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Old 12-15-2013, 09:45 PM
mparker
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Lightbulb Pistol Profile Smith & Wesson Models 22-A and 22-S



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Pistol Profile – Smith & Wesson Models 22-A and 22-S

The Smith & Wesson Model 22-A is a low cost semi-automatic with interchangeable barrels that was introduced in December of 1996. It is intended to be a general purpose pistol for target shooting, handgun hunting, and recreation. Its stainless steel companion, the 22-S, was introduced the following month, January 1997. Components from both models are completely interchangeable. Mix and match is OK. Finishes are available in two-tone, black, and camouflage. Third party support is nearly non-existant. The design, build, and intended use by S&W doesn’t lend itself to a lot of follow on parts/upgrades. There was, however, a Talo version offered. Details not available.

Caliber: .22 LR
Capacity: 10+1 Rounds
Barrel Length: 5.5" / 13.9 cm
Front Sight: Patridge
Rear Sight: Adjustable
Grip: Polymer, Soft Touch, Dymondwood
External Safety: Manual Thumb
Finish: Two-Tone
Overall Length: 9.5" / 24.1 cm
Material: Aluminum Alloy Frame
Slide: Stainless Steel
Weight Empty: 34.4 oz / 975.2 g
MSRP: $339

VERSIONS AVAILABLE
Common Features:
Adjustable rear sights
Integrated Weaver base
Tool-less takedown
Ambidextrous magazine release

Target Version – 5.5” Bull barrel, hi-viz green dot front sight (orange dot for the 22S), and Dymondwood grips
Sport Version – 4” field barrel and two-piece polymer grips
Sport Version – 5.5” barrel with “soft-touch” polymer grips
Sport Version – 7” barrel with “soft-touch” polymer grips

Here’s mine . . . pretty typical of the target version. I’m searching for a 7” barrel.


NOTES
In 2005 a new black stainless steel slide and barrel assembly was introduced. It had a high polish and better balance

The 22A-1 and 22S-1 were introduced in 2004 to correct potential breakage problems when disassembling the gun


RECALL: IMPORTANT - If your Model 22A was built in 2008 or 2009 please go to this link to see if your pistol has been recalled.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...8_757978_image




REVIEWS
I was unable to find a comprehensive review from a major periodical or other well-recognized source. Here are two user reviews that seem to me to be typical of casual shooters of the M22A.
================================================== =========
Review from the Be A Survivor Blog, September 2008

One of the first guns I purchased was the Smith & Wesson 22A. The gun is a .22lr pistol with an integrated rail built into the slide making it a perfect target pistol. In fact that is what this pistol is really designed for is target plinking.
This gun is extremely accurate. I was thoroughly impressed at how accurate it is. My plan is to throw a pistol scope on it an use it for target shooting or for taking in the field to take out some crtitters. This would be a perfect rabbit or squirrel gun to take in the field if you wanted something smaller than a rifle that can easily fit in a rucksack.

I have always been a fan of S&W, they make very good, high quality pistols (revolvers and autos) as well as the very well recieved M&P-15, their AR-15 offering. I have a S&W M&P 9mm Compact which I just love. It seems every weapon I shoot that they make is unbelieveably accurate and my 22A and M&P are no exception.

This is a fun gun to shoot and one of the few I have that my wife enjoys to shoot as well (She also likes my Walther P22). There is little recoil as with most .22 caliber weapons, the design of the gun is simple and it is relatively easy to disassemble to clean and service. Ease of dissasembly is extremely important with .22 caliber weapons because the ammo is so dirty, getting them completly clean and lubed is very important.

My main gripe with this gun as with many other pistols is the cost of the magazines, they range anywhere from $20-$30 which is ridiculous when you consider I can get AK-47 30 round mags for $15, even the mags for my M&P are cheaper. The only gun with more expensive mags that I own is my Walther (Most of which is manufactured by S&W by the way).

Smith offers the gun in 7" barrel as well which must be an absolute tack driver. The have variations with bull barrels, hi-viz sights, wood grips, etc.; the possiblities are almost endless. The gun has proven to be relatively popular and folks seem to like mine when I pull her out at the range.

Overall this is a great gun especially to those who are new to firearms, go to your local range and see if you can rent one and let me know what you think!

...that is all.


Here is mine again, now with an Ultradot 30mm



================================================== =======

A user review from the Pennsylvania Firearms Owners Association (PAFOA) Forum, September 2008

Just a quick little review of a fun pistol I picked up not long ago.
I bought a brand new Smith and Wesson 22A off of gunbroker for $210 (plus 30 shipping to my FFL).
My version has the 5.5inch bull barrel and the solid wood target grips but there are many options out there including barrel lengths from 4 inchs up to 7 inchs, target wood grips or standard plastic grips, and there are even factory camo models available as well.

