Safety and Training

Pistol Tip from The Survival Mom

Lisa Bedford, better known as The Survival Mom, is a preparedness-minded writer, blogger, trainer, and mom who encourages other women to adopt a calm and common-sense approach to an uncertain future. She has been featured in Newsweek, The Arizona Republic, The Glenn Beck Show, CBS and Fox News affiliates, and is the author of the book Survival Mom. Here are her thoughts about a rimfire pistol that prepper moms might want to consider: Prepare to fall in love with almost everything about the Sig Mosquito. Sig Sauer is my favorite gun manufacturer, second to none, so it was natural that I would begin longing for a Mosquito of my own.

I’ve used the Mosquito at the shooting range several times, and every time I start off loving it. I love the ergonomic grip, the size and weight of it, and the fact that it’s a .22 and, usually, fun to shoot. In many ways it’s the ideal .22 pistol, and the fact that it’s a member of the Sig Sauer family is a huge plus. But then it jams, and jams again, and I realize that maybe it’s not so perfect after all, which is a shame.

To be fair, part of the problem with the particular gun is that it’s a range loaner and doesn’t get cleaned on a regular basis. However, “failure to feed”, FTF, has been an ongoing problem with this particular pistol, especially in the older models. I tried using different types of ammo, and had better luck with CCI’s Velocitor .22 ammunition hollow points. If you’re going to rely on a .22 for self-defense, don’t take chances with cheap ammo if you’re using this pistol. You don’t want to risk a jam at a critical moment.

(I keep a couple of magazines loaded with CCI ammo for when I’m using a particular handgun for concealed carry, but when I’m at the range, I use cheap ammo for practice.) One of the reasons for the popularity of the Mosquito is that it looks and feels like a real gun, or at least that’s what hardcore gun-nuts say! It’s frame size is very close to the typical 9 mm or .40 caliber handgun. It doesn’t feel like a toy, but then, as a Sig Sauer, I didn’t expect anything less. In my experience, the slide, magazine ejector, and trigger are comfortable and easy to use. Owners of the Mosquito report they were able to solve most or all of the FTF problems by, first, breaking in their new gun with 500-1000 rounds of CCI ammo. Some owners claim their Mosquitos are now happy with any .22 LR ammo, even the cheap stuff.

The Mosquito weighs a comfortable 24.6 ounces, with magazine, and has a price tag of about $400.

If your purpose for choosing a .22 pistol is for cheap practice, there are less expensive choices that are just fine with cheap ammo. If you want a handgun that has a solid feel and quality appearance, has the Sig Sauer brand name, and is good, most of the time, the Sig Mosquito is a good choice.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (24)

  1. Best perform you’ve got carried out, this web site is absolutely neat with superb info. Time is God’s technique for holding every little thing from going on without delay.

  2. What do you meen real gun?..I read some of your bio? and I think you have a pretty good grasp of whats happening and whats gooing on but that comment about the sig mosquito feels like a real gun! well it is a real gun! Just ask your local emergency room, they will tell you 90% of all gun shot wounds are .22’s. It don’t get more real than that. I have 12 ga. pump, 1911, .38 special, .40 S&W, .308 win. counter sniper, and when I run out of ammo for these I will still have my trusty old ruger 10/22 and ruger 22/45!

  3. I have absolutely NO qualifications for what I am about to say, except for hours of reading over gun-shot wound reports and data. The vast majority of defensive gun-shot wounds result in a perp leaving the scene of an attempted crime. However, in some cases, the perp attempts to continue their violence. It is for these cases that a person interested in self-defense needs to consider the following: 1) Stressful situations send your trigger etiquette, posture, and technique out the door. 2) The more you practice, the less such reduction in skills will matter. 3) You may end up shooting twice or struggling with the perp. 4) Most ‘gunfights’ occur at short range, and are over within 6 shots, rendering high-capacity magazines and accuracy fairly superflous. 5) You can’t protect yourself with a gun that you don’t carry, don’t remember how to use and clean, or won’t go “bang”.

    If a fun, cute, cheap .22 gets you to practice more often, buy it. Especially if the control locations and method of operation are representative of your carry piece (a Mosquito is more-or-less a 90% replica of the P226). There is even a benefit in practicing clearing jams, if you carry an auto-loading pistol. But, most defensive arms trainers suggest nothing less than a .38 Special for carry, particularly for smallish men or women who may be confronted with the prospect of struggling with their attacker. The market is full of compact revolvers and pistols in the .38 Special and 9mm size range, spanning the spectrum from 2-shot derringers, to some beautifully designed conceal carry products. The bottom line is, do you take your need to carry protection seriously, or not? If you do, then make serious decisions about equipment, training, practice, and maintenance as well.

