A few months ago I was in the market for a .22LR pistol. After looking at numerous models available – I selected the Smith & Wesson 22A. Why? Well – my local gun shop had it in stock for one. I read several reviews on it and liked what was reported. I also had an opportunity to shoot one over at a friends house and liked it. Price was right - so I went for it.
A few words on my experience with it so far.
Fit and function: So far – has been great. I have had no mechanical problems whatsoever. Everything works – but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better. The safety sucks. Sorry – gotta be blunt. At least on my model – it is very difficult activate and deactivate. Trigger pull is OK – could be lighter. Nothing has loosened up & nothing has broke.
Ergonomics: Everything is where it should be…..almost. Most all control’s are in familiar locations. The slide release is easily accessible and used. As mentioned – the safety is horrible but where it should be. Unique to the 22A (see below) – the magazine release is positioned on the front of the grip. I like it. For those with smaller hands – the magazine release may be easily pushed by mistake. For me and my average sized hands – no problem at all.
Function & Reliability: My model came with two 10-rd magazines. These magazines are super easy to load as they have a button on the side that allows you to compress the spring while inserting a round under the feed lips. One of the keys to a reliable semi-auto firearm is the magazine that feeds it. After firing at least 500 rounds of .22LR solid point ammo – not a single failure to feed. I have equally used both magazines – pretty happy about the reliability. Ammunition used has been a combination of CCI Blazer, CCI Tactical and CCI Mini-mag. Yeah – I like CCI.
Accuracy: As far as accuracy – the pistol will shoot very accurately if I do my part. This model features a decent sight radius and fully adjustable sights. As it came out of the box – I have not had to adjust anything.
One criticism I have are the flat black sights. Maybe it is just my aging eyes but I had a difficult time getting a good sight picture - especially with both eyes open. When shooting at a dark target – forget it. I plan to touch up the front sight with some neon orange or green. Although I typically shoot with both eyes open – the 22A’s sight picture requires one-eye only in my hands.
Final: Overall – I really like this pistol. I need to pick up a good holster and few extra magazines. Why own one? I have had both my 8 and 12 year old shoot it and have found it is a good intro-gun. Mrs. Rourke likes it as well – and she is not a huge fan of shooting. As far as a backpack gun (check local ordinances) – the thing is HEAVY. There is a lot of metal on this gun. It weighs over 34 ounces – more than many polymer framed combat pistols. If you can make room and deal with the weight – certainly would be good for putting some meat in the pot or could work in a punch for self-defense.
I am glad I have and plan to keep it for a long time to come.