High quality 22 auto for target shooting

Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by antiquerestorer, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. antiquerestorer

    antiquerestorer New Member

    Apr 13, 2007
    Been 25 yrs since I have been out there shooting a 22 for target fun. Had a colt woodsmsn and the bernadelli Model 69. Loved them both but sold them and went into relic hunting for Civil war artifacts. Like to get back into target shooting again but am not familar with the new guns on the market, can I get some recommendations from you 22 shooters on which is the best quality gun out there. Willing to invest up to 1200 for a really good pistol..Thanks for any suggestions you bring to my attention. Looking for reliablility, accuracy, and smooth handling.....Robert...antqfur@yahoo.com
  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    First on the list has to be the S&W Model 41. It is the gun all others costing less than $1000 are compared to. I can not think of any gun that even competes with it for close to the same money. A lot of guys and gals that target shoot try to get into the sport for significantly less money and some good choices might be the Browning Buckmark, the Ruger Mark III Competition Model, or a favorite of mine a tricked out 1911 frame (all after market tirgger parts) and a Marvel Unit One 22LR Conversion. It's made like the S&W Model 41 where the sights and barrel are attached to the frame and only a small bolt moves rather than the whole slide. The Beretta 87T is nice but require a lot of work to get it up to a Model 41 in the area of the trigger.

    Still another choice would be a used Hamden High Standard Victor or Trophy. Hartford Hi Stds can be iffy while Houston Hi Std are iffy (mostly iffy!). I think the Hamden Hi Std's to be superior to say an old Belguim made Challenger or the Colt Match Target (Woodsman based).The Hamden Hi Std might even be superior to the S&W Model 41 (debatable!).

    There is a very big following for Buckmarks and Ruger Mark II and III. But they usually need trigger work to get to where the S&W Model 41 is out of the box. Rugers have tons of after market parts from barrels to trigger parts.

    I have or have owned in the past all the guns mentioned above (or different version of them) and the S&W is most certainly my first choice.


  3. antiquerestorer

    antiquerestorer New Member

    Apr 13, 2007
    On the S&W 41, what is the difference in barrel length in regards to accuracy.
  4. punchie

    punchie Member

    Apr 27, 2004
    Chesterfield, VA
    Another good choice would be a Pardini SP.
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Longer barrels are not necessarily more accurate. You may acheive more accuracy because the sight radius is longer and you are able to point the gun more accurately. Still better accuracy is available with a red dot scope or a scope with magnification. But a longer barrel is not the reason for better accuracy.It is increased sight radius.

    Longer barrels sometimes give guns better balance and can enhance your accuracy because you can hold the gun steadier. Some people add weights to the barrel for the same reason. But the 5 inch and 7 inch pistols are the ones most often chosen for target shooting and most poeple like target guns that weigh right at about 40 ounces. The S&W Model 41 has those two barrel lengths, weighs right at 40 ounces, and can accept a red dot scope which is the big thing in Bullseye competition today. If you haven't shot a gun with a red dot you got to try one. They make a tremendous difference!

  6. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    LD gave you some options, based on your budget, all of which were good.
    I will push you in only two directions; the Smith M-41, for which parts and service is readily available, and the Hamden High Standards, which I personally feel are better, more accurate pistols, which have no current factory support, but seldom, if ever, need it.
    If you shop, at gunshows, you can find them for $450-650 US, in condition reflecting little to no use; I personally like the earlier, 'slant grip' models, but the 'Military' (A la M1911 gripframe) models shoot as well,and seem tobe a bit more common!
    These are far and away the best two choices, as complete pistols,out there, for the job, and both will shoot better than most can hold.
    If a conversion unit, for a M-1911, is a consideration, Marvel, Jarvis, Kart, and Day Arms Units all ROCK, assuming, they are of the configuration LD described, rather than a reciprocating slide (Two of these Mfrs do it both ways!)
    They will likely cost as much as a good Hamden pistol, and then you need a 'donor ' lower, as well.
    My personal 'money guns' are a Hamden HS, 5", Bull Barrel, slant grip model, and a Day Arms Conversion unit, fitted to a Kimber Lower.
  7. BlkHawk73

    BlkHawk73 New Member

    Jun 12, 2003
    Pardini, Morini to start with and then move down a notch to the Benelli and walthers. Personally, I'd opt for a Pardini. Try http://www.targettalk.org/index.php to see what is the most common used.
  8. Coltonator

    Coltonator New Member

    Dec 17, 2006
    Two words.
    High Standard.
  9. rangerruck

    rangerruck New Member

    Oct 16, 2005
    you can still find a wealht of old hi standard 22's , that will give any pistol made today a run for it's money. I know that Collector's Firearms here in houston, has a pretty nice collection of old hi standards. but bring the big checkbook.
  10. SouthCentral

    SouthCentral New Member

    Sep 9, 2006
    Hanover, PA
    I have put my High Standard Victor, ML serial #, E. Hartford manufactured 1979, 3 factory mags and barell weight on consignment at my FFL's range. I bought it new. It is in mint condition. It's the easyist pistol to shoot accuratly that I have ever owned, match trigger and very well balenced. E-mail me if you would like to be a buyer. We could work some thing out. I just gave it over Firday, April 20.

