Best 22 Pistols: Top 5 Handguns For The Range

Looking for the best 22 pistol out there? You're in luck, because there are some great options to choose from.

Despite its age, .22LR remains an extremely popular rimfire cartridge for many reasons.

For starters, .22LR is cheap and easy to find.

This makes it a very cost-effective way to get to the range for some casual shooting.

The round is also quiet and does not produce much recoil. For this reason, it is popular for teaching fundaments to new shooters.

However, the round gets some use for its ballistic abilities as well. Let's take a quick look at the round before we get to our list of pistols.

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Why .22LR?

Rifles and weapons that shoot .22LR are commonly used for varmint rifles and for concealed carry weapons.

Everyone has heard the old mantra, “a small caliber pistol in your pocket is better than a large caliber pistol in your nightstand.”

That saying applies to .22LR as a concealed carry round. There are better choices out there, but if .22LR is all you are comfortable with, carry it.

Probably more pistols shoot .22LR than you realize. There are a few revolvers available as well. There are also some great 22 rifles out there as well. The round is a favorite for those that love going to the range often.

The point of this article is to identify our 5 favorite pistols and to review them in depth. This list will point you in the right direction if you are in the market for the best 22LR pistol.

Top 5 Best .22 Pistols

1. Walther P22

The Walther P22 is an excellent .22LR pistol. It has all the features of larger Walther firearms shrunken down into a smaller frame, making it the best 22 handgun.

The weapon is 6.3 inches long and 4.5 inches tall. It has a 3.4-inch barrel and has a 10-round magazine capacity. This weapon’s small size makes it excellent for concealed carry.

The pros of this weapon are the trigger, ergonomic grip, added safety features, and the slide/action combination. The trigger pull of this weapon is extremely smooth. This smoothness is common in all Walther firearms.

This weapon’s outstanding grip is another common trend with Walther firearms. The shape of the grip fits your hand very well. The trigger guard is cut in a specific way to give your hand plenty of room. Your hand fits on the grip naturally.

The added bonus of interchangeable backstraps helps the ergonomics. As far as added safety features, the weapon has a thumb safety and a loaded chamber viewport. These are great features for the new shooter.

As far as cons, there really are not many with this weapon. It is available at an excellent price and has numerous features. It is the best 22 pistol for self defense.

2. Ruger SR22

The SR22 from Ruger is another excellent .22LR pistol. It measures 4.9 inches tall and less than an inch wide. This pistol features a 10-round capacity. While this is slightly larger than the P22, this is still a friendly size for concealed carry.

The pros of this weapon are the hammer, grip, and trigger. This weapon has an external hammer, which many people prefer over newer striker-fired weapons.

The external hammer is also a good feature for teaching new shooters. They are able to see easily the status of their weapon.

Similar to the P22, this weapon’s grip is interchangeable and ergonomic, albeit slightly less natural than the grip of the P22. Also similar to the P22, the trigger of the SR22 is very smooth.

The cons of this weapon are limited mostly to the price. This is a similar weapon to the P22. We thought the P22 has better features and is available at a more affordable price than the SR22. However, rest assured that they are both high quality .22LR pistols.

3. Browning 1911-22

If you are not looking to carry a concealed weapon, we recommend the 1911-22 from Browning. While both of the aforementioned pistols work for general shooting, this full-sized 1911 is great for casual shooting.

This pistol is built to 85% scale of the original 1911. It measures 7 3/8 inches long, has a 4 ¼ inch barrel, and has a 10-round capacity. As you can see, this weapon is larger than the two previous pistols.

The pros of this weapon are the external hammer, thumb safety, and classic 1911 styling. For reasons already mentioned, the external hammer and thumb safety are excellent features for teaching new shooters.

However, these are also popular features for people who have been shooting for years. Some people value these features heavily. As far as the looks, you cannot beat the classic 1911.

The cons of this weapon are the price. For a .22LR pistol, it is quite expensive. You cannot help but feel like at least some of that is paying for the Browning name, although this is an excellent pistol.

4. Smith & Wesson M&P 22

This weapon is a scaled down version of Smith & Wesson’s popular full-size M&P pistols. The M&P 22 measures 6.7 inches long with a 3.5-inch barrel and has a 10-round capacity. This is a similar size to the first two weapons.

This weapon is the best .22 pistol for concealed carry or for general shooting.

The pros of this weapon are the safety features, picatinny rail, and how easily it breaks down. The weapon has an ambidextrous thumb safety as well as a magazine safety. Both features are excellent for the new shooter.

The picatinny rail makes it easy to mount accessories if you desire. It also is available at a good price and has a threaded barrel.  It is the best 22 pistol for the money.

The cons of this weapon are the grip and the trigger. Compared to some of the other triggers, we thought this one was a little gritty. As far as the grip, the fixed backstraps cannot be changed. The grip does not fit your hand as naturally as some other weapons.

5. Sig Sauer P250-22

The P250-22 from Sig Sauer is another weapon built on the same platform as some larger caliber weapons.

It measures 7.2 inches long with a 3.9-inch barrel and has a 10-round capacity. This is closer in size to the 1911-22. It would be best suited for training and general shooting.

The pros of this weapon are the interchangeable grips and the overall quality. While the grip is not as ergonomic as others, the fact that it is interchangeable is a nice feature.

Overall, this high-quality weapon fires smoothly and consistently.

The cons of this weapon are the size and lack of safety features. While we are not opposed to full-sized weapons, this one felt bulky. It is the heaviest on our list.

The weapon does not have a thumb safety. The trigger is double action only to prevent any accidental discharges. There are better, safer options available, especially for newer shooters.

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