9 mm pistols

6 Best 22 Pistol Reviews in 2021| Top Handguns of This Reliable and Proven Caliber

Did you know that the 22-caliber is going on 200 years old? For ammunition that old still being used today, it speaks to the reliability of the 22-caliber. If you're considering purchasing a new pistol, you would do well to look into the 22-caliber.

I know you're a busy person and don't have time to sift through countless articles about 22 caliber pistols. That's why I took care of it for you. No sweat. Here, you'll find the very best 22 caliber pistols for a wide range of needs and uses, from casual plinking to home defense and much more.

1. [Best 22 Pistol Overall]
Sig Sauer 1911-22

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Editor's Rating 

5/5

2. [Best for the Money]
Browning Buck Mark Medallion 22 

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Editor's Rating 

4.9/5

3. [Best for Single/Double-action]
Sig Sauer Mosquito MOS-22

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Editor's Rating 

4.8/5

Are 22 Pistols Good for Self-Defense?

The 22-caliber is widely preferred as a self-defense pistol. In most situations, you aren't going to kill your attacker or intruder with a 22 caliber handgun. It will, however, put a serious hurting on them that's enough to stop them from advancing any further. In addition, click here to find out whether it is a gun you would recommend to a woman.

There is a wide range of 22 pistol options for your consideration. Of course, weeding through the bad to find the good can take a considerable amount of time - time that you don't have while trying to work and take care of your family.

And that's likely why you are here. You want to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of your loved ones. It's no secret that it's getting crazy out there in the world today. It seems like every time you turn on the news, there is a horror story about someone getting mugged, their house was broken into, or worse.

What are the Best 22 Pistols?

There is admittedly a lot of 22 pistols to choose from. Fortunately, the best 22 pistols are all right here for you to research. Let's begin by looking at one of the very best 22 pistol options for self-defense. It's the reason that most people are going to invest in a 22 pistol, so I figured it would be a great place to start.

Best 22 Pistol Reviews

[Overall Best 22 Pistol] 

1. Sig Sauer 1911-22

What's Old Is New Again

As its name suggests, the Sig Sauer 1911-22 is a .22 pistol that is based on the historic 1911 design.

Why did I include a pistol that is based on such an old, although beloved, handgun design?

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This baby is accurate.

If you're in a situation where you need to fire off a quick shot, whether it's at a home intruder or an attacker on the street, there's a good chance that you're going to hit the target you're aiming at. When it comes to defending yourself, that's a very important factor to consider.

Now, if you just wanted a handgun to do some leisurely afternoon plinking in your backyard, that's another story entirely. You wouldn't necessarily need a razor-sharp 22 pistol to have a good time.

But that's not the case on the street or in your residence. You need to know that your 22 pistol is primed and ready to make a connection with any potential assailants who might be dumb enough to test your mettle.

Sig Sauer 1911-22 Technical Specifications: 

Caliber

22 LR 

Action

Single-Action-Only

Capacity

10 Rounds

Barrel Length

5 inches

 Overall Length

8.5 inches

Weight

34 ounces (with mag)

Armed and Appealing

But there's more to this firearm than accuracy. The Sig Sauer 1911-22 is one mean-looking 22 pistol. Most people are going to tuck tail and run in the opposite direction if you flash this bad boy. Intimidation is a large part of guns in general, and the Sig Sauer 1911-22 doesn't pull any punches.

And if your intruder is hopped and too inept to make tracks, you've got a trusty companion at your side that will make the decision for them.

The 1911-22 is also incredibly classy. It harkens back to the original 1911, with beautiful woodgrain grips and attractive construction throughout. I've always been rather fond of the rustic look in firearms, and Sig Sauer nailed it on the 1911-22.

There's something appealing about the contrast between the wood and metal, making it one of the best-looking 22 LR pistols on the market today. Any gun enthusiast who respects the firearms of yesteryear will appreciate what Sig Sauer has done with this modern upgrade.

Ideal to Conceal

Another great thing about the Sig Sauer 1911-22 is that although it looks like a full-sized handgun, in all actuality, it isn't. As such, it looks more powerful than it actually is. It's an ideal gun to carry on your person during the day and keep by your bed at night.