First Impressions:
Right out of the box before firing I gave the gun a good look over for fit and finish and feel for ergonomics. I am a big guy and have big hands and the wood target grips fit my hands like a dream. Conversely my wife who has much smaller hands found the grips to feel big. Weight wise, it was about what I expected for a 5.5inch barrelled gun, on par with my S&W Sigma. Balance was very nice and the gun felt nice - not forward heavy at all.

The gun comes with 2 factory mags and I have to admit they feel sort of flimsy in the hand, made from thin metal - but they both fit in the gun and locked in tightly. Something I did notice about the mags and getting them into the gun had to do with the grips. The larger target grips hang down well over the butt of the gun (1/2 inch maybe) so in order to get the mag up in, you have to use your thumb and push it up in the rest of the way until it clicks. It appears the standard grips would not have this problem.
The Mag release is an odd spot, but it seems to work well, it is directly on the front of the grips. It sticks out a tiny bit but does not interfere with shooting or your grip on the gun.

The paint on the gun is okay it seems like it will be prone to getting scratched off (I have the black model but grey models are also available). The safety and the slide release are relatively easy to get to, and both work easily without much trouble.

The sights are a standard front sight, fixed post and a rear adjustable windage and elevation sight. I believe Hi-Viz fiber optic sights are also an option from the factory on the gun. It also has an integrated weaver rail built into the top of the gun with cross bolt slots already milled out.

I field stripped it and checked out the internals and it is a pretty simple setup. Only item of concern that I found was that the gun has an internal recoil buffer made of a heavy duty plastic. As the slide comes back, to soften the blow of metal on metal, S&W has integrated the plastic piece onto the back of the spring. There were also 2 extra recoil buffers in an envelope in my box.

Shooting it:
Ammo - Federal Bulk from Wal-Mart.
First time out, I had no optics on it and just used the standard metal post and valley rear sight. I found the rear sight to be pretty "big" and I would tend to lose the pin in it from time to time.
Loading and unloading actually provided the most challenge! Once a mag is loaded, as I said before, you slide it into the grip until it clicks. Well I had done that and still the slide refused to ramp the shell up into the chamber. I tried both mags and slowly releasing the slide, letting the slide slam shut, etc. and had no luck. Finally I pushed up on the bottom of the mag and heard a final click and saw the mag release buttom pop out just a hair further than it had been a moment before. I checked the chamber and sure enough the mag was seated a bit higher and the slide was not able to push the shells into the chamber.
Accuracy for iron sights was quite good, holding a very solid pattern at 15 yards from offhand, I would say about a baseball sized group.

I did have 1 stovepipe in the first mag I ran through it but none after that and no other problems.

Overall I was very pleased with the first round out.

Second time shooting:
Ammo - Federal Bulk, Remington Bulk
This time I had a Barska 30mm red dot optic mounted onto the intergrated rail.
I started off the bench at 25 yards and it was holding a fantastic pattern golfball and smaller.
I got it sighted in and went to playing around offhand and wow, what a fun shooter. With a red dot (or any optic), this gun seems to shine. Even with the bulk ammo, I was exceedingly impressed with the accuracy and considering I am by far not marksman with a pistol as well.
Ran through several hundred rounds and not a single problem, no failures of any kind.
Broke it down and cleaned it after use to get an idea bout how the internals looked after all the dirty ammo and to see how the plastic recoil buffer was holding up. The buffer still looks new after close to a box of ammo through it so far, internals needed a good cleaning but were fine. I did notice some of the paint around the front of the slide near the firing pin and some paint on the end of the barrel near the chamber kind of has some piting from heat, but it wasn't drastic and I kind of expected it give then feel of the paint on the gun.

Overall I am incredibly pleased with my investment. I had looked at Walthers, Berettas, Rugers, etc. and decided to give the S&W a try based on price and prior reviews I had read - and I am glad i did. I would highly recommend the 22a as a great budget plinker for anyone who is looking to spend some time at the range without having to take out a loan to cover the ammo. It is very accurate, very fun, and very easy to use/clean.

It gets a double thumbs up from me!
=========================================

Last edited by mparker; 12-16-2013 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:09 AM
Taroman
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Interesting read.
FWIW, the top shot at my club uses a 22S target.
Wins everything regularly against 41s, Rugers, Buckmarks and my 617.

Last edited by Taroman; 12-20-2013 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:49 AM
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I have a owned a 22a for about 3 years and I love it. with a cheap red dot, @ 15 yards I can shoot the red bulls-eye center out of targets all day long. It was a great gun for introducing my 13yo daughter to shooting. She still likes to shoot it but at 16, now prefers my Glock or 1911.

