Did you know that the 22-caliber is going on 200 years old? For ammunition that old still being used today, it speaks to the reliability of the 22-caliber. If you're considering purchasing a new pistol, you would do well to look into the 22-caliber.
I know you're a busy person and don't have time to sift through countless articles about 22 caliber pistols. That's why I took care of it for you. No sweat. Here, you'll find the very best 22 caliber pistols for a wide range of needs and uses, from casual plinking to home defense and much more.
1. [Best 22 Pistol Overall]
Walther P22 Q
2. [Best for the Money]
Ruger Wrangler 22LR
3. [Best for Single/Double-action]
Sig Sauer Mosquito MOS-22
Are 22 Pistols Good for Self-Defense?
The 22-caliber is widely preferred as a self-defense pistol. In most situations, you aren't going to kill your attacker or intruder with a 22 caliber handgun. It will, however, put a serious hurting on them that's enough to stop them from advancing any further. In addition, click here to find out whether it is a gun you would recommend to a woman.
There is a wide range of 22 pistol options for your consideration. Of course, weeding through the bad to find the good can take a considerable amount of time - time that you don't have while trying to work and take care of your family.
And that's likely why you are here. You want to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of your loved ones. It's no secret that it's getting crazy out there in the world today. It seems like every time you turn on the news, there is a horror story about someone getting mugged, their house was broken into, or worse.
What are the Best 22 Pistols?
There is admittedly a lot of 22 pistols to choose from. Fortunately, the best 22 pistols are all right here for you to research. Let's begin by looking at one of the very best 22 pistol options for self-defense. It's the reason that most people are going to invest in a 22 pistol, so I figured it would be a great place to start.
Best 22 Pistol Reviews
[Overall Best 22 Pistol]
1. Walther P22 Q
Shooting and Handling
Wow. Now here's a versatile little 22 pistol that will assuredly impress even the most seasoned gun enthusiast.
What I like about the Walther P22 is that it handles like a dream. Its compact size and lightweight body make it a force to be reckoned with.
I'm personally a big fan of pistols that sport this design, and the P22 wears it really well. It has a tight, sturdy construction and impressive accuracy. The grip feels absolutely wonderful, too, making this an excellent addition to anyone's arsenal.
I also really appreciate the magazine on the P22, as it feels most excellent and is a breeze to swap out for fast firing and follow-up shots. Is this the best 22 pistol of all time? It depends on what you're looking for. If you don't mind the smaller size and are more interested in versatility and handling, I believe you will be blown away by what the P22 brings to the table.
Walther P22 Q Technical Specifications:
What's more, the action is smooth as silk, making this 22 pistol really easy to use. As the P 22 compact is on its own, it's quite small for a pistol. And as such, both veteran and new shooters have a choice to make to ensure their comfort. You see, the grip is pretty short, so those with large hands will swallow a lot of the handle, while those with small hands will feel right at home.
I'm in the former camp, as the bottom of my hand sticks out below the grip. Fortunately, this is easily remedied by using an extended mag. Once I socked one in, the Walther P22 become one of the better pistols I've used.
I find the P22 to be incredibly well-balanced and a lot of fun to shoot. Depending on your shooting preferences, you can fire in either single-action or double-action mode.
The compact construction of the P22 makes it a perfect choice for concealed carry. You're getting the same high standard found in other Walther firearms, but in a portable yet powerful body. If you're looking for a reliable self-defense option, the P22 is definitely worth considering.
However, personally, I prefer a larger caliber for self-defense. It's worth noting that some users have reported positive experiences with the P22, mentioning its reliability after a break-in period and its compatibility with cheap ammunition.
Overall, it seems that the changes in the P22q model have addressed previous issues, making it a great pistol that fires flawlessly.
[Best for the Money]
2. Ruger Wrangler 22LR
An Unlikely Underdog
Yep, there's a revolver. True, revolvers aren't often typically what you'd find in a best-of-list that features self-defense handguns.
However, the Ruger Wrangler gets the nod from me as the best 22 pistol for reliability.
