11 Great .22 Pistols for Plinking and Training

posted on December 9, 2017

If you shoot handguns, you should own a .22 pistol for plinking and training. Not only is this caliber great for honing in fundamentals, it is also cheaper to shoot. If you already have a .22 or two in your safe, it’s a great time to add another one – maybe something special. We found 10 options for you, and often, these there are plenty of other unique models offered by these same manufacturers.

Browning Buck Mark Plus Stainless UDX

UDX stands for ultra grip deluxe, with wood laminate, textured grips and the complementary integrated grip machined with finger grooves that match the wood grooves. This one joins a much-touted line of fine .22 pistols in the Buck Mark line that have been knocking down cans and targets for decades. MSRP:  $599.99

Charter Arms Pathfinder

Here’s for the revolver lovers. Charter Arms offers its Pathfinder, available in stainless steel or aluminum and in black, pink or lavender. A target model .22 pistol is available with a 4-inch, as opposed to 2-inch, barrel and adjustable rear sight. MSRP: $365

Chiappa Firearms 1911-22

If you’re a fan of the 1911 look, check out Chiappa’s standard 1911-22, with its stippled walnut grips, matte black finish and single trigger system. Why not practice with a .22 pistol that resembles your 1911 carry gun?MSRP: $269

Heritage Manufacturing Rough Rider

When it comes to training or just plain plinking fun, it doesn't get much better than a single-action revolver patterned after the old-school Colts from the late 19th century. The Rough Rider is affordable and available in a number of different models, barrel lengths and even calibers, with .22 Mag. cylinders available. MSRP: $194.97

Kel-Tec PLR-22

Designed solely for target shooting, this Star War-ish-looking gun is an offshoot of the PLR-16 pistol that uses blowback action to blow back targets. This .22 pistol can hold 26 rounds in its extended mag, and sports a 10.5-inch barrel. MSRP: $398.18

Ruger Mark IV Tactical

The shooting world took notice when Ruger’s new line of Mark IV .22 pistols arrived. Ruger’s Tactical version is powerfully attractive, with a black-oxide finish, Picatinny rails and a simple, one-button takedown – so you can clean it fast and get back out there. This line comes in several configurations – including Lite, Hunter, Target and Competition. MSRP: $569

SIG Sauer P938-22 Target Micro-Compact

Still thinking small, as in caliber and frame size, it’s time to check out Sig Sauer’s P938-22. It’s a scaled down version of the manufacturer’s .380, so it comes with checkered rosewood grips, adjustable sights and a weight of 1 pound unloaded. It can be converted into a 9 mm pistol as well. MSRP: $579.99

Smith & Wesson Victory

You got to hand it to Smith & Wesson for naming this .22 pistol with such confidence, the Victory. A stainless-steel beauty, this gun features a match-grade interchangeable barrel with a one-screw takedown design. It includes a Picatinny rail, fiber optic front sight and textured grip panels with finger cuts. MSRP: $409

Uberti 1873 Cattleman .22 Revolver

Ideal for cowboy action shooting or target shooting, Uberti’s offering to the single-shot revolver market is a sight to behold. Step back in time and plink with this cold, hard steel, case hardened frame. Comes in varying barrel lengths from 5.5 to 7.5 inches, and 6 or 12 shot capacity. MSRP: $509 (and up)

Volquartsen Scorpion

Billing itself as “the ultimate lightweight .22 pistol,” this sleek Volquartsen Firearms Scorpion pistol’s frame is CNC-machined from aluminum alloy. This line includes an extended bolt release, CNC-machined trigger with a crisp 2.25-pound pull, a CNC-machined disconnector and extended safety. Choose from several finishes, including the American flag, OD green and battle worn. MSRP: $1,194 (and up)

Walther Arms P22

Here’s another oldie but goodie in a polymer grip frame, but with a more tactical, stylish look than most .22 pistols. It also comes with a wonderful trigger, as is expected from anything that wears Walther on its frame. The line features black, military (green) and nickel models. MSRP: $299.99


E 17
E 17

Handgun Grip Vs. Hold: What's the Difference?

Grip and hold on the firearm are often viewed by handgun shooters as one and the same. However, seasoned defensive and competitive shooters break down handgun shooting stability into two distinctly but equally essential subcomponents: grip versus hold.

First Look: FN America FN 303 Tactical Less Lethal Launcher

New from FN America is the FN 303 Tactical Less Lethal Launcher with a modular chassis system that allows operators and armorers to quickly customize the buttstock, grip or sighting system.

First Look: Diamondback Sidekick Rimfire Revolver

Diamondback Firearms is introducing the Diamondback Sidekick, a 9-shot, single- and double-action rimfire revolver that has an interchangeable swing-out cylinder.

Wilson Combat Unveils Their Latest Expansion

Wilson Combat recently underwent a $10 million upgrade to its facilities, which will help the company keep pace with ever-growing demand. 

Mossberg 500 and 590: America’s Defensive Shotguns

Since 1961, the O.F. (Oscar Frederick) Mossberg company has sold more than 11 million of its Model 500 pump-action shotguns, making it the most popular shotgun of all time, if not one of the most sold guns in any category, period.

Customizing the Colt Detective Special

Got a gun with that has seen better days? Perhaps Grandpa’s favorite gun was obviously “well loved?” Talented gunsmiths and other artisans are out there who can give your favorite firearm a much-needed face-lift.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.