Are you a gun enthusiast looking to add some nice-looking yet functional pieces to your collection?
Perhaps you’re a parent looking to teach your now old-enough child to properly handle a gun. Or maybe you are completely new to the gun world and thought that purchasing the best .22 pistol on the market would be a good place to start.
There are a number of reasons you might be contemplating buying a gun. And we know you don’t want just any gun. You want a gun that is highly rated by gun experts, versatile in function, and user-friendly for first-time shooters.
How We Chose Our Ratings
We want to make sure you find the best .22 pistol for your own personal needs. In order for a .22 pistol to make our list, we took a look at a number of things.
First, we checked to see what gun enthusiasts and customers have to say about it. We searched through reviews and articles highlighting the experiences of those who have purchased the .22 pistols in question.
We also looked into the functions of the .22 pistols. Not everyone will need these guns for the same reasons, so we want to make sure the best .22 pistols we list are versatile in their uses.
Brand popularity and reliability is another consideration when purchasing the best .22 pistols. We understand that there is a certain level of trust that comes into play when a big, well-loved manufacturer has their name on something.
And finally, we checked prices of our choices for the best .22 pistol. Guns are not cheap and the cost for one isn’t the only expense you’ll have as a gun owner. Ammunition is a separate cost, as are any accessories like holsters or scopes that you might want to purchase. So we tried to keep our picks for the best .22 pistol under the $1000 mark.
Safety Tips for First-Time Gun Owners
We know you’re anxious to see what our picks for the best .22 pistol are. There are a few things we need to share with you before we get into the nitty-gritty, however. Safety always comes first.
Once you’ve obtained a gun and are ready to practice shooting, be cautious with your surroundings. Practice at a gun range or in an area with a lot of open space so you won’t accidentally hit anyone or anything but your targets.
Never point a gun toward anyone else, even as a joke with an unloaded weapon. While loading your gun, be aware of what the barrel is pointing at.
If you don’t have any family or friends that know how to shoot, we highly recommend looking into nearby gun ranges. They have safety instructors that can show you the ropes in a safe, friendly environment.
Always keep your FOID cards, concealed carry licenses, and gun registrations up to date.
Of course, we know that you might want to keep your gun stored safely in your home for self-defense. Keep it in a special lockable case or safe, especially if you have children.
We also recommend you keep your gun unloaded when you are not using it, especially during transport. Remove the magazine and make sure there are no rounds in the chamber before storing it away.
Respect and a healthy dose of caution go a long way in preventing any gun-related accidents from happening.
Our Seven Picks for the Best .22 Pistol
Whether you’re a seasoned gun owner, a first-time user, a hunter, farmer, collector, parent, or newly licensed gun safety instructor, there’s a .22 pistol to suit your needs.
They are lightweight with little recoil, come customizable for style and carry, and can be used for a number of functions. They are also hailed as great guns to teach first-time shooters with.
Use them for self-defense, hunting, or just having some fun plinking in your backyard with friends.
Without further ado, here are our top seven picks for the absolute best .22 pistol sorted by manufacturer.
Ruger is a huge name in the gun manufacturing world. Their guns are extremely well-loved and praised by gun enthusiasts for being versatile, fun to use, and reliable. They have been around for many years and their designs are tried and true.
Ruger sticks to what works best. Ruger .22 pistols appear on many lists as the best .22 pistol on the market, making them impossible not to include on our own list.
So which Ruger .22 pistols make the cut?
The first is the Ruger SR22. Available in 20 different colors, you can purchase one on the Ruger website for between $400 and $500. If that’s a little steep, you can also purchase them on sale at Brownells for as little as $329.
The Ruger SR22 is praised for its ability to shoot any kind of .22 ammunition without jamming or mucking up. It’s also accurate straight out of the box without modification.
You can use it for hunting small animals and getting rid of pests on your barn. It is also ideal for training new shooters and plinking for fun in the yard.
But we’re not done.
The Ruger SR22 is perfect for self-defense, especially for the ladies. Its compact, light design makes it a great choice for concealed carry and it packs enough power to ward off any attackers.
Ruger isn’t finished yet, however.
If the SR22 doesn’t quite suit you, try the Ruger Mark IV series. There are 8 models of the Mark IV series to choose from, each with a different look and overall function.
The Ruger Marks are priced from $400 to $800 on Ruger’s website. We found several of them for cheaper on the Brownells website, just in case you’re on a budget.
The Ruger Mark IV Hunter is a pricey .22 pistol, but its classic look and functionality make it well worth the money for collectors and general enthusiasts alike. It is hailed as being very well-balanced, able to use just about any .22 caliber ammunition, and having great accuracy without any tampering.
