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Still in search for the .22 BE pistol with the least compromises

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Jack H
285wannab
Froneck
SW-52
Fotomaniac
Sc0
john bickar
Jon Eulette
LenV
Merick
chiz1180
ric1911a1
DA/SA
zanemoseley
mhayford45
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Post by mhayford45 Fri Mar 18, 2022 11:06 am

Over the years of shooting BE, I think I have shot or owned every .22 pistol made. All had unique aspects on the positive and negative sides. I have been shooting a Hammerli SP20 RRS for about a year now. It has a few negatives and for me the least amount of negatives. 

On the positive side: 
It points correctly when I raise it  
It balances well and balance can be tuned
It functions very...very well
The trigger is adjustable, consistent and clean
It looks good/cool

On the negative side:
The grip required modifications to fit my hand. more than I would have liked to deal with
The grip would feel better if it were 3D adjustable, made of wood and separate from the mag well 
The trigger could be a little better with adjustments for roll
The trigger is complex and one small adjustment can cause a complete readjustment 
parts are hard to come by 

Overall, I still shoot about the same scores with any of the guns I have owned. There were a few I really disliked due to more negatives. 

I would be interesting to compare notes....

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Post by zanemoseley Fri Mar 18, 2022 11:55 am

I've tried tons of 22's as well. My mint 208S with the rink LGI grips and 9000SC is by far my favorite and ultra reliable. The SP20 is more of a GSP looking deal, I don't like forward heavy 22's, they feel too much different from a 1911 which you know you've got to shoot in a 2700. The 208S balances more like a 1911 and has one hell of a sweet trigger.

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Post by zanemoseley Fri Mar 18, 2022 11:58 am

My second choice would be a dedicated 1911 lower with a Nelson or Marvel. They're very reliable when they run right but can be finicky. Was having loads of issues with light strikes on my Marvel even after Frerking went all through it. Ended up fixing with a stronger mainspring which just slightly increases trigger weight.

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Post by mhayford45 Fri Mar 18, 2022 12:06 pm

I too have considered building a Nelson with a Caspian lower. The newer BE tight chamber should be better than the first one I had which would almost hold 10 ring at 50 yards. Had a Marvel way back and had nothing but problems with it. The Nelson functioned better but it was still not as reliable as the SP20.

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Post by DA/SA Fri Mar 18, 2022 12:43 pm

My Marvel is dead reliable and holds the X ring at 50 with CCI SV and a couple of others in that price range. Never tried any of the more specialized (expensive) ammo.

Two others at the range have now switched to Marvel's as well after seeing mine and are running well too.
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Post by ric1911a1 Fri Mar 18, 2022 12:48 pm

I have had no complaints with my Nelson on a Caspian stainless frame.
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Post by chiz1180 Fri Mar 18, 2022 1:06 pm

It honestly depends on what you consider to be a compromise. I have tried AW93, Pardini, High Standard, Model 41, 208, various conversions, Rugers and Buckmarks. I honestly could compete with any of them but my preference when shooting a dot is a conversion. If shooting irons, it is a tough call between a 6" conversion or a 208.

It has been my experience that when people have issues with 22s and reliability, 9/10 times it hasn't been properly cleaned and maintained (too much lubricant, lubricant in the wrong places, ect).
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Post by Merick Fri Mar 18, 2022 4:17 pm

chiz1180 wrote:
It has been my experience that when people have issues with 22s and reliability, 9/10 times it hasn't been properly cleaned and maintained (too much lubricant, lubricant in the wrong places, ect).


High standards are real picky about magazine feed lips clean or dirty, oily or dry.

I had an advantage arms (marvel type) 1911 upper and hated every minute of it. I tried 3 different types of magazines and every main and recoil spring I could get my hands on in all possible combinations.  Also the mounting system would work loose no matter torque, thread locker, or bedding compound.

If I had it do do all over again I would just get a ruger mkiv 22/45, and take whatever tradeoffs for something that goes off 100% of the time.

