One of the best uses for the .22 LR is training youngsters to shoot. The cartridge offers a mild report, is inexpensive, and is plentiful at present, and its accuracy with the right load is excellent. Any ammunition may be used for this pastime or for training. Most often, the most inexpensive ammunition is used. This is OK as far as it goes. However, when you are firing at targets and attempting to shoot to the best of your ability, you will value accuracy more.
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Ruger’s first departure from steel and aluminum construction was the Mark IV 22/45 Lite pistol. This is a polymer frame .22 caliber handgun meant to conform closely to 1911 .45 dimensions in order for the pistol to provide a good training understudy for the 1911-type handgun. It has done so, but also offers an excellent platform for anyone desiring a .22 caliber self-loading handgun.
If there is a more welcome addition to anyone’s shooting battery than a good quality 22 caliber kit gun, I do not know what it could be. This class of light revolver, chambered for the .22 rimfire cartridge, is a fun gun, a good trainer, and even a small game handgun. There are few handguns that will see more use in a family setting than a .22 revolver. The Rossi Plinker is light enough to be carried when hiking and fishing, and will not frighten youngsters learning to shoot.
The folks at Henry Repeating Arms Company made another gun to be proud of with the Small Game Carbine, chambered in .22 Magnum. This lever-action rifle delivers on several levels. The gun is handsome and plain, reminiscent of a grandpa’s pocket knife. There’s no pizzazz, as well as nothing unappealing in its appearance. It’s a utilitarian tool, and a perfect example of form following function.
Smith and Wesson’s Victory .22 has garnered a lot of interest since its introduction a few months ago. The Victory .22 is intended to compete with similar .22 calibers handguns such as the Browning Buckmark and Ruger Standard Model. As such the Victory will have to have good features, good reliability, and acceptable accuracy. The price point is also important. Smith and Wesson’s previous .22 caliber self loaders were not in the class with this pistol and the hopes Smith and Wesson has pinned on this pistol are not without justification.
Plinking is difficult to define, and that is how I like it. Plinking is the purest form of shooting fun. It is without limits or rules other than safety. To place boundaries on recreation, or what may even advance to an art form, is an exercise in frustration. Anything that encourages the learning of proper trigger press and sight alignment is good, but take note of the danger of taking family and friends plinking. It may result in new enthusiasts to the shooting sports.
Some years ago, I used ELEY ammunition when firing rimfire silhouette competition with my 8 3/8-inch barrel Smith and Wesson K-22—the results and performance were excellent. I have also used the ammunition in my CZ bolt-action rifle. In fact, ELEY .22 LR ammunition has been the choice of champions in some of the most grueling competitions. ELEY’s decision to bench rest test and lot test each batch of ammunition is also legendary.