That's 24-hour protection around the clock. If you're new to handling guns, the Sig Sauer 1911-22 makes an excellent investment for first-time gun owners. Whether you have ample experience with firearms or it's your first time, you're going to get used to the Sig Sauer 1911-22 really quickly.

It's that good of a gun. I found myself acclimated to it in a matter of minutes. And once I felt comfortable with it, I had an absolute blast letting it rip. I put several rounds through it without breaking a sweat and enjoyed every minute of it.

It's a 22 pistol that just works from the get-go. You don't need a lot of time to learn the ropes because it's so well made and put together. The construction is most excellent, as well, ensuring that you're investing in a 22 pistol that's built to last.

And that is perhaps one of the best aspects of this gun going into the hands of a beginner. Because it is virtually identical to a full-sized pistol, newcomers will be able to get comfortable with how to operate a handgun the right way from the start.

That in itself makes the Sig Sauer 1911-22 reason to invest in it. Why not start with a high standard for gun handling instead of working your way up? Granted, this is ideal for some people. But if you can get used to handling a full-sized model from the start, you will likely have an easier time getting acclimated to everything else.

Pros

  • It is accurate
  • The 1911-22 is also incredibly classy
  • Ideal to Conceal
  • Sig Sauer 1911-22 makes an excellent investment for first-time gun owners

Cons

  • I did not find any

[Best for the Money] 

2. Browning Buck Mark Medallion 22

Laser Focus

Machining tolerances only go so far in determining the accuracy of a gun. If you want to hit a target reliably, you're going to have to be comfortable with your firearm. And you have a much better chance of being comfortable if your gun has an ergonomic design.

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I've held guns that by all rights should have been a marksman's dream come true. Guns with stellar balance, excellent build quality, and so on. But I just couldn't find myself comfortable with some of them, so matter how long I stuck with it.

I like to give myself plenty of time with any gun so I can get acclimated to it. Unfortunately, there are just some guns out there that I don't feel comfortable shooting for whatever reason. Thankfully, I can always turn to pistols like the Browning BuckMark. This beauty is solid throughout, delivering an amazingly accurate shooting experience with every trigger pull.

Browning Buck Mark Medallion 22 Technical Specifications: 

Caliber

22 LR 

Action

Single-Action

Capacity

10 Rounds

Barrel Length

5.5 inches

 Overall Length

9.5 inches

Weight

34 ounces 

Competition-Ready

If you're in the market for a 22 pistol that you can trust to hit the target with incredible precision, the Buck Mark is your gun. There's a reason competitive shooters trust this weapon, and you should, too. It comes equipped with a TruGlo fiber optic front sight, while the rear sight is a Pro-Target.

The two work to bring you one of the best 22 pistols I've used for connecting with targets. The single-action design might be a bummer to some people, but you have to understand what this gun is designed for.

If you have to have a double-action 22 LR pistol, you're looking in the wrong place. The Buck Mark is all about accuracy at long distances. Therefore, it's single-action all day, baby. What's more, this pistol is fantastic at nailing small games, such as squirrels.

You get 10 rounds of 22 LR to help you hunt that small game. Given the Buck Mark's legendary accuracy, it's unlikely you'll need more than one for each target. Seriously, this pistol is a lot of fun to shoot, thanks to its precision.

Stellar Craftsmanship

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the beautiful construction and expert craftsmanship that went into building this gun. After all, they are what help make the Buck Mark such a beloved competition pistol. As I mentioned, a great gun is going to have more than just one aspect that makes it the best.

And the Buck Mark is packed with a wide variety of winning components. For starters, the grip is wonderful. It's full-sized, giving you plenty of room to feel comfortable and secure. Not only that, but it's just a pleasure to look at.

Browning successfully married modern and antique aesthetics to deliver a timeless masterpiece. The frame is made of aluminum alloy, while the barrel is stainless steel. The grips are made of classy Rosewood and textured with a checkered pattern.

It's stellar from top to bottom, and I absolutely love it. This is the type of handgun that you want to place in a glass box on your mantle for your friends to admire. And yet, it's ready to provide you with a reliable shooting experience the moment you need it. If looks could kill, the Buck Mark would be even deadlier than it already is.

