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For the Love of Competition

Iain Harrison Reviews the Ruger SR22

by Iain Harrison   |  January 9th, 2012 56

The .22 rimfire has been a big part of my training regimen since the great ammo drought of 2009. For the rifle component, I like the Nordic AR 22 conversion, but finding a reliable pistol counterpart isn’t easy. When the Ruger SR22 showed up last week, I felt duty-bound to give it a good look over.

If you’ve ever picked up a Walther P22, you’ll get a sense of deja vu when you encounter the Ruger. They’re almost exactly the same size and shape, but while the Walther has a cast zinc slide, the Ruger’s is machined from aluminum, with serrations allowing for better grip and slide manipulation.

The SR22 also features an ambidextrous mag release and safety, making the gun as easy to use to lefties as it is to righties, plus an external hammer with a rounded spur for easy single-action shooting.

  • bhupinder.sandhu

    looks like a 9mm.

  • Carey Holzman

    How can he say that the SR22 is different from the P22 because it has an ambidextrous safety and mag release? The P22 also has an abidextrous safety and mag release. How is the SR22 ambidextrous and the P22 not? I don't get it.

    • old vet

      Also isn't that an external hammer on the P22?

    • hbtrustme

      That was my first thought — it looks a lot like the Walther P22. Note that the SR22 has a Browning-style safety and the Walther has the more European-style safety.

    • Frank G

      I'm sure that the SR22 is a quality weapon. As I read the article it describes my P22. I'm with you guy, I don't get it either.

    • allen

      Go back and reread the article. The only difference he mentioned was the type of material from which the slide was made.

      • Myke

        Allen is right. He is stating the only difference is the slide, that is why there is a paragraph break.

  • Doug

    Where was his hearing protection???

    • Mike

      haha was waiting for that

    • old vet

      VERY good point, even if an old veteran like Iain has lost most or part of his hearing. He like all who are on these sights, should wear visible hearing protection as an example to others watching.

      • young vet

        Give the guy a break, he is only human.

    • Keith

      Maybe he likes to hear the bang. Isn't it his choice?

      • old vet

        OK I see your point, you're right.

    • allen

      could it be that he is wearing ear plugs vs the the other type?

    • Joe

      He's not wearing any.

  • Carey Holzman

    That's another good question. I fired my P22 without hearing protection, thinking it wouldn't be that loud. After the first shot, my ears were ringing and I put the gun on SAFETY and went put my ears on. Its a lot louder bang than 22lr through a Ruger 10/22.

  • old vet

    I'm sure this is a fine functioning, sturdy little pistol. It IS an awful lot like the P22. If you notice the new Ruger super compact 9mm is really close to the Taurus 709. Everything is getting so generic.

  • Reallyg&a?

    Terrible article. Almost like he's never seen a P22 let alone used one. My p22 has all of the the features mentioned down to the slide serrations. I'm surprised that an authority like g&a would let something like this go out to all of us. This ruger looks great too bad I "already have one".

    • allen

      He's reviewing the SR22 not the P22!

  • Dan

    Our Walther P22 has problems ejecting on many types of ammo that works perfectly in my Ruger MKII and High Standard 101. We've only run a few hundred rounds through the Walther so I'm hoping it will be able to fire more than five rounds before stovepiping.

    Others have complained about the same problem with the P22 so I think I might want a Ruger SR22 for the reliability. Many gun tests out there say the Ruger SR22 is dependable.

    • Carey Holzman

      My Walther P22 sometimes had issues feeding the next round, but that is always with cheap WalMart Federal ammo. And it never has any issues ejecting.

      • Carey Holzman

        Here is a short video of us shooting the Walther p22 with cheapo Federal bulk 22lr ammo from Cabela's. As you can see, no feed or ejection failures with this ammo. Polish your feed ramp.

    • Joe

      I bought 5 mags for my P22. Had some missfeeding problems. I was able to narrow it down to 2 mags. Called Walther. Told them I have 2 bad mags. No questions asked, they sent me 2 replacements. Bad ones went in the garbage can. Just an idea.

  • Jerry

    My wife shoots the Walther P22 and Ruger's SP101 in 32 S & W longs and likes them both. I have the SIG Mosquito and several Mark II traget guns. I wish the SR22 by Ruger had been available when I purchased my handguns. I still might buy one when the demand dies down. The 22 caliber revolvers and auto loaders are fun to shoot.

  • Scott

    It would be nice to see one post where some blowhard doesn't scour the pictures looking for nits to pick hoping to bring up eye or ear protection, fingers on the trigger, etc.. Reminds me of folks who have to brag about their money or their dick. If you got it, you don't need to talk

    • Carey Holzman

      He should be setting a good example. As should all teachers.

    • allen

      I'm not a prude but do you think it necessary to include a word(s) about the male anatomy in your post?

      • old vet

        That's about as far as some minds work.

    • Gary

      Well said and SO true !!!!!!!!

  • Dan

    Anyone tried the S&W MP22 pistol? I just picked one up this past weekend and it appears to be one of the better rimfires available. Now I just need time to shoot it.

  • Ron

    I'm still waiting for for a auto in 22 mag.

    • Steven

      Kel-Tec PMR 30, give that one a look.

  • Bo

    Hey Scott….I'm with you on that….I was just thinking the same thing…

  • WSA

    It would appear he did not have much to review, just another 22LR

    • Bill

      Just picked up a SR 22. With 200 rounds of mini mags, a very nice gin. Read Jeff Quinn at He gave it very high marks on reliability and ammo.

  • Carey Holzman

    Thing is, I really liked Iain on Top Shot. Really seems to know his stuff. I am disappointed with the factual errors and lack of detailed content – I can't believe Iain wrote this.