  4. Any weapon regardless of what you call it that has any type of repeated failure problems for what ever reason, should never be carried for self defense. As a matter of fact it should either be taken to a trusted gunsmith or sold out right. I have owend two .22 semi auto pistols a walther that I took back the same day for a $100 loss and a Ruger Mark II. I know you can not use the Ruger as a practical carry weapon, but I have put countless rounds through this weapon with very few problems. When I carry its a light weight S&W 38. I make my wife keep a Judge on her night stand for the same reason I carry the 38. Just draw, point, and pull the trigger. It always goes boom.

  5. The Mosquito has been reported to be very unreliable and partly because the owner’s manual is incomplete in its description of the recoil springs. The pistol comes with two: a heavier spring (thicker metal) for velocities >1250, a lighter one for less. Use of the proper spring is critical. Then, (and not mentioned in the manual) is placement of the recoil spring in the pistol during re-assembly. Examine the spring closely and you’ll notice both springs are tapered. When you re-assemble, ensure the tapered end goes on the guide pin and the larger end to the slide. Reverse this and you’ll get a lot of jams. With a correctly selected and installed spring, and a regularly cleaned and maintained pistol, I have no FTF or FTE with a variety of ammunition. As a matter of fact, I find Winchester 36 gr hollow-points in the 555 bulk pack work flawlessly, which I use for practice. And, of course, CCI mini mags work flawlessly also. The only ammunition that creates problems is that which comes “dirty” in the boxes, such as Remington Golden Bullets; you can feel the coating on any of these easily. Why Sig Sauer chose not to put this information in the user manual is beyond me!

  6. As a woman, I chose the Ruger .327 to carry. Good weight and feel. I especially like the hand grip over all the others I looked at.

  7. Ok folks let’s have a reality check. The words, wheel gun, and revolver mean the same thing. Since some poeple believe that pistol refers only to semi auto handguns, remeber the word pistol predates autos. Now for the argument about semi auto .22s, most of them have ftf and jam problems. Revolvers will always be more reliable. The question is capacity or reliability. All the ammo in the world is useless if it doesn’t go out the barel when fired. If your worried about a massive gunfight carry a .45 auto it can stop most anything at anytime. As for .22s, carry one for close in one on one self defense only. Keep a big gun in your car and use the .22 to get there. I have a Heritage .22 single action army with .22lr and .22wmr interchangable cylinders. The magnums cost more but are substantially more powerful. Both work well and I have never had a jam or a ftf.

  8. Oh, I forgot to mention that I gave my daughter a North American Arms 5 shot .22 loaded with ratshot. Told her to shoot the bad guys in the face-they can’t see you, they can’t hurt you. Save the last hp to take them out so that they can’t sue you for loss of income.

  9. Sadly, I only saw the Walther mentioned once. I worked at a gun shop for 4 1/2 years and I can tell you the feedback from customers was impressive for the Walther and not so good for the Mosquito. My wife has owned the P22 for 4 yers and never had a FTF once, using all brands of 22 ammo. I will say that it was a used gun when she bought it. She has cerebral palsy and cannot rack the slide of any other semi-auto with her left hand. BTW she also has a S&W 442 which she fires right-handed only and can out shoot me. I bought her the Walther PK380 before I quit the place, so now she has it all, including the Saiga .410 and the 30cal M1 carbine.

  10. With all due respect to Lisa, I can’t believe she is recommending a firearm with FTF issues. I have a Ruger Standard, older than I am, and it is still very reliable and accurate with almost all brands of ammunition I have tried. I recently purchase a Ruger 22/45 Lightweight for use with a suppressor. High velocity or even standard velocity ammo makes no sense when shooting a suppressed weapon, and subsonic ammo feeds every time in the 22/45 – with or without a suppressor.

  11. As a former U.S. Marine rifle and pistol instructor, I’m a little familiar with firearms. A lady at church told me that she wanted to get her
    concealed carry permit, then went on to asked me what firearm did I recommend for her. I told her to get the same thing I carry concealed, a N. American Arms 5 shot, (.22 long rifle hollow point) revolver.
    Of course her jaw dropped open in disbelief. As I told her, the little revolver, easily concealed. In fact a man with fairly large hands can walk about with one cupped in the palm of his hand and no one will know he has it.
    I also told her in 99% of the cases one would ever use a weapon is in an up close attack. Believe me a .22 long rifle hollow point will kill anyone that is hit in a vital organ. Personally, I prefer the eyeball, better yet, both eyeballs, and you will have three shots left over to play with a little bit. For example, one in the groin, one directly in the heart, then there’s the temple on the skull.