Winning Features

Other notable features of this great gun include a 5.5-inch barrel. This is perfect for aiming at firing. The trigger pull is another welcome addition, as it is incredibly light. That said, new shooters will want to take it easy at first, as the blowback action can prove startling to those who aren't used to this kind of accessible power.

As far as a gun for concealed carry, this likely isn't it. There are plenty of other options out there for you to choose from that do a much better job of offering personal protection. That's not to say that the Buck Mark won't stop an intruder from breaking into your home.

It's just not the type of pistol you want to pack around with you on the streets. But when it comes to the best 22 pistol for accuracy, the Buck Mark hits the spot.

Pros

  • It is perfect for aiming at firing
  • The trigger pull is another welcome addition, as it is incredibly light
  • When it comes to the best 22 pistol for accuracy, the Buck Mark hits the spot
  • It's stellar from top to bottom, and I absolutely love it

Cons

  • As far as a gun for concealed carry, this likely isn't it

[Best for the Single/Double-Action] 

3. Sig Sauer Mosquito MOS-22

A 22 Pistol With Bite

If you're on a tight budget and looking for excellent value, Sig Sauer's Mosquito is right up your alley.

It's a compact 22 pistol that delivers across the board to provide you with an enjoyable shooting experience.

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What impressed me the most about this handgun is its incredible accuracy. You can trust that you are spending your money on a budget-friendly firearm that delivers focused precision every time you let off a round from its chamber.

And that, my friends, isn't something you always get from pistols that are on the lower end of the price spectrum. But Sig Sauer delivers the goods with a handgun that is worth the price of admission, no matter how affordable it is.

During my time with the Mosquito, I found it to offer some of the best target shooting I've done in a long time. New shooters will definitely be interested in this 22 caliber pistol. It's incredibly easy to shoot and it looks like a champion through and through.

With its magazine loaded, the total weight of the Mosquito is just under 25 ounces. It has really nice balance to it, which I find helps improve accuracy and versatility.

Sig Sauer Mosquito MOS-22 Technical Specifications: 

Caliber

22 LR 

Action

Single/Double-Action

Capacity

10 Rounds

Barrel Length

3.9 inches

 Overall Length

7.2 inches

Weight

24.6 ounces (with mag)

Take Your Pick

There are several different options available for you to choose from in terms of finish. For certain ladies (and some men - not knocking), there's a two-tone pink and black option. Or, if you're the type of gal or fellow who is in the military or appreciates its colors, there are Olive Drab greens and Flat Dark Earth options, among many others.

With such a wide variety of options available, you should have no trouble getting a semi-auto 22 pistol that fits your style. Heck, there's even a threaded barrel version of the Mosquito available if you wish to add a suppressor later.

Gripping Lessons

I will say that the compact size might be a turn-off to some people. Why? Because it is better suited to those with smaller hands. I have relatively large hands and had some trouble getting a comfortable grip when shooting.

Once I developed a good grip, however, I found it to be fun to shoot. That said, it wasn't quite the enjoyable experience I had with Sig Sauer's 1911 model mentioned above. Still, considering the affordable price point and deadly accuracy, the Mosquito is definitely worth a look.

I also dig that you can shoot in either double or single action modes. It's a nice touch that you don't always see in semi-auto pistols.

Smaller size aside, it's hard to top the value you're getting if you choose to invest in the Mosquito. It handles well, hits its targets with precision, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. To me, that's more than enough reasons to give this gun some serious consideration.

Pros

  • You can shoot in either double or single action mode
  • It handles well, hits its targets with precision, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg
  • The price is affordable
  • This handgun has incredible accuracy

Cons

  • It is better suited to those with smaller hands

Shooting and Handling

Wow. Now here's a versatile little 22 pistol that will assuredly impress even the most seasoned gun enthusiast.

What I like about the Walther P22 is that it handles like a dream. Its compact size and lightweight body make it a force to be reckoned with.

revolver

I'm personally a big fan of pistols that sport this design, and the P22 wears it really well. It has a tight, sturdy construction and impressive accuracy. The grip feels absolutely wonderful, too, making this an excellent addition to anyone's arsenal.