Merick

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Post by zanemoseley Fri Mar 18, 2022 4:54 pm

I'm pretty sure the current Ruger 22/45 has a poly frame and not heavy enough to be a really great bullseye pistol. Triggers are ehh even with a Volquartsen kit. I've got a MKIV that is nice and tuned up but sure ain't a 208S. Great option for beginners on a budget though.

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Post by LenV Fri Mar 18, 2022 6:59 pm

Still in search for the .22 BE pistol with the least compromises  20210510
looking for reliable?   Very Happy
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Post by Jon Eulette Fri Mar 18, 2022 7:36 pm

Any euro gun pistol must absolutely have a grip that fits perfectly to shoot great SF scores. Grips that do not fit correctly require super human consistent gripping. Having said that I use CMM 1911 adapter on my 208 pistols. Helps me be more consistent and I don’t get the horizontal dot movement at 50 yds like I would with factory grips. 208/s gets my vote for best 22 pistol that’s user friendly. Has great trigger potential if you know how to adjust a trigger. Most 208 pistols I work on are not setup very well, so many shooters are losing out to actually having a great trigger. My MG2 has a custom grip made for my hand and I love it. Spot on at 50 and no fooling around. MG pistols require lots of experience using them. Clearing loaded cartridge from chamber is a pain until you learn how to do it. My X count is regularly higher with the MG2 vs 208s. Advantage of 208 is grip angle is easy transition to 1911 with the CMM grips. Switching from euro grip to 1911 requires lots of dry fire between 22 aggregate and CF aggregate. Which for some is a problem. 
22 conversions are great. I will not shoot one without using a steel Colt Ace magazine. I tune for the pistol and they never let me down. They control feed better than any other magazine. I also use higher mag catch to help reliable feeding.
I like you, shoot the same scores with all my different 22’s, but some are more friendly to shoot. Balance is important with the 22. Getting weight just right so that the pistol recovers right back into the X is important. Yeah I know 22’s don’t recoil….but recovery right back into the X sure helps the X count stay high.
I put trigger pull at the top of the list. I sold my Pardini because I could never make friends with the trigger. Never tried harder!
Longevity is important. My many 22’s have only had one issue over the years; broken firing pins. Broke in my 208 at around 120k rds. Marvels every couple of years from dry firing without snap cap. Hammerli firing pins are still available.
So I recommend the Hammerli because they are that great! Then the MG2 is you have the patience to learn a new operating system lol. I love my MG2’s. And the conversions are nice if you get them running reliably. Nelson’s normally need the barrel crowned to improve the 50 yd groups.
All the others are for fun lol.
Jon
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Post by john bickar Fri Mar 18, 2022 7:52 pm

Flawless functioning is the first priority.

After that, scores tell the story. Which leads back to my first point.
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Post by Merick Fri Mar 18, 2022 10:22 pm

Jon touched on it; what .22's are purpose built to dry fire, or are capable of handling a serious amount?

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Post by Sc0 Fri Mar 18, 2022 11:17 pm

Never shot a 208 but do enjoy the Hammerli Xesse over the: Ruger 22/45, Nelson conversion, MG2 EVO, S&W 622. Xesse has a wonderful short pull trigger, the reset travel can be modified a little to make things more tolerable. Mags are affordable on the Xesse, spare parts are available from Walther, and accuracy is not an issue. The only negative is that the stock "fat" ambidextrous grips are awkward so might switch over to a 1911 conversion grip here soon. I'm surprised nobody offers a steel trigger for it or modified it by drilling and tapping the frame to mimic the 208 adjustments.

RUGER 22/45's were a bit muzzle heavy, triggers were improved with aftermarket VQ and Majestic parts, and had cheap magazines.

Nelson conversion trigger wasn't optimized on the conversion. With a tuned .22 trigger I am sure it would be a delight to shoot, but I didn't have a dedicated lower setup for it. Cheap magazines are a plus.

MG2 had the euro grip thing going on which is why it is a backup pistol, best trigger on all accounts, and cheap magazines.

