I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

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I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by CO1Mtn on 6/22/2017, 9:30 pm

If you have time, would you please give me advice? I want to buy a .22 pistol for CMP bullseye matches and .22 EIC matches. I want to shoot iron sights only, so I can train for .22 EIC and maybe have a chance of winning some day.

I am currently borrowing a friend's Beretta model 87 target pistol. It's phenomenal. However, it costs $930 + tax, and I don't want to spend that much money. Can you please help me decide on a good bullseye pistol that is less money, without sacrificing too much accuracy? I want to be able to win .22 EIC matches, so I don't want to buy junk just because it's cheap.

I saw a Ruger 22/45 MK III in a store today for $299 + tax. It was new and had removable grip panels. Is that a good deal? Are those pistols accurate?

The gun store said they would soon be getting in Ruger 22/45 Lite Mk 4 series pistols for about $500. But can I use the Lite series in EIC matches? It has slots/holes drilled in the barrel shroud. Rule 6.2.6 of the CMP rules says I can't have a muzzle brake or compensator, but it doesn't say the barrel shroud (if that's the right terminology) can't have holes drilled to reduce weight.

Am I wrong to pursue the 22/45 Lite? Is it inaccurate compared to the standard 22/45?

Thank you in advance for any advice you could offer!

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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by kjanracing on 6/22/2017, 9:38 pm

I'd say shoot a bunch of pistols and buy the one you like. Don't put a lot of thought into cost. It's a one time purchase, have fun!
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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by JayhawkNavy02 on 6/22/2017, 10:00 pm

I have a Ruger 22/45 MK III that I despised until Jon worked on it.  It is phenomenal now and I'm confident my Son can use it successfully.
I haven't put it in a rest/fixture to test it, but worst case, I could always have it re-lined and still be a reasonably priced pistol.
If I could do it over again, I would bought a used Ruger 22/45 Mk II.  IMO, I would avoid the Lite.

Also, the Browning Buckmark, especially the older models are very nice, but Jon, KC, Jerry would be much better sources to explain the benefits of each.


Last edited by JayhawkNavy02 on 6/22/2017, 10:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by CO1Mtn on 6/22/2017, 10:04 pm

Just curious, why would you avoid the lite?

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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by zanemoseley on 6/22/2017, 10:12 pm

The lite will be too lightweight for serious target shooting. For an inexpensive starter .22 it's hard to go wrong with a lightly used Ruger MKIII, they should be plentiful as people are going to the easier to disassemble MKIV. When you have extra money to spend you can improve it for $100 by dropping the Volquartsen accurizing kit in it. Or spend a bit more and have a bullseye gunsmith go through it.

I have a Volquartsen custom Olympic that Volquartsen was auctioning off on Gunbroker brand new, I got it for about $850 which I thought was a great price since if configured directly it would have cost $1300'ish. I shot a 199-9 in timed fire practice last weekend with it. I still prefer my Nelson conversion on a customized lower but they aren't the cheapest option.

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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by JayhawkNavy02 on 6/22/2017, 10:13 pm

CO1Mtn wrote:Just curious, why would you avoid the lite?


  • Aluminum vs. steel receiver.
  • Shorter barrel reduces sight radius, velocity, etc.
  • Less weight forward, is a disadvantage for balance and makes getting and staying on target slightly more challenging.
  • Slightly more recoil, but obviously not a lot given their both 22s.
  • Not sure what the advantage/need/use would be with the threaded barrel.


I doubt there's significant mechanical accuracy differences between the two, but the Gunsmiths who actually know what they're talking about are a much better source of information.
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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by sixftunda on 6/23/2017, 6:02 am

I have tried using the Lite model in an EIC match and could not get it to group at fifty yards.  If you already own a 1911, I would recommend buying a conversion.  Last week I threw together a .22 for a backup and had to use it unfortunately.  Shot a 200-12x rapid fire with an old marvel with a Springfield GI lower that still had the stock mainspring and trigger.  So even if you don't own a 1911 yet, you must have a friend with one laying around that you could borrow.  It might be a bit more than the Ruger but you can take it to the range with no question about its accuracy.
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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by LSM 124 on 6/23/2017, 6:40 am

A used Ruger Mark II Government Target Model is also an excellent choice.  I have one and it is very accurate, is of a good weight and has a long sighting radius (this model has an approximate 7 inch barrel).  You can find these on gunbroker.com and a nice one usually runs in the $500-600 range.  If you can't find the Government Target, the Ruger Competition Target is similar in weight and barrel length, and is usually easier to find.  The downside of these guns is that takedown is a little tedious the first couple of times that you attempt it, but once you get the knack, it is not bad at all. 


Good Luck!