There's something special about revolvers, namely, that you can count on them to outlast most other types of weaponry. Why?
Simply due to their limited construction. Unlike the many parts that make up semi-auto pistols, revolvers have very few components. Thus, there is less likely to break or malfunction.
As such, I figured at least one revolver deserved to be featured. I was torn between this and the famous Smith & Wesson Model 17. As a 22LR pistol, the S&W Model 17 is undeniably one of the highest-rated revolvers of our time.
Ruger Wrangler 22LR Technical Specifications:
However, Smith & Wesson is featured prominently elsewhere. Not just that, but it's also ridiculously expensive for a revolver. An excellent revolver, mind you, but an expensive one nonetheless. As such, I wanted to bring you an affordable option that holds its own among the heavyweights of Smith & Wesson and other notables.
And by my estimation and experience, Ruger's Wrangler deserves top praise. It's an easy-to-use revolver (like most others) and it won't break your bank account to own it. Costing a fraction of what you'd pay for the Smith & Wesson Model 17, the Ruger Wrangler is a budget-friendly 22 LR pistol that shoots well and has an easy trigger pull.
As 22 LR pistols go, the Wrangler doesn't pull any punches. It boasts a powerful kick when you shoot it, yet hits its targets with precision. Ruger deserves plenty of accolades for manufacturing such a commendable handgun for such an affordable price.
The Best 22LR Revolver?
The Ruger Wrangler may not be the optimal choice for concealed carry or self-defense, but it's a dream come true for plinking enthusiasts. I've always been impressed by its remarkable accuracy, and the fact that it's chambered in .22 LR adds to its appeal.
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced shooter, this pistol is an excellent choice. It offers easy handling and impressive durability, making it a reliable and steadfast companion.
And unlike the Smith & Wesson Model 17's 6-inch barrel, the Wrangler sports a 4.62-inch barrel. As such, it's much more compact and versatile. Not only that, but it's exponentially lighter in weight, thanks to an aluminum frame.
Moreover, its affordability makes it accessible to a wider range of people, ensuring that the .22 caliber remains a cost-effective option for shooting enthusiasts.
It's worth noting that users have reported positive experiences, praising its accuracy, reliability, and overall performance. The Ruger Wrangler is undoubtedly a great addition to any collection of firearms, especially for those who appreciate single-action revolvers and the exceptional value it offers.
[Best for the Single/Double-Action]
3. Sig Sauer Mosquito MOS-22
A 22 Pistol With Bite
If you're on a tight budget and looking for excellent value, Sig Sauer's Mosquito is right up your alley.
It's a compact 22 pistol that delivers across the board to provide you with an enjoyable shooting experience.
What impressed me the most about this handgun is its incredible accuracy. You can trust that you are spending your money on a budget-friendly firearm that delivers focused precision every time you let off a round from its chamber.
And that, my friends, isn't something you always get from pistols that are on the lower end of the price spectrum. But Sig Sauer delivers the goods with a handgun that is worth the price of admission, no matter how affordable it is.
During my time with the Mosquito, I found it to offer some of the best target shooting I've done in a long time. New shooters will definitely be interested in this 22 caliber pistol. It's incredibly easy to shoot and it looks like a champion through and through.
With its magazine loaded, the total weight of the Mosquito is just under 25 ounces. It has really nice balance to it, which I find helps improve accuracy and versatility.
Sig Sauer Mosquito MOS-22 Technical Specifications:
24.6 ounces (with mag)
Take Your Pick
There are several different options available for you to choose from in terms of finish. For certain ladies (and some men - not knocking), there's a two-tone pink and black option. Or, if you're the type of gal or fellow who is in the military or appreciates its colors, there are Olive Drab greens and Flat Dark Earth options, among many others.
With such a wide variety of options available, you should have no trouble getting a semi-auto 22 pistol that fits your style. Heck, there's even a threaded barrel version of the Mosquito available if you wish to add a suppressor later.
I will say that the compact size of the Mosquito might be a turn-off for some individuals, particularly those with larger hands who may struggle to find a comfortable grip.
