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Looking for a .22 handgun

Discussion in 'Backwoods & KFU Custom Handmade Knives' started by KFU, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. KFU

    KFU Part Time Knifemaker, Moderator

    Sep 10, 2007
    Well its time to teach the 8 year old to shoot a handgun. He has gotten pretty good with a rifle so I think its time. I don't own any .22 handguns anymore and everything I have is too much gun for the little guy. If anyone has an older .22 they wouldn't mind parting with please let me know. If not, Ill be heading to the gun stores and pawn shops next week!

    1SHOT1KILL Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    A Ruger MK I or MK II would be an excellant choice. Maybe even a S&W Model 41 or 46.
  3. KFU

    KFU Part Time Knifemaker, Moderator

    Sep 10, 2007
    Yeah, ive seen a couple older rugers and s&w locally.
  4. bacustomknives

    bacustomknives FULL THROTTLE / FULLTIME KNIFE MAKER Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 3, 2008
    Chris, the s&w 411 is a ultra light aUto .22 that is great for target shooting
  5. ac700wildcat


    May 24, 2011
    I have a Sig 1911-22 and could definitely suggest looking at one, but the grip on a 1911 would just be waaaaay too big for your little guy. Really for safety sake with a youngin' I'd suggest something like a Ruger Single Six. Its been a while since I've held one, but I think the grip on it would be decent for small hands and you have the option of 22lr or 22mag with them. They are a blast to shoot and accurate too.
  6. Fat Goat Forge

    Fat Goat Forge

    Dec 31, 2011
    I enjoy teaching new shooters on my Ruger Mark II (I have the 22/45 version where the controls mimic the 1911/45 positions) and on my Ruger Single 10 (an upgraded version of the single six with 10 shots, had a single six forever but recently traded up to the 10)

    I would second the recomendations for a ruger mark I or II or the the single six. Lots available used. I dont care for the mark III as much too many lawyer added features that get in the way of teaching.


    Dec 29, 2008
    My MkIII weighs a ton(bull barrel). My Father has the single six and it is so weight foward the wives have trouble shooting them. How about a bearcat? How sold are you on a revolver I am hearing very good things about the sr22 especially since it has such a smallish thin grip to start out with.
  8. Mudbug007


    Nov 29, 2010
    Personally I'd start him out on a good .22 revolver. I'd suggest a S&W Model 48 K22, but the grips may be a little big for his hands. A Single Six is a good choice as are H&R 922 & 929. My favorite of the H&R's is the 999 9 shot double actions "Sportsman" model.

    I like the Auto's (Ruger, S&W & Brownings) as well, but for beginners, I think it's easier to get the fundamentals down with a revolver.
  9. KFU

    KFU Part Time Knifemaker, Moderator

    Sep 10, 2007
    Mb, ive always liked h&r guns. Most ive owned were solid less expensive pieces. I actually have a couple old rifles from them.
  10. magnumb


    Jun 26, 2011

    First off...it's great of you to take such an interest in your son's blossoming interest (s). I would not have expected anything less from you.

    If a revolver, the K22 is a fine revolver to either learn on or as a primary, lifetime plinker. It is also a very desirable .22 and if in good to great shape, it will not be inexpensive. They are very accurate, smooth and are considered pretty top-shelf as far as .22 revolvers go. A wonderful choice, albeit, it's condition (as with most things), truly and quickly effects it's purchase price.

    As for semi-auto's.........as has been suggested several times here, the Ruger Mark II is a dandy .22 semi-auto. Smooth, reliable and reasonably priced as there are a ton of them out there. Mine is a bull barrel (target model Mark II), but that is not necessary for most. However, if a used one can be found in such a configuration at a reasonable price.......better yet.

    If you happen to find a Mark I for sale (and it wil no doubt be used), please consider the fact that when it's magazine is spent, the slide does not lock to the rear (so as to give the shooter a visual of the chamber and top of the magazine) as with the Mark II's and III's or like most every other semi-auto these days. Safety and general gunhandling teachings are always what we strive for when teaching others, but anything that I can do to further one's safety is also applied when I consider purchasing a firearm. I owned a Mark I and had much firearm training from both the USMC and from being a LEO, but the fact that the slide didn't lock to the rear when the firearm was empty as every other handgun I'd ever shot had done, was unsettling, at best. When my son was of age to enjoy the shooting sports as yours is, I traded the Mark I over for a Mark II. In all other respects, the Mark I is also a wonderfully functional and accurate pistol.

    IMHO.....there is no replacement for being safe and ultra vigilant when handling firearms. There are however, ways that we can enhance it. Even though we all know better than to check to see if the gun is empty by pulling the trigger, it is still more often done than what we might believe or want to believe. It seems that it is one of the most universal firearm handling no-no's that happens more often than most all other gun handling mistakes. So.....it helps to reduce the chances of something going bad, even though we've instilled all the safety lessons to those that need such trainings. It also helps to protect our own when someone else might be allowed to use our son's or daughter's Mark I and they are understandably used to all other semi-auto slides locking to the rear and then they handle the Mark I inappropriately based on their previous experiences with semi-autos. Owning a Mark I isn't a recipe for disaster, but it definitely lends itself towards one more so than with the Mark II or III, if only for that reason......IMHO.

