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Affordable, Reliable DA Revolvers in .22 LR?

This is a discussion on Affordable, Reliable DA Revolvers in .22 LR? within the Pistols & Revolvers forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Hey, everyone! I'm thinking about looking around for an affordable, sturdy double action revolver in .22 LR sometime this year---after I build up some more ...


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Old January 21st, 2009, 02:55 PM   #1
 
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Affordable, Reliable DA Revolvers in .22 LR?

Hey, everyone! I'm thinking about looking around for an affordable, sturdy double action revolver in .22 LR sometime this year---after I build up some more funds and recover from my upcoming SP101 purchase. I'm looking for something around $300 or under (under would be very nice!) that's also reasonably accurate and which will stand up to regular shooting. Essentially, I'm looking for an affordable way to improve my (middling to sorry ) DA wheelgunning skills. (I've got a Smith & Wesson Model 48 in .22 WMR which I like very much---but cheap to shoot it ain't).

Naturally, the .22 SP101 (why oh why is it out of production?) crossed my mind---but these are apparently getting scarce and a bit pricey. The Model 17 route is not unattractive, but these seem to be getting gone and going up up up, too. I've also thought about the old top-break H&R Sportsman 999, but don't know what these are going for now, as I haven't had much time to hit the gun- and pawnshops lately. I know mechanically sound examples were going for relative peanuts a few years back---but I also know a few years make a big difference in this uncertain, inflationary climate. Plus, folks may have started collecting them for all I know (which they weren't a few years back); that'll certainly drive prices up. Taurus apparently makes some new ones at a decent price---but I hear a lot of mixed opinions about Taurus and have no experience with them myself.

Any suggestions as to what I ought to be keeping my greasy little peepers peeled for? I'd sure appreciate it! And heck, maybe some other folks out there are looking for the same thing . . .

Yr. little-to-no-dough pal,

Kirth



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Old January 21st, 2009, 04:15 PM   #2
 
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I have a Taurus model 94 that is accurate, reliable, and was reasonably priced. Overall it is a fairly boring and unexceptional gun, which was pretty much exactly what I wanted.
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Old January 21st, 2009, 04:39 PM   #3
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Kirth Gersen, You are facing the same delima as many other shooters. Ruger doesn't currently make an SP-101 in 22 LR and besides, they left a lot to be desired. SP-101 22s were only available in 2.5" and 4" barrels plus the rear sight was only adjustable for windage. A nice durable little revolver but not so great for accuracy and size.

If you are like most shooters, you will probably run a lot of ammo through a 22 revolver. To me, that means it should be a decent gun not only for accuracy but for durability as well. That pretty much rules out a Taurus. I know this is a Ruger Forum but my choice would be an older S&W Mod 17 6" or a Mod 18 4" in good shape or a new S&W Mod 617. These are very fine revolvers with excellent function, durability, and accuracy. The S&W K-frame is a great size with grips available to fit most anyone and excellent adjustable sights. Unless you get very lucky, you may have to fatten up the piggy bank because they aren't cheap.

Here's my old Mod 17-2. It's still a tack driver and tight as a mouse's ear despite being 42 years old with 10's of thousands of rounds run through it.

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Old January 21st, 2009, 05:49 PM   #4
 
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+1.............a smith model 17 or model 34 are top notch.....

the biggest problem is this
Quote:
looking for something around $300 or under (under would be very nice!)
The smiths will be "lifetime" guns. the best advice i can give would be to save up and just get what you want. They sure ain't gonna go down in price. And they in all likelyhood will continue to climb in price.

you might get lucky hitting as many pawn shops and gun shops as you can..........but by the time you find an affordable "beater" in a smith, you will probably had been able to save up some more.

the taurus 94's that i have tried had a terrible, terrible da trigger----but that was some years back.

charter arms has a .22 revolver( 2" and 4") on the market now that is close to your price range. I know nothing of current charter arms quality. Their past history with me was hit or miss as far as quality.

here is a write up about them....... http://www.gunblast.com/Charter-Pathfinder.htm

i'd still have more faith in the smith...............

Last edited by deputy125; January 21st, 2009 at 05:58 PM.
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Old January 21st, 2009, 07:32 PM   #5
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deputy125, The Mod 34s are J-frames and have a very harsh DA trigger because of the coil type mainspring and the short hammer throw. I've owned several of them and repaired quite a few. The were designed as a "kit gun"... small, handy, but not very durable ..... a poor range gun in my opinion.
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Old January 21st, 2009, 09:17 PM   #6
 
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yes sir, i agree the 34's are not near the gun as the 17's..........

but since a sp101 was mentioned, i was thinking of a snub .22 alternative.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 05:50 AM   #7
 
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I found a very nice Model 17 about 15 mo. ago. It wasn't cheap, but the price has now gone up another $50 on a very similar one.