However, one aspect I appreciate is its ability to shoot in either double or single action modes, a feature not commonly found in semi-auto pistols. Despite its smaller size, the value offered by the Mosquito is hard to beat.
Once I developed a good grip, however, I found it to be fun to shoot. That said, it wasn't quite the enjoyable experience I had with Sig Sauer's 1911 model mentioned above. Still, considering the affordable price point and deadly accuracy, the Mosquito is definitely worth a look.
It performs admirably, delivering precise shots without breaking the bank. Personally, I have experienced flawless performance with mine, particularly when using CCI mini mags. In fact, I love this little gun so much that I gave one to a friend who was concerned about personal safety.
The Mosquito feels solid and well-built, although I learned the hard way not to dry-fire it repeatedly.
Overall, I am extremely satisfied with my M&P .22, especially since the trigger reset mimics the apex trigger kit found in my other pistols. It truly is a great firearm, and after some minor adjustments such as sanding the feeding ramp with a Demerol bit, it now fires all types of ammunition flawlessly.
What's Old Is New Again
As its name suggests, the Sig Sauer 1911-22 is a .22 pistol that is based on the historic 1911 design.
Why did I include a pistol that is based on such an old, although beloved, handgun design?
This baby is accurate.
If you're in a situation where you need to fire off a quick shot, whether it's at a home intruder or an attacker on the street, there's a good chance that you're going to hit the target you're aiming at. When it comes to defending yourself, that's a very important factor to consider.
Now, if you just wanted a handgun to do some leisurely afternoon plinking in your backyard, that's another story entirely. You wouldn't necessarily need a razor-sharp 22 pistol to have a good time.
But that's not the case on the street or in your residence. You need to know that your 22 pistol is primed and ready to make a connection with any potential assailants who might be dumb enough to test your mettle.
Sig Sauer 1911-22 Technical Specifications:
34 ounces (with mag)
Armed and Appealing
But there's more to this firearm than just accuracy. The Sig Sauer 1911-22 is not only a precise weapon, but it also boasts an intimidating appearance that can make others think twice. Its menacing look is a significant aspect of guns in general, and the Sig Sauer 1911-22 embraces this concept wholeheartedly.
Moreover, if you find yourself facing an intruder who is either too stubborn or incapable of retreat, this reliable companion will make the decision for them.
In addition to its functionality, the 1911-22 exudes a remarkable sense of class. With its stunning woodgrain grips and attractive construction, it pays homage to the original 1911. Personally, I have always admired the rustic aesthetics in firearms, and Sig Sauer has truly captured that essence with the 1911-22.
These pistols are not only enjoyable to shoot but can also achieve remarkable accuracy with the right parts from cw accessories. Several users have praised its performance, with one owner proudly stating that they put approximately 1,300 rounds through it in just eight months. Its compatibility with existing 1911 holsters is also a convenient feature mentioned by a satisfied user.
Many individuals have found the Sig Sauer 1911-22 to be a reliable and versatile firearm. One owner even expressed amazement at the exceptional accuracy of their particular pistol, which has never failed to function flawlessly. While experiences may vary, the overall feedback on this gun has been highly positive.
If you're seeking an impressive and reliable firearm, the Sig Sauer 1911-22 is definitely worth considering. Its blend of accuracy, intimidation, and classic aesthetics make it a standout choice for enthusiasts and self-defense alike.
There's something appealing about the contrast between the wood and metal, making it one of the best-looking 22 LR pistols on the market today. Any gun enthusiast who respects the firearms of yesteryear will appreciate what Sig Sauer has done with this modern upgrade.
Ideal to Conceal
Another great thing about the Sig Sauer 1911-22 is that although it looks like a full-sized handgun, in all actuality, it isn't. As such, it looks more powerful than it actually is. It's an ideal gun to carry on your person during the day and keep by your bed at night.
That's 24-hour protection around the clock. If you're new to handling guns, the Sig Sauer 1911-22 makes an excellent investment for first-time gun owners. Whether you have ample experience with firearms or it's your first time, you're going to get used to the Sig Sauer 1911-22 really quickly.