If you’re someone who really enjoys camping and the great outdoors, may we recommend the Ruger Mark IV 22/45 LITE? This light little handgun is praised as being the best .22 pistol for the survivalist due to its accuracy and durability. You can carry it in your backpack without an issue. It also comes in 6 different colors on the Ruger website and costs $559.
Both the Mark IV Hunter and 22/45 LITE are great guns for small game hunting, target practice, plinking, and are praised as being fun to use.
Ruger is a juggernaut in the gun production world. Both the SR22 and our 2 Mark IV series picks receive 5 out of 5 stars from us for their versatility, accuracy, rave reviews, and overall functionality.
2. Smith & Wesson
Come on, we know you’ve heard of Smith & Wesson. Another trusted major player that’s been around for many years, Smith & Wesson provides guns for law enforcement and military as well as civilians. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that they made not only our list for the best .22 pistol, but also many others as well.
In terms of popularity and price, the Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory shines as a contender to the Ruger Mark IV guns. Smith & Wesson suggests it be sold for $409, but you can buy it at Brownells for $328.99 on sale.
The SW22 Victory is easily customizable and a favorite for small game hunting and target shooting. It handles most .22 ammunition well and disassembles easily for cleaning.
Survivalists also praise this gun as being great for use in the great outdoors.
But wait, do you have a little extra cash to spend? Maybe you’d like to see a revolver make this list.
We’ve got good news for collectors and lovers of plinking alike. Smith & Wesson has a nice revolver called the Model 17 Masterpiece that will satisfy both.
The Model 17 is recommended to be sold for $989 by Smith & Wesson, and unfortunately, you might have to do some searching to find it much cheaper. The Smith & Wesson website does have a “Find a Dealer” button that will help with your search.
Despite the cost, the Model 17 is a very durable gun and you can rest assured that, like other revolvers, there’s no risk of it jamming up on you. You’ll be able to keep this one in good, working condition for a very long time.
The classic design of the Smith & Wesson Model 17 satisfies the collector’s itch for something old-timey. Its longer barrel is also ideal for aiming when plinking and shooting targets in your backyard.
To top all of that off, the Model 17 is touted as being great for teaching kids about guns and gun safety. It is also positively reviewed by hunters.
With all of this in mind, we give both the Model 17 Masterpiece and the SW22 Victory 5 out of 5 stars.
If you’ve ever seen a James Bond movie, you’ve seen a Walther gun. And if James Bond uses Walther guns, they must be reliable, right?
Even though Mr. Bond is fictional, we can still assure you that he didn’t go wrong trusting a Walther handgun. Walther is another long-standing manufacturer that many people love.
So which of their guns is in the running for the best .22 pistol?
The Walther P22 is a sleek-looking pistol that has gained a lot of positive attention without the help of James Bond. A purely modern gun, it is highly praised for its very seldom jamming, making it a direct competition for .22 revolvers.
The Walther P22 is an ideal gun for concealed carry and self-defense, while also competing with our Ruger and Smith & Wesson picks for the best .22 pistol for hunting and protection while enjoying the great outdoors away from civilization.
Add all of this onto the $299.99 price tag it has, the fact that it’s a littler pickier when it comes to ammunition is easily forgivable.
The Walther P22 earns 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Described by gun enthusiasts as being a legendary company, Browning is yet another manufacturer whose guns have stood the test of time.
For your search for the best .22 pistol, we suggest taking a look at the Browning Buck Mark Camper.
The Browning Buck Mark Camper was designed with durability and accuracy in mind without making the gun too heavy. It’s an excellent target-shooting gun.
Reviewers praised it for being an ideal training gun for teaching even children how to shoot because of its lightness and miniscule amount of recoil. The lack of recoil means that everyone can keep their aim better and the risk of losing your grip on the gun is small.
This .22 pistol is also great for hunting small game and, as the name implies, as a means of defense while camping.
Combine all of this with the reasonable $336.99 price, we are happy to give this .22 pistol 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Find the Best .22 Pistol for You
When it all comes down to it, finding the best .22 pistol is a matter of research and budgeting. You have to consider what you want to use your pistol for and what you’re willing to spend on it. With a little help from our top seven best .22 pistols, we’re sure you’ll find one that’s perfect for you.
There are many great .22 pistols that we were unable to include on our list. If none of our picks stood out to you, we have a few tips on how to find one for yourself.
Going to a gun range near you is a great option if you’d like to test out a gun before you spend the money on one. Most gun ranges will allow you to rent and practice with guns for reasonable prices. You can also purchase guns from local gun ranges if you find one you simply must have.
Once you find a .22 pistol that you’d like to buy, remember to consider what modifications, ammunition, and accessories you might want for it. If you have a fixed budget, you need to make sure the gun’s price doesn’t cut it too close so you can still get everything you need for it, too.
And of course, always make sure that it is legal to have the gun you want to purchase in your area.