I also have a 4" and a custom 5" 617. They make great range guns. I love the stainless finish and the ease with which I can repair small dings.

I also have a 63-4. It weighs a pound less than the 617s and is nearly as accurate, but a better woods carry gun.

I personally wouldn't get a Taurus. I hear too many stories of inconsistent quality control.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 09:40 AM   #8
 
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Thanks, everybody, for the responses thus far! I'm leaning toward the Smith---so I reckon it's going to have to be a case of delayed gratification.

That is one handsome 17-2, Iowegan! I like those stocks; they look very comfortable.

The .22 Sp101 sounds like an odd bird. I wonder why Ruger won't make a full-sized, .22 DA with fully adjustable sights? One would think there'd be a huge demand for something like this. Hmmmm . . . Maybe we ought to do a poll someday.

I probably won't go out of my way to look for one, but, out of curiosity, what do you guys think about the old Harrington and Richardson top-break .22 revolvers as plinkers? Ed McGivern recommended them as practice guns---but, then again, he was writing in back in the 1930s and these H&R wheelies probably saw significant fluctuations in quality over the long decades they were produced.

Best regards,

Kirth
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 10:36 AM   #9
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Kirth Gersen, The H&R top breaks have a garbonzo DA trigger pull and the overall quality is not very good. These made great guns for trappers shooting a coon or skunk in a trap when accuracy and trigger pull really doesn't matter. As a range gun, they do not hold up very well.

I've been wanting Ruger to make a 22 LR on the GP-100 frame. I think it would be a good seller plus with the cylinder diameter, it could hold 9 or 10 rounds. This would give the S&W Mod 617 a run for the money. Unfortunately, revolvers have died out in favor of semi-autos. Seems like every gun manufacturer has a 22 auto but only S&W offers a decent 22 revolver.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 11:45 AM   #10
 
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If Ruger would do the GP100 in 22lr, We would be in the front of the line for 2.

Sam
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 01:23 PM   #11
 
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It might be the era of the automatic, but I bet a lot of folks would still buy a .22 GP100. I certainly would. So there are three in line now!

I think I'll start another thread over in the "Ruger DA Revolver" section asking for a show of hands---and encouraging fans of this non-existent gun to write Ruger (as I just did a moment ago). I don't suppose the wheels of corporate America are turned all that easily . . . but if Ruger gets enough people clamoring for a new DA .22, it might just start a few cognitive wheels turning in Ruger's development dep't. Couldn't hurt, anyhow!

Didn't Colt once make nice .22 LR "training/practice" versions of their service/target revolvers? I know they made a Diamondback .22 (I'd bet those babies are pricey!)---and I think I've seen a .22 Trooper, too. Anyway, one would think that'd be a big selling point with the GP 22. Everybody with a .38/.357 GP needs one of these! Beginning double action revolver shooters (like me!) would especially benefit from such a gun.

Best regards,

Kirth
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 01:41 PM   #12
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Kirth Gersen, Timing may be better now than before for a good DA 22. Centerfire ammo has skyrocketed in price so many shooters are now practicing more with 22s. I really do think there would be a good market for a GP-22.

Colt Diamondbacks 22s are now going for $700 to $1000 in my area. Here's a 6" 22 DB I picked up last year. Nice revolver but my S&W Mod 17 is more accurate.

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Old January 22nd, 2009, 04:25 PM   #13
 
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I, too, was looking for a good 22, and got a Smith 63 and a Taurus 94.
Both had extremely heavy trigger-pulls. I was going to sell them, until my
favorite gunsmith did action jobs on them. They also had a tendency to
chew up my thumb from just cocking them for SA shooting.
The gunsmith did an action job on both, and I stoned off the peaks on the checkered hammers.
The Taurus 94 came out the best; very reasonable trigger, too.
The S&W is also a great shooter now. Both are fun and accurate.
Action jobs were less than $75 each.
94= 5-1/2" barrel 63=4" barrel
I prefer a 4" for shooting and carry, but that's just me. TACC1
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Old March 21st, 2009, 02:41 PM   #14
 
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I think saving up a few hundred more to get an SP101 in .22lr would be worth it. I've got a 4" version and love it. I'm currently waiting to pick up a .357 version with the 3" barrel.
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Old March 21st, 2009, 08:34 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirth Gersen View Post
Hey, everyone! I'm thinking about looking around for an affordable, sturdy double action revolver in .22 LR ....
I gave up on the search for same and settled for a nice stainless Ruger Single-Six.




I have had no reason to regret the purchase in the twenty some years that I've owned it.
With lots of practice, I can load and fire it as fast as need be, and faster and more accurately than many guys with DA revolvers.

Oh, I'm still looking for a deal on a M17 or M17 but I am not in a great rush.

Jack
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