger 10/22 trimmed to pistol size. That’s why you can expect that it has a compact package of reliability and functionality, like other Ruger firearms. Yet, there are still amazing advantages it can offer.
Impressively, this takedown semi-auto pistol is designed with polymer grips that feature strategic texturing, which promotes positive handling. It is also ideal for having light recoil that makes it easy to shoot and handle. Even better, you can expect to shoot accurately using this firearm. It includes a bipod that can ensure steady aiming to the extent that it becomes easier to hunt at impressive distances.
Moreover, this Ruger 22 Charger is equipped with a Picatinny rail that makes it effortless to attach optics and other aftermarket shooting accessories. Also, it features a 1/2×28 threaded barrel which includes a thread protector. What makes it more amazing is that it already includes a soft carry case that keeps it well-protected for transportation and storage. This eliminates the need to invest in getting a carry case.
All in all, this Ruger 22 Charger Takedown Semi-Auto Pistol can’t be used beyond plinking, hunting, and practice shooting. Nonetheless, it is tough to beat when it comes to extreme accuracy and easy, comfortable handing.
Choosing The Best 22 Pistol
When choosing the best 22 pistol, it makes sense to consider several buying factors, like identifying the purpose of getting a 22 pistol in the first place. The first thing to consider is accuracy. Luckily, the 22 rimfire round has exceptional accuracy at close ranges. What’s great about this guide is that the best 22 pistols on the list are accurate to shoot. So, feel free to pick from them.
Next to consider are the shooting ability and ergonomics. With these buying factors, you can ensure that you are getting the best 22 pistol that is comfortable and enjoyable to shoot. You should not miss assessing these critical factors so that you won’t end up with a pistol that is hard to shoot and is only suitable for one shooting application.
Moreover, suitability for shooting accessories is another vital thing to keep an eye out for. With this, you want to make sure that you can attach upgrades to your pick. That way, you can always improve the shooting ability and power of your 22 pistol. Last but not the least, you must also look for value for money. You want to ensure that you get what you pay for. Get the best 22 pistol you can be most comfortable using and can surely meet your shooting needs and preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions
Want to know more about 22 pistols? If that’s the case, you can dive into the frequently asked questions compiled below. Surely, you can learn and answer the questions you have in mind. Let’s not waste time and explore them below.
Are 22 pistols better than 9mm pistols?
Frankly, it is quite challenging to answer if 22 pistols are better than 9mm pistols in overall functionality. What makes it more difficult is that they stand out in different applications. For instance, 9mm is specifically designed to excel as a combat cartridge, while 22LR round has unbeatable accuracy and is easy to shoot.
The most distinctive advantage of 22LR compared to 9mm is that it is the better option for low-cost range shooting.
Is a 22LR pistol lethal?
Compared to larger cartridges, the 22LR round is less powerful. That’s why the danger it can cause to humans is typically underestimated. The truth is 22LR has always been so powerful that it has the capability to injure or even kill humans. Hence, a 22LR pistol can be lethal if misused, so it is important to keep any firearm safe.
Why is a 22LR round not good for self-defense?
The primary reason why the 22LR round is not an optimal pick for personal protection is pretty simple—it does not deliver the same level of performance needed. It does not fit on the shooting application as centerfire handguns and carbines do.
What can I hunt with a 22 LR pistol?
The right 22LR pistol makes an excellent choice for hunting adventures. With the power that the round has, it can surely take down different hunting targets, including varmints, deer, wild dogs, groundhogs, prairie dogs, and foxes. It will be great for hunting from short to medium ranges.
Why is 22 LR so unreliable?
Like any cartridge, the 22 LR also has flaws that make it unreliable at some points. The round is not always praised. Whether it is a 22 LR pistol, revolver, or rifle, you can encounter two common issues: failure to fire and failure to feed. Due to these issues, 22 LR becomes so unreliable at some point.
How many rounds of 22 LR are ideal to have?
There is no specific number of rounds to keep, but if you are planning to train in shooting, it will be great to have at least 2000 rounds. Maybe 200-300 rounds for defensive purposes. While it is safe to say that more is always better, you must keep in mind that it is also bad to go overboard.
What caliber is best for self-defense?
Unfortunately, 22LR is not the best option for self-defense. Good thing that there are expert recommendations you can follow. 9mm and 45ACP cartridges are particularly the best go-to options that even fit beginners who have no prior experience in shooting. They only produce low recoil, so it will be great to try them.
Which is better: a 22 revolver or a 22 pistol?
In the revolver vs. pistol debate, the most distinct advantage of the pistol is its capacity. Most revolvers have a limited cartridge capacity of only between five and seven rounds. But revolvers tend to have more power. When it comes to safety, revolvers are more manageable to use. For this reason, it is tough to name which is better as there are different factors in choosing the better option.
Where to buy 22LR pistols online?
Surely, it has been a trend to buy a wide array of products online because of the impressive convenience of the process. And firearms are not exempted; you can find countless sites that offer 22LR pistols online. With that said, it is necessary to be careful and avoid suspicious-looking sites so you won’t experience anything bad. Always go for reliable sites, such as Brownells, Cabela’s, and Palmetto State Armory, that offer high-quality pistols at great deals.
The 22LR round has long existed and is still in demand up to this day. It is incredibly common, fun to shoot, and highly affordable. No wonder it remains a favorite round for pistols. That’s why it is not surprising that the best 22 pistol is a must-have in everyone’s gun safe. It is a great starter for beginners who want to learn the basics of shooting and can excel with the expectations of professional shooters. But the best 22 pistols are quite different so let’s recap if you think that considering several buying factors is pretty overwhelming.
For starters, the Ruger Mark IV 22/45 Lite 22LR Pistol scores high in design, accuracy, and customizability, so it is an outstanding choice if you want to experience the best in 22LR shooting. The Browning Buck Mark 22LR Pistol is a go-to choice if you are searching for great innovation in a 22LR pistol. You can’t go wrong, as it is an exceptional option that sets the standard high.
Moreover, the Walther PPQ M2 .22 LR 4″ Semi-Auto Pistol stands out as a beginner-friendly firearm that makes a fantastic training companion that will let you enhance your skill cheaply. Meanwhile, the Taurus TX 22 Semi-Auto Rimfire Pistol is a versatile option that is ideal for several shooting purposes. So, if you want an all-in-one 22 pistol you can use in different shooting situations, this won’t disappoint you.
There are more fantastic 22LR pistols reviewed above. Hopefully, you can find this guide helpful since it is the reason why it is created. After all, the pistols above are really the best in the market today.
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