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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by Jon Math on 6/23/2017, 7:47 am

I’d suggest looking for a MKII if you want to go Ruger, only because the bolt hold open feature on the MKIII only works when you have a magazine in the pistol.  It does not seem like a big deal until in the heat of a match you accidently drop the bolt and don’t have an empty magazine handy to insert to get the bolt open to make ready your next five rounds.  Range officers and your neighbors get really funny when you start popping magazines in and out and cycling bolts Very Happy
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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by BE Mike on 6/23/2017, 8:12 am

I started shooting bullseye pistol matches with a Ruger MK I (they were the latest then). It had a 5 1/2" bull barrel. Like others said, stay away from the "Lites". The 22/45's are ok too. If you send it to someplace like Clark Custom for a trigger job, you should be good to go. All the Ruger MK pistols are known for their accuracy and reliability, except for possibly the MK III (reliability). The sights are just ok, but will do the job. Luckily you don't have to do much in the way of sight adjustments once you have it zeroed. I'd consider the MK IV, since it is so easy to field strip for cleaning. Clark Custom sells accurized Rugers, but the price is in the neighborhood you are trying to stay away from.
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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by JayhawkNavy02 on 6/23/2017, 8:25 am

U
Jon Math wrote:I’d suggest looking for a MKII if you want to go Ruger, only because the bolt hold open feature on the MKIII only works when you have a magazine in the pistol.  It does not seem like a big deal until in the heat of a match you accidently drop the bolt and don’t have an empty magazine handy to insert to get the bolt open to make ready your next five rounds. 

Great point!  The supposed fix is the Tandemkross Kane Wolf upgrade.  I had Jon install it, it was advertised as "drop in" but he had to have another part shipped and the I believe he still had to modify the second part to work.   It would have been easier to get a Mk II at the beginning if I knew what I know now.
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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by LSM 124 on 6/23/2017, 8:41 am

In the last couple of months, Ruger has issued a recall on the Mark IV's for the safety not working properly - you can read about this over at rimfirecentral.com.  Although I never use a safety on my bullseye pistols, you want to have one that works correctly. Apparently the recall does not affect guns manufactured after June 1st of this year, but odds are it might be difficult to find brand new production.  So unless you want to deal with sending your brand new pistol back to Ruger, I would stay away from the Mark IV for the time being.

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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by Wobbley on 6/23/2017, 8:45 am

If the safety is non-functional, the pistol can't be used as all safety devices must be fully functional on any pistol.

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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by SSgtG on 6/23/2017, 10:40 am

Another moment in life that make you go "huh?" The safety device requirement had always made little sense other than yeah sure the gun is functioning as designed, I can't remember a time I've ever actually used the safety on my Bullseye gun.

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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by LSM 124 on 6/23/2017, 11:13 am

Oh, and by the way, I have never shot one, but I have read that the Beretta 87T has a pretty bad out-of-the-box trigger, so, should you buy one of those, you would need to address that issue too.  Here again, if you want to read about it, go over to rimfirecentral.com and look for the Beretta section and threads by LDBennett.  Although he is not a bullseye shooter per se, LDB has a multitude of .22 target pistols, and he has been at this a long time (he's an old guy like me), and knows of what he speaks!  

PS:  I have no financial interest in what pistol you purchase - just trying to be helpful!  My first target pistol was the Ruger Mark II government, but I currently shoot a S&W 41, which I prefer over the Ruger.   The problem with the 41 is that new ones are hovering around $1K+, and the quality out of S&W has been questionable lately.  For that reason, if you were to consider one of those, I'd recommend a used one, 10 years old or older.  But the issue is, they are pricey too; used ones are around $750 and up, and my understanding is that you don't want to spend that much.  But if you can afford $750 or more, a 41, or possibly a used Hi Standard, would make a great first bullseye gun! (There is a current thread on this forum on the Hi Standards!)

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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by SW-52 on 6/23/2017, 11:20 am

Go with a High standard,supermatic trophy,citation or victor.
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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by zanemoseley on 6/23/2017, 12:15 pm

I'm going to stick with the Ruger recommendation. They typically just plain work, yes there are better guns but for a beginner with a modest budget its hard to beat a MK. When I was a beginner I found a late 70's S&W 41 in great shape with a beautiful trigger, amazing gun except for the fact it had stovepipe issues. I replaced the extractor with a Volquartsen edge extractor which helped a lot but the problems persisted. I sold it and went with a 22 conversion on a 1911 and haven't looked back. Sometimes I miss the 41 but not the stovepipes.

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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by rich.tullo on 6/23/2017, 1:39 pm

Ruger Mark II versus a Mark III better trigger and less complicated.

Mark IV looks great but it's a new design and they just had a recall. If you can get an IV for cheap maybe but an II will be cheap. 

MarkII's may already have a VQ trigger or a Clark trigger on Gun Joker there are many. $400 you should be able to get a good one no problem. 

Buck Marks are not bad either and again a good old one might be better than a new one some old ones have adjustable triggers.
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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by LenV on 6/23/2017, 3:09 pm

Just another option. I also like Rugers but another option in the lower dollar area is the S&W 22A. They are nice because they have very functional sights but the rail is built right in. You can shoot the 22 match out of the 2700 with a dot and 40 seconds later be ready to shoot EIC match. If you use rings like mine then pistol is still zeroed when the dot goes back on. Or. Just shoot irons like you plan. I am recommending the 22A to keep within your price range. I have/had all of the pistols the other shooters are recommending and I like all of them. Every pistol mentioned is capable of shooting HM scores. I shoot all of them and have fun. But, when the match is important I shoot the model 41 in the middle. My second choice for an important match would be the Victor. I take the scope off the short barreled 41 for EIC matches. The Nelson may be my go to gun someday but I have not fired it in a match yet because of health issues.