    • old vet

      Keep in mind Iain is new to this, I'm sure he is going to get much better.

  • Mike

    I've been patiently waiting for another Walther P22 to show up on my local Armslist ads. Now after reading and watching some reviews on the Ruger SR22 pistol, I'm torn on which one to pursue. What do you guys think? So far, I'm leaning towards the Ruger, as I've heard from multiple sources that you can feed just about any type of ammo through it without issue.

    • old vet

      Although I've never had any issues, their were evidently some teething issues with the P22 along with several magazine redesigns. Probably should give the Ruger a try. Wasn't impressed with looks of it at first, but it could grow on me

    • Carey Holzman

      I love my P22 and wouldn't give it up for the SR22. I will say that the take down could be improved and putting the slide back on requires a spring support pin. But that has nothing to do with the accuracy or feed issues. The p22 just fits me very well and, as you can see in the video posted above, the so-called feed issues are non-existant. If you buy cheap WalMart 22 ammo, you're bound to get some problems with it, regardless of the firearm – its cheap stuff and often has more to do with the ammo than the firearm. The Walther is also about $50 cheaper and has been around long enough to address some of the problems early on. Maybe when the SR22 has a couple of years under its belt, the price comes down and any discovered issues are addressed, would I consider one. I'm not a pioneer. That's my opinion.

      • JohnnyU01

        Whenever the p22 and sr22 are compared, fit, finish and function are always mentioned and the Ruger wins out everytime. If all things were equal for sure I'm buying American. This time you can buy the better gun and buy American. America works when you buy American.

  • rjd

    I have an SR22 and a P22. The P22 is going to get dumped.
    I much prefer the Ruger. Its features are far superior.
    For the $ I would not cast a second glance at a P22.

  • Mack Attack!

    Nice pistol. I also like the Sig Mosquito Desert Digital Camo.

    I shot a Sig SP2022 today in .40 caliber 180gr FMJ. It was my first time ever shooting a pistol and honestly that Sig was a breeze to shoot.

    • Mack Missiletoe

      I like slim grips but a grip that properly fills the hand is best. Enter adjustable grips. Better chance the gun will fit the shooter which is important.

      • Mack Attack!

        That's nice… not! I don't care what YOU like. It's all about meh—hunh?… aren't we the same person?!

  • SemperFlyBoy

    I am used to 1911 type thumb safeties that are off when pushed down and on when pushed up. This one is backwards from that. I am uncomfortable with the idea of having guns whose safeties work the opposite of one another, especially when I may be in a great hurry to get one to go bang.

  • Bob

    This is a terrible review. I was looking for something that was more informative regarding the SR22 and read a bunch of comments that sounded like 4 year old boys. I'll go somewhere else.

  • Andy

    I have a P22 and had been very frustrated with it until I found rounds that it likes. I fire CCI 36-grain rounds through it, pretty much strictly, and I never have any problems with it any more. He said that he had some FTF and FTE problems with the SR22. The two guns sound almost identical. I wish I would have held off on my Walther though. I have had much better luck with Ruger over the years.

  • Rob McKenney

    This guy is no amateur. Did you see his firing speed and movement to left and right targets? His British accent could place him in the real warrior world EX ….what? I would like to know the accuracy of the pistol, or is it mostly a close encounter defensive light hideout carry firearm?

    • old vet

      English accent, real warrior, fail to see connection, Jeebs.

  • Don H

    Why not a 15 or 20 round magazine for it!!!????

  • Armor

    You can find another detailed review at this link

  • Richard

    Well I just bought the Ruger SR22 yesterday and well today I finally got to shoot it using Winchester 40gr. Wildcat ammo and to be honest I didn't even get to finish the 2nd mag. And it already jammed up. It's a great shooting gun but as far as not jamming, every 2 mags it jams up on me but not really sure why.

  • Lewis Dawson

    I bought my Ruger SR22 about 3 months ago at a gun show for $326 after tax and fees. I love it but it does jam once in a blue moon when use $hit ammo like Winchester. I bought Winchester 333 when i bought my gun and we soon realized that some of the bullets wouldn't even fit in my boss's 22 revolver. Not the gun's fault. My boss used my SR22 on a 22 target system about 15 yards away and hit all three targets one after the other 10 for 10. Later that day we set up a plate about 80 yards away which he attempted to shoot with his 22 revolver. He was close but after 12 shots he did didn't actually hit it. I drew my Ruger SR22 and hit the plate with my second bullet. At about 50 cents per clip (as apposed to about $2.5 for 9mm) I get a lot of target practice despite my shallow pockets.Needless to say I will never get rid of my Ruger SR22.

    Funny/embarrassing story: the day I bought it my boss and I shot it out his second story window at a target. I didn't realize that the takedown lever was dropped so the third or fourth shot sent the slide rolling down the roof below us. I've never jumped out a window so fast in my life.

  • Greg Pasden

    This is the weapon I used to teach my wife how to shoot. She did great. In less than 15 minutes, she was proficient at clearing malfunctions, proper trigger technique, and a very lethal shot.
    I'm very proud of my wife. I will let her protect me any time.
    Greg Pasden

  • Dave

    purchased a sr 22 fir my wife ,took it to he range the next day, and had a major problem, the trigger was not working, it loaded just fine but there was no trigger pull, just flopped around, so took it back, they said it was problem in the safety to magazine problem, we switched it to another, using the same ammo, it would fire about 5 rounds and the round would not enter the barrel, so switched ammo from CCI to American Eagle and the gun work perfectly, no problems at all, put about 100 rounds in it. Looks like they don’t like CCI .

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