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American Handgunner Sept/Oct 2012 Digital Edition - Page 40

WINNINGEDGE soLID ADvIce to KeeP yoU AHeAD oF tHe coMPetItIoN two choices of synthetic grip adapters are provided to suit different hand sizes. DAve ANDersoN ruger’s two 10-shot magazines are included with the sr22. rear sight is adjustable, manual safety and magazine release button are ambidextrous. niFty sr22 t hese are interesting days for those who enjoy rimfire pistols. No doubt ammunition cost and availability is a major factor. I also suspect shooters are finding it easier and faster to develop skills without a lot of muzzle blast and recoil. The other night at a public range I noticed a couple of shooters with what they said were their first handguns, a .38 Special snubbie and a 9mm. Both were shooting reasonably well, but they certainly did not seem to be enjoying it. I hope they develop enough skill to be capable of home and personal defense, but I doubt they’ll ever become shooting enthusiasts. The pistol shown here is the SR22, a neat little semi-auto from Ruger. It has a polymer frame, with the slide made of aluminum alloy. A separate steel breechblock is dovetailed/pinned into the slide, and holds the extractor, firing pin, and firing pin block. The barrel is stainless steel with six rifling grooves, right hand 1:16" twist. Operation is straight blowback and the barrel is secured to the frame with a large hex-head screw accessible in the triggerguard just ahead of the trigger. Actually there’s no need to remove the barrel for routine cleaning. he design uses an external hammer and ambidextrous hammer drop/safety. The safety doesn’t lock the slide and can be in the down/safe position while loading or unloading, which is nice. The magazine release, at the base of the triggerguard, is also ambidextrous. In addition to the manual safety, there’s a magazine safety and a firing-pin lock is released only when the trigger is pressed. A slide stop/holdover lever can be engaged manually to lock the slide back, and operates automatically when the magazine is empty. The magazine well is metal alloy. A molded rubber grip piece slides over the well and is secured by pins/projections in well and grip. Two grip sizes are provided, and it took a pretty good pull to get the grip off. After the first couple of times it got easier, but still continued to fit securely. Takedown for routine cleaning is fast and easy, in the Walther PP/PPK style, and the Ruger instruction manual makes it simple. Magazine bodies are made of steel and should prove durable. There’s also a handy thumb-piece to depress the follower and make loading easier. Kudos to Ruger for including two magazines with the pistol. Also included are two floorplates with extension spur, a nice zippered soft case and a padlock. solid Features t high speed onLy t with its polymer frame and aluminum alloy slide the sr22 weighs just 17.5 ounces empty. the frame has an accessory rail for fitting lights or lasers. he SR22 functions best with high-speed .22 LR ammunition, as is the case with many .22 autos. Most of the shooting I did was with CCI Mini-Mags and a bulk pack of Remington Golden Bullet hollowpoints (about 300 rounds of each). Functioning with these loads was completely reliable, except for one CCI round which didn’t fire. Examination showed a nice deep firing pin indentation. I reoriented the round 180 degrees in the chamber and it fired. A “333” bulk pack of Winchester ammunition seemed to be rather less powerful as about one round in four wouldn’t drive the slide back far enough to eject the fired case. I also tried some standard velocity target loads. With these it was more like half the rounds didn’t eject. Single-action pull was at almost exactly 5 pounds, with a long take-up and one small “step” I could feel with a slow trigger press. Double action pull, should you care to use it for the first shot, is reasonably good, smooth and with just a bit of stacking towards the end, finally breaking at 10 pounds. Front sight is a ramped post with white dot, fitted in a dovetail cut. The rear sight is strongly mounted in a dovetail cut and is adjustable for windage and elevation — nice to see on a moderately priced .22. It has two white dots, and the manual gives directions on how to reverse the sight blade should you prefer plain black. Groups (five shots at 25 yards) averaged in the 2½" range. With the rather heavy trigger, light pistol weight and short sight radius, precision shooting takes concentration, but this is splendid accuracy for a pistol like this. The Ruger SR22 is a very nice plinker, trainer, outdoorsman’s pistol and just a lot of fun to shoot. The only criticisms I can make are of the nitpicky sort. I wish the sight adjustments were marked to show direction, and the windage screw slot bigger. Quality of materials, parts fit and workmanship appears to be very good, with crisp lines and a smooth, even finish on metal parts. MSRP is listed at $399. For more info: * 40 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER2012

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