I also really appreciate the magazine on the P22, as it feels most excellent and is a breeze to swap out for fast firing and follow-up shots. Is this the best 22 pistol of all time? It depends on what you're looking for. If you don't mind the smaller size and are more interested in versatility and handling, I believe you will be blown away by what the P22 brings to the table.

Walther P22 Q Technical Specifications: 

Caliber

22 LR 

Action

Single/Double-Action

Capacity

10 Rounds

Barrel Length

3.42 inches 

 Overall Length

6.5 inches 

Weight

16 ounces

Action Satisfaction

What's more, the action is smooth as silk, making this 22 pistol really easy to use. As the P 22 compact is on its own, it's quite small for a pistol. And as such, both veteran and new shooters have a choice to make to ensure their comfort. You see, the grip is pretty short, so those with large hands will swallow a lot of the handle, while those with small hands will feel right at home.

I'm in the former camp, as the bottom of my hand sticks out below the grip. Fortunately, this is easily remedied by using an extended mag. Once I socked one in, the Walther P22 become one of the better pistols I've used.

I find it to be incredibly well-balanced and a lot of fun to shoot. Depending on your shooting preferences, you can fire in either single-action or double-action mode. And as you've likely already determined, the P22's compact construction makes it a perfect candidate for concealed carry.

You're getting the same high standard here as you'd find in other Walther firearms, only in a portable yet powerful body. If you need something for self-defense that you can trust to protect you, you'll definitely want to take a look at the P22.

Pros

  • Its compact size and lightweight body make it a force to be reckoned with
  • I also really appreciate the magazine on the P22, as it feels most excellent and is a breeze to swap out for fast firing and follow-up shots
  • The action is smooth as silk, making this 22 pistol really easy to use
  • A perfect gun for small hands

Cons

  • The grip is pretty short, so those with large hands will swallow a lot of the handle

An Unlikely Underdog

Yep, there's a revolver. True, revolvers aren't often typically what you'd find in a best-of-list that features self-defense handguns.

However, the Ruger Wrangler gets the nod from me as the best 22 pistol for reliability.

revolver

There's something special about revolvers, namely, that you can count on them to outlast most other types of weaponry. Why? 

 Simply due to their limited construction. Unlike the many parts that make up semi-auto pistols, revolvers have very few components. Thus, there is less likely to break or malfunction.

As such, I figured at least one revolver deserved to be featured. I was torn between this and the famous Smith & Wesson Model 17. As a 22LR pistol, the S&W Model 17 is undeniably one of the highest-rated revolvers of our time.

Ruger Wrangler 22LR Technical Specifications: 

Caliber

22 LR 

Action

Single-Action

Capacity

6 Rounds

Barrel Length

4.62 inches

 Overall Length

10.25 inches

Weight

16 ounces

However, Smith & Wesson is featured prominently elsewhere. Not just that, but it's also ridiculously expensive for a revolver. An excellent revolver, mind you, but an expensive one nonetheless. As such, I wanted to bring you an affordable option that holds its own among the heavyweights of Smith & Wesson and other notables.

And by my estimation and experience, Ruger's Wrangler deserves top praise. It's an easy-to-use revolver (like most others) and it won't break your bank account to own it. Costing a fraction of what you'd pay for the Smith & Wesson Model 17, the Ruger Wrangler is a budget-friendly 22 LR pistol that shoots well and has an easy trigger pull.

As 22 LR pistols go, the Wrangler doesn't pull any punches. It boasts a powerful kick when you shoot it, yet hits its targets with precision. Ruger deserves plenty of accolades for manufacturing such a commendable handgun for such an affordable price.

The Best 22LR Revolver?

It might not necessarily be the best 22 pistol for concealed carry or self-defense, but it's a dream come true for plinking. I've always been impressed with this pistol's accuracy. And the fact that it's a 22 LR is the icing on the cake.

And unlike the Smith & Wesson Model 17's 6-inch barrel, the Wrangler sports a 4.62-inch barrel. As such, it's much more compact and versatile. Not only that, but it's exponentially lighter in weight, thanks to an aluminum frame.

