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GUNS Magazine May 2010 - Page 16
RIMFIRES • HOLT BODINSON • Legacy’s little .22 LR burp gun. f there was ever an enduring image of the Soviet Army in WWII, I it would be their infantry riding west to Berlin on T34 tanks armed with PPSh-41 submachine guns, firing the 7.62x25mm THE PPS22 pistol round. The image emerged once again during the Korean War as North Koreans and ChiComms staged massed infantry attacks on American and allied lines with homegrown, 71-round, drum-fed, PPSh-41s in hand. A few years later, the PPSh emerged again, this time in Vietnam. With 5-1/2 million PPSh-41s fabricated in WWII alone, the distinctive look of the Soviet submachine guns has now found its way into the world of rimfire. Meet Legacy Sport International’s little burp gun. Looking through Legacy’s extensive firearms and optics catalog, the image of the little Puma PPS in .22 LR just jumped off the page. Many years ago, a similar clone was imported and marketed by Bingham, Ltd. of Norcross, Georgia. I’ve owned two of them. Fitted with steel drum or stick magazines, the Bingham guns were distinctive looking, utterly reliable semi-automatics and a real hoot to shoot. Although the little burp guns carry the “PPS” label, they are really more of a visual copy of the predecessors to the PPSh-41, namely the Russian M34/38 and PPD M1940 submachine guns. All three models share a similar look with their ventilated barrel shrouds and 71-round, drum magazines. The big difference is the appearance of the stocks. The M34/38 and PPD models feature wooden forearms, like Legacy’s PPS22. To simplify production, the forearm of the PPSh-41 on the other hand is the steel barrel shroud itself. The original .22 LR version of the the50-rounddrummagazineiseasiertoattach ifthePPS22isturnedupsidedown.ten-or 30-roundstickmagazinesarealsoavailable. thelegacySportsPPS22isafun accuraterimfiremodeledafterthe SovieteraPPShsubmachinegun. theadditionofaNikkoSterlingrimfirescopebroughtoutthebestthePPS22hadtooffer.An adjustableobjectivetoremoveparallaxaddsversatilitytoaprecisionrimfirescope.thefulllength ventilatedshroudaddsanessentialmilitaryflaretotheoveralldesignofthePPS22. PPS disappeared from the marketplace in 1985, and I’m pleased Legacy has brought a new PPS22 back to the rimfire market. It’s a dead ringer for the earlier imported model, except for the newer model’s polymer, rather than steel, 50-round, drum magazine. Legacy Sports International itself is a major American importer of sporting firearms and optics. Their most recognizable brands include Howa/ Hogue rifles; Puma model 1892 and 1886 lever action rifles, 1887 lever action shotguns and single action revolvers; BUL and Citadel semi-automatic, centerfire pistols; Verona and Escort shotguns and Nikko Sterling scopes and binoculars. Legacy’s PPS22 is made in Italy by F. LLI Pietta, a respected maker of fine replica historical firearms. Pietta stamps the side of the receiver with the model designation, “Mod. PPS/50 Cal. 22LR,” while the top of the receiver carries Legacy’s model name of “Puma PPS22.” It’s a sturdy little gun made of real steel and wood. Even without its drum magazine, the Puma PPS22 weighs almost 5-1/2 pounds. Most of the weight is in the straight profiled 16" barrel measuring approximately .6" and in the distinctive Soviet-style ventilated barrel shroud, which has an outside diameter of 1". Featuring round holes in its barrel shroud rather than the long oval slots of the Soviet design, the PPS22 looks more 16 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • MAY 2010