The .22 LR bullet is measured at 5.56x15mm and is a rimfire cartridge to accommodate the lower muzzle velocity and power. Most people use the .22 Long Rifle (LR) bullet for target practice, training, and varmint hunting. Most guns chambered for the .22 LR are going to be relatively cheaper than any other caliber and are the cheapest to own of any caliber gun. There are 5 pistols that I think everyone should at least shoot to see if a .22 LR pistol is for them. The Ruger Wrangler, Ruger Mark IV, Walther P22, S&W Victory, and the Heritage Rough Rider are my top 5 favorite pistols in this caliber. Each of the pistols is great for beginner shooters who want to learn the fundamentals of shooting a pistol without the fear of recoil and noise.

1. Ruger Wrangler .22 LR Revolver

The Ruger Wrangler is designed as a plinking and training pistol, but can easily be used as a varmint hunting revolver if you train properly with it. It’s built around a cold hammer-forged barrel for better accuracy and longevity. The front sight is a blade with the integral notch rear sights for quick target acquisition. My favorite feature on this revolver is the transfer bar mechanism and the loading gate interlock. These 2 features ensure you have the utmost level of security from accidental discharges from drops or other mishandling incidents. The Wrangler is finished with Cerakote to increase the durability and reliability in any environment, from rain, snow, sleet, hail, to high humidity. This gun only weighs 1.88 lbs and is fired in a single action for a quick and easy shooting experience. At $199.00 and a significantly reduced recoil, there are not many better deals to get into the market for your first revolver.

 

Specs:

Caliber .22 LR
Action Single
Capacity 6
Barrel Length 4.62″
Length 10.25″
Weight 1.88 lbs
Twist 1:14″ Right Hand
Grooves 6
Sights Blade Front, Integral Rear
Grip Checkered Synthetic
Frame Finish Black Cerakote
Frame Material Aluminum Alloy
MSRP $199.00

Where Can I Buy The Ruger Wrangler?

  1. Palmetto State Armory
  2. Gun Broker

 

Ruger Wrangler .22 LR 6-Shot 4.62

 

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2. Smith & Wesson Victory .22 LR

The SW22 Victory is a single-action, blowback semi-automatic .22LR pistol with an enclosed hammer in the slide. It features a match-grade barrel that is easily interchangeable after you run a few thousand rounds through it. Many people like the takedown of this pistol, but I don’t like having to use an Allen wrench because the new Ruger Mark IV allows for a tool-less takedown within seconds. The S&W Victory requires you to remove a hex nut that can be easily lost if your not careful or loosen during firing if you’re not careful in reassembling it. The front fiber optic sight is very bright and offers a clear line of sight and if you don’t like it, it comes with a Picatinny rail for an optic or scope attachment. In the end, this pistol offers no recoil and is perfect for target shooting.

Specs:

Caliber .22 LR
Action Single
Capacity 10+1
Barrel Length 5.5″
Length 9.2″
Weight 2.25 lbs
Twist 1:14″ Right Hand
Grooves 6
Sights Green Fiber Optic
Grip polymer
Frame Finish Satin
Frame Material Stainless Steel
MSRP $416.00

Where Can I Buy The Smith & Wesson Victory .22 LR?

  1. Palmetto State Armory
  2. Gun Broker

S&W SW22 Victory SS .22LR Pistol

 

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3. Ruger Mark IV Target .22 LR

The Ruger Mark IV is one of the most simplistic pistols I’ve ever seen with the new and much improved one-button takedown. As Hickok45 explains below, this pistol is incredibly easy to shoot and takedown versus the original model. The barrel is cold hammer-forged for improved accuracy and increases longevity by not warping the metal as fast. The Mark IV is built with an ergonomic bolt stop that is constructed to ensure the sight-to-barrel alignment is always perfect. This feature gives the Mark IV better accuracy than most other traditional slide pistols. You can easily mount an optic or aftermarket night sight on the top because the Mark IV is drilled and tapped for both the Weaver and Picatinny Rail systems. It’s built with an ambidextrous manual safety lever for both right and left-handed shooters.

Specs:

Caliber .22 LR
Width 1.20″
Height 5.50″
Action Single
Capacity 10+1
Barrel Length 5.50″
Length 9.75″
Weight 2.67 lbs
Twist 1:16″ Right Hand
Grooves 6
Sights Blade Front, Integral Rear
Grip Checkered Synthetic
Frame Finish Black Cerakote
Frame Material Aluminum Alloy
MSRP $699.00

Where Can I Buy The Ruger Mark IV Target Pistol?