    If you decide on a Mark II you will likely quickly find that it is more difficult than many to break down and clean. When we find ourselves dreading any chore, we either don't do it or put it off longer than we normally would. A clean firearm is a safer firearm, some much more so than others. The Ruger Mark II's design is not the easiest to learn for many adults, much less a youngster. Then again, it may be the best time to learn such things, as well. Breaking them down by the manual and seeing the internal workings and diagrams is the best way to learn most things. But, if you or your son find the cleaning process to be much less fun than what it should be and due primarily to the "breaking it down" process, I have your answer. Pull up "Majestic Arms" on the 'puter and consider purchasing the $45 (+/-) "Speed Strip Kit" that they offer. I did so when it was first offered in '06 and I can't tell you how pleased I am with the product. I also got quite proficient at breaking my Mark II down prior to the Speed Strip Kit purchase, but the kit made it so much easier and faster that it ws a no-brainer for me. That my kids would also use and clean it when they got older just totally justified it's purchase for me. I woud have to assume that more people would rather shoot their firearms rather than spend more time breaking them down and cleaning them.

    Without going into great detail which can be found in the description of the product on the site, I will tell you that it is the best aftermarket item that I've ever seen or purchased in my 40 years of shooting, handloading and hunting.........bar none! You'll strip your Mark II down in less than a minute and more importantly ('cuz its the hardest part for most), put it back together just as fast. Trust me on this one Chris....I've always wanted to do you a couple favors back.

    The Mark II is a favorite of mine and my kids and probably will be to their kids as well. It is a very well made, reliable and accurate semi-auto pistol. However, if I were to purchase one, I would without hesitation, also purchase the aforementioned kit for it's convenience alone.

    Just my thoughts.

    Best of luck and it's great what you're doing for your son.

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  11. KFU

    KFU Part Time Knifemaker, Moderator

    Sep 10, 2007
    Thanks for the suggestions guys and Magnumb, thanks for taking the time to post that. I think I have a line on a Ruger from a fellow forum member!
  12. magnumb


    Jun 26, 2011
    You're welcome and I hope that the potential line on that Ruger works out.

    They are a very worthy firearm for your intended purposes, as well as for many other duties.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  13. grand594


    Feb 24, 2011
    I have had a Walther P22 for the last few years, on loan to me from my brother, and I have put about a thousand rounds through it. It's a piece of cake to take down, the reassembly on the other hand took several you tube sessions, and a can of "whoop @$$"! In my experiences with it I would have to say that it is GARBAGE. It's a fun little gun but I have had more problems with the slide not cycling properly, fail to fire, fail to feed, and sights coming loose. The gun has been sent back to Walther (Smith & Wesson) twice and the problem always comes back.

    I would NOT recommend this gun.
  14. bigcountry1315


    Aug 3, 2009
    Look at a Heritage Rough Rider 22/22mag.It is a single action and most people do not know it is made by Freedom Arms in Wyoming> I bought a single six when my youngest daughter was 4 to teach her how to shoot a hand gun.She is 19 now and still loves handguns.
  15. mykel m

    mykel m Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2009
    I'd definitely go with a revolver.
  16. JUST1MOR


    Oct 19, 2010
    Well late to the party as usual, but here's my two cents anyway. I still have the first Ruger Mark .22 pistol I bought back in 1974. I can attest I have probably put at least 75,000-85,000 rounds thru it since, and a lot of squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, and crows can attest to it's accuracy, even to this day. Have tried
    a lot of other .22 handguns, but just seem to go back to this one when we head out to the fields and creeks. This was the gun my son started shooting with when he was 8, & now being 29, he still comes over to "borrow his gun" when he heads out with his buddies.
    Good luck with your choice Chris, be sure and post some pics when you get yours for your little man.
    Be safe.
  17. essublime


    Aug 7, 2011
    I just picked up a .22 conversion kit for my Beretta 96. Will be a nice plinker set-up but probably won't be the most accurate .22 and it will sure save on ammo costs for target practice. Best of luck to you Chris and your boy whatever you decide on.
  18. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    I'm a fan of the S & W AirLite 8 shot Revolver personally. I now have two of them. The newer one just a couple years old has the fiber optic sights on it. The old one not, but I like the older one just as much if not more. Its killed more rats. The best thing about these is they never malfunction. The worse case scenraio is you have to run a wire brush through the cylinder to make it easier to both remove or load a cartridge after so many rounds. The things shoot anything 22 LR also. Doesn't matter if it is snake shot, CB, Calibre caps or CBLong or Short or if it is weird Russian rounds it eats them all. The only thing needed to make this gun more complete would be a longer barrel. The 3" barrel has front and rear sights and its a great varmint killer easy to carry but I don't think you could hunt with it. Could be S.& W offers one with a longer barrel I don't know. Anyway, thats my favorite 22 handgun. Its brainless for how easy it is to operate too so for a youngster its not a bad one to give some thought IMO>

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