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Practicing With a .22 Target Pistol

A .22 pistol can be a great way to save on ammunition costs, as well as improve accuracy and build confidence as a shooter.

June 08, 2010  |  by Brian Ostro - Also by this author

The above statement rings true for those who are satisfied with mediocrity. For those who want to improve their qualification scores and increase their confidence on the street, an effective next step is a dedicated target pistol designed around the .22 cartridge.

The grip angle is ergonomic and generally mimicks that of the 1911 platform. The barrel is a heavy bull barrel designed to handle rapid, ongoing follow-up shooting that generates a lot of heat. The bull barrel also gives the pistol a stable and well-balanced feel. Most dedicated target pistols also have intergrated or detachable accessory rails to accomodate red dots, optics and scopes, while still retaining their adjustable sights.

Finally, target pistols really outshine conversion kits in the area of the trigger. While the conversion kit doesn't allow adjustments to a duty weapon's existing trigger, dedicated target pistols are specifically built with a light single-action trigger ranging from 2.5 to 5 lbs. Most duty pistols far exceed 5 lbs., and many agencies mandate 6 to 10 lbs. for Glocks.

This makes practice with a Glock .22LR conversion kit far less palatable. With the target pistol's light trigger, employing the shooting fundamentals of good trigger control becomes more reinforced and pleasurable.

Accuracy is improved when the trigger pressure is applied in a smooth rearward motion that a lighter trigger permits. There's also a beneficial psychological effect of improved accuracy. Seeing accuracy improve on paper targets improves confidence and motivation.

Let's not forget about the friendly price tag of these pistols.

Great .22 target pistols can be had for less than $500. The most widely used models by professionals and civilians are the Ruger MKIII, Ruger MKIII 22/45, Browning Buckmark, Beretta Neos, Smith & Wesson models 21 and 40, as well as Walther 22 target pistols.

My favorite model is the Ruger MKIII 22/45 because it sports a heavy flutted bull barrel and is built around a frame that mimicks the ergonomics of a 1911's grip style and angle. I have also found this pistol capable of digesting a steady diet of most .22 ammunition brands. It is capable of great accuracy and can take a lot of punishment.


The Rimfire Alternative

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Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

tpd223 @ 6/8/2010 2:28 PM

I have to respectfully disagree.

My Advantage Arms .22 kit for my duty Glock 17, my S&W 317 that mimics my back-up S&W .38, and my new S&W .22 AR15 are great training tools, allowing me to shoot accurately and reliably while still working the same trigger and other controls, and keeping my "muscle memory" the same.

My AA .22 Glock kit has been a tremendous tool for working with troubled shooters.

triggercontrol @ 6/9/2010 3:57 AM


The units you describe are excellent, I own the advantage arms, marvel, ceiner, and CZ75 Kadet units myself. The target pistol is meant to supplement the conversion kit and not replace it. It is a layer in a comprehensive practice routine. Conversion kits have their place and should not be scrapped. The article is meant to get you to think outside the box and implement training methods you may not have otherwise employed. Many who are serious about their practice routine, will also incorporate a target pistol as well.(Author)

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