  12. The Sig Mosquito is a great gun. Rimfire ammunition is inherently dirty. You have to clean any .22LR weapon after shooting. Don’t know any woman or girl that likes to clean guns. I have two girls and a wife that dreads the task of cleaning their weapon. My one daughter has a Ruger 10/22. It gets dirty real quick. My second daughter has a Stoeger Cougar .40S&W. She has an easier time because it’s a center fire. My wife has the Sig Mosquito. It jams after 100 rounds. The carbon and unburned powder just cakes in there. The best ammo is CCI mini-mags. They perform better than any other ammo out there. If you have a better ammo please let me know. All guns in general jam with .22LR ammo. The Sig is perfect in balance, form, and reliability. Clean them and be happy.

  13. Any firearm that one intends to count on for self defense should NOT have a reputation for FTF, no matter how comfy it is to shoot. And that’s from day one, out of the box. Running 1,000 rounds through it would be great practice with it, however. But to ‘need’ to do that for reliability, no thanks. I’m the ‘old school’ type for concealed carry, preferring a revolver in .38, snubby, ‘air weight’. No messing with safeties, grab & go. Misfeed messing things up? Not happening. Failure to fire? It would be one of those one in a million cartridge duds. Pull the trigger again. Doesn’t need any particular brand of ammo for reliability. ANY type .38 bullet configuration, ball, hollow point, wad cutter, cheap junk or prime branded, they all go ‘bang’ and happily go down the barrel.
    Sorry, “Mom”, but in spite of all the useful information you provide, this time I have to suggest an alternative to this particular toy.

    Click the name.

  14. I had the same problem relating to good ammunition with my Chiappa 1911-22 semi-automatic pistol. I found out two things. 1. It works best with CCI Mini Mag, CCI Blazer and Centurion 22 Long Rifle ammo. 2. Cleaning the firing pin by removing it for a thorough cleaning made a big difference (particularly easy for my pistol; I did a slide show for YouTube). Most people don’t adequately clean the firing pin and extractor for smooth operation.

  15. Sid,

    If you want to be picky, a revolver is not a pistol.

    “you dont even know the right name of one of the most Iconic pistol designs in history”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handgun#Multiple_senses_of_the_word_.22pistol.22

    Unless of course your a Brit and in that case you call french fries – chips and chips – crispies.

    From Wild Bill’s comment I suspect that he is an American and wheel gun is a commen terminology.

    “A Six Gun is a revolver that holds six cartridges. The cylinder in a six gun is often called a ‘wheel’, and the six gun is itself often called a ‘wheel gun’.[12][13] The classic six gun was commonly carried by Old West cowboys and gunfighters.” From Wikipedia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolver

    Keep your piece concealed,

    Keith

    (Oh no I called a handgun a piece, Sid will be all over me for that.)

  16. Wild- Bill
    the so called ” wheeled guns” your refering to are called REVOLVERS!!!!!! Not wheel gun!!!! You say you have been shooting
    a long time but you dont even know the right name of one of the most Iconic pistol designs in history
    ( give you a hint ) the 22 yoy got is an auto loader ( not a pushie gun)!!! LOL

  17. I’m with Jethro, wheel-guns for anyone “not” use to guns period. Simplisity, reliability, accracy, not high capasity. at seven to ten yards, draw, point, squeeze, bang! a nine shot .22 revolver will send “anybody’ running in the opposite direction. he who draws and fires “first”, controls tha battle……we purchased a mosquito, we chose it over tha walther, wish i had tha walther, tha mosquito’s trigger rides low on tha trigger guard making for an unusual feeling on tha finger, tha walther just needs a longer grip or mag extentions, too better fit my hand….but back to tha point, for a woman new to firearms, new to carrying a firearm, a wheel gun will never fail her, unless it’s empty…..look back at historywheel guns have been protecting people since tha Civil War, tha old west, Law enforcement up to just recently (past twenty years)…….I have been shooting a 1911 since 1980, I carry a five shot S&W 296 (44spl) when not carrying my G-17…….two cents

    Wild Bill….SAFTY FIRST!

  18. Is this mom crazy? Failure to feed is the reason many carry revolvers instead of autos. The last thing you need is a jam when it counts. In Maryland it is very dificult to get a carry permit, but my auto of choice is a .32 Walther PP. It is also very ergonomic, fun to shoot, but not as cheap as a rimfire, and dependable!

  19. Thank you Lisa,

    it sounds like you are happy with the Mosquito. I almost bought one myself – it’s one of the most attractive 22LR pistols out there, but I shied away after reading about issues similar to what you raised. I don’t like having to be tied to a certain ammo brand for practice (I agree with you that for self defense, premium ammo is a must). Perhaps replacing the factory recoil spring with a lighter one, will help this problem without the need for a lengthy break-in.

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