  1. Palmetto State Armory
  2. Gun Broker

Ruger Mark IV Target .22 LR 5.5

 

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4. Walther P22

The Walther P22 is the most compact .22 LR pistol on the market and offers an affordability that is rare for the number of features it has. Starting with the ambidextrous mag release and slide safety to accommodate left-handed shooters. The P22 comes with interchangeable backstraps to fit almost any hand size and has better ergonomics in the grip than most other pistols. Although it’s built with a really heavy 11 lb trigger pull in double-action, it drops to around 5lbs in single-action for a smooth and easy pull. As with any rimfire weapon, the range is limited because of the lightweight of the bullet and the way the striker hits the cartridge. This pistol can be used to hunt varmints, such as squirrels, groundhogs, rabbits, snakes, and coyotes.

Specs:

Caliber .22 LR
Action Single
Capacity 10
Barrel Length 3.42″
Length 6.5″
Weight 1 lb
Twist 1:14″ Right Hand
Grooves 6
Sights Front Blade
Height 4.5″
Width 1.1″
Grip textured
Frame Finish Nickle
Frame Material Polymer
MSRP $359.00

Where Can I Buy The Walther P22?

  1. Palmetto State Armory
  2. Guns.com
  3. Gearfire
  4. Gallery of Guns

 

Walther P22 .22LR Nickel 5120325

 

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5. Heritage Rough Rider

Heritage is one of the coolest gun companies because they’re one of the only companies left that are still truly inspired by our nation’s history. The Heritage Rough Rider was inspired by the original Rough Rider, Teddy Roosevelt, and the Long Colt that he carried. This Rough Rider is chambered in a .22 LR and is made for plinking, varmint hunting, or target practice. I love the American flag grip and the old school feel to the gun, but you can tell it’s not as nice as the all stainless steel big bore .45 or .357 Magnum revolvers. However, for $180 brand new, this is an exceptional revolver for the price and will get you comfortable shooting a revolver if you ever decide to upgrade to the big-bore models.

Specs:

Caliber .22 LR
Action Single
Capacity 6
Barrel Length 6.5″
Length 11.78″
Weight 2.09 lbs
Grooves 6
Sights fixed
Grip American Flag
Frame Finish Black
Frame Material Stainless Steel
MSRP $180.00

Where Can I Buy The Heritage Rough Rider?

  1. Palmetto State Armory
  2. Gun Broker

 

Heritage Rough Rider 22lr 6.5

 

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Remington Thunderbolt .22 LR Ammo

The Remington Thunderbolt is the most economical ammo that you’ll ever find, especially if you buy the 500 round box. You can get 500 rounds of Remington ammo for $33.00 if you buy from Palmetto State Armory. I think this is the perfect bullet for any of these pistols because you know what you’re getting when you buy anything from Remington. Generally speaking, they always produce great guns and ammo. I highly recommend this bullet, but only for target practice, training, and plinking. No matter what pistol you buy, you’ll have to train with it if you want to become any good at it. This allows you to spend a fraction of what other ammo costs so you can train for hours without hurting your wallet.

MSRP: $33.00/500 rounds

 

Remington .22 Long Rifle 40gr RN High Velocity (500rd Bulk Pack) - TB22B

 

 

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Hornady 22 Hornet SP Match Ammo

The Hornady 22 Hornet SP Match ammo weighs 45 grain, has a muzzle energy of 710 ft. lbs of force, and travels 2,665 ft per second out of a long rifle. This ammo is the perfect ammo for hunting any game less than 50 lbs, such as fox, squirrel, rabbits raccoons, gophers, coyotes, and groundhogs. Just remember that the close those animals get to 50 lbs, the greater chance you’ll have to get a headshot to kill them. Hornady is one of my favorite ammo companies to support because they’re always trying to improve their product line. The 22 Hornet is built for a flatter shooting experience with a reduction in drag. I’d never take a shot with a .22 pistol past 50 yards (150 yards for long rifle) because the bullet drop is too much to adjust for in a rimfire casing.

 

MSRP: $35.00/50 rounds

 

Hornady 22 Hornet 45gr SP Match Custom Ammunition, 50 Round Box

 

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Conclusion

Each of these pistols is made by great companies that take great pride in their firearms. Shooting a pistol chambered in .22 LR is a lot of fun and meant for a specific purpose, other than carrying a self-defense weapon. I would only use these pistols to kill varmints, such as coyotes, fox, gophers, snakes, raccoons, groundhogs, and squirrels. I would never recommend these pistols for anything bigger than a coyote because they just don’t have the power and size to humanely bring down a deer or hog without a perfect shot. These pistols are all accurate up to 50 yards before the bullet drop becomes a problem to adjust for. These pistols are also a great way to get someone into shooting for the first time without scaring them with heavy recoil and loud pistol.