The .22 rimfire version illustrated, is a single-action handgun and a straight blowback-operated pistol.
This compact handgun is manufactured in Springfield, Massachusetts by Smith and Wesson.
Smith and Wesson claims they have made a strong commitment to this line of handguns and that their team is playing close attention to reliability and quality standards.
Their claims are accurate. The pistol features a 7075 TG51 aluminum slide that is hard anodized. The frame is modern polymer.
The result is a nice looking handgun that doesn’t look cheap, although it is affordable. As a result of the pistol’s construction, is weighs a feathery 15.3 ounces.
The fit of the handgun is excellent. Most hand sizes find the Military and Police .22 well-balanced and fast pointing.
The 18-degree grip angle — which means the grip is angled 18 degrees from the bore line — makes for good pointability.
I cannot imagine a compact pistol that feels better.
The pistol uses a conventional recoil spring and guide rod. The action, break down and handling are simple enough, and the trigger breaks clean.
The magazines are well-made, ten-round units. I like the magazines better than the general run of polymer or cheap tinny magazines.
Some .22s just look cheap, but not this pistol. The design isn’t a plinker first and foremost, it was designed for personal defense practice.
Just the same, the pistol is plenty accurate for informal target shooting and plinking. It is also accurate enough to have utility in the field.
I have taken small game with less accurate handguns. It will behead a reptile or take a bedded rabbit easily.
Tactical features include an ergonomic, ambidextrous safety and crisp trigger. The rear sights are fully adjustable and the front post is highly visible.
Smith and Wesson M&P22 Compact Use
There is a push these days to design handguns that are easily used by shooters with limited hand strength, including the elderly.
A lightweight, .22-caliber handgun certainly fits this design envelope.
As for personal defense, the .22 Long Rifle doesn’t have bullet mass or diameter, but it may have adequate penetration in most situations.
Most .22s tie-up sometimes, some more than others. The M&P22 doesn’t tie up with quality ammunition.
Both .22 handguns and .22-caliber ammunition are more reliable than ever.
Not long ago, it was unusual to fire a 500-round brick of .22 LR without experiencing several misfires or a cartridge with the bullet bent sideways in the feed ramp.
Since the .22 isn’t for serious use, it doesn’t matter.
Recently, I was part of a group that fired almost 2,000 .22 LR cartridges without a single misfire or misfeed. That is unusual in my experience.
The M&P magazines are easy to load and make ready. Additionally, the slide of the pistol is easy to rack.
I began firing with the affordable Winchester Wildcat, a 40-grain load with a good reputation. I fired several boxes with good results.
Firing at man-sized targets at five, seven, and ten yards, the little Smith was controllable and came on target quickly.
For practice in personal-defense shooting, this is a good handgun to have. The pistol comes on target accurately and handles well.
It is a fun gun to fire, but also a good learning tool.
For those with a problem handling a hard-kicking handgun, the M&P22 is a good all-around handgun for defense and recreation — save for the caliber, but then, the .22 LR is a useful cartridge.
As for use as a field gun, the M&P22 is easier to use well and more accurate than most kit-gun type revolvers.
If you are using a .22 for personal defense, a ten-shot, self-loader is leagues ahead of a rimfire revolver.
Next, I tested the pistol for absolute accuracy. Firing from a solid, standing barricade position, I fired several five-shot groups at 15 yards.
I used the Winchester Wildcat and also the Winchester Super X 37-grain hollowpoint. A 16-ounce handgun isn’t the easiest to hold steady, but the pistol gave good results.
Most five-shot groups were inside of two inches or less. With the pistols fully-adjustable rear sight, the M&P22 is a great field gun.
I test many modern handguns. While I sometimes think modern handguns are getting better, there are also a lot of guns made as cheaply as possible, and others that make we wonder what the designer was thinking.
The Smith and Wesson M&P is among the well-thought and useful handguns.
Whether for use as a primary handgun, or for practice or field use, the new Smith and Wesson is a great addition to anyone’s gun safe.
Carrying the M&P22 and Accessories
I have used the TruGlo combat light with good results. It fits the rail and offers good performance for the money.
The Wright Leather Works paddle holster I use for the GLOCK 19 accepts the M&P22 decently.
I don’t recommend using a handgun in a holster other than the one it is designed for, but in this case, close enough works fine for a field gun.
What’s your favorite rimfire handgun? Have you tried the M&P22 Compact? Let us know in the comments section below!