So This year for father’s day my wife bought me another gun. This year I got my present early thanks to Cabela’s having a $20 off coupon. So after calling around a week ago, nobody had the gun I wanted in stock except Cabela’s. So when this weekend rolled around we made the drive down there (maybe 20 miles is all). Turns out in the week between when I called and when we went shopping, they sold out of this particular gun. So after calling around again, we found it at Impact Guns. They have a great website with a ton of guns (not this one though) and their West Valley store is very close to my house. Their website makes you think their store would be some 30,000 square foot warehouse with maybe some sort of small store front. But really it’s a crappy little run down building in the ghetto with bars on the windows and maybe a couple thousand total square feet of store. But they do have a decent selection of anything from 10/22’s to Barret M82’s.
Anyhow, back to this bad boy… It is the Smith & Wesson 22A-1 with the S&W factory wood grips. According to S&W it is a target pistol. Like a .22LR would be for anything else… The S&W sku # is 107431 I really wanted the wood grip model due to the fact that the wood grips are a $75 option that adds nothing to the retail price of this gun. Plus they look great, and appear to be very similar to the Model 41 grips only with a bulkier bottom end.
This gun looks similar to the Model 41 which is a great target pistol S&W sells to serious shooters that have immensely more budget than I do. I just wanted a .22 for the cheap thrill. I love being able to shoot all day for $15 worth of ammo. But I can not see myself ever paying around $1,000 for a .22 which is what the 41’s cost. Other reviews I have read hint at the only problem with the 22A is feeding. Some say no ammo feeds well, some say blunt tip ammo doesn’t feed, some say only high velocity stuff feeds well. The same shit was said about the Walther P22 we got for Lori, and so far not a single problem on that gun with feeding. However, after looking close at the gun I can see where there could be feeding issues. here is a shot of the action open with rounds in the clip:
As you can see, the feed ramp is at about a 45 degree angle. Which is much sharper than I personally would have designed into it. The round is sitting at about a 3-5 degree angle. Which is fine, but with the feed ramp at 45 degrees, it doesn’t compensate much. Due to the angle of the clip they would not have been able to move it back without making the angle of the handle as terrible as the Neos by Beretta. However, it looks like they could have made the angle of the clip more vertical and the exit of the clip more horizontal and moved the entire clip rearward about an 1/8″ and then the feed ramp could have been closer to a more reasonable 30 degrees. Now obviously without disassembling the gun, this assumes a lot in the design and likely there are some variables that may keep that idea from working. However, I am curious with it being so close in design to the 41, why not just copy that feed and ramp setup? I have never heard of people having any issues with them.
Now here are some features of the gun… First off, here is a shot of the handle. It’s very smooth, not porous at all, and I love the color. It would fit people with longer fingers than mine a bit better, but is not bad at all for me. It looks like it is being held on by 4 short screws. The bottom is bulky and feels great. It is pretty thin at the rear on the bottom, but not thin enough to worry about breakage. It has the mag ejector at the front of the grip in the middle. It’s actually very nice to push on. Also, in this shot you can see the slide catch and release lever and the thumb safety. And at rear sight which is adjustable for elevation and windage.
The trigger is flat and fells pretty nice. It has a rather pronounced parting line on it. I would have liked that to be smoothed out, but I understand that when you are trying to keep a price point low you have to cut some places and that is a perfectly acceptable place to cut corners since your finger doesn’t ride on the part line.
In the previous 2 pictures you can see the slide. I am not a huge fan of how they made it. It seems to be a sand casting with a very heavy layer of powder coating on it. It actually reminds me of a bb gun I bought at Shopko for $15 when I was like 12. That POS shot bb’s about 30 feet at the most and at 10 feet had an accuracy of maybe 50 MOA. So while this slide I am sure works fine, I would have liked to see it be maybe a permanent mold casting or something with finer details on it and hard anodized instead of black powder coat. But again, when trying to hit a certain price point, certain concessions must be made. So while my personal history skews my view of this particular issue. I still view it as a non-issue.
The barrel is a “bull” style. Personally I normally don’t like .22 handguns with bull barrels but the way the 22A integrates it, it looks pretty good. The rail on top I hear may need to be machined to fit most optics. However, I am not much of an optics on handguns guy. The gun comes in a blue plastic case with 2 big gray latches. It comes with a lock, 2 clips, a bunch of papers, 2 spare recoil buffer pads, and a spent shell from the factory test fire.
I am taking it to the range today for some testing. I will report how the 2 styles of bullets I have feed and if there is any noticeable accuracy difference between them. But until then here are some more gratuitous shots of the gun. Remember there should be larger versions if you click on the picture in the post…