It's that good of a gun. I found myself acclimated to it in a matter of minutes. And once I felt comfortable with it, I had an absolute blast letting it rip. I put several rounds through it without breaking a sweat and enjoyed every minute of it.
It's a 22 pistol that just works from the get-go. You don't need a lot of time to learn the ropes because it's so well made and put together. The construction is most excellent, as well, ensuring that you're investing in a 22 pistol that's built to last.
And that is perhaps one of the best aspects of this gun going into the hands of a beginner. Because it is virtually identical to a full-sized pistol, newcomers will be able to get comfortable with how to operate a handgun the right way from the start.
That in itself makes the Sig Sauer 1911-22 reason to invest in it. Why not start with a high standard for gun handling instead of working your way up? Granted, this is ideal for some people. But if you can get used to handling a full-sized model from the start, you will likely have an easier time getting acclimated to everything else.
Machining tolerances only go so far in determining the accuracy of a gun. If you want to hit a target reliably, you're going to have to be comfortable with your firearm. And you have a much better chance of being comfortable if your gun has an ergonomic design.
I've held guns that by all rights should have been a marksman's dream come true. Guns with stellar balance, excellent build quality, and so on. But I just couldn't find myself comfortable with some of them, so matter how long I stuck with it.
I like to give myself plenty of time with any gun so I can get acclimated to it. Unfortunately, there are just some guns out there that I don't feel comfortable shooting for whatever reason. Thankfully, I can always turn to pistols like the Browning BuckMark. This beauty is solid throughout, delivering an amazingly accurate shooting experience with every trigger pull.
Browning Buck Mark Medallion 22 Technical Specifications:
If you're in the market for a 22 pistol that you can trust to hit the target with incredible precision, the Buck Mark is your gun. There's a reason competitive shooters trust this weapon, and you should, too. It comes equipped with a TruGlo fiber optic front sight, while the rear sight is a Pro-Target.
The two work to bring you one of the best 22 pistols I've used for connecting with targets. The single-action design might be a bummer to some people, but you have to understand what this gun is designed for.
If you have to have a double-action 22 LR pistol, you're looking in the wrong place. The Buck Mark is all about accuracy at long distances. Therefore, it's single-action all day, baby. What's more, this pistol is fantastic at nailing small games, such as squirrels.
You get 10 rounds of 22 LR to help you hunt that small game. Given the Buck Mark's legendary accuracy, it's unlikely you'll need more than one for each target. Seriously, this pistol is a lot of fun to shoot, thanks to its precision.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the beautiful construction and expert craftsmanship that went into building this gun. After all, they are what help make the Buck Mark such a beloved competition pistol. As I mentioned, a great gun is going to have more than just one aspect that makes it the best.
And the Buck Mark is packed with a wide variety of winning components. For starters, the grip is wonderful. It's full-sized, giving you plenty of room to feel comfortable and secure. Not only that, but it's just a pleasure to look at.
Browning successfully married modern and antique aesthetics to deliver a timeless masterpiece. The frame is made of aluminum alloy, while the barrel is stainless steel. The grips are made of classy Rosewood and textured with a checkered pattern.
It's stellar from top to bottom, and I absolutely love it. This is the type of handgun that you want to place in a glass box on your mantle for your friends to admire. And yet, it's ready to provide you with a reliable shooting experience the moment you need it. If looks could kill, the Buck Mark would be even deadlier than it already is.
Other notable features of this great gun include a 5.5-inch barrel, which is perfect for precise aiming and firing. The trigger pull is incredibly light, making it a welcome addition. However, new shooters should take it easy initially, as the blowback action can startle those unfamiliar with this kind of accessible power.
While it may not be the ideal choice for concealed carry, there are plenty of other options available that offer better personal protection. Nevertheless, the Buck Mark can still effectively deter intruders from breaking into your home.