The rest of the story


Last edited by LenV on 6/23/2017, 8:56 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : added info about choice)
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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by bdas on 6/23/2017, 3:14 pm

rich.tullo wrote:Buck Marks are not bad either and again a good old one might be better than a new one some old ones have adjustable triggers.

I shoot an old Buckmark (with the adjustable trigger) for Bullseye, and it'll shoot master-level scores (off-hand).  My son has a new Hunter model (without the adjustable trigger), and it'll shoot master-level scores (off-hand), too.  The adjustable trigger in the old ones is not as awesome as it might sound... it's a screw that pre-loads the sear spring, but doesn't make much difference in reality.  You're probably much better off "adjusting" the stock sear spring by squeezing it or bending the legs a little to achieve the trigger pull weight you desire.  A little (very minor) polishing of things like the top & back of the disconnector and the hammer surfaces will smooth the trigger pull significantly.  Probably the biggest advantage of an older Buckmark vs a newer one for EIC is that the older ones lack the magazine disconnect "safety", which drags on the disconnector, making the trigger pull worse (polishing a small section of the top of the disconnector helps with that, though).  As it is, though, my son's Hunter is right at the trigger pull limit, and I shot a 272 with it in my very first EIC 22 match.  Not a winning score, of course, but that's my fault, not the gun's fault.

With the current $50 rebate from Browning, some new Buckmarks can be found for under $300.  For EIC work, I'd suggest either the Contour URX or Hunter models with the 7.25" barrel, since they give you a longer sight radius (those two models have different grip frames, so pick the one that fits your hand the best).  They also have top rails, so you can mount a red dot for Bullseye work, too.  Those models will probably be around $350-ish after the rebate, but for a new shooter on a budget, they are a great option.

Dave

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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by LSM 124 on 6/23/2017, 3:22 pm

Maybe I got a "good" one, but my 41 seldom stove pipes - I feed it, just about exclusively, CCI SV.  When it does stovepipe, (usually after 700-800 rounds) I know it needs to be cleaned, which I do, and that does it - end of stovepipes for another 800 rounds.   Surprised

The way I see it, the only drawback to the 41 is its weight.  With the red dot and Nill grip it weighs about 53 ounces - which I find is a bit too heavy, at least for me.

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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by CO1Mtn on 6/27/2017, 7:52 pm

I want to thank all of you for sharing your wisdom!

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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by Chris Miceli on 6/27/2017, 9:08 pm

this guy has a buckmark for sale for like 300$ not sure if its still around.
http://www.bullseyeforum.net/t7062-wts-browning-buck-mark-standard-urx-se-22-lr
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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by PMcfall on 6/28/2017, 9:32 am

I would take a look at what you see High Masters and Masters shooting and pick from that list.  Usually if you try to get by cheaply, you will eventually move up to a better choice, so why not just get there at the start.

On a personal basis, I use a 22 conversion, mine is a Kart but there are many good ones out there, and a S&W 41.  Both are extremely reliable and I virtually have no alibis.
Phil
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Re: I'm a novice. Please give me advice about selecting a .22 pistol

Post by firebrand on 7/26/2017, 1:42 pm

Apologies, Coming into this convo late, but I wonder what CO1 Mtn ended up with, & wanted to offer my recent experiences. Being new to Bullseye as well, I purchased the Mark IV Lite in June, installed entry level Bushnell RDot, was very excited as it was my very own 1st gun individually purchased, not given to me...Brought to our Bullseye Range & my Mentors said, "it's Cute".    Geezz, I thought it was bad a!*.   I was shooting very well at 25 yards, groups getting smaller and smaller, then had our gunsmith try to install Volquartsen Accurizing Kit. Trigger weighs @ 4.5 -5 lbs. Creep, roll, Break! Because of Polymer Base, Gunsmith was afraid he would break Polymer Base, couldn't get the last pin out. There is something to be said for straight up Steel. So, It is a good thing this happened, because literally 3 days later, I got the Recall Notice.
Luckily I was able to use my father's old 1976 Gold Cup .45 already w/ Nighthawk Conversion - but no way to attach the RDot (always buy the Full Package). Cannot shoot with out it. A little heavy for me, but with two hands (which rules permit for 3 years) I can manage.  My Mentor installed his Marvel Conversion, Swwweeet!
Now, for some reason I am off my game, and shooting horrid.
I have both on my dining room table With dry Fire plugs in them. Learning how to call shots (diff forum). The Ruger is literally stuck in between Safe and Unsafe - exactly what the Recall is. Called Ruger yesterday, they are sending my package today (Applied next day, & may have been a couple weeks out on the waiting list, which by the way, they sent out 900 packages yesterday).  
SO: If you haven't purchased a pistol yet, and you can afford... invest in something that you can have forever and hand down like my family's Colt Gold Cup .45 and a conversion unit u can pop off. Don't skimp, all of this holds it's value. Ruger makes a gr8 product, & we own several, but if I could, I would buy something Classic.

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