I bought the Ruger SR-22 when it first came out it for three reasons:
1. Training from appendix carry, on the cheap in lieu of my larger calibers. How the winds of change affected ammo prices and availability.
2. Replace my jam prone Smith and Wesson 22-A1 that I traded off for rabbit hunting. I have since decided not to hunt with a rim-fire handgun due to lack of clean kills at range.
3. A good handgun for introducing new shooters to the sport.
The slide is made from anodized aluminum, which will hold up much better than the zamak zinc alloy, aka pot-metal, of it’s competitors the Walther P22 and Sig Mosquito. It also has a polymer frame. The SR-22 weighs in at 17.5 ounces with an empty magazine.
The magazines are metal and hold 10 rounds, with a nice thumb button to pull down the follower for easy loading. The magazines also come with plastic finger rest floor-plate as well as the standard flat floor plastic plates which are already installed. I do not use the finger extensions. They are easy to disassemble for cleaning.
A rail is under the slide for accessories, with 3 cross slots for placement. I really don’t see the need for it, but I suppose it is helpful if you can night hunt in your state and want to attach a light. It also has slide serrations front and rear for grip. There are also serrations on the front of the trigger guard.
The grip is a removable rubber sleeve. pull off and push on. Well, you actually fight with it for a while and get frustrated, but it comes off eventually. There are two sleeves: small and regular. I found the one that was on the handgun to be too thin so I got to fight with it and replace it with the regular sized one. It has etched texture on the back strap and front of the grip and it works well even when your hands are wet and sweaty.
The thumb safety is ambidextrous and backwards in 1911 ( and pretty much every other modern handgun with a thumb safety) terms. You flick it up to fire, down to put it on safe. Why they did that is beyond me. The safety is also a de-cocker which means that when you activate it, the hammer is lowered and blocked from activating the firing pin.
The magazine release is also ambidextrous in a spot that does not interfere with your grip and can be activated easily. It also has a magazine disconnect safety. Not an issue to me on a non-carry gun. I would never carry a .22LR for self defense due to lack of penetration and sectional density. It also has a slide lock that locks after the last round but it is not ambidextrous.
The trigger has a long pull. In single action it measured 5.1lbs, in double action it measured 10.7 lbs. Both were measured new. The pull is long and the pressure builds up nice making it easy to keep on target. It has 3/4″ of pre-travel in double action before resistance starts, it drops to about 1/4″ of pre-travel when you cock the hammer back to put it in single action. The trigger works itself in and gets better with use. After 1000 rounds the single action trigger is now at 4.5 lbs while the double action is at 10.0 lbs.
The sights are excellent high visibility three dot sights. The rear is adjustable for windage and elevation. Both sights are set in dovetails for easy change out. Added bonus, the rear sight blade is fully reversible to allow for white or black dots.
Dis-assembly for cleaning is easy: Lock the slide back, pull the take-down lever in front of the trigger inside of the trigger guard down, and pull the slide back then pull it forward past the barrel and off of the receiver. The barrel can come off by removing an allen head screw underneath on front of the trigger, but it is not needed for cleaning. There have been issues with the plastic take down levers breaking, so I purchased a Twin Tech Tactical machined polymer take down lever for $20.00. I have yet to install it but reports are it solves the weak point on the handgun. Yet another example of manufacturers cheaping out on critical parts. Reassembling it takes a little bit more care to ensure the guide rod and spring stay aligned and in the channel.
The Twin Tech takedown lever:
Twin Tech Tactical makes a few aftermarket parts for the SR-22. their website is here: Twin Tech Tactical
It has a plastic guide rod, which is a red flag for me but thankfully hasn’t been a problem. It is easy to clean and has a beefy extractor and ejector. The hammer is a rounded commander style snag free design. The feed ramp is nice and big for easy feeding into the chamber.
It all comes in a compact, well made Ruger carrying pouch for easy range transport.
As far as accuracy , I brought a full Federal 550 bulk pack 36gr hp and 100 of CCI Mini Mag HP 36GR HP. The little SR-22 ate everything that it was fed all day long.
Over time I also ended up punching 550 more rounds of federal and 50 rounds of the CCI Mini Mag in the same manner as above at various rabbit sized targets such as cans and clays from 10 to 75 yards with much success. Quick sight acquisition, and accuracy made for a perfect match.
Here is a shot grouping at 10 yards:
and one at 25
I have hunted with it twice, at short ranges up to 25 yards it worked great, after 25 yards the lack of clean kills had me rethinking it’s use. Seeing as 40-75 yards is my typical hunting range, and 25 yards and in is rare, I decided to relegate it to training purposes.
1000+ trouble free rounds later. I love this handgun, it is accurate, has a great trigger, easy to see sights and the mags have little thumb buttons to make loading easy. Your first test of patience and super-human strength will be the day you have to swap out grips. The other concern is the plastic guide rod, but it has held up so far. Otherwise, it is a great little gun for the money and I feel it is the best of the bunch. It is light and small and can double as a training handgun for times when centerfire training is just too costly or you just want to work on your draw stroke and movement.