Art of the Gun: Smith & Wesson M&P 22, Suppressed

With the feel and look of its bigger-caliber relatives, the Smith & Wesson M&P 22 is not just a great training weapon, it’s a heckuva lot of fun to shoot. Of course, we had to increase the fun factor by adding a suppressor, but with or without a can, you can have a great time with this handgun.

Following on the surge of 22-caliber clones of popular handguns, Smith & Wesson introduced the M&P 22 in 2011 to meet the needs of the consumer market. Smith & Wesson developed the M&P 22 to cut down on ammunition costs when training, but also to have a fun plinking pistol that looks and feels like the bigger bore inspirations.

There are a few differences distinguishing the M&P 22 from the 9mm, .45, .40, and .357 SIG versions. You’ll notice the barrel is slightly shorter—4.1 inches versus the 4.25 inches of the full size, though the overall length of the weapon is the same. Walther machined the first versions of the M&P 22 imported into the U.S.; these feature a thumb safety to comply with importation restrictions. The newer, domestically manufactured versions do not feature this thumb safety. Fans of the M&P centerfire versions will be quick to note that the M&P 22 does not have the interchangeable backstraps; so what you see is what you get.

Internally, the engineers had to make a pretty major design change to accommodate the rimfire cartridge. The 22 uses a single-action, hammer-fired mechanism as opposed to the double-action, striker fired action of the centerfire models. Despite the completely different actions, the pistol handles much the same—albeit with a substantial decrease in recoil—and makes for excellent training.  For added enjoyment, we added a Tactical Solutions Cascade Ti suppressor. Though the .22 LR cartridge doesn’t have as loud of a report as most other calibers, adding the suppressor turns the M&P 22 into about as loud as a stapler. Needless to say, if you were introducing a new shooter to handguns, this combo would be perfect: no ear-ringing report, no punchy recoil. Since it is the same size and feel of a centerfire handgun, it is easy to correct improper grip and technique before a bad habit forms. However, if you’re a seasoned shooter, you might enjoy this combo just as much!

The Smith & Wesson M&P 22 with a Cascade Ti suppressor.
The Smith & Wesson M&P 22 with a Cascade Ti suppressor.

Have you shot suppressed? Tell us what you think in the comment section.

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Comments (8)

  1. Does anyone know the REAL reason that 22 ammo is so scarce and cost prohibitive ? I used to shoot a lot and now cannot even find 22 ammo anywhere.

    1. Demand is still way up and the factories have been at 100% capacity for years before the surge.

      When people see it, they are buying all they can instead of just a few boxes or a brick.

    1. @ Brent: Someone more knowledgeable may correct me, but they all come with a threaded barrel. Your gun should have come with a little wrench that hooks on to a small recess on the end of the muzzle which allows you to remove the insert. Thereafter you must purchase the inexpensive thread adapter extension that is used to screw on a suppressor.

      If you are asking in general, Walther makes the barrels under contract with S&W. Since Walther also produces their P22, the same adapter works on both, as would the same suppressor/silencer would be interchangeable.

      Now someone please correct me if I’ve misspoken. I don’t have access to them now, but I learned all this through my son who owns both the S&W and Walther 22s with a silencer and adapter.

    2. The barrel is already threaded, but needs an adapter for use with a suppressor.

      This one wears one from GemTech, and it wasn’t expensive. the fixed barrel of the M&P 22 pistol adds greatly to the reliability with the use of a suppressor.

      The only area of concern for me is the point of impact shift when using a suppressor. It seems to shoot 3″ high with the suppressor installed. versus without. I just use the suppressor all the time.

  2. I don’t doubt that its an excellent pistol but as long as we’re getting scalped for 22 long rifle ammunition I have no intention of investing in another 22 caliber firearm of any kind. It’s too bad too because they’re fun to shoot. When you can find ammo the price takes all the fin out of it. Even on line, some of the merchants are charging $80 to $90 for a brick of 500 rounds that we were paying $24 before this BS ammo shortage started .

    I got an email the other day stating that the Ruger’s Mark-3 fell off the list and is no longer legal for sale in California so I’m guessing S&W’s isn’t either. I don’t know how much of a problem this is for you folks in other states but it sucks here in California.

    1. First I wish to offer you my condolences… for the California conditions you must endure.

      I echo your sentiment exactly over the current .22 fiasco. I simply refuse to pay the prices they want for .22 ammo. I just won’t do it. I am currently babying my remaining stock and am down to approximately 800 rounds. I have a back order in for 2000 rounds (with ammo can), that I price-locked before things went crazy, but I’ve been waiting for that for more than a year now.

      Like you, I refuse to even consider purchasing another .22 of any type until ammo prices drop again; which may be never. I’ve noticed some pretty good sales on .22 guns lately which is probably because they are having a hard time moving them due to the high cost of its ammo. Younger shooters will adapt to the new prices and .22 sales will be their cheaper option, but until then at these prices, veteran shooters figure they may as well pay a bit more and run an AR platform or stick with the cheaper weapons that eat the economical corrosive Russian ammo to get their fix.

  3. I really enjoy shooting my M&P .22. I put a Nikon Rimfire 3x9x40 scope on her and at 40 yards she is sub MOA using Rem SV 22 LR, which is mil surplus from 1994. I bought the case the same year and have only had one FTF out of 1500 rounds. The SV round is a wax coated lead round nose. My Savage bolt action loves this ammo also. The S&W .22 is a ton better IMHO than the “other” AR 22 which is the Mossberg.

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