My 22a


My daughter putting some lead down range


My daughter's handiwork @ 15 yards

Last edited by 89JeepYJ; 01-05-2014 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:46 PM
photoracer
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My first 22 was a 22S. Mainly shot bulleye in those days with it, with a best of 565/600. Later transistioned to action shooting and found the stock trigger was one of its shortcomings. Ended up switching to Buckmarks. Still the 22S was very accurate and I ended up selling to another member of my club. Never did like the grips that much.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 89JeepYJ View Post
I have a owned a 22a for about 3 years and I love it. with a cheap red dot, @ 15 yards I can shoot the red bulls-eye center out of targets all day long. It was a great gun for introducing my 13yo daughter to shooting. She still likes to shoot it but at 16, now prefers my Glock or 1911.




I can confirm the same thing as well. They are excellent little pistols and polishing the feed ramp makes a world of a difference.

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Old 01-04-2014, 04:51 AM
LDBennett
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I've shot both the 22S (mine) and the 22A (my daughter's). The 22S seems superior for fit and finish. The turn-off for some potential 22S buyers was the painted surfaces but actually the coloring of the gun was what first caught my eye in the gun store. But both have suffered a common problem.

The stud on the bottom of the barrel comes loose, allowing the barrel to move around on the frame with the result that the tab on the back end of the sight rail breaks off. In early versions of the gun the sight rail was cast as one piece including the tab. Later version have a steel plate riveted on to act as the tab but the rivet is just part of the sight rail. And I would bet easily broken off (???). The tab is an assembly aid and serves no purpose during firing. Once the gun is assembled it is totally hidden from view. The gun can be used with the tab missing (works that way on my 22S). It also can easily be assembled with the tab missing.

With both guns the barrel stud loosened. S&W fixed the 22S and the stud loosened again and broke the second sight rail tab. It appeared they used blue locktite. I reinstalled the stud with red locktite and it has not loosened again. Other guns, that use this kind of a barrel hold-down system, pin the stud once it is installed. Perhaps that is what S&W should have done but the 22 series guns are Econo-guns. Since both of these guns are early examples, they do not have the steel plate on the sight rail. So I have no idea if the problem is fixed or not.

In addition the 22A started failing to feed ammo. It turned out that the ejector got bent during shooting (??) and was dragging on the slide, slowing it enough to screw up the loading cycle. A gentle push fixed it.

In general I like my 22S. It shoots as well as my Buckmark. For the money its a good gun with a reasonable trigger. It is no Model 41, in my opinion, based on owning one of those too, but it probably costs half as much.

LDBennett

Last edited by LDBennett; 01-04-2014 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:00 PM
LouB
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PM sent

regarding 7" bbl

LouB
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mparker View Post
Pistol Profile – Smith & Wesson Models 22-A and 22-S

Here’s mine . . . pretty typical of the target version. I’m searching for a 7” barrel.

=========================================

I just found a 22A-1 with 7inch barrel at Kentucky Gun Co. After I ordered there were still some in stock.

Last edited by airborneveteran; 01-08-2014 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:39 PM
mparker
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Thanks for the heads up. I really want just a barrel but I might have to cave and get a whole pistol.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:45 PM
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Thanks for the heads up. I really want just a barrel but I might have to cave and get a whole pistol.
Well, at least prices are tolerable now. Good luck and thanks for posting the write up.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:52 PM
JeepDave
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I was a LGS and they had two 22A's both new and both $379 each.
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Old 01-26-2014, 02:09 PM
bonefamily
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mparker - I see your 22A has the wood composite grips. Have you owned or shot the 22A with the soft touch grips? Do you prefer the wood composite over the soft touch? Been thinking about getting a pair of the wood but would like to hear comments before doing so seeing how they are not too cheap. Thanks.
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Old 01-26-2014, 05:56 PM
mparker
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mparker - I see your 22A has the wood composite grips. Have you owned or shot the 22A with the soft touch grips? Do you prefer the wood composite over the soft touch? Been thinking about getting a pair of the wood but would like to hear comments before doing so seeing how they are not too cheap. Thanks.
The soft touch standard grips are actually a bit smaller (thinner) and I have small hands. I bought the wood composites to dress it up a bit. One day I'll try to sand them down considerably.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:28 AM
bonefamily
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Originally Posted by mparker View Post
The soft touch standard grips are actually a bit smaller (thinner) and I have small hands. I bought the wood composites to dress it up a bit. One day I'll try to sand them down considerably.
Thanks for the info - so I assume you prefer the soft touch grips for fit. I find the soft touch grips (mine have the thumb notch) to be on the big side for me as well so I just better stick with them rather than buy the wood I agree that them wood composite grips sure look nice!
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:40 PM
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A year of so back my son and I were at the Indianaplis 500 gunshow and I spotted this one:

needless to say it went home with me. Wish someone would make some better grips for it(my only down side to this)?
Steve
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