S&W 622 was either a plinker or needed trigger parts. I guess the only positive on it was that it was lightweight.

(By cheap magazines, I mean that they are affordable.)

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Post by Fotomaniac Fri Mar 18, 2022 11:21 pm

Merick wrote:Jon touched on it; what .22's are purpose built to dry fire, or are capable of handling a serious amount?
Feinwerkbau AW93…don’t pass go…hands down. You can dry fire ‘till the cows come home without a dry fire plug, then shoot lights out at the match. Trigger is extremely adjustable and consistent. Not very ammo fussy as long as you use a decent brand SV. Only alibi I’ve ever had was due to bad ammo. Keep her clean and she’ll never stop. Grip angle approximately closer to a 1911. Newest version has the ability to adjust the weight for better balance also. ( you can add weight to the damper ) Still in production and parts are available. 
Regularly clean targets even at 50 yards. 
You’d have to pry mine from my cold dead hands! 
 YMMV

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Post by Jon Eulette Sat Mar 19, 2022 12:23 am

I look at my pistols as tools. They wear and need parts replaced on occasion. Think of a race car. Tires wear out, oil and plugs are changed, engines are rebuilt. Speed cost money, how fast you want to go? I know that I'm hard on my Marvels and know that I'm going to break firing pins because I do not use anything in the chamber to damper the firing pin. It's my tire so to speak Smile
I wouldn't purchase a pistol based on potential dry fire wear. Get the pistol that is going to help you shoot your best. 
Jon
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Post by SW-52 Sat Mar 19, 2022 9:25 am

Jon Eulette wrote:Any euro gun pistol must absolutely have a grip that fits perfectly to shoot great SF scores. Grips that do not fit correctly require super human consistent gripping. Having said that I use CMM 1911 adapter on my 208 pistols. Helps me be more consistent and I don’t get the horizontal dot movement at 50 yds like I would with factory grips. 208/s gets my vote for best 22 pistol that’s user friendly. Has great trigger potential if you know how to adjust a trigger. Most 208 pistols I work on are not setup very well, so many shooters are losing out to actually having a great trigger. My MG2 has a custom grip made for my hand and I love it. Spot on at 50 and no fooling around. MG pistols require lots of experience using them. Clearing loaded cartridge from chamber is a pain until you learn how to do it. My X count is regularly higher with the MG2 vs 208s. Advantage of 208 is grip angle is easy transition to 1911 with the CMM grips. Switching from euro grip to 1911 requires lots of dry fire between 22 aggregate and CF aggregate. Which for some is a problem. 
22 conversions are great. I will not shoot one without using a steel Colt Ace magazine. I tune for the pistol and they never let me down. They control feed better than any other magazine. I also use higher mag catch to help reliable feeding.
I like you, shoot the same scores with all my different 22’s, but some are more friendly to shoot. Balance is important with the 22. Getting weight just right so that the pistol recovers right back into the X is important. Yeah I know 22’s don’t recoil….but recovery right back into the X sure helps the X count stay high.
I put trigger pull at the top of the list. I sold my Pardini because I could never make friends with the trigger. Never tried harder!
Longevity is important. My many 22’s have only had one issue over the years; broken firing pins. Broke in my 208 at around 120k rds. Marvels every couple of years from dry firing without snap cap. Hammerli firing pins are still available.
So I recommend the Hammerli because they are that great! Then the MG2 is you have the patience to learn a new operating system lol. I love my MG2’s. And the conversions are nice if you get them running reliably. Nelson’s normally need the barrel crowned to improve the 50 yd groups.
All the others are for fun lol.
Jon
+1 for Hämmerli 208s, super nice gun and the CMM 1911 adapters, sadly dont available for sale.
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Post by Froneck Sat Mar 19, 2022 1:25 pm

