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Grayfox54

.22 caliber Understudies

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With Glock's  announcement of their new .22, it got me to thinking about understudy guns. Basically, that would be guns that look and feel like full size centerfire defensive guns, but in the much cheaper and easier to shoot .22 caliber. It simply makes for more trigger time with a gun that feels like what you carry. I'm a long time fan of this concept. 

I've said many times that my S&W Model 18 is the gun that taught me to properly shoot a DA revolver. Its my favorite revolver and goes to the range more than any other gun I own. My favorite carry revolvers are also S&W K-frames. 

Some years ago I picked up a Ciener Platinum Cup .22 conversion unit for the 1911 at a great price. I became so fond of it that I built up a bare frame to mount it on permanently. 

A year or so ago I bought a Walther PPK/S .22 and enjoy shooting it. 

Not too long ago I picked up a LNIB .22 conversion for my Sig P226. Honestly, I've gotten so that I shoot the .22 more than the 9mm. 

Anybody else have an understudy gun? How do you feel about the idea? 

Edited by Grayfox54
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Yes, I have a S&W Model 617 as training gun for my revolvers. And it's an excellent idea for training and trigger time.

I want one for my M&P handguns, but S&W has failed miserably at that. From the specs it appears Glock failed today also. There are plenty of Engineers in Tennessee that could keep the slide of a Tupperware gun light enough for the .22 to be able to work the action while keeping the weight and the balance of the gun the same as its big brothers. Too bad Smith & Wesson and Glock don’t have any Engineers like that.

My last new M&P M2.0 4” Compact in 40S&W cost $330 + a transfer. I’d gladly pay that for a .22 the same size and same weight. But I wouldn’t pay that for one that feels like I’m shooting a BB gun. That's what the M&P .22’s feel like when you pick them up.

Edited by DaveTN

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I use a lot of BBs (CO2) in a basement range. Don't laugh until you try it -- it is good practice (20, 30, even 40 feet (use rest at 40Feet). Do some Point and Shoot practice also. Accuracy of guns (say 4 inch at 30feet, BBs have their own mind to an extent LOL).  

My CO2 Pistols are simple inexpensive (Crossman and a Daisy). I think the Crossman was like $30 and came with two 20 round MAGS.  The daisy at BUDS was like $12 (they had a batch of refurbished ones on a pallet) and BBs load into aslot on top of the gun (18 BBs). .

They both shoot good. The Daisy feels more like a real gun (grip), but can only load 18 BBs into a slide on top of the gun. The Crossman has MAGS (20 BBs) and I have 4 MAGS from first gun that finally gave up the ghost and from the new one like the first one.

I think over all the Crossman has more Failures When Shooting (BBs sometimes jam, don't load when trigger is pulled back) have to drop the MAG to clear things).  

CO2 BB Pistols have a bit of a long trigger pull (BBs load into chamber as you pull the trigger back, then you do reach a set point and know when the break is coming). Reset on trigger is all the way FWD.  

A CO2 Cartridge is like $0.50 and good for 90 to 120BBS  (cost of BBs is near negligible and some can be retrieved when shot into cardboard and used again).  I think the coating on Daisy BBs is better than the copper on Crossman as I find more corrosion on copper BBs.   

As you may know, they have CO2 BB Pistols with blow back slides and some feel exactly like a real gun (weight, grip, etc.). They run from I think $60 to $100. The bad thing is only good for about 40 or 50 BBs on a CO2 Cartridge as the slide operation uses CO2 and I think FPS is less.  

CO 2 Cartridges run about $0.50 each.

They even have BB Rifles (Full AUTO or SEMI BB), a friend has one. It uses a lot of BBs FAST  and CO2 does not last long. 

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Everyone has a different feel and preference, but for my money the best decision i made was buying the M&P 22 compact to use for training so i could shoot my M&P Shield 2.0 9mm more effectively. The “M&P feel” between the two made for an awesome familiarity shooting either one and I’m able to run the 4¢ ammo and warm up for 30 minutes before switching to the 16¢ ammo and running targets. I’m already warmed up by the time I switch and usually run 150 rounds of each. The difference now is that I don’t start cold wasting 9mm ammo and I enjoy how they are nearly twins. Of course they are going to shoot with different impact, but it’s kind of like dating a twin.  They have a different attitude, but she’s almost her sister all over again. 

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I have .22 kits for several of my pistols.  The advantage of the conversion is that all of the controls, feel, and operation are identical to the full-power set-up.

I have yet to see any of the BB guns that really operate like the real thing.  That said, I have couple of them and they are a lot of fun for backyard plinking.

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I also have a mdl 617 revolver to practice with. It is not the same as my 357 mag, but one can learn much with practice with the 22's, however it is not the big boy by any means. I still burn at least 50 rounds every outing, in my EDC.(mixed practice ammo and self defense ammo) 

I also use  my 617 to start out new shooters, then gradually increase power. I have found it is much less frightening for beginners. 

My old shooting backstop rotted out and I just finished a new earthan one so I have not had many ladies out shooting lately. Have hopes of  starting that back. There is not many places that, around here, that one can go learn on the cheap.  My services is free and my range cost nothing. Had one lady who lost her husband and we found out, for months, she could not sleep at night because of fear.

I invited her out here and took her husband's 38 spl, and taught her to shoot it. That empowered her and she could sleep afterwards. She told my wife she puts the revolver beside her bed, every night, and sets the burglar alarm then drifts off to sleep. She is in her late 70's. She told another lady, in our class, "You know we can protect ourselves now?" The other lady was a divorcee and home alone also. We had several afternoon shoots so they could practice. 

Edited by pop pop
spell check deamon go me.
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Thank you for what you do @pop pop! This is what our community needs to grow and do so positively. I commend you Sir. 👍

I have a couple of LCR's, one in .38 spl and one in .22 LR. While the .22 has a heavier trigger it is incredibly smooth and I find practicing with it helps with my DA shooting all around. I actually wouldn't hesitate to carry it as a second gun... not primary of course. But Claude Werner (The Tactical Professor) makes a decent case for such in a very narrow and limited niche application.

I have a S&W 422 that I started my son on long ago and it's helped my wife in starting her journey into handgun shooting. It incredibly reliable and very accurate. It's a great little .22 semiauto and Smith made a bad decision when they stopped producing them imho. 

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Of course don't forget reloading if cost is your concern.  Nothing wrong with having a good .22 pistol that is similar to your daily platform.  But with reloading for a cost of less than $4 /box I can shoot any of my carry or competition guns with minimal costs.  One has to buy in bulk.  Plus, enjoyable hobby for me.

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I've picked up several conversion kits along the way, subscribing to that philosophy of training. It really helps with getting you to recognize lapses in trigger discipline, especially if you have any anticipation or flinch with the full boat rounds when you have not been keeping current.

I've got a couple Sig 1911 kits (they work on all standard 1911's), P229, Glock large frame, and Beretta 92. As with the Glock thread, I dont understand the need for a dedicated 22 pistol unless it brings something else to the party. My only 22 pistol is a Ruger Single 10, because I thought it was interesting and I'd never had a single action wheel gun (need to try to make it free spinning now). I would be inclined to pick up a Ruger Mark IV.

Interestingly as much as I loved these early on, I find I almost never use them. I hope if we find a place with some land where I can have my own range, I'll get back to enjoying the pleasures of 22 again.

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Years back I was shooting cowboy action events.  I picked up several Hahn 45 CO2 single action revolvers for practice in the garage with a backstop.  They worked very well.  I no longer shoot CAS events but I do occasionally enjoy shooting the Hahns. 

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