Due to this fact, the Ruger Wrangler makes an excellent pick-up for newcomers and seasoned shooters alike. You'll have no trouble wielding this model. It's also quite durable, ensuring that you are investing your money in a reliable 22 LR that will remain your trusty companion through thick and thin.

Pros

  • Ruger Wrangler gets the nod from me as the best 22 pistol for reliability
  • An affordable option
  • It's an easy-to-use revolver
  • It has an easy trigger pull

Cons

  • It might not necessarily be the best 22 pistol for concealed carry or self-defense

Is that a good-looking 22 LR pistol or what? Once again, Ruger doesn't disappoint, this time delivering a reliable companion for a wide variety of applications in the Ruger Mark Series IV Target.

Equipped with a three-dot sight system and sturdy construction throughout, the Ruger Mark IV Target is accurate and reliable.

silver gun

Perhaps most impressive of all is the single-button breakdown feature. Whereas past Ruger Mark Series models proved somewhat challenging to fieldstrip, the Mark IV Target bucks that trend and goes for something much easier.

Whether you are experienced in field stripping or you're a newcomer to the game, you will have a field day with the Mark IV Target. And then there's the handling and actual shooting.

Ruger Mark IV Target Technical Specifications: 

Caliber

22 LR 

Action

Single-Action

Capacity

10 Rounds

Barrel Length

5.5 inches

 Overall Length

9.75 inches

Weight

35.6 ounces

Thanks to its stainless steel construction, you get incredible weight and balance. As such, it feels nice in your hands and gives you plenty of grips. I found that the extra weight helps to reduce recoil, while the three-dot sights ensure precision targeting every time.

In execution, the two come together to make this Mark Series a winner. Given its size and weight, I'm not sure this Ruger is the best choice for concealed carry. But to protect your loved ones at home, absolutely.

If you want a concealed carry 22 LR pistol, there are some excellent choices listed above. But if you want a 22 LR handgun that you can count on to help you hit your targets, the aptly-named Mark IV Target is just what you need.

And like the Browning BuckMark, the Mark IV Target makes a fine companion for small game hunting. I found this 22 caliber pistol to hold its own quite well in the woods and would take it with me again in a heartbeat. It's a full-size model that I can trust to have my back when I need it to.

Pros

  • Equipped with a three-dot sight system and sturdy construction throughout, the Ruger Mark IV Target is accurate and reliable
  • It has stainless steel construction
  • Whether you are experienced in field stripping or you're a newcomer to the game, you will have a field day with the Mark IV Target
  • A fine companion for small game hunting

Cons

  • Given its size and weight, I'm not sure this Ruger is the best choice for concealed carry

As such, gun and ammunition sales are at an all-time high. But you don't want to spend your hard-earned money on just any 22 pistols. It's important that you know what you're buying and what it's capable of.

Perhaps even more importantly, you need to invest in a pistol that you know you can trust to perform if the situation calls for it. A reliable 22 pistol can make the difference between you or your loved ones getting hurt, or you successfully defending them.

Together, that's what we're going to look at today. I've narrowed down and rounded up the very best of the best among 22 pistol options. Below are the highest-rated, best performing, and most reliable 22 pistols that money can buy.

Be sure to explore each entry in its entirety to ensure that you end up with the best 22 pistols to protect what's yours.

Which Is Right for You?

As you can see, you have a lot of "best 22 pistols" to choose from. It all depends on what you're planning to do with your investment. You have plenty of semi-auto 22 LR handgun models available to you, as well as a surprise revolver.

Do you want a full-size pistol to protect your home with, or would you prefer a compact 22 handgun to arm yourself with on the streets? Or maybe you don't need either and will be happy hunting or plinking.

bullet

As with any firearm investment, it's important to consider your needs. If you need a 22 handgun that serves more than one purpose, you'll find some options above that do just that. And if you're more concerned about longevity and reliability than anything else, you might do well to seriously consider investing in a revolver.

Yes, it's true that you lose many of the conveniences offered by semi-automatic pistols. but you can't beat their effective simplicity. Whichever 22 handgun you ultimately decide on, I hope the above reviews help you in making the right choice.