  11. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    California only allows certain guns to be sold by a dealer. They have to be on the Safety list or the Olympic Exception list. Any private party can sell ones not listed there as long as they are not on the Assualt Weapons list and they use a California dealer for registration. C&R guns, either 50 years old or on the c&R list, are also available. Californians must review all these lists before he or she can buy from a dealer. Many dealers are not informed (like some do not know about the Olympic Exception list for example or the C&R list or 50 year old exception) so you have to become informed for them. All this information is available on the DOJ of California web site under Firearms Division. The C&R list is on the BATF site, I believe. Check it out. Remember the list of acceptable dealer sold guns changes daily, as the safety certification expires (about every 2 years for most guns on the list).

  12. kfb2b

    kfb2b New Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    The High Standard is a very good gun indeed, and has colletor value if a Hartford and not a current model, but the satndard by which all other 22;s are jusdged, and yes, this includes the Hi-Std., is indeed the S&W 41, itself a copy of the legendary Walther Olympia.

    A neat aspect of the 41 is that you can buy the 5.5" barrel as an aftermarket accessory, and you can buy the barrel weights for the 7 3/8ths barrel.

    If you are going to go with the Smith, then the smart thing to do with your money is to go on gunbroker & buy an older model that will hold it;s value. I have an earlier gun with a cocking indicator and the brake, and also a short barrel that I had scoped. It is utterly deadly on small game and targets, and I sold off my High-end High Standard to get it, and have not been dissappointed.
  13. SGVictor

    SGVictor Member

    Aug 2, 2005
    The Smith & Wesson Model 41 is is indeed a very fine target pistol. I have tewo model 41's, a model 41-1 and a couple of model 46's the cheap seats version of the Model 41.

    I have far more varieties of High Standard and my preference is for the High Standard pisotls.

    Yes, the Model 41 has the capability of weights and a muzzle brake on the older 7.38" barrel but the weights are very costly now and the muzzle brake isn't really needed and increases group size.

    The High Standards offre weight capability for al target models except the cheaper torunament and teh weights are far more reasonable prices. High Standard also had provisions for a muzzle most of the top end models but again the group sizes suffered.

    Gil Hebard was a first class target shooter and ran a gun shop catering to the target shooter. His article "22 Target Autos their selection and use" in teh 1961 Gun Digest provides range test reports for the major target pistols of the time. Most were capable of 300-30X scores. The triggers were subgectively evaluated and teh group sixes were recorded with a muzzle brake if available and capable and without a muzzle brake. 18 guns were tested including three High Standards in .22 short. The .22 shorts were the worst in group size. In the .22 LR group, a High Standard had the best group size by a little bit over a Smith & Wesson 41 with 7.38" barrel. The 5.5" Smith and wesson was teh next to last in group size beating only the Colt Match Target. The best trigger rating was accorded to the Clark Custom Ruger. The S&W Model 46 was fourth in group size

    As a practical matter, most good target guns are better than the shooter so shoot what you like.
  14. airgunner5

    airgunner5 New Member

    Jan 18, 2006
    I've also been out of touch with guns for a long time now, so I was interested in the results of your post. The Model 41 was supposed to be one of the best buys 20-plus years ago. A friend I got into hunting and fishing wanted to know what I felt was a good .22 pistol to buy. The 41 was number one on the list followed by a High Standard model.

    He bought the 41. Then a second barrel for it. Couldn't get either barrel to group well. Took it to a club, and had others try both barrels with various brands of ammo. No one could get it to group well. Quality control on this particular pistol hadn't been the best. There was a burr partially blocking the rear sight that he had to file off when he first bought it.

    He tried to trade it with both barrels and some extra cash for my Browning Medalist. He had shot my gun before and knew what it could do. No..I didn't trade! I have to feel that he got a bad one. All the articles I'd read about the 41 had nothing but praise for the gun.

    I must also mention that this guy is the best shot that I personally have ever witnessed. But then I have never attended any competitions. Still in all 5 squirrels with 6 shots in one day from a 7mm TCU ain't bad. The missed one was at a closer range than he had tested the gun at so he wasn't sure what sight picture to use. He also shot a woodchuck at a tape measured 168 yards with the same pistol.

    I mention these examples so you wouldn't think the 41 in different hands would have proved to be an accurate gun. However, as previously stated, I think he got a bad one. It happens.
  15. SouthCentral

    SouthCentral New Member

    Sep 9, 2006
    Hanover, PA

    I've run across a couple of handguns that I couldn't get a tight group and thought I wa me. Glad to know it could have been the equiptment. Never happened with the Victor though. Hate to part with it but asI said, I have a great desire for a Colt Defender. I'm retired which will explain my need to sell. :mad:

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