For accuracy, the Buck Mark stands out as one of the best .22 pistols. Its reliability is evident through the testimonials of satisfied owners who have enjoyed shooting this pistol for years. From its balanced feel to its comfortable grip, the Buck Mark has consistently delivered accuracy and a pleasurable shooting experience.
Personal experiences with the Buck Mark have been overwhelmingly positive. Some have owned this pistol for over two decades, praising its accuracy and how enjoyable it is to shoot. Others have made slight modifications, such as adding a fiber optic front sight for improved visibility. Many hold sentimental value towards the Buck Mark, with stories of it being a cherished gift from a loved one.
Overall, the Buck Mark has proven itself as a reliable, accurate, and enjoyable pistol to own. Its longevity and the satisfaction of its owners speak volumes about its quality and performance.
Is that a good-looking 22 LR pistol or what? Once again, Ruger doesn't disappoint, this time delivering a reliable companion for a wide variety of applications in the Ruger Mark Series IV Target.
Equipped with a three-dot sight system and sturdy construction throughout, the Ruger Mark IV Target is accurate and reliable.
Perhaps most impressive of all is the single-button breakdown feature. Whereas past Ruger Mark Series models proved somewhat challenging to fieldstrip, the Mark IV Target bucks that trend and goes for something much easier.
Whether you are experienced in field stripping or you're a newcomer to the game, you will have a field day with the Mark IV Target. And then there's the handling and actual shooting.
Ruger Mark IV Target Technical Specifications:
Thanks to its stainless steel construction, the Mark Series pistol offers incredible weight and balance, making it a pleasure to hold and providing a secure grip. The added weight also helps reduce recoil, and the three-dot sights ensure precise targeting with every shot.
While this Ruger may not be the ideal choice for concealed carry due to its size and weight, it excels in home defense, offering reliable protection for your loved ones.
If you want a concealed carry 22 LR pistol, there are some excellent choices listed above. But if you want a 22 LR handgun that you can count on to help you hit your targets, the aptly-named Mark IV Target is just what you need.
Additionally, the Mark IV Target model proves to be a dependable companion for small game hunting, performing admirably in the woods. This full-size .22 caliber pistol has proven its reliability, having endured countless rounds and serving as a teaching tool for new shooters.
Though disassembling and reassembling it for cleaning can be a bit challenging, overall, it remains one of the author's favorite .22 pistols. Ruger stands out as an exceptional gun company, manufacturing a wide range of firearms, and the author highly recommends the Ruger Mark IV Standard model, which they personally own and love. It's a go-to option for plinking, fitting the hand perfectly and functioning flawlessly without any issues, reliably firing any ammunition fed into it.
As such, gun and ammunition sales are at an all-time high. But you don't want to spend your hard-earned money on just any 22 pistols. It's important that you know what you're buying and what it's capable of.
Perhaps even more importantly, you need to invest in a pistol that you know you can trust to perform if the situation calls for it. A reliable 22 pistol can make the difference between you or your loved ones getting hurt, or you successfully defending them.
Together, that's what we're going to look at today. I've narrowed down and rounded up the very best of the best among 22 pistol options. Below are the highest-rated, best performing, and most reliable 22 pistols that money can buy.
Be sure to explore each entry in its entirety to ensure that you end up with the best 22 pistols to protect what's yours.
Which Is Right for You?
As you can see, you have a lot of "best 22 pistols" to choose from. It all depends on what you're planning to do with your investment. You have plenty of semi-auto 22 LR handgun models available to you, as well as a surprise revolver.
Do you want a full-size pistol to protect your home with, or would you prefer a compact 22 handgun to arm yourself with on the streets? Or maybe you don't need either and will be happy hunting or plinking.
As with any firearm investment, it's important to consider your needs. If you need a 22 handgun that serves more than one purpose, you'll find some options above that do just that. And if you're more concerned about longevity and reliability than anything else, you might do well to seriously consider investing in a revolver.
Yes, it's true that you lose many of the conveniences offered by semi-automatic pistols. but you can't beat their effective simplicity. Whichever 22 handgun you ultimately decide on, I hope the above reviews help you in making the right choice.