Does anyone have reviews Pro/Cons about S & W A22

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by Fatrichie, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. Fatrichie

    Somewhere in Oregon
    New Member

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    I'm looking for a decent 22 shooter and the A22 has been suggested and it is priced right. I'd just like to know if anyone out there has any experience with them and the pros and cons.


  2. etrain16

    Silver Supporter Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter 2017 Volunteer

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    I've never owned one, but did do research on them a while ago. They seem to be favorably reviewed. But I would recommend a few other .22's if you can pay a bit more - the trade off will be guns with more support for parts and accessories, as well as more folks you can chat with if you have any issues. For about $50 more, you could get into a Ruger 22/45 - I've owned both that and a Mark III, and they are great .22's. For about $100 more, you could get into a Ruger SR22, Mark III or a S&W M&P 22 - I've owned the S&W, another great .22 pistol. I don't think you'd go wrong with a 22A, but I think your options are better with some of the other models.
    ron likes this.
  3. bzltyr

    Portland Metro area
    Active Member

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    I had one. Special edition with bull barrel. Awesome!
    mjbskwim likes this.
  4. gunnails

    Well-Known Member

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    I bought my S&W 22A from a fellow forum member here about 4 years ago. It's been great for me, I once fired about 1200 rounds through it before cleaning just to see if it would jam up, and it didn't. Probably put 3000 rounds through it and the only problems were some bad ammo.
  5. jluck

    Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365
    Voted #1 Member

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    I shopped the all a while back, I liked the Buckmark a little bit better but the Smith is a great piece too. I'd personally stay away from the full slide blow back type .22's though, Every one I have owned, shot or been around was ammo sensitive, Requiring premium ammo . This includes the 1911 type, Walthers etc.
  6. Ron Eagle Elk

    Ron Eagle Elk
    Outside Ft Lewis East Gate
    Active Member

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    I have a 22A, been shooting it for a couple of years. Fills my hand comfortably, eats any ammo I throw in it, is easy to clean and has never failed to function. Great little gun.
  7. mjbskwim

    Well-Known Member

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    Had a couple over the years and they were accurate and nice shooters. The last one was a target model with HUGE grips (and I have big hands) so I never fell in love
  8. lupinsea

    Seattle Area

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    I have a S&W 22S.

    Which I believe is the 22A but with a (painted) stainless steel barrel.

    I liked it when I first bought it. And I love its accuracy and low recoil when I shoot it. Really hating it's reliability and high failure rate. And the finish is bugging me now after a decade+ of ownership. I want to get rid of it.

    The Good
    When I purchased this pistol way back went I liked it a lot. It was of modest price at the time (decade+ ago?) and when I compared it in the store to its competitors it felt more comfortable and natural holding the pistol and sighting it. I really liked the placement of the mag release, very sweet and I wish other pistols would switch to this location. The magazines with their follower thumb button were nice and made loading a breeze. And the slide release and safety levers are also very well placed and easy to operate.

    Firing the pistol was sweet.

    The heavy barrel and heavy construction kept the recoil way way down making it super easy to bring the pistol back on target. It's also a very accurate shooter. I don't consider myself a great shot by any means. And after practicing with my other larger caliber pistols it's a definite therapy session to pick up the 22S and put nice tight groupings on target. It almost feels like cheating.

    Almost every single time I'd take my pistols to the range the 22S would go along, too. It's good shooter than shoots cheap ammo.

    But I've started to sour on it.

    The Bad
    The action seems to gum up easily and the last few years i've had significant failure to load, failure to eject, and failure to fire problems with my pistol. And this is with different types of .22LR ammo from older stuff to good fresh cartridges. And by frequent I mean one failure every 1-3 magazines (which are 10 rd each). It's a little better when the pistol is clean and freshly lubed at the start of the range session but not by much. And by the end of the first box of 50 rounds, it's starting to act up again.

    It's annoying to take down the pistol for cleaning. Not horrible and it can be done without tools but it's just annoying. One of the most annoying aspects is the little spring / guid rod thingy in the slide. You need to carefully keep everything contained under spring tension to get the slide back in but there's not hook, ledge, or notch to rest the spring / guide rod against the way there is on most semi-auto pistols / barrels.

    And this leads me to the plastic buffer / bumper plate that is delicately attached to the end of the spring guide rod. It's plastic and it's delicate. And after cycling several hundred rounds it is deforming a lot. Similar to how the crown of a chisel gets beat down and deformed. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a consumable part or not but it sure seams like it. I'll need to pick up another one soon.

    Finally, the finish on the pistol is getting to me. Mine is a light gray and the paint quality seems pretty low rent. Ditto for the plastic / rubber factory grips and the lack of finishing on the mold flashings. I knew this going into it and it seemed find for the $270 I paid for it back in the day but, humph. I don't like the feel of cheapness in my firearms and it's starting to bug me. Maybe the 22A's are better.

    Bottom Line
    I liked the gun when I first bought it but now I want to ditch it. It's really been bugging me lately. Yet I like the idea of a solid, heavy barrel .22 target semi-auto.
  9. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace
    Well-Known Member

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    How about an alternative? Lup's review pretty much covers the topic!

    I'm really happy with my Volquartsen-upgraded Ruger 22/45 with its Spectre-II suppressor. There's a heavy barrel for ya!

    It shoots 100% of the time (now) when fed good ammo (i.e., not Winchester 'wildcat'). The trigger is schweet and the fiber-optic sights easy to see.

    Nothing beats reliability in a gun, IMO. After that, it's handling and accuracy and after that, looks.

    We had some break-in time, and extraction problems at first, but the VQ extractor fixed those. I'd recommend trying a Mark-II or a 22/45 and see what you think...


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