Finding a gun that fits perfectly is not going to be easy. Like trying to buy a rack suit or one fitted by a Tailor. We are all different so one gun can't fit all! Plus the need for the gun to fit the shooter is required in competition! First of all function, the gun must function so look for that feature. Guns that have problems can be fixed by a smith but usually it's still lurking ready to fail when you need it most. Balance and grip can be altered. Body putty, plastic wood and epoxy can get a grip to fit perfect. When I made the copy of the Russian Adam used I also made the grips. I'm not a grip maker so Adam with the help of the products previously mention made the grips fit his hand perfect!. 1911 trigger pull length is adjustable, get solid trigger and half round file! If longer than longest trigger available put on a shoe!
 Function and Accuracy is the requirement you should have then fine tune it to fit you! Do not adapt to the gun! Adapt the gun to fit you!

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Post by mhayford45 Sat Mar 19, 2022 4:24 pm

I agree with Jon on the Pardini. I had a early Nygard;sold it to upgrade to the latest Pardini. I could never get the grip to feel correct;even after going through 5 grips, sanding, putty, more sanding etc. and the trigger never felt "right" even when the Pardini guy "fixed" it. Sold it also. 

I also find that consistent grip pressure and hold is very challenging with Euro pistols. They are not very forgiving.

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Post by 285wannab Sat Mar 19, 2022 4:40 pm

I have had a few and seem to end up back with my Ruger Mk II 22/45 with a cut 4 1/2 barrel.

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Post by Froneck Sat Mar 19, 2022 6:40 pm

The International grip angle might be good for some but most shooters in the USA shoot different guns and different styles of matches. Most European shooters have 1 gun, more than one for back-up but the same type. Bullseye requires at least 2 guns, some use 3 and back when service pistol rules limited the gun to the 1911 using 230gr ball ammo added another gun not to mention Revolver matches. When I was shooting quite a bit of Police L revolver matches I altered the grips to feel more like the Bullseye guns I was using. International style  grips were changed to a straighter angle similar to those made in the USA. I did order grips for my MatchGun to be printed with less angle though MachGun grips are angle adjustable. I would think trying to go back and forth between grip styles is not a good idea! I made adapter to put 1911 grips on my AW93.

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Post by Jack H Sat Mar 19, 2022 9:37 pm

If I could make one grip for all guns, it would probably be a combination size, shape, LOP, and texture between the grips on my 226 Sig and M9 Beretta.  The Sig has their G2 grip.  Beretta has aftermarket thin G10 panels from Coolhand.
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Post by zanemoseley Sat Mar 19, 2022 10:11 pm

See that's a great example, Jack thinks the M9 grip is amazing and fit my hand like a 2x4 even with upgraded Wilson Combat grips, for double stack I love the CZ 75 Shadow and hard to beat a 1911 for single stack. If you're luck make buddies with a local bullseye guy and handle their guns to see what you like, most guys will be glad to give you some ammo. The variety of target 22's can be intimidating and you can run through some cash buying and selling to figure out what you like.

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Post by Froneck Sun Mar 20, 2022 5:46 pm

As I mentioned a lot can be altered with little modification. Scope mounts and scopes can add weight and balance when moved to different locations. Printed grips can change the grip as well as the filler material available. After a while printed grips can be ordered to make better looking grips. I've done quite a bit of easy modifications to pistols for Adam as he grew as well as my other kids that did shoot. Some changes can be made by local gun smiths that know little about target pistols. Yes there are only a few smiths that can accurize a 1911 for bullseye use but can do other work well especially on fixed barrel guns like the .22. My MatchGun2 was light so I put on an Aimpoint 9000SC. Quite a bit can be done at home without the need of machinery.

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Post by Wobbley Mon Mar 21, 2022 12:38 am

EVERY gun out there in 22 is a compromise.  HS guns are very accurate, have good triggers.  But they’re fussier than some.  S&Ws are decent, but they aren’t the most accurate.  The Conversions are about the same as the 41.  The Euro guns are wonderfully accurate, but they’re built for the ISSF game.  

Buying an expensive Euro gun is nice but it won’t make you a better shooter than just buying a decent 41 and several cases of ammo.
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